President Trump Does Away With Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant Interview Target

On June 21, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13802, titled “Amending Executive Order 13597” [see 82 FR 28747].

Section 1 of President Trump's Executive Order strikes subsection b(ii) of section 2 of Executive Order 13597. Former President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13597, titled “Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness,” on January 19, 2012 [see 77 FR 3373]. The now-stricken section 2(b)(ii) of Executive Order 13579 directed the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to develop an implementation plan to “ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within 3 weeks of receipt of application, recognizing that resource and security considerations and the need to ensure provision of consular services to U.S. citizens may dictate specific exceptions.”

Executive Order

In section 2 of President Trump's Executive Order 13802, he directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to revise the implementation plan described in section 2(b) of Executive 13597 “as necessary and appropriate, consistent with section 1 of this order.”

In short, President Trump's new Executive Order eliminates the target set by President Obama's Executive Order 13597 to ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed at consular offices within 3 weeks of the receipt of their applications. President Trump directed the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to revise the implementation plan set forth in section 2 of Executive Order 13597 (section 2 also provided for increasing nonimmigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil, expanding the Visa Waiver Program, and expanding reciprocal recognition programs) in a manner consistent with the striking of section 2(b)(ii). However, the Executive Order 13802 does not provide any further direction.

Although the new Executive Order does not offer a specific reason for the amendment to Executive Order 13597 to eliminate the 3 week interview target, it possibly stems from the new vetting and security procedures being developed by relevant Executive Branch agencies. We will update the site with further information as it becomes available.