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US Visa Stamping India Updates [Nov 2022]: H1B, L1 Visa Slots full for next few months

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, and timeline for easy review. We continue to update this page, you may bookmark this page.

Summary of all Updates from US Consulates in India as of November 21st, 2022

Below is the short summary of all updates from the US Consulates, and Embassy in India from November 2021 until November 21st, 2022. 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.

Overall Current Status Summary: US Consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations as of November 21st, 2022. The appointments for H/L Category are full for next few months. All the 100,000 Slots opened were booked. They are not sure if they will open more bulk slots in 2022. They say that the wait time for the same cut in half after many booked appointments. They have started interviewing first-time B1/B2 applicants starting this September month. All the slots in late 2022 and 2023 are not placeholder slots. Second batch of F1 Slots for Spring 2023 applicants will open in last week of November. They will open slots for F1 first refused applicants towards the end of the F1 season for spring 2023. Also, for dropbox stamping, they said in August that it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks as per US Embassy and they can expedite dropbox cases. But in October they said it is taking about a week if all is good with the application. Read below and the timeline for weekly updates.

  • Dropbox Stamping Processing Time: US Embassy updated on June 9th that the processing time for dropbox stamping can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. They cannot really expedite the case and you cannot get your passport during this time. So, be prepared to keep it with US Embassy / Consulate for 3 to 4 weeks, before you send the passport.
  • Extremely Limited Visa Appointments : No Change, US consulates are operating in a very limited capacity as of November 21st, 2022 in India.
    • The lifting of the travel ban to the US does not mean that you can get an appointment to get visa stamping.
    • There is no change in the situation in terms of how consulates operate. They are still operating in a limited fashion with limited appointments.
  • First Timer B1/B2 Appointment Slots: US Consulates have started interviewing first time B1/B2 applicants starting in September and also opened slots for the same applicants. Though they are limited in number, they are processing the same. You can check some of those users shared B1/B2 Visa Stamping Experiences for 2022
  • F1 Visa Appointments for Spring 2023 : The first batch of the slots for F1 Visa applicants was opened around the last weekend of October. Many students were able to book. The second batch will be released in mid to late November.  They suggest checking around these times. Also, they have not given dates for the First time rejected f1 applicants’ slots info for spring.
  • US Visa Dropbox Criteria 48 months from Expiry StatusExtended: They changed the dropbox eligibility criteria to 48 months from expiry, instead of 12 months. This was valid until Dec 31, 2021. On December 23rd, 2021, they extended this indefinitely. There is no deadline on when the 48 months rule for an interview waiver will end. See the timeline section below for official links, screenshot of news.
  • US Travel Ban lifted for Vaccinated: US Govt lifted the travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals starting from November 8th, 2021. Below is a summary of the same.
    • How will it work: You need to be fully vaccinated with an approved list of vaccines by WHO or FDA. Starting from June 12th, 2022, there is no requirement to show negative COVID test to travel to the US. Read US Travel Ban to be lifted from Nov 8, 2021 for Vaccinated
  • Agents Fraud Booking Slots: In the past, 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. Also, recently in October 2022, they clarified telling that using agents is not illegal as it is used for convenience, but they said user would not need one for booking slots. They will release more slots in bulk to make it level playing field.
  • Dropbox Stamping Slots – H1B, H4, L1, B1/B2, Others: US consulates all across the India are giving Interview waiver or Dropbox slots for H4, H1B and other visa renewals. They are opening Dropbox slots even for 2023. All of these slots are not placeholder slots.
  • MRV Fee Payment Validity Status: The US Visa Appointment application Fee (also called MRV Fee) for payments that will be made from October 1st, 2022 will be valid for 365 days.  All the applicants must schedule an appointment using that fee receipt within 365 days from the date they actually made the payment. Read more at MRV Fee Validity
  • Emergency Appointments(EA) Status, Guidance: If you cannot find a Visa slot, you can apply for a 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.
    • There is an option also now in the online system that allows dropbox applicants to choose for an in-person appointment if there is an emergency. They updated their system in October 2022
    • Due to the extreme amount of demand, they have slowed down the approvals of EA requests . You can check US Visa EA Tracker
  • Update for 2022 and 2023 from Head of US Consulates in India: There was a Facebook on September 29th, 2022. where Mr. Don Heflin outlined plans for 2022 and 2023 across India Consulates for various visa types. Below is summary
    • US Consulates to release 100K Appointments for H/L visa dropbox applicants for 2023.
    • 82K F1 Visas were issued in India this summer and highest ever from India..
  • In-Person Interview Waiver for Certain Visa Holders: On December 23rd, US Dept of State announced that they would give interview waiver for certain work visa holders and others as in below :
    • H1B, H4, L, O, P and Q visa holders who meet certain criteria will get in-person interview waiver until end of 2022 ( Dec 31, 2022) .
    • Also, F1, M, J visa holders who meet certain criteria would get in-person interview waiver until end of 2022 ( Dec 31, 2022)
  • NIE Requirement: As the travel ban was lifted from Nov 8th, 2021, there is no need for National Interest Exception(NIE) requirement anymore. You can go for stamping like before, no need to carry any special letter with NIE details in it.

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

  • 221g / Administrative Processing Status : US Consulates continue to process pending 221g applications. They will reach out to you soon. If you do not hear back, you can reach out to consulate for more updates.
  • Check US Visa India Experiences Telegram Group for those and Community Group for US Visa Appointments India – Discussions.
  • Immigrant Visa Stamping: US Embassy in India have resumed processing of Immigrant Visas and there are no restrictions in place. 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 the US Embassy website.

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.

November 21st, 2022: US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q&A on Nov 17th, below are the updates from the same session.

  • US Consulates continue to be operating in a limited fashion, with no changes in the overall situation.
  • F1 Students Appointments for Spring 2023, Refusals: They said the visa appointment slots for fresh F1 students applying (without refusals) will be opened in the last week of November. They will also open lots for first-time refused applicants towards the end of the F1 Spring 2023 season. No specific date was mentioned by them, they suggest to keep checking the online system. Also, they suggest re-applying for F1 after refusal if there are changes in the info that you want to present to the consular officer or if the circumstances have significantly changed.
  • H and L Visa appointments(H1B, L1, H4, L2): They said slots are pretty much full for the next few months and they said that they have been opening slots for H and L categories as space allows. They say slots are still available for late 2023 and suggest booking.
  • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They said that they opened a large batch of slots in Spring 2022 for B1/B2, but they got filled quickly and continue to open slots as conditions allow them. They say, they will open new slots as capacity allows. They suggest checking online.
  • IR1/CR1 Visas Processing: No change from the previous week, they say that they will follow a proper sequence and process applications in chronological order.
  • Check below for the actual Q&A

November 8th, 2022: US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q&A last week, below are the key updates from the same, including regular updates.

  • H1B, H4, L1, L2 Visa Slots: They said that due to high demand H and L visa appointments have long wait times and they fill quickly when released. The appointments are full for the coming months for H and L visa types. But, they will open more H and L slots as conditions allow. They may release slots on short notice as well, so they suggest checking the website regularly for availability.
  • F1 Spring 2023 Slots, Refused: Most of the discussion and questions were around refused slots for first-time refused applicants.
    • For first-time refused F1 applicants, they said that they will open visa appointment slots toward the end of the season. No specific date or week was stated by them.
    • As far as regular Spring 2023 slots go, they released a large batch and most of those slots are booked. The next big batch of slots will come later part of November. This is also in their FAQs
  • Fewer Slots in Delhi: They said that slots released are based on staff availability. Also, that’s the reason for long wait times at some consulate locations than others.
  • B1/B2 Visa Appointments, Renewals, Reschedules: They said that the demand for first-time B1/B2 was high and the current wait time is long. They are trying to add resources so that they can offer more appointments. No timelines were given for this.
    • They said that it is unlikely to have another batch of B1/B2 visa slots released in 2022 and say you might get lucky, if someone cancels.
    • They suggest keeping checking the website for any rescheduling of the appointment. They say some people cancel appointments and you may get lucky in rescheduling.
    • They said it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 days to get a passport with a US visa after the submission of documents for B1/B2 renewal.
  • IR1/CR1 Visas Processing: They clarified again regarding the confusion on some later submitted CR1 and IR1 applicants getting processed than the ones that were submitted before. They again confirmed that, except few exceptions, who got expedited approvals, they are processing in order as they were submitted. They say to be patient and it will be processed in the right sequence.
  • Check below for full details and actual Q&A responses.

November 2nd, 2022: Below are the key updates from last week until now.

  • No changes in the US Consulates’ situation or the way they are operating in the last week or so. Everything is as in the previous week. Check the previous week updates.
  • F1 Visa Slots for Spring 2023: The first batch of F1 slots for Spring 2023 were open around October 30th and many F1 applicants were able to book. There seem to be lesser slots for Delhi based on feedback from users due to more demand.
  • US Visa Appointment Wait Times for Dropbox: The US Department of State website now shows the wait times for interview waiver/ dropbox as well by the consulate location. You can see the below screenshot on how it looks for New Delhi. You can enter any city and see the latest wait times at US Dept of State Website
US Dept of State Website with Interview Waiver Wait times info
US Dept of State Website with Interview Waiver Wait times info

October 25th, 2022: US Embassy hosted Visa Fridays Q & A on Facebook last Friday, Oct 20th. Below are the key updates from the same. No other new updates.

