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Routine U.S. Visa Services to Resume in Phases

The U.S. Department of State announced on Monday, July 14, that its facilities around the world will resume offering some of their routine visa services in phases. These services have been suspended worldwide since the outbreak of coronavirus in March. They will resume on a post-by-post basis in reference to its Diplomacy Strong program.

Currently, there are no concrete dates for when missions around the world will resume specific services or when processing will resume normal levels. The State Department recommends checking each individual U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website for further information about which services will be offered where, and when.

State Department missions around the world have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services during the pandemic. Additional services being phased back in include processing routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa cases like travelers with urgent travel needs, students (F-1, M-1, and some J-1s), and family members of U.S. citizens (as allowed by President Donald Trump’s April 22 executive order).

Expansion of the services offered by individual consulates depends on adequate resources and overall safety concerns. Factors considered in deciding which services to resume include medical infrastructure, restrictions on leaving home, emergency response capabilities, and the number of coronavirus cases in the area.

Above all else, the U.S. Department of State remains committed to the health and safety of all those using its facilities. Safety measures like social distancing, disinfection of high-traffic areas and surfaces, scheduling fewer interviews at a time to reduce the risk of crowded waiting rooms, and adherence to local health & safety regulations will be put into effect.

MRV fees are still valid, and they may be applied to visa appointments in the country where they were purchased within a year of the payment date.

Presidential Proclamations (namely, according to the State Department website, P.P.s 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996, 10014, 10041, and 10052) and travel restrictions remain in effect. Any routine visa services that violate these proclamations will not be resumed.

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