We have received an outpouring of emails, comments, and messages from our loyal followers asking when Consular posts and Embassies worldwide will reopen. We understand the frustration that our readers feel and sympathize with the world situation.
While USCIS has announced that in person appointments will resume on June 4th, the Department of State has not yet released any updates regarding procedures for reopening Consulates and Embassies nationwide. Given that the pandemic is a fluid situation and travel restrictions vary from country to country, each Consulate and Embassy will reopen for in person services at a different pace.
For the moment, emergency consular services continue to be available and appointments can be scheduled for emergency related issues by contacting the US Consulate or Embassy directly. Click here for a complete list of US Consulate and Embassies including their contact information.
Outside of emergency services, the vast majority of consulates and embassies will continue to remain closed for in-person appointments for the time being. Most consulates and embassies have provided the following message on their webpage regarding availability of visa appointments:
We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ to request an emergency appointment or contact AIS by phone by dialing the local number: +374 60 465 986. If calling from the U.S. dial +1-703-520-2525 or contact by email email@example.com to request an emergency appointment.
You can find the local AIS number by clicking on your country on the AIS website then scrolling to the bottom of the website and clicking on “Contact Us” under the “Help” section.
What should I be doing now that Consulates and Embassies are closed?
Monitor your local consulate’s website closely for updates regarding reopening procedures. If you require an emergency appointment contact them directly by phone or email as instructed above. If you have submitted your DS-160/DS-260 check the AIS website for visa availability here.
You may also wish to monitor the U.S. Department of State newsroom website for additional updates here.
I have a valid visa to travel to the U.S., but I am stuck overseas due to travel restrictions what can I do?
You will need to document your inability to travel and reach out to your local Embassy or Consulate to determine whether there are any flights being offered for return travel to the United States. Make sure to document all communication with the embassy or consulate while you wait for offices to reopen. If you have been issued a work visa, make sure you are in close contact with your employer regarding your inability to travel to the United States. You must document all communication with your employer and maintain at least weekly communication with them while waiting for consulates to reopen.
Have any Consulates announced their reopening?
For the moment, we have received information that the following Consulates will begin to schedule in-person visa appointments for local residents in June, July, and August:
- UK (Belfast)
- UK (London)
- Israel (Tel Aviv)
Please check the AIS website for upcoming appointment availability. We recommend checking back frequently to see when an appointment slot will open up.
What if I am subject to the President’s April 22nd Proclamation?
If you are subject to the presidential proclamation signed on April 22nd you will need to wait until the proclamation has been terminated on June 22nd before proceeding with your immigrant visa application. Visa applicants should note that the April 22nd proclamation has little practical effect because the majority of consulates and embassies will be closed to the public until at least June 22nd when the proclamation terminates.
I have an urgent need to travel immediately what can I do?
The Department of State has advised those with an urgent need to travel immediately to follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ to request an emergency appointment or contact AIS by phone at the local number: +374 60 465 986. If calling from the U.S. dial +1-703-520-2525. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an emergency appointment.
We hope that this information was helpful. As soon as we receive further information we will post it here on our blog.
If you have questions please contact our office for a consultation.
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