The US State Department has suspended all “routine” visa appointments at embassies and consulates in “most countries” due to the coronavirus pandemic, promising to resume “as soon as possible.’
A number of US embassies around the world will suspend routine visa services due to coronavirus precautions, the US State Department confirmed on Wednesday. A department spokeswoman declined to give an exact number but said that “most countries” would be affected.
Emergency visa services would remain available “as resources allow,” while US citizens would continue to receive services, she clarified.
The suspension will affect both immigrant and non-immigrant visa services at embassies in countries with a US State Department travel advisory level of 2, 3, or 4, according to an earlier statement from the US Embassy in South Korea.
In response to #COVID19, @StateDept is suspending routine visa services in most countries. Routine visa services will resume ASAP but we are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Check embassy/consulate websites for current operating status: https://t.co/vIXaMPomVS pic.twitter.com/uDuLjkKZmW
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) March 18, 2020
As of Wednesday, that includes around 100 countries for which warnings have been issued, according to the US State Department website. In South Korea, which has seen the largest number of infections in Asia outside of China, embassy appointments will be canceled from Thursday, Reuters said.
“We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time,” the department said in a statement posted to Twitter.
The US has banned the entry of foreigners who have traveled through China, Iran and European Union in the preceding two weeks.
Alex Jones breaks down what is behind the martial law response to the coronavirus panic.