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Immigrant Visa Operations in Ciudad Juarez
October 15, 2021

TheU.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez hasresumed routineimmigrant visa operations, scheduling thousands of socially distanced interviews each week in ALL immigrant visa categories.  This includes applicants whose cases are already at the Consulate, and applicants whose cases still remain at the National Visa Center (NVC).  Cases at NVC are being scheduled in the order that they became documentarily complete.  K applicants with cases at NVC are being scheduled for appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, in the order the cases were documentarily completed.  Those applicants should contact NVC, with any questions.  

If the Consulate instructed you to appear in Ciudad Juarez for an immigrant visa interview appointment, medical exam, or for any other reason, please read all the information below before you plan your trip. 

If you cannot wait for your immigrant visa appointment due to an emergency, please see the Emergency Appointment Criteria and instructions, farther down on this page. 

If you had a March or April 2020 immigrant visa appointment which was canceled due to COVID-19, and you have NOT been rescheduled by the Consulate, please contact the Consulate immediately hereEveryone previously barred by the former Presidential Proclamation 10014 has been contacted with next steps to resume his or her case. 


Changes to Vaccination Requirements for Immigrant Visa Applicants

Effective October 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Technical Instructions for panel physicians will require all immigrant visa applicants to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series as part of their medical exam prior to being issued a visa.  The CDC requires the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved through either the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Blanket waivers for the COVID vaccination will be applied in countries where the vaccine is not routinely available or when the vaccine is not age appropriate.  The Department of State encourages all immigrant visa applicants and others subject to a medical exam to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to not experience delays in their visa processing.

The CDC’s announcement can be found at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/panel-physicians/covid-19-technical-instructions.html.

If you are scheduled for an immigrant visa appointment in Ciudad Juarez: 

Consulate processes may be different than what you or family members experienced in the past.  The Consulate may contact you by email, phone, or physical mail. 

Applicantsmustnot make travel plans to depart Ciudad Juarez or to enter the United States until the adjudication process isfullycompleted. 

All applicants canexpect to remain in Ciudad Juarez for a minimum of two to three business days, butverypossibly longer.  Depending on your case, you may need to attend a medical exam at an authorized clinic and a “biometrics” appointment at the Applicant Service Center.  All applicants now have two separate appearances at the Consulate,spreadover two business days. It is not possibletoadjustor acceleratethis processto accommodate travel plans. 

To prevent crowding and facilitate social distancing, do not arrive to the Consulate more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. You will not be allowed to enter the Consulate building early. Do not congregate on the sidewalks outside the Consulate building.  The two medical exam clinics, Clinica Medica Internacional and Servicios Medicos de la Frontera, have enclosed, air-conditioned waiting rooms where family members can safely and comfortably wait while applicants conclude their visa interviews.  Otherwise, please ask your family to wait in your hotel, guesthouse, or elsewhere in the city.

All persons entering the Consulate must wear a face mask at all times.  Visitors experiencing fever, cough, or other illness symptoms should not come to the Consulate for their appointment.  There is ample space for social distancing within our public areas.  Please protect the health and safety of everyone by maintaining social distance from staff and other visa applicants.

Also, if you are traveling to Ciudad Juarez from the United States, remember you are subject to Mexican laws while in Mexico.  It is illegal to bring e-cigarettes into Mexico, including for personal use.  Violations of Mexican law could lead to an arrest.

Immigrant Visas: Medical Examinations 

Medical examinations areonly availablefor applicants who have been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview appointment, orifthe Consulate has requested that an applicantprovide a new medical exam.  The clinic in Mexico City and both clinics inCiudad Juarez remain open for these applicants and are taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. 

The medical clinicsare temporarily accepting other forms of identification if your valid Mexican passport is unavailable.  If the ConsulateGeneralhas instructedyou to seek a medical exam, but your passport is currently at the Consulate, you may retrieve your passport before the exam or attend the exam with other identification. 

Immigrant Visas: EmergencyAppointment Criteria 

Thousands of socially distanced routine appointments are now scheduled at the Consulate General each week by NVC. However, an applicant for an immigrant visa or K fiancé(e) visa may qualify for emergency scheduling if he or she is in Mexico and meets one or more of the following criteria: 

  • The applicant is the spouse or child of anactive-dutymember of the United States armed forces. 
  • The applicant, petitioner, or minor child of the applicant has a life-threatening medical emergency that requires the applicant’s immediate travel to the United States. 
  • The applicant or his/her spouse is an essential worker, and the applicant’s immediate travel to the United States is necessary for the essential work to continue or resume.  This includes providing childcare while a spouse performs essential work.  Essential workers, in this context, include physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals; those conducting medical or other research to combat the spread of COVID-19; or those performing work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • The applicant is an at-risk minor in Mexico without his/her parent(s). 
  • The applicant may age-out of a visa category or other benefit within the next six months.  (Applicants who are protected by theChild Status Protection Actdo not qualify foremergency processing, as they are not at risk of aging out.) 
  • Biological or legally adopted children ofU.S. Citizens (generally IR-2), who are within six months of turning 18, and who will reside in the physical custody of theirU.S. Citizen parent in the United States, may qualify for expedited processing to access Child Citizenship Act benefits. 

This list is not all-inclusive. 

Emergencyappointmentsshould be requested based on the specific, individual circumstances of the petitioner, applicant, or family members.  Requests foremergencyappointmentsare evaluated by consular officers, and the decisions cannot be appealed. 

How to Request an Emergency Immigrant Visa Appointment 

Emergencyappointmentcriteria are the same for cases at the National Visa Center or the Consulate General. 

  • For cases at the National Visa Center (NVC), applicants or attorneys should use the form here. 
  • For cases already transferred to theU.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez,applicantsshould use the form here. 
  • For cases already transferred to theU.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez,attorneysshould use the form here.

Please include a contact email address. Be prepared to provide evidence of essential employment, medical diagnoses, approved I-601 or I-212, or other documents relevant to your case, in PDF format, upon email request. 

If your request for emergency processing is approved, the Consulate may contact you by email or phone or physical mail, to schedule an interview appointment.