US Embassies and Consular Services
On July 14, 2020 The U.S. Department of State announced its embassies and consulates would resume visa services on a post-by-post basis, following the March 16 worldwide moratorium of routine U.S. consular services.
On July 27, 2020 the U.S. Embassy in London re-opened;
On August 3, 2020 the U.S. Consulate in Belfast re-opened.
On June 22, 2020 a presidential proclamation suspended the issuance of new H, J, and L visas through the end of 2020.
- The proclamation does not apply to those who already hold valid those visas, who, with a valid petition, may continue to travel to the US, providing they are not entering within 14 days of being in Europe (incl. the UK and Ireland), Brazil, China, or Iran;
- The proclamation does not apply to those changing or extending status in the United States;
- The proclamation does not apply to any alien who is the spouse or child of a US citizen;
- The proclamation does not apply to any alien seeking to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain;
- The proclamation does not apply to an alien’s entry which would be in the national interest, such as: defense; aliens involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized; are involved with the provision of medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19; or are **necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States**
Travel Ban (updated January 25, 2021)
On January 25, 2021, President Biden reimposed the Trump travel ban on Europe, including the United Kingdom, and added South Africa to the list, joining Brazil, China, and Iran.
The Biden ban renews the Trump travel restrictions suspending entry into the United States for ALL foreign nationals (with certain limited exceptions, below) who have been physically present in the UK or Ireland, Europe, Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa (from Jan 30), within 14 days of their arrival into the US. The Biden ban on international travel continues to exempt national interest travel.
CBP have advised that any ESTA or visa holder, subject to the travel ban, will have their documents cancelled should they attempt to travel.
A national interest exception application is a request for exemption from the Biden ban, which, if granted, authorizes travel to the United States. Ask our attorneys if you qualify.
Latest Government Information
For the latest information and advice for travel to the United States with regards to COVID-19, please visit the US State Department’s webpage.
For the latest information and advice for travel to the United Kingdom with regards to COVID-19, please visit the UK Government’s webpage on Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice.For all the latest US immigration news, including Coronavirus travel updates, follow Greenwood Hanlon Kendrick on Twitter @ghkattorneys.