Information About COVID-19 and Travel to the United States

I am a U.S. Citizen

U.S. citizens may return to the United States from Belgium at any time. Full details on quarantine requirements and other measures to take after arrival in the United States can be found on the Centers for Disease Control site Returning from International Travel. Airlines have resumed direct flights to the United States from Belgium. For information on the pandemic situation in Belgium, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

U.S. Embassy Brussels is serving customers for routine services, although wait times are significantly longer than usual to maintain a safe distance for customers in the waiting room. We recognize that there may be emergency situations that require a service to be provided on short notice. U.S. citizens requesting an emergency appointment must write to USCitizenBrussels@state.gov or call +32 (0)2 811 4000 (8am-9am M-F unless critically urgent). Note: this email and telephone line is only for U.S. citizens, please see below for visa information.

We recommend all U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belgium enroll in step.state.gov to receive alerts & ensure you can be located in an emergency.

I am a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

LPRs are not subject to any Presidential Proclamations restricting travel and may return to the United States from Belgium at any time, provided you have not abandoned your permanent resident status. Please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page International Travel as a Permanent Resident for further information on that topic.

We are processing lost/stolen green card requests as proof of LPR status will be required for boarding an aircraft to the United States.

I am not a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

NOTE: A limited number of routine visa appointments are available and we are able to interview visa applicants with emergency travel reasons. After reading the information related to your visa category below, should you feel your travel need is urgent, please follow the instructions to request an expedited visa appointment. We may not be able to accommodate your expedited visa appointment request if you are not a resident of Belgium.

Presidential Proclamation 9993, related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, suspends the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

There are a number of exceptions to this proclamation, including the possibility of being granted a National Interest Exception. We understand the current regulations regarding travel to the United States are complex. If you have further questions after reviewing the information below, we have a visa customer service center available by telephone, Skype, or email.

I DO NOT HAVE a valid visa for the purpose of my travel

  • OFFICIAL (A, G, NATO):
  • CREW (C1/D):
    • This category is excepted from PP 9993. Note: Some air or sea crew-related activities may qualify for B visas instead of C1/D.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request.
  • STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR (F, J, M):
    • Students found qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be approved for a national interest exception to travel.
    • J-1 exchange visitors will be able to travel only if the visa is approved and they are determined to qualify for a national interest exception.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request.
  • INVESTOR/TREATY TRADER (E):
  • TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT (H, I, L, O, P):
    • This category is subject to PP 9993, although many purposes of travel under these visa categories may qualify for a National Interest Exception.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request.
  • PERSONAL OR BUSINESS TRAVEL (Visa Waiver or B):
    • This category is subject to PP 9993, whether traveling via ESTA or with a visa, unless you meet an exception to the Proclamation. These exceptions are clearly listed on the White House’s website and include immediate family members of U.S. citizens and LPRs. If you meet a family member exception and you do not have a valid visa, you may either:
      • 1) Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request.
      • 2) Travel on an approved ESTA. The embassy will not provide any travel letter – you will need to bring proof of the family member exception with you to the airport when you travel (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person you are claiming an exception from). Please note that we have received several reports of travelers having difficulty at the airport when attempting to travel on ESTA despite having proof of their exception to the Proclamation. Therefore, we recommend applying for a visa.
    • Certain business travelers, such as technical experts and senior-level managers; and qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security can be granted National Interest Exceptions. If you are requesting a National Interest Exception and you do not have a valid visa, you may either:
    • Most ESTA questions are covered on U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s FAQ site under the dropdown Schengen Travel Proclamation.

I HAVE a valid visa for the purpose of my travel

    • OFFICIAL (A, G, NATO): These visa categories are excepted from PP 9993. You may travel to the United States with a valid visa for an official purpose. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.
    • CREW (C1/D): This category is excepted from PP 9993. You may travel to the United States with a valid visa for a crew member purpose. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.
    • STUDENT (F, M): Students and their dependents traveling from the Schengen Area with valid F or M visas and a valid I-20 do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.
    • EXCHANGE VISITOR (J): Exchange visitors may qualify for a national interest exception. Please see our page Request for National Interest Exception for a Current Visa Holder.
    • INVESTOR/TREATY TRADER (E): E visa holders may qualify for a national interest exception. Please see our page Request for National Interest Exception for a Current Visa Holder.
    • TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT (H, I, L, O, P): Many purposes of travel under these visa categories may qualify for a national interest exception. Please see our page Request for National Interest Exception for a Current Visa Holder.
    • PERSONAL OR BUSINESS TRAVEL (B):
      • ESTA travelers please review the information above under I DO NOT HAVE a valid visa.
      • If you clearly meet an exception to PP 9993, such as your spouse is a U.S. citizen/LPR or you have a U.S. citizen/LPR child under 21, you will need to bring that proof with you to the airport when you travel. (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person you are claiming an exception from). The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.
      • Certain business travelers, such as technical experts and senior-level managers, and qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security can be granted national interest exceptions. Please see our page Request for National Interest Exception for a Current Visa Holder.