On April 13, 2021, the Department of State released frequently

asked questions (FAQ) on the immigrant visa backlog and

consular processing. The FAQ notes that the immigrant visa

interview backlog has developed “because of limitations in

staffing and other COVID-related operational constraints preventing

us from processing the same volume of applicants as

pre-pandemic.” In addition, the FAQ cites previous

presidential proclamations that “restricted visa processing

for many immigrants for nearly a year.” The Department said it

would take time to process the cases affected by these travel


The Department said it is committed to decreasing the backlog by

“prioritizing certain visas, creating efficiencies in the visa

process, and utilizing all available resources until our task is

accomplished.” Applicants should check the website of their

nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for updates on currently

available visa services, the FAQ states. Virtual interviews

are not available because current regulations “require

all immigrant visa applicants to appear in person before a consular

officer,” the FAQ states. 


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