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US Visa Stamping India Updates [Apr 2021]: All Visa Types allowed for Stamping

Some of you would have scheduled US Visa interview appointments in India or your home country…With the unprecedented Coronavirus Situation US State Department continues to give news alerts on their website, twitter, emails, etc. on how to handle US Visa appointments and the current operation status of their services.

This page has all the updates since March 2020, when COVID started and Consulates were closed. We continue to update the below article with latest updates. It is divided into sections with summary, timeline for easy review. We will continue to update this page, you may bookmark this page.

Summary of all Updates from US Consulates in India as of April 5th, 2021

Below is the short summary of all updates from US Consulates, Embassy in India from March 2020 until April 5th, 2021. All the below are current and effective. You can check the timeline section to get detail links and official sources, news screenshots in next section.

  • H1B, L1, H4 Travel Ban Expired : On March 31st, 2021 the Presidential Proclamation 10052, that banned H1B, L1, H4 and other visa holders to get US visa stamping or Travel to US expired.
    • It means that H1B, H4, L1, L2 and other visa who were part of PP 10052 can get visa stamping now at US consulates
    • All these visa types like H1B, H4, L1, L2 now can attend In-person stamping or Dropbox stamping. They do not need Chamber of Commerce Letter or any other exceptions.
    • US Dept of State has released a press release indicating the same. Check timeline.
  • Regular Operations Status : US Consulates, Embassy in India are not yet open fully for regular operations. You can only apply for Emergency Appointment, if you have a need to apply for US Visa stamping in India. They are opening some slots for employment based categories.
    • Limited Regular US Visa Interview Slots for Employment Based Appointments : US embassy in New Delhi, US Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata confirmed on their official web page confirming that they are opening few employment based slots for H, L and O Visas.
    • You can join the US Visa Stamping – India Experiences Group to get updates (only visa experiences repository, no communication)
    • US Embassy in Delhi is processing visa stampings for all visa categories. Their capacity is limited as per their official guidance.
  • MRV Fee Payment Validity Status : US Consulates in India have extended the MRV fee ( Visa Appointment Booking Fee) payment validity until September 30th, 2022 to make sure all applicants get time to schedule visa appointment. It is updated on the US Embassy and USTravelDocs India Website.
  • US Visa Dropbox Stamping Status : US Visa Renewals using Dropbox is available for all visa types.
    • They changed the dropbox eligibility criteria to 48 months from expiry, instead of 12 months. This was originally valid until March 31, 2021. On March 11th, 2021, they extended this until Dec 31, 2021 and changed the eligibility from 24 months to 48 months from expiry. See timeline section below for official link, screenshot of news.
    • 48 months Change in Appointment booking System : The USTravelDocs India system was updated with 48 months change on March 16th, 2021. See timeline for screenshot.
    • There is a huge demand for dropbox appointments and only limited slots are available. As the slots are released, they fill up quickly.
    • Dropbox Slots Availability : Currently Dropbox Appointments are open in few consulates for May and June 2021. As the slots are limited, they fill up quite fast.
  • Emergency Appointments(EA) Status, Guidance : If you cannot find a Visa slot, you can apply for US Visa Emergency Appointment as needed. You need to meet the criteria, if you want to request one. Read Guide to Apply for Emergency Appointment in India
    • Due to extreme amount of demand, they have slowed down the approvals of EA requests . Many are waiting for over a month. You can check US Visa EA Tracker
  • 221g / Administrative Processing Status : US Consulates are not processing previously issued 221g pending applications. You can reach out to consulate to get an emergency appointment, if eligible. Some were able to write to consulate and get appointment.
  • Visa Appointments Cancellations Status : Occasionally they are cancelling few appointments here and there due to situations with COVID or the consulate operations. But, majority of the users report that their slots are going on as usual.
  • Immigrant Visa Stamping : On Feb 24, 2021 President Biden lifted the Immigrant Visa Ban. All US Consulates are working on phased resumption. US Embassy in India updated that they have resumed processing of Immigrant Visas. US Consulate in Mumbai is reaching out to the previous pending cases and they will processed in chronological order. Due to backlogs, they say they cannot predict, when someone would get their interview slot. Check timeline for update from US Embassy website.
  • You can join Telegram Group US Visa Appointment India

If you have not done emergency appointment request in past, read Step by Step Guide to Apply for US Visa Emergency Appointment in India

Below is the timeline of updates from US Consulates and Embassy that are tracked regularly. You can check the official updates reference links in the below timelines. They are usually tweets or website updates from US Consulate/ US Embassy.

