Employers and employees should take note that the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic will implement several changes to the visa application process, effective November 12, 2014. Specifically, applicants for B-2 Tourist Visas will need to follow a multiple-step process: (i) they will first have to go to the U.S. Embassy’s webpage and complete a Form DS-160 online; (ii) they will then have to complete an online profile with the Visa Assistance Center (VAC); (iii) they will then pay the visa application fee at Banco Popular; (iv) they will then go to the VAC to present qualifying documentation and complete biometrics.; and (v) applicants will then complete an in-person interview at the US Embassy where they will be informed whether or not their application was approved.

Applicants will no longer have pay to schedule a visa appointment, which currently costs $16 if made by phone and $10 when made on online.

This initiative is expected to be extended to other visa categories starting January 1, 2015.