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US Visa Stamping India Updates [Sep 2022]: 100K H1B, L1 Slots to open in October

Some of you would have scheduled US Visa interview appointments scheduled in India, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 Situation in India and across the globe, US State Department continues to give news alerts on their website, Twitter, emails, etc. on how to handle US Visa appointments and the current operation status of their services.

On this page, we track all updates from official and unofficial sources, including users’ feedback and experiences. It is divided into sections with a summary, and timeline for easy review. We continue to update this page, you may bookmark this page.

Summary of all Updates from US Consulates in India as of September 29th, 2022

Below is the short summary of all updates from the US Consulates, and Embassy in India from September 2021 until September 29th, 2022. All the below are current and effective. You can check the timeline section to get detailed links and official sources, news screenshots in the next section.

Overall Current Status Summary: US Consulates in India continue to be closed for regular operations as of September 29th, 2022. They opened a lot of appointments on Sep 27th for all categories. They plan to open over 100K slots for H/L Category. They have started interviewing the first-time B1/B2 applicants starting this September month. The H/L visa dropbox slots are booked for several months, they plan to open slots as they have resources. They plan to open more slots for all visa types for December and other months in the upcoming weeks. The slots in late 2022 and 2023 are not placeholder slots. They have not yet opened slots for Spring 2023 for F1 students. Also, for dropbox stamping, they said in August that it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks as per US Embassy and they can expedite dropbox cases. Read below and timeline for weekly updates.

  • Dropbox Stamping Processing Time: US Embassy updated on June 9th that the processing time for dropbox stamping can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. They cannot really expedite the case and you cannot get your passport during this time. So, be prepared to keep it with US Embassy / Consulate for 3 to 4 weeks, before you send the passport.
  • Extremely Limited Visa Appointments : No Change, US consulates are operating in a very limited capacity as of September 29th, 2022 in India.
    • US Consulates will resume regular operations by mid-2023, if things stay normal as per latest update by Mr. Don Heflin in Facebook Live on April 18th, 2022.
    • The lifting of travel ban to US does not mean that you can get an appointment to get visa stamping.
    • There is no change in the situation in terms of how consulates operate. They are still operating in a limited fashion with limited appointments.
  • First Timer B1/B2 Appointment Slots: US Consulates have started interviewing first time B1/B2 applicants starting from September and also opened slots for the same applicants. Though they are limited in number, they are processing the same. You can check some of those users shared B1/B2 Visa Stamping Experiences for 2022
  • F1 Visa Appointments for Spring 2023 : US Consulates said that they cannot start interviewing of applicants 120 days before the start date of the program. They suggest to keep checking the CGI Federal website for slots. Still slots for Spring 2022 are not yet open.
  • US Visa Dropbox Criteria 48 months from Expiry Status Extended: They changed the dropbox eligibility criteria to 48 months from expiry, instead of 12 months. This was valid until Dec 31, 2021. On December 23rd, 2021, they extended this indefinitely. There is no deadline on when the 48 months rule for an interview waiver will end. See timeline section below for official links, screenshot of news.
  • US Travel Ban lifted for Vaccinated: US Govt lifted the travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals starting from November 8th, 2021. Below is a summary of the same.
    • How will it work: You need to be fully vaccinated with an approved list of vaccines by WHO or FDA. Starting from June 12th, 2022, there is no requirement to show negative COVID test to travel to the US. Read US Travel Ban to be lifted from Nov 8, 2021 for Vaccinated
  • Agents Fraud Booking Slots: In response to some users’ concern that some agents are charging 6k to 8k INR for visa slots, US Consulate Mumbai is asking to report fraud to MumbaiF@state.gov with all relevant details. They say that information will be kept confidential. So, if you see someone doing fraud, report it.
  • Dropbox Stamping Slots – H1B, H4, L1, B1/B2, Others : US consulates all across the India are giving Interview waiver or Dropbox slots for H4, H1B and other visa renewals. They are opening Dropbox slots even for 2023. All of these slots are not placeholder slots.
  • MRV Fee Payment Validity Status : US Consulates in India have extended the MRV fee ( Visa Appointment Booking Fee) payment validity until September 30th, 2023 (extended in Nov 2021 by an year) to make sure all applicants get time to schedule visa appointment. It is updated on the US Embassy and USTravelDocs India Website.
  • Emergency Appointments(EA) Status, Guidance: If you cannot find a Visa slot, you can apply for a US Visa Emergency Appointment as needed. You need to meet the criteria if you want to request one. Read Guide to Apply for Emergency Appointment in India.
    • In July 2022, new guidance for dropbox applicants to ask for EA was given. As per that, if you are dropbox eligible and still need an emergency appointment, you need to answer the question “Whether you held a previous US visa” to ‘No’ to book an in-person appointment and then submit an Emergency appointment request. There is no guarantee that you will get the slot as it is on a case-by-case basis.
    • Due to extreme amount of demand, they have slowed down the approvals of EA requests . You can check US Visa EA Tracker
  • Most recent Update for 2022 from Head of US Consulates in India: There was a Facebook Live Q&A with Mr. Don Heflin on April 18th, 2022, where he outlined plans for 2022 across India Consulates for various visa types. Below is summary
  • In-Person Interview Waiver for Certain Visa Holders: On December 23rd, US Dept of State announced that they would give interview waiver for certain work visa holders and others as in below :
    • H1B, H4, L, O, P and Q visa holders who meet certain criteria will get in-person interview waiver until end of 2022 ( Dec 31, 2022) .
    • Also, F1, M, J visa holders who meet certain criteria would get in-person interview waiver until end of 2022 ( Dec 31, 2022)
  • NIE Requirement: As the travel ban was lifted from Nov 8th, 2021, there is no need for National Interest Exception(NIE) requirement anymore. You can go for stamping like before, no need to carry any special letter with NIE details in it.