  • F1 Visa Slots for Spring 2023: They say that the appointments for Spring 2023 applicants will open soon, they suggest keeping checking their website and appointments will open soon. They say that there is still plenty of time for the Spring season and they will do their best. They also expect to have a record-breaking winter season for F1 visa interviews. For refused applicants also they will follow same process like Summer, but no dates were given on when they will exactly open.
  • IR1/CR1 Visas Processing: There is some confusion on some later submitted applicants getting processed than previous applicants. They say except few exceptions, who got expedited approvals, they are processing in order and not to worry. They say most categories are not being interviewed for DQ dates in January.
  • B1/ B2 Visa Appointments: They say that they are opening appointments whenever they can, but the demand is higher than what they can accommodate. They say that it is unlikely that they will release more slots in 2022 for first-time B1/B2 applicants. Small numbers may come if someone else cancels. They also say, if you have an emergency request, you can submit expedite request by attaching relevant proof. Also, if you have clearance received in visa annotation, you can request for expedite appointment for renewal.
  • How many times reschedule: They did not exactly tell you how many times you can reschedule in India, but said that, if you see the message on the top that this is the last opportunity, then it is your last option. FYI, they said in the previous facebook that they may change the times one can reschedule in India with new changes to system.
  • H1B, L Visa Slots : They say that they can’t say when they will open more slots as they have already released 100K slots. Also, they say it is unlikely that they will have more slots for November and December. They opened and they were quickly filled. They continue to say that you should take an H1B, H4 or L visa appointment that you get in the system, it could be for a later date like 2023, but just take that for now.
  • F1 Defer Admission – No need of visa : They confirmed that you do not need a new visa stamping again, if you already got F1 Visa stamping for Fall and for some reason if you defer to Spring for the same school. Your I-20 needs to be valid though during travel.
  • Have two different Appointments: for a situation, where the user had B1/B2 appointment for Oct 2023 and plans to apply for L1 appointment, they said that you can hold two different appointments at the same time for two different visa types.
  • J Visa Appointments: They say that now J Visa appointments are different from F Visa appointments and keep checking back for availability.
  • You can read full Q & A here

October 17th, 2022: Below are the updates from the beginning of October until today.

  • US Consulates continue to be operating in a limited fashion as in the previous month.
  • US Embassy updated that as mentioned in Facebook live previously, they released 100,000 H and L Visa appointments and thousands have booked appointments.
  • They say that wait times for H and L visas for both first-time applicants and dropbox have been cut into half.
  • Also, in the first nine months, they processed over 160,000 H & L Visas in India and they continue to prioritize H1B and L visa holders. See below post
  • US Embassy had Visa Fridays on October 6th, 2022. Below are the updates
    • Release of Bulk Slots: They said that they plan to release another set of bulk appointments in upcoming weeks. This is in response to someone who missed booking in first batch. They suggest not checking more than once or twice a day to avoid freezing of the account.
    • Expanding facilities, Staff : They said that they are expanding facilities in Hyderabad and getting more temporary staff to help, including more permanent staff to cope up with the demand.
    • F1 Refused Slots for Spring 2023: They said they do not have a set date for release of slots for previously refused F1 applicants, they will announce the exact dates in the upcoming weeks on the same. They suggest working with the school and extending I-20 if your dates are close and don’t have a slot.
    • DS-160 Location: They say that location you select on DS-160 does not matter. You can have it as Mumbai and then attend interview in Delhi and Biometrics in other city too. No need to change the city in DS-160.
    • Dropbox Visa Processing: They say processing time is about 5 business days, if all goes well.
    • B1/B2 Stamping outside of India: They say that you may go and get stamping of B1/B2 visitor visa in another country if you have the means to go and the country you plan to go offers slots and interviews. They suggest checking the US consualtes website in that country and then plan.
    • Agents Booking Slots: They continue to say that “you do not need an agent for booking and they are releasing bulk appointments to help general users book slots during batch release”. Also, they clarified that using agent is not illegal and some use. But, they say that you should not need to use one to book slots, you can book when slots open in bulk.
    • 221g Cases: They said that they know the delays with 221g pending administrative processing cases and they are trying their best to process them as they cannot be expedited.
    • Locking of Accounts: A user asked that he did login only 3 times a day and 12 clicks, but still got locked. The embassy replied that they have not heard of that and suggested “not to check more than twice a day and then the user should be ok”.
    • Immigrant Visa Delays: They answered saying that they will look into the order of processing of immigrant visa applications as some who filed later to dates. This is for CR1 Visa.
    • Go Early than Appointment time: You cannot go to the dropbox center before your appointment time. You can only go at your scheduled time.
    • You can check the full summary and questions on Facebook Page

September 29th, 2022: US Consulates organized a Facebook Live today with Mr. Don Heflin. He gave guidance on how consulates in India will handle appointments for rest 2022 and 2023. Read below:


September 27th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from mid-September until now.

  • US Consulates and Embassy continue to be in limited operations status and there is no estimated time when they will start operating with full capacity.
  • US Embassy opened a lot of appointments on September 27th, 2022 for all visa categories. Check the latest tweet by US Embassy on Sep 27th.
  • US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q &A Session on September 22nd, 2022. Below is the summary of key takeaways from their responses.
    • H1B Visa, L Visa Slots:
      • The US Embassy did not clearly tell when they will open slots for December 2022 or for next year. They suggest keeping checking the CGI Federal website. All they says is they will opened “soon”.
      • They said they are finalizing their schedules and they will open slots for November and December 2022 as well. Again, on timing, they say “keep checking”.
      • They say that H1B and L visas are treated the same in their system, with exception of Blanket L visas processed only at Chennai. They say that they open appointments on a rolling basis.
      • They say they cannot share exact dates on when they will release dates for October to December. They try to release bulk slots now and then so that they do not disappear immediately…and again suggest to keep checking.
    • B1/B2 Visa Appointments: They have opened some slots for even 2025, but they confirmed that they are opening a part of the full capacity of the dates that are very far into the future like 2024, and 2025. They suggest checking the website as they plan to release more B1/B2 slots.
      • They said they moved away from Language specific appointments for B1/B2. Now all the appointments are in English. They suggest emailing ahead of time with the specific appointment information and language requirements so that they can work it out. See below screenshot.
    • F1 Visa – Spring 2023 Appointments: They said that they have not yet opened the appointment for Spring 2023. So, they suggest keeping checking and not panicking about dates for spring now. They are expecting a big Spring stamping season for F1 students as well. Also, they say, you can apply for F1 stamping in a third country, but they suggest you first check and book an appointment before traveling there.
    • December 2022 Slots – Various visa types: They have not released December slots yet for the current year and also future years for most of the visa types, including B1/B2. They say, it is their trickiest month and plan to release dates for December in various visa types in few weeks, so keep checking.
    • Single Slots vs. Bulk Slots: They say that single slots appear when someone cancels their appointment, but bulk slots appear when they are released by the Embassy/Consualte. If you are looking for 2 or more slots together, you need to wait for the bulk slots option, so that you can book. So, keep checking.
    • Using of Agents to book slots, Fraud: They clarified again that you may use agents to book appointments, but there is no need to use them. They have strategies to make it a level playing field for everyone and they will not share them with the public. Also, they suggest reporting fraud, if someone is taking advantage of the appointment system. See below screenshot for the exact text.
    • Visa Stamping outside of India like Canada or Mexico : They suggest to check the US Embassy or consult that is in that country for more info and secure an appointment, before going there.
    • Appointment Available, but not able to book : They say that usually VAC slot maybe available, but if they do not find an appointment for interview within 14 days of the VAC appointment, you will get the error message saying not available.
Book US Visa Appointment - Use Agent
Book US Visa Appointment – Use Agent
B1 B2 Visa Language Specific Appointment
B1 B2 Visa Language Specific Appointment

September 12th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from early September until now.

  • No changes in the functioning of the US Consulates and US Embassy in India, they all continue to be still in limited operations with focus on more dropbox and limited in-person slots.
  • US Consulates in India issued a record number of 82,000 F1 visas this year so far. This visa issuance count is higher than in any other country in the world.
  • B1/B2 Visa Appointments: US Consulates have started processing regular B1/B2 appointments starting in September 2022.
  • US Embassy conducted Visa Fridays Q&A last week on September 8th, 2022. Below is the summary
    • H1B/H4 & L1/L2 Visa Slots : They say that the dropbox visa slots for H1B/H4 and L1/L2 visas are booked for several months. They will open slots as time and capacity permit. This situation has not changed in the last few months.
      • They also suggest H and L Visa applicants to not leave the USA, unless they have a confirmed appointment for dropbox / stamping. If anyone travels without planning and a confirmed slot, they say that applicants need to be prepared to stay for an extended period of time in India.
    • F1 Slots – Spring 2023: They say that they cannot issue F1 visas 120 days before the start of the program date. So, suggest that F1 applicants check the CGI Federal website for the slots to open anytime in the upcoming period.
    • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They say that they are opening visa slots as they become available on their side for B1/B2. Also, they say for users with B1/B2 slots booked for 2024 to keep trying if they want to find an earlier slot.
    • Overall General Operations: They say that they continue to bring the situation to normal like before for visa slots, but they do not have a specific date on when that will be possible and suggest checking their website.

