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Changes in US visa application process in Uganda

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 21:37

The United States mission in Uganda has introduced changes to their non-immigrant visa application process with effect from March 31.

John Vianney Nsimbe spoke to Bridgette Anderson, head of the Consular section at the US mission, about the changes.

Why are you introducing changes to the visa application process at this particular time?

You can say that we are trying to expedite the process through which someone can get a visa to the United States of America. It should be as smooth as possible, with less hassle. This has come as a result of the recent launch of the US Department of State’s Global Support Strategy that was introduced to enhance delivery of visa services to the general public worldwide.

Last year, you announced some changes to the visa application process. Is there anything new this time?

We now have an integrated system between the visa application process and the visa interview appointment system. The US government has come up with an arrangement, whereby people intending to travel to the US will not have to come to the embassy anymore to apply for a visa.

Applicants will only come to the embassy for interviews. Instead, a US government vendor, who is out-sourced, will be in charge of receiving public inquiries about visa applications. Applicants will now just have to login to http://kampala.usembassy.gov/ and receive a visa application form called a DS-Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, which one will fill. This will be an interactive website with an interactive call system with live information, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Online applications started last year. Are there any more details to it?

This time, the applicant will have to print two copies of this DS (deposit slip) form, which they will take to any Centenary Bank branch to pay the visa fee of $140 (the equivalent in Uganda Shillings, at a fair rate set by the US mission).

The bank will then provide the visa applicant with a Machine Readable Visa (MRV) receipt with a unique reference number, which they will return to the self-service website where they got the application form, insert that unique reference number and thereafter get an appointment date when they will be interviewed at the embassy for a visa.

One’s bank payment takes up to two hours to be validated in the system. A visa applicant should never share their MRV reference number with a third party, as this can lead to fraud and may invalidate one’s application/payment. Applicants will still have to present their two passport photographs.

What was wrong with the previous visa application system?

We realised that it could be exploited, which is the main reason why the US government has come up with its own vendor. This vendor will be responsible for allotting a day for a visa applicant to be interviewed after they’ve received a secret bar-code or reference number.

In the past, before the whole process was integrated, there were some wrong individuals who manipulated the system by pretending to be workers of the US mission. They blocked the bar-codes – which made it hard for people to secure visa appointments – and charged the public some money and created fake visa applicant interview appointment dates. This has been a ploy by most to make money.

But now, with a US vendor charged with the visa process in place, it will be a one-stop centre where all information is obtained.

Will this new procedure not be difficult for illiterate people?

We’ve also provided for that category of people, especially the elderly, who may not know how to read or write. There is a call centre number (+256-312-411200) that they can dial to have all their questions answered about the visa application process.

Others can use skype on ‘usvisauganda’. In case a visa applicant can’t come for the interview on a particular day that they’ve been given due to an emergency, they can email us on kampalavisa@state.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . US based clients can also call (703)439-2303 for assistance.

You said the changes are intended to expedite the visa acquisition process. Will more visas be granted, therefore, than in the past?

This process will help the public find out which types of visas are available and which ones they are eligible to apply for. Before one gets a visa, they have to prove beyond doubt the reason for their visit to the USA.

For instance, we still maintain the tourist visa and that gives one a protracted period that they must be in the USA. If we realise that they’ve no stake in Uganda to compel them to return after the period given to them, then it will be difficult for them to get a visa.

Are there still many Ugandans who abuse the limited time they’ve been allowed to remain in the US and stay longer?

That’s very interesting, but I would like to assure you that it’s not so easy to ascertain the actual figure. But I believe most of them have returned at the time they’re supposed to be back. Most Ugandan visa applicants, especially those on tourist visas, have been genuine and have returned.

Will you maintain the different types of visas like has been the case previously?

On top of the tourist’s visa, which takes care of those that just want to visit, we have the business visa, diplomats visa, officials visa, trade investor visa, skilled workers visa and the students visa. The requirements to secure any of the visas will be availed to you online before you decide to inject money into the whole process.

