News reports citing White House and State Department officials said the new executive order revoking an Obama-era guideline on processing times at US Embassies was made in the interest of ‘vetting’ and security.
It is however not known, how long the process will now take for the millions of applicants including tourists, people going to the US for studies and business.
According to the VOA, the brief order, which was issued without comment from the White House or State Department, deletes a subsection of a 2012 order that sought to expedite the processing time for non-immigrant visas, including those needed by students and tourists.
The original order issued by then President Barack Obama asked the State Department to “ensure that 80 per cent of non-immigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application.”
“The new order comes amid months of efforts by the Trump administration to wield executive powers over certain immigration policies and implement what officials refer to as ‘extreme vetting’, the VOA said.
In another development, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has condemned the US Administration’s decision to restore travel restrictions with Cuba.
The UNWTO in a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, expressed its firm resentment over the recently-announced decision by the United States Administration to restore travel restrictions with the country.
“This represents a step backwards and a strong attack on the freedom of travel. This decision will have limited impact on Cuba’s tourism development, yet it will substantially affect the US economy and American jobs. Many US companies have started to invest in and do business with Cuba in view of the immense potential of Cuban tourism, which other countries will surely continue to benefit from,” the UNWTO Secretary-Genera, Taleb Rifai was quoted as saying.
BY Emmanuel K. Dogbevi