Are you going through the immigrant visa process, waiting for your interview to be scheduled at a Consulate or Embassy overseas? Then this video is right for you. We will provide the latest updates including which Consular posts are open, their processing times, and which posts are experiencing long wait times as of June 2023.
Embassies and Consulates around the world are beginning to ramp up their processing of immigrant visas, with the hiring of additional personnel to reduce the visa backlogs.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, immigrant visa cases have been warehoused at the National Visa Center (NVC) while awaiting interview scheduling at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. Due to the high demand for visa interviews, most Consular posts have not been able to accommodate the majority of applicants who are still waiting for their appointments to be scheduled.
Unfortunately, the National Visa Center (NVC) is not able to forward cases to Embassies and Consulates until they have received confirmation that the post has available interview slots.
This is the case even if your case is documentarily qualified and even if your priority date is current on the Visa Bulletin. Your case cannot be forwarded to the Embassy or Consulate until they have confirmed that an interview slot is available for you.
On the other hand, if your case has not been documentarily qualified (meaning all documentation has been received by the NVC), or your priority date is not current on the Visa Bulletin, then your case will not be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview.
Remember that every month we analyze the Visa Bulletin, explaining the availability of visas for family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories, numerical limitations, and how to know when your priority date is current. We recommend that you tune into those videos for more information on priority dates.
As a reminder, certain categories of immigrants are subject to numerical limitations. The Visa Bulletin governs the availability of visas for the different categories and allows you to check your place in the immigrant visa queue.
Now let’s jump into the status of immigrant visa processing at the following Consular posts and Embassies overseas.
U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia
Immigrant visa services continue to be suspended at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. Due to the suspension, the U.S. Department of State has designated the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, as the immigrant visa processing post for nationals and residents of Russia.
On February 16, 2023, the Department of State added U.S. Embassy Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and U.S. Consulate General Almaty, Kazakhstan as processing posts for Russian IR-5 (parent of a U.S. citizen) immigrant visa applicants.
As indicated on the Embassy’s webpage:
If you have not yet received an appointment notice for an interview at U.S. Embassy Moscow from the National Visa Center (NVC), when you are eligible NVC will send you an appointment notice for your visa interview at U.S. Embassy Warsaw, noting the date, time, and other requirements for your visa interview. Please contact NVC through the Ask NVC online contact form for your updated status…
If you have already received an appointment notice for somewhere other than Embassy Warsaw, including U.S. Embassy Moscow, please email a request for your visa case to be transferred to support-Poland@ustraveldocs.com. Please put your name and case number in the subject line to help aid swift processing (example: SMIRNOV, Mariya, MOS0001234567). U.S. Embassy Warsaw is currently accepting transfer of Russian immigrant visa cases on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may alternatively contact the Immigrant Visa Unit of another consulate or embassy to request that their immigrant visa case be sent there instead.
If your case is at the National Visa Center and you have questions about your case or need processing assistance, please contact NVC through the Ask NVC online inquiry form.
If U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet approved your petition(s), please review the status of your petition by visiting www.uscis.gov/casestatus or by calling 1-800-375-5283.
If you are a Diversity Visa (DV) selectee who was assigned to U.S. Embassy Moscow for processing, your case will be automatically reassigned to U.S. Embassy Warsaw. There is no need for you to take any action unless you have a justified reason to request a different assignment…
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia.
U.S. Consulate Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
The U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez is currently processing immigrant and nonimmigrant visas on a limited basis. Applicants should expect longer-than-normal wait times for visa interviews.
Applicants applying in the same visa class and whose previous visa expired within the last 48 months may be eligible for interview waiver.
The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez has resumed routine immigrant visa operations, scheduling thousands of socially distanced interviews each week in ALL immigrant visa categories.
Note: Those who are required to apply for a hardship waiver of grounds of inadmissibility must wait for an approval before proceeding with the immigrant visa process in Ciudad Juarez.
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visas: K-1 applicants with cases at NVC are being scheduled for appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in the order the cases were documentarily completed.
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Consulates in Mexico.
