State Department Provides Critical Visa Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 20, 2020 | United States of America

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Department of State will provide emergency visa services to the extent possible under government restrictions.

Certain individuals, including medical professionals, can still apply for emergency visas. Medical professionals who are currently outside the U.S. and who have an approved immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa petition (I-140 or I-129 with a current priority date) or a certificate of eligibility through an approved exchange visitor program, such as DS-2019, may be able to request an emergency visa appointment through the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. However, the DOS advises anyone looking to make an emergency appointment to check the closest embassy’s or consulate’s website first, as local government restrictions have rendered emergency services unavailable in some locations.

Medical professionals who are currently in the U.S. should contact their program sponsor to extend their stay. Typically, a foreign medical resident in the J-1 program can receive an extension of one year at a time up to seven years.