The US Embassy held its first Consul open house last Friday in an effort to reach out to some of its customers. The Embassy invited Representatives of the government offices, non-profit organizations, travel agencies, and internet cafes to the Consul. The Consul shared information and answered common queries and also looked at common mistakes made by visa applicants. Yomaris MacDonald, the Consular Chief, said they also informed guests about changes they are making.
Yomaris MacDonald – Consular Chief
“Effective October 1st the US Embassy will no longer be handling inquiries for the Social Security Administration and that actually affects more Belizeans than US citizens because we have a lot of Belizeans in country who have pensions and who have claims to pensions in the US. So from now on we need to direct all of those inquiries to Costa Rica which is where the nearest Social Security Administration is. The reason for that is that because the Social Security Administration is a different agency from the State Department will like to take on that workload. It’s not a decision that came from the State Department. I don’t know if it will change in the future once they realize that maybe this is a valuable customer service that we provide here in Belize but for now we are directing all of those inquiries to Costa Rica. And then finally and hopefully one that you will be seeing a lot more of in the next few weeks is that we are going to announce the new diversity visa lottery program so this essentially a lottery to immigrate to the US. That program opens up on October 3rd. We’ll have information on our website.”