A Tale of 3 Consular Posts – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Tashkent, Moscow, and Jakarta

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Rarely have I had the opportunity to see three consular posts so clearly juxtaposed as I have over the past two weeks in dealing with Tashkent, Moscow, and Jakarta.  The experience only reinforces the notion that it is the decisionmakers and consular managers who drive visa policy, not the other way around. Tashkent has come a long way since we filed a Complaint with the Department of State Office of Inspector General in 2008.  Tashkent is a post with numerous challenges, including fraud, Lottery intermediaries extorting money from Lottery winners, visa overstays, and operating in a relatively poor country.  David Mico, the Consul from 2010 to 2012, was a very good manager who kept an open mind in reviewing visa applications and decisions. He was not afraid to correct a mistake made by a consular officer. His replacement, Otto Westhassel, has followed this tradition by re-opening visa decisions when convincing…

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