Sanwar Ali comment:
The US visa restrictions is causing significant delay for temporary and permanent migrants to the US. Coronavirus has so far claimed the lives of about 19,000 people Worldwide and many would say, on top of this, will cause a Worldwide recession. Without Government support many businesses will not survive. Governments around the World are spending billions of dollars to subsidise businesses and jobs.
US embassies and consulates worldwide are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. People affected will need to reschedule their US visa appointment once the service is resumed. It’s understood that the cancellation of US visa appointments will apply across approximately 100 countries.
The US State Department has said that the order will affect US visa services at embassies with a US State Department travel advisory level of 2, 3 or 4. Appointments in India, the UAE, South Korea and more have already been impacted.
In addition to the cancellation of US visa services worldwide, the Trump administration has introduced a travel ban on foreign nationals who have travelled to Asian nations and Europe in recent weeks, in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus across the US.
US Embassy in India will not issue visas
In India, the US Embassy said: “In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. Your visa appointment stands as cancelled.”
“Once regular operations resume, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule,” the Embassy said.
A spokesperson for the US State Department said: “Missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services as resources allow. Services to US citizens based overseas will remain available.”
More than 9 million US visas issued worldwide
Across more than 160 foreign missions worldwide, the US issued more than 9.2 million US immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in 2019. The announcement that US visa services across the globe will be cancelled is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of people.
The US State Department spokesperson said: “The move will not affect the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which enables most citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.”
Nearly 500 coronavirus deaths in US
As of March 23, 40,855 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed, with 483 deaths, while 187 people have since recovered. 1,040 people infected with the virus are reportedly in a serious or critical condition.
New York has the highest number of cases with 20,875. Unsurprisingly, it has also seen the highest number of deaths from coronavirus with 157. Since the start of February, coronavirus cases in the US have quickly escalated.
Worldwide coronavirus cases approach 400,000
Across the world, there have been 436,623 reported cases of coronavirus, with 19,643 deaths. However, a reported 111,894 people have made a full recovery. Of the 436,623 cases, 13,267 are in a serious or critical condition.
After China, Italy has the highest total number of cases, with 69,176 people infected, with the death toll at 6,820.
The US has the third highest number of cases in the world, closely followed by Spain.
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