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Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Processing Requirement for U.S. Visas

Press Release Embassy of U.S. - Phnom Penh
New Processing Requirement for U.S. Visas

As of November 1st, all applicants worldwide who wish to apply for tourist, student, or other non-immigrant visas (NIV) to the United States must complete the visa application form on the internet using the Electronic Visa Application Form, or EVAF. The EVAF format and questions are identical to the paper version of the NIV application form, but it prints out with a barcode, which consular sections can read in order to enter the applicant’s information into the State Department’s visa database.

Beginning November 1st, applications submitted with a handwritten or typewriter typed DS-156 visa application form can no longer be accepted. Applicants who submit a handwritten or typewriter typed DS-156 application forms will be asked to complete and print out the new EVAF application form, which is available now online at http://evisaforms.state.gov. Visa application forms printed from the internet and then filled out will not be accepted. The forms must be completed online and then printed.

The EVAF makes the NIV application process more efficient. It saves data entry time in the consular section, and reduces data entry errors.

EVAF has been designed to keep application data safe and secure. Its security and privacy have been proven through millions of applications.

Since the introduction of the EVAF in September 2003, more and more embassies have been making use of this time-saving tool. In fact, just three years after the EVAF was introduced, over 50 percent of all NIV applicants use the EVAF worldwide. At 44 embassies, over 80 percent of NIV applications are done through EVAF, in places from Tashkent to Hanoi to Beijing, with posts as varied as Bern, Kingston, and Tokyo regularly topping the 90 percent mark.

Applicants are responsible for providing true and correct information on the EVAF. If an applicant gives false information or commits fraud, he or she will be denied a visa, perhaps permanently. Applicants are warned not to use facilitators who charge high fees, make unrealistic promises about their services, or encourage applicants to use fake documents or information in the visa interview. Any applicant who has been a victim of an unscrupulous facilitator should contact the U.S. Embassy.

MEDIA NOTE: Embassy Consular Officials are available on a limited basis for media interviews on this new processing requirement. To inquire about availability, please contact the Embassy's Public Affairs Section at 023-728-258.

Released October 17, 2006.

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