Arbitrary and Unpredictable Consular Visa Processing Requests and Delays

As part of the executive order “Buy American and Hire American”, we are now seeing and hearing about arbitrary and unpredictable consular visa processing requests and delays. These include processing for L-1 multinational managers or specialized knowledge employees; E-2 investors; O-1 extraordinary alien; and H-1B professional workers after USCIS has already approved the petition.

This trend is unfortunately likely to continue because the Department of State updated the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which it uses as guidance for the adjudication of visa applications, ordering consular officers to specifically consider the spirit of the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order when making visa determinations. It is critical to know and understand that consular visa denials are essentially non-reviewable.

What does this mean for US businesses and foreign nationals seeking a visa? If your goal is to be successful in this important and needed process and lessen your stress, you need to stay informed, plan ahead, and partner with a knowledgeable immigration team that has your back.

We help employers and foreign nationals achieve their immigration goals. Please reach out to us at immigrationteam@marksgray.com.