In late March, the State Department, citing worldwide challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, temporarily suspended routine visa services at US embassies and consulates. Services to US citizens continue to proceed.
The department later updated its guidance to tell foreign medical professionals with approved visa petitions, or who are eligible for an approved exchange visitor program, to request an appointment at their nearest embassy or consulate.
A State Department official told CNN that a majority of visas processed worldwide fall into the "routine" category.
“As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services,” they said. “Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but we are unable to provide a specific date at this time.”
More details: The latest figures released by the State Department reveal that even with some exceptions, issuances dramatically declined. As a point of comparison, in April 2019, more than 800,000 non-immigrant visas had been issued.
There are more than 20 major categories of nonimmigrant visas, covering different reasons for travel. Among the most common types are business travel/tourism visas, student visas, exchange visitor visas, crew member/transit visas, and specialty worker visas.