Without Congressional agreement to avoid a lapse in appropriations by midnight tonight, September 30, 2013, certain federal departments and agencies will suspend operations for all but "essential" government functions.
Government departments and agencies have begun to identify exactly what the shutdown means for their operations and the services they provide. For the U.S. Department of State, which is responsible for interviewing visa applicants and issuing U.S. visitor and work visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, the shutdown will seriously impact resources devoted to the visa application process, as consulates abroad are likely to only process emergency visa applications. With a reduction in resources devoted to visa services, applicants may expect longer wait times for visa appointments, longer wait times for biometrics appointments when they are required, and longer time frames for visa issuance following a visa appointment. Travelers should plan ahead to minimize the impact of visa service delays on their travel schedule.
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