The United States has suspended its visa services in the region. The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv have ceased offering both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services for the time being. This development was confirmed by the US embassy in Israel through an official statement.
The suspension comes amidst a conflict that has severely impacted the region, leading to a halt in air travel and causing significant casualties among Palestinians.
The ongoing strife has drawn international attention, with prominent figures from Hollywood and other sectors calling for a ceasefire.
For those who urgently need to travel to the United States and do not currently possess a nonimmigrant visa, the embassy has advised applying at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Consular sections at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide are prepared to assist with expedited appointments for emergency travel. Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment and request an expedited appointment in their respective countries.
In addition, Canadian U.S. Consulates have expanded visa application eligibility to include Israelis and third-country nationals.
For expedited interview appointments due to emergency travel, applicants are advised to consult the respective Consulate’s guidelines. After completing the DS-160 application and paying fees on the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Services site, expedited appointments can be requested.
This move by the U.S. comes after the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution on the Israel-Gaza war, largely due to a veto by the United States, a close ally of Tel Aviv.
The U.S. justified its veto, stating that the resolution did not acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense. The resolution had called for humanitarian pauses in the ongoing war to allow full access for aid to Gaza. The failure to adopt the resolution has drawn criticism from the Muslim world.