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

  • 221g / Administrative Processing Status : US Consulates continue to process pending 221g applications. They will reach out to you soon. If you do not hear back, you can reach out to consulate for more updates.
  • Check US Visa India Experiences Telegram Group for those and Community Group for US Visa Appointments India – Discussions.
  • Immigrant Visa Stamping: US Embassy in India have resumed processing of Immigrant Visas and there are no restrictions in place. US Consulate in Mumbai is reaching out to the previous pending cases and they will be processed in chronological order. Due to backlogs, they say they cannot predict when someone would get their interview slot. Check timeline for the update from the US Embassy website.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 25th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from the last two weeks until today.

  • No Changes in the US Visa appointments situation in India. Only limited appointments. Below are official tweets
  • No Changes to the B1/B2 Appointments. This was one of the most frequently asked question and US consulate did not give any information on this. See below screenshot and check Top 10 FAQs of week on US Embassy Website
  • US Travel Ban will be lifted from Nov 8th, 2021 for fully vaccinated persons.
B1/B2 Visa Stamping Slots Situation in India – Oct 2021

October 11th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from last week until today.

  • No change in the visa appointments availablity or consulates operations status. Everything continues to be in limited fashion. Check previous week update, it is all the same info on visa appointments.
  • Rumor : US Travel Ban Lifting may get delayed as per Forbes article.
    • The main reason is due to two things : Firstly, the delays related to US Federal Agencies to sign off on everythingl ike White House, Dept of Transport, State Dept, National Institute of Health. Secondly, the systems in place inside US to validate the vaccination status from travelers.
    • US Does not have sophisticated way to track and validate vaccination status of individuals coming in from other countries, inlcuding their citizens. See below snippted by UK Minister
UK Minister Info on Travel Ban
UK Travel Minister quote on lifting US Travel Ban – Source Forbes article

October 4th, 2021: Below are the latest updates from last week until today.

