US Embassy suspends visa interviews over surge in COVID-19 cases

US Embassy suspends visa interviews over surge in COVID-19 cases
Ugandans wait to vote in the presidential election in Kampala, Uganda on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The US Embassy in Kampala has temporarily suspended routine visitor visa interviews following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Uganda. 

The suspension comes in the wake of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic declared by the Ministry of Health on January 7, 2022. According to Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the country has been registering at least 37 per cent, and a 4.8 per cent increase in positive cases and test positivity rate respectively.

As of January 12, Uganda had recorded 523 new cases – representing a test positivity rate of 8.2 per cent and seven new deaths bringing the cumulative deaths toll to 3,385 since March 2020.

Anthony Kujawa, the US Embassy spokesperson in Kampala on Friday 14, January 2021 said that B1 and B2 visitor visa interviews have temporarily been suspended in response to recent challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kujawa explained that affected applicants whose scheduled interviews were cancelled got notified through automated computer-generated messages and how soon the embassy will resume such services remain unknown.

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He says the embassy continues to process only students’ visa applicants with approaching program start dates and other applicants who are travelling to the US for medical and other family emergencies.

B1 and B2 visas also referred to as “B visas” are generally the most common types of visas issued for short-term business trips, temporary employment, study exchange, and tourism purposes in the US.

A visa is an endorsement on a passport that grants the holder official permission to enter, leave or stay in a country for a specified time period. Depending on where you are travelling, a visa can be valid for single or multiple visits.

Like the US, several other countries around the globe require an interview or medical screening prior to applying for a visa.