Home » US Immigration - Visas » US Visa Stamping India Updates [Jul 2023]: Temporary Disruption Dates Jul 26-28

US Visa Stamping India Updates [Jul 2023]: Temporary Disruption Dates Jul 26-28

US Consulates and the US Embassy in India give one of the highest numbers of US Visa stamping appointments globally due to the sheer number of applicants from India. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been delays and a shortage of US Visa appointments in India. The US Department of State, and the US Embassy in India continue to give news alerts, and updates on their website, Twitter, Emails, etc. on how they are handling US Visa appointments in India and the current operation status of their services across US consulates and Embassy in India.

On this page, we track all the 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 July 24th, 2023

Below is a short summary of all the latest updates from the US Consulates and Embassy in India that are relevant as of now and up-to-date as of July 24th, 2023. You can check the timeline section below for additional details with links to the official sources

  • US TravelDocs Update: (updated)Temporary Disruption to the US Visa Appointment booking site from July 26th to July 28th, 2023. Cannot book appointments, no customer service calls, no fee payments during these days. Services resume on July 29th, 2023. See more details in the timeline section.
  • US Embassy said they had processed over 600,000 US Visa applications in India as of June 12th, 2023. Their goal is to process 1 million US visa applications in 2023.
  • There is no requirement to be vaccinated, if you are traveling to the US. The vaccination requirement ended on May 11th, 2023. Check US Dept of State Update
  • When to contact for Dropbox, 221g Cases: US Embassy, and Consulates say to wait for 21 days for pending Dropbox cases, before you can contact them for any update. For 221g cases, they say to wait for 60 days. If you email them before, you will not get any response from them.
  • F1 Visa Stamping Slots for Fall 2023:
    • US Embassy has opened a second batch of visa appointment slots for Fall 2023 on June 18th for mid-July and mid-August 2023 appointments. In the first batch, they opened thousands of appointments and they were all filled.
    • F1 Visa Appointments for first-time refused applicants for Fall 2023: They said they would open slots for previously refused applicants during the last two weeks of August 2023 (mid-August 2023).

Did you know you can track passport status online? Check US Visa Stamping – Passport Tracking Statuses meaning

  • New Online System for US Visa Services in India: USTravelDocs has mentioned that they will have a new online system for US Visa Services from July 29th, 2023.
    • They suggest making payment before July 24th, 2023, and having the profile up to date.
    • The online system will not be available from July 26th to July 28th for the system change.
  • First Timer B1/B2 Appointment Slots: US Consulates have started interviewing first-time B1/B2 applicants starting in September 2022. They plan to process over 1 million appointments for B1/B2 applicants in the 2023 calendar year. You can check some of those users shared B1/B2 Visa Stamping Experiences for 2023
  • 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. On December 23rd, 2021, they extended this indefinitely. Again, in December 2022, they confirmed the availability of the 48-month dropbox rule for 2023 and beyond as well. There is no deadline on when the 48 months rule for an interview waiver will end. See the timeline section below for official links, screenshots of news.
  • Agents Fraud Booking Slots: In the past, in response to some users’ concern that some agents are charging 6k to 8k INR for visa slots, US Consulate Mumbai is asking to report fraud to MumbaiF@state.gov with all relevant details. They say that information will be kept confidential. So, if you see someone doing fraud, report it. Also, recently in October 2022, they clarified telling that using agents is not illegal as it is used for convenience, but they said user would not need one for booking slots. They will release more slots in bulk to make it level playing field.
  • Dropbox Stamping Slots – H1B, H4, L1, B1/B2, Others: US consulates all across India are giving Interview Waiver/ Dropbox slots for H4, H1B, and other visa renewals. They are opening Dropbox slots even for 2023. All of these slots are not placeholder slots.
  • MRV Fee Payment Validity Status: The US Visa Appointment application Fee (also called MRV Fee) for payments that will be made from October 1st, 2022 will be valid for 365 days.  All the applicants must schedule an appointment using that fee receipt within 365 days from the date they actually made the payment. Read more at MRV Fee Validity
  • Emergency Appointments(EA) Status, Guidance: If you cannot find a Visa slot, you can apply for a US Visa Emergency Appointment as needed. You need to meet the criteria if you want to request one. Read Guide to Apply for Emergency Appointment in India.
    • There is an option also now in the online system that allows dropbox applicants to choose for an in-person appointment if there is an emergency. They updated their system in October 2022
    • Due to the extreme amount of demand, they have slowed down the approvals of EA requests . You can check US Visa EA Tracker
  • In-Person Interview Waiver for Certain Visa Holders: in December 2022, 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 2023 ( Dec 31, 2023) .Also, F1, M, J visa holders who meet certain criteria would get in-person interview waiver until end of 2023 ( Dec 31, 2023)

