By Shane McGinley
New system cuts the time taken to an average of a week and will be rolled out across the Gulf
The processing time for visas to the US has decreased from six weeks to an average of around one week after the UAE become the first country in the region to implement a new more efficient system, a spokesperson from the US embassy in Abu Dhabi claimed.
“Over the last year, the US Mission to the UAE has implemented a number of new steps that have significantly reduced the wait times for a visa appointment at both the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and US Consulate in Dubai,” US Embassy spokesperson Jeffrey L Ladenson told Arabian Business.
“In January 2013, we implemented a new appointment service for anyone applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States, which includes the ability to schedule appointments months in advance.
“These services, which are available online 24-hours a day, as well as our business visa program have eased the process of obtaining a visa for more than 65,000 residents of the UAE that apply for a tourist or business visa each year,” he added.
The processing time was “significantly less today than a year ago” he claimed, with the time taken believed to have declined from an average of six weeks to one week during off-peak times.
However, sources did concede that during the busy summer months some applications can still take up to three weeks.
The UAE was the first country in the region to start using the new system, which will now we rolled out across the GCC over the coming months.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I agree. I applied last year for a tourist visa and the process was very efficient and painless. The on-line system was good and easy to navigate. The staff were courteous and welcoming as well.