Russian authorities announced Thursday that they will expel U.S. diplomats and close the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.

Key points:

  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry ordered 60 U.S. diplomats to leave the country by April 5.
  • Officials also said Russia would close the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg. U.S. consulates in Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg will continue to operate.
  • The move follows the U.S.’s decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian consulate in Seattle after the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England earlier this month.

BAL Analysis: Applicants should anticipate delays as a result of the closure and the loss of diplomatic staff in Russia. The U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg has not announced how it will handle pending applications, but when it suspended nonimmigrant visas services in August 2017, pending applicants with scheduled interviews were contacted to reschedule at another location. BAL is following developments and will report additional information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global and U.S. practice groups. For additional information, please contact

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