Consulates begin ‘phased resumption’ of visa services, depending on local conditions

13 Jul 20

UNITED STATES

The State Department announced on Twitter this morning that it has begun the “phased resumption” of routine visa services at U.S. consulates, but did not provide information for individual countries.

Key points:

  • The dates that visa services will resume in individual countries will depend on conditions on the ground.
  • Travelers are directed to individual U.S. consulates for details and dates when visa services intend to resume, as conditions vary from location to location.

Background: Routine visa services have been suspended at U.S. consulates since March because of COVID-19.

BAL Analysis: The State Department tweet confirms that U.S. embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine services, but does not provide specific information about when individual locations will reopen. While the U.S. consulate in Auckland, New Zealand has announced it will resume nonimmigrant processing July 20, most consulates have not said when they will resume visa services. Visa applicants should monitor individual consulate websites for status updates, and should be mindful of travel restrictions to the U.S. that remain in place.

The restrictions on travel to the U.S. for travelers who have been physically present in Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen area, or the U.K., may limit the reopening of U.S. consulates in those countries, and resumption of visa processing in other countries will depend on health conditions in individual locations. Even when consulates begin to reopen, visa applicants should prepare for significant delays due to backlogs and new physical distancing protocols.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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