NIV Operations Suspended in Russia

Beginning August 23, 2017, nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations in Russia will be suspended, according to the U.S. Department of State. Beginning September 1, 2017, interviews for nonimmigrant visas will occur only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Interviews for this purpose at the Consulates in Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, and St. Petersburg have been suspended until further notice.

What caused the suspension for Russia?

This suspension is a result of the Russian government's cap on personnel imposed on the U.S. Mission. The suspension will resume eventually, but on a greatly reduced scale. The U.S. Mission began canceling current NIV appointments as of 0900 Moscow time on Monday, August 21. Applicants who had canceled appointments should call +7 (495) 745 3388 or 8 800 100 2554 (ITFN) to reschedule an interview for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Applicants scheduled for an interview at one of the suspended locations should call the number as well to reschedule an interview in Moscow, Russia.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and three other consulates will provide emergency and routine services to American citizens, but hours may change. Capacity at this location will also be greatly reduced as staffing has been severely cut in order to comply with a requirement from the Russian government. The Embassy in Moscow will operate at a low capacity for as long as the staffing levels are cut.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, as well as the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg will no longer accept new visa applications for residents of Belarus. These applicants are encouraged to schedule interviews at the embassies in Warsaw, Kyiv, or Vilnius.

Who gets priority?

First priority will be given to the travel of officials to the UN, International organization with American offices, and bilateral missions. These are required by international agreement and diplomatic practice. Priority may also be given to travel for medical or family emergency such as funerals, hospitalizations, or legal proceedings. There will be a block of visa appointments in early September reserved for students returning to a university in the United States.

If you have questions regarding this suspension, please contact us directly.

This information comes from a news release by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 17082100).

Categories: Immigration News