Last year (2021) we updated Russian visas; now my husband's U.S. visa has expired.
In the old days he didn't even need an interview in order to renew it. He just mailed it off via a courier there and back. And good for 3 years.
But 2022. Surprisingly, Covid-19 is not actually the problem. It's diplomacy...or lack thereof. The Consulates and even Embassy in Moscow have ceased issuing visas due to lack of staff due to conflict between the U.S. and Russia. The one in St. Petersburg is completely closed.
If you've lived abroad, you may have relied on your Embassy or Consulate for help with renewing a passport, issuing birth certificates, notarial services, etc. U.S. expats don't have that available to them in Russia anymore. It's so strange because it's not like we're in a war zone or natural disaster area. Just bad international relations.
We went to the U.S. last year for several months for new passports. It was a good trip except for Andrei needing to stay in Russia for work.
|2021 Family Portrait|
So now we are looking at countries where Andrei could ENTER in order to apply for a U.S. visa and stick around long enough to get his passport/visa back. It's pretty tricky because countries give precedence to their own residents. You might wait 6 months for an appointment...or you might jump on and see that there are a few slots available in one week's time. But first, you have to pick a destination and indicate that on your application form. You can't choose one country and then get an appointment somewhere else.
And here, coronavirus does play a role, because all countries have different entry/quarantine requirements at the moment AND we can't predict what those requirements will be by the time of the appointment. It could all get cancelled.
|Did someone say "Covid"?|
P.S. I'm fiddling with the design on my blog, but as you can tell there are some technical difficulties...