Dear Fellow American Citizens in Bangladesh,
These are challenging times. Nations around the world, including Bangladesh and the United States, are working together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this fight together. By heeding the lessons of history and science, by supporting each other with empathy and patience, by being realistic and positive, we will prevail together.
The safety and welfare of American citizens in Bangladesh is my highest priority. Your U.S. Embassy team, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID, is actively engaged with Government of Bangladesh health officials and with hospitals and health facilities around the country to fight the virus.
Your U.S. Embassy team is here for you. I encourage you to visit our American Citizen Services website and website travel.state.gov to see the services we provide.
On March 19 the Department of State issued a world-wide Level 4 Travel Advisory concerning the COVID-19 outbreak urging U.S. citizens to return to the United States. I understand for many of you returning to the U.S. is a major concern. If you need a new passport visit our Consular Section at the U.S Embassy. You can arrange an appointment through the American Citizen Services website. Our consular officers can issue an emergency passport, normally within an hour upon your arrival at the Embassy.
We can also issue a Consular Record of Birth Abroad and emergency passport for new-born U.S. citizens in Bangladesh if we have the proper supporting legal documentation. If you need this service, please call ahead so we can help you prepare the required documents in advance. The Consular Section also provides notarial services for documents in support of emergency travel.
As you know, airlines are rapidly reducing flights in and out of Dhaka and the Government of Bangladesh has suspended flights from a number of countries in the region. Airlines may soon discontinue flights for an undetermined period. If you are considering departing Bangladesh, I strongly encourage you to leave as soon as possible. Please work directly with your airline to reserve a flight. Please also reach out to your family members in the United States to update them on your current location and ensure they have current contact information.
Our staff is constantly monitoring the situation and posting updates on our website. We encourage you to enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.) Through STEP you will receive updated information, travel advisories, and notifications for American citizens. Also follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bangladesh.usembassy) where we put the latest information regarding COVID-19, especially updated global health advisories. We update U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s COVID-19 web page regularly as we receive new information.
The Government of Bangladesh has announced all travelers arriving in Bangladesh will be subject to heightened health screening at the airport and each arriving traveler will be required to provide a medical certificate to immigration officials stating the inbound traveler does not have COVID-19 symptoms. Please visit the Bangladeshi Embassy in the country you are traveling from for procedures to get this medical letter or certificate. The Government of Bangladesh has mandated all travelers arriving in country must self-quarantine for 14-days.
Please join me for a virtual Town Hall meeting on Sunday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m. where I will share current information and respond to questions which we ask you to submit in advance. Please submit questions to DhakaACS@state.gov. Directions for participating in the virtual Town Hall will be on the American Citizen Services website one hour before the town hall begins.
Thank you for representing the best of the United States here in Bangladesh. The U.S. Embassy stands ready to assist you and your family during these uncertain times.
We have a wonderfully supportive American community in Bangladesh that has been through a lot the past few years. Let’s look out for each other again. Be strong and kind.
Earl R. Miller
U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh