By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK The US Embassy announced that obtaining a visa should not be a hindrance for Namibians wishing to visit the US. “The US Embassy in Windhoek, Namibia, provides Namibian residents with fast, efficient service ensuring those qualified to travel receive their visas in a short period of time,” the Head of the US Embassy’s Consular Section Aaron Daviet announced on Tuesday. He said there was also no need for an appointment. Generally, applicants who are eligible for a visa would spend one hour or less in the embassy for their interview. “Most Namibian applicants who travel to the United Stated for tourism or short-term business purposes qualify for a five-year visa, allowing multiple short trips for business visas than during any previous year on record.” With regard to people seeking work permits, he said the US did not have similar visas like Europe and that such permits were normally processed in the US, with the prospective employer making the appeal as well as filing in the paperwork. Currently, 58 students are studying in the US, a number that he would like to see growing. He urged more Namibian students to choose the US as their place for further studies. In addition, he said, the embassy also made available an education advisor who people could contact for more information about studying in the US, adding that in most cases, Namibian students studying in the US receive financial assistance from universities and colleges. Last year, the embassy issued about 70 visas to Namibians on cultural exchange programs such as aupair work, while 500 hundred Namibians visited the US as tourists. He also cautioned the public not to trust everything they see on the Internet about the US visas as some of the information may be part of scams. He urged the public to rather inquire from the embassy or get more up-to-date information on the visa policy from their website at www.travel.state.gov. Visa applications at the embassy can be done on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only.
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