U.S. Consulate Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is open and working at a regular capacity. The Embassy is processing both immigrant and non-immigrant visas, including IR-1 and CR-1 cases.
According to its webpage:
“The Immigrant Visa Unit is interviewing all categories of immigrant visas at this time.
The U.S. Embassy has resumed in-person interviews for nonimmigrant visa applicants.
Please note that due to the high demand for of visa appointment requests applicants should expect to experience delays in appointment availability and plan accordingly.
Applicants applying in the same visa class and whose previous visa expired within the last 48 months may be eligible for interview waiver.”
The Embassy is also accepting applications from third country nationals. As a result, many applicants (particularly nonimmigrant visa applicants) have been moving their cases to this Embassy, including O-1 and H-1B visa applicants.
Specifically for visas like IR-1, CR-1, these cases are being processed under normal processing times in Santo Domingo. This particular post is also responsive to emails.
Per their webpage:
“Non-Resident Applicants: Routine non-immigrant visa appointments for applicants not ordinarily resident in the Dominican Republic may be scheduled.
Please be advised, some foreign nationals need a Dominican visa to enter the Dominican Republic. Non-resident applicants should obtain their Dominican visa prior to paying the visa application fee and scheduling an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. Application fees are non-refundable. Please also note, applicants with non-immigrant visa applications at a different embassy who wish to apply at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo must submit new applications and pay the application fees again.”
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo.
U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand has fully resumed routine visa services. They are processing nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas, including IR-1, CR-1, and student visas.
Bangkok is currently accepting third-country nationals, however there may come a time when they will stop accepting such cases. If you would like to transfer your case to Bangkok, you must follow the proper procedure and obtain permission directly from the Embassy. Once they have accepted your case, you can inform the National Visa Center that your case has been transferred to this post.
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Embassy Bangkok.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates Brazil
The U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil have resumed routine visa services.
United States immigrant visas are processed for citizens and residents of Brazil at the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro.
In recent months, there has been an increase in processing of F-1 student visas after a prolonged period of delays.
In terms of family petitions, K-1 fiancé(e) visas are being processed very slowly in Brazil. Many of our clients have been reporting long delays and long wait times.
The Embassy provides the following guidance regarding expedite interview requests
Expedited Interview Appointment
“When you request an expedited appointment, you will see the list of acceptable circumstances such as an immediate relative’s death, grave illness, or urgent medical treatment in the United States. To request an expedited appointment, first schedule a regular appointment on the closest available date. Then, sign-in to your account, click “Continue,” select “Request Expedite” and follow the instructions. The consular section grants expedited appointments at their discretion.”
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Consulates Brazil.
U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Sudan
The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum has suspended its operations. Currently, there are no U.S. consular officers in Sudan. The embassy is unable to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Sudan. Consular services are available in neighboring countries for those who choose to depart on their own.
U.S. citizens in Sudan who need assistance should contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Embassy Khartoum.
U.S. Embassy Lagos, Nigeria
The U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, is working at a limited capacity only due to staffing restrictions.
They are processing IR-1, CR-1, and K-1 fiancé(e) cases that have been documentarily qualified, however they are moving very slowly. Interviews are being scheduled based on their limited operational capacity.
Backlogs remain severe. Applicants continue to wait prolonged periods of time for Lagos to open more interview slots for those with cases that are documentarily qualified.
Applicants are encouraged to follow up with the National Visa Center (NVC) to ensure their cases are documentarily qualified and/or all civil documentation has been received by the NVC.
U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, Israel
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, is fully operational and providing routine visa services. They are processing and scheduling K-1 fiancé(e) visas, IR-1, CR-1 cases, and nonimmigrant visas including E-2 visas.
The Embassy is accepting applications from third country nationals on a case-by-case basis. Many of our clients from Eastern Europe have successfully moved their cases to this post including K-1 fiancé(e) visas.
If you would like to explore case transfer to this Embassy, you must follow the proper procedure for your case to be accepted at this post. We encourage you to review the Embassy’s webpage and/or consult with an experienced immigration attorney to assist you.
