“By way of statistics, in January 2020 there were about 75,000 immigrant visa cases pending at the National Visa Center ready for interviews. Thirteen months later, in February 2021, there were 473,000 – about six to seven times greater. The snapshot gives you an idea of how much longer the line has gotten since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s important to note, too, that this number doesn’t include the entirety of that queue. It doesn’t include cases already at embassies and consulates that have not yet been interviewed or applicants still gathering the necessary documents before they can be interviewed, and also, of course, petitions awaiting USCIS approval.” That was the assessment of the U.S. State Department in a briefing on March 1st, 2021.