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UNITED STATES – Department of State Temporarily Suspends Non-Immigrant Visa Processing in Russia

The US Department of State has announced that, effective 23 August 2017, US visa operations across Russia will be suspended until 1 September 2017, at which point all US non-immigrant visa applications will only be processed at the US Embassy in Moscow.

Non-immigrant visa interviews at the US Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok are suspended until further notice.  On 21 August, the US Mission will begin cancelling current non-immigrant visa appointments countrywide.

Affected applicants will receive an email with a phone number to call to reschedule their interview at the US Embassy in Moscow for a later date.

The scheduling of some immigrant visa applicants will also be affected.

Background

The suspension comes as a result of the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the US Mission, announced at the end of July 2017, when the US government approved new sanctions against Russia. The Russian government ordered the US government to reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 people, or about 60 percent, by 1 September 2017.

Action Items

  • Employers should expect delays for their employees applying for US visas in Russia, both in securing appointments and in visa processing.
  • Affected employers should consult a visa specialist for advice on how best to obtain visas for their employees in Russia.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Maggio and Kattar.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.