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US Visa Stamping India Updates [Sep 2021] Travel Ban Not applicable to Vaccinated?

Some of you would have scheduled US Visa interview appointments scheduled in India, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 Situation in India and across the globe, 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. On this page, we track all updates from official and unofficial sources, including users feedback and experiences. It is divided into sections with a 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 September 20th, 2021

Below is the short summary of all updates from the US Consulates, Embassy in India from March 2020 until September 20th, 2021. All the below are current and effective. You can check the timeline section to get detailed links and official sources, news screenshots in the next section.

  • US Travel Ban to be lifted for Vaccinated : On Sep 20th, 2021, US Govt announced that they plan to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals starting from Early November 2021. The details are not published yet, but widely reported across many of the news outlets
    • We dont know yet, what all vaccinations would be accepted
    • How it this Travel Ban work with countries like India with different vaccinations than US list of vaccines.
    • We are yet to get official update from US Embassy. Stay tuned.
    • For now read USAToday News, we will report more as official news comes out.
  • US Travel Ban – Extremely Limited Visa Appointments : No Change
    • No official update yet on when the consulates will open for regular operations, they all continue to operate in limited fashion.
    • Even though COVID situation in India continues to get better, as of September 20th, 2021, there is no change in the situation in terms of how consulates operate. They are still operating in limited fashion with limited appointments.
    • Travel Ban to Continue, Foreigners may require Vaccination :
      • COVID-19 Cases Continue to rise in US, we do not know when travel ban would be lifted. As per Whitehouse, US is working on a plan to require foreign nationals entering US to require vaccination. The details are not yet final and we dont know, if this will be come reality. This is based on an exclusive report by Reuters on Aug 5th.
      • On July 27th, Reuters reported that, as per WhiteHouse Officials, Travel ban is set to continue for some more time and they have not given any indication for lifting it in near term. The reason is the rapid spread with Delta variant. No change since the update.
  • Agents Fraud Booking Slots : In response to some users’ concern that some agents are charging 6k to 8k INR for visa slots, US Consulate Mumbai is asking to report fraud to MumbaiF@state.gov with all relevant details. They say that information will be kept confidential. So, if you see someone doing fraud, report it.
  • On April 30th, President Biden signed a Proclamation banning entry of most of the non-immigrant visa holder from India who have been physically in India for 15 days prior to their US Travel. As part of this, they canceled all appointments ( Biometrics, Visa Interview) at US Consulates and US Embassy in India until further notice.
  • Read below articles on the Travel Ban Exceptions, NIE Details
  • Check US Visa India Experiences Telegram Group for those and Community Group for US Visa Appointments India – Discussions.
  • F1 Visa Appointments:
    • US Embassy said that they have issued a record number of 55K F1 Visa this year and they all would likely board plane to study in US.
    • US Consulate continue to prioritize F1 slots over everything in the last couple of months. Many seem to get slots, but still few are struggling to get the F1 visa slots. US Consulates mentioned that they are opening more slots even now as term permits.
    • Also, they said on exception basis, they are also giving some Emergency Appointment. In the past they clearly said, they are not giving any. But, recenlty they update on their twitter page saying they are doing some. So, you can give it a shot.
    • Thousands of slots were opened in the last two weeks since June 14th as mentioned by the consulates in Call on Latest US Visa Slots Status for F1, Others
  • Apply NIE while in US : You cannot apply for NIE when you are physically present in the US. You need to be in India and then only apply for NIE. Check US Consulate Chennai Guidance – Can you apply for NIE, while in US for full details.
  • NIE Validity 12 months : US Dept of State issued guidance indicating that NIE would be valid for 12 months from the date it was issued and it is valid for multiple entries as well. This is effective from July 6, 2021 and it will apply retroactively to previously issued NIE with old 30 days rule. Check more at Travel to US on NIE – 12 months Rule
  • 221g Given for Applicants without NIE
    • US Consulates are giving 221(g) Administrative Processing slip for pending visa processing applications or if someone does not fall under NIE. It says that the proclamation is in effect, so they cannot process and need more information. See below timeline for a sample form that is given for 221g.
  • General Consulate Operations
    • All consulates & Embassy continue to be closed for regular operations and there is no estimated date when they will resume the regular operations.
    • Check US Embassy India Official News & timeline section for more.
  • Dropbox Stamping Slots : US consulates all across the US are givng Interview waiver or Dropbox slots for H4, H1B and other visa renewals. No dropbox slots for B1/B2 or Visitor Visa slots for parents or visitors yet. They strictly said, not giving them now.
  • 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 Criteria 48 months from Expirty Status :
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 be processed in chronological order. Due to backlogs, they say they cannot predict when someone would get their interview slot. Check timeline for the update from US Embassy website.

