The COVID-19 pandemic affects working/exchange visa (non-immigrant visas) issuance in some countries unless you are based in the U.S.A with a current working visa. If you are, this doesn’t affect you as you may get an adjustment of status to a new visa/status without leaving the States.
If you are not based in the United States yet, please read the steps below in their entirety.
All bans related to a risk to the US Labor Market due to COVID19 have now expired or been revoked. You now only need to:
1. Check For Any Travel Bans From Your Country to the United States
- Check the current U.S. travel ban status here; do you see your country of residency on the list? If not, it means you do not have any travel restrictions, so you may apply for any visas and travel to the U.S.A. Go directly to Step 2.
- If yes, check if you are among the exceptions by clicking on the concerned Presidential Proclamation. If you are, you may apply for any visas and travel to the U.S.A. Go directly to Step 2.
- If not, check if you are part of NIE (National Interest Exceptions). If you are, you may apply for any visas and travel to the U.S.A. Go directly to Step 2.
- If not, it’s still not a good time to consider an expatriation in the United States, as immigration officers at U.S. embassies may deny your visa if you are not part of NIE. Check here what to do in the meantime.
2. Check Wait Time with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate
For getting a non-immigrant visa, you will need to schedule an appointment at the U.S. embassy/consulate nearest to you and that issue U.S. visas. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of routine visa services by the Department of State in March 2020, waiting times for getting a visa appointment terribly lengthened. It’s even temporarily no more possible to schedule an appointment in some embassies/consulates.
Here are the steps in order for you to verify if you can still schedule a visa appointment, and if yes, what are the waiting time:
- Enter your country of residency here in order to display all U.S. embassies/consulates in your country.
- Click on the one nearest to you, and verify on their page, if they issue U.S. visas. If yes, go to step 3. If no, click on the second one nearest to you and redo this process until you find the nearest embassy/consulate to you that issues U.S. visas.
- Once you know the city where is based the embassy/consulate you will be attached to, enter the concerned city here in order to discover the visa appointment wait times. Check the line “nonimmigrant visa appointment”.
Do you see a number less than 999?
If yes, you are good! It means that the concerned embassy/consulate still issues U.S. visas, and what you see is the wait time, the number of days you will need to wait to get an appointment. So you can apply for any visas and travel to the U.S.A. See what is the next step.
If not, and you see “999 Calendar Days” instead, it means you will have to get the information directly from the embassy/consulate. Ask them when they are going to reopen for non-immigrant visa issuance appointments. This way, even if they are currently closed, you will know when you can consider starting your job search in the USA. In the meantime, check what you can do.
What is the next step to get a visa and travel to the USA during COVID19?
The next step then is to know the feasibility of your project. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us from your dashboard. Then, check if you have job opportunities for you on USponsorMe and if not, what you should do.
Before planning to travel to the United States, make sure you acknowledge the new requirements (COVID19 negative test, etc.)
What to do if I’m affected by one of those bans?
We recommend you to postpone your target departure date until everything resume and comes back to normal, and in the meantime, to:
- explore the different locations in the USA (living costs/job opportunities/competitions)
- explore your visa(s) and job opportunities options (schedule a consultation with us if you need help with that)
- craft your perfect American resume
- take English class online to learn/improve your English, run blank interviews in English
Being more prepared means you will be among the first ones ready to leave during the upcoming surge for new opportunities after the confinement.
The COVID-19 pandemic won’t last forever, but this situation will last for months to come until the infection rate is under control. Be patient! In the meantime, we strongly recommend you work on your U.S. expatriation preparation. The process doesn’t have a time limit, and it can take several weeks for you to get the perfect resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile that can land you job interviews once jobs reopen. This will save you some time once everything goes back to normal!