August 10th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the end of July until now in August.

  • US Consulates in India continue to be operating in a limited fashion as in the last few months. We do not have any new updates on when they will get back to normal.
  • There are no new updates from last week.
  • There was no Visa Fridays Q&A last week. The previous one was help on July 29th, you can read the update on that below.
  • US Embassy in India had Visa Friday Q&A Session on July 29th, 2022. Below is the summary
    • H/L Visa Dropbox Appointments (H1B, L1, H4): Dropbox slots are booked for the next several months for H & L Visa types. Very limited slots open occasionally as capacity is available on very short notice. So, users need to keep checking.
    • F1 Slots: They have not clearly mentioned when they plan to open visa appointment slots for first-time refused applicants. They did mention in the past that they will open slots for refused applicants after Aug 14th, 2022. We need to wait and see. The only info they said is to keep looking and they will open on short notice.
    • B1/B2 slots: They said they’re going to interview first-time B1/B2 starting in September.
    • J1 Slots: They say that slots may open on short notice, so keep checking.
  • You can check the latest US Visa Appointments Availablity in India based on data crowdsourced at VisaGrader – US Visa Appointments Slots Availablity in India

July 26th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the beginning of July until now.

  • No new developments in terms of US consulates operations status in the last four weeks, they all continue to be operating in a limited fashion.
  • There was no Visa Fridays Q&A last week ( July 22nd, 2022).
  • There most recent Visa Fridays Q&A on July 15th, below is the summary of the responses from US Embassy
    • Visa Appointments are now open for all visa types
    • F1 Visa Slots : Their focus is F1 students, and they have opened slots until Aug 14th. They plan to open slots for refused applicants in upcoming weeks. No date given yet. They will be opened for second half of August.
    • H/L Dropbox Appointments : The dropbox slots are fully booked for several months for H/L Visa types ( H1B, H4, L1, L2). They plan to open slots now and then as time permits.
    • B1/ B2 Slots : They have opened fresh B1/B2 slots until 2024 and continue to open slots. So, you can check the portal.
    • Check full Visa Fridays Q &A on Facebook Page
  • Emergency appointments: They gave additional guidance on Emergency appointments as below, including a video that outlines that
    • Only in-person appointments are eligible for Emergency
    • If you are dropbox eligible and still need an emergency appointment, you need to answer the question “Whether you held a previous US visa” to ‘No‘ to book an in-person appointment and then submit an Emergency appointment request. There is no guarantee that you will get the slot as it is on a case by case basis.
    • If you hold a dropbox appointment and need emergency appointment, you need to cancel and book an in-person slot using above option.
    • Watch below video shared by them.
  • You can read the below updates in the timeline for the most recent updates

June 28th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the previous two weeks until now.

  • No changes in the overall US Consulates situation in India, they are still operating in a limited fashion.
  • US Embassy updated on Jun 24th saying that they opened more F1 Slots for students planning to be in the US by mid-August. If you need to be in the US by mid-August, you must book a slot now. The slots they will open in the next round will be for interviews after August 15th, 2022. See the below tweet from US Embassy
  • Not Placeholder Slots: US Embassy confirmed again last week saying that all the visa appointments for various visa types that are open in 2022 and for 2023 are not placeholder appointments. They suggest booking any slot that one gets and planning the travel around that as getting slots can be difficult. See the below screenshot and US Embassy Official Post
US Visa Appointments in India for 2022 and 2023 - Not placeholder slots
US Visa Appointments in India for 2022 and 2023 – Not placeholder slots

Visa Fridays: Below are the key updates from Visa Fridays organized by US Embassy in India on Jun 17th, 2022.

  • F1 Slots for Refused applicants: US Embassy plans to open F1 visa appointment slots soon for first-time refused F1 applicants, planning to go to fall 2022, with appointment dates in late August
  • Delays with No F1 Slots: If you do not get a slot before your school start date, they suggest talking to the school and asking for flexibility with start dates.
  • H1B/H4 Dropbox Slots: They say that these slots are pretty much full for the next few months.
    • They plan to open some more slots for Fall and winter as resources allow.
    • They have opened slots for 2023 so that people can plan ahead their travel. They say to keep looking for slots, as sometimes there are cancellations or new appointments are opened as they capacity permits.
  • Emergency appointments: They say that weddings, family visits, graduations, grandkid’s birth, and the start of school for kids in the US are not eligible for an emergency appointment.
  • B1/B2 Slots: They said that B1/B2 slots for first-time applicants got filled quickly. They suggest monitoring their site for slots as they may open as they can accommodate.
  • Check fully details in comments at Visa Fridays Q & A from US Embassy

June 13th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from June 1st, 2022 until now.

  • No new updates on the regular visa operations situation in India, they continue to be like in previous weeks.
  • US Embassy India updated their website saying that travelers to the US do not need to show a negative COVID test anymore starting from June 12th, 12:01 AM. Read full details at No Need of Negative COVID Test to Travel to the US
    • No changes to the vaccination requirements, you still need to be fully vaccinated.
    • See the below screenshot from US Embassy website and the Official tweet.
No need of negative covid test to travel to US
No need of a negative covid test to travel to the US
  • US Embassy Updated on June 9th, 2022 that for Dropbox Stamping submissions, it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks for the processing and they cannot expedite the processing of the same. Also, they said you cannot get the passport back during these 3 to 4 weeks period if you really want to for any reason. See below screenshot or check the tweet below.
    • In general, the dropbox processing time SLA is about 7 to 10 working days, but due to the higher load, it seems they are taking more than that time.
    • Also, if you check the crowdsourced VisaGrader Dropbox Stamping tracker, which has hundreds of cases, the numbers reflect the same. The average is anywhere from 12 to 16 days or more.
    • This is not new, all you need to know is to factor in 4 weeks’ time to be safe when you arrive in India for Dropbox stamping.
US Embassy Update - Processing time for Dropbox Stamping in India 3 to 4 weeks
US Embassy Update – Processing time for Dropbox Stamping in India 3 to 4 weeks
  • US Embassy had Visa Fridays on June 2nd, where they answered common FAQs. Below are the key updates from the same:
    • Not Placeholder appointments: The recent B1/B2 appointments for Jan 2023 or H/L appointments for November are not placeholder appointments. See the below screenshot.
    • F1 Slots: If you have not got an F1 Visa slot for Fall, nothing to worry. They will open more slots in the upcoming weeks for late July and the first half of August.
    • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They are offering first-timers in-person B1/B2 slots now for appointments in September and later. You can book slots now.
    • H1B, L1 Visa appointments slots: They said that they will focus on H1B, L1 appointments from September. November. The H/L slots available now for November 2022 are not placeholder slots. They plan to open more slots for H/L in the upcoming weeks for appointments between September to December 2022.
    • Check the comments section of Visa Fridays Post from US Embassy
  • First time B1/B2 Visa Appointments: US Embassy has updated their website indicating that the first time B1/B2 visa appointments will be starting in September and they will not be placeholder slots. See the below screenshot from the US Embassy Official Page
US Embassy Update on First time B1:B2 Visas in India - June 2022
US Embassy Update on First time B1/ B2 Visas in India – June 2022
US Visa Stamping India Updates for June 2022 - Not Placeholders
US Visa Stamping India Updates for June 2022 – Not Placeholders

May 30th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the previous week, until today.

  • Still, all the US Consulates in India continue to be operating in a limited fashion as in previous weeks. No new updates in terms of slots for other visa types.
  • B1/B2 First Timers Slots : US Embassy announced on Sunday, May 29th, 2022 that they are resuming in-person appointments for first-time B1/B2 applications. Below is the update and confusion around the same.
    • They said that they canceled all previous B1/B2 placeholder appointments that users had until now.
    • First-time B1/B2 applicants can now book in-person appointments for interviews.
    • The appointments for such first-time B1/B2 applicants would be starting from September 2022. They say that applicants can book Regular B1/B2 Appointments ( not placeholder slots) all the way through 2023. See the below screenshot and links for the official update.
    • Confusion: There is confusion still regarding the regular vs placeholder slots. If you login to the CGI Federal Portal and try to go through the wizard, it will show that slots in October 2022 and later are placeholder slots. See below. If you planning to book a regular slot for 2023 or later in the year, it is good to double check with the US Consulate.
Placeholder Slots Message on US Visa Appointments Page
Placeholder Slots Message on US Visa Appointments Page

May 23rd, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the previous week, until today.

  • No change in the overall US consulates situation in India. They continue to be operating in a limited fashion.
  • Many users in our B1/B2 Visa Telegram Group informed a lot of B1/B2 Slots opened over the weekend on May 21/22 and they were able to book slots.
  • US Embassy had Visa Fridays on May 20th, 2022. Here are the key updates:
    • They repeated what was said in the previous week’s updates. Nothing new.
    • They did confirm that renewals for B1/B2 slots are opened on a rolling basis. They plan to open first time B1/B2 in the upcoming weeks to start interviews in September.
    • The same situation with H and L Visas – Most slots are fully booked for the next few months and they will open more starting in September.
    • If you have not got an F1 appointment, they said they will open more slots for the rest of the July and first half of August later.
  • You can read the below updates for previous guidance.

May 18th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the last two weeks, until today.

