Home » US Immigration - Visas » US Visa Stamping India Updates [Apr 2021]: All Visa Types allowed for Stamping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USTravelDocs India Updates – US Visa Stamping Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAQs – US Consulates Updates with COVID-19

Are US Consulates, Embassy Open for Appointments in India ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Other Articles


  1. HI 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.

    • 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.


        • 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?

          • 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.

        • 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 )

    • 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 :

      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

        • 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

          • 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?

    • @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.

      • 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!

  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?

    • 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:

  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.

  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

  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.

    • 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…

  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.

  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.

      • 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.


  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?


  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.

  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.

  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…

      • 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?

        • 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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.


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

      • 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?

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

  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.

    • 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.

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

    • 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.


      • 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

      • 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

  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?

  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?

        • 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)

          • 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.

        • +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.

      • 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.

  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”

        • 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.

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

  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?

  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.

    U.S. Visa Service Desk.

      • From US Embassy India:

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

        • 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.

          • 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 🙁

        • 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…

        • 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.

  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?

    • 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

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

        • 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.

          • 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

        • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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)

      • 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..

        • 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.

          • 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”

      • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

    • 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.

  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?

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

  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?

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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..

    • 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 ?

      • 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.

  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?

  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.

    • 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..

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

        • 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.

  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).”

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

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

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

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


Leave a Comment