The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson directed all US diplomatic and consular posts worldwide for an immediate implementation of heightened scrutiny of visa applications. This is in compliance with the President’s extreme vetting agenda.
The consulates are ordered to develop criteria for identifying population groups warranting tougher visa screening. If a consular officer determines that the visa applicant may have links with any terrorist groups or has been present in a territory controlled by the Islamic State, the applicant will be subject to mandatory review of his/her social media activity. Such a review is understood to be time consuming and labor intensive process. So, to accommodate this visa requirement, lesser appointments will be scheduled per day. This will certainly create a back log in adjudicating visa applications.
Hence, a global trend will be observed with increase in visa processing time and decrease in the visa appointment availability. We hope this will not cause harassment to ordinary individuals and not interrupt foreign travelers from coming to US for tourism, vacation or medical reasons, especially with summers soon approaching.