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


Below is the timeline of updates from the 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 the US Consulate/ US Embassy.

September 20th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates

  • US Travel Ban to be lifted for Vaccinated : On Sep 20th, 2021, US Govt announced that they plan to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals starting from Early November 2021. The details are not published yet, but widely reported across many of the news outlets
  • We dont know yet, what all vaccinations would be acceptedHow it would work with countries like India We are yet to get official update from US Embassy. Stay tuned. For now read USAToday News, we will report more as official news comes out.
  • No change in the consualte operations or the availability of the slots across India. Everything is in very limited mode as like previous weeks. Check previous update below more more info.

September 19th, 2021: Below are the updates from the last three weeks.

  • No changes in the US Consulate Operations in a couple of weeks. As of Sep 19th, US Consulates continue to be operating in a limited fashion with limited slots.
  • Only Emergency Appointments and Dropbox with NIE approvals can go for stamping.
  • We do not know when the consulates will open for regular stamping for everyone. Travel Ban continues to be in effect as well.
  • US Embassy confirmed again on Sep 12th saying that, if you attend US Visa interview for new visa, you will be assessed for NIE. So, you must have NIE to get visa, otherwise, you may end up getting 221g form for not having NIE. Also, if you are H1B, they suggest to submit proof during request of Emergency appointment. See below tweets from official US Embassy account.
  • US Embassy also updated on Sep 8th confirming that they understand the demand for H1B and L1 related appointments and will open more slots as conditions allow them. See below tweet.

August 30th, 2021 : Below are the updates from the past two weeks

  • No Change in the general consular operation status. They all are operating in limited fashion with limited appointments.
  • No official updates on the US Embassy website, when they will open up for other visa types. While there are some rumors posted on some news sites that they may resume H1B from next week, nothing is confirmed by US Embassy yet.
  • US Embassy confirmed that they gave around 55K F1 Visas for Indian Students, which is the highest record and that many students would board planes to study in US. See below tweet
  • NIE Requests can take up to 3 weeks for the response, so they ask everyone to wait. Also, they say they cannot guarantee a decision as well within that time. In fact, many users took much longer time to get the same. See below tweet.

August 16th, 2021: Below are the updates from the past three weeks until today.

  • No changes in the status of the US Consulates operations or availability of appointments across India. The status continues to be like in previous weeks.
  • US Embassy India conducted Visa Fridays, where they answer questions on the many aspects of US Visas. This happend on Aug 13th, 2021. No new updates were mentioned in that. Everything is as past. They did not indicate anything on if anything would change in Consualte operations.
  • As per US Embassy, they are opening very few slots for H1B, H4 and they fill fast. They suggest to take a placeholder slot and then ask for Expedite appointment, if you are eligble. They also confirmed that B1/B2 is not allowed as per proclamation. They strongly suggest anyone in US, if planning to come to India to be prepared for delays, if they need to get stamping. See below.
  • WhiteHouse is working on a plan, where they may require all foreign travelers to US to be vaccinated. They believe that this is needed to safely open the border without causing too much spike in cases and safely. It is not final or official yet, but still being worked on as an option. We need to wait and see, what would come out of this. This news was reported by Reuters on Aug 5th, 2021.
  • Limited availability of Dropbox for all visa types, except B2 visa. Also, there is no NIE given for B2 visas, even if you have the visa to travel. Some have taken the route of going to Mexico or other country and spend 14 days there and then travel to US as a workaround for this.
  • There is no estimated date or time given by US consulates on when they will open the consulate for regular operations.
  • Also, Travel Ban may not be lifted in the near term citing the Delta Variant issues. This news was confirmed by Reuters based on information from WhiteHouse officials. So, be prepared and plan your travel or NIE accordingly.

Jul 26th, 2021: Below are the latest updates in the last three weeks.

