American citizens being encouraged to complete absentee voting process
Gillian Oak, Vice Consul at the United States Embassy in Georgetown during a visit to News Room’s studio on Friday made a call for citizens of the US, resident in Guyana to uplift their absentee voting forms from the embassy or complete the process online.
“The simplest way to do it is actually online, it’s fvap.org and that’s the simplest way, you can do it by state and then fill out your absentee ballot once it comes in the mail,” Miss Oak informed.
However, for those persons who may not have internet access, Miss Oak is advising that they visit the embassy where an official will assist in the filling out the absentee ballot and provide additional information.
A town hall for American citizens will be held next Friday, September 2 and further details can be found on the US embassy’s facebook page.
As it relates to previously refused applicants the Vice Consul advised that these persons wait approximately one year before reapplying, since it will allow them time to create stronger ties or provide proof of solid ties to Guyana, a requirement that the Embassy is seeking.
She noted that “there is no set policy for how long you have to wait but it makes more sense for you to wait to develop those ties and that’s why we recommend for you to wait about a year. We will soon be starting a programme where we will be limiting previously refused applicants in the last year to Wednesday morning appointments.”
This process will be implemented in the next few months.
Additionally, the Vice Consul answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the non-immigrant visa, popularly known as the visitor’s visa, making a special appeal to persons to fill out the online application by themselves, since they are the ones who will be held accountable for the information on those forms.
Miss Oak advised that if persons are having difficulty with the application process that they seek assistance from close relatives and avoid unnecessary spending.
She clarified that no one except the US embassy can determine if an applicant would be denied or granted a non-immigrant visa, however, she said strong ties including business, family or education would increase a person’s chance of obtaining the Visa, hence honesty is encouraged during the interview.
The Vice Consul said it is better to apply for a US non-immigrant visa in the country where one is living and working rather than travelling back to the country of birth.
The process for the student visa was also explained, “there is no age requirement but generally people applying for student visas are college level,post-secondary level.. first of all you have to be accepted into the college, you to be accepted into what is called the student exchange visitor’s programme, you have to be approved for that programme and you also have to be able to show you can financially afford to go, that could be a relative.”
Once this process is completed, the applicant has to make an application for the student visa, which is called the F1 and then an interview date and time would be provided.