Impact on Travel and Consular Appointments in China Due to Coronavirus
We understand clients are following national and international news in this rapidly changing situation. The below is an update to our Client Alert of January 31, 2020. The information is current as of February 4, 2020.
Impact on Travel to the U.S.
Evacuation flights: The Department of State has advised it may be staging additional evacuation flights with capacity for private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis, leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on Thursday, February 6, 2020. Non-U.S. citizen immediate family members (spouse, parent or child of the U.S. citizen) traveling with the U.S. citizen family member will also be eligible for evacuation. Information is available here: https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/wuhan-health-alert/. For the latest information on the outbreak, visit the CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website .
All flights from China: As of Monday, February 3, 2020, all flights from China and all passengers who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be re-routed through one of eleven U.S. airports at no cost to the traveler:
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
Beginning at 5:00 pm (ET) on Sunday, February 2, 2020:
U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine upon seeking to reenter the United States.
U.S. citizens who have traveled in other areas of mainland China will undergo screening at U.S. ports of entry and may require 14 days of “self-monitoring.”
Foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents [green card holders], and flight crew) who have visited China within 14 days of their arrival are temporarily banned from entering the United States.
Impact on Consular Operations
All consular posts in China are closed for visa services the week of February 3, 2020. We previously advised that the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou had cancelled immigrant visa appointments the week of February 3, 2020. However, the Department of State has now advised that all U.S. embassies and consular posts in China will be closed to the public from February 3rd through 7th, in accordance with Chinese government guidance. Emergency American citizen services will be available. American citizens can sign up for notifications for Americans traveling in China here: https://step.state.gov/
U.S. visa applicants at consular posts worldwide are requested to postpone interviews until 14 days have passed from travel to China. U.S. consulates worldwide are now issuing the following advisory to individuals with visa interviews scheduled:
“Entry of individuals who were present in China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation. If you reside in China, have traveled to China recently, or intend to travel to China prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from China.”
We will continue to provide updates as they are made available by the Department of State or other reliable sources.