My embassy is closed. Now what?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, D.C. One of the biggest headaches that people have right now in the whole world, when it comes to dealing with immigration, whether in the United States or outside, it's these embassy closures. The problem with embassy closures is they're really hard to overcome. Right now there are probably four or five embassies that are closed. COVID is peaking in certain areas of the country. The embassy in Iraq has been closed for over a year due to security concerns and nothing is happening. We have these clients, or these potential clients, who call us and they say, "Jim," or to the leads team, "Hey, leads team, I was just about to get my visa," or, "I was just about to have my interview for my visa. And now the embassy's closed. What can I do?"
Well, obviously, first of all, it's a really bad situation. You're now trying to make the best of a bad situation. You might be able to move your case to another embassy. That's a tough go, especially right now, because all the embassies are stretched to the gills. But one thing that we found is with our lawsuits, we have been able to get cases transferred to other embassies. It doesn't always work. It depends on the embassy. It depends if the embassy that is closed is still functioning. That is if they're not having public interactions, but they're still doing work. In those situations, we have been able to move them in certain circumstances. It doesn't always work though.
At the end of the day, if your embassy has been closed, you're pretty much frozen. You can try to move it to another embassy, but the chances for that are slim. We've actually stopped filing lawsuits for certain embassies right now, because we're not adding value. We're not getting the cases moving like we usually do. We have a few that we're trying to move to other embassies and we're doing our best to do that, but it's still really slow.
At the moment, with COVID... When under President Trump, with COVID, we weren't entirely sure that his closures were in good faith. We think that a lot of that was done politically because they just wanted to stop legal immigration into the United States. But now with Joe Biden's team, and Anthony Blinken as the Secretary of State, we feel like we're getting a fair shot. So if an embassy is really closed, I think it's really closed. And that's unfortunate, but that's sort of what we're seeing these days. If this changes, I'll update you, I'll do a new video. But at the moment, there are definitely embassies that are closed. There's not much you can do other than try to transfer or to just continue waiting.
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Thanks a lot, and we'll see you next time. And don't forget, Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central, I'm live in the Facebook group and on our YouTube channel, answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible.
Thanks a lot. We'll see you next time.