  • RumorsUS Travel Ban to be lifted from Nov 1st : There was a tweet last week from Official Twitter account of Austrian Ambassador to US stating that White House intention is to lift the travel ban from November 1st, 2021. But, it is not confirmed yet. See below tweet.
    • Until we have an official date, it is not confirmed. Do NOT book your tickets based on rumors.
    • Still NO official update from US Embassy in India as well on the lifting of travel ban.
  • The US consulates and US Embassy continue to be closed for regular operations and only handling limited appointments like in previous weeks.
  • No change in B1/B2 visa stampings. Very limited visa renewal using Dropbox Appointments. Check below tweets and previous weeks updates.

September 27th, 2021: Below are the latest updates since Sep 19th.

  • US Travel Ban to be lifted for Vaccinated : On Sep 20th, 2021, US Govt announced that they plan to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals starting from early November 2021. You can check all details at US Travel Ban to be Lifted from Nov 2021 – Summary, FAQs
  • The travel ban when lifted would also be applicable to India too as the new policy is based on individual’s vaccination status, rather than country of origin.
  • We do not have any official update on US Embassy India website yet related to the new travel ban lifting guidance.
  • No change in the consualte operations or the availability of the slots across India. Everything is in very limited mode as like previous weeks.
  • B1/B2 visa stampings has not resumed yet. Only limited interview waiver or Dropbox Appointments. Check below tweets and previous weeks updates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • General Travel Ban Background : On April 30th, President Biden signed a Proclamation banning entry of most of the non-immigrant visa holder from India who have been physically in India for 15 days prior to their US Travel. As part of this, they canceled all appointments ( Biometrics, Visa Interview) at US Consulates and US Embassy in India until further notice. Read below articles on the Travel Ban Exceptions, NIE Details
  • Apply NIE while in US : You cannot apply for NIE when you are physically present in the US. You need to be in India and then only apply for NIE. Check US Consulate Chennai Guidance – Can you apply for NIE, while in US for full details.
  • NIE Validity 12 months : US Dept of State issued guidance indicating that NIE would be valid for 12 months from the date it was issued and it is valid for multiple entries as well. This is effective from July 6, 2021 and it will apply retroactively to previously issued NIE with old 30 days rule. Check more at Travel to US on NIE – 12 months Rule
  • 221g Given for Applicants without NIE
    • US Consulates are giving 221(g) Administrative Processing slip for pending visa processing applications or if someone does not fall under NIE. It says that the proclamation is in effect, so they cannot process and need more information. See below timeline for a sample form that is given for 221g.

FAQs – US Consulates Updates with COVID-19

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

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

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

Currently, they are processing interview waivers and limited in-person slots. 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 estimated 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, they are the most available slots. There are new provisions that make more people leverage the interview waiver/dropbox option.

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

No, there is no refund as such. In general, you have one year from the day you paid Visa fee to use the same. But, US Embassy in India has updated that they are extending the MRV fee validity ( Visa Fee) until Sep 30th, 2023 for everyone booked during COVID-19 period. You will get a chance to book appointment once the US Consulate is open.

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

Other Articles

596 Comments

  1. I am unable to schedule b2 visa appointment for my parents even after selecting 2025 jan dates, biometric appoitment is available but not for interview.. anybody in same situation or any luck with booking slots for the appoitment?

    Reply
  2. I, with my two kids, qualify for the Interview waiver; we have been trying to get a Dropbox appointment for the last 12 weeks without success.
    The July 26, 2022 update referred in the above post mentions – “Under new Guidance If you are dropbox eligible and still need an emergency appointment, you need to answer the question “Whether you held a previous US visa” to ‘No‘ to book an in-person appointment and then submit an Emergency appointment request”
    How can I verify this guidance? I want to go ahead & choose this option but not sure to provide incorrect information by “No” to the question “Whether you held a previous US visa”

    Reply
  3. Hi Kumar my son trying for Dropbox appointment slot for H1B visa stamping. Any guidance any specific timing we can check slots ? Like Indian Time or US day time also we should keep checking slot?

