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U.S. Embassy in Venezuela to Suspend Non-Emergency Visa Services

28 Jan

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the cessation of diplomatic ties with the United States and gave all U.S. Department of State (DOS) personnel located at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, 72 hours to leave the country of Venezuela. This announcement followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition on behalf of the United States of Juan Gauaido as the legitimate President of Venezuela on the same day.

Although U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initially dismissed this order from President Maduro as lacking authority, the DOS has partially complied with the request, withdrawing all non-essential diplomatic staff from Venezuela and announcing the suspension of “non-emergency” visa services in Caracas Venezuela.

In its security alert dated January 24, 2019, the DOS confirmed its limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela but did not address whether any services will be available to foreign nationals. However, generally speaking, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing will likely be considered non-emergency. Foreign nationals who would otherwise apply for visas at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela are recommended to review alternate Embassies or Consulates that:

  1. May accept jurisdiction based on the foreign national holding immigration status in another country; or,
  2. May accept applications filed by “third country national,” referring to the limited number of U.S. consular posts that do not require long-term immigration status in that “third country” to accept consular visa applications.

Please contact your Foster immigration attorney before traveling for or attending a U.S. nonimmigrant or immigrant visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, to review whether this consular post may accept your application or if an alternate Embassy or Consulate may accept jurisdiction or be more appropriate for your application.