COVID-19 update: new entry restrictions take effect, embassies and consulates limit services

16 Mar 20

UNITED STATES

The United States will begin imposing entry restrictions on travelers who have been in the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning tonight, and U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are canceling appointments as officials look to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Beginning tonight at 11:59 p.m., foreign nationals who have been physically present in the United Kingdom or Ireland in the previous 14 days will be barred from entry to the U.S. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), spouses of U.S. citizens or LPRs, certain parents and siblings of U.S. citizens or LPRs, and a limited number of other foreign nationals are not subject to the ban, but they must enter the U.S. through one of 13 airports and undergo enhanced screening. Read BAL’s full alert here.

Foreign nationals who have been physically present in Mainland China, Iran or any of the 26 Schengen Area countries remain subject to an entry ban as well.

U.S. embassies and consulates abroad are canceling appointments and reducing services for visa applicants, including in:

  • Australia. The U.S. Mission to Australia is only offering emergency services for U.S. citizens and emergency visa processing at this time. Mail-in cases will also be processed.
  • Brazil. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will cancel routine immigration and nonimmigrant visa appointments beginning Tuesday. No specific date is available on when appointments will resume.
  • Canada. Tuesday, all routine nonimmigration visa appointments will be canceled at the Embassy and Consulates General. More information is available here.
  • France. Because of reduced staffing, only American Citizen Services and emergency visa services are currently being offered at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and Consulate General in Marseille.
  • Germany. Because of reduced staffing, only American Citizen Services and emergency visa services are currently being offered at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and Consulates General in Frankfurt and Munich.
  • India. U.S. Mission India posts have canceled all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments beginning March 16. Those whose appointments have been canceled can reschedule appointments once normal operations resume. Additional information is available at www.ustraveldocs.com/in and in.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/.
  • Italy. Mission posts in Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Venice are providing emergency services only. Those in need of emergency services should contact the appropriate consular office.
  • Israel. BAL has received information that routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv have been canceled as of today.
  • Ireland. The U.S. Embassy will limit services beginning March 16. Emergency services for U.S. nationals and emergency visa processing will be available.
  • Saudi Arabia. Non-immigrant visa appointments have been postponed by the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran, for the time being. More information is available here.
  • Spain. The Embassy in Madrid and the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona are now only providing emergency services. More information is available here.
  • South Africa. Most non-immigrant visa appointments are being canceled by the U.S. Mission in South Africa from March 16 until May 31, 2020. More information is available here.
  • United Arab Emirates. The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General in Dubai will cancel routine immigration and nonimmigrant visa appointments beginning Tuesday. No specific date is available on when appointments will resume.

Additional information: BAL is continuing to monitor the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Appointments at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world may be canceled with little or no notice. Those in need of U.S. immigration services abroad are encouraged to check with the embassy or consulate before traveling to their appointment. BAL has prepared an FAQ that discusses the implications of the measures that have been taken in response to the outbreak on U.S. immigration law. Read the full FAQ here.

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

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