    Reply
  4. Hello All,

    Could you please give more clarity on H1 Dropbox? Till was time the slots are booked already and when we can expect new slots open?

    Thanks
    Amit

    Reply
  5. Hi!
    I was looking for slots and did the questionnaire, I was eligible for interview waiver. But the website took me to book OFC and Consular Appointment.
    I booked an in person interview or late Sept in Hyd, as I was given no choice for drop box. (even though I was waived for interview)
    1) How long is it taking for passport return after in person interview in Hyd? (need to book my return accordingly)
    2) Did anyone else face this situation of “no dropbox”?

    Reply
    • Wow ! I had the exact same experience @Sumiran.
      I also got OFC and Consular appointment only even though I am eligible for Dropbox.
      Can you pls tell me what did you do ?
      When I raised a question to the ustraveldocs team, they suggested that If I am confident that I should be offered Dropbox option, I should CANCEL my current appointment and go through the questionnaire again and answer it to the best of my knowledge and then i might be given the Dropbox option. But I dont want to cancel this hard earned appointment. I dont know if there will be any complications at the OFC and Consular appointments because I qualify for Dropbox Or maybe they dont care abt my dropbox eligibility and they will just process my Visa application without any problem.
      Not sure.
      Pls do sure your feedback and your experience.
      It will be of great help to me.

      Thanks,
      Venkat

      Reply
      • Any update on your situation, i also have a same situation. did you get the visa stamped and how long did it take to get the passport?
        Thanks
        Sid.

        Reply
  6. Hi All,

    I have been looking for Visa Dropbox slots for almost 2 months now with no luck.
    I know this is a million dollar question but did anyone have any luck for any slots opening till this Dec 2022 ?

    Also, the current receipt fee is valid until Sep 30th 2023 (approx 1 year from date of purchase etc.) as I understood. However, if there is a scenario that I-797 gets expired is there a way we can use the same receipt by updating the new DS 160 in the CGI profile ? Is this dooable please advise. Thanks much in advance 🙂

    Reply
      • thanks for the reply! Any location is fine 🙂 Any thoughts on fee we pay and chances wherein we need to for extension of H1-B meanwhile ?

        Reply
    • Prathyusha,
      Yes, if your I-797 has changed, you can get it updated by calling support, also you can fill out new DS-160 as well and update the same. Do not worry, it is common thing.

      Reply
  7. Good afternoon..
    I have submitted my USA B2 visa application..
    I am not able to see any slots.
    Can anyone please clarify whether the slots are opened & booked already or yet to be opened..
    If there’s an active Group for updates on B2 visa slots, please let me know
    Thanks and regards..
    V.Venkatesh

    Reply
  8. Has anyone had any luck with booking appointments for even 2023? Today even on the OFC appointments page it is saying “There are currently no appointments available”

    Reply
  9. Dear Mr Kumar ,
    You have been very helpful to everyone .
    I have an invitation to present my research papers (3 papers) for world Congress in August 2022
    I have applied for B1 visa for the first time
    I have attempted emergency application but it was not granted .
    How many times can I login and try to reschedule .
    Is it true that one can login and reschedule only twice ?
    If I have already attempted twice , what is the next option please .

    Reply
  10. Hello

    I am trying to schedule H1b visa stamp dropbox at Mumbai VAC
    but on cgi federal there are zero appointment slots available
    there are no slots even for 2023

    anyone idea when they will be opening up?

    Reply
  11. I am aware that the US Embassy recently mentioned to “be prepared” for 3-4 weeks for stamping after dropping off the passport with documents. Is this universal or a worst case scenario?

    Thanks
    Sandeep

    Reply
  12. Hello,

    I’m looking for a H1B In person Interview slot availability for the month of September 2022, but I only see slots open from Jan 2023. Have anyone seen Interview slots in Hyderabad for the month of Sept yet?

    Thank you in Advance!

