U.S. Visa and Travel FAQs for non-U.S. citizens following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Visa Services

LAST UPDATED: September 18, 2020 at 17:15 BST

We understand your concern about visas and travel in light of the continuing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We hope that this information will help answer your questions.

Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we are only able to respond to individual questions that are not answered on on this page or elsewhere on our website. Therefore, please carefully review these FAQs to find the information you require. Any updates to the Presidential Proclamations, travel restrictions and visa operations will be posted on this page, so please bookmark/ this page and check back regularly.

If you have a question about a future visa application or an application that has been in process since before March 20, 2020, please be aware that we are unable to provide any further guidance at this time. We ask that you continue to monitor our website for updates and contact us with any questions only after normal visa services have resumed.

Please make sure that you read the General Information in full, and then navigate to the Nonimmigrant Visa, Immigrant Visa or Fiancé(e) visa specific information section as appropriate to find more information that is relevant to your circumstances.

General Information

[UPDATED] Are U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the UK conducting visa interview appointments?

As of July 27, 2020, the United States Embassy in London and as of August 3, 2020 the United States Consulate General in Belfast are resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including: immigrant visas for spouses and children of U.S. citizens; F-1 and M-1 student visa categories.

While we aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there are likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs.

We understand 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 we will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, 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.

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided through your Visa Appointment Service account to request an expedited appointment. Once you have booked the earliest available appointment, you can then follow the on-screen instructions to request an expedited appointment.

Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation.

When new appointment dates are available for booking, they will display through your appointment calendar within your Visa Appointment Service account. If no appointments are available when you first check, please continue to check your account as any newly released appointments will show on your appointment calendar. We do not operate a waiting list.

Please ensure that you monitor the email address that you used to register with the Visa Appointment Service, including the junk or spam folder, as that is how you will be contacted if it is necessary for your future appointment to be rescheduled.

This does not affect travel under the Visa Waiver Program. See the official ESTA website for more information.

Please keep checking this webpage and your email account for the latest information and any further updates.

Can I travel to the United States?/What does the travel order (Presidential Proclamation 9996) mean?

Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and the subsequent proclamation issued May 24, 2020:

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

Please click here to review Presidential Proclamation 9996 in full for detailed information.

The travel restriction does not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents, most immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in Presidential Proclamation 9996. The Department of Homeland Security will direct those who have been in the Schengen Area who are exempt from these restrictions, including American citizens, to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures. Travelers are advised to visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website and the guidance at travel.state.gov for information on U.S. travel restrictions and possible exceptions.

Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.

Can I travel to the United States through a country that is not covered by Presidential Proclamation 9996?

Travel to the United States from a country that is not covered by the Presidential Proclamation may be possible, but we advise you to verify whether the country to which you intend to travel has implemented travel or other restrictions before you make travel arrangements.  One possible source of such information is travel.state.gov which contains links to the websites of other countries’ immigration authorities.

We are not able to suggest countries to which you may travel, or comment on the travel regulations that apply to a country other than the United States or the UK.

Please also bear in mind the following:

  • The Presidential Proclamation suspends travel to the U.S. for any individual who has been physically present in the United Kingdom within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.
  • The suspension also applies to traveling through a U.S. airport.
  • Transiting a country covered by the Presidential Proclamation, even without exiting the airport, counts as physical presence within that country.

I believe the travel restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9996 do NOT apply to me, and I have a valid nonimmigrant, immigrant or fiancé(e) visa or I have a valid registration under ESTA. What should I do?

If you believe that the travel restriction does not apply to you, we suggest that you contact your airline for the latest information about your travel plans and any restrictions.

Information about the status of ESTA registrations at this time is provided through the only official ESTA website. If your ESTA was cancelled but you believe that you fall under one of the exceptions identified in Presidential Proclamation 9996, please refer to the Travel Proclamation Help on the ESTA website for guidance.

Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.