  • No changes in terms of consulates operation status.
  • US Embassy Confirmed on May 18th that they opened slots for June and the first half of July for F, M and J visa applicants. They plan to open the second half of July and the first half of August appointments later. Also, for first-time rejected applicants, they will get a chance to book slots for the second half of August. See below official post on FB page
    • The above was confirmed by our user community. There was a large batch of F1 visa student appointment slots that were opened over the weekend (May 15th). There was an outage as well for the appointment booking website due to high traffic over the weekend.
  • US Embassy organized Visa Fridays on May 6th. Below are the key updates:
    • Nothing new in terms of news, just a re-iteration of previous guidance
    • They plan to open first-time B1/B2 slots in the upcoming weeks to start interviews in September.
    • Slots are fully booked for H and L for the next few months. They will open more starting in September as conditions allow them.
    • A large batch of F1 student appointments will open later in May.
  • You can read below updates for previous guidance.

May 2nd, 2022: Below are the latest updates from last week, until today.

  • No significant updates or new guidance by US Consulates in India in the last week.
  • US Consulates in India processed about 130,000 Immigrant and Non-immigrant visas in February and March 2022.
  • US Embassy has released 3 videos that emphasize the previously announced Dropbox appointments eligibility for anyone with a previous US Visa and details about F1 visa appointments planning. See below the video links
  • US Embassy also updated their Facebook page saying they will not entertain any Emergency Appointments for F1 students applying for Fall 2022 now as it is really early and there is time to book slots
  • US Consulates are set to release tens of thousands of F1 visa slots for Fall 2022 starting from mid-May stay tuned. They have not given a specific date.
  • Regarding slots for other visa types like B1/B2, H1B, L1 and others see below updates from April. There is no change in the guidance.
US Visa Stamping F1 Visa Updates May 2022
US Visa Stamping F1 Visa Updates May 2022

April 25th, 2022: Below are some key updates since the previous update

  • No new changes in terms of consulate operation status or opening of appointments since the last update on April 19th, 2022.
  • Visa Fridays by US Embassy India : On April 21st, US Embassy had Visa Fridays and answered common questions. Below are the updates that are new. Most of the answers they gave were the same as from the April 18th update by Mr. Don Heflin. See below update from April 19th.
    • H and L Dropbox Appointments: The dropbox appointments for H1B, H4, L1, L2 are full for the next few months. They will start to open appointments starting in September as conditions allow.
    • B1/B2 in-person Slots for first-timers would open in the next few weeks, no specific date was indicated in the responses to the question asked by users. .
    • No Priority for anyone : There will not be any priority given to anyone waiting for appointments since 2020., especially if you had an old appointment and it got canceled. Everyone has same priority and need to keep looking.
    • Clearance Received or Department Authorization: If you are seeking B1/B2 renewal and meet all conditions for dropbox, except that your previous visa has “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” Annotation, then you can raise an Emergency/ Expedited Appointment request and give the reason saying regarding the annotation, they will help with the in-person appointment. See the below screenshot.
US Visa Clearance Received - need appointment
US Visa Clearance Received – need an appointment

April 19th, 2022: On April 18th, 2022, US Consulate in Chennai hosted a Facebook Live Q & A session with Mr. Don Heflin, who is the head of the US Consulates in India. Below are some key updates:

  • US Consulates to issue about 800K visas in India in next 12 months
  • No more placeholders slots, you can book appointments far beyond 6 months up to 1.5 years and use the same.
  • F1 Slots to open in mid-May for June and beyond
  • Fresh B1/B2 applicants slots to open soon for interviews from Sep 1st, 2022.
  • H and L Visas Dropbox Slots fully booked for Summer
  • There are many more updates, read complete details at US Visa Appointments in India – 2022 updates by Head of Consulates.
  • Watch the Official Video Recording of the same below

April 11th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from April until today, including last week.

  • The US Consulates have not opened fully for regular operations, they continue to operate in a very limited fashion with limited slots.
  • US Consulates continue to say that the limited slots opened are exhausted in a very short amount of time. See below the official tweet
  • US Embassy answered questions on Visa Fridays on April 8th, below are key updates
    • F1 Appointments for Fall 2022: US Embassy mentioned that they will give slots to students who did not interview before, instead of giving more slots for someone rejected. This is not fully clear, but that’s the meaning of their reply. See the below screenshot. They have not given exact date when they will open slots for Fall 2022.
    • First Timer B1/B2 Slots: They said they will open first-timer B1/B2 Slots as soon as possible. No date was mentioned when they will open. They will start interviewing these applicants after the student visa season ( Aug, Sep 2022)
    • Limited Availability of Slots : They continue to say that the slots are limited and they fill quickly.
  • US Embassy updated their website as part of the top 10 visa questions. Below are the key updates related to the same.
    • F1 Visa Slots for Fall 2022: US Embassy mentioned that they will open F1 appointments for Fall 2022 applicants in the next several weeks. These applicants can start to look and book appointments after they receive I-20.
    • B1/B2 Slots for Fist time applicants: They plan to open B1/B2 Slots for first-time/fresh applicants soon. These will be limited slots and they will interview these applications later part of the year after the F1 Visa Fall 2022 appointments rush. Likely around Aug/Sep 2022. Below is the screenshot of the actual guidance
First Time B1 B2 Applicants Slots to Open
First Time B1 B2 Applicants Slots to Open later in 2022
Rejected F1 Applicants Cannot apply for Fall 2022
Rejected F1 Applicants Cannot apply for Fall 2022
When will B1 B2 Appointments be Opened April 2022
When will B1 B2 Appointments be Opened April 2022

March 29th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from March until today, includes last week as well.

  • US Consulates in India continue to operate in very limited fashion and not open for regular operations yet.
  • Last week, on March 24th, there was Visa Fridays Q&A answered by US Embassy in India. Below are the updates :
    • Student Appointments for Fall 2022 will be opened later in the spring
    • Still no date on when they will resume fresh B1/B2. Only limited B1/B2 dropbox is processed at the moment. If you have a valid emergency, raise an Emergency appointment request and provide supporting documents.
    • If you are called up to attend graduation for F1 students, you can raise an Emergency appointment.
    • Limited H1B Slots, but they are filling up fast.
  • There are limited slots that are open for in-person and they fill quickly. No changes in the situation and consulates continuously say the same message on their official Twitter account saying that they have limited capacity and slots.
  • There was no Visa Fridays Q&A by US Embassy in the last two weeks, which was supposed to be on March 11th and March 18th.
  • Earlier in March, as part of the Visa Friday’s Q&A, US Embassy stated the below on March 4th, 2022.
    • They are not opening slots for fresh B1/B2 stampings yet and do not know when they will open B1/B2 Stamping slots for first time B1/B2 applicants. ( see below screenshot).
    • They clarified again that B1/B2 dropbox is only available for anyone with previous B1/B2 visa expired within the last 48 months.
    • If you are an F1 student and not able to get visa slot for stamping, you may seek Emergency US Visa appointment by explaining the reason for the same.
    • They are opening more H1B Slots, but due to the demand, they fill up quickly.
    • They say they are trying to incrase the capacity, but say to expect significant wait times for quite some time.
B1 B2 Visa Stamping for New Applicant
B1 B2 Visa Stamping for New Applicant

February 28th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from February until today.

  • No new updates from last week. The situation is same as previous week.
  • No change in the overall situation of Consulates in India, they continue to be operating in limited fashion like in the previous weeks.
  • Consulates in India continue to release very few interview waiver slots and they fill out quickly as per them. See below tweets.
  • On Feb 18th, they updated during their Visa Fridays that they do not know when they will open first time B1/B2 Appointments. This has been a big issue for many familes planning to invite their parents to visit them. See below screenshot of the response.
  • During week of Feb 10th, Indian Govt announced that for travelers arriving in India from Feb 14th onwards there is no need for RT-PCR test, if you are fully vaccinated. This will reduce and some hassle and we may see more people traveling to India. For full details check : Travel to India – No need of RT-PCR, if fully vaccinated
  • During the week of Feb 7th, there was a video update given by US Embassy on the status of appointments and their focus for next months. Below are the details, you can check the tweet and video as well below:
    • US Embassy in India processed a record number of 120,000 F1 Visas in 2021.
    • As the F1 visas for spring are processeed, now they say that they will focus on the H1B, L1 and other petition based visas starting from February 2022. They plan to open more in-person and dropbox slots.
    • Due to Omicron variant, if Govt gives any instructions then they may cancel appointments. If they do cancel, they will inform the applicants affected. Also, in general, they do not plan to cancel appointments, if there is no specific local guidance or restriction.
    • They suggest to attend the interview, if they have a slot confirmed.
B1 B2 Appointments New Booking Update Feb 2022
B1/B2 Appointments New Booking Update Feb 2022

January 31st, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the last three weeks until today.

  • No change in the overall situation of consulates, they all are operating in limited fashion. Check previous week’s update for details.
  • The consulates have not done any drastic changes due to the increase in cases in India with the new Omicron variant spread, except closing the F1 slots for Spring 2022.
  • US Embassy India has given official guidance as FAQ on their website regarding converting in-person to dropbox. As per them, they suggest not to cancel an in-person appointment. They suggest to cancel and book dropbox slot, only when they find a slot. They also said they cannot guarantee getting a slot. This guidance is in-line with the customer service response from previous week. See below screenshot from their website.
Interview Waiver Appointment - Convert - Cancel Guidance by US Embassy India
Interview Waiver Appointment – Convert – Cancel Guidance by US Embassy India

January 11th, 2022: Below are the latest updates from the last 10 days until today.

