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BREAKING: US Embassy in Russia suspends issuing of ‘Non-Immigrant’ Visas

The move will make both business travel and tourism to Russia much more difficult

The US Embassy in Russia has announced it has suspended the issuing of so-called ‘Non-Immigrant Visas’ in Russia. This move will remain indefinite for US consulates throughout Russia while services in Moscow will apparently resume after the 1st of September, 2017, the date after which 755 US diplomatic workers will be eventuated from Russia.

The US defines the following types of individuals who seek to travel to the US as those requiring ‘Non-Immigrant Visas’.

Purpose of Travel Visa Category Required: Before applying for visa*
Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only) B-1 (NA)
Au pair (exchange visitor) J SEVIS
Australian professional specialty E-3 DOL
Border Crossing Card: Mexico BCC (NA)
Business visitor B-1 (NA)
CNMI-only transitional worker CW-1 (USCIS)
Crewmember D (NA)
Diplomat or foreign government official A  (NA)
Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer B-1 (NA)
Employee of a designated international organization or NATO   G1-G5, NATO (NA)
Exchange visitor J SEVIS
Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States A-2
NATO1-6
(NA)
Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics O USCIS
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional:
Chile, Singapore
H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore
DOL
International cultural exchange visitor Q USCIS
Intra-company transferee L USCIS
Medical treatment, visitor for B-2 (NA)
Media, journalist I (NA)
NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada TN/TD (NA)
Performing athlete, artist, entertainer P USCIS
Physician J , H-1B SEVIS
Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor) J SEVIS
Religious worker R USCIS
Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge H-1B DOL then USCIS
Student: academic, vocational F, M SEVIS
Temporary agricultural worker H-2A DOL then USCIS
Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature. H-2B DOL then USCIS
Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor B-2 (NA)
Training in a program not primarily for employment H-3 USCIS
Treaty trader/treaty investor E (NA)
Transiting the United States C (NA)
Victim of Criminal Activity U USCIS
Victim of Human Trafficking T USCIS
Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) V (NA)
Renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO Visas (NA)

This includes virtually all individuals seeking to travel to the US except those with American family members, refugees and those who have obtained traditional employment on US soil.

The move is seemingly a response to Russia forcing the US to withdraw 775 US diplomats and diplomatic staff from Russia which itself was a retaliatory measure against Barack Obama’s illegal seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States during which he also kicked Russian diplomats and embassy staff out of the US. That crisis has still not been resolved.

Donald Trump previously “thanked” President Putin for forcing a limitation on US Embassy staff in the country as it would keep costs down.

Russian Federation Council Deputy Andrei Klimov has said that Russia would respond to this latest move by US. He stated,

“This is of course a demarche. We cannot stay in debt. Everything here is obviously going to be mirrored”.

It is not yet know what moves Russia will take against US visitors to the Russian Federation, as Russian visas tend to be less complex than their American counterparts.

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