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U.S. Embassy in India cancels appointments, global consular services remain unpredictable

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US H-1B visa draws

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi declared Friday that it would cancel in-person visa appointments and interview-waiver appointments from 26th April 2021 to 9th May 2021, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in India.

  • While the Embassy will cancel most visa appointments, officials said they would make “each attempt” to honor planned crisis appointments. Emergency services for U.S. residents will also continue.
  • The Embassy said U.S. Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata continue offering limited visa services, yet may cancel a few appointments as needed by local COVID-19 conditions.
  • The cancellations are an illustration of how capricious consular services can be during a pandemic. Even before Friday’s announcement, we had seen an increasing number of cancellations at U.S. offices in India. Consulates have also reached out to certain candidates instructing them to use dropbox for specific submissions.
  • Universally, consular operations remain restricted and conditions change frequently. Also, regional travel bans remain in place barring entry to most foreign nationals who have been truly present in Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, or the Schengen Area in the 14 days before entry. Anybody traveling to the U.S. by air should give documentation of a negative viral COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel or evidence of recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection.

U.S. Embassy in India Cancels Visa Appointments, Due to Covid-19

U.S. consulates in India and different nations continue to operate at reduced capacity, and candidates should expect critical delays in getting visa appointments. Foreign nationals should continue to consult their professionals before planning international travel.

[DHS seeks public input to Identify barriers that limit to Immigration Services]

While reports are circling in regards to expected changes to travel restrictions, and while the transportation industry is advocating for opening travel between the U.S. and the U.K., no definitive data in this regard has been released by the White House, State Department, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The regional COVID-19 restrictions don’t have a set expiration date and will remain in effect until President Joe Biden lifts or adjusts them.

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