  • On Jan 11th, US Embassy said that they do not plan to open any more F1 visa stamping slots for in-person interview for the month of January. Also, they do not plan to cancel existing appointments. So, if you have an appointment, you are good, otherwise, you would need to defer your admission. They are doing this considering the COVID situation in India. See below screenshot and check US Embassy India Facebook Page
  • No change in US Consulates operation status, they all are processing in limited fashion as like in before weeks.
  • US Consulates in India continue to be operating normally despite the recent COVID-19 cases increase in the country. We need to wait and see, if this would change in the upcoming days as there are more cases reported now.
  • Many reached out to US TravelDocs team asking, if they can convert the in-person appointments to Dropbox. The response from the support team is, users cannot covert the appointments, but they can cancel and re-book, if they qualify. See below screenshot of the response from them
    • The trick to cancellation is to find an open slot. There is no gurantee for that. You can chose to attend the in-person interview, if you have it confirmed. If any doubt, reach out to them or consulate directly.
US Embassy India not to open more F1 Slots for Spring 2022
US Embassy India not to open more F1 Slots for Spring 2022
Should I cancel my in person visa interview Appointment
Should I cancel my in-person visa interview Appointment

January 1st, 2022 : Below are the latest updates from today.

  • The CGI Federal / USTravelDocs website got updated with two new questions that is used to determine the interview waiver eligibility based on the new rule.
  • The two new questions are : “Do you have previous visa in any class issued ?” and “Have you ever been refused a Visa before ?”
  • You can check How does new Interview Waiver Rule work – Screenshots for more details. See below screenshots to get an idea of the same.
  • No change in US Consulates operation status, they all are processing in limited fashion as like in before weeks.
Do you have previous visa in any visa class issued
Do you have previous visa in any visa class issued
Have you ever been refused a visa before
Have you ever been refused a visa before

December 28th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from today.

  • US Embassy in India gave official update indicating that they would release additional 20,000 slots for interview waiver (dropbox) based on the new rule.
  • The new interview waiver rule as mentioned before by US Dept of State would apply to F, H1, H-3,H4 , Non-Blanket L, M, O, P, Q and Academic J Visas only.
  • We do not have the specifics on how they would implement this new interview waiver exception yet. As they mentioned it would be interview waiver slots, very likely this would be integrated as part of the questionnaire that everyone does during the appointment booking. So far, no update from users from community onthe change. We will keep you all posted.
  • They did not mention the exact dates or times, when the additional 20,000 slots would be released. See below FAQ screenshot from their website
  • They continue to say that they have staffing shortages due to pandemic and slots get filled quickly as they are released.
  • Below screenshot is the official update on US Embassy Website
When will new appointments be released in India
When will new appointments be released in India?
Interview Waiver - 20000 slots for Spring in India Update
Interview Waiver – 20,000 slots for Spring in India Update

December 27th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from the recent week.

  • US Dept of State announced that they will waive in-person interview for certain non-immigrant temporary work visa holders like H1B, H4, L1, O1, others until end of 2022.
  • Also, they extended the 48 months dropbox rule indefinitely. Check below screenshot.
  • Check complete details on the interview waiver and extension of dropbox at article : US Visa Interview Waiver for Some visa types, Dropbox Extended
  • Check below screenshot or Official News at US Dept of State Annoucement
  • We are yet to get more deails from USTravelDocs ( CGI Federal ) and US Embassy in India on how they will implement the new Interview Waiver option for certain H1B, H4, Others . Stay tuned for updates.
  • They also said that they wil open more F1 slots for Spring. So, keep checking, if you are looking for a slot. Check below tweet from US Consulate in Mumbai.
48 Months Dropbox Rule Extended Indefinitely
48 Months Dropbox Rule Extended Indefinitely
Interview Waiver for Certain Visa Holders and Extension of 48 months Rule
Interview Waiver for Certain Visa Holders and Extension of 48 months Rule

December 20th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from the last two weeks until today.

  • No Change in the way consulates operate in India. They are operating in limited fashion with few appointments
  • 48 Months Dropbox Extension :
    • No official update on the 48 month dropbox rule that is set to expire on December 31st, 2021. US Consualte Mumbai replied saying that they cannot specuate on future changes in policies regarding this dropbox rule. See below tweet from them.
    • Many are really confused on what will happend to their appointments, if they do not extend. We need to wait and see for official update on this.
  • Many were able to book B1/B2 dropbox appointments in the last couple of weeks.
  • Regarding F1 visa stamping slots, there are fewer slots available. If you did not get a slot, you can raise an Emergency Appointment request. US Consulates said they will need 5 days to respond to such requests. Also, if your F1 Visa stamping was rejected, they will not give you Emergency appointment for giving the interview again for Spring.

December 6th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from Nov 29th until today.

  • B1/ B2 Dropbox Slots Open :
    • Dropbox slots for B1/B2 visitor visa were open from December 5th evening ( India Time).
    • There were a lot of slots released on Dec 6th in early monring as well. They continue to release more slots.
    • Most of these slots are for Jan 2022 and Feb 2022. Many of our readers in our B1/B2 Telegram Community Group confirmed the same.
    • US Embassy in India said they do not have any date in mind on when they will open fresh B1/B2 stamping slots.
  • Dropbox slots continue to be open for H1B, H4, L and other visa types. The number of slots are limited and they fill quickly.
  • More F1 visa appointment slots are open as the focus is on Spring 2022 students.
  • All US consulates in India continue to operate in limited fashion with limited number of appointments. Regular operations are not yet open. see below tweets.
  • There are no new restrictions or rules in place due to the new COVID variant Omicorn in India in context of US visa stamping appointments. Things may change due to situations in the respective cities.
  • 221g cases that were given due to the travel ban will be processed by Consulates soon. They will contact the applicants. See below tweet.

November 29th, 2021: Below are the latest updates in the last few weeks.

  • No new updates in the last week. It was Thanksgiving break and nothing much changed.
  • On Nov 19th, 2021, US Dept of State gave guidacne that they have lifted all the restrictions for consulates regarding visa issuances and all the consulats globally are working to reduce the visa appointment wait times. They said, it is upto the US Consulate’s discretion to assess the situation and give more slots or open for regular operations. See below screenshot.
  • Despite the US Dept of State’s guidnace, US Consulates in India still are operating in limited fashion. They are mostly giving dropbox slots and focused on F1 Stamping slots in November and December 2021.
  • No new update on any of the consulate websites or twitter account, when they will open regular operations. As per guidance from the FB live with the head of US consulates, they do not plan to open anytime soon. Check more at : US Consulates Head Guidance for US Visa Appointments in India for more info .
  • See below tweet from US Consulate Mumbai indicating that lifting ban does not mean they will process everything.
US Visa Appointments Guidance Nov 2021
US Visa Appointments Guidance Nov 2021

November 10th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from this week.

  • On Nov 10th, 2021 there was a live Facebook session with head of US consulates in India. They gave below high level guidance
    • Nov, Dec will be F1 students focus for them with limited H1B, L1 slots.
    • They will open slots from Jan to May 2022 for all H, L, B1/B2 visa dropbox starting from late Nov and early December
    • They do not expect the consulate to resume normal processing soon.
    • There are a lot of updates from that call. Check article US Consulates Head Guidance for US Visa Appointments in India for more info .
    • You can watch the below official video as well for more info

November 8th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from November.

  • Even though the travel ban is lifted, there is no change in the US Consulates visa appointments situation. Only limited appointments for Dropbox and some regular appointments. No Dropbox slots open for B1/B2 Appointments yet.
  • US Embassy in India has extened the Visa Appointment Fee (MRV Fee) validity by an year to September 30, 2023. If you were not able to book an appointment since the consulates have been closed due to COVID, you are in good shape as you have until Sep 2023 to book an appointment. See screenshot below
  • US Consulates confirmed that lifting of the travel ban does not mean that they will be able to accept more visa interviews or process 221g applications that are stuck. See below tweet.
  • There is a Facebook Live event on Nov 10th at 4 PM IST by US Mission India. Hopefully we get more details on the consulates situation then. Check below twee for more info.
US Visa Fee ( MRV Fee) Validity in India Extended until Sep 2023
US Visa Fee ( MRV Fee) Validity in India Extended until Sep 2023

We have removed all the timeline of updates before November 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.

History of US Travel Ban for India, NIE (Reference only – Not Applicable Now)

The below history information is not applicable now ( after Nov 8, 2021). But, it is just general information for your background.

  • General Travel Ban Background : 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
  • 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.

FAQs – US Consulates Updates with COVID-19

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

As of October 2022, you can apply for H1B visa stamping for both in-person and interview waiver. The number of in-person appointment slots are very limited. They have changed the rules to give interview waiver to H1B applicants if they had any US visa issued in the past. Check full details at New US Visa Interview Waiver Provisions 2022

When will US Embassy, US Consulates open fully in India for regular operations?

Currently, they are processing interview waivers and limited in-person slots. They plan to be at full capacity before September 2023. See the above timeline in article for the most recent update.

