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US Embassy opens its door to Belizeans

Many Belizeans who have applied for a US visa may have come across a bit of problem getting all their documents in order or worse, may have been denied a visa for one reason or another. With this in mind, today, the US Embassy held its first ever consular open house where Belizeans were invited to know more about the process. Consular Chief Yomaris MacDonald told us more.

Yomaris MacDonald – Consular Chief

“It’s a bit of outreach to some of our customers to get them to see our space to meet some of the Vice Consuls and SOV officers in person and not with a piece of glass in between them. We reached out to government offices, nonprofits, travel agencies, internet cafes and all the individuals who helped to fill out applications, those people who would amplify our message and get out some of the most common questions that we get at the embassy and also for them to give us some feedback and ask us some questions of some of the most common mistakes or some of the most common frustrations they see with our process.”

So what are some of those common mistakes or frustrations?

Yomaris MacDonald – Consular Chief

“So one of the most common ones and I think one of the most easiest ones to fix are incorrect photos being uploaded in their applications. We see a lot of selfies and photos that don’t meet our requirements because when you fill out the application you can upload a photo yourself and they end up uploading pictures that are not appropriate for our process so that’s one message that we are trying to amplify. Another message that we want everyone to take with them is to get them to know about our interview waiver program. Our interview program waives the interview for minor children, thirteen years and younger and elderly citizens seventy nine years and above and that’s because we don’t take their fingerprints. If you are thirteen years and younger and applying for a visa or seventy nine years and above, you don’t need an interview. So what that means is after you fill out your application and you pay, your confirmation will say, instead of saying your appointment is Wednesday at nine am it will say drop off your passport and confirmation sheet at this time and there will be no interview. If the officer has no questions or follow up, we’ll just pick up the phone, call or email you if we have any follow up questions.”

MacDonald says that once approved, applicants don’t have to personally pick up their visas. They can arrange for it to be picked up by another person but must ensure they take with them a written authorization from the applicant and a valid ID.