Person writing on visa application.

Newly released data from the U.S. Department of State shows that U.S. consular posts abroad have made significant progress in reaching pre-pandemic levels of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa issuance during fiscal year (FY) 2022. Top-line numbers published in the Report of the Visa Office 2022 show that immigrant visas are now being issued in higher numbers than before the pandemic, whereas nonimmigrant visa issuance has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels (though FY 2022 issuance increased more than 144 percent compared to FY 2021).

Specifically, State Department data shows the following visa issuance totals from FY 2019 through FY 2022:

Immigrant Visa Issuance

  • FY 2019: 462,422
  • FY 2020: 240,526
  • FY 2021: 285,069
  • FY 2022: 493,448

Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance

  • FY 2019: 8,742,068
  • FY 2020: 4,013,210
  • FY 2021: 2,792,083
  • FY 2022: 6,815,120

While the State Department has started to resume routine visa services and is working to resolve COVID-19–related backlogs, each consular post continues to be uniquely impacted by the pandemic. Various factors, including the backlog of current visa appointments at popular consulates, evolving COVID-19 conditions, and whether an applicant is a third-country national continue to impact the availability of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments at specific consular posts around the globe.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor these and other policy developments and will post updates on the Immigration blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.


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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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