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Staff Blog

Worldwide Delays at U.S. Embassies

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to be a worldwide threat, many U.S. embassies and consulates around the world have remained closed or with reduced services. According to a report published by The PIE News, 123 out of 256 U.S. embassies and consulates have permanently closed, temporarily closed, or only offer emergency US visa appointments.

Additionally, recent data shows long delays for U.S. visa waiting times. Currently, only 60 embassies show a waiting time for student visas of 14 days or less. Even in Japan, Student/Exchange Visitor visas — which include F, M, and J — have a wait time of 22 calendar days. Osaka is considerably less crowded, with a wait time of 10 calendar days.

※ Official website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html

A Department of State official said on this issue: “As the global situation continues to evolve, the department is continuously seeking ways to efficiently process visa applications around the world, consistent with both guidance from health authorities and with the US travel restrictions currently in place.”

At least in Japan, we can only hope that a quick and efficient vaccine rollout in the coming months will help reduce these wait times as society returns to normal.

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