Kathmandu: The US Embassy in Kathmandu has said that it will restart visa-related work as soon as the lockdown in Kathmandu is lifted.
The Embassy said it will start processing visas after the lockdown is lifted and applicants are permitted to travel to their interview appointments and the Embassy is able to reopen.
Here is Q&A by the US Embassy regarding US visa-related concerns and queries:
Q: When will the US Embassy Kathmandu begin 2021 Diversity Visa interview appointments?
A: As long as Kathmandu remains under lockdown orders by the Government of Nepal, the US Embassy will remain closed for all routine services. Once we are able to reopen and Nepali citizens are allowed by the Government of Nepal to conduct movements for non-emergency services, we will begin processing the backlog of immigrant visa applications in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of our personnel, applicants, and the public. We will prioritize immigrant visa applicants whose appointments were canceled due to the lockdown and resume immigrant visa services following the guidelines established by the US Department of State.
Prioritizing family reunification takes prominence under the United States’ immigration policy and law, as expressed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The US Congress has specifically set forth that the Department must adopt a policy of prioritizing immediate relative visa applicants and K-1 fiancées of US citizens, followed by family preference immigrant visa applicants.
We acknowledge the stress and hardships all visa petitioners and applicants have borne during the past year of the Embassy’s reduced operating capacity as a result of Covid-19. Our measures have been inplace to protect health and safety and to comply with local requirements in support of the Government of Nepal’s efforts to control the pandemic, as well as COVID-related limitations on their travel or visa issuance.
For detailed information on our policy regarding the visa application backlog, please visit the following link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/visas-backlog.html
Q: What efforts are being made to process 2021 Diversity Visa applicants?
A: The Department of State is making every effort to process Diversity Visa applications, consistent with visa priorities such as family-based visa cases, despite the severe operational constraints and backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because of COVID-19, the number of Diversity Visas issued will likely not reach the statutory ceiling in Fiscal Year 2021.
As the global situation continues to evolve, the Department is continuously seeking ways to efficiently process visa applications around the world, consistent with both guidance from health authorities and with the US travel restrictions currently in place.
Q: Will DV-2021 applicants who are unable to be interviewed by September 30 be considered for DV-2022?
A: DV-2021 selectees may only be interviewed in the 2021 fiscal year, which ends September 30. These applicants may re-enter the Diversity Visa program if they are from a country whose nationals are eligible for the Diversity Visa program in future years. Selection is random and being selected previously will not influence future entries.
Q: Why are you going forward with the DV-2022 selection process when many DV-2021 selectees are not being interviewed due to the visa backlog?
A: The Diversity Visa program was established by statute. There have been no changes to the DV program. We will continue to interview DV-2021 applicants as resources and local conditions allow, until the end of fiscal year 2021. DV-2021 processing will not overlap with the processing of DV-2022 applications during the next fiscal year.
Q: When will the Embassy start processing visas?
A: The US Embassy in Kathmandu will restart visa-related work as soon as the lockdown in Kathmandu has been lifted by the Government of Nepal and applicants are permitted by the Government of Nepal to travel to their interview appointments and we are able to reopen. Once we are able to reopen, we will begin processing the backlog of immigrant visa applications in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of our personnel, applicants, and the public. We will prioritize immigrant visa applicants whose appointments were canceled due to the lockdown and resume immigrant visa services following the guidelines established by the US Department of State.