The United States said Friday it was temporarily suspending all routine visa services around the world due to the global novel coronavirus disease pandemic.
The US State Department said embassies and consulates will still consider emergency visas if they have adequate staff available. In the past week, the State Department had already said it was suspending visa issuance at most posts overseas.
But Friday’s order was global in implementation and, while temporary, there was no date set for services to resume.
The suspension will not in itself affect travelers, largely from Western and wealthy Asian nations, who can come to the United States without visas. However, the United States has temporarily halted arrivals of most Europeans in a move to halt the spread of the pandemic from the current epicenter of the outbreak.
US embassies will still be open and available to assist US citizens, the State Department said.