On December 11, 2017, limited nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations will begin at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy posts in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok. The post in Moscow continues to offer limited services as well.
Effective August 23, 2017, all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy posts throughout Russia will be suspended. NIV operations will then only be conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, starting September 1, 2017. Accordingly, NIV appointments already made will soon be cancelled, and applicants will be directed to re-schedule appointments with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow at a later date. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) attributes this change to its need to reduce staffing levels to comply with recent Russian government’s requirements. The reduced capacity will impact business travelers, tourists and students from Russia and is anticipated to significantly delay NIV processing. DOS indicated that such reduced capacity may continue for some time. As additional details becomes available, we will provide regular updates.
On June 21, 2017, President Trump signed yet another Executive Order on immigration, specifically relating to nonimmigrant visa processing times. Under President Obama’s administration, the government set a goal to ensure that eighty percent of nonimmigrant visa applications are reviewed within three weeks of receipt of such applications. President Trump’s additional vetting procedures set forth in the Executive Order which contains the contested travel ban have been allowed to continue, and the previous administration’s processing goals would most likely not have been achieved under the additional vetting procedures. As such, nonimmigrants applying for temporary visas (and companies employing such nonimmigrants) should anticipate additional delays in visa processing. As additional details becomes available, we will provide regular updates.