NRI Guide: When To Apply For An Emergency US Visa Appointment?

There are many situations when you can apply for an emergency visa appointment. Let’s imagine that you are an L-1 visa holder and working in the US. Your wife, on the other hand, is outside the US as her L-2 visa has expired. Both of you seek an appointment somewhere to get visa stamping together. However, you cannot travel without an appointment and you will be stuck as you can’t return to the US without visa stamping. As the embassy has not opened for over a year now, your wife finds herself in limbo now. In such a scenario, you may think of seeking an emergency appointment. 

In the given situation, your wife may go through the dropbox process. As emergency appointments are reserved for an emergency, most consulates may not entertain such a request unless there is a real one. Delay alone is not considered to be an emergency. 

Another instance could be that you have an approved H-1B petition and you are in India right now. Your spouse also holds an H-1B, but you wish to apply for an H-4 visa and travel to the US with your spouse so that you can change your status in the US from consular processing and use your H-1B there. In such a case, the first question you may have is whether it will affect your H-1B visa? To clear your doubt, the USCIS can object to applying for a change of status within 90 days after entry if the change results in activities that are inconsistent with the original visa used for entry, the H-4 visa. Your key question, however, remains, which is whether applying for H-1B soon after entering the US is inconsistent with H-4, a visa that provides work authorisation. To discuss what can be done in this situation, speak with your lawyer. 

You can seek an emergency visa appointment based on medical reasons. For example, a couple has a minor US citizen daughter of 5 months old who is presently in India, and they need to take the daughter to the US for her 6-month vaccination doses. In such a case, both the H-1B visa and H-4 visa of the spouses need to be renewed. However, there is no dropbox appointment option available in any city. In such a situation, the couple can seek an emergency visa appointment to take their daughter to the US for vaccination. 

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