Chargé d’Affaires Peter Ganser and US consular staff in the Apia office
APIA: TUESDAY 23 DECEMBER 2014: Applying for visas at the U.S. Embassy in Apia is now a more customer friendly process thanks to a US$100,000 system upgrade.
Chargé d’Affaires Peter Ganser and Embassy staff have worked tirelessly to ensure citizens and residents of Samoa have every opportunity to travel or study in the United States.
Thanks to these efforts, the Embassy received a dedicated consular computer server which allowed the Embassy to more than double the number of visa applicants interviewed during its bimonthly Visa Weeks.
“We’re very pleased that we were able to bring this improvement to the people of Samoa. The new technology has eliminated the backlog in demand for visa appointments and will allow us to provide a much improved interviewing experience for visa applicants.”
In addition, Embassy Apia also now has the technology to print U.S. visitor visas in-house, thus eliminating the need to ship the passports of approved applicants to Auckland for processing.
“We aim to interview, approve, print and insert visas into applicants passports within 24 to 36 hours of their appointments,” Mr. Ganser said.
“This is a significant improvement,” he said, “in the past, this process could take anywhere from two to six weeks.”
Mr. Ganser said Embassy staff are thrilled to offer more efficient services to Apia.
“The new server has already allowed us to meet all current demand for visa interviews and we look forward to providing even better service for applicants in the future.
“We are especially happy to see that our new printing system enables us to return passports to visa applicants in time for holiday travels.”