Update on Suspension of Operations of Certain U.S. Consulates in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak


The U.S. Department of State, which presides over the U.S. Consulates throughout the world, advised that all Consular Post routine services have been suspended.  The U.S. Consulates serve a vital function in administrating the immigration laws of the U.S.  Included among many of the duties they perform, the U.S. Consulates interview visa applicants, process visa adjudications, and, where appropriate, issue visas to foreign nationals so that they may be admitted to the U.S. for a variety of purposes from vacation to business visits to work-related activities.  The message below was posted on the U.S. Department of State’s website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/suspension-of-routine-visa-services.html.

Suspension of Routine Visa Services

Last Updated: March 20, 2020

  • In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services. Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. 
  • Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available. More information is available on each Embassy’s website.
  • This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program. See https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/faq?focusedTopic=Schengen%20Travel%20Proclamation for more information.
  • Although all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are canceled, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee is valid and may be used for a visa appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.
  • Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment. 

As the situation involving the service availability at U.S. Consulates throughout the world continues to evolve, we will update this page as more information becomes available. 

Reggie Pacis

Bushra Malik

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