Update on Emergency Student Visa Appointments in India

The official U.S. Visa Information Service website for consular services in India has updated its guidance for Indian students applying for emergency student visa appointments. This guidance was prompted largely by a shortage of regular visa appointments at U.S. consular posts in India, necessitating many F-1 applicants to request emergency student visa appointments.


One of the primary obstacles faced by Indian students is the scarcity of regular visa appointment slots, especially during off-peak seasons. Typically, the bulk of F-1 visa appointments are concentrated around June and July, aligning with program start dates in the Fall semester. Similarly, a smaller window exists in November and December for students commencing studies in January.

Limited Availability of Emergency Appointments

Appointment slots for student visas are scarce beyond these conventional visa processing timeframes. This poses a significant challenge for applicants intending to commence programs on off-cycle start dates. This is compounded by the fact that emergency appointment requests generally are entertained only under exceptional circumstances. Per the guidance, prior to requesting an emergency appointment, prospective students who are unable to schedule an appointment before the scheduled start date should consult with the university and consider deferred enrollment for the following semester.

Submitting an Emergency Appointment Request

If the F-1 visa applicant wishes to submit a request for an emergency appointment, either the original form I-20 or DS-2019 indicating a program start date within 60 days will be required. In addition, the notice indicates that the applicant cannot have had a student visa refused within the past year – although, a separate webpage that provides more information on applying for emergency appointments says that students cannot have been refused a visa within the last six months.


The consideration of emergency appointment requests serves as a vital lifeline for applicants facing exceptional circumstances. However, it is essential to recognize that such avenues are not readily accessible and are reserved for genuine emergencies.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.