The U.S. Consulate in Toronto recently announced it is suspending visa processing for third country nationals seeking visa appointments in Toronto during June, July and August of this year.
The suspension primarily affects non-Canadians, many of whom are in H-1B or L status in the U.S. and who are intending to travel to Canada to renew their visas to avoid lengthy trips back to their home countries. The suspension does not apply to third country nationals living in Canada and should not affect third country nationals with an appointment already scheduled for this summer. The Consulate may grant emergency appointment requests on a case-by-case basis.
Visa processing is still available for third country nationals this summer at other U.S. Consulates in Canada, including Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Halifax, and Vancouver. While these consulates intend to remain open, it is possible that they will take similar action as the consulate in Toronto. Individuals seeking to renew their visas in Canada should schedule their appointments as soon as possible.
The announcement follows similar suspensions by U.S. Consulates in Canada during the summer in 2014. At that time, all the Canadian Consulates closed their doors to third country nationals seeking to renew their visas.
The U.S. State Department generally recommends that individuals renew their visas in their home countries where they have already been approved for a visa. One potential downside for a third party national who does not apply for a visa in his or her home country is that if the visa is denied, the applicant will not be permitted to reenter the U.S. with an expired visa. The applicant will have to travel directly to his or her home country and receive a new visa before being able to return to the U.S.
For more information about obtaining visas, whether as third country nationals or in your home country, please contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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