Home » US Immigration - Visas » US Visa Stamping India Updates [May 2021]: Travel Ban – 221g Issued

US Visa Stamping India Updates [May 2021]: Travel Ban – 221g Issued

Some of you would have scheduled US Visa interview appointments scheduled in India, due to 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 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 May 17th, 2021

Below is the short summary of all updates from US Consulates, Embassy in India from March 2020 until May 17th, 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.

  • US Travel Ban All Visa Appointments Cancelled :
    • On April 30th, President Biden signed 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.
    • In light of the US Travel Ban, All US Consulates and US Embassy in Delhi have cancelled all US Visa appointments that include Biometrics, In-person interviews and Interview wavier or dropbox appointments.
    • US Consulates have given 221(g) for pending visa processing saying that proclamation is in effect, so they cannot process and need more information. See timeline for sample form that is given for 221g.
    • All consulates continue to be closed and there is no estimated date when they will resume the appointments. So, we need to wait for the guidance from US Embassy

Everything below is general guidance based on decisions from past and does not apply due to the travel Ban signed by President Biden


  • 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.
  • 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. But, due to consulates cancellations, you cannot attend any interviews until May 15th, 2021. You can try to book for appointments after that, if they are open.
    • 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.
    • Check H1B Visa Dropbox Process – Step by Step Guide with Screenshots
  • 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.

