U.S. Visa Frequently Asked Questions

You may use the expanded interview waiver program if …

You are applying in the F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visa categories (secondary and university students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists), AND

You have previously been issued ANY class of U.S. visa, AND

You have not been previously refused a U.S. visa, OR if you have previously been refused the refusal was subsequently overcome or waived (a 214b refusal is overcome whenever a visa is subsequently issued to the applicant.)

You may also use the interview waiver program if you are renewing any visa (including B1/B2 visas) within 48 months of expiration.

Please note that the Embassy or Consulate to which you apply may require an interview after reviewing your application.

*Applicants from Visa Waiver Program Countries may qualify for interview waiver if they have previously traveled using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

We advise applicants who are eligible for the expanded interview waiver program not to cancel any existing in-person appointments unless/until earlier interview waiver (dropbox) appointment dates become available.  Applicants should continue to monitor our website for appointment availability.  Once interview waiver (dropbox) appointments become available, applicants with existing in-person appointments will need to cancel their in-person appointments before they will be able to book interview waiver appointments.

We cannot guarantee that applicants with existing in-person appointments will be able to obtain interview waiver (dropbox) appointments, once available.

Yes. You may  travel to the United States without any further visa processing. Please note that you will be required to provide proof of full vaccination. Refer to the CDC website for a listing of accepted COVID_19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html.  Starting June 12, 2022 you are not required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding a U.S.-bound flight.  

Although, the vaccination requirements laid out in PP 10294 do not apply to U.S. Citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, or immigrant visa holders, they do apply to almost all nonimmigrant travelers. 

Only the following nonimmigrant travelers qualify for a blanket exception: 

  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel 
  • Children under 18 years of age 
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age) 
  • Sea crew members traveling with a C-1/D nonimmigrant visa 
  • And limited others, see the CDC website below 

There are more stringent testing and quarantine requirements for individuals who travel under an exception. For more information, please carefully review: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html 

Very limited exceptions will be made, on a case-by-case basis, for travelers with urgent humanitarian need. Please see the instructions below. 

Yes. Please note that older versions of the Indian vaccination certificate listed age rather than date of birth. You can either print out an updated version from the CoWin website listing your Date of Birth, or travel with your older certificate + the ID listed on that certificate. For more information about vaccination requirements, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html

No. As of June 12, 2022, travelers are no longer required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding a U.S.-bound flight. See the CDC’s website:  https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/fr-proof-negative-test.html for more information. 

There is NO blanket exception for F, M, or J travelers. You will provide proof that you meet the vaccination requirements to board a flight to the United States unless you fall under one of the other limited exception categories listed above.

No. The vaccination requirement is separate from the visa process. You may interview before you are fully vaccinated, however you will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States without showing proof of vaccination.

No. Humanitarian exceptions to the vaccine requirement are processed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control.  If you are requesting an exception, you should submit your request to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi via email.  See full instructions above.

Over the coming weeks, consulates will reach out to applicants refused 221G under the Proclamation via email with further instructions. Please wait until you receive these instructions, as procedures and timelines will vary from consulate to consulate depending on capacity.

Please continue to monitor the USTravelDocs.com website for appointment availability. We have now resumed routine B1/B2 processing, however due to high demand, we are experiencing extended wait times across all visa categories. Applicants with an urgent need to travel should follow the instructions at  https://www.ustraveldocs.com/gm/gm-niv-emergencyappointment.html. 

 

No! The appointments on the calendar now are all real appointments and are open to any B1/B2 traveler. We do not plan to cancel them. 

Like before, you can take any available appointment on the calendar and request that it be expedited. The difference is that if your expedite request is denied your original appointment is still valid.  

Yes. The Proclamation applies to nonimmigrant visa holders even if they are family members of a U.S. citizen or LPR.

Humanitarian exceptions to the vaccination requirement are processed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.  You can submit your request to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and we will forward it to CDC for review. Use the following link to submit your request: https://in.usembassy.gov/vaccination-exceptions/ 

Please note that requests that do not conform to the format provided will not be forwarded to the CDC for review.