Despite a new administration no action was ever taken by President Biden to revoke Proclamation 10052. This Trump Proclamation suspended entry of certain nonimmigrants in the US and including those on H-1B, H-2B, J and L1s and was extended by Trump by Proclamation 10131 until March 31, 2021.
However, the Department of State (DOS) has now confirmed that this proclamation expired on March 31, 2021 and that applicants who were previously refused a visa may reapply by submitting a new application.
However, while this is great news the expiration of this proclamation will not result in the immediate issuance of visas. Although DOS has confirmed that they will prioritize visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview, the resumption of services will occur in phases.
A number of Consulates have confirmed that they are prioritizing immigrant visas over nonimmigrant visas. According to the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) the National Visa Center (NVC) has over half a million immigrant visa cases ready to be forwarded to the Consulates. This means that obtaining an interview for a nonimmigrant may still take some time, especially given that the pandemic continues to affect the ability of Consulates to resume normal services. We are therefore advising our clients to expect further delays in obtaining new visas and to avoid leaving the US to go for stamping unless absolutely necessary.
While some clients have attempted to go for visa stamping in Mexico and Canada we are hearing reports that interviews are not available until at least August, 2021.
While we understand this situation is extremely frustrating, we hope that over the next 6 months we will see a significant improvement in the provision of visa services. We are also working with clients in the US to get cases approved in the US rather than Consular processing, to avoid the hassle of having to leave and potentially be outside of the US for an extended period of time.
We will continue to provide updates when the Department of State provides more information. If you have any specific questions about Consular processing please contact PLG Partner Chris Prescott firstname.lastname@example.org.