MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition Travel
The American Chamber of Commerce in India in co-operation with the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai organized a Workshop on MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition Travel on Monday, 11th May 2015.
The workshop began with Ms. Rachel Sunden, ACS and CIU Chief – U.S. Consulate Mumbai welcoming the participants and introduced the aim of the workshop. Mr. Martin Claessens, Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Mumbai shared brief remarks on the simplicity of U.S. Visa application process.
The session carried forward with a video presentation on MICE travel and the visa application processes that are in place to accommodate business groups that are sending people for MICE travel. Members of reputed organizations shared their positive experiences in applying for a group U.S. Visa. The presentation also dispelled myths and misconceptions that are associated with the U.S. Visa application process. Myths such as the lengthy complicated process involved and the misconception that it is difficult to get a U.S. Visa issued in India were clarified. Through the presentation, Mr. Michael Oskin, Vice Consul , U.S. Consulate gave an overview of the online visa application procedure for corporate group travel and re-iterated that the completion of the visa process is done under a week’s time, the interview process takes less than an hour, and that the visa is in hand within 3-5 working days.
An interactive group discussion followed which cleared crucial doubts on validity and renewals of visas, types of visas, questions related to procedures in case of change in name of an individual, the documents required, the size of the group, the purpose of travel, reasons for rejection of a visa application and re-application. A guided tour of the consular section was undertaken by Mr. Martin Oppus, Chief, Nonimmigrant Visa Unit U.S. Consulate. He shared that the functionally designed new Consulate office receives about 1500-2000 visa applications a day and the process of interviews are quite simple with the entire process being for not more than 30 minutes and each interview for only 2-3 minutes. It was once again stated that during the application process, high regard is given to the interview session rather than the documents produced. The Consulate also considers the varied languages in India and has appointed translators for major India languages.
Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director, Western region, Amcham concluded the event by acknowledging the interst shown by the participants and thanked the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai for organizing an insightful and informative workshop that provides a learning opportunity for AmCham members.