Discover more from The Onboard Bulletin
Applying for an Emergency Appointment for the F-1 Visa
If you’re seeking the F-1 Visa in India, and need to apply for an Emergency Appointment, here’s a master guide with everything you need to know.
COVID-19 has severely impacted visa appointment availability at US Embassy and Consulate locations across India. Fortunately for students seeking the F-1 Visa in India, the Embassy provides an Emergency Appointment (EA) option that allows you to secure an expedited visa to meet your urgent travel plans to study in the US.
Thanks for reading The Onboard Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive the latest news and US college information.
What is an Emergency Appointment?
Emergency Appointments are just like regular visa appointments, except at an earlier date. You will still have to go through the VAC (Biometrics) Appointment and the Consular (Interview) Appointment. EA’s will help you reach the US to begin your semester on time.
Can I apply for an Emergency Appointment?
Students planning to begin or resume their US college program, seeking the F-1 Visa in India, are eligible to request an Emergency Appointment only within 60 days of their program start date, as long as they have already secured regular visa appointment dates. To secure an appointment:
You should have paid your $160 F-1 Visa Fee and scheduled a VAC (Biometrics) Appointment and a Consular (Interview) Appointment for the earliest available date that is available on your CGI Federal account, no matter how far out into the future those dates are; and
You must be within 60 days of the program start date that is printed on the first page of your Form I-20
You must also not have been refused a US visa at a US Embassy or Consulate in the last 6 months (6 months before the date you submit a request for your EA) to be eligible for an Emergency Appointment.
Note: Dropbox appointment holders are not eligible to request an expedited appointment. Per the latest travel.state.gov announcement that makes certain visa seekers eligible for a dropbox appointment, if you meet the criteria and secure a dropbox appointment, you will not be eligible to request an Emergency Appointment.
Misrepresentation of information will be noted by the US Embassy or Consulate and can have serious consequences on your current and future visa application processes.
If I’m eligible, how do I request for an Emergency Appointment?
Once you’ve secured your regular visa appointments, you will notice a new tab labeled “Emergency Request” that appears on the dashboard of your CGI Federal account. The following appears when you click on this tab:
Enter your tentative travel date as per your travel plans, and select “Students or Exchange Visitors” as your reason for the emergency request.
Type your explanation for your expedited appointment request, attach the relevant documentary evidence to prove your urgency, and submit your request.
F-1 Visa Emergency Appointment Request Template + Document Checklist (India)
Hundreds of F-1 Visa seekers in India have been granted a request to schedule an Emergency Appointment for their F-1 Visa using this template. Click below to access a free copy of this template to explain your expedited appointment request and submit the required list of documents!
Note: Although the “Emergency Request” button appears on your CGI Federal account dashboard, you must only submit this request when you are within 60 days of your US program start date that is printed on your Form I-20.
What happens once I submit an EA request?
Once you hit the ‘Submit’ button, your CGI Federal profile should direct you to a confirmation screen that confirms your Emergency Appointment request. You must save this confirmation page as proof of your EA request submission.
Note: The email confirming or denying your request will come from email@example.com. The US Embassy or Consulate in India takes between 2 hours to 2 weeks to respond to Emergency Appointment requests. If you don’t hear back within 2 weeks, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach the confirmation page as proof of your EA request submission.
If the Embassy has the bandwidth to honor Emergency Appointments, and deems that you are eligible and have correctly submitted the request, you will receive an approval email with instructions to reschedule your visa appointments.
If approved, you must reschedule your visa appointment before the expiration date mentioned in the approval email. To reschedule your appointments, log into your CGI Federal account and click the tab labeled “Reschedule Appointment”. The screen will direct you to schedule your VAC (Biometrics) Appointment and Consular (Interview) Appointment on earlier dates that were previously unavailable to you.
If the Embassy sends you a denial email, it can be difficult to identify what went wrong with your request; the Embassy does not justify why they denied your request. Feel free to use this template as guidance to submit a valid Emergency Appointment request - you are allowed to submit up to 2 EA requests.
Live Webinar: Filling out a DS-160 Application for the F-1 Visa
Applying for a F-1 Visa in India and not sure where to start with the DS-160 Application form? Sign up today for our free live webinar to avoid making serious mistakes and get a jump start on your US student visa application process! We’ll open the floor to a 30 minute Q&A session at the end. You’ll learn how to:
Complete the DS-160 Application
Avoid common mistakes