AKIPRESS.COM - The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy will open visa interview appointments for all visa services since December 1, 2021. AKIpress has asked U.S. Embassy Bishkek Spokesperson Nolen Johnson to answer several questions about this process.
- Please explain in more detail how the visa interview appointments worked before the COVID?
Prior to COVID, our office was open for all non-immigrant visa interviews, immigrant and diversity visa interviews, and services for U.S. citizens. Due to social distancing measures for the safety of our applicants and our staff, we have had to reduce the applicant seating capacity in our waiting room from approximately 25 to 5, which significantly reduced the number of interviews we can conduct in a day.
- Why the US government opened back the visa interview appointments?
We are confident that the social distancing measures we put in place starting in December will allow our applicants and staff to have a safe and positive visa application experience, but this also depends on our applicants. Please wear your mask properly, observe social distancing, and arrive on time - if visa applicants arrive early, unfortunately, they may need to wait a significant amount of time, before the Embassy has space in the waiting room for them.
- What was the visa issuance process in recent months?
In March 2020, the consular section closed for everything but emergency services. We have been gradually opening services and appointments over the past several months as the health situation improved in the country. In the last few months we have been open for U.S. citizen services, in addition to limited visa appointments, including immigrant, student, and work visas. We also accommodated emergency interview requests.
- Will there remain any visa restrictions?
Thanks to the Kyrgyz Republic’s introduction of new biometric passports, there are no visa restrictions in place. However, we expect that in the short term there will be a significant demand for appointments that may outpace the supply we can provide under social distancing rules, especially for tourist visas. We ask that our applicants be patient as we work to try and provide an opportunity for everyone to apply.- What are the vaccination requirements (by timing, by type)? Which vaccines available in Kyrgyzstan will be accepted in the United States?
According to the CDC, you are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose of an accepted 2 dose series of COVID vaccine. We ask travelers to consult the lists of WHO and FDA accepted vaccines directly, as these lists are frequently updated. A vaccine approved on either list meets the U.S. travel requirement.
- Do children also need vaccination?
Children under 18 are exempted from the vaccination requirement for foreign national travelers, but children ages 2 and above are still required to show documentation of a negative viral COVID-19 test result before they travel.
- Do the PCR tests requirements remain?
All fully vaccinated travelers ages 2 and above must show documentation of a negative viral COVID-19 test result, taken within 3 days of departure. For more information on the testing requirements, please consult the CDC website.