As summer approaches and countries begin to re-open, some companies and individuals are thinking about resuming international travel. If international travel is required for your work or other reasons, be prepared for strict restrictions and potential last-minute cancellations. This GT Alert provides considerations with respect to international travel amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates Continue to Offer Limited Services Worldwide
In March 2020 U.S. embassies and consulates suspended routine visa services until further notice. However, during the last few weeks, several jurisdictions have re-opened visa appointment calendars for the summer months. Although there is no official guidance from the Department of State, visa applicants should schedule their visa appointments as soon as calendars are opened to get in queue, as there may be long processing and wait times due to case backlog. However, these visa appointments may be rescheduled by the embassy with little or no warning, as the COVID-19 situation remains fluid. In most cases, a visa appointment will be re-scheduled at no additional cost, with DS-160 forms remaining valid for one year. Specific U.S. embassies/consulates are implementing the following:
- Israel: The embassy continues to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. The embassy has not confirmed when routine visa services will resume.
- France: The U.S. Embassy in Paris opened its calendar in May, and non-immigrant visa applicants were able to schedule visa appointments beginning in June. During the week of May 18, 2020, the embassy cancelled all June visa appointments. As of the date of this alert, the calendar is open starting in July 2020, and individuals can schedule appointments. No cancellation of July appointments has occurred to date.
- Italy: Visa appointments remain suspended until further notice.
- Sweden: The embassy has opened its calendar for the summer months. However, processing times may increase due to limited staffing.
- Poland: The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and the Consulate General in Krakow is only accepting emergency, mission-critical visa services. All other appointments have been cancelled. As of June 2020, the embassy and consulate have opened appointment calendars for July 2020.
- Turkey: The U.S. embassy and consulates continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. The embassy has not confirmed when routine visa services will resume.
- Mexico: Visa applicants can schedule appointments beginning in July 2020. No cancellation of appointments has occurred to date. Consulates continue to accept nonimmigrant visa applications on a limited basis for emergency travel only.
- Argentina: Visa applicants can schedule visa appointments beginning in July 2020. No cancellation of July appointments has occurred to date.
- Brazil: Embassies and consulates have cancelled all routine visa appointments but continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. Visa applicants can schedule appointments beginning in July 2020. No cancellation of appointments has occurred to date.
- Chile: The U.S. Embassy in Santiago has suspended routine consular visa services until further notice.
- India: U.S. visa application centers located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, and the six document delivery centers located at Jalandhar/Chandigarh/Pune/Ahmedabad/ Bangalore/ Cochin will remain closed until further notice.
- Japan: Consular services remain suspended. Visas are only being issued in cases of emergency.
For more information and updates on the developing COVID-19 situation, visit the GT Tel Aviv Homepage and GT’s Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force: Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Read the full GT Alert Summer 2020 Travel Advisory, U.S. Embassy/Consular Services, and COVID-19 Restrictions.