Sunday, October 14, 2007

U.S. visas: a positive experience

Several times, I have written about the problems that Latvians (and other Eastern Europeans) have with obtaining US visa when they want to travel to United States. I have heard many stories of Latvians who have been refused US visa for no good reason. Both from my friends and from newspapers. (I've read that Latvian hockey star Martins Karsums could not obtain visa when he first wanted to play in US in 2002.)

I went to US embassy in Riga a few days ago, to apply for a visa for a short work trip to US. I had a better experience. Everyone was polite. I had my visa the next day. Unlike in 2002, I did not see anyone else being treated unfairly.

Maybe, the times are changing. In the last year, only 1.33% of Latvian visitors to US illegally overstayed their visa. The remaining 98.67% should not be treated with suspicion when they come to US embassy to apply for visa. And US embassy in Latvia may have understood that.

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