Announcements

Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052

2 April, 2021

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021.

Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee.

Expansion of Interview Waiver Eligibility

16 March, 2021

Secretary Blinken, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 24 months were eligible for an interview waiver. The Secretary has temporarily extended the expiration period to 48 months. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2021. This change will allow consular officers to continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applications while limiting the number of applicants who must appear at a consular section, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other applicants and consular staff. Travelers are encouraged to review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for detailed information on what services are currently available as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.

Rescission of Presidential Proclamation 10014

26 February, 2021

President Biden rescinded Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014, entitled "Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak," on February 24, 2021. Immigrant visa applicants who had been affected by this proclamation should review the instructions found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/rescission-of-presidential-proclamation-10014.html.

CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States

2 February, 2021

Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States to present a negative COVID-19 test (a viral detection test for SARS-CoV- 2 approved or authorized by the relevant national authority), taken within 72 hours of departure​. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This requirement is separate from the visa application process. All Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place, and continue to apply to subject potential travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements. For more information on waivers to the testing requirement, please refer to the country-specific information provided at the website links below:

Ireland:
https://ie.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Israel:
https://il.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Italy:
https://it.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Jamaica:
https://jm.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-jamaica/

Kenya:
https://ke.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Kosovo:
https://xk.usembassy.gov/coronavirus/

Mexico:
https://mx.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/

Netherlands:
https://nl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-3/

North Macedonia:
https://mk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Paraguay:
https://py.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

Peru:
https://pe.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Portugal:
https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Rwanda:
https://rw.usembassy.gov/health-alert-covid-19-information/

Senegal:
https://sn.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Serbia:
https://rs.usembassy.gov/serbia-covid-19-information/

South Africa:
https://za.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

Spain:
https://es.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Tanzania:
https://tz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Trinidad and Tobago:
https://tt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Turkey:
https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

Uganda:
https://ug.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-page/

United Arab Emirates:
https://ae.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/

United Kingdom:
https://uk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information/

Uruguay:
https://uy.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Zambia:
https://zm.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

Questions and Answers regarding the “Negative Covid-19 Test Requirement”:

Q: What about American parents traveling overseas to complete international adoptions?

A: U.S. citizens completing adoptions overseas should review CDC’s guidance regarding travel into the United States, as it applies to both parents and children.

Q: Is the Department of State going to start requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or test for visa applicants?

A: We have no changes to visa requirements to announce at this time. Information regarding required vaccinations for immigrant visa applicants may be found on our website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-10-prepare-for-the-interview/medical-examination-faqs.html.

Q: Given the CDC has begun requiring negative tests to enter the United States, will foreign nationals with a negative test or vaccine be able to get a visa/enter the United States even if they would normally be restricted by one of the Presidential Proclamations? If a foreign national obtains a National Interest Exception, will they be exempt from the negative testing requirement?

A: All Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place, and continue to apply to subject potential travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements. For more information regarding testing requirements, we refer you to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Q: If your workforce is now getting vaccinated, are you going to restart full visa services at all posts?

A: The health and safety of both our workforce and customers remains paramount. U.S. embassies and consulates are working to resume routine visa services on a location-by-location basis, in accordance with public health data and local conditions. We will only resume all services worldwide when it is safe and appropriate to do so. See each U.S. embassy or consulate’s website for information regarding operating status and which services it currently offers.

Our embassies and consulates have put in place safeguards to keep staff and customers safe, including implementing physical distancing in our waiting rooms, scheduling fewer interviews at a time, frequent disinfection of high touch areas, and following local health and safety regulations. These necessary safeguards have temporarily reduced the visa processing capacity at many of our posts, requiring them to prioritize the most urgent and mission-critical cases. In order to protect the health and safety of visa applicants, these measures will remain in place even after all of our staff have received COVID-19 vaccines.

Q: There are reports of foreign nationals traveling to Florida to receive vaccines. Is that permitted under the law?

A: Seeking medical treatment in the United States is a permissible purpose of travel for individuals holding a valid visitor visa; you may find more information here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html. For questions regarding entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, we refer you to the Department of Homeland Security.

For questions regarding individuals' eligibility to receive the vaccine in the United States as part of a priority group, we refer you to local health authorities.

Q: What will happen to U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who present forged or otherwise illegitimate negative COVID test results in order to try to enter the United States?

A: Per the CDC’s order, travelers must present a verifiable, documented test result to their airline in order to travel. Individuals found to have provided forged or otherwise illegitimate test results may be denied boarding and/or entry into the United States. We refer you to CDC, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Transportation for information on implementation.

Q: Will travelers be able to request CDC waivers (exemptions) from the testing requirement for emergency or humanitarian reasons at Embassies and Consulates?