  • No Change in the consulate operating status across all the consulates. All are operating in a limited fashion.
  • F1 Slots : US Consulates say they are opening more slots for F1 students. In some cases, they are allowing Emergency Appointment as well. They also mentioned that they are aware of the high demand and continue to add more slots. See below tweets from US consulate.
  • Report Agents charging for Slots : US Consulate Mumbai is requesting users to report details of agents or anyone doing fraud by selling visa slots for money like 6K to 8K INR. You can report them at email MumbaiF@state.gov. The consualte says they will keep everything confidential. See below tweet.
  • Interview waiver or Dropbox appointment are given for all visa types, except B1/B2 visas. Of course, they are limited in nature. US Consulate Mumbai confirmed that they are giving extremely limited slots for interview waiver ant they fill quickly, check below tweet.
  • Check Latest US Visa Stamping Experinces shared by Users for July 2021
  • See below tweets for latest official update on the above

Jul 7th, 2021 : US Dept of state announced that they have changed the National Interest exception (NIE) validity from 30 days to 12 months. This is effective from July 6th, 2021. Also, this will apply to previously issued NIE exceptions by the consulate as well. The same was confirmed by US Embassy in India as well. See below Official screenshots and links

Below is the revised guidance from the US Dept of State on their official press release

NIE Valid for 12 months from the date issued Change by US Dept of State
NIE Valid for 12 months from the date issued Change by US Dept of State

Below is the update on the US Embassy India website confirming the same in the FAQs

NIE Valid for 12 months from US Embassy India website
NIE Valid for 12 months from US Embassy India website

Email response from US Embassy in Delhi in India NIE valid for 12 months and says it applies to existing ones as well.

National Interest Exception now valid for 12 months - Email from US Embassy Delhi
National Interest Exception now valid for 12 months – Email from US Embassy Delhi

Jul 4th, 2021: Below are the updates in the last three weeks.

  • Consulates General Operations: Though the situation in India is getting better with fewer new COVID cases, there is no change in the overall consulates operation status. All of them are still closed for regular operations and still operating limited fashion. There is no estimated time when they would open regular operations.
  • Student Visa Appointments : As of July 2nd, 2021, US Consualtes update that they continue to add more slots as it permits. Previouly, on June 25th, US Embassy updated that they released more slots for F1 students going for Fall 2021. Also, they updated the US Embassy website saying that they continue to add more and more slots for F1 students. See below screenshot
    • They confirmed again on June 28th saying that they cannot expedite F1 students’ appointments for Fall 2021. They will open more slots for the same. Students need to work with School for adjusting start dates or get flexibility.
  • Mumbai Consulate is providing very limited interview waivers and other work visa slots. Not fully opening them yet. Also, essential services for US Citizens continue to be provided.
  • Dropbox Slots: All other Consulates, except Mumbai, are opening more Dropbox Slots for H4, H1B and other non-immigrant visas. See below tweets by the official account.
US Visa Stamping status f1 update June 28-2021
US Visa Stamping situation at Consulates – F1 update June 28-2021

