The U.S. Mission in Turkey has resumed limited processing of nonimmigrant visas following the earlier suspension of nonimmigrant visa services in all U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey back on Oct. 8, 2017. The U.S. Mission in Turkey will process nonimmigrant visas on a limited basis with a reduced number of appointments in both Ankara and Istanbul. Applicants with previously canceled visa appointments may access the internet-based appointment system to select any open date to schedule a new visa appointment. Please contact your GT attorney for more information on options for visa appointments in Turkey. Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor this matter.

For more information on visa services in Turkey, please click here.

The U.S. Embassy announced it was suspending all nonimmigrant visa services in all U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey. Turkey responded within a few hours of the U.S. Embassy’s announcement by saying it would no longer issue visas to U.S. citizens, including the physical “sticker” visas at border posts as well as the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa).

Continue Reading U.S. Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Services in Turkey; Turkey Responds by Suspending Visas to U.S. Citizens

Polish citizens no longer need a visa to travel to Turkey. Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced the visa policy change on Dec. 8 during a two-day visit to Warsaw. Davutoğlu explained that the government had done away with the visa requirement to “boost interaction” between Turkey and Poland. In return, Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz promised to increase flights between the two countries and to support Turkey in its visa liberalization agreement with the European Union, which should result in visa-free EU travel for Turkish citizens starting in 2016. Poland has been a member of the EU since 2004.

 

 

Update:  USCIS extends its closure to June 4.

With the spread of COVID-19 and the attempt to prevent its spread, in addition to the travel bans in place by the President, U.S. government agencies are starting to shut down.  Furthermore, other countries are starting to follow suit and shut its borders in an attempt to contain the virus.

USCIS announced on April 3, 2020, that it will shut all its field offices, Application Support Centers, and asylum offices until at least May 3. This will affect procedures such as biometrics, adjustment of status interviews, oath ceremonies, etc. USCIS will still continue to provide emergency services. Those who had appointment notices will receive a new appointment notice for their schedule appearances. Please visit the USCIS website for more information.

There is no update yet regarding the closures of Service Centers, which process immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions.

U.S. Consulates and Embassies Closures

Due to the concern of COVID-19 spread, U.S. consulates and embassies around the world are beginning to either close, or severely limit its services. The current trend is that most U.S. consulates or embassies will close very soon. Please check with the location where you have an appointment before attending to confirm whether it is still offering services, or staying open. As of this date, the following have either closed, or have limited services, and we include the below list which is not comprehensive. Please check each consulate’s specific website.

Europe

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cypress
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Romani
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Ukraine

Central America/ Americas

  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominican Republic

Asia

  • Japan
  • Hong Kong/ Macau
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea
  • China
  • Armenia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • UAE
  • Uzbekistan

Africa

  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Rwanda
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Dem Rep of Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Sudan

Pacific

  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia

South America

  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Bolivia
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay
  • Colombia
  • Argentina
  • Venezuela

International Travel Considerations

The U.S. State Department has just issued an alert warning against ANY international travel for U.S. citizens.  Along with the United States, other countries are also putting travel restrictions in place. To check whether there are any issues with leaving the United States and entering another country, access the U.S. State Department Website.

shutterstock_62030287U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to expand air preclearance operations to 10 new foreign airports, located in nine countries, as part of the agency’s efforts to improve national security and to enhance economic opportunities.  Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson called for the creation of these additional preclearance facilities, saying: “I want to take every opportunity we have to push our homeland security out beyond our borders so that we are not defending the homeland from the one-yard line. Preclearance is a win-win for the traveling public. It provides aviation and homeland security, and it reduces wait times upon arrival at the busiest U.S. airports.”  The 10 airports being considered are: (1) Brussels Airport, Belgium; (2) Punta Cana Airport, Dominican Republic; (3) Narita International Airport, Japan; (4) Amsterdam Airport Schipol, Netherlands; (5) Oslo Airport, Norway; (6) Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain; (7) Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden; (8) Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey; and (9) London Heathrow Airport and (10) Manchester Airport, United Kingdom.  Continue Reading DHS Aims to Expand CBP Preclearance Operations to 10 Additional Airports Abroad

The United Kingdom government has announced a plan to expand The Super Priority Visa Service in April 2015. Currently, this service is available to Chinese and Indian business travelers, and provides decisions within 24 hours to individuals who need to travel to the United Kingdom urgently. The following countries will benefit from this expansion: Continue Reading UK Government Announces Expansion of 24 Hour Visa Service