Sunday, June 28, 2020

COVID-Related Consular Closures Affect Many

United States Department of State, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out this WSJ journal piece about how COVID-related closures of U.S. consulates have stranded immigrants around the globe.

The fact that people have been unable to schedule consular appointments since March -- to get their visas stamped or to complete required interviews -- may be affecting "hundreds of thousands of people world-wide ... based on the average number of visas the State Department issued each month during the last fiscal year."

The WSJ does a good job of explaining that these hurdles are a direct result of COVID-related precautions on the part of the U.S. State Department. Thus, this is a problem that has been brewing since the start of the nation's response to the outbreak in mid-March. As such, the problems PRE-date by months the President's new efforts to pause employment-based migration.

The article notes that for one international student, delays in processing may delay educational opportunities in the fall. If his experience is being replicated around the globe, it's entirely possible we're going to see our first dip in international student enrollment in many years.


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