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US visa process – more scrutiny and longer processing times expected

US visa process – more scrutiny expected

Longer processing times should be taken into consideration when planning assignments to the US.

Longer processing times should be taken into consideration when planning assignments.

US immigration policy is becoming tighter. Processing times for certain visa categories to the US have become longer, and more applications are receiving requests for additional information or even refusals. 

Furthermore, the ongoing partial shutdown of the US federal government may affect the operations of US Consulates and Embassies around the world and cause additional delays.

During the present US government, KPMG immigration specialists have witnessed a growing number of requests for additional information or RFEs (Request for Evidence) from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS. An additional information request always means a delay in the visa process.

However, the delays can be mitigated by addressing the information request as soon as possible and delivering the requested documentation. If possible, it is preferred that the local embassy processes the visa application instead of the USCIS. For example, intra-company transferee visas are processed by local embassies if the transferee’s company has been pre-approved on a company blanket.

Current US government shutdown

The ongoing partial shutdown of the US federal government may currently cause additional delays. Services to American citizens are expected to be provided by US Consulates and Embassies as an “essential” government function, but visa appointments and consular interviews are very likely to be affected by the shutdown.

Visa appointments and consular interviews scheduled for a date after December 21, 2018 may be cancelled or significantly delayed.

In addition, individuals who attended a visa appointment just prior to or on December 21, 2018 may not have received their visa and passport prior to the shutdown. The USCIS and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may also be affected by the shutdown, although not as likely as the US Consulates and Embassies.

KPMG Immigration services

Please see here for the most recent KPMG Flash Alerts on the US government shutdown and other immigration news. 

KPMG’s Immigration team is here to assist with US immigration related questions or other immigration matters.

For more information or inquiries, please contact:


Annika Sandblom

KPMG Tax & Legal Partner, Head of Immigration

+358 40 773 2511


Anna Kurronen

Immigration Specialist

+358 40 650 0679
 

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