    Reply
    • Abhi,
      They come and go very fast, hard to know. There are limited ones that came in earlier and we don’t know how this works on how many they open or plan to open.

      Reply
  13. Hi,

    I have appointment for July mid for dropbox. I was wondering if there is any possibility that embassy will cancel appointment due to rising covid cases? Has this happened in January when there were rising cases?

    Reply
    • Archana,
      No one knows. It may happen, due to the change in situations, many of these are not known until like the day of the interview or drop-off date of documents. Stay positive.

      Reply
      • Hi Archana, I am looking for drop box but I don’t see any appointments. Have been trying since last 1 week. Any tips will be helpful

        Reply
        • Soumya,
          This is a million-dollar question, no one knows. Everything you read online is their own theory based on their experience.

          Reply
  14. Hi,

    My offer letter has employer name as A & B US LLP. But my approved petition (I-797) has A B US LLP. Probably for Petition USCIS does not handle & special character. I filled and confirmed my DS-140 as A & B US LLP in the employer field for VISA stamping. I am just thinking if it has to be A B US LLP then I will have to fill DS-140 all over again for myself, wife and daughter.

    While I am filling my details for VISA appointment, in Petitioner field do I need to put the exact name A B US LLP if it is okay to have A & B US LLP in DS-140 as employer. Or both are acceptable but Petitioner (VISA appointment Details) and Employer name in DS-140 should always be in sync. Please advise. Thanks.

    -Sunil

    Reply
    • Rohit,
      Whatever is accepted by the system, fill it out. It may sometimes not allow some character, use something that is close to that or use another character or words. if in doubt, reach out to support.

      Reply
  15. What is the usual processing time for new B1/B2 visas? How long does it take to receive passport back after VAC appointment? This is for Mumbai consulate.

    Reply
  16. What is the usual processing time for new B1/B2 visas? How long can I receive passport back after VAC appointment? This is for Mumbai consulate.

    Reply
  17. Hi Kumar,

    I have been trying to get a F1 visa appointment for more than a week now and not able to get an appointment. OFC appointments are available but the visa appointment is not. I keep getting the same message below.

    “There are currently no appointments available. Please press the Back
    button and choose a new OFC appointment Date.”

    Is this because all appointments until mid-July are filled? Any idea when future F1 appointments will be opened?

    F. Khan.

    Reply
  18. Hi Kumar, First I would like to thank you for providing timely updates on your site. I have a set of questions regarding my H1B case, my lottery got selected in April 2020 and the petition was approved till Sept 2023. Till now the interview is not scheduled due to unavailability of the slots.

    1) How do we know the real time appointment status for the H1B interviews? If so, how frequently do I need to check those data?

    2) My company says that placeholder appointments are available from March 2023. Should I wait till Sept 2022 for the further development of this or should I go ahead book that place holder appointment?

    3) 2 years have passed, since I submitted the documents during the H1B process, most of them might have expired, due to the validity clause on the document. Shall I provide those new valid documents in case VO requires it during the interview or do I need to re-upload the documents somewhere before the interview happens?

    4) Do you think the US Consulate will give priority to those petitions, which were approved earlier, but the interview did not happen?

    It will be useful if you can provide your inputs on the above concerns.

    Reply
    • Sanjay,
      1, 2. Actually, most of the new ones are not placeholders as per their guidance. You can email the consulate and USTravelDocs , if you are in doubt.
      3. You probably need to carry all updated documents , otherwise you will get 221g.
      4. no, they will not do anything as such.

      Reply
  19. Mr. Kumar,

    Luckily after lot of try today, i got OFC ( i believe this is biometric/Fingerprinting appointment in chennai location) and consular appointment on further date, i got in MUmbai consulate

    will this cause a issue ?

    need help please reply

    Reply
  20. Looking for visa appointments for b1/b2 for my parents . saw date Oct 17 2022 but when trying to book it showed error.. Now I try to book I don’t see any dates in 2022 are all slots for B1/B2 gone.. I do see March 2023 but that is too far

    Reply
  21. Hi Kumar

    Could you assist me with this. I have a previous H4 visa stamped in India and expired. I changed to F1 through change of status in USA and working on Stem OPT am I eligible for consular interview waiver in this case.

