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Press Release

New AIT Visa Interview Policy

Effective June 3, 2003, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will require a personal appearance of all applicants for nonimmigrant visas with the following exceptions:

* Applicants over the age of sixty.


* Applicants applying for a renewal of a visa of the same category that is still valid or expired within the previous twelve months.

In addition to the above criteria, applicants seeking a waiver of the requirement for a personal interview must hold a Taiwan passport and reside in Taiwan.

Children under the age of 16 are not required to appear for a personal interview unless they are applying for a student (F-1) or exchange visitor (J-1) visa. A parent or legal guardian must apply on behalf of a child under the age of 16.

All first-time applicants between the ages of 16 and 60 must apply in person, at the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei Office. All applicants residing outside of Taiwan or holding a non-Taiwan passport must apply in person.

This new AIT policy is consistent with the new interview policy formulated by the Department of State. As Secretary of State Colin Powell has said, we are committed to the concept of "secure borders, open doors," by facilitating legitimate travel to the United States by international visitors while maintaining the integrity and security of our borders and our nation.

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has engaged in an on-going review of visa procedures as they relates to the security of the nation. As a result of this review, increasing number of nonimmigrant visa applicants are being required to apply in person before a visa may be issued.

AIT accepts nonimmigrant visa applications by appointment only. For automated visa appointment service, please call 0204-58898. Operator assistance is available by calling 0204-58989. Applicants who have been refused a visa within the last 12 months, or currently have a pending application, should call 0204-58987 for an appointment.

Applicants whose personal appearance would be waived according to the criteria cited above may also submit their applications through the AIT Kaohsiung office as before.