Bond had the opportunity to update and answer questions from print, broadcast, and radio journalists on recent improvements and innovations to Consular Services in Toronto. In her remarks, Bond said that being the largest post in Mission Canada,
Consulate General Toronto’s Non-Immigrant Visa Unit received over 95,000 adjudications in 2013 while the diversity of the applicant pool is very unique with citizens from more than 170 countries applying for visas and 98% of applicants in Toronto are third country nationals.
She also provided the media representatives with the information on the E investor visa program as well as talked about the work of the American Citizen Services Unit, which serves a community of approximately 600,000 U.S. citizens residing in Toronto’s consular district and more than a million tourists at any given time.“ A year ago applicants sometimes spent nearly four hours, from the moment they came to the Consulate until the moment they left.
I am pleased to announce today that they now often spend one hour or less due to changes in our workflow,” said the Acting Assistant Secretary. She also noted that the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit employs both consular officers and local staff who speak more than 18 languages and these languages are used daily to interview applicants who have difficulty interviewing in English.
Full audio version of the press conference is available here. More photos from the match are in our Flickr gallery. More information about Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Michele Bond is available here.