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

To check US Visa Slots available in India from Community in a crowdsourced platform, register at www.VisaJar.com, download their extension, activate, and contribute. This is to prevent agents and avoid lockouts in CGI Federal. It is free and community-driven!

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.

July 24th, 2023: Below are the latest updates since last update on July 11th.

Visa Fridays Q&A : US embassy had visa fridays Q & A session on Jul 20th, below is the summary of the updates from the session.

  • F1 Visa Appointments, Slots – First time, refused: They said that they would release the appointments for applicants attending between August 21st to 31st will be released soon. This will also include the appointments for first-time rejected/ refused F1 visa applicants. They suggest checking once or twice a day to avoid locking out yourself. They say that it is enough to know if slots are released.
  • B1/B2 Appointments: They said they are focusing more on the F1 visa appointments and interviews at the moment and will release more slots for B1/B2 starting from September 2023. Also, they say that they keep releasing B1/B2 slots on a rolling basis, so they suggest to keep checking now and then to get slots.
  • Name change – Apply for new Visa: If your name changed due to marriage and got new passport, they said that you need to get a new US Visa to match your new passport name.
  • No show, Natural Calamity: If you have missed an appointment due to natural calamity due to floods, etc. they suggest sending the details to the embassy email as the system will not allow normal expedite requests.
  • Previous 214b denial: They said that you can get a visa after 214b denial, if the interviewing officer believes that you have overcome the concerns of the previous officer.
  • Agents asking 10k, 50k for slots: They said, you do not need an agent to book an appointment or pay them to book the same. They say that the solts are released in bulk and big lots. They say all the normal users and agents would have same chance to book.

USTravelDocs Changes outage Dates:

  • USTravelDocs again changed their outage dates to July 26th to July 28th. The new system would be available from July 29th, 2023.
  • You cannot really do anything during the dates Jul 26-28. If you need to pay fee do it before Jul 25th, 2023.
  • The same message was updated on US Embassy India website as well. Below is the screenshot of the updated notice from them on USTravelDocs and US Embassy India websites. Also, see the link from Facebook page of US Embassy linked below
Changes to US Visa System Changes Date in India - Jul 26th to July 28th, 2023
Changes to US Visa System Changes Date in India – Jul 26th to July 28th, 2023
Update on Dates on US Embassy India website
Update on Dates on US Embassy India website

July 11th, 2023: Below are the latest updates since July 5th, 2023.

Update on Jul 11th, 2023: USTravelDocs India updated today saying they are moving the outage dates. The updated outage dates are between July 18th and July 21st. The system will be available on July 22nd, 2023. See the below screenshot from their website.

