If automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) take place at midnight tonight, wait times for visa appointments at US embassies and consulates will likely increase.

At its Daily Press Briefing on February 27, 2013, the Department of State warned that it will have to reduce the numbers of officers who process visa applications worldwide, and said, “We could have major setbacks in really the herculean effort we’ve made to reduce wait times.”

At its press briefing on February 28, 2013, the Department elaborated:  “Sequestration threatens all of our operations because it cuts across the board … we’ve had a huge consular surge, it’s been good for the American economy.  We estimate that for every 65 visitors to the U.S., that creates one American job … we’ve particularly had a surge in hiring … on visa adjudicators, and sequestration certainly could have an impact in that regard.”

Watch our blog for updates, if the sequester takes effect.