DOS Update: Visa Approvals Rise to Pre-Pandemic Levels in Early 2023 with Attorney Jacob Sapochnick


In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick, brings you the latest updates regarding the rates of immigrant and non-immigrant visa approvals at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

The latest Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visa Issuance Reports recently published by the State Department demonstrate that both immigrant and non-immigrant visa approvals are increasing significantly, nearly returning to pre-pandemic visa processing levels.

If you want to know more just keep on watching.

Did you know? Every fiscal year, the Department of State releases the Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visa Issuance Reports which include important statistics and data relating to current immigrant and non-immigrant visa backlogs at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide. The data includes information regarding the number of immigrant and non-immigrant visas being issued at each Consular post worldwide, and a complete breakdown of visa issuance numbers by visa category.


Immigrant Visa Issuance Report for Fiscal Year 2022  

According to the Immigrant Visa Report for FY 2022, U.S. Consulates and Embassies issued a total of 493,448 immigrant visas. These figures breakdown as follows:

  • 212,185 IV visas for immediate relatives
  • 14,903 IV visas for special immigrant categories
  • 156,800 IV visas for family preference categories
  • 55,058 IV Visas for employment preference categories
  • 54,334 IV visas for diversity immigrant categories

Non-Immigrant Visa Issuance Report FY 2022

By comparison in FY 2022, U.S. Consulates and Embassies issued a total of 6,815,120 non-immigrant visas.

To understand the significance of these numbers, in FY 2021 Consulates and Embassies issued only 2,792,093 non-immigrant visas. While in FY 2022 non-immigrant visa processing increased dramatically jumping to 6,815,120 non-immigrant visas in total.

This signals that the State Department is gearing up to accelerate visa processing operations to reduce visa backlogs worldwide in all visa categories.

When looking specifically at immigrant visa issuance statistics, in FY 2021 U.S. Consulates and Embassies issued only 285,069 immigrant visas. By comparison, in FY 2022 this figure rose to 493,448 immigrant visas.


Based on this information, we predict that before the end of 2023, the State Department will return to pre-pandemic visa processing globally for both immigrant and non-immigrant visa categories. We also predict that we will begin to see an improvement specifically for immigrant visa processing of family-petitions by the beginning of spring of 2023 with more visa interviews being scheduled. We hope that in FY 2023 immigrant visa issuance will continue rising dramatically.

The reason we are seeing such a large number of visa approvals is because the State Department is now prioritizing the issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa types. They have taken deliberate action to decrease the visa backlogs by hiring more staff at Consulates and Embassies worldwide, training additional personnel who are equipped to interview visa applicants, and implementing interview waiver policies for certain categories of immigrants and non-immigrants such as individuals seeking visa renewals.

While the wait times for tourist visa appointments continues to be quite significant in many countries, we expect to see these visa backlogs begin to decrease after the summer of 2023. Thereafter, B1/B2 visa applicants should expect to see waiting periods of only several months, as was the case before the pandemic started.

These newly released reports signal extremely positive news for both immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants. As time goes by, U.S. Consulates and Embassies will open more interview visa interview appointments to increase the volume of applicants being approved. Embassies that do not keep up the pace will be subject to additional scrutiny. Already, many applicants have resorted to filing mandamus lawsuits to force Consulates to act where there have been unreasonable delays in visa processing of 1 year or longer.

We hope that you have found this information help. As always, we will continue monitoring the status of visa processing worldwide and reporting on the trends we are seeing right here on our blog.

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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