US consulate opens in suburban Mumbai



Mumbai: The US consulate general in Mumbai officially opened its doors to visitors at its new Bandra-Kurla Complex location in the city, an official said here on Monday.

The formal ceremony started with the ceremonial hoisting of the US flag by a detachment of the consulate's Marine security guards.

The first US visa applicants, Dinesh Patel and his family, were welcomed at the new building by Consul General Peter Haas and received their visas there.

"It has a nice atmosphere, a good campus and the staff is really cooperative," remarked Patel after securing his visa.

According to the consular chief, David Tyler, the new building has over 40 interview windows and employs the latest technology to ensure that visa applicants have a short waiting time, besides a positive interview experience and expanded facilities for US citizens in India.

"Visa applicants are going to be really pleased with our new location. We now have a bigger and more pleasant space, and the capacity to serve more visa applicants at the same time," said Tyler on the occasion.

The new consulate building houses all the US government offices under one roof, including the consulate, the American Center and American Library, the offices of the US Foreign Commercial Service and Foreign Agricultural Service, and the consul-general's residence.

The American Library, until now located at New Marine Lines, will reopen to existing members Dec 5, said Anne Grimes, public affairs officer for the consulate. She said that people in the suburbs would find it a good opportunity to avail its services here.

Similarly, the American Center programming will resume in January at the new location and with partners located throughout Mumbai, she added.

IANS