If you travel, please follow the steps below:

  • Do not attempt to check in for your flight online if you have an ESTA registration.
  • Arrive early for your flight.
  • Carry any documentation that you believe demonstrates why you have been excepted from a travel restriction, such as a Permanent Resident card (commonly known as a Green Card), a marriage certificate, or a birth certificate, so that it is available if it is requested for review.
  • You may also wish to carry a copy of the Presidential Proclamation itself.
  • Your status will be reviewed in consultation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.
  • If applicable in your case, your ESTA will be reinstated in order to allow you to board.Finally, please note that the U.S. Embassy cannot provide an official letter stating that you are excepted from a travel restriction.

If you believe that the restrictions do not apply to you but you need to apply for a visa, scroll down to the specific information for nonimmigrant visa applicants.

I am NOT exempt from the travel restrictions in the Presidential Proclamation but I have an emergency need to travel. Is there anything I can do?

If you do not fall under one of the exemptions to Presidential Proclamation but you have a humanitarian need for travel, such as for critical medical treatment, or you think you may qualify for another possible exception, please click here to contact us. Please select whether your inquiry is in relation to an immigrant or non-immigrant visa and then select “My inquiry is not covered by information on your website” on the contact form. In your message, please request ‘National Interest consideration,’ briefly outline your reason for travel, and state whether you currently have a valid visa, a valid ESTA or neither.

Please note, students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.

I tried to travel to the United States and was told that I need to apply for a “212(f) waiver.” How do I do that?

Please follow the instructions in the FAQ above.

Please note, students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.

If I can provide a negative COVID-19 test result, can I enter the United States?

The Presidential Proclamations do not include an exception on the basis of negative test results. Please review each Proclamation in full for details of possible exemptions.

Will I be required to self-quarantine after I enter the United States?

The Department of State recommends the CDC website for the most up-to-date information regarding quarantine regulations.

I’m in the United States and I’m worried about overstaying my authorized period of admission. What should I do?

If you are in the United States, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information about how to apply to extend your stay. While you are in the United States, any questions about your status are a matter for USCIS, not the Embassy. Information and contact details can be found on the USCIS website.

I have been offered an expedited appointment. What do I need to know about attending the appointment?

You will go through airport-style security screening. Due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), everyone should wear a face mask if they are aged 11 or over. You can choose to buy a mask or make your own. Visit the CDC website for information about how to make a face covering (sew and no-sew tutorials are available).

You must not bring laptops or bags above cabin-baggage size to your appointment as they are not permitted into the building and there are no storage facilities available. To save time, we recommend that you keep the number of small bags and belongings that you bring with you to an absolute minimum.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, you must reschedule your appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website. If you have recently entered the UK and you are subject to mandatory quarantine, your appointment must take place after the 14 day quarantine period.

Can I have a refund?

As explained at the time of fee payment, visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If you have paid the fee but not yet attended the visa interview, please note that fees are valid for 12 months from the date of payment.

If you have attended your visa interview, the application fee was levied to cover the costs of adjudicating and processing the application. No refund is possible. Please see the relevant specific section below for information about visa validity, provided that your new purpose of travel is consistent with the type of visa you hold.

I have a question about my existing visa application

If you have any questions about a visa application that was submitted before the travel restrictions and the answer is not provided in these FAQs (keep checking this webpage for the latest updates) or elsewhere on our website, please monitor our website for updates. After normal operations resume, you can contact us at that time to request case-specific information.

If you were asked to send in information or documentation in connection with an existing application, please do not mail it at this time. Please monitor our website for updates. After normal operations have resumed, you may follow the instructions on your Visa Appointment Service account about how to send documents to the Embassy.

If your application is subject to additional administrative processing, or under review pending a decision on a waiver of ineligibility or for any other reason, that will remain the status of your case until you are advised otherwise.

Now that you have read the General Information, please click on the link below for the specific information that applies to you..

Specific Information for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants and Nonimmigrant Visa Holders

[UPDATED] My interview for a nonimmigrant visa was cancelled. Can I get a refund?

We understand 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 we will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, 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.

