During the height of the pandemic, many U.S. consular and visa services were suspended around the world. This introduced additional delays for many New Jersey families dealing with the immigration system. Not only was international travel itself far more sparse and delayed, the necessary paperwork and security interviews to complete an application were often unavailable. As of August 2022, routine services have been reintroduced in many places. However, delays continue to linger, and in many cases, appointments are far more limited than before.
Circumstances vary by country
The circumstances for visa applications or family immigration appointments continue to vary by country, so it is important to check on your country’s U.S. consular services regularly to monitor changes. For example, in the Philippines, routine visa services are once again running, although wait times for interviews continue to experience delays and backlogs. However, in Mexico, visa services remain limited and consular services vary greatly between cities, with particularly long wait times in many cases.
In Thailand, applicants may have more access to services, with visa renewals available by mail and all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services resumed. In India and Vietnam, routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including work visa processing, have resumed.
Countries with significant delays
Some countries continue to experience significant delays and lingering closures, including the United Kingdom, where consulates are processing emergency nonimmigrant visa applications and immigrant appointments are highly limited. In Brazil, nonimmigrant visa applications have been resumed normally, but wait times for immigrant visas have continued to remain high. In Colombia, all routine visa operations remain suspended.
Waiting for an appointment due to bureaucratic delays, minimal staffing or sudden closures can be particularly frustrating, as it can feel that the process is entirely out of your hands. Keeping a close eye on the updates posted by the U.S. consulate in your country can help you to obtain an appointment when they become available, especially as more consulates more toward normal services.