The U.S. Department of State has announced that, effective August 23, 2017, U.S. consular operations in Russia – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok – will suspend processing of all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications. This action is being taken due to recent personnel reductions the Russian government has mandated for the U.S. Mission in Russia. Immigrant Visas related to permanent residence may also be impacted.
NIV applications include B-1/B-2 visas for business visitors and tourists, C-1/D visas for airline personnel, J-1 and F-1 visas for trainees and students, respectively, and a variety of work visas such as H-1B, L-1 and O-1. The U.S. embassy in Moscow alone processed more than 16,000 NIVs in the most recent fiscal year, mostly in the B-1/B-2 categories. This action will result in significant delays for students, business persons and tourists who planned to travel to the United States in the coming weeks and months.
Starting on September 1, visa applications will be conducted only in Moscow, most likely for students enrolled in U.S. schools and other urgent cases. NIV processing at the other three consulates in Russia are suspended indefinitely. This consolidation of NIV processing will result in significant travel time and expenses for applicants who do not live near Moscow. For additional details, please see the announcement and related Fact Sheet here.
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.