The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines released its August update and reiterated that only limited scheduled appointments are being made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous visa applicants have been waiting for their visa interviews to be scheduled resulting in a severe backlog of cases on all immigrant visa categories.
The U.S. Embassy is using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications, based on the category of immigrant visa in priority order:
- Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)
- Tier Two: Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
- Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
- Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and Diversity Visas
There is no specific date given on when the resumption of full visa services or processing of a specific category of visa would occur. If there is an emergency requiring urgent travel, a request for expedite may be made through the U.S. Embassy website.