KUWAIT: The United States of America is one of the Kuwaitis’ favorite destinations for tourism, study, business and medical treatment. US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, Edward J. Ramotowski said in an interview that over a 163,000 Kuwaiti applied for US visa in the last five years. “We welcome and strongly encourage the Kuwaiti citizens to visit the US whether for business or pleasure or studying or any other legitimate purpose,” Ramotowski added. The Deputy Assistant Secretary pointed out that those wishing to obtain the US tourist or student or medical visa can visit the online site to submit the applications and follow the required instructions.

Edward J Ramotowski

Ramotowski pointed out that the applicants need to book an interview appointment after submitting the online application and then visit the Embassy headquarter with all the required documents, noting that the process takes a week. He noted that not following the instructions properly, not completing the required forms and submit a photograph that doesn’t meet the requirements are the most common issues that cause a delay for getting the visa. “Students must apply as early as they can because there are periods of time where the Embassy is very busy,” he added.

Regarding the electronic visa waiver, Ramotowski said that the US has a visa waiver program but each country needs to meet its certain requirements and at the meantime many countries are working to meet these requirements, noting that in future Kuwaiti citizens might get an electronic visa waiver. “Kuwait is an important strategic ally with the US,” the Deputy Assistant Secretary said, adding that the Consular Services Department was part of the third US-Kuwait strategic dialogue and they had productive discussions with the Kuwaiti consular officials.

Ramotowski affirmed that The American Citizen Services section at the US Embassy in Kuwait provides a range of services, including the issuance and renewal of passports, reports of birth abroad, and other routine and emergency services. The Embassy staff is ready to provide any assistance and information to those wishing to travel to the United States, he added. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the United States welcomed about 75.9 million international travelers in the past few years. The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than 1,000,000 students choosing to broaden their education in the United States due to its world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. – KUNA