Please note that visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you wish to apply for a visa through another embassy or consulate, you will be required to pay a new MRV fee and complete a new Form DS-160.

What does Presidential Proclamation 10052 refer to?

On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants (Presidential Proclamation 10014) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President.

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.

The proclamation suspends entry of nonimmigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children. No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.

Please read Presidential Proclamation 10052 in full for details, including exceptions.

Please also note that routine visa services remain suspended at this time, and Presidential Proclamation 9996 remains in effect.

I believe the travel restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9996 do NOT apply to me, and I need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. What should I do?

You may book an appointment to apply for a visa. Please refer to our website for step-by-step information about the application process.

Once you have booked an interview date through the calendar in your Visa Appointment Service account, you can then use the ‘Request Expedite’ feature. You will be asked to briefly outline the reason that you must travel in an emergency. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will review your request and reply by email.

Please note, appointment availability is extremely limited and we cannot guarantee that an expedited appointment will be available for you. Expedite requests are generally approved only when there is a humanitarian need for travel, such as for critical medical treatment. Please also be aware that an expedite request relates only to the date of the visa interview. No expedited visa processing is available.

I have a valid student visa (F or M). Can I travel to the United States?

If you 1) hold a valid F-1 or M-1 visa, 2) are traveling from the UK, Ireland, or the Schengen Area, and 3) have not been physically present in Brazil, Iran, or China within the last 14 days, you do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel to the United States. If your visa is still valid and you intend to begin resume your studies or undertake Optional Practical Training (OPT), you can travel directly to a United States Port of Entry to apply for admission. This also applies to F-2 and M-2 derivative visa holders. Admission to the United States is a matter for CBP officials at the U.S. Port of Entry and all travelers are subject to questioning. No assurances are given in advance.

If you have a valid visa and you will be traveling to undertake OPT, you should carry your annotated Form I-20 and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in addition to your valid visa and valid passport.

Please review the CDC website if you have questions about quarantine regulations.

We strongly recommend that all current and prospective F-1 and M-1 students and study abroad advisers review the comprehensive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ. This includes important new information about full course of study requirements and online learning, Form I-20, employment, and the SEVIS fee.

I am a student and I need to get my visa in time for the fall semester. What can I do?

As of July 27, 2020, the United States Embassy in London and the Consulate General in Belfast are resuming certain visa services, F-1 and M-1 student visa interviews. This also applies to F-2 and M-2 derivative visa applicants..

Applicants for H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation.

When new appointment dates are available for booking, they will display through your appointment calendar within your Visa Appointment Service account. If no appointments are available when you first check, please check your account as any newly released appointments will show on your appointment calendar. We do not operate a waiting list and we cannot offer you an appointment by email, telephone or social media.

If need to travel imminently, please follow the guidance provided through your Visa Appointment Service account to request an expedited appointment. Once you have booked the earliest available appointment, you can then follow the on-screen instructions to request an expedited appointment. Please make sure you state your report date or start date as stated on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 within your expedite request.

Please see our website for step-by-step information about the application process, including how to book a visa interview appointment and pay the MRV fee, information about the SEVIS fee, and document requirements. You can also check our SlideShare presentations for tips about completing the application form DS-160 and the photograph requirements.

Anyone physically present in the United Kingdom can choose to apply for a visa here. However, if you previously began the process to apply at another Embassy or Consulate, the visa fee is not transferable. Furthermore, you should complete a new application form to reflect your new application location.

We strongly recommend that all current and prospective F-1 and M-1 students and study abroad advisers review the comprehensive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ. This includes important new information about full course of study requirements and online learning, Form I-20, employment, and the SEVIS fee.

Can my nonimmigrant visa be extended?

Nonimmigrant visas cannot be extended. However, the majority of nonimmigrant visas are valid for several years. Please check the visa in your passport to confirm the validity period of the visa in your case. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for more information about visa and passport validity.

