Information About COVID-19 and Travel to the United States

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U.S. Embassy Brussels has suspended routine consular services.   Emergency consular services will continue to be available, including emergency passports.  U.S. citizens should write to USCitizenBrussels@state.gov or call +32 (0)2 811 4000 during business hours if you need an emergency service.  Foreign citizens with an urgent need to travel to the United States must visit our visa website https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-be/niv for instructions.  The embassy phone operators will not provide visa information.

According to current information, there will be no direct commercial air service from Belgium to the United States until at least late April.  In the meantime, commercial flights to the United States on a variety of carriers are expected to continue out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Frankfurt, Germany, and London, United Kingdom, although many travelers have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  U.S. citizens seeking to depart Belgium by land to board one of these flights are advised that governments throughout Europe have restricted cross-border travel to essential movements only.  In order to demonstrate that your travel is essential, you should only attempt to cross a border on the day of your flight with a plan to head immediately to the airport.  You should be prepared to show a flight reservation with direct return to the United States.  U.S. Embassy Brussels urges citizens to comply with instructions given by local authorities and cannot intervene on your behalf should you be refused passage.

Brussels airport remains open, although with very limited flights.  If you plan to fly from Brussels and transit another airport en route to the United States, you should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice – permission to board will depend on airline and airport authorities.  We strongly discourage booking a flight with a long layover.  If your planned travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline directly.

The government of Belgium has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Citizens are required to stay at home in order to avoid contact outside their immediate family, except for essential travel, such as for food and medical needs, as well as for physical activity.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/ and http://www.crisiscentrum.be/ for updated information.  Additional information about local conditions is available on the Embassy’s COVID-19 website: https://be.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

In-person passport pick-up and official visa drop-off hours remain unchanged at this point.  The embassy will also continue to accept U.S. passport renewals via mail and encourages U.S. citizens to review whether they are eligible for this service: https://be.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/renew-passport-by-mail/

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice.

Travelers to the United States from specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing: Department of Homeland Security Outlines New Process for Americans Returning from Certain European Countries (including Belgium), China, and Iran.

Presidential Proclamation 9993 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.

This proclamation does not apply to:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the United States

There are several other exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 9993.  If you are not a U.S. citizen or LPR and you believe you fall under one of the exceptions and have an urgent need to travel to the United States, please visit our visa website https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-be/niv for information on how to apply for an emergency appointment.  Please be aware that ESTA approvals will be canceled if you attempt to board a flight departing from the Schengen Area, UK, or Ireland to the United States while the Proclamation is in effect.  You must apply for a visa if you believe you qualify for an exception. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has an FAQ page about ESTA travel that addresses proclamation questions and questions about extending your stay in the United States due to the current situation.

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