Change in USTravelDocs Outage Date for India Update
Change in USTravelDocs Outage Date for India Update
  • US Embassy updated their official website confirming the changes to the US Visa Appointment booking website that are upcoming on Jul 18th. (12th. )
  • US Visa Appointment booking website at ustraveldocs.com will not be available from July 18th to July 21st (Jul 12th to Jul 14th). You cannot do any of the below during this time
    • You cannot book appointments.
    • You cannot pay fee. Payment services will be unavailable from July 17th, 2023.
    • You cannot call customer service
  • The services will resume on July 22nd (Jul 15th, 2023.)
  • The new support email from July 22nd (Jul 15th, 2023.) is support-india@usvisascheduling.com
  • If you have anything that is pending in your profile, complete it as soon as possible.
  • If you have paid the fee, but have not associated the profile with your fee receipt, get it done before the outage.
  • See the below screenshot of the news update from US Embassy India website and USTravelDocs India website
US Appointment Booking Site Disruption News by US Embassy India
US Appointment Booking Site Disruption News by US Embassy India
USTravelDocs Update - Service Disruption
USTravelDocs Update – Service Disruption

US Embassy had Visa Fridays on July 6th. Below are the updates from the same.

F1 Visa Slots in India, Refused applicants:

  • US Embassy said they released thousands of F1 Visa Appointments and they were available as of Friday to book.
  • They plan to open appointments for previously refused students soon. They did not mention any specific date though.

B1/B2 Appointments Slots India: They say that they are releasing appointments as per their capacity and suggest checking the appointment booking website regularly to book B1/B2 Slots.

H1B Visa Renewal within USA : They said they do not have start date for the pilot yet. They suggest checking the website for official announcements. You can check US Visa Stamping within USA for more info

Check Visa Navigator : They suggest checking US Visa Navigator for any questions: https://tinyurl.com/NewDelhiVisasNav

Check more details of Visa Fridays Q &A Thread

July 5th, 2023: Below are the latest updates since last week.

  • It has been a quiet week since the last update due to the July 4th long weekend holiday in the US and across all US Consulates.
  • There is no new update from the US Embassy in India or consulates. Everything continues to be like in before weeks.
  • There is no news from the community on the release of bulk slots over last weekend.
  • You can check the below update from June to get a full idea on the current status of the US Consulates, Embassy in India.

Pending Interview Waiver/ Dropbox Cases, 221g Administrative Processing Cases

  • US Embassy in Delhi and Consulates have quietly updated their Visa Navigator Questions, saying that, if you submitted your documents for Dropbox/ Interview waiver stamping, then you need to give them 21 days (3 weeks) before contacting their office for an update.
  • The 21 days should be counted from the day you submitted your documents.
  • They will not respond to your questions if you contact them before 21 days.
  • For 221(g) Administrative Processing, they suggest waiting 60 days before reaching out to the US Embassy or Consulate. If you reach out early, you will not get a response from them.
  • See the below screenshot from their Visa Navigator pages
US Visa Stamping Dropbox Wait time - 221g Wait time before Contacting
US Embassy Delhi and US Consulates guidance on when to contact for Dropbox, 221g pending Cases

June 26th, 2023: Below are the most recent updates from the last week until today.

US Visa Stamping within USA: The White House made an official announcement that they will run pilot for H1B Renewals within the US later part of this year and much more next year. Check out Official News summary of US Visa Stamping within USA News

US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q&A last Friday(June 22nd, 2023), below are the updates from the same.

  • F1 Visa Stamping for Fall 2023, Refused Applicants, Stamping :
    • F1 Visa Slots for previously rejected applicants would open during the mid-August timeframe. Their focus is first-time applicants and first-time rejected applicants have to wait until mid-August.
    • F1 first-time stamping(fresher) slots are now available across all the consulates in India. They suggest checking the USTravelDocs Portal as they continue to open slots.
  • Previously refused Tourist Visa Impact on F1 Stamping: If the applicant has previously refused tourist visa to the US, it would not have any impact on the F1 Visa stamping.
  • No specific update on B1/B2 or H1B Visas during the update by them.
  • Check the Visa Fridays Q&A

June 19th, 2023: Below are the latest updates from last week until now and wait times for US Visa appointments in India.

