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VENEZUELA – Diplomatic Developments Affect U.S. and Venezuelan Visas

9 Mar

Recent diplomatic events in Venezuela are impacting visa processing in both countries.

U.S. Nationals No Longer Visa-Waiver Eligible

On March 2, the Venezuelan government announced that the United States has been removed from the list of nations whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Venezuela for tourist purposes. U.S. nationals seeking to enter Venezuela for tourism will now have to apply for a Venezuelan Tourist Visa (Visa de Turismo).

Previously, visa processing times at Venezuelan consulates in the U.S. has been up to two weeks. However, given the corresponding increase in visa applications, applicants can expect delays in visa processing times as Venezuelan consulates absorb the additional volume.

Forced Reduction in U.S. Embassy Staffing in Caracas

On the same day, the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela would be required to reduce the number of staff from 100 to 17 in fifteen days. Accordingly, Venezuelans and any other foreign nationals applying for U.S. visas at the Embassy in Caracas should expect a corresponding delay in processing times and scheduling of appointments. Venezuelan nationals who plan to apply for a U.S. visa and have residency in another country may want to consider applying at a different U.S. consular post to avoid these issues. Please contact Foster if you would like assistance investigating alternative filing strategies for your U.S. visa case.

As always, Foster will continue to monitor changes in requirements and procedures that have an impact on immigration-related benefits and requirements, and will provide future updates via our firm’s website at