The U.S. Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, U.S. Embassies and Consulates began a phased resumption of routine visa services but is unable to provide a specific date for when each mission will resume specific visa services, or when each mission will return to the processing at pre-COVID levels.
Resumption of routine visa services will continue to occur on a post-by-post basis with services to U.S. citizens to be prioritized. In addition, visa services will be prioritized to those who have urgent travel needs, diplomats, and aids to the U.S. pandemic response. The time frame for the full resumption of all services does not yet have a specific date and is conditional on the local COVID-19 situation. Applicants can visit the respective U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website for information regarding operating status and which services it is currently offering.
Applicants with an urgent matter who need to travel immediately should contact the nearest embassy or consulate to request an emergency appointment. Contact information is on the respective embassy or consulate’s website. Applicants can find instructions on how to request an emergency visa appointment at the respective Embassy or Consulate’s website.
On November 12, 2020, DOS also announced that it has extended the validity of Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fees until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment due to the suspension of routine consular operations with the ability to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the fee they already paid.
We, at Emandi Law Firm, will keep you posted further regarding any updates in this regard.