F1 Visa Appointments/ Slots for Fall 2023 :

  • US Embassy in India updated on June 18th, 2023 that they have opened F1 Visa interview appointments for Fall 2023 applicants for mid-July to mid-August 2023 across all the consulates in India. Below is the link for the lastest official update.
  • They suggest checking USTravelDocs.com to book the visa stamping appointment for Fall 2023.
  • They plan to open slots for F1 visa applicants who were refused first time in the last two weeks of August 2023.
  • US Consulates continue to process B1/B2, H1B, H4, L1, L2 and other visa appointments as usual. The demand now is for the student season and their focus is on the same visa types.

Below are the current US Visa Appointments Wait times in India Across all the US Consulates and Embassy. You can also check the trend of US Visa Appointment wait times in India acros all consulates.

US Visa Appointments wait times in Hyderabad as on June 19th, 2023
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India - New Delhi
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India – New Delhi
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India - Kolkata
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India – Kolkata
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India - Chennai
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India – Chennai
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India - Mumbai
US Visa Appointment Wait times in India – Mumbai
  • US Embassy processed over 600,000 US Visa applications from Indians this year as of June 12th, 2023. They plan to process over a million by the end of 2023. Check this link and below screenshot.
US Visa Applications Processed reach 600,000 for Indians
US Visa Applications Processed reach 600,000 for Indians

New Online System for US Visa Services in India:

  • USTraveldocs System is getting an upgrade and they are moving to a new system from July 1th, 2023
  • They suggest having everything up to date by July 10th, 2023 as system would not be available from July 11th, to July 14th, 2023.
  • Below is the official update from their website.
USTravelDocs - US Visa Services System Changing in India from July 15th, 2023
USTravelDocs – US Visa Services System Changing in India from July 15th, 2023

Updates from mid-February 2023 until mid-June 2023

Unfortunately, in the last 4 months, due to unforeseen circumstances, we did not update the status of US Visa appointments in India. Apologies about that. We are back and will continue to update this page with latest updates.

February 13th, 2023: Below are the updates from February 7th, 2023 until now.

  • US Consulates continue to be operating in full swing to clear the wait times with the recent measures announced in January 2023. You can check previous weeks updates below for more on the same.
  • CGI Federal URL Changed: Over the weekend, the CGI Federal URL changed from domain that ends with for with force.com to salesforce-sites.com

US Embassy in India had Visa Fridays Q & A last Friday on Feb 9th, 2023. Below is summary of the key answers from them

  • F1 Visa Appointment Slots – Summer 2023:
    • They said that they are ‘preparing for a small student season in April’, who are planning for Summer intake.
    • They said the slots would open up in batches in weeks leading to each student season. They suggest checking the website for the availability of the slots.
    • No mention of any date when they will open slots.
    • There will not be any slots open for March 2023. If your program starts in March or April, they suggest talking to the school and deferring the admission.
    • Regarding slots for first-time refused F1 applicants, they said it will vary by availability and have not confirmed and suggested checking the website.
    • Below is screenshot of the info from their FAQs
F1 Student Season for Summer - April Slots Info FAQ
F1 Student Season for Summer – April Slots Info FAQ
  • B1/B2 Appointment Slots: They say that they continue to open B1/B2 slots periodically as availability permits on their end and suggest checking the website continuously.
  • H1B Slots for December 2023: They did not mention any specifics other than saying, it depends on many factors. They suggest booking an appointment before leaving the US for stamping as it is unsure.
  • You can check the full Visa Fridays FAQs or click below

February 7th, 2023: Below are the updates from starting of February 2023.

  • US Consulates and Embassy in India have picked up the pace of processing of US Visa applications based on the measures they indicated in January.
  • In January 2023, US Consulates and Embassy processed over 1 lakh(100,000) visa applicants. This is one of the highest monthly totals ever since July 2019 as per them.
  • B1/B2 Stamping outside India – Bangkok: US Embassy has said that, if you have plans to travel to Thailand, you can get B1/B2 stamping done in Bangkok, Thailand. All you need to id book an appointment for B1/B2 in Thailand. They say that the Bangkok US consulate has capacity to handle India applicants seeking B1/B2 visa. Check below the facebook post.
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January 31st, 2023: Below are the updates from the beginning of 2023 until end of January

