U.S. Embassies and Consulates Announce Phased Resumption of Visa and Passport Services

July 20, 2020 | United States of America

Following a suspension and reduction of services due to COVID-19, U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide are now resuming visa services.

Although U.S. embassies and consulates are reopening for normal operations, they are resuming operations gradually and in phases. Each embassy and consulate has an individual reopening plan influenced by local factors in the country or region where it operates, including emergency response capabilities, medical infrastructure, volume of COVID-19 cases, and restrictions on domestic travel.

The Department of State (DOS) is monitoring conditions in every country where it has a presence. Therefore, operations at U.S. embassies and consulates are subject to change suddenly and frequently based on changes in local conditions. However, the agencies will provide updated information on their websites about their operating status and services that they are currently offering. Although there is some variability in the degree of regular operations that each embassy or consulate currently offers, all agencies will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical services. Applicants who have urgent matters and need to travel immediately should check the website of the nearest embassy or consulate for instructions on scheduling an emergency appointment.

As U.S. embassies and consulates resume normal operations, the DOS has announced that machine-readable visa (MRV) fees that expired while routine services were suspended are still valid. MRV fees can be used to schedule visa appointments in the country of purchase within one year of the date of payment.