  • June 14th, 2021 : Below are the updates in the last one week until June 14th.
    • There is no change in the overall status of the consualtes operations. They all continue to be closed for regular operations. Only one key change is the opening up of slots for F1 Students going for Fall 2021. See below screenshot from US Embassy website.
    • There was a call with Head of US Consulates in India on June 10th, where they outlined all the situation and how they plan to operate in the next few months. Most focus would be for F1 students and they will open tens of thousands of appointments starting from June 14th, 2021. Check article : Status of US Visa Appointments in India in Jul, Aug for F1, H1, Others for full summary.
    • On June 14th, 2021, the system did open a lot of slots. But, there were lot of glitches in the system. There were slots mainly for F1 students, but there were few for other visa holders like H1B as well. The consulates did acknowledge the issue. See below tweet
US Visa Stamping India - June F1 Students Priority update consulate website
US Visa Stamping India – June F1 Students Priority update consulate website
  • June 7th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates in last three weeks as of today
    • No new changes last week. Still, regular operations of the consulates have not commenced.
    • US Embassy updated their website last week telling that they are handling some appointments in an extremely limited fashion. See the below screenshot.
    • If you have an appointment and it does not get canceled, then you can attend the interview. But, if you get a cancellation, then you cannot. So, very much unknown situation.
    • Also, you need to qualify for NIE to attend the visa interview. If not, there is a chance that you may get 221g.
US Embassy Updates - US Visa Stamping - May 24-2021
US Embassy Updates – US Visa Stamping – May 24-2021
  • May 17th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates in the last two weeks
    • US Consulates are issuing 221(g) form for Visa applicants who attended visa interviews around the proclamation time frame. It says that Presidential proclamation is in effect and they need additional supporting evidence to consider for NIE and issue the visa. Applicants need to submit all the supporting documentation to the consulate email. It looks as in below screenshot. Check US Travel Ban for Travelers from India – Exceptions List, Process for more info on what they need to submit.
    • No changes in the situation at all US Consulates and US Embassy. All appointments related to US Visa stamping – in person interview, dropbox, biometrics are cancelled until further notice.
    • Only essential services are provided to US Citizens and some Emergency Appointment. See below latest official update from US Consulate in Mumbai.
    • For F1 students, the US consulate suggest not to apply for Emergency visa appointment (EA), if the program starts after one month from today. Meaning, raise an EA only if your program starts within a month.
    • There is no estimated date when the consulates will start to issue more slots and return to before levels.
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers
  • May 2nd, 2021 : Below are most recent updates as of May 2nd, 2021
    • All US Visa appointments in India cancelled at US Embassy in Delhi and all consulates in India until further notice. See below screenshot of news.
    • There is no estimated date when they will resume the Visa stamping appointments in India.
    • Consulates are only providing emergency appointment services for US Citizens.
US Visa Stampings India - May 2nd status
US Visa Stampings India – May 2nd status
  • April 27th, 2021 :
    • US Embassy website is updated with official announcement stating that all the Biometrics appointments, In-person visa interview appointments, Interview waiver or dropbox appointments would be cancelled until May 15th, 2021 across consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, including US Embassy in Delhi. Only emergency services for US Citizens and only approved emergency appointments will be honoured.
    • US Consulate in Mumbai is providing emergency services for US Citizens and limited emergency appointments for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
    • See below screenshot and check Official Page of US Embassy
US Visa Stamping India Update - April 27 2021
US Visa Stamping India Update – April 27 2021
  • April 26th, 2021 : Below are the key updates from April 19th until April 26th.
    • US Embassy in Delhi Cancelled all in-person visa appointments, dropbox appointments from April 26th to May 9th due to severe COVID situation in Delhi. See below screenshot from US Embassy India website and tweet from them on twitter
    • Mumbai also continues to offer only emergency services. Other consulates are operating in very limited capacity.
    • Chennai started to send out Cancellation emails on April 25th morning for visa interviews, biometrics and Interview waiver appointments. As per the email the appointments are cancelled from Apr 26th to May 15th, 2021. See below screenshot shared by users for interview waiver and in person visa interview. Many other users reported they got similar cancellation email for Biometrics as well. Also, the US Embassy website updated on Apr 26th morning regarding the same, see below screenshot.
US Embassy Consulate updates Apr 26
US Embassy Consulate updates Apr 26
US Consulate in Chennai Cancels Interview and Dropbox in April 2021
US Consulate in Chennai Cancels Interview and Dropbox in April 2021
  • April 19th, 2021 : Below are the key updates in the last week, including today.
    • US Embassy in Delhi is cancelling all in-person interviews from April 20th to April 25th due to the curfew in Delhi. The initially said that they would cancel biometrics and dropbox, but later updated on twitter that Biometrics and Dropbox Appointments will be honoured this week. See below screenshot from Official US Embassy website and below tweets from them.
    • Mumbai Consulate continues to only operate in limited fashion for essential services.
    • All the appointment cancellations would be notified to the applicant.
    • US Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are working normally with limited capacity.
    • Still none of the consulates are fully open for regular operations, they continue to be in limited operations with limited appointments. There is no set date given for when they will open for regular functioning.
US Embassy in Delhi Closed due to Curfew April 20 to 25th 2021
US Embassy in Delhi Closed due to Curfew April 20 to 25th 2021
  • April 12th , 2021 : Below are the key updates in the last 10 days .
    • No changes in Consulate status. All of them not yet open for regular operations. They continue to operated in limited fashion with limited appointments. There is no estimated date for them to be back to normal.
    • Starting from April 9th, 2021, US Consulate in Mumbai is only providing essential services for US Citizens and limited US Visa appointments. This is due to rise in COVID cases. See below screenshots & Tweet. Also, check US Embassy Website
    • For Mumbai consulate, they will notify the applicant, if there is cancellation of the appointment. If the Consulate does not cancel, then you need to attend as planned and slot given to you. Check Tweet
    • No impact for appointments at Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata or Embassy in New Delhi.
US Consulate Mumbai Update COVID - April 2021
US Consulate Mumbai Update COVID – April 2021
  • 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

We have removed all the timeline of updates before March 2021 to keep the thread clean and up to date.

