For the first time in more than 18 months, Venezuelans trying to go to the United States for business or pleasure can apply for a visa in Venezuela.
In a statement on its website, the U.S. embassy in Caracas said it will begin accepting applications for B-1 and B-2 visas — used for temporary business and tourism travel — starting Jan. 17.
Visa services in the South American country have been suspended since May 2016, when Washington and Caracas both ejected diplomats and the embassy said it didn’t have the staff to process visas. An embassy spokesperson Wednesday said the consular office was now almost fully staffed.
The move will be a welcome relief for Venezuelans who have been forced to make a sometimes grueling overland trek to neighboring Colombia to apply for a visa.
Even so, at a cost of $160 per visa application, the price is prohibitive for most Venezuelans. The minimum wage is equal to about $7.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.