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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawK-1 Visa Process: What to Expect When Embassies Reopen

K-1 Visa Process: What to Expect When Embassies Reopen

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing what will happen when Embassies reopen and what will happen specifically with respect to the K-1 visa process

This situation is rather unprecedented for lack of a better term. There really has not been something like this where I have seen it just totally shut down; specifically an Embassy but the Visa Unit at an Embassy. Now I have seen similar circumstances in my time dealing with Consular processing specifically here at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand most notably Government shutdowns have resulted in the past with the Visa unit being closed. The most recent one NO, but the time before that YES. 

The other thing I have dealt with the Embassy shutdowns involved for example the on-the-ground political situation in Thailand which resulted in the Embassy suspending services for a temporary period of time. I have also dealt for many years with the standard holiday schedule and I think through an analysis of all of these, it provides some insight into what it would look like when the Embassy reopens in how they are going to deal with K-1 visa processing thereafter. I think we need to look at this like as if they were coming off a prolonged holiday although the caseload is likely to be higher and they are also likely to be dealing with problems as a result of internal logistics in trying to push this case load out.

We may end up with some new regulations especially regarding things like medical exams perhaps for COVID-19 specifically; that remains to be seen. Just as a logistical matter, I think the best way to look at this is in much the same vein as when the Embassy came on line following the Government shutdown or a long holiday for example in December. Yes it takes them a minute to sort of get those wheels moving again. It is not going to just immediately just flip a switch and be processing visas out. They have got to reschedule interviews. If they are dealing with 221g follow-ups for further documentation that have got a deal with that. There are a lot of moving parts to dealing with a Visa Unit so don't expect it to just come online immediately. It is going to take a minute but yes I think once it does, once those gears get moving we are going to see things start to process through not overly dissimilarly to how they processed prior to the lockdown taking effect.