Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, around 50,000 U.S. Citizens are seeking the assistance of the U.S. Department of State to return to the U.S. Experts are unsure of the numbers diagnosed with the Coronavirus, even though final results were issued, particular demographics and data on locations have been kept classified.
The United States Coronavirus Global Response Unit
On March 19, 2020, The Repatriation Task Force was established by the Coronavirus Global Response Coordination Unit (CGRCU). The United States Coronavirus Global Response Coordination Unit’s Repatriation Task Force is diligently arranging transportation through an authorized or noncommercial means by petitioning with the U.S. Embassies to help Americans facing severe travel restrictions stuck abroad.
The Task Force is responsible for:
- Organizing and providing support to American citizens stuck abroad
- Directing petitions from locations enduring severe travel limitations
- Requesting transportation assistance to administer authorized or ordered departure
- Providing support to any evacuation services of executive or private Americans requiring non-commercial or charter transportation
The U.S. Department of State is Doing Its Best to Help
The U.S. Department of State is doing its best in reducing the pressure and flow of processings; it advises Americans to continue scheduling their own flights. Once their flights are scheduled U.S. Consulates or Embassies must be informed through which port of entry Americans will be entering.
Steps Individuals are Required to Follow
Anyone that requires repatriation assistance such as a U.S. national, Legal Permanent Resident, a friend, and a family member that needs to travel from a foreign land into the U.S. is urged to take the following steps:
- Notify the closest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. All persons requesting assistance should provide any updated information whether it is travel limitations, contact information, and or unexpected changes in circumstances of Coronavirus contamination.
- Persons can register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program known as the (STEP). The STEP is a service that permits U.S. Nationals, lawful permanent residents, travelling or living overseas to schedule their trip with the nearest U.S. Consulate at no cost. Real-time information about travel conditions and security is offered to Americans directly from the STEP services. STEP also allows the U.S. Embassy to communicate with individuals when repatriation arrangements are ready and it helps persons to communicate with their family members in the U.S. and overseas.
- Everyone stuck abroad is encouraged to seek return flights to the U.S. through any commercial airlines that are still running or as they open in the near future. As stated previously if someone successfully schedules a return flight they are reminded that they need to inform the U.S. Consulate so that The U.S. Department of State can prioritize Americans flying into the U.S. and those who are still overseas.
- Kindly take note of the accessibility of a 24-Hour Consular Emergency Hotline (202-501-4444) which is available for extraordinary circumstances ONLY when any of the U.S. Consulates or U.S. Embassies cannot be reached.
To know more about the STEP and other Information Contact your Local Attorney