Monday, 30 April 2012, 07:42 GMT
US to give visas to KRG citizens in Erbil

U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Alex Lascars speaks to reporters at a press confernce in Erbil, July 10, 2011./ GLOBE PHOTO/Safin Hamid

The Kurdish Globe

"We only don't grant visas to those who seek asylum."

U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Alex Lascars, stated in an interview with Hawler newspaper that his consulate would start issuing all types of visas to Kurdistan Region citizens before the end of 2012.

Attending an exhibition of 11 American universities in Erbil on April 22, Lascars said that one of the policies of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil is to increase the number of Kurdish and Iraqi students in American universities.

"During the past few years the number of Iraqi students studying at American universities was low," said Lascars. "But our goal is to increase this number."

The U.S. Consul told Hawler that they are planning to start issuing different kinds of visas in Erbil before end of 2012 to Kurdistan citizens.

"We will grant all kinds of visas including study, medical, tourism, business and others," said Lascars. "We only don't grant visas to those who seek asylum."

Although there doesn't seem to be a specific limit for the number of visas issued per day, Lascars said adding they will see how many applications they receive.

Ambassador Jeffrey and Under-Secretary of State Thomas Nides opened the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil on July 10, 2011.