  • May 17th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates in the last two weeks
    • US Consulates are issuing 221(g) form for Visa applicants who attended visa interviews around the proclamation time frame. It says that Presidential proclamation is in effect and they need additional supporting evidence to consider for NIE and issue the visa. Applicants need to submit all the supporting documentation to the consulate email. It looks as in below screenshot. Check US Travel Ban for Travelers from India – Exceptions List, Process for more info on what they need to submit.
    • No changes in the situation at all US Consulates and US Embassy. All appointments related to US Visa stamping – in person interview, dropbox, biometrics are cancelled until further notice.
    • Only essential services are provided to US Citizens and some Emergency Appointment. See below latest official update from US Consulate in Mumbai.
    • For F1 students, the US consulate suggest not to apply for Emergency visa appointment (EA), if the program starts after one month from today. Meaning, raise an EA only if your program starts within a month.
    • There is no estimated date when the consulates will start to issue more slots and return to before levels.
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers
  • May 2nd, 2021 : Below are most recent updates as of May 2nd, 2021
    • All US Visa appointments in India cancelled at US Embassy in Delhi and all consulates in India until further notice. See below screenshot of news.
    • There is no estimated date when they will resume the Visa stamping appointments in India.
    • Consulates are only providing emergency appointment services for US Citizens.
US Visa Stampings India - May 2nd status
US Visa Stampings India – May 2nd status
  • April 27th, 2021 :
    • US Embassy website is updated with official announcement stating that all the Biometrics appointments, In-person visa interview appointments, Interview waiver or dropbox appointments would be cancelled until May 15th, 2021 across consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, including US Embassy in Delhi. Only emergency services for US Citizens and only approved emergency appointments will be honoured.
    • US Consulate in Mumbai is providing emergency services for US Citizens and limited emergency appointments for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
    • See below screenshot and check Official Page of US Embassy
US Visa Stamping India Update - April 27 2021
US Visa Stamping India Update – April 27 2021
  • April 26th, 2021 : Below are the key updates from April 19th until April 26th.
    • US Embassy in Delhi Cancelled all in-person visa appointments, dropbox appointments from April 26th to May 9th due to severe COVID situation in Delhi. See below screenshot from US Embassy India website and tweet from them on twitter
    • Mumbai also continues to offer only emergency services. Other consulates are operating in very limited capacity.
    • Chennai started to send out Cancellation emails on April 25th morning for visa interviews, biometrics and Interview waiver appointments. As per the email the appointments are cancelled from Apr 26th to May 15th, 2021. See below screenshot shared by users for interview waiver and in person visa interview. Many other users reported they got similar cancellation email for Biometrics as well. Also, the US Embassy website updated on Apr 26th morning regarding the same, see below screenshot.
US Embassy Consulate updates Apr 26
US Embassy Consulate updates Apr 26
US Consulate in Chennai Cancels Interview and Dropbox in April 2021
US Consulate in Chennai Cancels Interview and Dropbox in April 2021
  • April 19th, 2021 : Below are the key updates in the last week, including today.
    • US Embassy in Delhi is cancelling all in-person interviews from April 20th to April 25th due to the curfew in Delhi. The initially said that they would cancel biometrics and dropbox, but later updated on twitter that Biometrics and Dropbox Appointments will be honoured this week. See below screenshot from Official US Embassy website and below tweets from them.
    • Mumbai Consulate continues to only operate in limited fashion for essential services.
    • All the appointment cancellations would be notified to the applicant.
    • US Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are working normally with limited capacity.
    • Still none of the consulates are fully open for regular operations, they continue to be in limited operations with limited appointments. There is no set date given for when they will open for regular functioning.
US Embassy in Delhi Closed due to Curfew April 20 to 25th 2021
US Embassy in Delhi Closed due to Curfew April 20 to 25th 2021
  • April 12th , 2021 : Below are the key updates in the last 10 days .
    • No changes in Consulate status. All of them not yet open for regular operations. They continue to operated in limited fashion with limited appointments. There is no estimated date for them to be back to normal.
    • Starting from April 9th, 2021, US Consulate in Mumbai is only providing essential services for US Citizens and limited US Visa appointments. This is due to rise in COVID cases. See below screenshots & Tweet. Also, check US Embassy Website
    • For Mumbai consulate, they will notify the applicant, if there is cancellation of the appointment. If the Consulate does not cancel, then you need to attend as planned and slot given to you. Check Tweet
    • No impact for appointments at Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata or Embassy in New Delhi.
US Consulate Mumbai Update COVID - April 2021
US Consulate Mumbai Update COVID – April 2021
  • April 1st , 2021 : Below are the latest update in the last two weeks until April 1st, 2021.
    • The H1B, L1, H4 and Other visas Travel ban expired on March 31st, 2021. It means that now H1B, L1, H4 and other visa holders can get stamping done both in-person and dropbox without any restrictions.
    • US State Department said that for H1B, L1, Others who were part of travel ban, they would work on the cases that are currently pending and they would be prioritized accordingly. Read the press release in below screenshot.
    • Today US State Department Confirmed in a press release the expiration of the Presidential proclamation 10052. See below screenshot, Check Official News on Travel.State.Gov
    • US Consulates in India are not yet open for routine consular services with full capacity operations, they continue to be in limited capacity mode. They are giving limited slots for all visa types stamping and they fill up quickly. See below latest tweet below
Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expired News on State Dept Website
Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expired News on State Dept Website
  • March 22nd, 2021 : No changes in the US Consulates operation status, they all continue to be closed for regular operations. But, they are opening slots in limited fashion for all visa types across all Consulates. More dropbox stamping slots are open now with the 48 months change. See below tweets from US consulate Mumbai
  • March 16th, 2021 : USTravelDocs CGI Federal Website has the updated 48 months from Expiry question now. The main guidance is that you need to submit at least 7 days before deadline of your 48 months of visa expiration. See below screenshot from CGI Federal website. Read US Visa Dropbox 48 months – How does it work to know more.
US Visa Renewal - 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System
US Visa Renewal – 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System
  • March 15th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates
    • US Embassy India website is updated with latest guidance from State Department saying they will process the Dropbox or interview waiver applications with 48 months from visa expiry. See below screenshot.
    • Also, US Embassy Delhi is processing all visa categories now, but in limited numbers
    • The online appointment booking system USTravelDocs is not yet updated with the 48 month change. It still shows 24 months only as of today. We will keep you posted as the system gets updated.
    • US Consulates continue to be closed for regular operations, nothing has changed there. See below tweet
Dropbox US Visa 48 months - Embassy March 2021
Dropbox US Visa 48 months – Embassy – March 2021
  • March 11th, 2021 : Below are the latest updates
    • Today, US Dept of State made an announcement expanding the dropbox eligibility from 24 months to 48 months from Expiry and this change is valid until Dec 31, 2021.
    • It means that, if your visa has expired in the last 48 months, you are eligible for dropbox or interview waiver option to get visa renewal done. See below screenshot of the official State.Gov news.
    • You can read more details on how it works at US Visa Dropbox Eligibility 48 months – How it works ?
    • No update from Indian Embassy, US Consulates in India or USTravelDocs India on the latest update of Dropbox to 48 months yet. We will keep you posted once there is any official announcement from Indian consulates.
US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021
US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021
  • March 8th, 2021 : No changes in any of the status related to Consulate regular operations. All is same as last update from March 4th. See most recent tweet below from US Consulate in Mumbai. Also, they clarified again that they are processing all the pending Immigrant visa applications with them in chronological order.
  • March 4th, 2021 :
    • US Embassy India website is updated saying that they are now processing Immigrant Visa appointments as President Biden’s Lifted Travel Ban for Immigrant Visas. See below screenshot and check info at Official US Embassy India Link
    • All US consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations (see latest tweet below).
    • There have been a decent amount of slots given to H1B, L1, H4, B1 visa holders in the last couple of weeks.
    • Many users in our groups shared they got stamping done. Some got 221g under 212(f) as they were not exempt from H1B travel ban. So, you need to be careful when you for stamping. It is not about getting slot, you need to be exempt.
Immigrant Visa Processing Resumed - India Consulates
Immigrant Visa Processing Resumed – India Consulates

