|November 19, 2001
Update on Security Clearances
Update on State Department Security Measures - Imminent Delays for
Arab and Muslim Men Applying for Nonimmigrant Visas. We have received the
following information regarding how the Canadian consulates will handle
the security clearance.
The State Department has implemented its new security clearances at US
consulates worldwide. Individuals between the ages of 16 to 45 from countries
with a high concentration of Arabs and Muslims are subject to these security
clearances which were announced last week. Pursuant to the new procedures,
once the visa application is submitted by the individual to the consulate
an initial review of the application will be conducted. If the initial review
is deemed satisfactory and no initial problems arise, then the individual
will be allowed to return to the United States. Over the next 20 days a
security clearance procedure will be conducted. Once the procedure is concluded
and no problems are found, the individual will be contacted by the consulate.
At this time the consulate will request that the individual mail their passport
to the consulate. At this point the consulate will issue the visa in the
passport and will then return the passport to the individual.
If during the initial review of the application at the consulate a problem
is discovered, the consulate will keep the passport. The consulate will
conduct a security clearance over the next 20 days, and the visa applicant
will not be able to return to the United States during this period. If the
initial problems or complications are resolved through the clearance procedure
the passport will be returned to the individual with the visa stamp. However,
if the problems are not resolved, the consulate may retain the passport.
There is no indication of what would occur at this point.
In order for the consulate not to retain the passport during the 20 day
clearance, the following three criteria should be met : 1) the individual
has a valid I-94 card, 2) the individual has never had any type of visa
canceled for any reason and 3) the visa application is to renew a valid
visa for the same company.
Citizens, nationals and permanent residents of the following countries
are subject to the additional clearance process: Afghanistan; Algeria; Bahrain;
Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon;
Libya; Malaysia; Morocco; Oman; Pakistan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia;
Sudan; Syria; Tunisia; Turkey; the United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.
Greenberg Traurig Business Immigration Group will continue to provide
updates as additional information is available.