On May 18, thirty professional societies in the sciences, including CBMS and nine of the CBMS societies, signed onto a letter to the U.S. Department of State, responding to the new guidelines for visa applicants. See the update on this issue from the National Academies.
From Kathie Bailey at NAS, sent June 2, 2017:
The changes have been approved by OMB. Not all applicants will be asked to complete the supplementary form (bit.ly/2qBSrpv), but the exact number of applicants who will be asked to complete it is still unknown. The new questions will be voluntary, but the form states that, “failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.”
The State Department is currently under a hiring freeze, but feels prepared to handle the higher volume that typically comes in the summer.