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On consulates and finances

I heard today that the Italian consulate in Toronto will probably be closing next week since they haven't received their paychecks from the Italian government. (Note that this doesn't mean it'll necessarily be closing for long, just until money comes through and they can operate/pay their staff again.)

In constrast, the U.S. consulates clearly do have enough funding, and are receiving their paychecks. Today's email brought news that, effective immediately, "all applicants for the
U.S. visa between the ages of 16-60 must now be interviewed in person." That implies a whole lot more in the way of interviews than they have been doing, and lots more interviewers to do the work. Obviously, this change doesn't apply to people who don't need a visa in order to enter the U.S.