Following the arrest of a Turkish national employee of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the U.S. has suspended all nonimmigrant visa services at its consulates in Turkey. In response, Turkey has suspended all visa services for U.S. citizens at its diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. Both suspensions will remain in effect until further notice.

As a result of this suspension, Turkish citizens are currently unable to apply for nonimmigrant visas (including B-1/B-2, H-1B and L-1 visas) at U.S. consulates in Turkey. However, Turkish citizens with valid U.S. visas can still travel to the United States. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara has confirmed that Turkish citizens may apply for a nonimmigrant visa at another U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Turkey.

Effective Oct. 9, U.S. citizens are not able to obtain physical visas at Turkish diplomatic or consular missions in the U.S., nor can they apply for e-visas or visas at the Turkish border. However, U.S. citizens with valid Turkish work or residence cards may continue to travel to Turkey at this time. Additionally, it appears that U.S. citizens with an urgent need to travel to Turkey may apply for a physical visa at a Turkish diplomatic or consular mission outside of the U.S. (although this has not yet been confirmed).

We will continue to monitor this developing situation and will provide updates as they become available.

New Form Allows Some Nonimmigrants to Apply Concurrently for Social Security Number and Work Permit

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new edition of its I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. The new edition of the form allows certain foreign nationals to apply for their Social Security number (SSN) at the same time as their employment authorization document (EAD). The new SSN application process is open to foreign nationals who use an EAD to work. That includes applicants for adjustment of status and H-4, L-2 and E spouses, among others. USCIS will transmit data from the form to the Social Security Administration directly, thereby avoiding the need for these applicants to visit a Social Security office in person to apply for their SSN. USCIS estimates that applicants will receive their Social Security card documentation within two weeks after they receive their approved EAD.

Note that the new SSN process is not open to lawful permanent residents, conditional residents, or foreign nationals who are work-authorized incident to status, (e.g., H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-2, E-3, and TN nonimmigrants). These applicants must continue to appear in person at a local Social Security Administration office and provide evidence of their work authorized status in order to receive a SSN.