You can watch YouTube 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 Regular Appointments in India ?

Due to the Presidential proclamation on April 30, 2021, that imposes a travel ban to the US from India, US Consulates and Embassy in India have canceled all US Visa stamping regular visa stamping appointments until further notice. There is no estimated date when they will lift the travel ban. Currently they are only serving cases that fall under NIE or part of exemptions in proclamation.

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

As of September 2021, all appointments are cancelled including H1B Visa appointments. There is no estimated date when they will re-open the consulates. They are only accepting H1B Stampings that are part of NIE.

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 ?

Due to US Travel ban from India, all Dropbox appointments are cancelled as well until further notice. They are accepting limited NIE applications tied to dropbox.

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 Regular US Visa appointments. If you qualify for the US Visa Stamping National Interest 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 ?

Due to travel ban to US from India, US consulates are not accepting anything, including 221g related information or documents. Everything is on hold until further notice.

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. You also need to qualify for NIE.

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 ?

   

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443 Comments

  1. Hello all, I attended for H1B visa interview on September 9th, 2021, at the US consulate, Hyderabad.
    At the end of the interview, the visa officer has kept my passport and informed me that my visa is under consideration for NIE and will let me know within 24hrs to 2days, and handed me a 221g white slip.
    I haven’t received any reply back from them yet! Did anyone else experience a similar situation, if so typically how many days did it take to receive your passport back?
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  2. Hey,

    I am trying to book an h1b extension dropbox appointment in New Delhi. I started this 5 days back ie from September 7th. Does anybody know what the current status is? How often are the slots released in Delhi? Are people getting slots?

    Any help is much appreciated.
    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Hello everyone

    I started my visa slot booking application
    But when I go to the NEFT payment page it is showing amount and amount expiry which is next week.. does it mean my payment expires next week and I have to pay again? That makes no sense to me. Plz help.

    Thanks
    Nikki

    Reply
  4. Trying to book first time H4 appointment. It shows a lot of dates. But whatever I select, it goes to the next page and says “No appointment available.” Is it like the biometrics are available but the interview is not?

    Reply
    • hi brother my name is surjit my family need fingerprint. delhi fingerprint is open. how can i get fingerprin done for my fmaily.(singh1973surjit@gmail.com)i am in usa….

      Reply
  5. Hi All,

    I am trying to find H1-B stamping appointment (new visa) but looks like no dates are available at all. Did anybody have any luck to book one? Are there any telegram groups which can give heads-up when the slots open up? If yes, can you please share the links.

    Appreciate all help.

    Thanks,
    Sonia

    Reply
    • Hey Sonia,

      I was able to book a H1b VISA stamping app for a NEW H1b visa stamping last Friday at the Kolkata Consulate (see below for my comment). At the time , at least for Kolkata consulate, there were quite a few slots available (both for biometric and in-person interviews). Now that the F1 rush is kinda over, I suspect the consulates are going to open up more & more dates for other VISA classes. I would suggest you keep checking. I am sure you will get one soon !

      Good Luck !
      Sam

      Reply
  6. Any idea when B2 Visa dropbox appointments will open up?
    Its been over 3 months that no appointments are available for IW (Interview Waiver/Dropbox) for B2 visa category

    Reply
  7. Hi Guys,

    Sorry there are typos in my last comment 🙁

    Today I was able to book H1b (New and first time) VISA stamping appointment at the Kolkata consulate. Looked like there were lots of dates (both Biometric and interview dates) available. I have been checking everyday since July 1st.

    Good everyone who is looking for H1B appointments.

    Reply
  8. Hi Guys,

    Today I was able to book H1b (New and first time) stamping appointment at the Kolkata consulate. Looked there were lots of dates available. I have been everyday since July 1st.

    Good everyone who is looking for H1B appointments.

