US Embassy takes public consultation to Linden

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Consular General J Abin interacting with students at the consultation

The Consular Section of the United States (US) Embassy on Friday took its countrywide public consultations to Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) where residents were able to access information on the visa application process.

The Embassy team comprised Consular General J Abin,;American Citizens Services Assistant, Dolores Broomes; and American Citizens Services Officer attached to the American Citizens Services Unit, Amanda Peskin.

The outreach was held at the Lichas Hall, Mackenzie, and the team met with scores of persons from across the region, engaging them in an interactive session.

Peskin said while the main goal of the consultations was to check on the whereabouts of American citizens across the country to establish a means of contact. Friday’s session also sought to assist persons with any queries they had about the visa application process.

The team also took the opportunity to encourage American citizens in the region to vote in the upcoming US elections from Guyana.

She said information can be found on the Federal Voter Assistance website at fvap.org as she encouraged US citizens in the region to register with the Embassy to have contact information on file. According to Peskin, this information is also necessary in cases of emergencies and so that citizens can receive regular reminders.

“The Embassy, specifically the Consular Section, is going on a series of outreach trips to pretty much every region in Guyana. One of our main goals is to talk to American citizens in all these different places… our job in Guyana is to make sure that the welfare and whereabouts of Americans in Guyana is accounted for. Something else we happen to do on these trips is talk about visas… We know that visas are a very popular topic in Guyana, so we do want to demystify the visa application process and that’s why we do these public talks about how to apply for a visa to the US,” she noted.

She also pointed out that there was a tremendous turnout on Friday where attendees focused on targeted questions during the interactive session. Information regarding these topics, she noted, can also be found on the State Department and the Embassy of Guyana’s website at gy.usembasy.gov or travel.state.gov.

More frequently asked questions, she explained, centred on how persons can qualify for a non-immigrant visa. “The embassy reviews visas on a case by case basis. Every time a person applies for a non-immigrant visa, there application is reviewed and they come to the embassy for an interview. There is no quota for non-immigrant visas, so there is no certain number of visas that has to be issued or has to be refused…,” Peskin explained.

She continued that in order to qualify, applicants must prove that they do not have immigrant intent.

Meanwhile, Abin related that there are many misconceptions about the visa process as he pointed out that the visit provided the opportunity to answer questions and provide reliable information.

“We also took the chance to talk to a lot of the people we work with here on issues of concern to the Consular Section – the Police, child protective services and how we can work more closely with them. It’s definitely in our common interest to do that. If there’s an American who’s arrested and there’s child who is being abused and things like that, this gives us an opportunity to make those contacts’, he noted, while stating that this was one of the largest turnouts so for the year.

The team has so far visited Bartica and Lethem and is expected to be at Anna Regina next week and Mahdia and Mabaruma in October.

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