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

Yes, they are the most available slots. There are new provisions that make more people leverage the interview waiver/dropbox option.

As Visa appointments are cancelled, will there be a 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. They updated in late September 2022 saying that, previous rules of 365 days to book apply now and everyone should book an appointment within 365 days from the issuance of the MRV receipt.

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

You do not need a new US Visa if you are already in the 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

Are US Consulates in India processing B1/B2 for first time applicants now?

Yes, they have opened slots for first time B1/B2 applicants and started interview from September 1st week of 2022.

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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613 Comments

  1. HI Team,

    Is H1B drop box at Kolkata location has been cancelled? I was able to see dates prior 10/19/2020 till Novemeber’2020 First week. But now it is saying no available slots and not even showing disabled calendar. Can any body confirm if anything changed? I am planning for end of November or early December H1b drop box.

    Appreciate your help.

    Reply
    • Hello Indraneel,

      I am facing the same issue too. Dates show up till Nov 15th. However when I choose a data it says slots are no longer available. I am bit tensed as I have booked my tickets and everything and scheduled my trip for marriage.

      Please let me know if you are able to book a slot or other are able to. Appreciate your help.

      Thanks

      Reply
        • Showed me november 16th day beofr yesteray in chennai and hyderabd . Fingers crossed that some dropbox slots open up. What dates are you trying for?

          Reply
          • Hi Prishi,

            I am trying some time around 30th November. But from last 1 week, every time I logged in I see no availability across locations. I am not sure why this is happening to me and you are able to see the dates. I am really tensed now.
            Are you looking for Interview Waiver drop box? I guess drop down value showing KOLKATA IW/DELHI IW/Etc is not showing any date. Only KOLKATA VAC/DELHI VAC showing data.

      • Hey Prishi/Indraneel,

        Same here, I’m trying from past one week not seeing any availability. please update here if any of you start seeing any availability for Chennai consulate.

        My account got frozen yesterday since I was keep checking the slots. so next 48/72 hours cant login and check any slots.

        Thanks in advance.

        Reply
        • Were you able to receive Dropbox appointment? I have been trying to get one for the last one week and do not see any availability. I don’t even see the disabled calendar for my drop down options ( NEW DELHI IW / MUMBAI IW etc )

          Reply
    • The appointments seems to come and go pretty fast.
      I had been following up for several weeks / months. I am unable to upload image, below info for Chennai drop box today for Nov 3rd week several spots opened up. For Kolkatta I see some are open, but try different time of days for several days you will see several ones.

      Schedule OFC Appointment
      This page is for scheduling OFC appointments.

      Select interview location :
      CHENNAI IW

      Select Time Date Available
      10:00 Wednesday November 18, 2020 61
      12:00 Wednesday November 18, 2020 57
      14:00 Wednesday November 18, 2020 61

      Reply
        • Yeah i booked chennai yesterday. Something is better . I heaed they have student visa program in hyderabdand we may not see it from nov 16th to 25th. Double check once

          Reply
          • booked appointment @ chennai today for 20th nov. Slots are available in chennai. Hyderabad it’s not showing any dates yet.

  2. Any idea if interviews for B-2 visa are open? I tried booking an appointment after paying the fees. It was showing the dates but when I selected a slot, on the next page, it said “No appointments available at the time…”
    After a couple of attempts, the account was frozen for “suspicious activity”.
    Any idea about this?

    Reply
    • @Madan
      No. Routine visa services are still suspended, including B1/B2, H-1B and H-4. As of this week, only Mission Critical cases and Emergency Appointments (EA) are open for in-person interviews. F-1 student visa interviews may also be open for Spring 2021 semester. Dropbox is now available for all non-immigrant visas, including B-2 if all eligiblity criteria for dropbox are met. If you are applying for B-2 via EA option, you will need to specify justification for the emergency using one of the reasons available in the dropdown in the EA request form.

      Reply
      • Hi Indraneel,
        B2 visa appointments seemed to have opened now, at least in Mumbai VAC.
        However, the dates are available starting March 2021.
        I’m still waiting for a date to become available for this year (Nov/Dec 2020).
        All the best!

        Reply
  3. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for the helpful information that is being posted here..

    I have a question about my case, I have travelled to India recently from US and I recently scheduled the drobox appointment on Nov 2nd. I was in United States during proclamation and returned to India only last month. Since the proclamation does not apply to applicants who were in the United States on the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24), I scheduled my appointment. Do I need to show any documentation to support my case?

    Reply
    • You could show your I-94 Arrival and Departure record from DHS website as a proof that you were in USA on the date of the proclamation. See the option for “View Travel History” at DHS I-94 website:
      https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home

      Reply
  4. Hi Kumar and others,

    Thanks for all the information in this thread. So, I have a question. I am eligible for drop box (same employer, <24 months, same H1b renewal category). However, it is not clear whether the U.S. consulate in Hyderabad would accept my dropbox documents. Please tell me who I should call for this correct information.

    Reply
  5. My H1B COS application is approved lately. I was working on F1-OPT before that. I have a question.

    My wedding is planned for December this year and it is in India. Is it possible for me to travel? If yes, then how?

    Note- I was working on F1-OPT (in USA). My H1B Cos (change of status) is approved and currently I am in United States working

    Please give me some information here. I really need to know

    Reply
  6. Hey Mr.Kumar,

    Thanks for all the updates you are providing. My situation is such that I have applied for change of status from H4 to F1 and it is under process. However, I have aged out and to maintain my current status, I am in B2 visa while the change of status application is pending. The current wait time is 7 – 10 months for change of status. Hence, we thought it would simply be best to travel to India and apply for F1. Do you know if consulates are doing new F1 appointments for first time applicants? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Manoj,
      Yes, there are F1 appointments for someone attending school. Your school has to be mixed mode or in person. Now, you going to India for F1 is slightly tricky as you are moving from dual intent visa to Nonimmigrant intent…

      Reply
  7. Hello Kumar,

    we are on h1b from past 10+ years, came india in feb, and had dropbox appointment in march, but due to covid the embassies closed. now I can book the drop box appointment as embassies are working partially. But I’d like to know if Im eligible to apply, I was and im with the same employer since dec 1, 2019. my I-129 says – change of employer. my wage is 14% above the prevailing wage.
    please suggest.

    Reply
  8. Hello Kumar!
    I had my visa interview back in March but visa was not issued. I was asked to provide further information (but I was not given any 221g form) which I submitted back in March before Consulates were closed. I was told by my HR that I qualify for exception. I’m not sure though what are my available options to get visa issued??? Any help/advise is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
      • Hello Kumar, Is consulates accepting 221G walk-in interviews now ? I see a tweet above on Sept 2nd, saying consulates processing limited 221G cases, so just wanted to double check as i need to submit my documents for 221G.
        Thanks for your help.

        Venky

        Reply
  9. Hello Kumar,
    Have you any idea what about those students who have got the visa dates but lose the chance to attend the visa interview due to the lockdown period?
    Would they get first priority?

    Thanks…

    Reply
  10. Hi Kumar,

    As per the official update on US embassy site – “Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news.html”.
    Can we assume that the exception category (let’s say H4) can go ahead and book an appointment for the visa stamping.

    Reply
  11. I have also tweet to the US Consulate Mumbai.
    But I got same answer that they have no specific to resume visa services.
    I am concern about my student visa nothing else.
    I think they are not interested to reopen.
    HAHAHAHAHA…..

    Reply
  12. I think we can trust on Times of India about US Consulate resumption timing.
    But one thing I do not understand still that Eenadu and Times of India says US Consulate will likely to open in August 2nd week but US Consulate didn’t reveal the resumption date yet.
    How they can say this? Strange…

    Reply
      • Hi Kumar,
        Thank you for your response.
        But Universities and Colleges in the US are planning to start Fall Semester 2020 and the deadline for international students is August 30, 2020 to enter in the US. Then after they will consider the course as online course not in-person.
        And here there is not specific date to reopen the US Consulate.
        It’s a very problematic.
        My brother has lose the visa chances during lock-down period and that college intake too.
        Would he has to lose the visa chance and not take admission?

        Reply
        • Bhavin,
          I totally understand the situation, it is really sad…
          No need to lose the chance, he can ask the school to defer his admission to Spring and go for visa stamping once consulate opens. Ask him to talk to their DSO and plan for it.

          Reply
  13. F1 renewal visa interview in Dec, 2019.Further Administrative processing required. 221g.Passport given back to me .I had to fly back in Feb,2019.
    Before leaving india,
    Submitted required info.

    Now in the usa, but status continues to show ‘refused’ since Dec 2019. Feel, not updated after submitting the clarrification documents in Jan, 2019.

    No worries as of now. ,but in case I am required to travel out , I will have an issue.
    Could u suggest ,something I must do now.

    Reply
    • raja,
      Did you get your visa renewed in Feb 2019 ? Did they stamp passport after administrative processing ?
      As long as they have given you new visa, you should be fine. It could be an online system issue. You can call National Visa center and ask them to fix it.

      Reply
  14. Hi All,
    I submitted my passport for stamping in Chennai embassy during march and unable to collect after March 20th due to lock down. I have been waiting for the embassy to get opened, but still it has not happened. I emailed US service desk last month to know my passport status, but they responded that i had not opted for premium delivery. When i try to create a new profile now, it is not allowing me. looks like new profile creation has been locked my administrator.

