A recent notification on the website of U.S. Mission in India indicates that they will resume routine visa services as soon as possible, however, the notification clarifies that they are unable to provide any specific date.
All Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fees are valid for one year from the date of payment. Though the consular services were not available, the notification does not clarify if there will be any extension on the validify of the fees. While it is very unfair if the visa applicants have to pay the fee again on account of the inability of the consulate to provide visa services, we need to wait and watch how this is going to be handled.
The notification further clarifies if there is an urgent need to travel, the applicant should follow the procedure listed here. Similarly, H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L and certain J visa applicants who believe they qualify under the exceptions listed here, may contact the consulate for an appointment.
Our office contacted the helpdesk of the official U.S. Visa Information Service for India and were informed thatapplications submitted using the dropbox immediately prior to the lockdown have reached the consulate now. We expect these to be processed first before the consular posts resume regular operations.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates as available.