As of 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on December 31, 2021, Presidential Proclamation 10315, which suspended the entry of certain noncitizens traveling as immigrants or nonimmigrants who were physically present in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe during the 14-day period prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States, is no longer in effect. All non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the United States are required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States. Additionally, air travelers aged two and older, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, are required to show documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of the flight’s departure to the United States before boarding. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight. That includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals.
Visa Operating Status: Beginning May 20, 2021, the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg is responsible for providing visa services to those from Lesotho seeking to enter the United States except for diplomatic visa categories. The U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg is resuming visa processing. Please follow the instructions at https://ais.usvisa-info.com to schedule an appointment or to submit your visa application via courier. Approximate wait times for appointments can be found by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html.
For questions regarding scheduling an appointment online, requesting an expedited appointment, or renewing your U.S. visa via courier, please call +27 87 550 2160. Customer service center agents are available Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time.
COVID Vaccination Requirement: Effective November 8, 2021, President Biden introduced a global vaccination requirement that all adult foreign nationals (age 18 and older) traveling to the United States be required to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to their airline prior to boarding a flight. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website explains that, for purposes of entry into the United States, the accepted vaccines will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. Please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html for more information. Please also visit Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S. and FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel.
COVID Testing Requirements: On December 2, 2021, President Biden announced new actions to protect Americans against the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, including strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols. Starting the week of December 6, the United States will require all inbound international travelers over the age of 2 years old, including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, to take a COVID test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding and deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Visit the CDC’s interactive Travel Assessment tool and CDC’s international travel guide for details of testing requirements.
Immigrant and Fiancé(e) Visas: All U.S. immigrant and fiancé(e) visas for citizens and residents of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Lesotho and Swaziland are processed through the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg. If your petition is still pending with USCIS, please contact USCIS Customer Service at https://www.uscis.gov/contactcenter. After USCIS approves the petition, you can contact the Department of State’s National Visa Center (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/national-visa-center.html) regarding scheduling. If your case has been scheduled and forwarded to the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, you may direct all inquiries to JohannesburgIV@state.gov.