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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawImpact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on US Visa Process

Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on US Visa Process

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the US visa process and we are specifically discussing that process in the context of the Coronavirus. 

In the last roughly week ahead of this video being made, we have seen a lot going on with respect to announcements both here in Thailand as well as in greater ASEAN as well as in the United States regarding US Immigration Policy. For example, the Trump Administration has noted that there is now basically a travel ban in place on European travelers to enter the United States. We have also seen and we made videos previously on bans from China involving travelers coming from China. So, now we are just kind of discussing this in an overall context. 

A couple of things I am noticing is I have yet to see this have an overall impact here in Southeast Asia, although it does appear that it may possibly be having an impact in Cambodia although I am still getting some information on that and I might make another video subsequent to this one on whether or not the US Embassy in Cambodia is continuing to process things as they normally do. 

In a recent article from and that article is under Jamaica News. The article is titled: US Embassy in Jamaica Suspends Visa Services After Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus. Quoting directly: "The US Embassy has suspended Visa Services and American Citizen Services after news that one of its employees has tested positive for the Coronavirus." So in that situation clearly you are going to see truncated services from that post because they have to deal with this in a circumstantially specific way.

Presently, it is my understanding that the US Embassy here in Thailand is going to continue processing things as they normally have. I don't foresee them needing to close anything down with respect to visas or the American Citizen Services Section. That being stated, things can change.  Again, this closure in Jamaica was done as a reaction to somebody being infected down there and it remains to be seen whether or not something like that could happen. We pray not. We would hope that nobody gets infected with this disease and subsequently causing a shutdown of that nature. 

But just for now, it looks like Immigration Process from here in Thailand seems to be operating the same way as it did before albeit we are now dealing with different changes to the overall process especially in association with Public Charge Rule changes and the adoption of the DS-5540 form so you know we are dealing with things as they would normally be processing notwithstanding we have had recent rule changes. 

As of yet, it doesn't look like Coronavirus is directly impacting anything here at the US Embassy in Thailand. Meanwhile, Laos it doesn't look like anything is being impacted. As I said, I have heard and this is anecdotal so I am hesitant to really say much about it, other than to say I have only heard it, it is not confirmed.  I may make a video later if I deem it is worthy to bring it up because the information I have heard is sort of more solidified for lack of a better term but I have heard there may be Administrative issues in processing things out of the US Embassy in Cambodia and we will wait to see and hopefully nothing goes wrong there. 

But for now it looks like everything in Thailand is processing is normal and other than places specifically with problems that have recently come up for example Jamaica where somebody was infected in that particular post, I think that the process will continue uninterrupted unless and until some issue comes up that requires the attention for example the attention similar to what has happened in Jamaica.