On August 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that the issuance of nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations in Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017, as a result of the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the U.S. Mission. As of 9:00 am Moscow time Monday, August 21, 2017, the U.S. Mission began canceling current NIV appointments countrywide.
NIV operations will resume at a greatly reduced scale and as of September 1, 2017, NIV interviews will be conducted only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. NIV interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok are suspended until further notice.
My interview has been canceled? What should I do?
The NIV applicants who have their interviews canceled should call +7 (495) 745 3388 or 8 800 100 2554 (ITFN) to reschedule their interview at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for a later date. NIV applicants originally scheduled for an interview at the U.S. consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok should call +7 (495) 745 3388 or 8 800 100 2554 (ITFN) if they wish to reschedule their interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
Who may be affected?
- Students attending U.S. universities may be negatively impacted. The Embassy is planning to offer a block of visa appointments to students in early September.
- Those who have already paid the visa fee and want to apply at a different country. Visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable outside the country in which the fee was paid. If you wish to apply outside Russia, you would need to begin a new application and pay the fee according to that location’s instructions.
- Belarusian applicants who have already paid the application fee will have rescheduled visa appointments. For residents of Belarus who have not paid the fees, the Embassy recommends that they schedule nonimmigrant visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw; the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv; or the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius.
I'm a U.S. Citizen in Russia. Will services for U.S. Citizens be suspended as well?
No. According to DOS, the safety and security of American citizens overseas remain one of their highest priorities. Thus, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the three consulates will continue to provide the full range of American Citizen Services, including passports, reports of birth, assistance to victims of crime, emergency loans, and prison visits.
For more information, please follow this link to the Fact Sheet from the U.S. Mission in Russia. If you are affected by this development and have questions about visa processing, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for up-to-date immigration news.
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