  • April 5th , 2021 : No new changes since April 1st, See below updates.
  • April 1st , 2021 : Below are the latest update in the last two weeks until April 1st, 2021.
    • The H1B, L1, H4 and Other visas Travel ban expired on March 31st, 2021. It means that now H1B, L1, H4 and other visa holders can get stamping done both in-person and dropbox without any restrictions.
    • US State Department said that for H1B, L1, Others who were part of travel ban, they would work on the cases that are currently pending and they would be prioritized accordingly. Read the press release in below screenshot.
    • Today US State Department Confirmed in a press release the expiration of the Presidential proclamation 10052. See below screenshot, Check Official News on Travel.State.Gov
    • US Consulates in India are not yet open for routine consular services with full capacity operations, they continue to be in limited capacity mode. They are giving limited slots for all visa types stamping and they fill up quickly. See below latest tweet below
Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expired News on State Dept Website
Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expired News on State Dept Website
  • March 22nd, 2021 : No changes in the US Consulates operation status, they all continue to be closed for regular operations. But, they are opening slots in limited fashion for all visa types across all Consulates. More dropbox stamping slots are open now with the 48 months change. See below tweets from US consulate Mumbai
  • March 16th, 2021 : USTravelDocs CGI Federal Website has the updated 48 months from Expiry question now. The main guidance is that you need to submit at least 7 days before deadline of your 48 months of visa expiration. See below screenshot from CGI Federal website. Read US Visa Dropbox 48 months – How does it work to know more.
US Visa Renewal - 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System
US Visa Renewal – 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System
  • March 15th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates
    • US Embassy India website is updated with latest guidance from State Department saying they will process the Dropbox or interview waiver applications with 48 months from visa expiry. See below screenshot.
    • Also, US Embassy Delhi is processing all visa categories now, but in limited numbers
    • The online appointment booking system USTravelDocs is not yet updated with the 48 month change. It still shows 24 months only as of today. We will keep you posted as the system gets updated.
    • US Consulates continue to be closed for regular operations, nothing has changed there. See below tweet
Dropbox US Visa 48 months - Embassy March 2021
Dropbox US Visa 48 months – Embassy – March 2021
  • March 11th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates
    • Today, US Dept of State made an announcement expanding the dropbox eligibility from 24 months to 48 months from Expiry and this change is valid until Dec 31, 2021.
    • It means that, if your visa has expired in the last 48 months, you are eligible for dropbox or interview waiver option to get visa renewal done. See below screenshot of the official State.Gov news.
    • You can read more details on how it works at US Visa Dropbox Eligibility 48 months – How it works ?
    • No update from Indian Embassy, US Consulates in India or USTravelDocs India on the latest update of Dropbox to 48 months yet. We will keep you posted once there is any official announcement from Indian consulates.
US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021
US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021
  • March 8th, 2021 : No changes in any of the status related to Consulate regular operations. All is same as last update from March 4th. See most recent tweet below from US Consulate in Mumbai. Also, they clarified again that they are processing all the pending Immigrant visa applications with them in chronological order.
  • March 4th, 2021 :
    • US Embassy India website is updated saying that they are now processing Immigrant Visa appointments as President Biden’s Lifted Travel Ban for Immigrant Visas. See below screenshot and check info at Official US Embassy India Link
    • All US consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations (see latest tweet below).
    • There have been a decent amount of slots given to H1B, L1, H4, B1 visa holders in the last couple of weeks.
    • Many users in our groups shared they got stamping done. Some got 221g under 212(f) as they were not exempt from H1B travel ban. So, you need to be careful when you for stamping. It is not about getting slot, you need to be exempt.
Immigrant Visa Processing Resumed - India Consulates
Immigrant Visa Processing Resumed – India Consulates
  • Feb 22nd, 2021 : There is no new announcement on the Consulates operation status or any other changes in the last three weeks. Everything is same as on Feb 1st and consulate continue to be closed for regular operations, see below tweet. Only one small update, where they update the MRV Fee ( Visa application fee) validity details on the US Embassy website. See below screenshot from the same.
MRV Fee extended until Sep 30, 2022
MRV Fee extended until Sep 30, 2022
  • Feb 1st, 2021 : Summary of update over the last week.
    • No changes in US Consulates operating status, they continued to be closed for regular operations. see below tweet.
    • On Feb 1st, few users reported on Telegram groups that they were able to get stamping done in Delhi and other consulates using regular appointments. You can join the US Visa Stamping – India Experiences Group to get updates (only repository, no communication)
    • There are some confusions that anyone can go for stamping, it is not true. The Travel Ban is still in place and you need to be exempt to apply for H1B, L1, H4 or other visas. US consulate confirmed the same. See below tweet from US Consulate Mumbai.
  • Jan 25th, 2021 : Summary of update over the last week.
    • US Consulates & Embassy are not yet open for regular operations. See latest tweet below.
    • They confirmed again today and over last week saying that they will open limited visa stampings slots for employment based visa types like H1B, L1, Others. See below tweet.
    • US Embassy in Delhi also confirmed that starting from Feb 1st, 2021 they process H1B, F1, L1, H4, L3, C1/D, Visitor Visas like B1/B2 in limited capacity. See below tweet and screenshot from Official US Embassy India website.
    • As of today the H1B, L1 Travel ban is still in effect and Biden has not removed it yet. It is expected to be signed this week…at least for work visa holders. Will keep you posted, stay tuned.
    • If you plan to travel to US using your US Visa, starting from Jan 26th, 2021, you need to present a negative COVID-19 test approved by respective national authority taken within 72 hours of departure. Check screenshot below and notice at ustraveldocs website
US Visa Stamping Delhi Update - Jan 2021
US Visa Stamping Delhi Update – Jan 2021
  • Jan 18th, 2021 : Summary of update over the last week.
    • US Consulates continue to be closed for regular operations. No change in their status.
    • US embassy said that they are releasing limited slots now for employment based visa stamping like H1B, L1, and O visa types. They would apply the proclamation and adjudicate based on the court order. See. below screenshot from official US embassy website
    • Also, US consulate in Mumbai updated on Jan 14th that they are cancelling appointments at their consulate between Feb 16th to 26th. See below tweet.
US Visa Stamping India - Limited H1B and L1 visa slots opened
US Visa Stamping India – Limited H1B and L1 visa slots given
  • Jan 8th, 2021 : Today a user attended H1B stamping, but the consulare officer gave them blue slip like below indicating that they refused the visa as per INA 212(f). The reason for this is that the user did not qualify for exceptions as listed by Dept of State. So, do NOT go for stamping, if you do not fall under exceptions. You may get one of these and also lose the fee for Visa application.
US Visa Rejected under 212f of INA - Blue Slip
US Visa Rejected under 212(f) of INA – Blue Slip
  • Jan 6th, 2021 : US Consualte Mumbai tweeted that they are accomodating few employment based visa appointments. These are regualr visa appointments for H1B. See below tweet
  • January 4th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates as of Jan 4th, 2020.
    • US Consulates continue to be closed for regular operations. See official tweet below
    • USTravelDocs India has updated that they have exteded the MRV fee ( Visa Appointment Booking Fee) validity until September 30, 2022. See below screenshot.
    • The MRV Fee extension details until Sep 30, 2022 in not yet updated on US Embassy India web pages.
    • US Embassy in Delhi updated that they are cancelling March 2021 Appointments. See below screenshot. Also, see the sample email screenshot sent by them for some users.
    • Check Official US Embassy Annoucement
US Consulates India - US Embassy Latest update Jan 3-2021
US Consulates India – US Embassy Latest update Jan 3-2021
Cancellation Email from New Delhi Consualte for March 2021 Appointments.
Extend MRV Fee - US Consualtes India until Sep 30-2022
