MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. All US consulates in Russia have resumed processing nonimmigrant visa cases that do not require interviews, Spokesperson at the US embassy in Moscow Maria Olson told TASS on Friday.
"We resumed limited nonimmigrant services on September 1 in Moscow, and the three consulates resumed processing nonimmigrant visa cases that do not require interviews," she said.
"Unfortunately, we cannot process as many visas with our reduced staffing," Olson added.
She pointed out that "US law permits consular officers to waive the interview requirement in certain limited categories (including those under age 14 or older than age 79 and those renewing a visa in the same visa class within 12 months of expiration)."
"Consular officers may require any applicant to appear for an interview and must require that any applicant appear for an in-person interview in any situation where information provided on the application or during the screening process indicates any reason for further questioning," the US embassy’s spokesperson said adding that "all visa applications, including those for which the visa interview is waived, are subject to the same rigorous security screening."
US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman earlier pledged to do everything to promote people to people ties between the two countries despite difficulties surrounding the issuance of US visas to Russians.
Following Moscow’s proposal that the US diplomatic staff in Russia be reduced, the US embassy suspended nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia. On September 1, visa operations resumed, but only in Moscow. Nonimmigrant visa interviews at the US consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok remain suspended.