We are very fortunate here in the U.S. as we continue to make great progress re-opening following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many other countries are still struggling with the pandemic, their economies and infrastructures. Because of this, U.S. embassies are typically limited to the conditions in their host countries. Since our clients have family in many countries across the globe, we are always trying to keep up-to-date with the status of the various U.S. Embassies. While most embassies are still limiting their services to emergency visas and green card requests for family of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, we are starting to see announcements of various embassies providing more services.
The two countries that we have recently obtained updated information are Mexico and Turkey. In Mexico, most of the 10 consular offices are handling a number of different visas. Right now, they are processing requests for renewals of nonimmigrant visas like tourist visas as well as new requests for student and certain work visas but they are not processing any new tourist visa requests or other types of visas, such as investor visas. Immigrant visa services for green cards and fiancé visas are now moving forward with thousands of backlogged interviews finally being scheduled. This is wonderful news for those with family member in Mexico.
The situation in Turkey is still very limited with only requests for the following services being conducted: immigrant visas for immediate relatives and fiancés of American Citizens, adoption cases, family-based immigrant visas for relatives of American Citizens and lawful permanent residents, diversity visas (for Turkish Nationals only), employment-based visas (for Turkish Nationals only). The embassy specifically states that they are only providing requests for new green card filings to those with exceptional circumstances (emergencies) and that they are not providing services for family members of asylum seekers.
Although both embassies are moving steadily forward, it is important for immigrants and non-immigrants to understand that things will continue to be unpredictable and will change depending on the continued fight against the pandemic. It is also important to know that different protocols are in place for those with business in these embassies, especially the requirement to prove an applicant has been vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If an applicant cannot prove this at the time of their interview, they will be denied their request and will not be allowed to enter the U.S. This is why it is extremely important for everyone with upcoming interviews in any embassy to carefully review the provided instructions for the specific process you are involved with.
Other recommendations for those with upcoming interviews are to make sure to carefully review the instructions for the medical portion of the process since many embassies might be processing requests but medical facilities in the host country may not be able to provide normal services. The medical exam is a critical part of any immigrant visa and no approval will be given without having a passing medical exam. Our advice is to make medical exam scheduling a top priority as you move forward in the interview preparation part of your process. Other priorities are for those who need to obtain specific documents from their government such as police clearance letters, current passports or other original documents. Do not wait if you need to obtain these documents and remember that local government offices will not have availability or normal business hours and may take weeks to process requests for documents.
Our office is always available to answer questions about immigration processes or current procedures and we have never stopped processing new or renewal immigration requests. If you have any questions, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation at 616-805-3435.