  • December 29th, 2020 : Below are the latest updates in the last week until today.
    • US Dept of State Extended the 24 months Dropbox Eligibility Option until March 31st, 2021. This was originally given until Dec 31st, 2020. Today US Dept of State announced a press release extending the same. See below screenshot of the press release and check Official News alert on travel.state.gov
    • No change in the status of consulates, they all continue to be closed for regular operations. Many continue to wait for Emergency Appointment(EA) Request decisions.
    • US Embassy said that they are opening up more slots for students to help the students planning to go to US for Spring 2021. See tweet below.
    • There were appointment cancellation emails from US Consualte in Kolkata as well in the last 7 days. See below screeshot of the same.
US Visa Interview Waiver Eligiblity Extended until Mar 31-2021
US Visa Interview Waiver Eligiblity Extended until Mar 31-2021
US consualte Kolkata Appointment Cancellation email Dec 2020
US consualte Kolkata Appointment Cancellation email Dec 2020
  • December 22nd, 2020 : Below are the latest updates in the last week until today.
    • US Consulates continue to be closed, no changes there. They do not know when they will open the regular operations yet. Also, they say there are very limited appointments and they are filling up fast. See latest official tweets below from US Consulates.
    • Today many users got emails stating that their Regular Visa Stamping Appointments are cancelled from US Consulate in Hyderabad. They mostly for H1B, H4, and L visas. See below screenshots for your reference.
    • Also, US Consulate in Mumbai has cancelled few appointments from March and said the cancellation is tied to their previous announcement from October. Not that many though as we have not seen much in our groups. See below tweet reply from them.
    • We are yet to see the cancellations from other consulates. Remember, back in October they said that they are giving this slots only for EA booking. Will keep you all posted, if this pattern repeats in other consulates.
US Visa Appointments India - Cancellation Email for Feb 2021
US Visa Appointments India – Cancellation Email for Feb 2021
US Consulate Visa Appointment Updates December 22-2020
US Consulate Visa Appointment Updates December 22-2020
  • December 14th, 2020 : Below are the latest updates from today.
    • US Consulates are still closed for regular operations. They have not given a date yet on when they will open the same for regular operations.
    • US embassy has has given guidance for students applying for F1 stamping that they continue to add more slots for them and if they cannot find a slot in their city, they should apply in other cities. T
    • They have updated that due to the extreme demand, the limited number of Dropbox appointments are filled quickly.
    • Some users reported that their Visa Appointments Slots Booked in January 2021 were cancelled. It was an automated email. It was shared in social media groups. See below screenshot.
    • Also, see all tweets below from US Consulate and US Embassy for the official guidance.
US Visa Appointments Cancelled for Jan 2021
US Visa Appointments Cancelled for Jan 2021 in India
  • December 1st, 2020 :  US Consulates continue to be closed for regular operations. They do not have a set date when they will resume regular operations. They also mentioned that there are only a limited number of dropbox or interview waiver appointments that they issue. Due to extreme amount of demand they fill up very fast. See below update from US Consulate Mumbai.
  • Nov 18th, 2020 :  US Consulates are opening very limited dropbox appointments due to high demand. Still all US consulates continue to be closed for regular operations. They are opening limited slots for F1 applicants. They are not considering F2 at the moment due to the demand. Check below tweets on the same from US Consulate in Mumbai.
  • October 26th, 2020 : US Consulates in India continue to be closed for regular visa operations, no new updates. They are also not processing 221gs, no change there too. Check below tweet from today from US Consulate Mumbai.
  • October 22nd, 2020 : US Embassy of India gave clarification today indicating that they are opening interview slots in February and March 2021 only for requesting expedited appointments. Even, if you have the appointment on the file for March or Feb 2021, they will cancel all of them once the regular visa operations open and all users need to reschedule them. See below tweet from them.
  • October 21st, 2020 : US Embassy of India update today stating that all Consulats and US Embassy remain closed for regular visa operations and applicants need to use Emergency Appointment request. Also, they state that the appointments are very much limited. See below tweet and screenshot of update as it appears on US Embassy India Website.
US Visa Stamping Update in October from US Embassy Website
US Visa Stamping Update in October from US Embassy Website
  • October 20th, 2020 : US Embassy of India updated guidance to everyone stating that there will be longer wait times, even for emergency appointment requests. They suggest to be prepared to stay longer in India, if you happen to travel to US for visa stamping. See below guidance. See below tweet. The US Consulates and embassies continue to be closed for regular visa operations.
  • October 14th, 2020 : After US Dept of State guidance, US Embassy in India gave additional guidance telling that they are aware of the Court Order, but they cannot accommodate all the request due to COVID-19 situation and they request anyone with urgent need to submit Emergency US Visa Appointment Request . They say they may not approve EA for everyone. This has nothing to do with court order, but their capacity with the COVID situation. See below update on their website. Also, the Consulate still closed and not open for regular operations. See below tweet.
Updated Guidance US Visa Stamping - India October 2020
Updated Guidance US Visa Stamping – India October 2020
  • October 5th, 2020 : US Consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations or regular visa stampings. There is no set date for the opening of the general visa stamping. They have not given any guidance on the recent lawsuit court order regarding opening of H1B, L1, J1 visa stampings. There was only update from US Dept of State, but nothing US consulates in India. We continue to wait. See below tweet from US consulate Mumbai from today
  • September 23rd, 2020 : US Embassy India their website with many important updates. Below are the same.
    • Dropbox Open for all Visa Types : US Consulates and Embassy are accepting dropbox applications for renewals of all non-immigrant visa types. You can submit them at VACs all across India. If you are applying for H, L and J categories of Visas under dropbox, then you need to qualify for exceptions to Trump Travel Ban EO/Proclamation. General Visa appointments continued to be available for F1 students and they will be prioritised.
    • Visa Fee Validity Extended until Dec 31-2021: As US consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations, many are not able to attend interview and MRV fee receipt maybe close to expiry. US Embassy updated that they are extending the MRV fee payment validity until December 31st, 2021 to make sure all applicants get time to schedule visa appointment. If you do not find a slot or your visa interview slot was cancelled, there is no action you need to take. They will automatically extend the validity of MRV Fee receipt until end of this year.
    • Immigrant Visas : US Embassy in New Delhi and US Consulate in Mumbai are providing emergency mission critical services to spouses of IR-1/CR-1 and children (IR-2, CR-2).
    • See below screenshot or check US Embassy – Visas Section . Also, check the Tweet from US Consulate from Mumbai below.
US Embassy India - Sep 2020 - Visa Dropbox Open for all visa types
US Embassy Updates – Dropbox Open for all, MRV fee Validity Extended
  • September 14th, 2020 : No new update, US consulate Mumbai updated in a tweet that they have not resumed regular operations of US visa services, that includes general 221g cases as well. Check below tweet.
  • September 2nd, 2020 : Today US Consulate in Mumbai updated in a tweet that they have resumed limited 221g processing. If you were asked to submit documents previously, now you can follow those instructions given. Follow up based on instructions given to you before you go anywhere. Check below tweet.
  • September 1st, 2020 : US Consulate still continue to be closed for regular operations. They are now accepting Dropbox renewals for F, M, and J visa types including H and L who qualify under exceptions. They are not accepting any 221g pending cases. See below official tweet from US Consulate Mumbai.
  • August 28th, 2020 : Today US Consulate updated the text on their guidance page indicating that, only those who are eligible or qualify for exceptions under proclamation can apply for H and L visa Renewals under dropbox. In the original message, they did not had that part, now they have clarified. You can check below screenshot for the update one and previous update on what they originally had. Also, now in India, they have enabled the 24 months from Expiry clause in USTravel Docs. Check US Travel Docs section in this article for screenshot.
