Bridgetown, Barbados Friday, April 8, 2011 – In the event of a U.S. Government shutdown, the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados will continue to provide emergency services, including emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in need.
However, routine visa services are not considered to be emergency service and therefore would not be provided during the possible shutdown from April 11 onward. The U.S. Consular Agency in Antigua and U.S. Consular Agency in Martinique would also be closed during a possible shutdown, starting April 11.
As the situation changes, updates will be posted to the U.S. Embassy public website http://barbados.usembassy.gov and Facebook page – www.facebook.com/USEmbassyBarbados and released to the media across the Caribbean.
Effective Monday, April 11, the following Embassy and Consular services will be suspended if a shutdown is confirmed:
American Citizens Services (ACS): The Embassy would provide emergency assistance for cases involving deaths, arrests, hospitalizations and missing persons. Notarials, reports of birth, and routine passport services would be suspended. Applications for emergency passport appointments would be considered only for stranded U.S. citizen visitors facing extreme hardship or those with a documented medical emergency. Questions and requests for emergency passport appointments can be sent to bridgetownACS@state.gov.
Federal Benefits (FBU): The routine distribution of Social Security Administration (SSA) checks would not be affected. The Federal Benefits Unit would only provide assistance to SSA beneficiaries with pending claims in dire need.
Temporary or Non-Immigrant Visas (NIV): Appointments for temporary visas (for tourism, business, study, etc.) scheduled from April 11 onward would be cancelled until further notice. Emergency visa services, narrowly defined, such as visitor visas for applicants traveling for deathbed visits, funerals and emergency medical treatment may be provided on a case by case basis. When the Embassy resumes processing of routine NIV services, appointment slots will be made available and applicants would need to reschedule their visa appointment online at http://evisaforms.state.gov/schedulingsystem.asp. Any pending visa issuances will be completed and returned to applicants.
Immigrant Visas (IV): If there is a Government shutdown, U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s Immigrant Visa Unit would not be able to interview any applicants from April 11 onward. The IV Unit would reschedule any affected April appointments for the first available dates after the Embassy resumes processing of routine services.
Please monitor media reports and U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s website and Facebook page for updates and further information.