No Visitor Visas issued at Embassy in Moscow during next 8 days, suspension indefinite at Consulates.
The US Embassy in Moscow will stop issuing Non-Immigrant (N/I) Visas for eight days, starting Wednesday, August 28. The measure also means that N/I Visa issuance is suspended at the US Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. The visas involved are mainly B-1/2 Visitor Visas, needed to enter the US temporarily “for business and/or for tourism”. The Russian Foreign Ministry recently ordered the number of US Embassy and Consulate workers to be capped. Diplomatic staff had to be reduced by 750 people (two-thirds of the total number of workers). The US Embassy intends to resume issuing N/I Visas on September 1. However the suspension will for now stay in place at the US Consulates.
According to statistics of the US State Department close to 190,000 Non-Immigrant Visas were granted in Russia last year.
A revised version of Prez Trump’s travel ban goes into effect today. The restrictions will affect visitors from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. The travel ban is for 90 days. Unless it is renewed, the ban expires on September 27, 2017.
Reinstatement of the ban is the result of a recent decision by the US Supreme Court. The Court announced it will hear arguments for and against the travel restrictions in October.
Nationals from the six countries “with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the US” can be excepted from the rule. Examples of people with “bona fide” ties are: immediate relatives or close family members of a US citizen or Permanent Resident, students accepted at a US college or university, foreign workers hired by a US employer.
Which others can also qualify is unclear. The Court’s opinion leaves room for more exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
A temporary ban against nearly all refugees, regardless of origin, was also put in place today. This ban is for 120 days and will expire on October 27, 2017, unless it is renewed. Exceptions are possible for people with “bona fide” ties (see before).
Exempt from the bans are: Green Card holders, people in the US on a Non-Immigrant Visa, dual nationals, people granted asylum, refugees already admitted or cleared for travel to the US.
For DV-Lottery winners: the State Department announced that visas already approved will not be revoked. Previously scheduled Visa Interview appointments will not be cancelled.