Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Embassy plays down fears over American visas

Embassy plays down fears over American visas

Embassy plays down fears over American visas

United States embassy officials yesterday downplayed fears that a new American immigration rule would cause huge delays for expatriates trying to obtain alien relative visas.

Starting on August 15, American citizens living in Cambodia will have to send visa applications for non-American spouses and children to Chicago, rather than their nearest embassy or consulate. The American Immigration Lawyers Association, a group of 11,000 attorneys and law professors, has expressed concern about the change, saying it could separate families.

The US embassy in Phnom Penh, however, sought yesterday to calm fears expressed by worried expats at a meeting in the capital on Tuesday.

“This change is only affecting the filing and initial processing of petitions,” embassy spokesman Sean McIntosh said.  “Being that the embassy in Phnom Penh has a small caseload, we believe this change will have a minimal effect on processing times.”

The American Cambodian Business Council is scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting with Ambassador Carol Rodley this morning. An American woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was still uncertain about the change.  

“My husband is Cambodian and I’ve raised his daughter like she was my own since she was young, but I haven’t formally adopted her, so I’m concerned about what this will mean for our family,” she said.

The chairman of Democrats Abroad Cambodia, Wayne Weightman, said that publicity for the change was poorly managed. But MacIntosh said it  had been disseminated in the appropriate manner.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42