Visa Fridays Q &A was held on January 26th, below are the key updates

  • F1 StudentsSpring 2023, Summer 2023: They said, interview slots are all done for Spring 2023 and. if you have not got a slot, defer admission. If you are looking for Summer 2023, they will release slots before the summer visa season, so stay tuned. Similar to before, even for summer intake, they will release slots for first-time applicants and then only for those refused applicants.
  • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They confirmed that they released over 200K visa slots and they will release more as they have capacity.
  • No specific questions or updates were there for H1B, H4 or L Visas
  • You can read full Visa Fridays FAQ Comments on Facebook.com

On January 22nd, US Embassy announced some big initiatives to reduce the visa appointment wait times in India. Below are the key steps from the announcement

  • They are increasing permanent staff assigned to Consulates and Embassy in India
  • They will be processing interview waiver cases remotely to clear up backlog
  • They will do interviews on Saturdays across all consulates and Embassy to reduce the wait times
  • They have also extended the hours in Mumbai during weekdays to address more cases.
  • They are also getting more visa officers from Washington DC to temporarily from January to March 2023 to address the backlog of cases.
  • Recently they issued more than 250,000 B1/B2 appointments
  • Below is the screenshot of the press release. You can read the full press release on US Embassy India Website
US Embassy India Press Release to reduce Backlog in India
US Embassy India Press Release to reduce Backlog in India

US Embassy had ‘Visa Fridays Q&Asession on Jan 13th, 2022. Below is the summary of the key updates from them

  • F1 Students Slots – Spring 2023: US Embassy said that they have no more slots available for F1 students who plan to travel to the US for Spring 2023. They said that the visa appointment slots for first-time applicants, as well as previously refused students are completely full for January and they will not release more slots. They suggest talking to the school and deferring the admission.
    • Summer 2023 Slots: They say that slots for F1 applicants for summer may open periodically and suggest to keep checking the website.
  • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They said that they recently released more than 200,000 visa appointments slots for B1/B2 visas and they plan to release more as their load permits. They suggest keeping checking the USTravelDocs website for appointments
  • Reschedule appointment – How many times: They confirmed that you can reschedule your appointment 3 times. You will need to pay for new MRV fee if you want to reschedule after 3rd time. see below screenshot for the same.
  • H/L visa appointments : There is no new update related to availablity of the slots for H1B/ L visa applicants from the US Embassy.
reschedule appointment - 3 times
Reschedule appointment – 3 times

December 26th, 2022: Below are updates until today since last week.

December 19th, 2022: US Embassy had Visa Fridays Question and Answer session on December 15th, below are the. key updates

  • F1 Visa Slots for Spring 2023(Refused, First time): US Embassy said that they have opened slots for first-time refused applicants and also regular first-time applicants in December, and they are pretty much full for December, and January. They say that their capacity is full for F1 visa appointments. They suggest delaying your start date or deferring admission if you cannot get a slot.
  • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They did not offer any exact dates on when they plan to open slots for B1/B2, but said to keep checking as they open large batches when time permits.
  • Reschedule Appointment: They confirmed that you can reschedule your appointment four times.
  • Missed Appointments: They said that if you miss your appointment, you can reschedule, but you would not be able to book any appointment during the next 90 days window.
  • Check full Q & A on Facebook page of US Embassy
Reschedule US Visa Appointment - 4 times
Reschedule US Visa Appointment – 4 times

December 15th, 2022: Below are the updates from the start of December until today

No changes in the US Consulates’ status in terms of their operations; everything is still operating at limited capacity.

US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q&A on December 2nd, below are the updates from the same session.

