Posted: 1:41 am ET
Last month, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas announced that it is no longer able to provide new appointments for first-time business or tourist (B-1/B-2) visa applicants due to staff shortages. Apparently, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry has refused for many months to issue visas for Embassy personnel. So, there you go. Limited numbers of appointments are available for other temporary visas, and immigrant visas will continue to be processed but Venezuelans interested in visiting or conducting business in the United States will have to review their plans given the length of the wait time to get a visa appointment. Below is an excerpt from the embassy announcement:
If you are applying for a renewal of your valid U.S. visa or are a first-time applicant for any of the petition-based, student, or investor visas (E, F, J, M, H, I, L, O, P, Q, R, T, U), limited numbers of appointments for those visa types will be made available. Unfortunately, due to limited staff, wait times for these appointments will be much longer than in the past. During this time, we continue to offer appointments for immigrant visa applicants as these cases become ready for interview.
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry has refused for many months to issue visas for U.S. Embassy personnel, resulting in staff shortages throughout the Embassy and also preventing visits by technicians to maintain, upgrade and repair our consular computer systems. For many months, we have not had sufficient embassy personnel to handle the existing workload in Venezuela and, despite our best efforts, large backlogs of visa applications have accumulated. Once the Foreign Ministry resumes issuing visas for U.S. diplomatic personnel, and those staff members are able to start working, we will begin to restore full visa services to the Venezuelan public. We deeply regret that it is impossible for us to maintain our previous high standard of service to the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan citizens who visit the U.S. Embassy in Caracas each year. We ask for your understanding and cooperation as we all work to overcome the many challenges during the current difficult times.