If you are currently in the United States, please be aware that the expiration date of your visa has no bearing on your length of stay in the United States. Please check the stamp in your passport applied by officials at the U.S. Port of Entry for information about your authorized period of stay. Please contact USCIS for information about how to apply to extend your stay.Contact details can be found on their website.

[NEW] I have heard that interview waiver is possible in certain cases. Is it possible in my case?

At this time, Embassy London can accept interview waiver applications for individuals who will be traveling in an official capacity and applying for one of the following visa categories: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-01, NATO-04, NATO-05, or NATO-06. If you wish to apply for one of the visa categories listed, please click here for application instructions and information about how to contact the Diplomatic Visa Unit with any questions.

Due to the Presidential Proclamations that remain in effect, other visa categories are not eligible for interview waiver through Embassy London’s interview waiver program at this time.

Specific Information for Immigrant Visa Applicants, Immigrant Visa Holders and LPRs

 

What do Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 refer to?

Under Presidential Proclamation 10014, signed on April 22 and extended by PP 10052 on June 22 , the Department of State will not issue immigrant visas, with certain exceptions, through December 31, 2020. Exceptions include lawful permanent residents; immigrants seeking to enter as healthcare professionals; spouses, children, and prospective adoptive children of U.S. citizens; and certain Special Immigrant Visa applicants. Please read Presidential Proclamation 10052 for detailed information.

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation are not subject to the proclamation. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation.

Additionally, please be aware that due to the impact of COVID-19, all routine immigrant visa appointments have been cancelled until further notice. If normal operations resume while this Presidential Proclamation remains in effect, it will not be possible for a visa appointment to be scheduled unless you are applying for a category of visa that is excepted under the proclamation.

[UPDATED] I fall under an exception to Presidential Proclamation 10014/10052. Can I continue with the immigrant visa application process?

If you are applying for an immigrant visa and the case is being processed by NVC, please click here and visit your CEAC account (if applicable) for information. Please contact NVC directly using the online contact form on that website if you still have questions. The Embassy cannot answer any questions about NVC cases, including any questions about expedite options or about appointments.

If you are applying for a visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen (IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2) or for an E-3 visa and your case is with the Embassy in London, please contact us to check whether it is possible to proceed with your visa application on an emergency basis. Please provide the full names of the visa applicant(s) and the petitioner, plus the case number (typically LND followed by ten digits).

If you are applying for a Diversity Visa (DV-2020) and your interview appointment was postponed, you can click here to contact us about your DV-2020 case. If you have not been notified that a visa interview has been scheduled, this indicates that your case remains with the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC). Please sign in to your Entry Status Check (ESC) account for more information. The DV-2020 Program expires on September 30, 2020 and, in accordance with law, diversity visas may no longer be issued after that date.

If you are applying for an immigrant visa in a category other than IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2 (i.e. you are not applying for a visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen) and you have been advised that your case file has been forwarded to the Embassy in London, you may refer to our website for an overview of the application procedure and begin compiling the necessary supporting documents. You may book a medical appointment and proceed with the application process after normal Embassy operations have resumed. Please monitor our website for updates. Applicants are typically given 12 months in which to apply for the visa, starting from the date on which the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Unit writes to them with instructions about the status of their case.

I have an immigrant visa. Is that the same as a Green Card?/Am I an LPR?

It is not possible to apply for a Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”) from outside the U.S. If an individual travels to a U.S. Port of Entry as the holder of a valid immigrant visa and they are admitted to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), they are given the forms necessary to apply for a Permanent Resident Card at that time.

When an immigrant visa holder is admitted as an LPR at a U.S. Port of Entry, their passport is stamped with the words “Processed for I-551 temporary evidence of lawful residence” which helps facilitate overseas travel while they are waiting for the Permanent Resident Card to be processed.

Any individual who has been issued with an immigrant visa but who has not been admitted to the United States using that visa is considered an immigrant visa holder, not an LPR. If you hold a valid immigrant visa, please review the information about PP 9996 in the General Information section near the top of these FAQs.

