The Coronavirus pandemic has created new obstacles and challenges for immigrants applying for visas at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide. Since the Department of State first announced the phased resumption of routine visa services on July 14, 2020, applicants were thrown into a state of chaos and confusion.
Global conditions have only moderately improved in some regions, while in others they have worsened. This has caused the majority of U.S. Embassies and Consulates to remain shuttered to the general public. As it stands, very few Consular posts and Embassies have resumed scheduling of visa interviews. In the vast majority of cases, posts are only scheduling interviews and issuing visas for those with emergencies and those who qualify for expedited visa issuance.
Unfortunately, there is no specific date for when each mission will resume routine visa services, nor when there will be a sense of normalcy in the operations of U.S. Consulates and Embassies.
Our office has determined that one of the few ways to break through this state of limbo is to submit an expedite request with the National Visa Center. However not everyone will qualify to submit an expedited visa request.
Why aren’t spousal visas cases moving forward?
In normal circumstances once the spouse of a U.S. Citizen is documentarily qualified by the National Visa Center, the file is forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate near the foreign spouse and prepared for interview scheduling. The NVC is an important agency because it acts as an intermediary to prepare a case for the eventual interview stage.
Since March of this year, files have not been able to move past the NVC stage and have remained with the agency in a sort of “limbo,” given that the majority of U.S. Consulates and Embassies are not opening visa interview slots for applicants until further notice.
As a result, NVC has accumulated a large number of spousal visa cases that are unable to proceed until more Consular posts begin to open their calendars.