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BREAKING IT DOWN: US Visa Issuance at Consulates Declines for Second Consecutive Year

State department reports indicate that US visa issuance at consulates worldwide has declined for the second consecutive year.

Nonimmigrant Visas

In 2018, the number of nonimmigrant visas issued declined by 6.7% from the numbers of visas issued in 2017. In 2017, there was also a 6.7% decline of visas issued as compared with 2016.

Immigrant Visas (Green Cards processed by US Consulates Overseas)

Between 2018 and 2017, green card issuance dropped 4.6%. This statistic includes a 7% decline in family-based green cards for immediate relatives.

Experts attribute this decline in large part to the Trump Administration's Buy American and Hire American executive order issued in April 2017. This executive order instructed federal agencies to use more scrutiny when adjudicating visa applications. In addition, experts also suspect that the number of family-based green cards for immediate relatives has dropped due to the Trump Administration's public charge rule. The public charge rule aims to make it more difficult for visa applicants to obtain legal status if they rely or have relied on public benefits.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit agreed to keep in place a nationwide injunction, which has prevented this rule from taking effect. Today, President Trump asked the US Supreme Court to override the injunction to allow the rule to be enforced.

Please feel free to contact Ayla Adomat at if you have any questions.

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