U.S. Visa and Travel FAQs for non-U.S. citizens following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We understand your concern about visas and travel in light of the continuing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We hope that this information will help answer your questions.

Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we are only able to respond to individual questions that are not answered on this page or elsewhere on our website. Therefore, please carefully review these FAQs to find the information you require.

We ask that you continue to monitor our website for updates and contact us with any questions only after normal visa services have resumed.

Please make sure that you read the General Information in full, and then navigate to the Nonimmigrant Visa, Immigrant Visa or Fiancé(e) visa specific information section as appropriate to find more information that is relevant to your circumstances..

Is the U.S. Embassy in Managua conducting visa interview appointments?

As of July 24, 2020, the United States Embassy in Managua is resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including: emergency nonimmigrant visas; F-1 and M-1 student visas, Interview waiver program for nonimmigrant applicants and immigrant visa appointments.

While we aim to process cases as soon as possible, there are likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs.

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided through our website to request an expedited appointment. Once you have booked the earliest available appointment, you can then follow the on-screen instructions to request an expedited appointment.

When new appointment dates are available for booking, they will display through your appointment calendar within your Visa Appointment Service account. If no appointments are available when you first check, please continue to check your account as any newly released appointments will show on your appointment calendar. We do not operate a waiting list.

Can I travel to the United States? What does the travel order (Presidential Proclamation 9996) mean?

Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and the subsequent proclamation issued May 24, 2020:

  • Brazil;
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
  • The Republic of Ireland;
  • The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau

The travel restriction does not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents and other individuals who are identified in Presidential Proclamation 9996. Travelers are advised to visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website and the guidance at travel.state.gov for information on U.S. travel restrictions and possible exceptions.

Can I travel to the United States from a country that is not covered by Presidential Proclamation 9996?

Travel to the United States from a country that is not covered by the Presidential Proclamation may be possible, but we advise you to verify whether the country to which you intend to travel has implemented travel or other restrictions before you make travel arrangements.

One possible source of such information is travel.state.gov which contains links to the websites of other countries’ immigration authorities.

We are not able to suggest countries to which you may travel, or comment on the travel regulations that apply to a country other than the United States or Nicaragua.

Please also bear in mind the following:

  • The Presidential Proclamation suspends travel to the U.S. for any individual who has been physically present in the previously mentioned countries within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.
  • The suspension also applies for travelers transiting through a U.S. airport.
  • Transiting a country covered by the Presidential Proclamation, even without exiting the airport, counts as physical presence within that country.

I believe the travel restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9996 do NOT apply to me, and I have a valid nonimmigrant, immigrant or fiancé(e) visa. What should I do?

If you believe that the travel restriction does not apply to you, we suggest that you contact your airline for the latest information about your travel plans and any restrictions.

If you travel, please follow the steps below:

  • Arrive early for your flight.
  • Carry any documentation that you believe demonstrates why you have been excepted from a travel restriction, such as a Permanent Resident card (commonly known as a Green Card);
  • You may also wish to carry a copy of the Presidential Proclamation itself.
  • Your status will be reviewed in consultation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.
  • Finally, please note that the U.S. Embassy cannot provide an official letter stating that you are excepted from a travel restriction.

If you believe that the restrictions do not apply to you but you need to apply for a visa, scroll down to the specific information for nonimmigrant visa applicants.

Will I be required to self-quarantine after I enter the United States?

The Department of State recommends the CDC website for the most up-to-date information regarding quarantine regulations.

I’m in the United States and I’m worried about overstaying my authorized period of admission. What should I do?

If you are in the United States, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information about how to apply to extend your stay. While you are in the United States, any questions about your status are a matter for USCIS, not the Embassy. Information and contact details can be found on the USCIS website.

My appointment request has been approved. What do I need to know before attending the appointment?

You will go through airport-style security screening. Due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), everyone should wear a face mask. Visit the CDC website for information about how to make a face covering (sew and no-sew tutorials are available).

Only the supporting documents related to your appointment will be allowed in, no laptops, phones, or bags are permitted into the building and there are no storage facilities available. To save time, we recommend that you keep the number of belongings that you bring with you to an absolute minimum.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, you must reschedule your appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website. If you have recently entered the country and are subject to quarantine, your appointment must take place after the 14 day quarantine period.

Can I have a refund?

As explained at the time of fee payment, visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

No refund is possible. Please see the relevant specific section below for information about visa validity, provided that your new purpose of travel is consistent with the type of visa you hold.

I have a question about my existing visa application

If you have any questions about a visa application that was submitted before the travel restrictions and the answer is not provided in these FAQs (keep checking this webpage for the latest updates) or elsewhere on our website, please monitor our website for updates. You can contact us for case-specific information at ManaguaNIV@state.gov for nonimmigrant visa inquiries or ManaguaIV@state.gov for immigrant visa inquiries.

