Travel Restrictions Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Friday, July 3, 2020

On March 11, 2020 the U.S. Government announced travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, temporarily suspending travel (as of March 13, 2020) for non-U.S. citizens who have been physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14 days before their entry to the U.S. On March 14, the ban was extended to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland starting Monday, March 16.

The ban affects travel from 28 European countries to the U.S., including Liechtenstein. Travel has been suspended for 30 days starting Friday, March 13, 2020 at midnight EST. Authorities at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security note that the restrictions will not apply to " legal [U.S.] permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation [Sec. 2]." Please see the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for further information about reentering the U.S.

All citizens of Liechtenstein who are on travel for business or leisure are requested to return home in all cases where flight connections and other means of travel are still available to them. Waiting could put visitors at risk of being unable to leave the country they are in, as numerous countries have introduced entry limits and airline companies have reduced flights.The decision as to whether or not to travel to Liechtenstein is at each individual's own discretion and their own personal responsibility. Dual citizens should be aware that U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and leave the United States with a U.S. passport: https://ch.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/. In addition, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has posted travel advice and offers travelers basic information by providing information about possible risks and precautionary measures.

For Liechtenstein citizens in the U.S. in need of consular services (passports, visas, emergency assistance, etc.), all such services are provided by the Embassy of Switzerland and its Consulates. Please visit our page with a list of Swiss consulates by U.S. district.

Liechtenstein citizens living in the United States of America are NOT mandated to return to Liechtenstein.

As it relates to the Temporary Restriction on Non-Essential Travel to the European Union adopted by the EU on March 16, the temporary travel restriction exempts nationals of all EU Member States and Schengen Associated States including Liechtenstein (see footnote 3 of the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council).

To all Liechtensteiners who are located abroad: The Liechtenstein Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted information on help for those outside of Liechtenstein: https://www.llv.li/inhalt/1305/amtsstellen/hilfe-fur-liechtensteiner-innen-im-ausland. Liechtensteiners abroad can also register on itineris (Online registration for Swiss citizens travelling abroad) to receive information as it relates to where they are domiciled: https://www.itineris.eda.admin.ch/For emergencies: EDA (Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) Helpline +41 800 24 7 365 and konsularisch@llv.li. 

PREVENTING ESTA/VISA OVERSTAY:

Travelers who cannot find a flight to leave and are in the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) should call the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Customer Service (1-800-375-5283) just before or on the expiration date of their Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The Customer Service Desk will help you schedule an appointment at the nearest USCIS field office, usually for that same day. These field offices are closed for regular operations but are open to grant VWP extensions for a maximum of 30 days for Satisfactory Departure. If after the 30 days you still cannot find flights, you can go through the same process for an additional extension. 

If you are in the U.S. on a valid visa and are unable to leave because of the current situation, you should submit an extension request by filing form Form I-539 by mail, along with form I-912 to request a fee waiver, an explanation why you are unable to leave, and any other relevant documentation. Instructions on where to file can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-539-addresses . If you are already very close to the expiration date you can also call USCIS Customer Service for further instructions. 

Callers should have their I-94 Departure record number available when calling, that is usually stapled in your passport (was given when entering the U.S.)

When Calling the USCIS Customer Service, those who have gotten through to a representative dialed the following options:

Press 1 for “English”

Press 2 for “Otherwise”

Press 7 for “All other information”

Press 2  for “Naturalization or Visitors”

Press 2 for “Non-immigrant aliens, foreign students, and visitors to the US”

Press 2 for “Extend status”

Press 6 to  “Talk to a representative about this topic”

If you are planning a trip to the U.S. in the near future, contact your airline directly to confirm your travel plans or make alternate arrangements. In addition, for those returning back to the United States from Switzerland please contact the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland with any questions. Please also see the U.S. State Department's Overseas Security Advisory Council's page on Switzerland and Liechtenstein which includes flight information.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide information, directives, and updates as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington is closely monitoring the situation and will be making updates to this page as things develop.