Changes in Visa Processing in Canada and Mexico
December 2001 - The State Department's Visa Office Managing Director has informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association that the processing of visa applications from third country nationals who are not resident in the consular districts of the border posts in Canada or Mexico has been suspended. Many existing nonimmigrant visa appointments, including appointments for H-1B visas, are being canceled. The Department states that this is a temporary measure.
The Department of State has indicated that it is concerned that the Immigration Service may soon be changing its practices on the borders. This appears to be a reference to readmission after a stay of less than 30 days in Canada or Mexico. The Department has indicated that it does not want to burden Canada and Mexico with a large number of visa applicants whose cases are pending background and security checks, but who may not be readmitted to the US.
Given these changes, non-Canadian and Non-Mexican individuals in the US who had planned to go to Canada or Mexico during the holidays and apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a consulate might well revise their plans in light of this advisory. For those who have already scheduled interview dates, it would be wise to call the post to check that the appointment has not been canceled.