Information for Visa Applicants about the Current State of Visa Services

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Information for visa applicants about the current state of visa services:   The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan understands that many non-immigrant visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are waiting to schedule a visa appointment.  We have restored all routine visa operations as of December 2, 2020. For non-immigrant visa receipts valid on or after March 19, 2020 or purchased between March 19, 2020 and December 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of State extended the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.  Fees paid on or after December 2, 2020 are valid for one year from the date of payment.

Immigrant Visas: Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014, which prohibited the entry of certain categories of immigrants into the United States, was rescinded on February 24, 2021.  

The Consulate General in Almaty has resumed processing immigrant visa cases for all visa categories, including those previously subject to PP10014.  Applicants who had previously attended a visa interview prior to the enactment of PP10014 on April 23, 2020, and were refused under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, may resume case processing.  Please contact USAKZ@state.gov for further instructions.  This guidance does not apply to Diversity Visa (DV) applicants who participated in the DV2020 program year.  Please see below for more information for DV applicants. 

Diversity Visa 2020 Applicants:  Those holding Diversity Visas (DVs) issued in 2020 that are still valid may seek entry to the United States immediately, despite the visa annotation, “Entry Subject to PP 10014.”  Individuals whose DV-2020 visas have expired may not be issued replacement visas; however, individuals who received DVs in 2020 as a result of orders in the court case Gomez v. Trump may travel to the United States on an expired visa as the court ordered the government to treat these visas as though they were issued on the date P.P. 10014 was rescinded.  The court did not specify for how long the visas would be considered valid.  Therefore, applicants wishing to benefit from the order are encouraged to travel as soon as practicable as the order could change.  

The Secretary of State has granted a national interest exception for Diversity Visa (DV) applicants for the 2020 fiscal year (DV-2020) who hold a valid immigrant visa and are subject to the geographic COVID-19 Presidential Proclamations.  In addition, DV applicants for DV-2020 who were not issued visas before September 30, 2020 for any reason, including P.P. 10014, will not be interviewed, scheduled, or reconsidered for visas, as those applicants were only eligible for issuance of a visa through the end of the 2020 fiscal year, which ended on September 30, 2020.

Diversity Visa 2021 Applicants:  DV applicants for the 2021 fiscal year (DV-2021) should wait to be notified of the scheduling of an interview by the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC).

The National Visa Center (NVC) and Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) are scheduling interview appointments for new immigrant visa cases.  U.S. Consulate General Almaty continues to contact applicants for K visas whose cases have been received from NVC with instructions for scheduling interview appointments.  

Please be aware that due to substantial backlogs, there may be a wait time of several months to receive an interview appointment for cases that are current and documentarily qualified.  Applicants with an urgent travel need whose cases are documentarily qualified and pending scheduling of an interview appointment by the National Visa Center may submit a request for an emergency appointment by emailing NVCExpedite@state.gov

The Embassy and Consulate General are also accepting appointment requests from boarding foil and returning resident permit applicants.  To request an appointment for these services, please contact USAKZ@state.gov

Nonimmigrant Visas: The United States Embassy in Nur-Sultan and U.S. Consulate General in Almaty are providing all nonimmigrant visa services.  

Visa renewals by interview waiver: The U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan and the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty are is accepting interview waiver applications for qualifying renewal applicants in certain visa categories, including B1/B2.  The Consulate General will accept interview waiver applications until March 8; beginning on March 9, 2021, all interview waiver applications will be processed by the Embassy in Nur-Sultan.  Until March December 31, 2021, 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. 

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 need to travel, please submit a request for an expedited appointment in accordance with the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/kz/kz-niv-expeditedappointment.asp.  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.