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Press Release

AIT to Begin Telephone Visa Appointment System

Beginning in March 2003, the American Institute in Taiwan will use a new telephone visa application appointment system that will create the opportunity for visa applicants to arrange a specific appointment time for their visa applications.

Designed for walk-in visa applications at AIT's Taipei branch, the visa appointment system will mean less time standing in line. It will also provide for smoother handling of visa applications and passports.

The visa appointment system will start operation on March 3, 2003, and beginning March 17, AIT will require all visa applicants to make an appointment through the system to apply for a visa.

There are three telephone numbers for visa appointments. The automated line is 0204-58898, which handles as many as 240 calls simultaneously. The cost to make an appointment is NT$8 per minute. Instructions on how to make an automated appointment will be given in English and Chinese.

Those who want to speak to a live operator may call 0204-58989 for nonimmigrant visa appointments. The cost for this line is NT$15 per minute.

Immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants who have been refused within the previous 12 months and need to make an appointment should call 0204-58987, where a live operator will respond and make the necessary appointment. The cost for this line is also NT$15 per minute.

In the meantime, AIT's caller-pay visa information system continues to provide information about immigrant and nonimmigrant visas at 0204-58858 at the rate of NT$8 per minute.

This new visa appointment system is managed and designed by Call-Call Telecom Corporation and provided through Chunghwa Telecom. The service is available to Chunghwa Telecom landlines and mobile phone users. Callers will be charged on their telephone bills.

Although this system is new to Taiwan, it is already in use in most large US visa-issuing authorities throughout the world as a way of providing quick and convenient service to visa applicants.

In order to enhance the worldwide U.S. visa issuance process, effective March 17, AIT will require all visa applications to be completed in English.