US Has No Restrictions on Issuing Visas to Russians – Julie Stufft

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Indian passport with US currency notes and American flag in the background, symbolizing the effort of Indian workers seeking American H-1B visas to immigrate to America and earn American currency. Indian and Chinese workers are the ones most involved in the H1B visa program and affected by delays related to transitioning to green cards. GETTY
Indian passport with US currency notes and American flag in the background, symbolizing the effort of Indian workers seeking American H-1B visas to immigrate to America and earn American currency. Indian and Chinese workers are the ones most involved in the H1B visa program and affected by delays related to transitioning to green cards. GETTY

The United States has not introduced any restrictions on issuing visas to Russians, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services Julie Stufft said on Wednesday.

“There is no restriction on the Russian travelers. Russian travelers can actually go to any embassy in the world where they are able to apply,” Stufft told reporters when asked about Ukraine’s proposal to stop issue visas to Russians worldwide.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked EU and G7 countries on Wednesday to stop issuing visas to Russians after Germany admitted that a similar measure was being discussed within the European Union as part of a new sanctions package.

“Russian citizens can schedule an appointment for any visa type anywhere in the world, and are doing so regularly,” Stufft explained.

The European Commission said last week that the 26-nation borderless Schengen area cannot completely stop issuing visas to Russian citizens. It added that EU member states could decide for themselves whether to consider each application for a short-term tourist visa on an individual basis.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that freedom of movement was essential to exercising human rights and enshrined in international law. The foreign ministry said that Russia should be prepared for any eventuality and warned the EU that any hostile action would not be left without a proportional reaction.

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