Information for Visa Applicants about the Current State of Visa Services

VIsa close up

Information for visa applicants about the current state of visa services:  As of March 19, 2020, the United States Embassy in Nur-Sultan and Consulate General in Almaty suspended routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  We continue to provide emergency and mission critical services as described below.

Immigrant Visas: The Consulate General in Almaty has resumed processing immigrant visa cases for applicants who are exempt from the Presidential Proclamation titled “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants who present a Risk to the US Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” issued on June 22, 2020. Beneficiaries of IR1, IR2, CR1, CR2, and K visa cases who have already attended their visa interviews in Almaty and were refused under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act may submit pending documentation to continue their case processing. Documents for pending cases in any other visa category will not be processed at this time. Documents and passports may be submitted through courier delivery only. Click here for instructions on submitting your documents. 

The National Visa Center (NVC) is scheduling interview appointments for new applicants for IR1, CR1, IR2, and CR2 visas.  U.S. Consulate General Almaty continues to contact new applicants for K1 and K2 visas whose cases have been received from NVC with instructions for scheduling interview appointments.  

No appointments are available for regular immigrant visa interviews for all other visa categories.  Applicants for visas in the Family Preference (F) categories in which a dependent child will turn 21 (“age out”) before December 31, 2020, with an approved petition that is pending scheduling of an interview by the National Visa Center, may submit a request for an emergency appointment by emailing NVCExpedite@state.gov

Note that submitting a request for an emergency appointment does not guarantee that your request will be approved. Requests should include a detailed explanation of your urgent need to travel.  

Replacing expired immigrant visas:  The Consulate General in Almaty is processing applications to replace expired immigrant visas for individuals exempt from Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052.  This includes individuals who possessed an immigrant visa that was valid on April 23, 2020 that subsequently expired before the individual was able to travel to the United States due to COVID-19-related travel disruptions.  

These individuals must request a follow-up immigrant visa appointment through our online scheduling system.  If the appointment request is approved, individuals should prepare the following documents to bring to the appointment:

1) New visa fee

2) Passport with expired visa

3) Visa packet (if applicable)

4) New medical examination

5) New police certificate(s)

(6) For relationship-based cases (IR1, CR1, K1), evidence of ongoing relationship with the petitioner from the time of previous interview to the present

7) Document delivery address confirmation letter

Nonimmigrant Visas: As of October 21, 2020, the United States Embassy in Nur-Sultan and Consulate General in Almaty are providing certain nonimmigrant visa services, including: F, M, certain J categories (alien physician, government visitor, international visitor professor, research scholar, short-term research scholar, specialist, secondary school student and college/university student), C1/D, H, L, E, I, O, and P visas. Click here for more information.

Visa renewals by interview waiver: The Embassy in Nur-Sultan is accepting interview waiver applications for qualifying renewal applicants in certain visa categories, including B1/B2. Until December 31, 2020, individuals with a currently valid visa or whose visa expired within the last 24 months may submit an interview waiver renewal application.  Click here for more information. 

Visas previously refused under 221(g): Nonimmigrant visa applicants who have already attended an interview but whose applications were refused under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, regardless of visa category, may submit additional information by courier. Click here for more information on submitting pending documentation for your visa application. 

While the Embassy and Consulate aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/kz/kz-niv-expeditedappointment.asp (for non-immigrant visas).