COVID-19 forces temporal closure of US Visa application facility

Passengers boarding a flight

The US Embassy in Malawi has closed its Consular Section services for 20 working days due to what it described as COVID-19 generated constraints. During the period all routine consular services remain suspended.

According to a response from the Public Diplomacy Section, the Consular services have been closed from July 16 to August 13, 2021 and will only render emergency services to its citizens.

In the meantime, Malawian citizens and residents wishing to apply for humanitarian appointment requests will have to travel to Zambia to have them processed.

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American Ambassador Robert Scott (in grey suit) interacts with US citizens waiting for a repatriation flight in this file photo

“As a result of COVID-19 generated constraints, the US Embassy in Lilongwe is temporarily closed for all visa applicants.  The US Embassy in Lusaka (Zambia) will accept humanitarian appointment requests only for Malawian citizens and residents, at the applicant’s cost to travel to Lusaka. 

“Humanitarian cases may include an immediate relative’s death, grave illness, or life-threatening accident taking place in the United States or urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.  Immediate relatives are defined as parents, children, or siblings of the applicant.  Humanitarian cases do not include student or employment visa applications.”

Applicants will be required to complete a visa application and pay the appropriate fees before they can request for a humanitarian appointment and if an expedited appointment is not granted, no refunds will be provided and they will not be able to transfer appointments to another embassy.

The development follows an earlier “Do not travel to Malawi” alert issued on July 6 by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which put the country on Level 4 Travel Health Notice and indicated a very high level of COVID-19 for Malawi.