US Visa Dropbox India only eligible for qualified H and L
Clarification that says renewals only for H and L who qualify under exceptions of Proclamation
  • August 27th, 2020 : Two updates
    • Today US Embassy in India confirmed that they are now accepting dropbox applications for F, M, J, H and L Visa renewals at VAC ( Visa application centers) across India. They suggest to visit the UStravel Docs website for list of dropbox locations. Below is the press release update. See below. It is on US Embassy Website page. If you
    • Also couple of users confirmed on social media groups that they were able to book a dropbox appointment today. See below screenshots. The process is simple, you need to go through the general interview booking process, the system will give you the standard confirmation screen for dropbox that tells “Congratulations ! you qualify for interview waiver…” ( see below) and then you will be prompted to book appointment.
US Visa Dropbox Appointments open in India
Dropbox Availability in India VACs
User confirmation Telegram Visa Dropbox-updated
User confirmation on social media
  • August 26th, 2020 : Two updates
    • Yesterday US Department of State announced that they plan to change the eligibility for Dropbox appointments from 12 months to 24 months from expiry, so that many can leverage the Dropbox for visa renewals to reduce risk of COVID-19. This is valid until end of this year. For more, check US Dropbox Eligibility Changed to 24 months until Dec 31, 2021
    • As of now, the US Consulates in India have not opened Dropbox processing, so we do not have details on the new change will be implemented. We need to wait. The Consulates in India continue to be closed for regular visa operations. Check below tweet from US consulate Mumbai.
  • August 25th, 2020 : Still the US Consulates are not open for regular operations. See below tweet from US consulate Mumbai. Also, one of our users on Telegram confirmed that they were able to use their regular F2 visa stamping appointment from the past and they got visa approved. So, if you have F1 or F2 appointment that are in August, they may not cancel them.
  • August 21st, 2020 : Many applicants with US Visa appointments in October got cancellation emails. US Consulate confirmed again today that they got this email because regular visa operations are not open yet in India. Also, they do not have a date yet on when they will open the consulate. They are only considering appointments for F, M and certain J visas. Also, today the USTravelDocs website was update, but message has not changed, scroll down below for the update. You can see below tweet from US Consulate Mumbai from today.
  • August 14th, 2020 : Today US Embassy in India made an announcement stating that they plan to start processing of Student Visas like F1 visas starting from August 17th on a limited basis. Below are more details :
    • The US Consulates in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad will start to process emergency student and academic exchange visitors appointments received before August 12th.
    • After they process students emergency appointments, they will open for public appointments for Students seeking visas.
    • They plan to refresh appointments two two weeks before the actual dates.
    • F1 Students (Students and Exchange Visitors) should schedule US visa appointment only before 3 weeks from their Classes start date. Example: if your classes start on October 21st, you can only schedule appointment on October 1st or after Oct 1st.
    • Consulates will prioritise the students with schools starting earlier for fall appointments over other appointments
    • All consulates in India continue to be closed for routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa services and they do not have an estimated date on when they will resume normal services.
    • If you are H1B, L1 or other visa holder and qualify under New Exceptions for US Entry, Stamping and need to travel, then you may request Emergency Appointment.
    • Below is the screenshot of official alert on US embassy site and Check it at USEmbassy.gov India – Visas Updates
US Visa Services for Students in India Open from Aug 17
US Visas Appointments Open for Students from Aug 17 – US Embassy Update
  • August 5th, 2020 : Two updates – Official, News
  • Official Updates : No official updates in the form of news alrt from US Consulates, US Embassy or USTravelDocs. The only update is from US Consulate Mumbai on Twitter saying that they do NOT have an official date yet on when consulate will open. See below tweet.
  • News Update : Today Times of India posted a news article that says that US Consulate would likely open next week. It does not tell the exact date. Also, they say there is no official statement on this. So, you need take this news with a pinch of salt. It is basically the same news that was reported before by Local News ( Eenadu). See below screenshot or You can check Times of India News to know more.
US Consulate to open next week Aug 2020
  • Jul 31st, 2020 : We got some local news few days back, but as of today, nothing is officially confirmed by US Consulates. There is no official date when they will open. US Consulate Mumbai updated in tweet saying that they do not have a date yet. We need to wait. See below tweet from them.
  • Jul 29th, 2020 : US Consulates in India continue to be closed. The most recent update is from them today saying there is no date set yet on when they will open the consulate. See below tweet.
  • Also today, in Eenadu Telengana News Papaer ( local state news paper), there was news article that tells that US Consulates could be opened in August 2nd week. There is no confirmed date given by Consulate as per that news. It states that it will be applicable to all the US consulates in India. We have translated it to English. See below. Link to E-News Paper. We are no official confirmation on the same from the US Embassy site.
US Consulates Opening in August 2020 in India - Eenadu
US Consulates in India may open from August second week.
  • Jul 16th, 2020 : US Consulate in Mumbai confirmed that they do not have any planned date set for regular visa appointments and stampings. See below tweet. It is the same case with other Consulates like Chennai, Hyderabad. No official press release or update. Also, there is no official update on the USTravelDocs Website too. We need to wait and see.
  • Jul 12th, 2020 : After US Dept of State announced the opening on consulates, there were questions asked on Twitter to State Department regarding India and they responded telling, it all depends on the Local conditions and did not confirm, when they will open.
  • May 4th, 2020 : US Consulates in India are still closed and NOT processing any appointments or Administrative processing activities. They are only taking some emergency appointments on a case by case basis. At this point, there is no clear information on when they will open. They also are not processing Immigrant visas due to Trump’s 60 Days Immigrant Visas Suspension. You should check https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/ for latest updates. So far nothing has changed.
  • March 18th, 2020 : US Embassy India gave a news alert today indicating that they are cancelling the Dropbox and Biometrics Appointments from March 20th at all US Consulates and US Embassy. Also, they will not process 221g – Administrative Processing Cases as well. They did not indicate any date from when the services will resume. All they say is that you can use the MRV Fee receipt would be valid for 1 year and you can use it in future. This has a huge impact on many people planning to get their visa renewed or already in US with Dropbox Submissions done… See below screenshot from Indian Embassy site and US Embassy Facebook page regarding the alerts. You can check Official Press Alert by US Embassy . If you plan to go to India for Visa stamping, you need to factor in this news…if you leave US and do not have visa, you cannot re-enter.
US Embassy India COVID-19 Updates - Dropbox - Visa Appointments - 221g - Cancelled
Facebook page update - US Embassy India - Cancelled Dropbox Appointments 221g
  • March 14th, 2020 : US Embassy India Confirmed today that they will continue to process and accept US Visa Appointments for Interview Waiver / Dropbox Applications and the Dropbox Locations will accept document submissions. The only exception is Kolkata, which will Not accept the documents. Also, you will be able to collect passport and also submit any documents, if you were given 221(g) under Administrative Processing. See below screenshot for the same from US Embassy India Facebook Post.
US Embassy India - Visa Dropbox Accepted and 221g Documents Accepted
  • March 13th, 2020 : US Dept of State issued an alert saying that they are cancelling all immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments from March 16th, 2020 in India until further notice. They say that the status will stand as cancelled and you will be able to re-schedule the appointment once the India Consular office resumes operations. Check below screenshot from US Consulate website for India.
US Visa Appointments Cancelled from March 16 India

