US Department of State Says US to Resume Visa Issuance

The State Department said Monday that US embassies and consulates around the world will soon resume their visa services. It is not yet clear which embassies will resume services and when, writes ABC News.

The worldwide suspension of U.S. visas, except in emergencies, has become one of several ways the Trump administration has severely restricted U.S. immigration and travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest step in this campaign was the most controversial, with international students banned from attending online classes in the fall semester, even as several US universities are moving to distance learning due to an uncontrolled coronavirus outbreak in several states. This decision was challenged in court by more than a dozen states and 200 universities.

So far, no embassy or consulate has announced plans to reopen visa services. Many of them continue to face a shortage of staff and are trying to find a way to reopen services, taking into account the need for social distancing.

President Donald Trump has also limited who can obtain H-1B visas, H-2B visas, L-visas, and some J-visas until December 31st. H-1B visas are for highly skilled workers in fields such as engineering or information technology, while H-2B visas are for seasonal workers, such as those working in the production or processing of food. The J visa ban affects au pair, camp staff, and teachers, while L visas are for internal transfers of employees.

Even after the resumption of visa services, travel from more than two dozen countries to the United States will continue to be banned under Trump's decree. The rules apply to any foreigners who have traveled through China, Iran, UK, Ireland, Brazil and the European Schengen area in the past 2 weeks.