Consular Operations Updates

Last updated: July 22, 2021 at 1:40pm EDT

We understand your concern about visas and travel in light of the continuing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and appreciate your patience as we safely resume our operations.

The United States Embassy and Consulates in Canada have resumed U.S. citizen services and certain nonimmigrant visa services. The U.S. Consulate General in Montreal is processing immigrant visas according to the Department’s tiered immigrant visa prioritization guidance available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/immigrant-visa-prioritization.html   Each post’s ability to expand service offerings will differ based on facilities, staffing resources, and local conditions, and it is important to monitor each location as they will resume services at different times.  While the Embassy and Consulates aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there are likely to be increased wait times for completing services due to substantial backlogs.  Wait times for appointments will also be lengthy due to the pandemic.

Please review the information below for services available.

Location Citizen Services Visa Services
Passports Consular Reports of Birth Abroad Notary Service Immigrant and Fiancé Visas Nonimmigrant Visas
Calgary 🟢 🟢 🟢 N/A 🟡
Halifax 🔴 🔴 🔴 N/A 🔴
Montreal 🟢 🟢 🟢 🟡 🔴
Ottawa 🟢 🟢 🟢 N/A 🟡
Quebec City 🔴 🔴 🔴 N/A N/A
Toronto 🟢 🟢 🔴 N/A 🟡
Vancouver 🟢 🟢 🟢 N/A 🟡

 

Current Service Status
🟢 Full Services
🟡 Limited Services
🔴 Emergency Services

U.S. citizens living in Canada are eligible for passport renewal by mail.  If all of the following are true of your most recent U.S. passport, you may be eligible:

  • Undamaged and can be submitted with your application,
  • Issued when you were age 16 or older,
  • Issued within the last 15 years, and
  • Issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change.

You may write a Canadian mailing address on the DS-82 form and Passport Services will mail your new passport to that address.

Visit passports.state.gov to see whether you can meet the requirements to renew your U.S. passport by mail. If not, please follow the instructions below on how to make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate nearest you. Please note that neither the U.S. Embassy nor the U.S. consulates in Canada can accept passport applications by mail, the mail-in passport renewal will be completed at the National Passport Processing Center in Philadelphia, PA.  Canadian residents should send their application to the National Passport Processing Center by Canada Post.

For nonimmigrant visa applicants: The U.S. Mission to Canada understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment.  We are working diligently to restore full visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.  In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.  Appointments may be made here.

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided on the FAQ page to request an emergency appointment.

For information on appointments to renounce or relinquish your U.S. citizenship in Canada, please send an email to CanadaCLNInquiries@state.gov.

American Citizen Services: Full services.
Appointment Requests: Calgary_ACS@state.gov
Nonimmigrant Visas: Student and Exchange Visitors.  Petition-based work visas, including Treaty Trader and Investors (E Visas).  All other categories: Emergency only.

American Citizen Services: Emergency services only.
Appointment Requests: Email Halifax-ACS@state.gov
Nonimmigrant Visas: Emergency services only.

American Citizen Services: Full services.
Appointment Requests for Passport and/or CRBA: Please use this form
Appointment Requests for notarial services:  Please email Montreal-ACS@state.gov
Immigrant Visas / Nonimmigrant Visas: The Consulate is prioritizing immigrant visas for Immediate Relatives, fiancé(e) (K) visas, and mission critical cases. Nonimmigrant visas are emergency only. For immigrant visa inquiries please email Montreal-IV-DV@state.gov.

American Citizen Services:  Full Services
Appointment Requests: OttawaACS@state.gov 
Nonimmigrant Visas:  Student and Exchange Visitors, Diplomatic and Official Visas, all other categories emergency only

American Citizen Services:  Emergency services only.
Appointment Requests:  QuebecACS@state.gov
Nonimmigrant Visas:  No services.

American Citizen Services:  Passport and CRBA.  Emergency notarials only.
Appointment Requests:   Please use this form.
Nonimmigrant Visas:  Student and Exchange Visitors.  Petition-based work visas, including Treaty Trader and Investors (E Visas).  All other categories: Emergency only.

American Citizen Services:  Full services.
Appointment Requests:    Please use this form.
Nonimmigrant Visas:  Student and Exchange Visitors, all other categories emergency only


Q)  Why are the Embassy and Consulates in Canada reopening at different speeds? 

  • Although the Department of State has authorized the phased resumption of routine visa services globally, each Embassy or Consulate will determine its timeline based on local conditions and the ability to ensure the safety of applicants and personnel.  Each Post in Canada will use factors including provincial regulations, as well as facility and staffing limitations, in determining when we can resume services.  We will resume adjudicating all routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa cases only when adequate resources are available and it is safe to do so.  We appreciate your patience while we continue to work hard to reopen safely.

Q)  Why can’t I apply for my Immigrant Visa at a consular section other than Montreal?

  • The Consular Section in Montreal is the only post in Canada with staff trained and equipped to process immigrant visas.  Relevant law requires that applicants apply for immigrant visas in person.  This requirement cannot be waived.

Q) How long will it take to schedule my immigrant visa appointment?   

  • The U.S. Consulate General in Montreal is processing immigrant visas according to the Department’s tiered immigrant visa prioritization guidance, available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/immigrant-visa-prioritization.html As Montreal processes very few Tier One cases, most new cases being scheduled are from Tier Two – spouses (IR-1), children (IR-2), parents (IR-5), and fiancé(e)s (K) of U.S. citizens – as well as other mission critical categories such as medical professionals.  There are increased wait times for all services due to substantial backlogs.
  • It is not possible to provide precise wait times for immigrant visa appointments, as facilities, staffing resources, and local conditions all affect capacity and scheduling. As of July 6, 2021, most IR-1, IR-2, and K visa cases scheduled for interview were documentarily qualified at the National Visa Center between July-August 2020.  Most IR-5 (parent of U.S. citizen cases) were documentarily qualified in November-December 2019. Montreal is still rescheduling Preference category applicants in Tiers Three and Four whose interviews were cancelled in March and April of 2020.  Most of those Preference cases were documentarily qualified between July-September 2019.

Q)  What steps are being taken to protect customers from the spread of COVID-19?

  • The health and safety of our workforce and customers will remain paramount.  Our embassies and consulates are implementing safeguards to keep staff and customers safe, including implementing physical distancing in our waiting rooms, scheduling fewer interviews at a time, frequent disinfection of high touch areas, and following local health and safety regulations.

Q)  Do I need to wear a mask when attending my consular appointment?  

  • For health and safety of our staff and visitors, we require all visitors over age two to wear masks.  If there is a medical reason you are not able to wear a mask, please contact the consular section at least one business day in advance of your appointment.

Q)  Do the various Presidential Proclamations/travel restrictions still apply, or are those lifting with the resumption of visa services?

  • The five geographical COVID-19 Proclamations (P.P. 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996, 10041) remain in effect. Monitor the Department of State website for updates.

Q)  Is my situation an emergency? I need to go the United States immediately for X.

Q)  What about my MRV fee that expired while routine services were suspended? 

  • The U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.