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Cablegate: Crew (C1/D) Visa Outreach in Jakarta

VZCZCXRO5811
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1361 2310431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 190431Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3091
INFO RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2503
RUEHJA/AMCONSUL MEDAN
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 3338
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5970
RUESLE/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0149
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLL

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001361

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS CMGT KFRD ID
SUBJECT: Crew (C1/D) Visa outreach in Jakarta

REF: 09 Jakarta 00000815

1. SUMMARY: Embassy Jakarta's Consular section met with and briefed
shipping agents who participate in our Crew Visa Program (CVP) as a
follow-on to our crew and transit (C1/D) visa validity study
(reftel). We thanked the agents for their adherence to guidelines
that see minimal abuse of C1/D visas, and received feedback in
return. Jakarta anticipates using the CVP as a model for a Student
Visa Program (SVP), in furtherance of our goal to double the number
of Indonesian students in the United States. END SUMMARY.

2. Thirty-one shipping agents attended our briefing on August 12.
Merchant seamen, typically cleaners and waiters on U.S.-based
Caribbean cruise lines, constitute approximately 20 percent of our
60,000 nonimmigrant visa applicants per year, and contribute $252
million in annual foreign exchange earnings to Indonesia. All of
the popular Caribbean cruise lines rely on Indonesian seamen, and a
well run CVP benefits American vacationers, cruise lines, and
Indonesia.

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3. To facilitate this high volume, economically lucrative visa
classification, Jakarta's CVP includes vetting crew manning agencies
for special C1/D visa processing. The CVP helps reduce
opportunities for fraud and facilitates the efficient adjudication
of C-1/D visas, as the applicants' employment contract and training
have been pre-verified. The CVP requires extensive documentation
from manning agencies prior to registration as well as on site
inspections of their offices, and maintains close coordination with
all approved agents. Any lapses in screening are closely monitored,
and can result in temporary suspensions of agents until gaps are
fixed.

4. CG kicked off the CVP briefing by emphasizing its success in
securing, standardizing, and streamlining the C1/D visa process for
everyone's benefit. Conoff stressed the importance of continued
cooperation and adherence to program regulations, since manning
agencies are held responsible for misuse of visas on the part of
their applicants, fraud on the part of their staff and/or negligence
in screening procedures.

5. The agents expressed pleasure with the CVP and its benefits to
all. Several agents noted that Embassy Jakarta's CVP is more
efficient than similar crew visa programs run by other embassies. A
few newer agents requested clearer guidance on tracking requirements
for seamen after they join their ships, and others proposed sending
mandatory reports to the embassy every several months noting the
current status of their crew. The agents expressed gratitude for
the Consular's section's quick response to emails submitted to the
JakSea@state.gov dedicated email inbox.

6. COMMENT: We are pleased with the success of our CVP, borne out
by a recent validity study (reftel) that found a minimal 0.27
percent C1/D visa abuse rate. Our goal is to increase the pool of
eligible visa applicants, who may qualify for visas in a secure and
efficient process. Our CVP does so for merchant marine crewmen. We
hope to replicate CVP by identifying and working with reputable
agents for U.S. universities and junior colleges to create a
similarly robust Student Visa Program (SVP).

HUME

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