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:   The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan understands that many non-immigrant visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still 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. Mission 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: 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. 

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 K visas whose cases have been received from NVC with instructions for scheduling interview appointments. 

No appointments are available for other immigrant visa categories while this Presidential Proclamation remains in effect.  Applicants for visas in the Family Preference (F) categories in which a dependent child will turn 21 (“age out”) before March 31, 2021, 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

The Embassy and Consulate General are also accepting appointment requests from boarding foil and returning resident permit applicants.  

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 which 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: 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 Embassy in Nur-Sultan and the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty are accepting interview waiver applications for qualifying renewal applicants in certain visa categories, including B1/B2. Until March 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 follow 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.