Cablegate: Initiative to Facilitate Business Travel

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 166108

1. Post's Consular Section accepts walk-in applications and
issues same day visas. Applicants generally wait less than
two hours from the time they walk in to apply for the visa
to the time they walk out with their visas in hand.

2. Although Post does not have an appointment system, the
Consular Section realizes the importance of facilitating
business travel and has taken steps towards further
expediting the process for these travelers. In connection
with the American Chamber of Commerce and the American
Association of Bahrain (local American business group), the
Consular Section offers special services and priority
appointments to business travelers from these groups.

3. Members forward their applications to be reviewed and
data-entered, which ensures that documentation is complete
and saves approximately half an hour on the day of the
interview. Applicants are given an appointment, and on the
interview date, they do not wait in the regular application
line. The back-up NIV officer interviews and adjudicates
the case and the applicant may then leave and pick up the
visa later or may wait 15 minutes for printing. The whole
process takes less than half an hour.

4. Post's conoff also attends board meetings and other
events of the country's main business groups, and
coordinates with the Economic/Commercial Section on both
routine and official business travel. The Consular Section
regularly schedules block appointments for conference and
seminar participants and provides VIP appointments during
non-public hours for Embassy referrals. The section also
provides priority processing for government delegations,
like those attending U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement
negotiations and IMF/World Bank sessions.

5. The Consular Section continues to provide the most
efficient level of service to the business community and
welcomes further Department initiatives and developments
aimed at supporting and facilitating business travel.


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