Visiting with a valid B1/B2 visa while B1/B2 renewal is under processing

Hey all,

I emailed the consulate but I am also posting here hoping to get an answer from someone else who might have seen a similar situation.

My dilemma is if a person can visit the US with a valid B1/B2 visitor visa if the have applied for a visa renewal and their application is pending/admin processing?

Someone close in my family died so I want my parents to come visit me for a few months so we can grieve together. They have a B1/B2 visitor visa that's valid until January 2022. A few months ago, because of the delay with COVID-related embassy closures and visa processing time, they applied for a B1/B2 visa renewal with the hopes that the visa would be approved sometime this year and they could visit at the end of this year. They've applied and renewed B1/B2 a few times before and were previously told that they could submit their documents through a dropbox and would not have to go through a consular interview process. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this time they got a notice saying that the embassy was unable to waive their interview requirement and their visa is refused under 221(g) and will require an in-person interview in order to be completed.

Previously, I've seen that when a person applies for a new visa while their current visa still had some validity, the embassy would stamp a big "canceled without prejudice" on the old/current valid visa and stamp a new visa with a new expiration date. Their current visitor visa with the expiration date in Jan 2022 is as-is on their passport and was not stamped as canceled.

My question is, will they be able to visit me in the US on the basis of the visitor visa that's currently valid even if they have applied for a visitor visa renewal which is currently not being processed due to COVID-related embassy closures? I am hesitant to buy their tickets without getting a confirmation that CBP/USCIS will let them into the US based on their current visa and not refuse entry because they have applied for a new visitor visa.

Thank you!

submitted by /u/turmoli
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