Israelis applying for US visas face further delays

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The US consulate in Tel Aviv announced Thursday that Israelis seeking visas are facing additional and prolonged delays.

In addition to long wait times at the consulate, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the embassy said all visa interview appointments scheduled for August and September this year would be postponed.

In a video posted to Twitter, Denise Taylor, manager of the nonimmigrant visa program, said delays in Israel were less severe than in other places around the world.

She told candidates who had already booked their interviews for August and September that the embassy would contact them and provide them with new appointments within 90 days.

She also said that for Israelis wishing to apply for a tourist visa and who have not yet done so, appointments are only available from May 2023.

Last November, the Minister of the Interior Ayelet Shaked said that she was negotiating a deal with US officials to allow Israelis to travel to America without the need for a pre-issued tourist visa as early as 2023.

Shaked made the comments after meeting with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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Ayelet Shaked with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Ayelet Shaked with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

(Photo: Shmuel Almani)

Israel has still not met the requirements of the Visa Waiver Program, which would automatically provide a 90-day visa to tourists traveling to the United States.

In a letter, Tlaib wrote that Israel practices “blatant discrimination against Palestinian, Middle Eastern and North African, Muslim and pro-Palestinian American citizens at its ports of entry.”

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