Turkey, U.S., Suspend Visa Services

Following the arrest of a U.S. Consulate employee in Istanbul last week, the U.S. Mission to Turkey announced on October 8, 2017, the immediate suspension of nonimmigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey. Shortly after the announcement, the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., responded in kind by suspending all visa services for U.S. citizens at all of its diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S.

Nonimmigrant visas such as business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, student (F-1 and M-1) visas, and specialty occupation (H-1B) visas allow foreign nationals entry into the United States for a temporary time. The suspension of nonimmigrant visa services is expected to affect thousands of Turkish nationals. Unlike most European countries, Turkey is not part of the Visa Waiver Program that permits foreign nationals of certain countries to enter the United States without a visa.

Turkish nationals who are already in possession of valid U.S. visas will not be affected by the suspension. The suspension will also not preclude individuals from applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Turkey. There is no word yet on when the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey plan to resume nonimmigrant visa services.