The US Consulate in Chennai has added an additional 30,000 visa appointments till the end of this year to clear the existing backlog in visa clearance and to ease the visa rules, Mr Peter Kaestmer, Counsellor for Consular Affairs, US Embassy in New Delhi, said on Thursday. Speaking to reporters, here, Mr Kaestmer said the number of visa appointment slots has been increased in a bid to streamline the US visa application process and to reduce the waiting time for applicants.

“The US Consulate General is unhappy with the long wait for visa appointments, as much as the applicants. Washington has sanctioned more resources in the form of money and extra personnel to quicken the process of visa issuance,” he said. Mr Kaestner urged persons travelling to USA, who had booked their interview slots in 2007 to advance them to 2006, through the US visa facilitation website “www.vfs-usa.co.in”, as they had deployed their staff from all over the world and had deputed personnel from other departments for quicker visa clearance.

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