Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to other parts of China, the U.S. State Department has issued a level 4 travel advisory – the highest advisory level, which is issued when there is a “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks” – advising citizens not to travel to China.

In addition, on Jan. 29, 2020, the State Department issued a related health alert allowing for the voluntary departure of nonemergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees to return stateside from China.

While the State Department has made no further announcements, it is expected that the departure of many U.S. government employees from China will have an adverse impact on visa processing and may considerably delay timelines for the issuance of visas to Chinese nationals.

Further travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government in certain parts of the country may also impact the ability of Chinese citizens to depart China.