Chennai: The United States Consulate General in the city, which had suspended its visa services since Friday following an attack by protesting members of an Islamic organisation, said that it will resume its services on Monday even as Consul General Jennifer McIntyre met City Police Commissioner S George for over 30 minutes here on Thursday.
Sources said the US Consulate here would interview over 1,000 applicants per day on any business day. Around 5,000 visa applicants had to reschedule the interview due to the suspension of the visa services. The services were suspended following protests by Islamic organisations against the travesty of Islam through a movie, ‘The Innocence of Muslims’, made by an American citizen.
The Consulate here that catered to the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and Lakshwadeep Islands, came under attack during one such protest on September 14. According to a US Consulate spokesperson, the services were suspended for three days and on Wednesday, no appointments were given due to Vinayaka Chaturthi. Sources said that there were plans to resume the visa services on the Friday but it was decided to hold it back until Monday.
“The US Mission in India had been offering the visa services for those residing in the region covered by Chennai Consulate based on the urgency through the other three Consulates, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai and the Embassy in New Delhi. The rescheduling will not affect the issuance of visas as it was done depending on the prime factors, generally based on the urgency and the travel plans of applicants,” a spokesperson said. McIntyre met George at the Police Comissionerate at 11.45 am. During the meet, she was said to have discussed the security arrangements to resume the visa services.