We do this to help people not to waste their money, yet their situation may not favour them in getting a particular visa. For example, a student must present their academic papers and an official letter from the college where they intend to study. They should also provide a bank statement from the person who’s going to sponsor them as proof that they will afford the tuition in a US university. If they’re on scholarship, a letter from the US university must confirm that.

These changes come on the back of increased visa fees. Has this got anything to do with the economic downturn the USA economy has been facing?

I don’t think the visa fees increased tremendously. It was $131 before. The nine-dollar increase is to improve security services. We don’t want Ugandans to get onto a flight to the USA with a terrorist on board, ready to detonate a bomb while in the air.

To do this, we need more vigilance and, definitely, better security requires funding. This will also protect the US people from wrong people entering their borders.

Finally, what is the success rate for one to secure a US visa today?

We have only had 30% of the visa applicants not being successful, which means almost all people (70%) secure their visas to the USA. Last year, we had about 8,000 Ugandan visa applicants, up from 6,000 in 2009. I don’t think people applying for the USA visa would have been increasing if the success rate was low.

jovi@observer.ugThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Written by John Vianney Nsimbe

Comments for Changes in US visa application process in Uganda

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May 14, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Provide link to deposit slip NEW
by: Anonymous

Dear USA embassy,
Its a shame that everybody above is asking for a direct link to a deposit slip and no reply has been given. For the sake of diplomacy could you please follow up with a direct link or at least make the entire process more clear?

Thank you!

Sep 03, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Carter NEW
by: Anonymous

For a nice and looking to produce by professionals nevertheless haven’t nevertheless signed up with an email finder service. My spouse and i paper writing service our dissertation features a quality testimonials along with has to be very good starting point for off of. Does one presume they might get us in as well as accomplish that they merely help seasoned freelance writers?

Jun 17, 2015
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starstarstarstar
re appointment NEW
by: Namutebi juliet

I paid the vise fee and l was not given an appointment so what should l do next.

Jul 27, 2014
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
About visa NEW
by: Rahim khoja

This is Rahim khoja
I'm n Indian but
From last 4 years I'm in Uganda
I want to take a tour in USA ..
I'm having a tight bond with my company
I'm having my working visa valid for more 2 years
Can I apply from Uganda or I need to travel back to my country .. For applying as a tourist visa
Or any paper visa is available for just a tour in USA
Reply me on my email neil.khoja@gamil.com
N thanks a lot for all the information provided on this page
Thanks a lot
Regards

Jul 27, 2014
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
About visa NEW
by: Rahim khoja

This is Rahim khoja
I'm n Indian but
From last 4 years I'm in Uganda
I want to take a tour in USA ..
I'm having a tight bond with my company
I'm having my working visa valid for more 2 years
Can I apply from Uganda or I need to travel back to my country .. For applying as a tourist visa
Or any paper visa is available for just a tour in USA
Reply me on my email neil.khoja@gamil.com
N thanks a lot for all the information provided on this page
Thanks a lot
Regards

Jan 26, 2014
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
ABOUT US VISA NEW
by: Anonymous

My name is Musinguzi, why do the Americans have to make the US VISA process so hard for Ugandans to complete. The Americans enter Uganda any howly as if they are entering there GRANDPA'S BEDROOMS. They enter Uganda at anytime they want without anyone bothering them. They think they are angels of GOD.
They are lying them selves, let them go back to US and never come to UGANDA AGAIN. We shall also stop flying to there country. They think they are brothers to GOD, which can't exist.

AMERIACNS ARE ALWAYS WICKED with there stupid behaviors. BULLSHIT.

May 11, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
HOW DO I OBTAIN FEE PAYMENT SLIP? NEW
by: Margaret Akullo Elem

I have missed travelling to US due to difficulty in securing an appointment for interview in 2009 and 2012 and l also failed to get the slip to make payment for visa fee. How can l and/or where do l get the slip?

