At the end of 2021, the White House and State Department announced:

  1. Travel restrictions for South Africa lifted.

The 14-day travel restrictions for countries in southern Africa will be lifted on December 31, 2021 at midnight Restrictions due to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant are in effect for travelers from Botswana, Eswantini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The requirement that all travelers to the United States, unless otherwise noted, be fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel Remain in force.

  1. No more personal visa interviews.

To reduce the backlog on nonimmigrant visas, Consular officers have the discretion Refrain from face-to-face interviews for some with H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q USCIS-approved petitions until the end of 2022. Admission requirements for those who previously a. Visas issued in the same category are:

  • No visa refusal unless the refusal has been overcome or lifted
  • No apparent or potential lock
  • You must apply in the country of your nationality or your place of residence

For those applying for the visa category for the first time:

  • Must be a citizen or national of a visa-free country
  • No apparent or potential lock
  • Was previously with ESTA. traveled to the USA

For certain students, professors, research scientists, short-term scientists or specialists (e.g. temporary agricultural or non-agricultural) visas and for those who renew visas within 48 months of their expiry.

Because consular resources and COVID-19 restrictions vary, applicants should check the relevant embassy or consular website to confirm the services available.

  1. Expired US passports can still be used.

Citizens can still use expired U.S. passports to return to the U.S. through March 31, 2022. To be eligible, the person must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Currently being abroad
  • Fly direct to the United States, US territory, or only have a short-term transit or connecting flight through a foreign country when you return to the United States
  • issued and in possession of an expired, undamaged passport that was originally valid for 10 years or, if the passport was issued 15 years or younger, the original validity period was 5 years.

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