Hi everyone, I am aware that the US Embassy in India have already cancelled in-person visa appts and will be cancelling dropbox and biometrics from 20th. I am sorry for all who have been affected by this.
Reference : https://in.usembassy.gov/information-for-visa-applicants-regarding-novel-coronavirus/
Still, I would like to share my experience here. (hoping this will help someone)
Some background info about new h1b stamp = 6th year of h1b tenure. New employer. New role.
FYI - we can track the application status via multiple ways.
1) CEAC website. https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx?App=NIV
We need to use DS-160 confirmation number or 221g case number to track the status.
2) Visa UStraveldocs site. https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp
We need to use passport number here.
3) Login into USTravelDocs. We will see the passport status at applicant home page.
4) Sending an email to [email protected]
In the subject and/or body enter a valid passport number. (Do not include any additional text )
Mar 10 - passport dropped at Chennai VAC.
Mar 10 - CEAC = No Status. UStraveldocs_site = Passport Received.
Mar 11 - CEAC = No Status. UStraveldocs_site = Passport is still with Consulate.
Mar 12 - (Morning) CEAC = Application Received. UStraveldocs_site = Passport is still with Consulate.
Mar 12 - (Afternoon) CEAC = Administrative Processing. UStraveldocs_site = Passport is still with Consulate.
.... (Same status for 4 days)
Mar 16 - (Morning) CEAC = Administrative Processing. UStraveldocs_site = Passport is still with Consulate.
Mar 16 - (11 am) CEAC = Issued. UStraveldocs_site = Passport is still with Consulate.
Mar 16 - (1 pm) CEAC = Issued. UStraveldocs_site = Passport received from Consulate and getting ready for delivery.
Mar 16 - (3 pm) CEAC = Issued. UStraveldocs_site = Passport ready for pickup.
Documents asked by Chennai VAC:
1) Dropbox confirmation letter
2) Latest Passport.
3) 1 photo
3) Current i-797 copy
4) previous i-797 copy (just immediate previous)
(I didn have a photocopy so they asked me to get this and come back, i wasted 1 hr in this process)
Drawbacks at Chennai VAC:
- The photocopy center at the ground floor was too crowded. But there is a xerox shop immediately outside VAC.
- The dropbox queue was so slow moving.
- big bags not allowed.
Immediately after I dropped my passport, US Embassy in India announced that they are cancelling visa appointments from 16th. I was very stressed and used the following channels to communicate with them.
They were pretty responsive.
Live Chat with US Traveldocs India, https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-main-contactus.asp
US Consulate, Chennai FB page - https://www.facebook.com/chennai.usconsulate/
US Embassy, India FB page - https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/