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Coronavirus Update: Travel Instructions for U.S. Citizens and Others Returning from the Schengen Area, China and Iran; U.S. Consular Service Suspensions in India and Elsewhere

The U.S. government continues to implement new policies and procedures in an effort to control the COVID-19 virus, which was designated a national emergency by the White House today.

New Procedures for Certain Travel to the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security today announced new arrival requirements for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals exempt from the existing COVID-19 travel bans who enter the United State within 14 days of physical presence in China, Iran or the European Schengen countries. The restrictions apply to flights that depart at 11:59 ET, March 13, 2020 or later.

These travelers will be directed to one of the 13 U.S. airports equipped for COVID-19 screening, where they will be asked about their medical history, their current physical condition, and their contact information, which will be shared with local health authorities. Travelers will also be directed to immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Significant U.S. Consular Closures Worldwide

Many U.S. consulates worldwide will cancel nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments beginning March 16 and until further notice, including consulates in India, Paris, Dublin and Madrid. Once consulates resume normal operations, applicants will be able to reschedule appointments.

Further cancellations and other reductions in consular services are expected in the coming days. Foreign nationals with upcoming U.S. visa appointments should monitor the consulate’s website for the latest information on consular services amid the Coronavirus response. Links to consular websites can be found at

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