Pregnant Utah resident stuck in China due to coronavirus-related visa delays

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A Murray resident is currently stuck in China after her attempts to renew her visa were delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The coronavirus is impacting visa applications, and limited staffing at the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Beijing has led to delays.

For Scott Strahan, this means his wife can’t travel back to Utah anytime soon.

“It’s just been very devastating,” Strahan said about his wife’s visa application process.

The Utah couple are newlyweds and are expecting their first baby this summer. They traveled to China, his wife’s home country, to renew her A1B visa in January. They quickly learned of delays.

“My wife has successfully renewed this visa for eight years now with no problems,” Strahan said.

KSL reached out to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Beijing.

“Due to the ongoing situation related to the novel coronavirus, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate have very limited staffing and may be unable to respond to requests regarding regular visa services,” according to the embassy’s response.

After nearly a month, the couple received a devastating email regarding the status of the visa application.

“We get the email that says basically: ‘Don’t contact us for six months. We will contact you first.’” Strahan said.

Strahan is worried these delays will force his wife to give birth in China.

“Let’s say it does take the full six months,” he said. “Our child will be 2½ months old when we get contacted.”

The couple is now working with an attorney to see if that will streamline the application process, but they understand this might just have to be a waiting game.

By Ashley Moser
KSL TV 

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