My immigrant visa petition has been filed but not yet approved. What is the status of my petition?/I want to start the process. Can an immigrant visa petition be filed for me now?

Immigrant visa petitions are filed with and approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States, not with Embassies or Consulates abroad. This is why we can’t check the status of a petition for you or give guidance about filing a petition. Please check the USCIS website for the information you need:

You can check the status of a petition using the USCIS case status checker.

If the petition has not yet been approved and the applicant’s address changed after the petition was filed, click here to provide USCIS with the applicant’s new address.

If you have petition filing or status questions after checking the USCIS website, please contact USCIS directly using contact details provided on that website.

[NEW] I have been advised by USCIS or a consular officer to undergo DNA testing. Can the Embassy accept DNA testing kits or offer DNA test collection appointments now?

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Embassy London is not currently scheduling DNA test collection appointments for either U.S. visa or U.S. passport or citizenship services. This includes DNA testing cases referred from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We do not have an estimated timeframe for when DNA test collection appointment scheduling will resume. Please check this webpage regularly because we will update it as soon as we can resume the service.

Can my immigrant visa be extended?/Can my visa be reissued?/Can my medical be extended?

Immigrant visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance.

If you were issued with an E-3 visa or with a IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2 visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen that has now expired and you wish to move to the United States urgently, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit to check whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued on an emergency basis. Please provide the full names of the visa applicant(s) and the petitioner, plus the case number (typically LND followed by ten digits). The Immigrant Visa Unit will advise you at that time whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued and, if so, whether a new medical will be required. Please be aware that the extension of a medical report is only possible in certain limited circumstances, and that it can only be considered in the context of visa issuance or reissuance.

If you were issued with a different category of immigrant visa (not an IR-1, IR-2, CR-1, CR-2 or E-3 visa), it is not possible for your visa to be reissued at this time. Please keep checking our website for further updates. After normal visa operations have resumed and your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. The Immigrant Visa Unit will advise you at that time whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued and, if so, whether a new medical will be required. Please be aware that the extension of a medical report is assessed on a case by case basis by the Immigration Visa Unit at the time of visa issuance or reissuance.

I’m a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and I’m currently outside the United States. What should I do?

As explained above, the travel restriction (PP 9996) does not apply to legal permanent residents.

If you are not in possession of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and wish to travel to the United States, you may apply for a Transportation Boarding foil in order to facilitate boarding by the airline to transport you back to the U.S. Please see our website for information about how to apply for a Transportation Boarding Foil.

As you may be aware, if a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) remains outside the U.S. for more than 12 months (or beyond the validity period of a Reentry Permit obtained prior to departing the United States), they lose their entitlement to LPR status. Information about travel and maintaining permanent resident status is provided through the USCIS website.

Specific Information for Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1) Applicants and Fiancé(e) Visa Holders

My fiancé(e) visa petition has been filed but not yet approved. What is the status of my petition?/I want to start the process. Can a fiancé(e) visa petition be filed for me now?

Fiancé(e) visa petitions are filed with and approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States, not with Embassies or Consulates abroad. This is why we can’t check the status of a petition for you or give guidance about filing a petition. Please check the USCIS website for the information you need:

You can check the status of a petition using the USCIS case status checker.

If the petition has not yet been approved and the applicant’s address changed after the petition was filed, click here to provide USCIS with the applicant’s new address.

If you have petition filing or status questions after checking the USCIS website, please contact USCIS directly using contact details provided on that website.

My fiancé(e) visa petition has been approved. Can I continue with the application process now?

The Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As global conditions evolve, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services. The resumption of routine visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis, in coordination with the Department’s Diplomacy Strong framework for safely returning our workforce to Department facilities. U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March and will continue to do so as they are able. As post-specific conditions improve, our missions will begin providing additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa services.

We are only able to process visas for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens (IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2). We are not currently able to issue or reissue any fiancé(e) (K-1) visas. This is why it is not possible for you to proceed with your visa application at this time.

