US Embassies To Stop Issuing Visas : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

US Embassies To Stop Issuing Visas

.c The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. embassies abroad will be open, with extra security, at the start of the new year, but they will not be issuing visas right away, State Department officials said Monday.

No nonimmigrant visas will be issued the first two working days of January, and no immigrant visas will be issued the first two weeks so personnel can concentrate on Y2K priorities, the officials said.

The State Department has issued a worldwide alert to American citizens because of the threat of possible terrorist operations targeting Americans during millennium celebrations.

``We have individuals around the world and leaders of terrorist groups ... who would seek to exploit in their view a period when they might feel world attention was focused either in the press, on events going on around the world, or that there were weaknesses that could be exploited,'' Thomas Pickering, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told a press briefing.

Bonnie Cohen, undersecretary of state for management, said Americans could be evacuated in an emergency if necessary.

``It depends on the situation. We can assist them in making their own reservations or logistics out of a country,'' she said. ``We can arrange charters ... if it's a question of getting out large numbers of people. And obviously as a last resort, as we have done in some cases, we can use the military.

AP-NY-12-20-99 1640EST

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.

-- Duke 1983 (, December 21, 1999


Ain't this a case of closing the barn door after the fact?

-- Billy Boy (, December 21, 1999.

Twice in my life I've attempted to use an American Embassy for assistance, minor, while overseas.

I may as well have asked the Pope to turn Jewish!

Asking an American Embassy for assistance is like asking your dog to work a crossword puzzle.

Give me a break!

-- Richard (, December 21, 1999.

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