  • H1B, H4, L1/L2 Slots Visa Appointments: US Embassy continues to say the previous update stating that the appointments are full for the next several months, and they plan to open slots as conditions allow. They said that they would soon open H/L visa appointment slots and suggested keeping checking. They did not specify any date or number of slots they plan to open.
  • B1/B2 Visa Appointments: Similar to before, they say that you should continue to check their website regularly for slots. They say that they release large batches of slots, and it usually takes a day or two to fill, so regular checking will help book a slot. They did not give any details on how many they plan to open or when.
  • F1 Visa Applicants – Refused Slots for Spring 2023: US Embassy said there will be a short window in January 2023, where they will interview F1 applicants with a previous refusal. The slots for this window will be opened soon, they did not mention any date.
  • You can check full updates at the below Facebook Post

November 30th, 2022: US Embassy had Visa Fridays Q&A on Nov 17th, below are the updates from the same session.

  • US Consulates continue to be operating in a limited fashion, with no changes in the overall situation.
  • US Embassy updated on Nov 28th saying that they have opened quite a few B1/B2 dropbox slots across Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Check below tweet from them.
  • F1 Students Appointments for Spring 2023, Refusals: They said the visa appointment slots for fresh F1 students applying (without refusals) will be opened in the last week of November. They will also open lots for first-time refused applicants towards the end of the F1 Spring 2023 season. No specific date was mentioned by them, they suggest to keep checking the online system. Also, they suggest re-applying for F1 after refusal if there are changes in the info that you want to present to the consular officer or if the circumstances have significantly changed.
  • H and L Visa appointments(H1B, L1, H4, L2): They said slots are pretty much full for the next few months and they said that they have been opening slots for H and L categories as space allows. They say slots are still available for late 2023 and suggest booking.
  • B1/B2 Visa Slots: They said that they opened a large batch of slots in Spring 2022 for B1/B2, but they got filled quickly and continue to open slots as conditions allow them. They say, they will open new slots as capacity allows. They suggest checking online.
  • IR1/CR1 Visas Processing: No change from the previous week, they say that they will follow a proper sequence and process applications in chronological order.
  • Check below for the actual Q&A

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

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

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

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

We have removed all the timeline of updates before November 2022 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 Visa Stamping and Consulates Updates in India

What is H1B Visa Stamping in India Latest News ?

As of July 2023, you can apply for H1B visa stamping for both in-person and interview waiver. There are no restrictions as such.

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

Currently, they are processing interview waivers and limited in-person slots. They plan to be at full capacity before September 2023. This is based on their update in the past, we do not know if this still holds true. They plan to process about 1 million us visa appointment in 2023.

Are Dropbox or Interview Waiver Appointments Available in India in 2023?

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

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

No, there is no refund as such. In general, you have one year from the day you paid Visa fee to use the same. They updated in late September 2022 saying that, previous rules of 365 days to book apply now and everyone should book an appointment within 365 days from the issuance of the MRV receipt.

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

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

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

Yes, they have opened slots for first time B1/B2 applicants and started interview from September 1st week of 2022 and continue to be available as of July 2023.

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

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


Other Articles


  1. HI Team,

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

    Appreciate your help.

    • Hello Indraneel,

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

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


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

          • Hi Prishi,

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

      • Hey Prishi/Indraneel,

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

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

        Thanks in advance.

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

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

      Schedule OFC Appointment
      This page is for scheduling OFC appointments.

      Select interview location :

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. Hi Kumar,

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

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

    • You could show your I-94 Arrival and Departure record from DHS website as a proof that you were in USA on the date of the proclamation. See the option for “View Travel History” at DHS I-94 website:

  4. Hi Kumar and others,

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Hey Mr.Kumar,

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

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

  7. Hello Kumar,

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

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

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


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


  10. Hi Kumar,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Please let us know.

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

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

    • Hello Vinay,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • +91 1204844644

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Dear Applicant,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    U.S. Visa Service Desk.

      • From US Embassy India:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Hi Kumar,

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

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

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

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

          please keep posted if any update on your case.

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

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

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

        • Hi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. Hey Kumar,

    thanks for helping people with their visa issues and doubts.

    My scenario:

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

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

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

  27. Hi there,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank You.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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