A: Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited case-by-case basis when extraordinary emergency travel, such as emergency medical evacuation, must occur to preserve someone’s health or safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. Individuals who believe they meet the criteria will find information on how to request an emergency waiver on the website of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There are no waivers available through this process for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

Q: If I'm vaccinated, do I have to present a negative COVID test to fly to the United States? Why?

A: All passengers age two and older are subject to the order, even those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. For questions regarding the testing requirements, we refer you to the CDC, which has information on Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States and Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.

Presidential Proclamations on Novel Coronavirus

26 January, 2021

Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, and 10143:

  • South Africa;
  • Brazil;
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
  • The Republic of Ireland;
  • The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (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, and Switzerland);
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

There are certain exceptions to the suspension of entry, including exceptions for U.S. lawful permanent residents and certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, among other exceptions listed in the proclamations. If you reside in, have traveled recently to, or intend to transit or travel the above list of countries prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ries). Additionally, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days.

Please visit the following link for additional information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/presidential-proclamation-coronavirus.html

Rescission of Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983

22 January, 2021

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled "Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States." This proclamation ends the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 that had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen. Please visit the link for additional information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/rescission-of-presidential-proclamations-9645-and-9983.html

Operational Status of Visa Services

2 January, 2021

The United States Embassy and Consulates in Italy remain unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-it/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt or (+39) 06 9480 3777 to request an emergency appointment. Please see these notices, which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html.

Extension of Visa Fee Validity

30 December, 2020

The U.S. Department of State understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that U.S. Missions will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.

Urgent Information For Visa Applicants Regarding Novel Coronavirus

16 September, 2020

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government has imposed restrictions and requirements that may affect travel to the United States. Please review the information below before scheduling or attending a visa-related appointment.

Presidential Proclamations on Novel Coronavirus

Extension of Visa Fee Validity

CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States

Rescission of Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983

Rescission of Presidential Proclamation 10014

Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052


U.S. Visa and Travel Updates

For the latest information from the U.S. Department of State regarding visa issues and travel to the United States, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news.html.

Urgent Information For Visa Applicants

17 July, 2020

As of July 20, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulates General in Italy are resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including routine appointments for students (F and M), exchange visitors (J), investors/treaty traders (E), journalists (I), aliens of extraordinary ability (O), and athletes/artists/entertainers (P), as well as emergency and mission critical cases. While the Embassy and Consulates aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-it/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt or (+39) 06 9480 3777 to request an emergency appointment.

VISAS: National Interest Exemptions for Certain Professional Athletes and their Essential Staff and Dependents

2 June, 2020

On May 22, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Wolf signed an order exempting certain foreign professional athletes who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain leagues from Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, and 9996. This exemption only applies to certain professional athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents. Individuals who believe they may qualify under this exemption should ask their athletic league representative to contact DHS for guidance on whether they are exempted.

  • If you have a valid visa and have questions about this order, please contact your athletic league representative to clear proposed travel with DHS.
  • If your athletic league or group has been exempted by DHS and you require a visa to travel, follow the instructions on the website of your nearest Embassy or Consulate to complete your application and request a visa appointment.
  • Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020, but will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow.  Travel by individuals excepted by DHS under this order may qualify as mission-critical. Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html.

Covid-19 - Visa Services and Restrictions

21 May, 2020

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020, but will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html.

Urgent information for visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus

19 March, 2020

As of 24 February, the United States Embassy and Consulates General in Italy of Rome, Milan, Florence and Naples are cancelling routine Immigrant and Nonimmigrant visa appointments. From 18 March, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates are not accepting applications through Interview Waiver for any visa categories. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-it/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt to request an emergency appointment.

Extension of Validity for Venezuelan Passports

12 June, 2019

As of June 7, 2019 the Department of State recognizes that previously issued Venezuelan passports and “prorrogas” have been extended by decree of interim Venezuelan President Guaido for an additional five years past their printed date of expiration. Passports rendered valid by this decree will be accepted for visa and other consular services.

Security procedures at the Embassy/Consulate

19 June, 2018

Applicants booking an appointment will be placed on an access list to be allowed entry into the Consular Section, not before the appointment time. All applicants must go through security screening before entering the consular building and no access will be granted to accompanying parties, including interpreters. Applicants should not bring large bags, backpacks, suitcases, baby carriages or any other large or bulky objects, as these items will not be allowed into the Consular Section, and there is no storage space at the Consulates General. Large personal electronic devices, such as laptop computers, are not allowed into the Consular Section nor permitted to be checked and stored with security. We strongly discourage bringing any other electronic devices, to include tablets/iPads, MP3 players, mobile phones, smart watches, etc. as these must be left with security and retrieved upon exit. This can create a delay for you. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are not responsible for any article you leave with the security checkpoint.