Many of you may be in a limbo with respect to 221g processing with the current covid situation. So I thought of sharing my experience.
03/17/2021 - My wife and I submitted our dropbox application at the Chennai drop off center.
03/19/2021 - Application status changed to "Refused" which caused concern. Later learnt that they are using the term "Refused" instead of "Administrative Processing" when issuing a 221g.
03/23/2021 - Passport was available for pickup at the drop box office. As expected a white 221g form was returned along with the passport. The 221g requested that my wife and I appear for an in person interview. It also said that we need to appear after the consulates have started normal operations, which concerned me since they were not oprating as normal.
Calling or reaching out to consulate offices was responded with a standard message that they are not certain when the consulates will open for normal operation and as to when they would be able to accommodate my 221g in person interview. Now I was even more concerned.
I contacted [email protected]
requesting for an interview slot. I read multiple articles online that people were contacted in ~1-2weeks to schedule the in person interview. However, that was not consistent. Some were waiting for over 6months.
03/23/2021 - Got email stating that I can now login to my portal and schedule my interview. Earliest slot available was Apr 5th at 930am. I am not sure if this was triggered because of my email to support-india or if it was a co-incidence.
04/05/2021 - Went in for the interview (note: car keys with remote are is allowed into the consulate, so plan accordingly). The officer asked questions of whether me or my wife were out of status while studying in the US or if we had transferred universities while pursuing our masters. The answer was a "No" for us. She also got asked about where we met, and if we had kids and if they were US citizens. Our kid is a US citizen, so they did not ask for marriage certificate proof. She said "Visa is approved" and that we should get it in 5-10 business days.
04/08/2021 - Passport was available for pickup.
04/09/2021 - Picked up passport.