The U.S State Department announced Wednesday at the U.S Embassy in Bogotá that visa processing times for first-time applicants, as well as renewals, have been significantly reduced for Colombians wanting to visit the U.S
In a video released on the Embassy’s Twitter account, members of the consular team are seen together with Rena Bitter, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and Brendan O’Brien, Deputy Chief of Mission, in which the government representatives confirm that “visas are a vital part of bilateral relations,” and wait times for visa waiver appointments have been reduced from two years to “less than two months.”
The backlog in processing B1/B2 visas received support from consular officers working in other U.S missions. The announcement comes ahead of the holiday season and will greatly facilitate travel by Colombians stateside. The US faced delays in visa processing given the global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement comes a month after Colombian President Gustavo Petro proposed visa-free travel for Colombians to the US during a visit by US Secretary of State to Bogotá. Petro and Blinken discussed the importance of “shared priorities” in the binational agenda.