A recent notification on the on the Department of State’s website indicates that the scope of drop-box eligibility has been expanded worldwide. Earlier, certain non-immigrants were eligible to apply through the drop-box facility if their most recent visa on the same category expired within the last 12 months. Now, eligible applicants may use the drop-box facility even if their most recent visa expired within the last 24 months. This relief is temporarily available until December 31, 2020.
It is important to understand that, at the discretion, the visa officer may advise the applicant to appear for a personal interview.
This is a welcome relief for several applicants who would have otherwise had to first wait for the regular services to be resumed and brave the COVID-19 to have their visas renewed if the same had expired within the last 12 months.
Following this notification, a recent update on the U.S. mission’s website in India shows that the consular posts have resumed renewal of visas through the drop box for eligible F, M and J applications and H and L visa Applications, who qualify for an exception to the Proclamations under the August 12, 2020 exceptions. This is a great relief of qualifying U.S. non-immigrant visa applicants. This notification can be found here.
We will continue to monitor and keep our readers updated on this subject.