On July 13, 2020, the State Department announced that U.S. embassies and consulates around the world will gradually begin resuming routine visa services, which is good news to many individuals abroad that have been waiting to schedule visa appointments for both family and employment based immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Since March 20, the State Department had halted nearly all visa services, apart from emergency cases, in all embassies and consulates worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is no set time frame for resumption of visa services, individuals should soon be able to schedule non-immigrant and immigrant visa appointments, keeping in mind that specific country conditions will impact consular operations in each country.
It is also important to note that even when visa services are resumed, the COVID-19 travel bans and recent visa restrictions put in place by the president's administration will still remain in effect. These restrictions include the temporary ban on the issuance of certain non-immigration employment visas, including H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, H-4 visas for their spouses and children, L visas for intra-company transferees, H-2B visas for temporary works, and J visas for cultural exchange participants and au pairs. Please note that these restrictions have no impact on individuals already in the United States.
Individuals waiting on visa appointments should continue to monitor their consulate's website for information at http://usembassy.gov.
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