Some of you would have scheduled US Visa interview appointments in India or your home country…With the unprecedented Coronavirus Situation US State Department are giving news alerts on how to handle such Visa appointments with their offices…
In this page, we have all latest updates on the News and Guidance from US Dept of State, US Embassy India. We have divided them into sections and have latest updates by date in each section. Click on each of the them to go directly. We will continue to update this page, you may bookmark this page.
US Consulates to Open from July 15th, depending on Local Conditions
Jul 14th, 2020 : US Department of State confirmed today that they plan to open US Consulates and Embassies in phased manner. 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.
@AymanMasoud_1 Hi Ayman – Beginning July 15, US Embassies and Consulates may begin the phased resumption of routine visa services depending on local conditions. Please monitor the embassy/consulate website for the status of their services.— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) July 11, 2020
You can watch below video on where & how to check for US Consulates openings, wait times.
US Consulates India Updates – Visa Appointments, Dropbox, 221g -Cancelled
- August 10th, 2020 : As of today, no official date for US Consulate opening. US Consulate in Mumbai replied today again saying they do not have a date for opening. See below tweet.
Dear Parm, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate's operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) August 10, 2020
- August 8th, 2020 : No official news on when consulate will open. US Consulate Mumbai update today stating they do not have a set date. They did not respond to the Times of India News that mentioned the consulate would open in August 2nd week. See below tweet. Still we continue to wait.
Dear Varna, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate’s operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) August 7, 2020
- 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.
Dear Ankita, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate’s operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) August 5, 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.
Dear Balaraj, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate’s operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) July 31, 2020
- 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.
- You may join the Telegram Group – US Visa Stampings India, if you wish to talk to users in same boat.
Dear Prasanna, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate’s operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) July 29, 2020
- 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.
Dear Harman, there is no set date for when regular visa operations will resume. Please monitor https://t.co/GCTDQLRHaa for updates on the consulate’s operational status.— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) July 16, 2020
- 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.
@harshithanags @mabaldwin While some embassies and consulates may begin phased reopening on July 15, dates will vary based on local conditions. Monitor the embassy website for the latest information on the status of their visa services.— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) July 11, 2020
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
USTravelDocs India Updates – US Visa Stamping Appointments
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
FAQs – US Consulates Updates with COVID-19
There is no date given by US State Department on when will it open. All Visa interviews appointments are cancelled from March 16th, 2020. Dropbox appointments stand cancelled from March 20th.
No, starting from March 20th, Dropbox and Interview waiver appointments are cancelled as well. There is no estimated date for availability.
No, there is no refund as such. You will get a chance to book appointment once the US Consulate is open. You have one year from the day you paid Visa fee to use the same. Also, US Consulate will consider exceptions due to the Coronavirus Situation for all the visa appointments cancelled.
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
They are technically cancelled, you cannot attend US Visa interview until the Consulate indicates that they will start taking appointments. They will give guidance in future and you will need to re-book your appointments.
No, there is nothing you can do until US Consulate accepts US Visa appointments. You need to wait for their next guidance. Talk to your airline, employer and make arrangements accordingly.
No, the 221g related processing is also cancelled starting from March 18th, you cannot submit your documents and they will not be processed until further notice.
No, you cannot submit anything. Everything is cancelled until further notice.
US Citizens, Green Card Holders – Flights to US from India by US Govt
May 4, 2020 : US Embassy in India has updated that they have repatriated about 5,100 travelers and currently pausing the same initiative to do an assessment. See below. Check official update of COVID-19 on USEmbassy India
April 4, 2020 : US Embassy India has issued an alert indicating that there are special flights organised by US Government for US Citizens and Green Card Holders. Below are the details.
- Delhi to San Francisco – April 6
- Delhi to San Francisco – April 7
- Delhi to San Francisco – April 8
- Mumbai to Atlanta – April 7
- Mumbai to Atlanta – April 10
There is a confusion that, visa holders like H1B, or other visa holders are eligible to fly on these, as the page says you need a valid passport, green card or US visa. To clarify, this flights are only for US Citizens, Green Card Holders. If you neither of those and have US visa like H1B, or L1, you are not eligible, see below screenshot from the actual form that you need to fill out. One key exception, if the US Citizen has a caregiver, then spouse or children can accompany them and those immediate family members, if not citizens, can be on a US Visa. See below screenshots. Read Official Alerts : Flights to US Citizens, Green Card Holders Alerts and US Citizens Flights FAQs
Official Sources, Links
- US Consulate India – News Alerts COVID-19
- US Embassy Dropbox Availability Facebook Post
- USTravelDocs India Home
- Travel.State.Gov – COVD-19 Updates Page
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 ?