U.S. Department of State Temporarily Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Applications in Russia

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Seyfarth Synopsis:  As of August 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has temporarily suspended processing of Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications filed in Russia.  NIV interviews will resume only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow beginning September 1, 2017.  DOS has suspended NIV processing indefinitely at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.  

In response to the Russian government’s decision to reduce the number of U.S. Department of State (DOS) staff working in Russia, DOS has temporarily suspended processing of Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications filed in Russia as of August 23, 2017.  The suspension will last for a period of eight (8) days and, during this time, previously-scheduled visa appointments for temporary work, business, and visitor visas will be canceled.  According to DOS, NIV interviews will resume on September 1, 2017, but only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  DOS has suspended NIV processing indefinitely at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

DOS will contact any affected applicants by e-mail for rescheduling.  Rescheduled applicants and new applications submitted at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow should expect considerable delays.  Priority consideration will be given to officials of the United Nations, international organizations with offices in the United States, and those requiring travel for medical or family emergencies.

In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg will no longer accept new visa applications for residents of Belarus.  DOS encourages Belarussian applicants to schedule NIV appointments at the U.S. Embassies in Warsaw, Kyiv, or Vilnius.  The decision to temporarily suspend NIV operations in Russia does not affect NIV applications outside of Russia, but U.S. Embassies and Consulates close to Russia may experience additional NIV processing delays.

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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