SCHEDULING AN INTERVIEW AT THE US CONSULATE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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It has been challenging to schedule interviews at American consulates for visa stamping since they were closed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous consulates have been kept closed or are processing fewer visas; the ones that reopen are mostly processing students visas or emergency appointments. For the ones that are opened, it has been common to see delays and the reschedule of appointments, which we have seen happen in Rome and Costa Rica. Other consulates, such as the ones listed below, remain closed either completely or are processing student visas only.  

  • Mexico City  Accepting only Student/Exchange Visitor Visas and emergency appointments; 
  • Toronto – Only emergency appointments; 
  • Montreal – Only emergency appointments; 
  • Brussels  Accepting only Student/Exchange Visitor Visas and emergency appointments 

The good news is that we have also seen a recent increase in American consulates that are reopening and accepting visa applications, such as the consulates in TokyoBerlin, Prague, Manila, SingaporeParis (60 days wait), Lisbon (accepting non-immigrant and student visas), Madrid (accepting non-immigrant visas with more than 3 months of wait and student visas), Copenhagen (accepting non-immigrant and student visas), Reykjavik (Iceland) (accepting non-immigrant and student visas), Bangkok (accepting non-immigrant and student visas)

Note, though, that the travel ban from the countries below is still in place. Travelers and visa holders coming from one of these banned areas must quarantine in a country where no ban stands in order to be able to enter the US. 

  • China 
  • Iran 
  • European Schengen (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
  • United Kingdon (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) 
  • Republic of Ireland; and 
  • Brazil 

The best approach now is to consult the website of the consulate in your country to get a better understanding of what kind of visas they are processing and whether they accept visa applicants from foreign countries. 

For additional information on current processing times, please check – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html#