Visa Services Operating Status Update Last Updated: November 19, 2021
As worldwide restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease, and in line with the President’s proclamation regarding the safe resumption of international travel, the Bureau of Consular Affairs will focus on reducing wait times for all consular services at US embassies and consulates overseas while also protecting health and safety of staff and applicants. Although local conditions and restrictions at individual consular posts may continue to fluctuate, the guidance to posts for the prioritization of consular services during the pandemic issued in November 2020 has been rescinded. Embassies and consulates have broad discretion to determine how to prioritize visa appointments among the range of visa classes as safely as possible, subject to local conditions and restrictions.
Snapshot of COVID-Related Restrictions on Alien Entry
Travelers Seeking Entry with Visas or Other Valid Documents
- Vaccination is required for nonimmigrant air travelers, with some exceptions.
- Vaccination is required for most noncitizens traveling by land or ferry for nonessential purposes; starting in January 2022, this requirement will extend to most aliens traveling for essential purposes as well.
- Exemptions to the new proclamation include arrival from countries with low vaccine availability, participation in certain clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccination, when vaccination would go against medical advice, and humanitarian or emergency reasons. In addition to vaccination status, noncitizen travelers must agree to abide by generally applicable health precautions established by the CDC, potentially including predeparture testing and masking during flight.
Undocumented Migrants Encountered Near the Border (at or between ports of entry)
- Title 42 policy authorizes rapid expulsion without asylum screening (not applicable to unaccompanied children).