    Reply
    • Sam,
      Yes, you maybe eligible for it, if you meet all other conditions. Do the questionnaire on the CGI Federal Portal, it will tell you.

      Reply
  22. Hi, Please help me out with B1/B2 dropbox eligiblity, I have applied renewal for my old parents and paid MRV fee on August 23rd 2021.

    Their previous 10yr B1/B2 visa got expired in April 2016?

    i read that same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely ?

    its been more than 48 months, near to 5.5 years? are they still eligible for dropbox, pleaseeeeeee answer ??

    from the date i paid MRV, i am trying for their regular appointment slots, i see some dates for OFC when i proceed to next screen there are no dates available ( i tried for 4 consulate locations mumbai, hydrabad, chennai and also delhi), but i see same above response ofc dates i am able to slect and later screen no in-person appointment dates.

    can anyone help, going to agent will help? or any help you can provide is appreciated.

    Reply
    • doddamani,
      They are not eligible. Only the rule fo 48-month got extended beyond Dec 2021, that is what they mean by indefinitely.
      This is same problem for everyone. We do not encourage agents. There will limited slots for B1/B2 and it can take time to get one.

      Reply
      • Thank You Mr.Kumar for your prompt reply!

        Is there any specific timeslot in a day we have to look/login in CGIFederal site for appointment schedule ?
        its always same OFC appointment i can select/pick some dates, when navigated to next screen for consular in-person appointment there are no dates available message
        I’m missing anything ?

        Reply
        • doddamani,
          No one knows. You can check VisaGrader, they have analytics data on slots availability.
          You are not missing, it is just that slots are not there.

          Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you for providing timely updates on all visa types.
        I am trying to book appointment for first time tourist visa for my parents:
        1. Its letting me select an OFC appointment for June 2022 but then when I try scheduling a consular appointment – the system shows a message that “no appointments available at this time”.
        2. I tried selecting a different date in September or different Visa center and the same message shows up.
        I am very confused, are there no visa appointments for first time B1/B2 visa applicants in the year 2022?
        If there are no appointments in 2022 then I will have to get an appointment in 2023 which is too far, will I be able to cancel 2023 appointment and reschedule in 2022 if gets available.
        Thank you!

        Reply
  23. Hi,
    I am in the US and got my H1b renewal approved (I-797). I am still waiting for my dependants’ approval (Wife and kid). I created my profile in ustraveldoc and added my dependants. I was expecting to book an interview as my Son I below 14 years. But I got an interview waiver. Is this fine? Can I get stamping for my dependants using my approved I797?
    Please advice.

    Reply
    • Rohit,
      Usually for kids to apply for interview waiver, the parents both of them should have the visa. To avoid issues, get yours and your wife’s dropbox stamping done and then apply for your son’s dropbox.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Kumar for the reply.

        Want to know if there is a way to book an interview so that I can go with my family and get the stamping with my approved I797.
        Please advice.
        Thank you!

        Reply
  24. Hi my son who is in California got H1b in March 2020. Now he want to visit india for visa stamping for the first time.can he get appointments? Due to pandemic he could not visit india . It’s his first visit after getting H1b, before he was on OPT.

    Reply
      • Hi thanks Kumar. He is planning to visit in the year end may be November December . So hopefully by that time slots will open? And is he eligible for interview waiver appointment ?

        Reply
          • Hi Kumar
            It will be my son’s first time visa stamping. On what basis he will be eligible for interview waiver/ Dropbox?
            Eligibility criteria says person should have done visa stamping before…..

          • Gauri,
            No, he should have got F1 visa to go to the US right, that would help him with interview waiver.

