Russia and Azerbaijan affected by US visa applications changes

Several foreign countries are changing their process for applying for and getting a hold of US visas. Russian and Azerbaijan citizens are amongst those who have or will soon experience these changes.

Azerbaijan citizens are now able to pay for their United States visas by paying by credit card during the online registration process to apply for an interview. The process, which went into effect on Dec. 27, enables applicants to be able to skip the procedure’s next stage and progress straight on to selecting the time and date for their interview at the embassy. The first interviews are set to begin on Jan. 3, 2013, according to News Az.

Individuals seeking US visas in Russia will also have to pay a lower consular fee as of the beginning of this month, the Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department claims. Russian citizens who apply for a B1/B2 visa, which is for business travelers, will not have reduced fees.

“We are very pleased to be able to say that the parties’ agreement to reduce consular fees completely corresponds to the mutual desire to simplify visa formalities for our countries’ citizens,” states the Foreign Ministry, Moscow News reported. “We hope that this will promote economic, cultural, academic and humanitarian relations between Russia and the United States and will be a significant step towards the further liberalization of our bilateral visa regime, eventually leading to its full cancellation.”