USTravelDocs India Updates – US Visa Stamping Appointments

  • January 3rd, 2021 : USTravelDocs India website has updated their Important notices section that indicates, MRV fee validity has been exteneed until September 30, 2022. See below screenshot.
Extend MRV Fee - US Consualtes India until Sep 30-2022
US Consualtes IndiaExtended MRV Fee until Sep 30-2022
  • September 28th 2020 : USTravel Docs updated their website regarding the MRV fee extension and the resuming of Immigration Visa Applicant cases. See below alert screenshot on the USTravel Docs Page.
USTravelDocs India - September MRV Fee Extensions
USTravelDocs India – September MRV Fee Extensions until Dec 2020
  • August 28th 2020 : Today in the US TravelDocs India website, the dropbox/interview waiver for renewals questionnaire got updated to reflect the 24 months. This is as part of the change that was announced by US Dept of State changing it from 12 months from expiry to 24 months. See below screenshot. Also, there are not other notices on their website related to the dropbox availability in the main alert on home page. Only US Embassy India Page has the news.
24 Months Dropbox Image US Visa
India Dropbox Visa questionnaire reflect 24 months.
  • August 21st, 2020 : Today USTravelDocs India website was update to new design. It is just a high level theme re-design, but most of the content has not changed. Also, the alerts and appointments related alerts have not changed. Check below on the updated website of USTravelDocs India.
US Travel Docs Website Update August 2020
USTravelDocs India website that is redesigned and the Alert on the US Visa appointments
  • August 16th, 2020 : Today USTravelDocs India website, which is the primary website for booking appointments updated their website home page with guidance on the appointments in India at consulates. It is no different from the US Embassy update, but it is more clear and tells the visa types. Below is the high level Summary and screenshot of the update
    • US Consulates will resume processing of F, M and Certain J Categories ( Alien physician, govt Visitor, international visitor, professor, research scholar, short term research scholar, specialist, secondary school student, college or University student).
    • H1B, H2B, L1, H4, L2 visa and certain J visa holder, who are subject to proclamation, can only request for expedited appointment ( emergency appointment)
    • You must wear Face Mask for Consulate/ OFC / Embassy
    • If you are not well or believe you may have symptoms ofCOVID, do not enter and re-schedule.
    • You need to have DS-160 filled before booking appointment and need to update your profile with new DS-160 confirmation barcode, if you have change any of it. You need to do it 3 days before your appointment, otherwise, you will not be allowed for interview. Bring in all copies of your DS-160 confirmation and appointment for interview. See below screenshot or directly check : https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/index.html
USTravelDocs - Update on US Visa Appointments - August 17 for F J and M Visas
USTravelDocs Website Alert on Visa Appointments allowed from Aug 17 – F, M, and J Visas.
  • July 16th, 2020 : No new update on the USTravelDocs website. Even though there was announcement from US state department on the phased opening of the US Consulates, we have no indication on when Indian Consulate will open and they will give appointments. The previous message from June 22nd is still on the home page.
  • June 22nd, 2020 : After President Trump signed the H1B, L1 Visa Travel ban until Dec 31, 2020, USTravelDocs website also was updated to reflect the same. It clearly tells that Trump Proclamation is in effect and non-immigrant visa holders on H1B, H2B, certain J and L visa holders will not be able to allowed to enter US. See below screenshot for your reference.
US Travel Docs India - Appointments Not available Alert June
  • March 18th, 2020 : The USTravel Docs Website updated the alert on their page indicating the cancellation of all dropbox appointments and 221g case processing. See below.
USTravelDocs Update - COVID - Dropbox and 221g cancelled
  • March 14th, 2020 : The USTravelDocs Website updated their page with an alert confirming the guidance from US Embassy that all the US Visa appointments are cancelled from March 16th. They indicated that they do not also know the date when they will resume. See below screenshot. USTravelDocs Website - Update Appointments Cancelled India
  • March 13th, 2020 : USTravelDocs.com website, that you use to book US Visa appointments gave guidance indicating that if you are experiencing any flu like symptoms, you should re-schedule your appointment by at least 14 days. This is pretty much consistent with the USCIS guidance too.  Also, they say that the appointment receipt is valid for 1 year. 
Dept of State Guidance to Reschedule Appointment Coronavirus

US Dept of State : US Consulates to Open from July 15th in phases

Jul 14th, 2020 : US Department of State confirmed today that they plan to open US Consulates and Embassies in phased manner across the world. This can vary by country. They issued a press release indicating the same. Below is the update

  • US Consulates to open in phased approach depending on local conditions. No specific dates for a consulate, it all varies.
  • Need to check with local embassy or consulate, when they will open and resume the appointments for visa stamping.
  • Priority of appointments will be given to people with urgent need for US visa like F1 Visa applicants, Families of US Citizens, etc.
  • If you need emergency appointment, you need to check with your nearest US Consulate or Embassy for information and process.
  • Check US Dept of State Official Press Release

Jul 11th, 2020 : Below is update on US consulates opening across the world.

  • US State Department Tweeted today, see below, indicating that they plan to open US Embassies and Consulates in phased approach starting from July 15th, 2020. They have not given definite indication that all US Consulates and Embassies would be open and it will be based on the local conditions.
  • Also, there is no official announcement on travel.state.gov yet on this.
  • As far as US Consulates in India goes, the same rule applies and there is no definite answer by US State Department ( see below second tweet).
  • As of today July 11th, 2020 7 PM EST, there is no update on the US Embassy India or US Consulates India website. Also, there is no update on the USTraveldocs website as well yet. We need to wait for few days.

You can watch below video on where & how to check for US Consulates openings, wait times.

FAQs – US Consulates Updates with COVID-19

Are US Consulates, Embassy Open for Appointments in India ?

US Consulates and Embassy in India are not yet open for regular visa appointments yet. They are opening limited visa slots for work visas like H1B, L1 and others. Also, they are processing student visas as well. The Capacity is very limited and limited slots are only released. If urgent, you need to raise expedited appointment.

What is H1B Visa Stamping in India Latest News ? During COVID ?

As of March 2021, H1B visa stamping appointments are given in limited slots in some consulates. As regular operations are not yet resumed, not everyone will get a chance due to limited operation status of consulates. They are only available under Emergency Appointment option as well. Also, only H1B visa holders, who qualify under exceptions of Trump H1B Travel ban or were part of the lawsuit can apply for EA or regular visa slot.

When will US Embassy, US Consulates open in India for visa Stamping ?

There is no estimated date, when it will be fully open for regular visa operations. They continue to update every week stating that there is no estimate date for opening of the regular visa operations due to COVID. See above timeline in article for most recent update.

Are Dropbox or Interview Waiver Appointments Available in India with COVID-19 Situation ?

Yes, dropbox visa appointments or Interview Waiver appointments are available in India now for most of the visa types. Also, they have change the criteria from 12 months from visa expiry to 48 months from visa expiry to fit in more under dropbox option. You can Only get dropbox appointment for US Visa Renewals. It cannot be used for first time stamping.

As Visa appointments are cancelled, will there be refund of Visa fee? MRV Fee Validity ?

No, there is no refund as such. In general, you have one year from the day you paid Visa fee to use the same. But, US Embassy in India has updated that they are extending the MRV fee validity ( Visa Fee) until Sep 30th, 2022 for everyone booked during COVID-19 period. You will get a chance to book appointment once the US Consulate is open.

I am in US, my US Visa is Expiring, should I get Stamping ?

You do not need a new US Visa, if you are already in US. As long as you have your I-797 approval valid and I-94 valid, you are fine. All you need to do is maintain Status. Read US Visa vs. Status Difference

What happens to my Visa Appointments with US Consulate in India ?

They will be technically cancelled, you cannot attend US Visa interview until the Consulate indicates that they will start taking regular appointments. They will give guidance in future and you will need to re-book your appointments.

I have Flight to take, Job in US and need to leave to US. Anything I can do to get US Visa Appointment ?

No, there is nothing you can do until US Consulate accepts US Visa appointments. If you qualify for the US Visa Stamping Exceptions, you can book an emergency appointment with US Consulate. Talk to your airline, employer and make arrangements accordingly.

Can I submit 221g Related Documents at Dropbox Locations in India with COVID-19 Sitaution ?

No, most of the 221g related processing is also cancelled starting from March 2020. They have started to process few cases in early 2021. Check with your consulate that gave 221g, if you can submit. It is on a case by case basis.

I had US Visa Interview in India, got 221g. Can I submit documents now ?

No, you cannot submit anything unless the consulate gives you a slot. In very limited cases, they are giving options, check with consulate.

If you are from other country, you should check your local US Consulate Website for updated information.

