Specific inquiries about visas during COVID-19

Visa Services

As of August 3, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador resumed limited nonimmigrant visa services, including visa renewals that meet the criteria for waiving the in-person interview requirement.  Additionally, the Consulate in Guayaquil resumed other limited immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including: IR/CR1s and IR/CR2 immigrant visas, and F, M, and certain J nonimmigrant visas.

MRV Fees: The U.S. Mission to Ecuador understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment.  We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.  In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.  Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations. 

While we aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there is 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 at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ec/niv/information/faqs to request an emergency appointment.  If you require further assistance please refer to the “Help” section at the bottom of the previous mentioned website.

Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html.  For general information about visas, please visit our Visa section on this website.

Waiving the In-Person Interview Requirement: Pursuant to Section 222(h)(1)(C)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and with concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Pompeo has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification.  Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver.  The Secretary has temporarily extended the expiration period to 24 months.  This policy is in effect from August 25, 2020 until December 31, 2020.  Taking these measures will allow consular adjudicators to continue processing nonimmigrant visa applications while limiting the number of applicants who must appear at a consular section, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other applicants and Mission staff.

Suspension of Entry for Certain Visa Categories:  On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak.  Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants (Presidential Proclamation 10014) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.

The proclamation suspends entry of nonimmigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children. No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 provide exceptions to their restrictions for certain categories of immigrants and nonimmigrants.  Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by these proclamations should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the proclamation.  The full texts of the proclamations are available on the White House website at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/.

Information for Diversity Visa Program applicants

On September 4, 2020, the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia ruled in Gomez v. Trump that the Department must make good-faith efforts to expeditiously schedule, process and adjudicate DV-2020 diversity visa applications by September 30, 2020 notwithstanding Presidential Proclamation 10014.  Therefore, DV-2020 applicants may be processed in embassies and consulates where local health conditions and post resources allow.  In accordance with the requirements in the Immigration and Nationality Act and applicable regulations, applicants must be documentarily qualified, have paid all requisite application fees, be able to obtain the required medical exam by a panel physician, and demonstrate that they are eligible for a visa before visa issuance.  DV-2020 applicants may be issued a visa through the end of the fiscal year, on or before September 30, 2020.  Applicants are reminded that immigrant visas generally expire on the same date as the medical exam expiration, typically three or six months from the date of the exam.  DV applicants whose medical exam has already been conducted but will expire prior to December 31, 2020, may opt to submit a new medical exam prior to visa issuance.  For more information, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/diversity-visa-DV-2020-update.html.

IInformation for Immigrant Visa Applicants

On April 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.  The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23 and expires in 60 days, unless continued by the President.  U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation, are not subject to the proclamation.  No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation.  Routine visas services have been suspended at U.S. posts worldwide, but as resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services for applicants who are not subject to this presidential proclamation. The full text of the presidential proclamation is available on the White House website at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-immigrants-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-economic-recovery-following-covid-19-outbreak/.

Notice for non-U.S. Citizen Medical professionals

Medical professional MUST have an approved U.S. visa petition or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program to request an emergency NIV appointment. If you meet these requirements and wish to request an emergency appointment email NIVguayaquil@state.gov (if in Guayaquil) or ConsularQuito@state.gov (if in Quito).

For general information about visas, please visit our Visa section on this website.

If you are an Ecuadorian visitor to the United States with a non-immigrant visa, and because of the COVID19 crisis will be unable to return to Ecuador prior to the expiration of your permitted stay:  You must apply to extend your stay directly with USCIS by filing a form I-539. Please see more information here:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-539.