May 06, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
CALENDAR NEW
by: Anonymous

Please may your calendar accessible even before we make payments so that we can know if either its possible for us or not,due to some reasons some of get late for the bookings
Thank you

Apr 25, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
appointment notification NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi
It would be great if the us embassy notifies an applicant via e-mail of telephone to the effect that payment has been received and that the applicant is no ----- in the Que -- that will reduce the anxiety and will prepare the client in good time

Feb 27, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
DEPOSIT SLIP
by: Anonymous

deposit slip PLZ MAKE EASIER TO ACCESSED

Nov 25, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
finished ma DS-160 forms feeling but aint see any like that iam soppoesed to pay vissa
by: bikimbwa asssad

were can i pay from from and since i finished ma dS FORM FEELING WHO CAN I KNOPW THAT IAM THROUGH FOR THE VISA FEE PAYING COZ I DID EVEVY THING BUT NO ONE REPLYING ME THAT GO PAY VISA FEEE

Nov 10, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Failed to access Visa MRV payment slip
by:

Dear officer concerned, I have tried to access the Payment slip but in vain. Assist to help do otherwise days are running short for my trip in December.
Thank you
Were Daniel Sammy

Sep 25, 2012
Rating
star
Visa fee payment _Web steps not straight
by: Anonymous

Getting the US MRV is a nightmare. Why should life be so difficult like this.Is it one way of pointing out how hard it is to get the Visa.

Aug 28, 2012
Rating
starstar
MRV form not easily found
by: Anonymous

Finding the MRV form is a nightmare.
please help.

Aug 25, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Difficult to access the pay slips
by: Anonymous

I have tried to get pay slips for the US visa but very thing is not clear, can please you please put a clear route which one can use to easily access the deposit slips,

Aug 06, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
difficult to get pay slip
by: Anonymous

i have tried to locate how to access the centenary bank visa fee slip and have failed yet at the bank they insist to go with it. can you put clearer guidelines to acceess it?

Nov 17, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Accessing the Machine Readable visa pay slip, a bloody exercise
by: Nassir Igaga

Accessing the MRV slip has inflicted more than good to my life. In fact it torture. please can you advise on how to access the slip or else print and put at the Embassy for people to pick. Why harden things.

Jul 15, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
US Visa MRV Slip in Uganda
by: Anonymous

According to the Guidelines you will only need the MRV (Not the MVR) slip if you're going to pay for your visa online.
Otherwise you have to present 2 copies of the DS-160 deposit slip which you would have printed from the internet.

Once you have the DS deposit slip, you will pay your visa fees at a Centenary Bank Uganda Branch.

The Bank will be the one to give you the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) receipt.

If you were trying to pay online and encountered this problem, then you need to check the browser you're using. The website recommends Internet Explorer 7+ or Firefox 3+.

For more help on this process you can check out the Frequently Asked Question Section - FAQ of the website.

Jul 14, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstar
HELP ACCESS THE MVR SLIP
by: HILDA

Is it impossible to download the US Vis MVR deposit slip. I have tried since the 18th of May 2011. What could be the problem. Each time I click on the PDF link, I get a "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage"

Please advise.

Thanks

Jul 11, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
MRV visa application fee form-downloading is a pain
by: Anonymous

Could you please help me access the MRV deposit slip? each time i try, i get to a closer step but suddenly the cities am given to chose from are Durban, Johannesberg. Am Ugandan and apply through Uganda page why would you then send me south African cities to chose from!!!! Its frustating

Jul 08, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
HELP ACCESS THE MVR SLIP
by: betty

I need to download the US Visa MVR deposit slip slip but I'm failing. Please advise.

Thanks

Jun 28, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
mrv deposit slip
by: Anonymous

Why do you make it so difficult to access th mrv depost slip?

Apr 22, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
US Visa Fees (MRV) Deposit Slip
by: Anonymous

I am in Kampala, Uganga, I have failed to get where to have US Visa Fees (MRV) Deposit Slip printed I have checked in internet in VAIN. ANY HELP FOR ME

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