The US will suspend nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations in Russia beginning August 23, 2017, due to the personnel cap Russia imposed on US operations. Visa operations will resume on a greatly reduced scale. Beginning September 1, 2017, the US will conduct nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interviews only at the US Embassy Moscow. The US has suspended NIV interviews at US Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok until further notice. more »
On March 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an updated Travel Ban Executive Order suspending travel for 90 days to the US for nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as a 120 day suspension of the US’s Refugee Program, effective March 16, 2017.
Some exceptions to the Travel Ban now include: US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) or Green Card Holders; dual citizens of a designated country and a non-designated country traveling on a passport from a non-designated country; those with documents valid on March 16, 2017, or any date thereafter permitting travel to the US; and others (see below). more »
The Department of State issued an alert regarding the Travel Ban on February 2, 2017. This alert clarifies the Trump Executive Order of January 27, 2017, as it applies to dual nationals of a designated country and a country that is not on the Travel Ban list.
Despite this statement, we urge dual nationals of one of the 7 designated countries to seek appropriate legal counsel prior to any attempt to enter or leave the US to minimize any negative impact the Travel Ban may have.
Please see also bottom of page for updated information.
The Trump Administration issued an Executive Order on January 27, 2017, which, among other things, imposed a 90 day travel ban for nationals from 7 designated majority-Muslim countries.
The Travel Ban has suspended immigrant or nonimmigrant entry of individuals “from” one of 7 Muslim-majority countries. Designated countries now include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.
In addition, the Administration indefinitely suspended visa issuance to individuals “from” one of the designated countries. The Order has also suspended admission of refugees to the US for 120 days. The Trump Administration has reserved the right to add to or subtract from the list of designated countries at any time.
Travelers arriving at US land border ports of entry can speed up US entry with an online I-94 application. The online I-94 application process involves providing biographic and travel information and paying a $6 fee up to seven days prior to entry. more »
Nonimmigrant visa wait times to obtain interview appointments at US Consular Posts in India have become extraordinarily long–some more then 90 days, according to AILA. Given this situation and the likelihood that it will continue indefinitely, nonimmigrant visa applicants in India may wish to consider visa processing in a third country. more »
As expected, on April 7, 2016, during the first week it began accepting FY2017 H1B petitions for an employment start date of October 1, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the congressionally-mandated FY2017 H1B cap. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H1B petitions filed under the US advanced degree exemption. more »
On December 18, 2015, Congress placed new restrictions on usage of the US Visa Waiver Program (“Terrorist Travel Prevention and Visa Waiver Program Reform”).
New visa waiver restrictions include: Dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, and individuals who have traveled to one of those countries since March 1, 2011, can no longer use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Rather, they should obtain a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa at a US consulate abroad well in advance of travel to the US. On February 18, 2016, DHS added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list of “countries of concern.” This precludes individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 1, 2011, from using the VWP. However, VWP travel restrictions do not apply to dual nationals of Libya, Somalia or Yemen at this time.
UPDATE: USCIS will resume premium processing on petitions for H1B extension on July 13, 2015. The Agency had suspended H1B extension premium processing in May 2015.
On May 26, 2015, USCIS began a temporary suspension of H1B extension premium processing until July 27, 2015. During this period, USCIS did not accept Premium Processing Requests for H1B extensions of stay. However, they continued premium processing of H1B Extension petitions with filing dates prior to May 26, 2015.
UPDATE: As of June 30, 2015, the Department of State (DoS) reported that US consulates and embassies were back online, and that the majority of the backlog created by the last few weeks’ technical issues with the overseas passport and visa systems has been cleared. Some online immigrant visa (IV) application forms are still having problems, however; but DoS hoped to have a fix in place by first week of July 2015.
Technical problems with overseas passport and visa systems is now causing US passport and US visa issuance delays overseas. This is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document or visa category. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is now working urgently to correct these problems and restore the system to full operational status as soon as possible. However, no timeline is available for correction of this problem.
Specifically, individuals who submitted online visa applications or were interviewed for US visas on or after June 9, 2015, may experience US visa issuance delays. These problems are also delaying US passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015. more »