March 20, 2020
U.S Department of State issues Level 4 Advisory – warns citizens not to travel abroad
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued Level 4 – Travel Advisory advising the U.S. citizens to avoid international travel. Last week the U.S. raised the advisory globally to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. It has now moved to Level 4 instructing its citizens not to travel abroad and require them to return to the U.S. or prepare to shelter in place.
As such, the DOS has currently suspended routine visa services in most countries worldwide. From March 18, 2020, the Embassies and Consulates have cancelled all routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments until further date. However, the suspension of visa services will not affect the Visa Waiver Program.
According to a tweet from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the DOS “is suspending routine visa services in most countries,”. On Thursday, it announced that its passport agencies would only offer services “for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours,” effective Friday, March 20, 2020.