    Passport tracking feature in embassy website says ‘No records found” for my passport. Could somebody help me on how to collect my passports.

    Thanks,
    Muthu

    Reply
    • Muthu,
      Try to call the customer service of UStravelDocs, they can help unlock it. It happens, they can unlock it for you.

      Reply
      • I find that the earliest available dates for F1 visa appointment is in February and march for Hyderabad and Chennai respectively. Is it that all the slots before that are filled or are those slots blocked due to closure of embassies?

        Reply
        • Revanth,
          They are probably not available due to consulate closure. Some maybe due to slots taken, some maybe due to blocking by them.

          Reply
  15. Please let me know if drop box facility is open already in hyderabad (or any idea when it may open)

    We have already approvals for h1b extension & h4 extensions and we are eligible for drop box facility only till september 1st

    If it is after september 1st, then we need to attend Visa interview

    Please let us know.

    Reply
    • Vijay K,
      Nothing is open yet. We need to wait for US Consulates to confirm. Stay tuned for updates, we will update or you can check US embassy website too.

      Reply
  16. All,
    People whoever is waiting for stamped passports, Pls goahead and update your profile to ppt for premium delivery

    Reply
    • Hello Vinay,

      How do we update ppt delivery to premium delivery. I don’t see an option in my profile, I initially opted for pickup but now want to change it to premium delivery. My visa is refused with 221G.

      Thanks

      Reply
      • Please find the instructions I received from consulate and followed:

        If you wish to avail this service and to update your delivery address, please follow the below steps no later than 14 June 2020 .

        1. Login into the profile on – http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in
        2. Click on ‘New application/Schedule appointment tab’ and proceed further.
        3. After Step 7, you will find an option to change your document delivery location.
        4. Click on this option to change the pickup location and proceed ahead to opt for premium delivery

        The fee of ₹ 500/- per passport will be collected at the time of delivery of your passport through only Digital Modes of Payment by Blue Dart courier. For heath safety reasons, cash payments will not be accepted.

        Please note: (a) Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, there may be restrictions on deliveries to several areas. You may expect delays in the delivery of the passport.
        (b) You may wish to check the status of your application at ceac.state.gov to confirm that the visa has been issued; if it has not, you can still receive your passport, but you will not be able to interview and processing will not continue on your application until we have resumed regular operations.

        For more details please refer to our website at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-passportcollection.asp

        Reply
      • If your visa is issued/Candidate passports ready then u can opt for premium delivery. Since usa consulate is enabled this service only for ready candidates. But u can try login to your profile and check using the above instructions.

        If you feel that your passports were not ready then pls do not use this option. Your passports may get delivered without visa

        Reply
  17. I have a question, my friend’s passport is stuck with the Chennai consulate from March 15th, and it’s not stamped yet. With the new proclamation, the consulate can keep the passport with them for more than 6 months?

    Reply
  18. My friends’ case status is still “Refused” but “case last updated” got updated today’s date June 3rd after 2 months. Anyone else case got updated on June 3rd?

    Reply
        • Oh…so Chennai consulate started working..I have not seen any other person whose status or date changed yesterday..mine is in AP from May 8 ( Chennai Consulate)

          Reply
          • Not sure.. if they are working or its system update..case statuses started with Refused to AP(Mar 18th) to Refused( April 2nd) to Refused(June 3rd) again after 2 months exactly on same date… No other email or any update from consulate..

          • Looks like its system update in your case. But mine also from chennai, submitted in dropbox, case is been in ‘Refused’ from March,17th without any further updates. Not sure whats going on.. Thanks Venky

    • If I recall correctly email from ustraveldocs said that they are sending out all stuck passports, with or without visa. I will suggest to check with VAC to see if it was sent. A lot of addresses are not serviceable by Blue Dart due to this covid situation but they are not telling people that. Only when you call them will they tell you that you need to change your address. Be sure to call VAC and see what is status on their side.

      Reply
        • +91 1204844644

          Try to talk to someone on the customer care side. The mechanical responses are not that helpful plus not all option paths will get you to customer representative. So explore and talk to them. Hope it helps.

          Reply
      • Hi Praveen, Did you get the email today ? was it in response to your query or was it an automatic email ? Also can I know which embassy your passport is at ? Thanks in advance.

        Reply
  19. So far, on ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp, my passport status was showing
    “…still with embassy”,
    But surprisingly since today it’s showing “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted”

    Reply
        • Yes passport was collected in the last week of feb and status changed to refused.
          After the famous system error, status got changed to AP from refused.
          After a long time about 2 months (lockdown) case last updated date to may 8th.

          Reply
  20. Any updates from anyone who had their visa in “Issued” status. My passport status still shows visa with the embassy/consulate.

    Reply
  21. I had a Dropbox on 23rd March. And the eligibility for Dropbox ended on April 5th.. really worried if they ll again allow the Dropbox or I’ve to attend the interview 🙁
    Anyone has any idea about it?

    Reply
  22. Received the following response from U.S. Visa Service Desk today when asked about passport status:-

    Dear Applicant,

    Thank you for writing to the U.S. Visa Service Desk.

    As of March 16, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulates in India have cancelled immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. As of March 20, 2020, all interview waiver and biometrics appointments are also cancelled, and the U.S. Embassy and Consulates will no longer accept 221(g) document submissions. All document collection centers also remain closed.

    We will resume visa services as soon as possible, but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

    If your appointment was among those affected, please continue visiting our websites www.ustraveldocs.com/in and https://in.usembassy.gov for updates on resumption of our services. At that time, we will provide additional information on how to reschedule your interview appointment. MRV fee payments remain valid for one year from the date of payment.

    If you have an urgent matter and must travel urgently, please follow the guidance provided at www.ustraveldocs.com/in to request an expedited nonimmigrant visa appointment.

    Please note there are travel restrictions for certain countries. Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html and read the section “Presidential Proclamations Regarding Novel Coronavirus” for more information.
    Alternatively, you may resend your inquiry upon resumption of routine visa services.

    Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/gss_india to share feedback on the services we provide.

    Sincerely,
    U.S. Visa Service Desk.

    Reply
      • From US Embassy India:

        Nonemergency visa services will resume at future date when COVID-19 related social distancing practices are no longer required.

        Reply
        • Which could mean April end since even USCIS plans to resume their work from May first week. Fingers crossed. I do not think it should extend that time frame since even this years applications will be due for interviews. I’m very optimistic. Unless something really crazy happens and these guidelines get extended.

          Reply
          • Do you think even the 221G processings won’t start before April end? My documents were submitted before 5th March via email. I wonder 221G processings don’t require any personal interactions. They can still be processed. Any idea anyone?

          • Swati,
            It is not about processing, it is about the consular office functioning…So far, they have indicated that nothing will be processed…We need to stay tuned…

          • I have an USA Visa B1/B2 class which was issued by USConsulate Kolkatta going to be expiring on 22Aug 2020.
            In the meantime I have shifted to Visakhapatnam AP and my Passport was also get reissued from PSK Visakhapatnam during January 2020.
            Now my question is to which consulate either Hyderabad or Kolkatta I have to go for drop box and if so when?During Carona will I be allowed for Dropbox after the expiry of Visa.

          • KSRao,
            You can do dropbox at the place you live. It would fall under Hyderabad now. You can do it 1 year before expiry. Now, the consulates are not yet open. Once they open, you can do it.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you for replying. I had a dropbox on 18th Feb. My passport was returned without stamping with a 221G slip asking to appear for an interview after a week. I appeared for an interview on 27th Feb where I was given one more 221G yellow slip asking to submit a few documents online and my status was changed to “Refused”. I submitted the documents on 5th March. I noticed that on 13th March my “Case Last Updated” was changed but the status is still showing “Refused”. Any idea what does change in “Case Last Updated” would possibly mean?

        I am really worried after they have stopped the 221G processings 🙁

        Reply
        • Swati,
          The last update means that some action or activity was done on that day. Unfortunately, not much can be done, all we can do is wait… I understand you are worried, so are we all with the global situation…The situation is not in your control, so, do not worry too much…Stay positive…

          Reply
        • Hello Swati. any update on your case.? I am in same situation like your’s drop box on 22nd Feb then called for interview then asked to e-mail document.

          please keep posted if any update on your case.

          Reply
  23. I had my dropbox appointment on 16th March, submitted all documents but not seeing any updates for my application. Are they still processing submitted applications or they are not working at all?

    Reply
    • I’m in the same boat, submitted passports on Mar 19, and they stopped accepting drop box applications from Mas 20.
      Till Mar 23 status was – Application Received
      On Mar 24 status changed to – Administrative processing

      Reply
      • Yep same here. Status changed yesterday (24th) from “Application Received” to “Administrative Processing”. Will update if anything changes.

        Reply
        • Hi

          I submitted on March 10th US Embassy received it on March 16th but still my status shows Application Received any idea why my status is not changed even when US Embassy was working till March 20th.

          Reply
          • Vandana,
            it is hard to know, there could be delays with COVID-19…While your question is logical, these kind of things can happen…

      • On Mar 25 application status is still “Administrative processing”
        But surprisingly, passport tracking status changed to “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted” when earlier, the same status was “passport is still with us embassy/consulate”.

