Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. consulates have suspended processing for all visa categories until January 31, 2021, similar to the lockdown in Germany. An exception to this rule is the processing of e-registrations. This means that appointments for e-visas can still only be made in Frankfurt. Other visa categories are currently suspended in Frankfurt.
Likewise, the U.S. consulates in Berlin and Munich have suspended all visa processing until Jan. 31, 2021. Until then all previously scheduled interview appointments, except for e-registrations, have been cancelled.
Applicants can reschedule cancelled appointments via the online portal. The earliest date for the new appointment would be 01.02.2021. It can currently be assumed that it will be difficult to get a new appointment at short notice. It is also unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic will develop and whether this will extend the timeframe.
However, it is still possible to get an emergency appointment at the respective consulate. This is possible for medical or family emergencies. Whether such emergency appointments are also possible for urgent official travel will be reviewed by the U.S. consulates on a case-by-case basis.
Visa holders and travellers with ESTA can continue to submit NIE applications electronically. Currently, high processing times on the part of the U.S. consulates are to be expected here. The current restrictions on entering the country with an NIE exemption have been extended until March 31, 2021, although Joe Biden could overturn this regulation after taking office.
We will be happy to keep you updated on further developments for both the U.S. and other countries. In addition, you can contact us at any time regarding different developments. We will be happy to advise you.