We understand that today’s announcement of a National Emergency may have raised questions about the status of immigration processes. At MPLG we are monitoring developments closely.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is a “respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States.”
Below are some updates we have related to the impact of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on those seeking entry into the United States and on other immigration-related matters.
You can find additional information on the Department of Homeland Security’s website at: https://www.dhs.gov/coronavirus
Consular Processing for Visa Services
In response to the concerns brought on by the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, certain consular posts have begun alerting applicants of reduced or temporarily suspended visa services. In an attempt to keep stakeholders apprised, the Department of State has compiled a list of embassy websites for country-specific information concerning COVID-19. This page provides links to the COVID-19 dedicated page for each nation’s embassy which includes information concerning health services, recommendations, and in some cases, information concerning a reduction or temporary suspension of visa services.
Notably, according to the U.S. Embassy in India:
U.S. Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule. Please see www.ustraveldocs.com/in and in.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ for further information.
Field Office Appointments / Interviews
You can check for the status of local USCIS Field Office closures at this link: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings
To date, we do not see any closures due to COVID-19.
Naturalization Oath Ceremonies
March Oath Ceremonies in the San Francisco Bay Area have been temporarily suspended. Our office will be monitoring for local ceremony updates.
Travel Restrictions / Entry to the U.S.
President Trump has issued three proclamations in recent weeks suspending the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of individuals who were physically present within the Schengen Area, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the People’s Republic of China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions.
More details can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/Presidential-Proclamation-Coronavirus.html
We will do our best to keep you informed for further updates.