ISLAMABAD- The US Embassy and Consulate General in Islamabad and Karachi will shift to a new appointment and document delivery service for the non-immigrant visa unit from August 24, 2014. According to a US Embassy press statement issued here on Friday, this new system, which is being implemented in phases at US Embassies and Consulates worldwide, is designed to be more comprehensive and user-friendly. It replaces the current appointment system of scheduling at Amex and Speedex locations in Pakistan, though these contractors will also be involved in the new system.In addition to the new online system, there will be a new call centre with more hours for applicants to obtain information by phone, as well as by email. There is no charge for the call other than normal charges for a call within Pakistan. Starting August 24, 2014, applicants can book a new appointment online: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/pk. Beginning August 25, 2014, Call Center representatives will be available. Information on the call center hours and number will be released on the website.The Embassy and Consulate General websites, http://islamabad.usembassy.gov and http://karachi.usconsulate.gov, will include general visa information and a link to the new scheduling website with significantly more information than before. These two websites and the Call Centre are the only official sources of general visa information and are the only authorized methods to schedule a personal visa interview. Applicants who already paid an application fee under the old system but did not schedule an appointment with that fee should contact the call center to arrange an appointment outside of the new appointment system. Some elements of the application procedure will be similar to before, and others will change. For example, the online application form remains the same. However, customers will need to create an account ID or have the call centre create one, and pay the fee based on this profile, before making an appointment.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-Aug-2014 here.