Did you go for Visa appointment or Dropbox ? What was your experience ?


Other Articles


  1. Hi,

    I’m trying to book visa appointment at a US consulate in India where I see an appointment available but when I went inside, it shows “no OFC appointment avaialable”.. This is hte case for past 1 month now. Any idea how to fix it ?

    I tried chrome, mozilla, safari, incognitive windows but no luck. I contact customer support and they weren’t of much help as well.

  2. Hi Kumar,

    Since New Delhi is processing all categories are we allowed to book an appointment from south zone ? coz the next available appointment in Chennai consulate is in Nov.

  3. My Son is 15 years old and his H4 Visa is going to expire in July 2021 . We plan to go India and avail DropBox. Will my son is eligible for Dropbox?

  4. I booked a dropbox appointment based on 48 Months rule. But in the appointment confirmation it shows as last 24 months.. Will this cause any issue while submitting the documents? I wont be eligible if it is24 months

    H and L applicants ( -H1, -H4, -L1 Individual, -L2 Individual, -L2 Blanket)
    Yes No
    Prior visa in the same class which is still valid or expired within last 24
    months. (applicable for H1,H4,L1Individual,L2)

    • hi Kumar,
      Can you please respond my question below.
      My Son is under age 15 and his H4 visa is going to expire in July 2021. it is eligible for drop box?

  5. Has anyone been able to schedule an appointment?
    Am trying for a slot for by H1 stamping (from F1 Change of status) but keep getting errors and then account is frozen for 72 hours.
    I’m currently in the US and want to get an appointment by June 10th.
    Any guidance please?

  6. Hi There,

    I have received my H1B approval copy and it shows the CONSULATE: MUMBAI. I just wanted to check that, Can I go for Visa stamping in another embassy in India? Or Should I go for Visa stamping in the MUMBAI embassy only?

    I do not have any travel history for the US and My employer has not provided me any COC letter. Kindly do the needful.

    Thank You!


  7. Hi,

    I have scheduled my VISA interview as I was not eligible for drop box before due to 24month eligibility. Now, with the latest update on drop box to 48 months I am eligible for drobox.

    Can you let me know how to proceed with my appointment? do I need to cancel and book new appointment for drobox?

  8. Hello ,
    I have a query. My H1B petition is approved and I need to go for H1B stamping. But I came to know that there is no open position at my client now. So being remain with same employer can I go for amendment to work for new client . Basically , I want to know if it is possible to go for H1B amendment before Visa stamping. Point to note here my employer will remain same , only client will change.

  9. Hi,

    Does anyone know if the US Embassy in New Delhi has resumed processing of 221 g cases since February 1st? They said they are processing work visas, but does that include cases stuck in 221 g? Thanks.

  10. My parents B1/B2 VISA appointments were cancelled last year March. When i login to the CGI portal, it gives me the option to schedule the appointment but no available slots.

    My question is, When the regular VISA processing starts, can I use the same DS160 and book the appointment? The point to note is that the DS160 tentative travel date was given as last Summer. Please suggest.

  11. Hi Kumar,

    I was laid off on April 27th 2020 (was working on H1B status with I-797A, no stamp on passport). I was in the US on June24th, 2020 and had applied for B2 COS with an effective date of June 25th, 2020. I later left the US on June 29th, 2020. Does this make me eligible for the condition of physical presence in the US for visa interview?

    Note: I have an approved petition from a another employer?

    Thank you for running this forum and all your help!

  12. Dear All,

    For those who are planning for Dropbox(24 months eligibility) before March 2021. The normal Dropbox appointment slots are made available from 1st Feb and throughout the March normal Dropbox slots are available on each working day.
    Appointments are filling fast so do take your decision quickly.
    Happy Dropbox!

  13. Hi,
    Thanks for the article. If I already have a valid H1 stamp, and I travel to India and get married, will the US Consulate (Delhi) consider my future spouse’s H4 application under the ‘exemption?’ Or are there still any restrictions?

  14. Hi, Can I apply now for B2 Visa in Chennai Consulate? Can anyone please comment? The “USTravelDocs” website says the Consular appointments for Chennai location is currently closed. We badly want to bring our MIL here since we have a newborn. Any advise/suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks!

  15. Hi RedBus members. Limited processing for b1/b2 was supposed to be start from Feb 1 in Delhi. Anyone able to secure B1/B2 visa appointment? Because I still see the same message as No appointments are available.

  16. Hi RedBus Members,

    I need guidance on my next visa appointment which is on February 8th 2021. I got my initial H1B in 2018 and valid until December 2019. I went for visa stamping in Chennai and received the Visa on Feb 27th. Fast forward, I got my H1B visa renewed in 2020 and valid until 2022 December while in US itself. After Covid started, I had to move to Canada for PR landing and got struck there. My sponsor company has setup a branch in Canada and has transferred me to there from US employment. My employer says that I have been transferred to Canada office and if I need to get the stamping done again I need to get the new offer letter and go for visa stamping again which they are willing to provide.

    Now based on current scenario, I moved out of USA in May 2020 much before the H1B ban was implemented and also I did not have a valid visa by then as it expired. I have scheduled an appointment for dropbox based on 24 month rule. However, i am not sure whether the travel ban applies to me as well for dropbox option as many consulates are opening slots for appointments. My appointment is in New Delhi Consulate. Please let me know whether should I go with this appointment or shouldn’t I go. If I should not go, what are the reasons and implications if I go for stamping. Really need advise/personal experience on this.
    Appreciate everyone’s help in this community.

  17. Hi,

    Can someone help me out ?
    I do not qualify for the exempt list under the presidential order for the H1B travel ban currently in effect.
    I have already gone ahead with my OFC appointment for fingerprinting and have my interview scheduled for 01/28.
    Do I have an option of postponing of holding off on my interview appointment for a later date? Or am I not left with any opinion but to go for the interview and get a 221(f). After which I will have to apply again at a time when the travel ban is lifted ?
    Still hoping Biden signs an executive order in the next 3 days to overturn the H1B travel ban *fingers crossed*

    • H1B applicant,
      If you know for sure, you are not exempt, then you should avoid the stamping. You can talk to your attorney and then take the call. But, consular office has discretion to reject your visa stamping on 212(f) reasons…Better safe than sorry. Your discretion, do update how it goes.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you for your response.

        It seems like I had an option to reschedule my interview through the visa appointment scheduling website. As of now I have rescheduled my appointment to an available date in Feb 2021.
        This doesn’t completely solve the issue as the travel ban is still in effect (At the time of this response).

        I guess I am hoping that the travel ban might be lifted until end of Feb which is when my interview is scheduled.

        If it doesn’t, then my plan is I can reschedule it once more to a date further in the future based on availability.

        • Hi,

          You won’t believe me but i’m exactly on same boat. I just want to know that when we reschedule appointment after OFC is done, do we have to schedule OFC and Interview again or only interview?

          Also may i know how many hours before we should be doing this activity so that we dont run out of chance.


