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US Embassy announces changes to hasten Visa applications for Kenyans

US Embassy announces a section of Kenyans who are eligibe for Visas without attending interviews

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman

The US Embassy in Nairobi has announced changes in the application of visas for a section of applicants.

The announcement was made on Friday in compliance with US Ambassador Meg Whitman's commitment to making the application process easier.

As part of Ambassador Whitman's pledge to reduce the nonimmigrant visa interview appointment backlog, the United States Embassy in Nairobi announced today that it has expanded the Interview Waiver Program for nonimmigrant visas.

Effective immediately, those applying for tourist/business (B1/B2), student (F, J, M), or crew visas (C1/D) categories may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview,” the announcement read.

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This means that says those applying for tourist, business, and student visas may be eligible for renewal without an interview.

Whitman stated in her first media appearance in August that the US embassy was aware of the extended waiting period applicants go through.

I am aware of the very long waiting times that Kenyans experience when applying for VISAs to the US. The situation is unacceptable. We need to find ways to expedite those VISA applications.

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I promise you that we (the US Embassy in Kenya) will find ways to accelerate the process. That will be one of my top priorities,” Whitman said.

She was responding to the uproar about an announcement by the embassy that Kenyans would have to wait till 2024 to secure a US visa.

"As we work through the backlog of applications and address the high demand for services, we recognize that some applicants may face extended visa interview wait times," read a statement from the embassy in part.

The embassy however clarified that visa appointments will be expedited for emergency situations such as death of a family member, medical care and some students.

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