Russian tourists wishing to travel to the U.S., no longer need to use the services of Pony Express

Yesterday the U.S. Embassy moved to a new scheme for the issuance of nonimmigrant visas for Russian citizens. The main novelty is that now the Russians can do to provide all necessary information via the Internet, filling in on a special website updated profile. Thus, the Agency Express Pony Express lost its monopoly on the transmission of documents to consular services. U.S. Embassy explained that the changes introduced for the convenience of tourists and tour operators do not rule out that the reason for dismissal was an attempt to Pony Express Agency to enter the tourism market.

Earlier, the Russians were obliged to use the services of a mediator - a company Pony Express. The applicant should fill out the questionnaire on the Embassy’s website and download the photo. After these steps, the site gave a special barcode that must be sent via Pony Express along with passports. Mandatory courier services cost the Russians from 900 to 1.6 thousand rubles., Depending on city of residence.

Photo: Alexander Kryazhev, Kommersant
In the capital’s office refused to tell the Pony Express, “Y”, any losses incurred by the company, as well as why the U.S. embassy refused their services. They only said they rang all day tourists, who could not understand the new scheme of filing. “We offered them to the embassy, ​​but they were overloaded telephone lines,” - said “Y” official Pony Express.

“We have no statistics on the number of problems encountered or incorrectly completed questionnaires”, - the press service of the embassy, ​​adding that it always goes to a lot of calls about visas. “We continue to cooperate with the Pony Express, they will deliver the documents back from the embassy of the applicant - told the press service .- The cost of this service is included in the visa fee and not paid separately”.

2 August 2011

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