It is no secret that the Coronavirus has changed daily life as we know it, but it is also impacting future events like hearing and interview dates, InfoPass appointments and naturalization ceremonies as well as the ability to get a visa and come into the United States. As of March 18th, these delays and closures are in effect until at least April 1st, but could certainly extend into the coming months.
As of March 18th, United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) have suspended routine in-person services. While USCIS staff will continue to perform tasks that do not involve contact, the offices will be closed to the public during this time. USCIS will schedule emergency services in limited situations.
Hearing Dates, Application Support Center appointments and Naturalization Ceremonies
USCIS will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies that would have occurred in this time period. These appointments and ceremonies will be rescheduled for a later date. When the offices resume, USCIS will automatically reschedule application support center appointments and you will receive notice of the new appointment by mail.
USCIS will send interview cancellation notices and AUOMATICALLY reschedule asylum interviews. At which time the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive notice with the new time, date, and location for the interview.
If you had an InfoPass appointment during the closure period, you must reschedule through the USCIS contact center once the office reopens to the public.
U.S. Consular and Visa Services
U.S. Mission India has cancelled immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. Visa appointments stand as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule.
As of March 11, only emergency American Citizen Services and emergency visa services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and Consulates General Milan, Naples, and Florence.
As of February 10, 2020, regular visa services at the U.S Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang are suspended. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates have very limited staffing and may be unable to respond to requests regarding regular visa services.
Quarantine: As of February 2, the following restrictions on U.S. citizens returning from travels in China are in effect:
- Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they have been provided proper medical care and health screening
- Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been anywhere else in mainland China in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will undergo “proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry,” and up to 14 days of “monitored self-quarantine” to ensure they’ve not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
As of February 2, 2020 – entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended.
As of March 2, 2020 -entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended.
As of March 13, 2020 entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended. *shall remain in effect until terminated by the President
Note: the European Schengen area includes: 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.
Ireland and United Kingdom
As of March 16, 2020 – entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, or the Republic of Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended.
The above bans do not apply to U.S. citizens, or to any alien who is:
- a lawful permanent resident of the United States
- a spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- a parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
- a sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
- a child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- an alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
- C (transit) or D (air or sea crewmember) nonimmigrants
- seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 visa;
- an alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director, or his designee;
- an alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
- an alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.