We are unable to provide a specific date for when the U.S. Embassy in London will resume K-1 visa services, or when the U.S. Embassy in London will return to processing at pre-COVID workload levels, but please be assured that we will resume K-1 visa services as soon as possible while complying with operational and travel regulations and restrictions. This is why we urge you to keep checking this website regularly for the latest information about the Embassy’s operating status and any further updates.

If you were contacted with your case number and application instructions before March 20, 2020, you can use this time to collect the supporting documents that will be needed for your visa interview. However, you should not attempt to book a medical examination or visa interview date yet because it is not currently possible for K-1 visas to be processed or issued. Please continue to check this webpage as we will update it as soon as it is possible for you to resume the application process by booking a medical and a visa interview date.

If your petition has been approved but you have not yet received your case number and application instructions, you will be contacted with that information when it is possible for your begin to the visa application process. You can check our website to help you prepare for the next steps and you can begin collecting the supporting documents you will need. However, you should not try to book a medical examination or visa interview yet. Please continue to check this webpage for updates.

What happens if my petition expires?/How long will my case stay open?

Applicants are given 12 months from the date on which the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Unit writes to them with their case number and application instructions.

​You do not need to be concerned if the petition in your name expires while you are waiting for K-1 visa services to resume. This is because you can revalidate the petition with a letter from the petitioner stating that you both remain legally free to marry and that you will do so within 90 days of your arrival in the United States. You should take the letter with you to your visa interview in the future, not mail it or email it to the Embassy now.

I have a valid K-1 visa. Can I travel directly from the UK to the United States?

Although K-1 visa holders are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10014, they are not excepted from Presidential Proclamation 9996.  This means that while Presidential Proclamation 9996 remains in effect, it will not be possible for you to travel directly to the United States from the United Kingdom unless you fall under another excepted category within the Presidential Proclamation. Please read Presidential Proclamation 9996 for detailed information.

Travel to the United States from a third country that is not covered by the Presidential Proclamation may be possible, but we advise you verify if the country to which you intend to travel has implemented travel or other restrictions prior to making travel arrangements.  Please also bear in mind that the Presidential Proclamation suspends travel to the U.S. for any individual who has been physically present in the United Kingdom within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.

Please review the visa in your passport and bear the visa expiration date in mind when considering your travel plans, as you would be required to show a valid visa on the day that you arrive at a U.S. Port of Entry. If your visa has expired or you will be unable to complete your travel before your visa expires, please see below for information about visa reissuance.

Can my K-1 visa be extended?/Can my visa be reissued?/Can my medical be extended?

Fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to request visa reissuance once the Embassy resumes K-1 visa services. It is not possible for K-1 visas to be reissued at this time. Please keep checking this webpage for further updates. After normal operations have resumed and your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. We will send you information about how to submit your passport, visa package (if applicable) and a letter explaining why you were unable to travel and requesting visa reissuance. The Immigrant Visa Unit will advise you at that time whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued and, if so, whether a new medical will be required. Please be aware that the extension of a medical report is assessed on a case by case basis by the Immigration Visa Unit at the time of visa issuance or reissuance.

I have heard that interview waiver is possible in certain cases. Is it possible in my case?

At this time, Embassy London can accept interview waiver applications for individuals who will be traveling in an official capacity and applying for one of the following visa categories: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-01, NATO-04, NATO-05, or NATO-06.

Due to the Presidential Proclamations that remain in effect, other visa categories are not eligible for interview waiver through Embassy London’s interview waiver program at this time.

Any other questions

If you have any further questions about visas, please see our website, including the Frequently Asked Question (FAQs), for detailed information. Please note that we will be unable to respond if your question is addressed on our website.

If your question is about ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program, please note that those programs are administered by CBP, not by this office. If you have ESTA questions after checking our website (including the FAQs) and the official ESTA website (including the Help section), you can find additional information and contact details for CBP through their Info Center website.

If you have general questions about coronavirus (COVID-19), check our website for a list of useful resources.

If you have question about flights, please contact your airline.