Visas

Student visas remain a top priority for the U.S. Mission to India, and we are making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester. If you have not yet been able to schedule a visa appointment, please keep checking our website, https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/en, for availability. We continue to add additional July and August student visa appointments at posts across India as conditions allow.

Prior to your visa interview, please review your I-20 program start date. Students beginning a new program with a program start date on or after August 1 may travel to the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date and do not need a national interest exception. Continuing students may also resume their programs on or after August 1, and travel 30 days before their program resumption date. We are unable to approve expedite requests for Fall 2021 students with scheduled appointments in July or August. If your appointment date may result in a potentially late start, please reach out to your school to discuss potential flexibility on program start dates.

On April 30, President Biden signed Presidential Proclamation 10199 suspending most nonimmigrant travel from India.  In light of the travel suspension and due to the current pandemic situation in India, most other routine nonimmigrant visa and VAC appointments at U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai remain extremely limited. We continue to make every effort to accommodate emergency visa appointments and will honor upcoming scheduled regular appointments in limited visa categories. If you scheduled an upcoming appointment, please check your USTravelDocs account to determine whether your appointment is still valid. We are unable to speculate on or respond to inquiries regarding future cancellations or appointment availability.

Routine services for U.S. citizens are currently offered throughout India. Please see our U.S. Citizen Services webpages for more information.

For more information on which travelers are subject to the Proclamation, please visit our newsroom website.

If you believe you are subject to the Proclamation and wish to apply for a national interest exception, please read our FAQs page for more information.

For information on our immigrant visa processing and our operating status, please visit:  https://in.usembassy.gov/visas/immigrant-visas/.

If you have additional questions or need assistance on an issue affecting a U.S. citizen, please call 1-888-407-4747 from the United States or 1-202-501-4444 from India.

You can find additional updates on our operational status at our website https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/en.

Due to high demand and limited visa appointment availability, please be patient if you experience any technical issues. If the issue persists, please write to support-india@ustraveldocs.com or call the Visa Application Center during business hours to speak to a representative (+91 120 4844644 or +91 22 62011000).

For detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, visit travel.state.gov.

COVID-related U.S. Entry Requirements: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require all air passengers entering the United States to present a negative COVID-19 test (a viral detection test for SARS-CoV- 2 approved or authorized by the relevant national authority), taken within 72 hours of departure. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This requirement is separate from the visa application process. Many Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place and continue to apply to travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements.

Proof of vaccination is not required to enter the United States. Student visa holders should consult closely with their host institution to ensure compliance with individual vaccination requirements.

Drop Box Appointments: Consular sections across India are now accepting a limited number of drop box applications for renewals of H, L, C1/D, O, I, F, M, and J t Visa Application Centers. Please visit our website to determine whether you are eligible for drop box processing and schedule an appointment for document drop-off. A list of drop-off locations is available on our website.

Applicants submitting drop box applications must also submit evidence such as birth certificate copies of U.S. citizen children or employer letters demonstrating that they are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10199 or may otherwise qualify for a national interest exception from these travel restrictions. Failure to submit this documentation may significantly delay case processing. For more information on who may travel under the Presidential Proclamation, and the documentation that must be submitted as evidence, please visit our website:  https://in.usembassy.gov/visas/national-interest-exception-frequently-asked-questions/.

How to Request an Expedited Appointment:  Applicants can request an expedited appointment through our online appointment system at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/en/expedited-appointment. You must already have a confirmed interview appointment date in order to request an expedited appointment. If your emergency appointment request is approved, you will be notified with instructions via email. You should not cancel your existing appointment unless you receive a confirmation that your request for an emergency appointment has been approved. If you have not yet received an approval or denial, your request is still under consideration.

Applicants requesting an expedited appointment must also submit evidence that they are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10199 or may otherwise qualify for a national interest exception from these travel restrictions. For more information on who may travel under the Presidential Proclamation, and the documentation that must be submitted as evidence, please visit our website: https://in.usembassy.gov/visas/national-interest-exception-frequently-asked-questions/.

Please note that due to our very limited operational capacity and the high volume of requests, we cannot accommodate all urgent travelers prior to their planned travel dates. Additionally, cases may remain under review until conditions allow us to safely increase the number of appointments. We are unable to approve expedite requests for Fall 2021 students with scheduled appointments in July or August. If your appointment date may result in a potentially late start, please reach out to your school to discuss options.

Visa Fees Validity Extension:  The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India understand that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.

Presidential Proclamations on Novel Coronavirus:  Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations.

India
Brazil
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
Republic of Ireland;
South Africa;
The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)
Islamic Republic of Iran;
People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau

There are certain exceptions to the suspension of entry, including exceptions for certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, among other exceptions listed in the proclamations. If you reside in, have travelled recently to, or intend to transit or travel to the above list of countries prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ries). Additionally, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days. There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Entry of aliens who were present in China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, Iran, and certain countries in the European Union within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation. 

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

  • E-mail: support-india@ustraveldocs.com
    This is the fastest and best way to reach us. We read every email and strive to reply within 3 working days. Occasionally, complicated requests can take longer.
  • Telephone: (91-120) 4844644, (91-22) 62011000 and 1-703-520-2239 (for all calls from the United States)

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.