Via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, I was able to obtain visa statistics (221gMoscowstats0001) for the US Embassy in Moscow. Russian visa applicants are no exception to the epidemic of 221(g) decisions around the world. From 2007-2012, the number of Russian B visa applicants at the US Embassy in Moscow subject to 221(g) more than tripled. Students and employees of US companies also had their applications increasingly scrutinized: the number of students and H applicants subject to delays more than doubled, and the number of L visa applicants encountering 221(g) increased more than eightfold!
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of Russian applicants subject to Section 221(g) receive their visas. However, the spike in the number of 221(g) delays and bureaucratic hurdles encountered by Russian visa applicants contradicts the public Embassy pronouncements about facilitating travel to the US. If you are the subject of a substantial 221(g) delay, please contact us.