Consular Check-In Goes Paperless

Ambassador John Estrada with Embassy greeters and visa applicants.

The U.S. Embassy, Port of Spain has introduced a new initiative to improve customer service and readiness in the visa process for the holiday season, with the implementation of the Paperless Gate Entry List system (PGEL).  PGEL is an electronic check-in process that facilitates smoother entry of applicants to the waiting room for interviews.

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain is the third Caribbean post to adopt the modernized pre-check system.  It comes at a time when we anticipate a surge in tourist visa applications as peak visa numbers issued ten years ago are due to expire this year.  The system allows Embassy greeters to verify appointments with accurate and timely information.  Going paperless has decreased the influx of documents in the section and improved internal case management and processing.

Ambassador John Estrada expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative as he greeted applicants waiting for interviews: “The consular section is committed to providing courteous and efficient service by embracing technology and innovation as we look for ways to continuously improve the visa applicant experience.  We believe the Paperless Gate Entry system will reduce the amount of time applicants wait outside the Embassy.”

Applicants are still encouraged to arrive no more than 15 minutes before their appointment time with their confirmation page which will be returned to them after check-in.

More detailed information about the overall visa application process is available online at:  or via the telephone service at: 868-224-3099.  Telephone hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.