If your application is subject to additional administrative processing, or under review pending a decision on a waiver of ineligibility or for any other reason, that will remain the status of your case until you are advised otherwise.

Now that you have read the General Information, please click on the link below for the specific information that applies to you.

  • Specific Information for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants and Nonimmigrant Visa Holders
  • Specific Information for Immigrant Visa Applicants, Immigrant Visa Holders and LPRs
  • Specific Information for Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1) Applicants and Fiancé(e) Visa Holders
  • Other questions

My interview for a nonimmigrant visa was cancelled. Can I get a refund?

Please note that visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you wish to apply for a visa through another embassy or consulate, you will be required to pay a new MRV fee and complete a new Form DS-160. You will be able to reschedule you appointment a maximum of 3 times, so please wait until operations resume before scheduling once more. Visit our website www.ustraveldocs.com or contact our call center (7877-7600 / 703-745-5479) for questions about visa fee payment validity.

I am a student and I need to get my visa in time for the next semester. What can I do?

As of July 24, 2020, the United States Embassy in Managua resumed certain visa services, including student visa appointments.

Please follow the guidance provided through your Visa Appointment Service account to request an expedited appointment. Once you have booked the earliest available appointment, you can then follow the on-screen instructions to request an expedited appointment. Please make sure you state your report date or start date as stated on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 within your expedite request.

We strongly recommend that all current and prospective F-1 and M-1 students and study abroad advisers review the comprehensive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ. This includes important new information about full course of study requirements and online learning, Form I-20, employment, and the SEVIS fee.

Can my nonimmigrant visa be extended?

Nonimmigrant visas cannot be extended. However, the majority of nonimmigrant visas are valid for several years. Please check the visa in your passport to confirm the validity period of the visa in your case.

If you are currently in the United States, please be aware that the expiration date of your visa has no bearing on your length of stay in the United States. Please check the stamp in your passport applied by officials at the U.S. Port of Entry for information about your authorized period of stay. Please contact USCIS for information about how to apply to extend your stay. Contact details can be found on their website.

I have an immigrant visa. Is that the same as a Green Card?/Am I an LPR?

it is not possible to apply for a Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”) from outside the U.S. If an individual travels to a U.S. Port of Entry as the holder of a valid immigrant visa and they are admitted to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), they are given the forms necessary to apply for a Permanent Resident Card at that time.

When an immigrant visa holder is admitted as an LPR at a U.S. Port of Entry, their passport is stamped with the words “Processed for I-551 temporary evidence of lawful residence” which helps facilitate overseas travel while they are waiting for the Permanent Resident Card to be processed.

Any individual who has been issued with an immigrant visa but who has not been admitted to the United States using that visa is considered an immigrant visa holder, not an LPR.

Can my immigrant visa be extended?

Immigrant visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance.

Please note that regardless of the visa category you need to follow the instructions below in order to obtain a reissuance:

  • Schedule an appointment through our website or call center
  • Provide your passport with previous visa and visa package (if applicable)
  • Provide updated medical exam and civil documents
  • Provide a signed letter explaining the extraordinary circumstances that prevented your from traveling

I’m a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and I’m currently outside the United States. What should I do?

As explained above, the travel restriction (PP 9996) does not apply to legal permanent residents.

If you are not in possession of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and wish to travel to the United States, you may apply for a Transportation Boarding foil in order to facilitate boarding by the airline to transport you back to the U.S. Please see our website for information about how to apply for a Boarding Foil.

As you may be aware, if a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) remains outside the U.S. for more than 12 months (or beyond the validity period of a Reentry Permit obtained prior to departing the United States), they lose their entitlement to LPR status. Information about travel and maintaining permanent resident status is provided through the USCIS website.

I have a valid K-1 visa. Can I travel directly to the United States?

If you have not been physically present in the countries included in Presidential Proclamation 9996 within 14 days prior to your arrival at the United States you are able to proceed with your travel plans. Admission to the United States is a matter for CBP officials at the U.S. Port of Entry and all travelers are subject to questioning. No assurances are given in advance.

Can I extend my K-1 visa?

Fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance.

In order to obtain a reissuance, you must:

  • Schedule an appointment through our website or call center
  • Provide your passport with previous visa and visa package (if applicable)
  • Provide updated medical exam and civil documents
  • Provide a signed letter explaining the extraordinary circumstances that prevented your from traveling

If you have any further questions about visas, please see our website, including the Frequently Asked Question (FAQs), for detailed information. Please note that we will be unable to respond if your question is addressed on our website.

If you have general questions about coronavirus (COVID-19), check our website for a list of useful resources.

If you have question about flights, please contact your airline.