Additional U.S. Embassies and Consulates have cancelled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments in light of the COVID-19 virus. Some are reportedly also issuing preliminary refusal notices (known as “221(g) notices”) on pending applications, with plans on revisiting these applications once the crisis subsides. Though there are jurisdictions that remain open for scheduling routine visa and passport appointments, this is expected to change rapidly in the coming days.
Similarly, USCIS local offices are canceling green card interviews and other appointments, including biometrics appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers (ASCs).
The Latest Closures
The latest service suspensions include, but are not limited to the following:
- The United Kingdom: The U.S. Embassy in London is canceling routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments beginning March 17 and until further notice. Those with an urgent matter and who may need to travel immediately can follow the guidance provided at www.ais.usvisa-info.com/en-GB, or call +44 20 3608 6998 to request an emergency appointment.
- Canada: The U.S. Consulate in Toronto has started canceling routine nonimmigrant visa appointments.
- South Africa: The U.S. Mission is canceling most nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16 until May 31, 2020. This does not apply to diplomatic/official visa applications or to immigrant visa applications.
- Amsterdam, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland: The U.S. Embassies/Consulates in these countries are canceling most immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments beginning March 16 or earlier and until further notice.
What to Expect
Further cancellations and other reductions in consular services are expected in the coming days. Because the situation is extremely fluid, foreign nationals with upcoming U.S. visa appointments should monitor the consulate’s website for the latest information on consular services amid the COVID-19 response. Links to consular websites can be found at http://usembassy.gov.
In limited circumstances, foreign nationals with an urgent matter who may need to travel immediately may request an emergency appointment at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/. As a reminder, the machine-readable visa (MRV) fee may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.
Once consulates resume normal operations, applicants will be able to reschedule appointments.
Those with upcoming appointments at USCIS local offices may have their appointments rescheduled in the event of closures. Those who are experiencing symptoms of illness are being encouraged to reschedule their appointments.