    • Hi
      What is the exempt list under the presidential order for the H1B travel ban currently in effect?
      I have H1B visa approved . Can I go to India to get m VISA stamped for the first time

  18. Hello Kumar,

    I hope you are well. I had a question and hope you can help. My H1b visa was approved in lottery last year, and I did get an appointment for Jan 28 in Mumbai for regular visa. My employer is not part of the companies that is exempt from the ban. Do you think they will grant the visa in Jan or should I cancel my appointment?

    • My h1b also was picked in the lottery last year and was approved. I got visa stamping appointment on 9th Jan in Mumbai. My employer also does not fall under the exemption. I received a 221(f) and was told that I’m eligible for h1b but had to come back after the visa travel ban was lifted. I suggest you to wait for the new president to come and see what he does. There is news that he will be acting on immigration in the first 10 days itself. Hopefully, we can expect that the ban is lifted.

  19. Hi Kumar,
    First of all a huge thank you for maintaining this page with the latest and up to date information. It is helping a lot of folks. Much appreciated!
    My dependents (both on H4 visa) travelled to India 4months back. Their visas expired in September 2020 and now we are waiting to book their dropbox appointments in Hyderabad consulate. I have been trying for the past 15 days to book slots for their dropbox appointments but every time I login to the website, in the left hand side under the side bar I see different dates (Sometimes Nov 1st 2021 and sometimes Jan 28th 2021). But on the right hand side it says “There are currently no appointments available”. I have tried logging in at various times of the day to see if there is any availability but no luck. From your updates, I read that dropbox appointments are available (in a limited quantity, though). In this regard, do you have any idea / guestimate at what time of the day, do they open up the slots for booking dropbox appointments?

    • Sandeep,
      There are some telegram groups like https://t.me/us_visa_stamping_india where users keep checking and sharing updates. There is no shortcut, you need to keep checking and book when available. The dates you see like Nov are just for planning purpose to book as EA.

  20. I see the following update in US Consulate Mumbai twitter account.

    US Consulate Mumbai
    The U.S. Embassy New Delhi and Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai are now accommodating a very limited number of employment-based visa appointments. Appointments can be made through our website http://ustraveldocs.com/in.

    Looks like they opened limited appointments and they are valid (may not be cancelled unlike others)

    • Yes, I noticed this tweet as well. I was able to reserve an appointment OFC Jan 31 and interview Feb3 but I am not not sure if it is for regular stamping or emergency.

      I saw comments from few which stated that after reserving appointments for dates in Jan they had to a page to provide emergency letter but I didnt get any such option.

        • Hello Kumar,

          I had booked appointment in March which was cancelled few days. Now again after recent update on twitter on new slots, i was able to book appointment for Feb 2nd.
          Now i am afraid if visa office may refuse visa stating President proclamation as i may not eligible for exemption. Need your valuable recommendation please.

          Hoping for your reply

  21. Hi Kumar,
    I have a general question on visa interview. At the time of interview, if my VISA end date on my i797 expires in another 6 months, will that be a problem/reason for rejection ? Will the short duration of 6 months effect my chances ?

  22. Hi Kumar, I hope you can help.
    I’m currently working full time in the US on F1 OPT. This expires in July. 2021.
    My H1B was approved in September 2020.
    The attorneys have told me to travel to India and get a stamping of change is status before July 2021.
    If the consulates don’t open up for interviews what is the way forward?
    The company attorneys are not very helpful or prompt in answering questions.
    I was hoping I’ll find some answers and options here.
    Thank you.

    • G,
      You may consider going to Canda or other places, where they allow COS stamping. You still have time, do not panic. Hopefully things change with vaccine and new administration.

  23. Hi, i could find a slot and get a visa interview appointment for H1B scheduled in January 22nd in Mumbai. But i am not sure if it would be cancelled or a genuine regular appointment.
    i am not sure how to validate it. Is anyone else able to schedule any non emergency appointments for H1B in january ?

  24. As per latest news Trump has extended VISA ban until March 31st, do you guys have any information on this? When I called consulate contact number, agents don’t have any updates.

    • Indra,
      Yes, it is extened until March 31st. There is no change in the criteria before or exceptions. You can check other articels that are linked in the above.

  25. Hi Admin/Users,
    I have booked my H1B visa interview for March 2021 along with my wife. Though I’m eligible for drop box , I opted for in-person interview as my wife is applying for the first time.

    My Question is, If my interview gets cancelled will I be able to book a drop box interview my visa renewal only? But I have already paid the fee for my wife as well in the same application.

    I have to get my visa stamped within 45 days of my travel pan to India (march 1 – april 10). As my employer is not allowing me to stay out of country status more than 45 days. Would like to know what are the possibilities to get my visa stamped within this time frame???

    Appreciate your thoughts on this..

      • Yes, i answered to questions keeping in mind of the family member.
        my wife is added to the same application and it is a first time stamping , so she has to be present in person.

    • I have my appointment booked for March as well. As per latest news the ban has been extended till March 31 st. So, most probably they will cancel those appointments, not sure when they will resume regular operations, my best guess is after March 31 st. I’m hoping to be able to reschedule maybe in June or July but looking at the way things are going that seems very distant.

    • Sree,
      Frankly, dont know. You need to check with the USTraevelDocs as it is mixed up.
      In general, once they cancel it, your MRV fee is released, so you can book it accordinlgy. When you try to book, re-start the visa type and wizard, it will prompt you for the entire thing and you will be getting dropbox confirmation. Share your inputs after you check and how it goes here for community benefit.

  26. I was able to secure appointment for H1B + H4 visa stamping at Mumbai Consulate for 6th January (OFC) and 20th January (Interview). I have been trying from last 1 month and this afternoon (12/31) all of sudden it accepted the date. Maybe they just opened up new dates today.

    • I tried and it is not happened. When I click on possible vacant spot and hit continue it says the appointments are booked.
      Has any one experienced this?

      • I am also trying day and night but not able to secure any appointment.
        Might be the person is lying unless provides any proof.
        Fake is everywhere now days.

      • I checked around 4 PM IST on 12/31. Immediately after securing regular appointment, I requested for emergency one using reason “My employer is part of lawsuit filed against Trumps Immigration ban”, I got response within half hour saying emergency request has been approved. So, my new dates are 6th Jan OFC and 7th Jan Interview.

        Keep trying, you will find one slot eventually.

      • Forgot to mention, I had to attach a letter from employer that states they are part of Chamber of Commerce (CoC) who filed lawsuit.

        • Ganesh, appreciate the details you provided. Needs some more info. Did you got a letter from employer justifying urgent business travel or you just attached the letter from your employer stating they’re a member of CoC?

        • Thank You Ganesh for clarification!
          Best of luck with your emergency visa appointment.

          I still assume they are not opening any slot for a regular visa appointment yet until March 2021.

      • Yes. I have been following this thread from last one month. All we can do is keep trying. I got locked a couple of times for attempts exceeded. Got lucky in the end.

      • Hi Kumar,
        Do you see any issue with booking an appointment if a slot becomes available by chance now in January? Does it effect our VISA interview in any way(like a reject) if its not Emergency case . I do see everywhere that slots are not open yet but I did got to know a friend who could find a slot today morning in Mumbai for January.

        • hari,
          No harm. If they do not cancel, you can go. Just be careful that there may be last minute surprises… So, be aware…

    • Hi Ganesh, I could get a regular H1B appointment as well for January in Mumbai. Its a non emergency regular appointment. Do you see any chance of these slots being cancelled as well or should it be fine since these are just opened ? Any thoughts.