    Reply
  9. Hello Everyone,
    Anyone able to book H1B dropbox appointment recently? I am looking for appointment in August in any consulate since my dropbox eligibility is ending on August 25th.
    What is the good time to check the appointment availability & how many times we can try in a day? I am keep getting the warning message “Reached maximum limit of visiting this page”.
    Any suggestions / advise please?

    Reply
  10. Hi All,
    My H1B petition got selected on last August2020, and I’m waiting for the visa interview & stamping now. Will they accept me into emergency appointments..?
    Or Will Booking appointments at random dates useful after lockdown?
    Please kindly advise..

    Reply
  11. I am on F1 stem extension it expires in 2023 also I got my h1 approval is it possible for me to travel to india and come back before october so i dont have to get my h1 stamped

    Reply
  12. I am eligible for H1b dropbox, however, there are no appointments available. I have been checking their page daily, however, it’s the same since past 2 months. Does anyone know when consulates are going to resume normal operations?

    Reply
  13. It appears that in addition to 48 months from expiration of previous visa, another condition has changed. The last visa does not have to be issued in the ‘home country’ now.

    The questionnaire now says: “Was your most recent H1B visa issued after January 1, 2008?”

    Reply
  14. Hi,
    I have an H1B visa appointment scheduled for next week. Do I need NIE to attend the visa appointment consular interview? Kindly Suggest.
    I have travel plans for August.

    Reply
    • Hi Suman,

      Hope you are doing good!

      When did you schedule your H1B appointment…Is it after June14th 2021 or before that…why Iam asking because…Iam trying for H1B Dropbox appointment since June 14th but Iam not getting a visa slot….And is it your H1B dropbox appointment??? Please reply my question it would be very helpful for me.

      Thanks in advance!

      Reply
  15. What about H1B visa? Not going to get any appointment soon? It looks as if only h1b people are getting affected with covid. Students won’t get covid even h1b with family relation with US citizen won’t get covid. Seriously? It’s such a joke. It just a way to put restrictions to H1b

    Reply
  16. Is NIE applicable for Drop-box appointments? I got an appointment for drop-box in Mumbai in July 1st week. Can I travel back to US after drop-box ? I may qualify under health-care services. ALso when should you submit NIE request before or after appointment?

    Reply
    • Hi Sruthi,

      Hope you are doing good!

      When did you schedule your H1B appointment…Is it after June14th 2021 or before that…why Iam asking because…Iam trying for H1B dropbox appointment since june 14th but Iam not geeting a visa slot….Please reply my question it would be very helpful for me.

      Thanks in advance!

      Reply
  17. I have a query.Due to pandemic my employer could not initiate stamping for my h1b.the petition os valid from oct 2020 to sep 2023.

    I heard in h1 i can stay maximum 6 yrs.So does this 6 year calculate the time i am outside Usa? or the clock will start from petition approved date i.e. oct 2020 in my case..please advise

    Reply
  18. Hi Kumar.

    I have a query.Due to pandemic my employer could not initiate stamping for my h1b.the petition os valid from oct 2020 to sep 2023.

    I heard in h1 i can stay maximum 6 yrs.So does this 6 year calculate the time i am outside Usa? or the clock will start from oct 2020 in my case..please advise

    Reply
  19. Hi,
    I am in US with H1b visa. My wife had to travel to India with our kids (US born). She needs visa stamping to travel back. Is it possible to apply for visa under emergency category since kids are US citizens ?

    Thanks

    Reply
      • Thanks for the reply.
        My kids are 8 and 4 old (no vaccination eligibility). Will the EA based on vaccination work out for them ?

        Reply
  20. I live in US on h1b visa, and my wife is in India. How can i setup her visa interview? I’m not able book any dates as soon as I try to select a date then next screen has a message of no dates available. Is the embassy closed?

    Reply
  21. Hi,
    For those who received appointment cancellation email, how many days before your appointment did you receive the cancellation email?

    Reply
    • Hi;

      I was told by the US TRAVEL DOCS customer support that they may or may not send the cancellation email. It’s the responsibility of the individual who has the visa appointment to check his/her status online. Also I was told that the appointment cancellation can be done by the concerned a week before or even a day before the biometric appointment. Hope this info helps.

      Reply
  22. Hi,
    My visa interview appointment cancelled twice. Does these also considered as count?

    I heard we can schedule only 5 times for one mrv fees?

    Reply

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