African visa applicants facing extensive challenges

The pandemic affected many functions of the U.S. government, including immigration processes. Because of the shutdown and less staffing at many offices, including in Louisiana, there is an extensive backlog of visa applications in most categories. Reports indicate that Africans have seen the steepest decline in visas issued under the Biden administration, in relation to visa applicants from other countries, because of these delays and other issues.

Easing the backlog

Over the last few months, more immigration offices have reopened, and it is hoped that this will help speed up the visa application process and ease the backlog. However, consulates in Africa have been slower to reopen, leaving many still facing a lengthy and frustrating process. This disparity could put immigrants from certain countries at an unfair disadvantage compared to visa applicants from other regions.

Numbers from the Department of State indicate that visas are being granted at a rate similar to pre-pandemic levels. Despite the faster processing, this has done little to ease the backlog of hundreds of thousands of applications still waiting for approval. One reason for lower rates of visa approval for applicants from Africa is said to be due to less priority given to the diversity visa lottery program.

Help for navigating the visa application process

Securing a visa can be a difficult process, especially with the current backlog of applications. Those seeking permission to enter the United States to live and work in Louisiana will find it beneficial to work with an experienced immigration law attorney at every step. This guidance may help one avoid complications and accomplish his or her immigration goals in a timelier manner.