June 13, 2021

Volume XI, Number 164

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June 11, 2021

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U.S. Embassy in Moscow Announces Significant Reduction of Consular Services

U.S. Embassy Moscow recently announced plans to reduce its consular workforce by 75 percent and significantly reduce its consular services. The announcement comes in response to the Russian government’s move to ban the U.S. Embassy “from employing foreign nationals in any capacity,” actions taken in retaliation to new U.S. sanctions imposed over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and the country’s involvement in the computer hack of top U.S. government agencies.

Effective May 12, 2021, U.S. Embassy Moscow will provide only emergency U.S. citizen services and a very limited number of immigrant visa services for age-out cases and life or death emergencies. U.S. Embassy Moscow will no longer offer nonimmigrant visa processing for nondiplomatic travel, and will cease “routine notarial services, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, [and] renewal passport services.”

Residents in Russia who require a new U.S. passport to remain legally present, or who require emergency services based on a life or death emergency, may contact U.S. Embassy Moscow via email.

U.S. Embassy Moscow “strongly urge[s]” U.S. citizens present in Russia with an expired visa to leave the country prior to June 15, 2021—the deadline set by the Russian government—or visit a local Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) office to initiate any required processes to stay in Russia.

Employers and foreign nationals who are impacted by this new policy may wish to consider alternative options available to Russian nationals seeking U.S. visa services, including alternative processes to obtain employer-sponsored work visas and/or tourist visas.

© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 133
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About this Author

James Garilas, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Immigration Attorney
Associate

James Garilas joined the firm as an Associate in August 2016, where he practices business immigration law.  He is a 2013 graduate of the College of Charleston, where he earned a B.S. in Economics, cum laude.  James received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in May 2016, where he graduated cum laude.  During law school, James served as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Law and Education.  Prior to joining the firm as an Associate, James served as a law clerk for the General Counsel at a large regional...

803-252-1300
Mueller, Shareholder, Columbia
Shareholder

Bernhard Mueller is a member of the International Practice Group of Ogletree Deakins and has more than 14 years of experience in handling employment and immigration law matters for multinational corporations. A native of Germany, Bernhard focuses his international employment practice on Europe, Canada, Latin America and Africa, where he has handled matters involving global workforce mobility, European data privacy / data protection compliance issues, global sales incentive pay plans, employment and expatriate assignment contracts, employer policies and handbooks,...

803-252-1300
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