United States Consulates have been closed globally for several months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, throwing a wet blanket over the ultimate goal of actually obtaining your visa stamp. And while a select few will be opening soon in a limited capacity, the vast majority of consulates remain taking appointments and interviews by “emergency only”.
You may assume by the word emergency alone that you probably don’t qualify for an appointment, but that may not be the case. We’ve seen several Legalpad clients qualify for emergency appointments at their consulates.
We’ve assessed some viable strategies for how you may be able to present a compelling case to request an emergency visa interview. In most cases, that involves presenting a national interest of the country, paved by certain executive orders that establish that rationale.
If you haven’t already, you should start by checking your country’s United States embassy page on www.usembassy.gov/. This page will give you specific information on how your embassy/consulate is operating that may deviate from the general policies.
Note: These strategies can only be applied for those with an approved petition awaiting their interview and stamp.
Here are some insights.
Medical Work & Research
As we know, medical workers are needed everywhere, specifically the United States, which has the largest outbreak of COVID-19 with no signs of slowing down. Medical workers in all capacities may be able to use this as a justification for an emergency appointment, particularly those working in research that may be related to the virus.
Food Supply Chain
The food supply chain has been severely impacted by COVID-19, and the United States is no exception. If your work pertains to the food supply -- e.g. transportation, technicians, supply chain engineers, etc. -- this may help make a case to get your appointment.
Contributing To The Recovery Of The US Economy
COVID-19 has caused massive rises in global unemployment. And while the United States has put restrictions on visas in order to focus on hiring Americans, this may actually work in the favor of applicants who are business/startup owners looking to hire talent. At Legalpad, we’ve found that people with O-1 approvals, armed with venture-funding and looking to hire talent in the states, have had some success in getting into their consulate for their visa interview.
None of these strategies are guarantees you’ll be granted an appointment. Every consulate operates under different conditions with a different population to serve. But keep in mind it’s all about making your case, so be sure to include as much detailed, relevant information as you can. With any luck, these suggestions may help you get in the door for your interview, and get your visa stamp to come to the United States. Best of luck!