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

You can watch 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 ?

Due to President proclamation on April 30, 2021 that imposes travel ban to US from India, US Consulates and Embassy in India have cancelled all US Visa stamping appointments until further notice.

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

As of May 2021, all appointments are cancelled including H1B Visa appointments. There is no estimated date when they will re-open the consulates.

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

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

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

Due to US Travel ban from India, all Dropbox appointments are cancelled as well until further notice.

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 ?

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

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

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

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

393 Comments

  1. maximum of how many months would take for US embassy to open visa stampling process in India for H1B in 2021.
    Can I expect by July or August

    Reply
  2. Hi All,
    Do we need to quarantine before appearing for the Dropbox appointment after you reach India. I’m planning to travel to India ( New Delhi ) and was planning to schedule the appointment the very next day. Is that allowed ?
    If quarantine is mandatory, do we need to submit proof of quarantine, travel dates, test results, etc.,

    Reply
  3. Hi,

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

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

    Reply
  4. Hi Kumar,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  8. Hi There,

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

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

    Thank You!

    Sincerely,
    Parin

    Reply
  9. Hi,

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

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

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

    Reply
  11. Hi,

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

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

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

    Reply
  13. Hi Kumar,

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

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

    Thank you for running this forum and all your help!

    Reply
  14. Dear All,

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  18. Hi RedBus Members,

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

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

    Reply
  19. Hi,

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

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

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you for your response.

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

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

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

        Reply
        • Hi,

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

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

          Thanks,
          Santosh

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

      Reply
  20. Hello Kumar,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reply
        • Hello Kumar,

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

          Hoping for your reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Appreciate your thoughts on this..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Keep trying, you will find one slot eventually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reply
  30. Hello Redbus,

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

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

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

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

        Reply
  31. Hello,

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

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

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

      Reply
  32. Hello,

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Thanks.

        Reply
  35. Hello !

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

    If they cancel do I need to rebook?

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

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

    Thanks in anticipation for your help

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

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

      Reply
  38. Hello,

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

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

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

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

      Reply
  39. Hi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Reply
  41. Hello !!

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

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

    Thanks for the help !

    Thanks,
    Prashanth

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

      Reply
      • Thank you Kumar !! This is really helpful.

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

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

        Thanks Again !!

        Reply

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