Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Mar 20, 2020

BREAKING: Worldwide Suspension of Routine Visa Services

Andrew Clancy Rodgers and Jonathan A. Grode

The United States Department of State has announced that all routine visa services will be suspended on a temporary and indefinite basis, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, multiple countries have announced a hold on non-emergency services and appointments.  This is the first announcement putting a hold on all routine services around the world.

The world-wide policy, taking place immediately, includes the following stipulations and clarifications:

  • As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services;
  • Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available;
  • The Visa Waiver Program is not affected by this suspension; and
  • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fees remain valid and may be used for visa appointments in the country where the transaction was processed within one year of payment.

This is an unprecedented situation, with new developments occurring all the time. The most up-to-date and country-specific guidance is available on individual Embassy websites.

The announcement states that normal operations and routine services will resume “as soon as possible,” though as of yet there is no specific timeframe.

Our firm will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we remain at the ready to assist should you or yours have questions about the impact of this policy, or of the myriad effects of COVID-19 as it relates to immigration and travel. 

Should you wish to receive e-alerts directly to your inbox, you can opt in here. We encourage that you do, given the quickly-changing and ever-evolving nature of the current situation.

Finally, we are maintaining a comprehensive COVID-19 page on our website, covering the implications of the pandemic as it relates to immigration in real-time.

Related Team

Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode

215-395-8959

215-395-8959

email Jonathan

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)
Providence (New England)

Full Biography

Jonathan A. Grode

Recent Blogs

Oct 26, 2021

The Executive Order Has Been Published and, for the Vaccinated, the Travel Restrictions Will Be Revoked as of November 8, 2021

The Biden Administration has published a new COVID-19 air travel policy, revoking the travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign nationals. Unvaccinated foreign nationals may still be able to enter the United States but will need to follow specific procedures to do so. Unlike prior COVID-19 executive orders, the new policy applies to all foreign nationals, not only those who have been in specific countries. Learn more.

Oct 15, 2021

For the Vaccinated, Travel Restrictions Will End on November 8th

The Biden Administration has designated November 8, 2021, as the official end of the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Noncitizens will be able to travel to the U.S. via land, sea, and air from November 8th onward. Follow-up information will be necessary as the specific requirements for testing and procedures for those who are not vaccinated is published. Learn more in this blog.

Oct 05, 2021

Diversity Lottery Registration to Open October 6, 2021

The Department of State announced on their website that the online registration for the 2023 Diversity Visa Program is set to open on Wednesday October 6, 2021 at 12:00 noon, (EDT), and will close on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 12:00. The Department has also published its website the DV-2023 Program Instructions. Learn more in this blog.