The U.S. State Department has announced that it will reduce the number of locations where it conducts visa interviews in China for H and L visa applicants from five locations to three.

Key points: 

  • Beginning March 1, H and L interviews will only be conducted at the U.S. missions in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Interviews at the U.S. consulates in Chengdu and Shenyang will be discontinued as of that date.
  • According to the announcement, the change is being made because of the volume and complexity of H and L cases and the need to distribute resources more efficiently to process them.

BAL Analysis: Employers sponsoring applicants in China for H and L visas should be aware of the change and factor in additional time and expense for applicants in the northeastern and western regions of China who will need to travel considerable distances to one of the remaining three locations. They also should anticipate closer scrutiny of these applications from examiners who are more expert in reviewing them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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