As a reactionary measure to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Department of State (DOS) suspended routine visa services at its consular posts from March 20, 2020, on a worldwide basis. Since then, DOS has only been providing US citizen and Visa services on an emergency basis. However, from July 15, 2020, we will see a phased resumption of routine visa services from some consular posts.
What has changed?
This week the DOS announced that as of July 15, 2020, “U.S Embassies and Consulates may begin the phased resumption of routine visa services depending on local conditions. Please monitor the embassy/consulate website for the status of their services.”
Resumption of visa services will be on a post-by-post basis and subject to specific country conditions. As such, not all post will resume processing immediately. Although some US consular posts will resume the scheduling of appointments for visa applications, other travel restrictions will remain in place. In particular, the Covid-19 related travel restrictions into the US via certain countries continues and the additional restrictions implemented by the Presidential Proclamation in June for individuals in the H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 categories will remain in effect until at least December 31, 2020.
Who is affected?
Although the United States Department of State (DOS) has advised some US consular posts are resuming services, this will be a phased process and individuals intending to enter the US should look into whether this will in fact permit them to apply for entry.
For further information on the phased reopening of US Consular posts, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.