Whitley County has been home for 20 years to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC). This important government facility supports consulates and embassies overseas and protects U.S. border security.
During the last two decades, it has grown from about 40 workers to more than 425 people, all dedicated to a common mission.
KCC conducts facial recognition that screens the identities of more than 20 million passport and visa applicants per year to detect fraudulent applications and identify security threats to the United States. In fact, the largest anti-fraud office in the Department of State is right here in Kentucky, with nearly 125 employees dedicated to thwarting visa fraud and providing investigative assistance to consular sections worldwide.
KCC’s anti-fraud unit conducts research every day to ensure that the information in visa petitions and applications is true and correct. They support investigations and prosecutions with in-house officers from both the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS).
In addition, KCC also conducts pre-processing steps for nearly half a million nonimmigrant visa petitions submitted by U.S. employers wishing to bring foreign workers temporarily to the United States. Its work supports that of colleagues at our consular sections all around the world.
KCC’s modern systems and communication networks allow us to do so electronically here instead of overseas. Twenty years of advancement has taken KCC from handling mountains of paper to an expanded operation that involves very little paper.
The oversight of the Diversity Visa Program is a signature function of KCC. Tens of thousands of applicants who want to enter the United States legally through this program are screened and have their applications pre-processed here.
When this center opened in the year 2000, every application arrived by mail, in hard copy. Today the entire process is digital.
Your neighbors who work here communicate with U.S. consulates and embassies around the world to schedule interviews and provide detailed information about the applicants, KCC officials said in a release.
The Diversity Visa Program (DV Lottery) selects 50,000 entrants annually in an effort to diversify the immigrant population in the United States.
KCC is proud to employ highly-qualified people with diverse skill sets here in Kentucky, and it appreciates the support of local officials like Mayor Roddy Harrison, KCC officials noted in a release.
“As I will always repeat, I am so proud to be the Mayor of Williamsburg. One of the many impressive aspects of our small town is the Kentucky Consular Center which will soon be celebrating its 20th anniversary. To see it develop into an irreplaceable pillar of our community has been a blessing and a joy. The amount of individuals who are able to have a steady career in our small community is innumerable and monumental. I will always be grateful for the opportunities the center gives our neighbors, citizens, and friends of Williamsburg,” Harrison said.