On December 4th, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced that nonimmigrant temporary visa (NIV) interviews will resume on a limited basis at the three U.S. consulates in Russia. As of December 11, 2017, the U.S. consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok will resume visa nonimmigrant visa processing at a level described as “limited.”
This is an update to our previous post “U.S. Visa Operations across Russia Temporarily Suspended” explaining the August 21, 2017 U.S. Department of State (DOS) suspension and partial, limited, resumption of NIV operations within Russia. Since that time, nonimmigrant visa interviews in Russia have been conducted exclusively at the Embassy in Moscow leading to ongoing substantial nonimmigrant visa interview backlogs.
The reopening of the U.S. consulates in Russia for NIV interviews should help to reduce the wait time for such interviews. However, operations are below full capacity, this action will not restore appointment availability and wait times to standard levels. The waiting times are likely to continue to be measured in months, not days, until these issues are resolved. While the resumption of services is a welcomed measure, their limited nature requires ongoing monitoring.