U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia
The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, has resumed routine visa services.
They are processing K-1 fiancé(e) visas, IR-1, CR-1, IR-5 visas, and nonimmigrant visa applications. They are also processing employment-based visas including H-1B visa applications, and F-1 student visas.
Since Bogota is a smaller Consular post, it is taking a longer period for interview scheduling. On the positive side, this post is responsive to email inquiries.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates India
The U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India have resumed routine scheduling of appointments for all visa categories. They are processing IR-1, CR-1, K-1 fiancé(e) visas, and nonimmigrant visa applications, including F-1 student visas.
In fact, Mumbai was one of the largest posts in the world to issue F-1 student visas in 2022. We anticipate that this trend will continue in 2023.
The U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India normally provide responses to email inquiries fairly quickly.
Immigrant Visa Applicants:
For immigrant visa applicants, the Embassy notes that follow-up or rescheduled appointments must be made through their website. Mumbai is adding appointments as often as they have availability. Visa applicants must follow the instructions provided for registering for appointments and monitor their email address for confirmation and further information.
Positive Developments in the Near Future
Recently, the media reported upcoming positive developments for visa processing at the US Embassy and Consulates in India, with the launch of several new initiatives that will decrease wait times across the country.
Mumbai’s Consular Chief John Ballard released a statement on the Embassy’s webpage indicating, “Our consular teams across India are putting in the extra hours to meet the needs of international travelers and bring down wait times. This is part of a mission-wide effort to find innovative solutions to facilitate travel to the United States.”
As part of these initiatives:
- Embassies in Delhi and consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad will open on Saturdays to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews.
- The consulate general in Mumbai has extended its operating hours on weekdays to make space for additional appointments.
- The State Department will soon increase the number of consular officers permanently assigned to offices in India.
- By March, it will incorporate dozens of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies to increase its processing capacity.
According to Ballard, “The US mission to India made it a priority to facilitate legitimate travel and adjudicated over 800,000 non-immigrant visas in 2022, including record numbers of both student and employment visas.”
It also released 250,000 additional B1/B2 visa appointments for visitors in 2022.
Click here for Important Visa information from the U.S. Consulates in India.
U.S. Embassies in Vietnam
The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate Ho Chi Minh City have resumed routine visa services.
Immigrant visas to the United States are processed for citizens and residents of Vietnam at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
We have seen some delays in F-1 student visa processing. If you do have cases there, please be patient. We advise you to communicate with the post to see when interviews will be scheduled.
You may also check appointment wait times on their webpage here.
For family-based cases, they continue to catch up with interview scheduling for cases that are documentarily qualified.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates Canada
The U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Canada have resumed routine visa services for all visa categories.
Applicants continue to experience long visa interview wait times especially for E visa applications, including E-1 and E-2 visas.
Family petitions including IR-1, CR-1, and K-1 fiancé(e) cases that have been documentarily qualified are being scheduled for interviews, however applicants continue to experience long wait times.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada was a popular post for third country nationals. Currently, it is difficult to receive an appointment there as a third country national. However, we have been successful in obtaining appointments for E-2 investors applying there as third-country nationals.
U.S. Embassy Manila, Philippines
The U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines resumed routine visa services. They are processing immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.
In recent months, they have been processing a large number of F-1 student visas.
Family-based cases that have been documentarily qualified including IR-1, CR-1, and K-1 fiancé(e) visa cases are also being scheduled for interviews as availability permits.
Applicants are encouraged to remain patient considering this is one of the busiest Consulates in the world.
Click here for Important Visa information from U.S. Embassy Manila.
To find out more about the operational capacity of your U.S. Embassy or Consulate, please visit their website and click on “immigrant” or “nonimmigrant” visa on the navigational tab. Remember that you can contact the National Visa Center to ensure your case is documentarily qualified and inquire on its potential transfer to the Consular post abroad. If you believe that you are eligible for expedited processing of your case and/or emergency visa processing, we invite you to contact our office to evaluate your case and determine eligibility.
Contact Us Today. We hope that this information was helpful. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204
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