  27. 1) Is there any particular time of the day when appointment slots open online ? I have been trying since last 10 days but every time I get messsage that no appointment is available.

    2) Also how often do you check ? I have been receiving message that I am approaching maximum number of times to view appointment. Thanks

    • B,
      1. It is sporadic, there is no captured pattern.
      2. You can technically check upto 12 times at a consualte ( each dropdown you select for a consulate is counted as one view ) Again, this is based on info from users.

  28. Hello Redbus,

    Even i had a feb appointment from hyd office and i got the same email. Can you let me know why only hyd office is doing this ?

      • thank you Kumar for your quick reply. Really appreciate your help and support. Can you please clarify one thing like can i apply for h4 visa from other countries ? if so which are those countries from where i can get my first time h4 stamping.
        Also can you suggest any other way to go to US. I have been separated from my husband for more than a year now and we still dont have any clarity from consulate when will we get a visa

        • kiran,
          There is no list as such that accepts H4 only. If any consulate says they allow third country nationals stamping, then you can try in that country. You need to write to consulate and get confirmation.
          Well, sadly, many are stuck in your same situation. I wish we had an answer.

      • I understand that US embassies in India are closed till March. Please let me know if any of the US embassies in other counties are starting to process H1-B stamping starting from January 4, 2021. (since the Trump H1-B travel ban ends on December 31, 2020). Thanks.

  29. Hello,

    I have my H1B visa approval and need to get it stamped. I’ve been tracking for visa appointment dates to book one then request for an expedited process but there have been no dates so far. Is there ay other way I could apply for an expedited process for H1B stamping?

    • did ur company provide any additional documentation to support request for expedited visa appointment or can we just apply?
      Are you already working in US or are in India waiting to getting new h1b stamped?

    • Monica,
      There is no alternative, you need to wait for the dates to be opened. Only after that you can apply for expedite appointment.

  30. Hello,

    MyVisa got expired in Dec 2019. I’m planning for a dropbox appointment in the month of january. However, as per new USCIS rules, If benefit of 24 months extends further by the Consulate, I will be eligible for drop box, else you will fall under normal Consular interview process.

    I’ll be able to go to dropbox only after Jan 01 2021. If this rule isn’t extended post Dec 2020, I’ll not be eligible for dropbox. So, Can I book an appointment for the month of Dec and then reschedule to Jan 2021.

  31. Hi, I was trying to get a drop box appointment for my spouse and kid yesterday and when i did not see any slots available, I had a panic attack as we have plans to visit our native place for sister’s wedding next month. After some searching and seeing your comments i realize drop box availability is a common issue across. Does anybody knows when the drop box slots opens up in the day and what is the earliest availability.

  32. Same here, I booked appointment in Mar, Hyd location. Waiting for updates on this situation. Will these slots get cancelled/refreshed?

      • Hi Padmanaban, I have booked somewhere in Nov mid, And few slots were available in Feb and Mar in 2021, not sure either these slot are considered under regular process or not. In embassy tweet posted above it say, these slots may be cancelled or refreshed. Waiting for inputs here.

      • Hi Padmanabhan,
        I am facing the same issue. Has the situation changed for you and did you get the consular appointment? If yes, can you please advise on the steps you took?


  33. Hello !

    I got my H1b consular approval in 2020 July, I booked for the Feb Visa slot regularly with no emergency as I am currently living and working in the US. Does my visa slot gets canceled techinically as they stated on their website? Please confirm this.

    If they cancel do I need to rebook?

  34. Hello – Me and my spouse (both on H1B visa) are eligible for dropbox. We’re travelling to India on 9th Dec. We have been checking for dropbox appointment in Mumbai for past month but no luck yet. Anyone who has got the appointment has any clue at what time IST they usually release the slots?

    Also, my spouse became eligible for dropbox due to waiver rule amendment to 24 month expiry. However, this exception expires on 31st Dec 2020. Does that mean in case we get date in January for dropbox, she may not be eligible if rule changes back to 12 month expiry window?

    Thanks in anticipation for your help

  35. Hi,
    My sister has to come to India to attend my wedding in June 2021. However, we have no idea when will the regular visa appointments open in India. Is there any way she can schedule the appointment or any tentative time that regular visa appointments will open. We are stuck and it is urgent. Could you please advise.

    • Swati Sinha,
      We do not know how thinks would look like in June of next year. Hopefully with new administration in place, it could be different, so stay tuned. No one knows when the regular operations would resume.

  36. Hello,

    Any idea on Dropbox. I was checking on 3rd Nov 2020 on UsTraveldocs and appointments were available from 15th March 2021.
    And I am checking today and it says “There are currently no appointments available.”.

    Moreover, I am checking Visa Appointment Wait Times on https://travel.state.gov/ and it says “Temporarily Closed” for New Delhi Consulate.

    Any idea on when the Dropbox appointment should be available next year?

    • Pankaj,
      This is a hit and a miss. They are opening slots on a regular basis, but not giving many…some are lucky to find the slots, others are not. All we can do is wait for the regular operations to commence or keep checking the website for open slots. The status on the travel.state.gov is not accurate.

  37. Hi,

    I would like to take dropbox appointment . I am a software engineer and waiting for stamping of my h1b visa . Could you help me on this . I am currently in US planning to come next month. I am about to marry a girl who is waiting since 8th months for me. Please tell me the chances of my visa get approved. Or any other way there? plzzzzzzzz

  38. Currently I am in India and me and My wife have valid visa stamped. Can some one suggest if I can do stamping for my 6 months old daughter(H4) or do I need to wait till dec 31.

    • Soumik,
      If parents have valid H1B stamped, you can apply for H4. The problem is getting Emergency appointments slots. You can give it a shot.

      • Thanks for the response. I believe my Kid is elligible for dropbox. is dropbox facility is open for H4 stamping.
        Note : this is not renewal. Fresh stamping will be done for H4

        • Hi kumar can you please shed some light on this.

          I believe my Kid is elligible for dropbox. is dropbox facility is open for H4 stamping.
          Note : this is not renewal. Fresh stamping will be done for H4 (Both parent visa is valid and stamped) and cureent location is INDIA

  39. Hello !!

    I was able to get a dropbox appointment for December 4th @ chennai – But wanted to know if the dropbox appointments are also being cancelled like the regular visa appointments ??
    Anybody who has heard about this? please help.

    Also if there’s anyone who got their visa’s issued recently via Dropbox – Kindly please share the experience.

    Thanks for the help !


    • Prashanth,
      Dropbox appointments should not be cancelled. They have not given any such guidance as such. They should not be cancelled, I have not heard on the blog or any social media groups too.

      • Thank you Kumar !! This is really helpful.

        Sorry for too many questions but Kindly please help answering the below ones – My travel starts next week so this will really help me.

        1. Do I need to apply for emergency petition too along with the Dropbox appointment? I’m with the same employer and client since my last stamping( In Feb 2020)
        2. I had my previous stamping at Hyderabad? But due to lack of slots – this time it is at Chennai will that be fine or Do i need to explain?

        Thanks Again !!


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