State Department Announces Phased Resumption of Visa Services At U.S. Consulates World-wide

By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that beginning July 15, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will begin to phase-in routine visa services, depending upon local country conditions.

Information about the resumption of services will be available on each embassy or consulate’s website. However, Trump’s immigration ban is still in effect until December 31st and may be extended indefinitely if he is re-elected, so the planned resumption of services will not include visa issuance for most family and employment immigrant visas.

As a result of the pandemic and Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, legal immigration to the U.S. has nearly come to a grinding halt. For most conservatives, the dream has always been to eliminate family-sponsored immigration and only permit those with “merit” who can prove themselves worthy enough to be allowed to immigrate to America.

The Trump administration has been on an anti-immigrant crusade since the beginning, seeking to limit legal immigration at every opportunity with termination of DACA, restrictions on visas, the public charge rule, proclamations and on and on. In the end, it finally came down to using the pandemic as the ultimate excuse which enabled Trump to eliminate nearly all immigration from abroad, leaving only those safely in the U.S., immune from his immigration bans.

Under Trump’s recent immigration bans, an estimated 180,000 family members of U.S. citizens and residents are stranded outside the U.S. through the end of 2020, unable to obtain the final immigrant visa which allows them to join their family here in the U.S.. Thousands of Green Card lottery winners, unable to be issued immigrant visas, may lose the opportunity to immigrate and over 167,000 foreign workers have been prevented from obtaining work visas to enter the U.S. until 2021, unless Trump is elected to a second term. Estimates are that the number of non-immigrant visas issued has plummeted 94% since the beginning of 2020.

The only good news is that once reopened, posts will again be issuing non-immigrant tourist, student and other type visas, including those for E investors. To find out more about local country opening dates and procedures, visit the State Department resource website to get contact information for each U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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