Next U.S. visa interview week announced
The United States Embassy in Apia will be holding its next interview week next month.
Interviews will be open from October 21 to October 25.
An announcement released by the Embassy advises that the online calendar for scheduling appointments will open Tuesday 8th October at 12pm, local time.
"The U.S. Embassy encourages all applicants to make their application and appointment directly through our web page and not through a travel agent or other third party," the announcement read.
"If you must use a travel agent or third party, please do not pay an excessive fee for the service and make sure that they confirm they will pass you all email and other communications from the U.S. Embassy."
The announcement comes almost two months after the U.S. Embassy in Samoa warned members of the public against using websites that claim to offer applicants a chance to book visas online for a fee.
“It has come to the attention of the Embassy that there are websites claiming to be able to complete your DS-160 and book an appointment for you online after you pay the visa fee,” that notice warned.
The Embassy told the Samoa Observer at the time that it has not received complaints per se, but several applicants say they have already paid their visa fee online and have e-receipts to prove it.
“This, however, is of no practical use for payment at Embassy Apia as the only way payment can be accepted is to pay the Embassy cashier with cash on the day of the visa interview,” said the Embassy.
The cost of application for a visa is $160 USD (ST$430), which covers the cost of processing applications.
It is non-refundable regardless of whether an applicant is successful or not. Visa fees must be paid in cash at the Embassy on the day of an applicant's interview, according to information on the Embassy website.
Applicants are advised to have their passport information to hand when booking interviews and to advise of cancellations well in advance.
"All applicants with confirmed appointments must provide the confirmation page of the DS160 application form on the day of the interview.
"Those who do not bring this form will be denied an interview with the visa officer.
"Because of the limited appointment slots, applicants are encouraged cancel their appointment or contact the Embassy should they be unable to keep their appointment.
"Your failure to show up for your appointment without Embassy notification will be noted and may result in your name being removed from future appointment listings."