As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life. So why would immigration law be different? It is not. In fact, the pandemic has caused a significant immigrant visa backlog. This backlog has caused much confusion and frustration for many people here and around the world. To address the confusion and frustration, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has turned to social media. On its Facebook page, the Bureau provides FAQs on the immigrant visa backlog.
The FAQs cover a variety of topics. They explain that there is a backlog of immigrant visa interviews because of staff reductions due to the coronavirus. In addition, Presidential Proclamation 10014 and geographic COVID proclamations restricted visa processing for many immigrants for nearly a year.
The FAQs also address what the government is doing to reduce the backlog, reapplication procedures for individuals who were refused an immigrant visa due to Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983, K visas, diversity visas, and employment visas. There is a lot of information on this post. I recommend anyone affected by the backlog to check it out.
Proceed with Caution
As one can imagine, there are a lot of comments and questions from the public on this Facebook post. That is no surprise to me. However, I was somewhat shocked to see the government reply to one or two questions. There are also comments from others posing as experts. Maybe they have legit knowledge but do not accept their advice without conducting further research. As an immigration lawyer, I see far too much misinformation out there. Again, do not rely on these comments to move your immigration matter forward.
The promising part of this entire blog is that the government recognizes the immigrant visa backlog. More importantly, they are addressing the backlog and committed to reducing it. That said, if you are stuck in the backlog, please give me a call. Perhaps there are other solutions that we can find for you.