Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Kenyan who boldly called out US Embassy Nairobi gets US visa

A Kenyan doctor who boldly called out the US Embassy Nairobi over visas has finally been given her US visa.

Dr. Amakove Wala who runs the Wanderlust Diaries platform on Facebook had in July protested what she termed as the embassy’s deliberate actions to frustrate Kenyan applicants seeking to travel to the United States.

In an open letter to US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, Dr. Wala had narrated how the US Embassy Nairobi had turned Visa application processes into a cash cow.

Dr. Wala said that she and her daughter were frustrated following her Visa appointment that was scheduled to take place in 2024 even though the purpose of her visit to the US was in November 2022.

Dr. Wala’s daughter was the only one at her school to qualify for the World Scholars final dubbed Theatre of Champions which will be held at Yale University, in November 2022.

She had flown her daughter to Dubai for the World Scholars Global Cup Round, for a debate and creative writing competition, where she qualified for the finals to be held in US.

Following her impressive performance, her daughter received an invitation letter from Global Scholars Cup to attend the finals. However, when she tried to book for a Visa appointment slot at the US Embassy, she was shocked to hear that they would only interview her in 2024.

US waives interviews for renewing visitor, business, student visas in Nairobi

Ironically, she would still be required to pay Visa appointment fee. This inevitably meant that Dr. Wala would not only be losing her money, but that her daughter would also not take part in the competition.

“Dear Madam Ambassador, the embassy is making billions of shillings from Kenyans through these delays in appointments. I am not that desperate to get an American VISA. I know my daughter will be disappointed.

She went on;

“I have absolutely no intention of absconding my beloved motherland and my other 3 children and businesses. I was told by friends to keep checking the appointment schedule for any opening between 11pm and 6am in the morning. that I could be in luck and get a 2023 date. What kind of life is that!”

“I do not have any future plans to relocate. One of my businesses is Wanderlust Diaries Ltd whose sole purpose is to promote Kenya to Kenyans and we have done it so successfully that Meta gave us a grant to scale it up.”

Dr. Wala’s open letter went viral on social media and caught the attention of the US Embassy. In September, Ambassador Whitman announced that Kenya s seeking to renew their travel and business visas would no longer need to book appointments.

This announcement opened up appointment slots for Kenyans applying to travel to the US for the first time. Dr. Wala got a slot in early October and was granted a Visa that will now enable her daughter to take part in the Yale finals in November.

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