Due to the severely limited consular operations in Moscow, the U.S. Department of State has designated multiple posts for processing certain nonimmigrant visa applications from persons resident in Russia. Russia-based student visa applicants (F and M categories) as well as academic exchange visitors (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, and specialist J visa categories) and participants in U.S. government-funded exchange visitor programs may apply at the following posts: Mission Kazakhstan and U.S. embassies Belgrade and Yerevan.

DOS Designates Third-Country Posts for Processing F, M, J Visas for Russian Residents

DHS to Require Non-U.S. Individual Travelers Entering the United States at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Non-U.S. Travelers Travelers Entering the US at Land Ports of Entry 

Record Nonimmigrant Visa Waits Even as ¼ of Consulates Remain Partially Closed

Record Wait Times at US Consulates

DOS updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) on intent to depart and residence abroad requirements for F-1 students; this may also be useful for J-1 exchange visitors and Afghan scholars. Student visa applicants must possess a present intent to depart the US at the conclusion of their approved activities, but that such intentions may change and that this is not a sufficient reason to deny a visa. The present intent to depart does not imply a need to return to the country from which they hold a passport; it only means that they must intend to leave the US upon completion of studies. A student can be considered as maintaining a residence abroad if he or she intends to return to reside with parents or guardians.

State Dept. Updates Guidance on F-1 Student Intent to Depart and Residence Abroad Requirements

Temporary travel restrictions on foreign travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the region have been lifted following recommendations from the CDC. The other countries include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Those traveling from these countries will need to meet the same requirements as other foreign travelers to the US: be fully vaccinated and obtain a negative COVID-19 test within a day of their departure to the US.

Restrictions on Travelers From Southern African Countries Lifted December 31

The Secretary of State has authorized consular officers through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain visa applicants who have a petition approved by USCIS, including H-1B, H-4 and O visas who meet certain conditions, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.

Expansion of Visa Interview Waivers

Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals

Entry at Land Ports of Entry

You will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the US. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.

CDC Travel Update

Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers

A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-⁠19 Pandemic

Safe Resumption of Global Travel

Immigration Updates