The U.S. Embassy in Moscow opens new visa center

© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in photobacteria the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Archival photoThe U.S. Embassy in Moscow opens new visa center© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite the image Bank

The American Embassy in Moscow on Tuesday opens new visa center, said the Consul General of the USA in Russia Lawrence Toby.

As he said in an interview with «Nezavisimaya Gazeta», the opening of the complex was planned a few years ago.

«We hoped for a normal relationship with Russia, in which the number of visas issued will grow in the future,» said Toby.

An important difference between the new center will be a ban on carrying mobile phones and other electronic devices, there are provided Luggage storage. The Consul General emphasized that more than half of the 23 Windows for interviews, which are located on the ground floor will be closed due to the shortage of staff.

«After the layoffs we have had only 40% of the state and only 12 of the consular officers. Together they do as non-immigrant and immigrant visas and consular services for American citizens,» he said.

In this regard, as stated by the Consul General, interviews for nonimmigrant visas will be carried out only three days a week. The new center will be able to handle only a hundred applications per day.

«The Americans are doing everything to increase the number of visas issued,» said Toby, pointing out that, in total, from September to December across Russia issued 26 thousand visas.

He also stressed that in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok part in the interview less than in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

According to Toby, the Embassy tried to simplify the situation for those who have already given a us visa.

«To get a new visa of the same type that expired less than 12 months ago, Russia maybe in a few days is just filling in the form and submitting the documents to the courier service,» he said.

Washington last summer has reduced the issuing of visas after Moscow in response to the closure of its diplomatic facilities in the United States and the expulsion of diplomats demanded from the American side to reduce the number of diplomatic missions in Russia up to 455 people, bringing it in line with the number of Russian personnel in the United States.