It’s the question I’m getting asked most so I thought putting all the information in one place would be helpful. In order to get a visa for the United States, you must visit a consulate or embassy abroad, and go through the motions before your visa is added into your passport. So what’s the outlook?

So let’s cut right to the chase because my intent is never to write clickbait articles.

When will U.S. consulates and embassies re-open for routine visa services?

We don’t know.

Nobody publicly knows and nothing has formally been suggested.

So why did I do all this writing?

You might be saying, “so Josh, why would you write this article?” and I would understand your frustration, however, there’s a good reason.

I get asked a lot of questions per week (and love them) and I know that in most cases, people want definitive answers. In this case, for example, they probably want a particular date, however, it can also be helpful to know that there is no correct answer.

Just knowing that you haven’t missed some major piece of information that has been shared can also put your mind at ease a little.

So if we don’t know the date of reopening, what do we know?

At this stage, the only vague word we’ve got is that Consulates and Embassies will open up in line with the policies of the countries they are in, however none that I’ve spoken to have set a particular date. Most advise something to the tune of:

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/ to request an emergency appointment or contact AIS by phone by dialing the local number: +374 60 465 986.

Which basically goes to say: They don’t know.

You can try contacting each of the consulates and embassies and asking them individually however I haven’t had much luck (and from what I understand, it’s because they don’t know either).

A lot of the consulates and embassies are taking appointments and we’re tracking that on our COVID-19 US Visa Appointment Tracker, here. This page allows you to view and submit your own information about appointments, and let everyone know if it happens or is canceled.

At writing this (Wednesday, July 1), Sydney and Melbourne have just seen all appointments for July canceled overnight.

How can you stay up to date with visa news?

The best resource you can follow is always the official one, and in this case, that’s the State Department.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news.html <– Add this one to your favorites.

This page is where March 20 announcement of “Suspension of Routine Visa Services” went up, and it was also where you can find an ongoing update to new restrictions on entry from the President and United States government (including June 22’s announcement).

This is a great page to follow as information comes from a wide range of sources, and this page tidies all that up into a handy feed.

What can you do if your visa is expiring?

First, as always, get an immigration attorney! That’s the most important thing and we’ve got some great ones listed here.

There’s also information for what visa holders can do on my Coronavirus information page, here.

How can you update America Josh with news?

First, if you do have an appointment or know information, please use my tracker COVID-19 US Visa Appointment Tracker, it really helps the community!

Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected].

If your immigration attorney has the inside word, I’d love to help share that with everyone!