Limited Resumption of Visa Appointments on August 14

Updated:  September 11th , 2020

Limited Visa Services Resumed August 14:  Visa services were suspended worldwide in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  On August 14 the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen resumed limited visa services in a phased, safe, and orderly manner.  The status of visa services at U.S. Embassy Copenhagen is as follows:

The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services for humanitarian, life-and-death related travel.  If you believe you qualify for an emergency appointment please login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an emergency appointment.  If you do not have a life-or-death reason for travel, please monitor this website for updates for further updates.  We will continue to phase in other visa categories as we resume visa services.

While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable when we resume services, there will be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs.  The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of your payment

Travel Restrictions from Schengen Zone to United States Remain in Effect The Presidential Proclamation 9993 on Novel Coronavirus suspending entry into the United States for foreign nationals physically present in the Schengen Area (which includes Denmark), the UK, Ireland, Brazil, Iran, or China during the 14-day period preceding their entry into the United States is still in effect.  There is no definitive date for lifting these travel restrictions.  The proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses of U.S. citizens, minor children of U.S. citizens, diplomatic and official travelers, air and sea crew members, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children, and certain other categories of travelers.  Monitor the White House website for up-to-date information about the travel restrictions.

Expansion of National Interest Exception Travel for Students, Business Travelers, Investors, and Academics:  On July 16, the State Department announced that certain travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996 (which suspend travel to the United States from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland), may qualify for a national interest exception for non-tourist travel to the United States.  Travelers that may qualify for a national interest exception to the Presidential Proclamation include:

  • Humanitarian: For example, if you are having a child born to surrogacy in the United States; you require urgent medical treatment in the United States; or you have an immediate family member in the United States who is gravely ill.
  • Economic:  Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy.  Examples may include: Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain, or receive training for vessels, machinery and other specialized equipment used by U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States; Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture; Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy.
  • Investors:  Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.
  • Students:All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States to: pursue a full course of study per INA 101(a)(15)(F) or INA 101(a)(15)(M); or participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student per INA 101(a)(15)(J).
  • Academics:  All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States as a nonimmigrant under INA 101(a)(15)(J) in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, Specialists

F-1, F-2, M-1, and M-2 Students with Valid Visas:  Students with a valid F or M visa and a valid I-20 do not need to seek a national interest exception and may return to the United States without further administrative steps.  Please ensure that you follow any quarantine or social distancing requirements upon your return.   You do not need a letter or other permission from the U.S. Embassy to travel to the United States from the Schengen area on your valid F or M visa.

Other Travelers with Valid Visas or ESTA:  Travelers that already have valid nonimmigrant visas or ESTA and believe they qualify for an national interest exception (NIE) for economic, investor, or exchange visitor related purposes must verify with a consular official that they qualify.  To do so, travelers must send the following information along with supporting documentation to CopenhagenNIV@state.gov.  Supporting documents may include a letter of invitation, confirmation of your medical treatment in the United States, letter from the U.S. business explaining the economic impact of your travel on the U.S. economy, etc.  Due to a large volume of inquiries it may take up to ten business days to review your documents and qualifications.  You will be notified by e-mail if you meet the NIE requirements.  Print out that e-mail as confirmation of your excepted status.

  1. What is the purpose of your travel?  Does your travel meet one of the national interest exceptions listed above?  If so, please explain how your travel provides a substantial economic benefit to the United States.  Please provide a clear explanation, including the impact to jobs for U.S. citizens (if applicable).
  2. Do you already have an approved ESTA or visa on which you plan to travel that is applicable to your purpose of travel?  If you have a valid visa, please send a copy of it.  If you have a valid ESTA, please send your ESTA confirmation number.
  3. Please send a copy of the biographic page of your passport.
  4. Have you or any family members traveling with you experienced any COVID-19 symptoms?  Have you or any family members traveling with you been tested for COVID-19?  If so, when and what were the test results?
  5. Do you and any family members traveling with you agree to follow the health advice provided to you by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials during your enhanced screening at the port of entry?  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all travelers to the United States take extra precautions – which include staying home as much as possible and avoiding being around people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 – for 14 days after you arrive in the United States.  See the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about advice for travelers to the United States.
  6. Will any other family members be travelling with you to the United States?   If so, please provide copies of the biographic pages of their valid passports and copies of their valid visas (if applicable).
  7. Where in the United States will you be staying and for how long do you anticipate being in the United States?
  8. Have you booked a flight?  If so, please share the flight itinerary. If not, please provide the anticipated travel date and the route you will most likely book.

IMPORTANT:  Limitations of National Interest Exception:  If approved, the exception is valid only for 30 days from the date of approval and is valid for a single entry to the United States.  An individual who departs the United States and wishes to return must be re-assessed for a national interest exception.   Students, investors, and academic researchers do not need to be re-approved for each entry to the United States.  F and J visa travelers are reminded that they must still meet all Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requirements.  All individuals are reminded that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and that they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.  DHS requires travelers using a NIE waiver to fly into one of 15 specifically designated airports found here.

Travelers Without Valid Visas:  If you believe you fall into any of the exception categories noted above, another exception to the Proclamation, or have reason to believe you may qualify for a national interest exception on a basis other than that noted above, and you require a visa to travel, please monitor this page for information about visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen.  Effective August 14, the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen will resume limited visa services in a phased, safe, and orderly manner.  Effective August 14, routine appointments will be available for scheduling for F/M/J student and exchange visitor visa applicants only.   All other visa categories continue to be suspended while we assist hundreds of student and exchange visitors with fall 2020 academic start dates.  Once a definitive date for resumption of additional visa services is announced you can schedule your appointment on our website.  If the purpose of your travel to the United States is for a life-or-death emergency and you believe you qualify for one of the exceptions note above, e-mail the Embassy at CopenhagenNIV@state.gov to discuss your purpose of travel.

 Travel Restrictions for H-1B, H-2B, L, and Certain J Visas:  On June 22, the President signed Proclamation 10052 suspending the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States who present a risk to the United States labor market during the economic recovery following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.  The Proclamation went into effect on June 24, 2020 and will be in effect through December 31, 2020.  Under the Proclamation, the Department of State will not issue H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L1, L2, or the following J visa categories:  interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs, and summer work travel program participants.  The Proclamation is not retroactive.  No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation.  Read the full text of the Proclamation for additional information.  For questions about adjusting status or extending the authorized period of stay in the United States, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office (USCIS).  USCIS has full jurisdiction over immigration matters for foreign citizens physically within the United States.