Half of Applicants Denied USA Visa in March


YEREVAN, APRIL 12, ARMENPRESS: Almost half of Armenian citizens who
sought permission to visit the USA in March were refused visas. Lily
Cozier, US Consul General in Armenia, said out of 774 Armenians who
applied for visas in March 363 were denied permission to travel to her
country. Last year 11,873 Armenians applied for visas and only 5,029
were given permissions.

Cozier also said that Armenia was included in the list of countries
from March 31 whose citizens are be required to be fingerprinted and
photographed when applying for visas. She said the program is designed
to fight terrorism. The US-Visit (US Visitor and Immigrant Status
Indicator Technology) security system is meant to identify travelers
who have violated immigration controls, have criminal records or
belong to groups listed as terrorist organizationsby the US.

She said the new procedure does not cover children under 14 and
persons above 79, persons holding diplomatic passports and the staff
of international organizations, as well as people going to USA for
medical treatment.