        Anyone who submitted their application around Mar 19, please share your experience

        Reply
        • Patel,
          Interesting, no sure what is going on…maybe they are not updating system. Try to call the National Visa Center…Do update here for everyone benefit.

          Reply
          • Praveen –
            CEAC status changed to – Issued on March 26
            But passport status is still showing the same till this date – Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate.

            what about you? did you see any update for your passport?

        • Hi Patel, I’m in the same boat. My visa status was also updated as “Issued” on Mar 26th; but haven’t seen any update since then. I sent them an email asking for the status of my Passport and they said that the delivery centers are closed until further notice. I’m guessing we will not get the passports until after the lockdown is over. Please keep us posted if you see any further status updates. Good luck.

          Reply
      • I had my interview on February 19, they kept my passport during interview and returned it back after March 2nd with a white slip which says administrative processing, but again on March 18 they requested to submit my passport again (client verification done) last updated date was changed to March 18. On march 19 i have submitted my passport and on March 20 I have received email to pick up my passport . Last updated date changed to March 20 but the status still shows refused. My question is will they send my passport back as I haven’t picked it up in 14 business days? Also as all the verification is done why will they ask for my passport again if it is not for stamping?

        Please any suggestions are greatly appreciated. In a panic mode right now unable to concentrate on anything.

        Reply
        • It says ready for pickup I received email at 3pm on March 20, so unable to pick my passport and from then there is lockdown

          Reply
        • Mahi,
          Don’t worry about the online status, sometimes it can be inaccurate. if they have sent you a notice to pick up passport. You should pick it up. Check the passport status on UStraveldocs site. call them immediately.

          Reply
          • I called them several times but the call center is closed also I have mailed them and they said everything is closed that is the standard reply I receive every time from them . I guess they will be closed till April 15. Also have you seen any cases where the status is incorrect on ceac but still stamping is done ?

          • Mahi,
            There are some users, who have said so, where the stamping status shows administrative processing but the stamping was approved…

    • CEAC status changed to “Issued”. Seems like they are working on already submitted applications, just not accepting new ones. Are courier services running during this time? Wondering how long it can take to receive passport.

      Reply
    • on March 26 –
      CEAC status changed to – Issued
      Passport status – Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate

      (Earlier, I was tracking passports on incorrect URL, thanks Praveen for sharing correct url)

      Reply
      • I am in a similar situation.. I had submitted passports for Dropbox on 18th Mar @ Chennai VAC, but CEAC status shows “No Status”.. Passport tracking says Passport @ consulate. Not sure what my status is now..

        Reply
        • My passport was requested on the 12th and sent to Chennai. CEAC status is still refused and passport is with the consulate. Puma, Would you mind updating in case you receive an update or passport back? I’ll do the same.

          Reply
          • Puma,
            I dont know…Call National Visa Center. Some of these statuses are new as there is no processing now.

          • Hi Puma,
            I’m similar situation. Submitted on March 16th… CEAC status still says”No status” and passport status says ” no status update available”. What happened to your case?

    • Update:
      So today I see the passport status change to “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted”. Visa status is still “Issued”

      Reply
      • Seeing the same status “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted” from April 5th as my 14 days period is over for passport collection. I have received email to collect my passport on March 20 at 3.15pm. Unfortunately was not able to collect my passport due to lockdown from then. Do you think the 14 day rule of sending passports back to consulate implies now also ? Confused actually. Is anyone in the same boat?

        Reply
        • Mahi,
          Did you try calling them or emailing them. They are aware of the lockdown, so don’t worry, you would be able to pick it up once they open.

          Reply
          • I have tried calling them and also mailing them, no one answered the call and the email reply was automatic I guess. So hoping for the best.

          • Also is there any way that we can raise our voices so that anyone can atleast know about people like us who are stuck in india and unable to go back to usa at this time. I know everything is pretty bad over there compared to our situation , but people talk about extending grace period of 60 days to 180 days. Then we should be able to talk about people who are stuck here with no one replying on any of our status or anything. Even our jobs are at risk . Sorry if I am trying to be over cautious but I guess we are the only people whose voice is not heard of. Ofcourse we will travel only if situations get better but there is no clear response to any of us from embassy on what the process is .

          • Mahi,
            I am not sure, if it will work. Currently, there is a lawsuit in place to extend these. Check AILA Lawsuit USCIS COVID-19 Extend time
            You can always try to reach out to embassy and request for these…But, it is up to their discretion…You can work with an attorney or an immigration group like AILA and further proceed too, that’s another way…

        • You can join our WhatsApp group and share ideas to raise your voice. I’m stuck in 221G interview myself. Hopefully the embassy will open on May 4th.

          Reply
          • https://chat.whatsapp.com/Bvmoi51CuX48r9j583o88j

            WhatsApp group for people stuck in india as a result of covid 19 us visa Services suspension

  24. On March 18th, 2020, The USTravel Docs Website updated the alert on their page indicating the cancellation of all dropbox appointments from March 20.

    However, My parents had an appointment on March 19 and they submitted documents on March 19 at Visa Application Center at Ahmedabad.

    Does anyone knows, if embassy would still process the already submitted documents? The processing consulate is Mumbai, which would not have received documents on or before March 20.

    In this case, would Mumbai consulate still process the visa application submitted through drop box on March 19?

    Reply
    • Patel,
      I am not sure, they have not given any explicit guidance. Email support-india@ustraveldocs.com to check. Do update here for community benefit.

      Reply
    • Sukanya,
      Well, I am not sure, if they will give you dropbox, if you pass a date…The reason is, their systems are programmed for it and may not change…Nevertheless, you can call or email them and clarify.

      Reply
  25. I was asked to submit my passport on March 12th. I had assumed it was positive. Will they return the passport with the stamp now considering the recent update in processing 221g?

    Reply
    • Don,
      Hard to know…they said they have stopped processing of 221g in India.. Not sure, which country you have applied in, email them.

      Reply
  26. Hey Kumar,

    thanks for helping people with their visa issues and doubts.

    My scenario:

    Went for visa interview on jan 17 and they gave me yellow 221g slip. Its been two months since I have emailed them documents. No response back yet. Is there anyway I can reach out to them or should I resent them my documents?

    I received 221g on 17 th jan. will they stop precessing my 221g due to recent corona announcement?

    Reply
    • Jinesh,
      Yes, they are stopping the processing of 221g, that’s what was announced. Nothing you can do. Calling or emailing may not get you an answer…You may need to wait…Wish there was a better way.

      Reply
  27. Hi there,

    I had submitted my passports via Dropbox at the Bangalore VAC center. Unfortunately, my application was refused under 221G and I was asked to attend a visa interview at the Chennai embassy and bring a couple of documents with me.

    Is the embassy closed to all interview appointments insisting walk-in appointments?

    Reply
    • Syed,
      I am not sure, how it works for your case, please call them or email them on the steps. General appointments are cancelled though. But, yours is a walk-in so not sure..

      Reply
    • I have to get my stamping done. So, I filled DS160, the next available appointment date for Kolkata Consulate is showing as Feb 22, 2021. My guess is , It could be the automated date calculated by number of applications as people can still take appointment though. Any idea if the appointment date also retrogrades ? In other words, if the Consulate opens, could it change to early dates in yr 2020 ?
      If I book my appointment, will I able to change it later if I find there are early dates available in same or other city ?

      Reply
      • Sajal,
        You should be able to change it. The dates you see in system can be misleading with the COVID situation. You can try to call the customer service and clarify.

        Reply
  28. Hai,
    My visa status changed from Refused to AP on March 10 2020. Still it is in AP. Since visa appointments have been cancelled, will the AP status remain for long time?

    Reply
  29. Hello,
    I was issued 221g in January and now I received all docs asked by Consulate. However on 221g it was mentioned that I have to attend a walk-in interview at Consulate and bring the requested documents along with me.

    Question- Am I still eligible to attend the 221g walk-in interview or need to wait till all consular operations resumes?

    Thank You.

    Reply
    • Deepak,
      You can definitely submit the requirements, but there are not interviews as per the alert…Not sure, how they will handle your case. The only way to know is to call the Consulate, try calling them or emailing them. Do update here for community benefit..

      Reply
      • Sunny,
        Not much will progress, it is very difficult situation for most…be prepared for the worst and plan for alternatives.

        Reply
        • I have a b1/b2 visa and Canadian visa. Can I go to Canadian Embassy to attend an interview or go to the Us and get change of status done ? My petition is valid till 2021.

          Reply
  30. For all those wondering and/worried, i asked the mumbai consulate and this is what the responded
    “Please note Mission India will continue to process nonimmigrant interview waiver (‘dropbox’) applications, and Visa Application Centers will accept document submissions for nonimmigrant applications that have been initially denied under Section 221(g).”

    @USAndKolkata
    however, will not process interview waiver applications. Therefore, if you have an interview waiver submission appointment [except for
    @USAndKolkata
    ] it still stands. In addition, Visa Application Centers remain open for document submission and passport return.

    “It’s only visa interviews that are cancelled.”

    Reply
    • Sukanya,
      US Embassy Confirmed that Dropbox appointments are available in all locations, except Kolkata. Check above article , it is updated now.

      Reply
  31. How does this effect people who have already completed their interview process before March16 and are currently in Administrative Processing?

    Reply

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