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Consulate Closures

As of April 8th, 2021, 76% of U.S. consulates remain fully or partially closed to visa processing to safeguard against the pandemic. This affects 71% of all visa applicants. While President Biden ended President Trump’s immigrant visa ban, this number of closures essentially continues the ban on legal immigration.

According to a February 2021 State Department filing, the State Department must address a backlog of 473,000 “documentarily qualified” family-based immigration visa applications. These are applications where only the consular interview remains to be done. Each month tens of thousands of applications are added to the queue. The Biden administration has not provided a clear plan yet to fully reopen the consulates and address the backlog.

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