Sequester to Affect Consular Services

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Although the exact impact cannot be predicted, it appears all but certain that sequestration will result in diminished consular services, including visa adjudications. The Department of State has already warned that the number of officers processing visa applications will be reduced.  In its Press Briefing of February 27, 2013, the Department of State expressed the concern that "we could have major setbacks in really the herculean effort we’ve made to reduce wait times."  And that “one of the areas that there’ll be an impact on, obviously, is our ability provide consular services.  And so we’re concerned about that and it took a lot of effort to get us to reduce those wait times, and a lot of new hiring, a lot of new staff.”

Individuals with upcoming plans to obtain visas at U.S. Consulates abroad should prepare for the very real possibility of delays in the visa application process.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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