US to resume visa interviews in Vietnam
The U.S. embassy in Hanoi and consulate in HCMC will resume interviews for certain categories of visas, including for students, on Wednesday.
The resumption is also available for doctors, government guests, professors, scholars, specialists, traders and investors, people working on vessels or international airlines in the U.S., media representatives and journalists, athletes, artists and entertainers.
The U.S. suspended all visa services in Vietnam on March 20 as a protective measure against the novel coronavirus.
The embassy said in a statement on its Facebook page on Monday that students whose classes are 100 percent online would not qualify for a student visa as part of the U.S. government's new policy that prohibits international students from returning to or remaining in the U.S. if their colleges adopt an online-only instruction model for fall.
More than 30,000 Vietnamese study in the U.S. and more than 1,200 Americans study in Vietnam annually.
Interviews for visas like B1/B2 for business and tourism purposes remain suspended, while urgent cases could contact the embassy or consulate directly, the embassy said.
Because of social distancing guidelines the number of appointments would be limited, and all applicants are expected to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and wash their hands, it announced.
Vietnam has gone nearly three months without community transmission of the disease.
The U.S. is the world's biggest Covid-19 hotspot, with 3.4 million infections and 138,247 deaths so far, and its inept handling of the pandemic threatens to worsen the situation.
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