  25. Hi I have been trying to schedule H1B dropbox appointment dates for the last 7 days. I cant seem to find a single date across any of the 5 locations. The calendar app does not even open. Is this normal? I am planning to visit in Jul/Aug and need to book tickets and apply for leave for both me and my spouse and all that will happen based on the appointment dates. When are the H1b dropbox dates expected to be released?

    Reply
    • Rishi Varma,
      If no slots, nothing will open. H1B slots are very much sold out for summer. It is difficult for Jul/Aug, as per them they can only open some in Sep.

      Reply
      • This is very sad 😞 my kid was so excited to meet his grandparents this summer.
        A related query – my parents have a B1/B2 expiring later this year in Jul. If I apply for their B1/b2 renewal, will they qualify for interview waiver and if yes are there slots available for B1b2 Dropbox?
        Thanks a ton Kumar! 🙏

        Reply
        • Rishi,
          Yes, they can apply for interview waiver and apply for renewal now. Yes, slots are opening on a rolling basis for B1/B2 now.

          Reply
          • Thanks Kumar. They qualified for interview waiver and got drop box dates in Sep. No dates earlier than September for B1/B2 dropbox. Is that accurate as per your knowledge?

          • Rishi,
            This is accurate and in line with guidance given by the US Consulate head few weeks ago.

          • Thanks Kumar. I was able to get their B1/B2 Dropbox slot for sep 2022. For my own H1b Dropbox slot I am seeing slots only from sep 2023😢 with nothing earlier. is that what you are seeing too?

  26. I’m so confused. It seems like they have been granting non-immigrant tourist visa appointments in recent weeks ( with constantly shifting # of calendar days to get an appointment) but yet this article states that they will not resume accepting those appointments until September of this year… Can you please clarify? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Angie,
      The interviewing will start for these applicants in Sept for B1/B2 and H & L as well. The updates are accurate and reflect weekly updates from consulate.

      Reply
    • The verbiage in the posts is accurate. Actual interviews will be post Sep 1. The chance to secure such appointments opens up shortly.

      Reply
  27. Trying to book B2 Visa Interview appointments for my parents for Chennai Consulate for few weeks now and all I see are 2024 Dates, which is insane and tells me that the software is broken! Pathetic

    Dont know what to do and who to escalate this to. No one knows if and when this issue may get fixed

    Reply
    • Raj,
      There is no way to escalate. If it is an emergency, you can request for an Emergency appointment by giving justification.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar and I agree, I was just venting out. Its a shocker that we have such a terrible software that thousands of folks will be relying upon. In this day and age hard to imagine something so badly developed and always broken.

        Reply
        • Raj,
          The irony is US Immigration software and processes are even worse when you apply for something with USCIS, and it not just the Dept of State website. I wish some day they get better.

          Reply
  28. Can someone please help I submitted in Dropbox chennai April 26 th and ceac status shown as application received till now and cgi federal website not showing passport is with us embassy earlier it use to show passport is with us embassy consulate Can someone please let me know Chennai consulate email I’d if I can mail and ask them kindly help I’m very much worried or any hotline to call ?

    Reply
  29. Hi Kumar,
    I am trying to look for visa dates in India for dropbox and it says No OFC dates available. It has been showing this message from 1 week. Is this expected?

    Reply
  30. Hello,
    Can we reschedule B2 appointments that were cancelled in 2020 because of covid?
    are those payments valid? or do we need to pay again to schedule?

    I don’t see a option to reschedule. Their status is just showing as cancelled.

    Reply
    • US Consulates in India have extended the MRV fee payment validity until September 30th, 2023 (check this post above). Just go ahead and schedule appointment in the portal whenever you find slots.

      Reply
    • Thoushif,
      The payments must be valid, yes, you can schedule, if you can find a slot. If any issues, call support.

      Reply
  31. I am looking for a visa appointment for later this year. When do they add new slots to the system? Does it have a schedule like a specific day/time etc.? thanks.

    Reply

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