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U.S. Department of State Announces Suspension of Visa Services in Most Countries Worldwide

The U.S. Department of State announced on March 18, 2020, that it has suspended all routine visa services, including immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, in most countries worldwide. It is not yet known how long the suspension will remain in effect. Embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services as resources allow. Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fees may be applied to a future appointment in the country where it was paid within one year from the date of payment. The suspension of visa services means that visa issuance will likely be postponed unless the embassy or consulate deems the visa issuance an emergency. The suspension does not affect the visa waiver program, the Department of State said.

A number of U.S. embassies and consulates have announced appointment cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of State has compiled a list of country specific information related to the coronavirus on its website.

The suspension of visa processes at embassies and consulates does not impact the ability to apply for extension of visa status for individuals already inside the United States.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 79



About this Author

Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions...

Ceridwen J. Koski, Ogletree Deakins, Investor Start ups lawyer, Global Corporations Attorney

Admitted to the state bars of Colorado, Arizona and New York, Ceri has experience working with clients that range from Fortune 500 companies, individual investors, start-up companies, U.S. branches of global corporations, and entertainers.