It seems like a rare moment when the government can report a positive statistic, but when it happens there is reason to celebrate.
After doubling the amount of U.S. foreign service personnel that are being hired, the State Department (which manages U.S. embassies and consular processing of visas) is reporting processing immigrant visa applications at 130% of pre-pandemic monthly averages, which translates in the last year to having processed 8 million non-immigrant visas.
You may remember, or know from personal experience, that in the last two and a half years there was an extreme backlog for visa interviews at U.S. embassies - in 2021 a backlog of nearly 2.6 million visa applications was reported as the U.S. struggled with varying Covid restrictions in each country. The location of each U.S. embassy was dependent upon the restrictions imposed by the local government.
In its first step to try to deal with the visa backlog, the State Department announced at the beginning of 2022 that certain visa categories would have their in-person visa interview waived, provided that the applicant was previously issued any type of visa, was never refused a visa, and was otherwise eligible for the visa sought.
In information that is particularly relevant for many of the clients we serve, the State Department announced that its ‘embassies in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras eliminated an immigrant visa backlog of 22,000 applicants,' and its ‘consulate in Ciudad Juarez reduced the immigrant visa backlog for Mexican applicants by nearly 44 percent.'
We hope you will see the positive result of these statistics in your own families' visa journeys.
If you have questions about a pending visa application or need assistance with a visa application please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.