H1B Visa Dropbox Experience Bangalore 2016 India

2 H1B Dropbox Visa Stamping Experiences Bangalore, Kolkata

In Visa Experiences by Kumar40 Comments

Couple of our readers Mohit Kumar, Tarun submitted their recent H1B Dropbox Experience. Congrats on their approvals and Thanks to Mohit and Tarun for taking time to write it for our readers These are short quick read for anyone going to Bangalore or Kolkata for submission. You can share your experience here

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Bangalore Experience by Mohit

Background:  I was qualified for Dropbox for my H1B visa stamping ,I would like to share the experience that I had in Prestige Atrium Bangalore (Stanley Office) .  I had duly filed my DS-160 form and submitted fees .Make sure to check exact same name on DS-160 same as your passport and make sure passport is not expired .

H1B Dropbox Documents Required

1)Valid passport
2)Photocopy of approved I-797 (Original was not asked but please carry in case they ask)
3)2 photographs as per specifications for US visa (2inch * 2inch)
4)Dropbox confirmation letter

H1B Dropbox Experience inside the office in Bangalore

1. Token was provided and security check was done.
2. Token has Token Number and Counter at which one has to go.
3. When my turn came I approached the counter and the staff behind the counter collected the Documents, He checks for drop box qualifications. Once verified is in compliance he will stamp the second copy of drop box letter.
4. Done for the day.

H1B Visa Dropbox Timeliness and Tracking 

Status can be tracked in 2 ways:
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1. Passport Tracking(PT) at ustraveldocs using Passport Number
http://ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp
2. Visa Tracking(VT) at CEAC website using DS160 Application ID/Case Number
https://ceac.state.gov/ceacstattracker/status.aspx

Dec 14th 2015- Submitted my documents .
Visa Status – No status
Passport Tracking status -Your passport is being delivered to post

Dec 18th 2015-
Visa Status – Ready for interview
Passport Tracking status -Your passport is being delivered to post

Dec 23 2015-
Visa Status – Ready for interview
Passport Tracking status -No status

Dec 26 2015-
Visa Status – Admin Processing
Passport Tracking status -No status

Dec 27 2015-
Visa Status – Issued
Passport Tracking status -Delivered to post

Dec 28 2015-
Visa Status – Issued
Passport Tracking status -Passport ready for pickup

Key Things to remember from my H1B drop box Experience at Bangalore Stanley Office

1)Don’t carry laptops .They don’t allow the laptops
2)Internet can be accessed in the nearby room but it costs lot .150 rs /hr
3)Cellphones are allowed which should be switched off to carry inside.
4)Backpacks and bags are allowed
5)If there is a long Q, just go up to the door and say that you are here for Drop box. The Q would most likely be for Passport collection.
6) Photo center and copier is available at the center at nominal cost.

While collecting your passport make sure to carry original Id proof with a photocopy of same.  Also if you are collecting passport for your spouse or kid carry valid proofs like marriage certificate or other .Few ahead of me in the queue faced this issue.

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Kolkata  Dropbox Experience by Tarun  

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Background of H1B Visas and Approvals :   Jotting down my experience, relevant case and timelines which can help individuals estimate the amount of documentation needed and how much processing time to expect.

I had a US Visa from company A expiring on mid-Dec, 2015 so needed to renew it during my India visit in Dec 2015. Meanwhile, my spouse’s Visa was going to expire only in March 2016. However, when she did her Visa (H4) I was in company B and that’s what was stated on her Visa. Now I am in company C.
When I applied online, we qualified for Dropbox option and since both of our Visas were going to expire in less than next 6 months, we decided to get the renewal for both of us.

H1B Drop Box Application process – Kolkata, India
We completed our application in Sep 2015. No actual appointment was needed at the consulate (I believe the application filled is valid for another six month). We walked in on 16th Dec after 10:00 AM (We reached earlier just to check in, but the guards looked at the dropbox letter and asked to come at 10:00 AM).
At 10:00 we were asked to go in, stood in a queue. After about 1/2 and hour I was allowed in (while they asked my spouse to stay out, as only one person was enough). I was asked to show photographs, DS-160 and passport only and allowed in into another chamber where the actual document submission process would take place.

Documents List for H1B Dropbox
I took a token and waited for my turn. Once my turn came I was asked to submit the following documents with the officer:
(1) All the passports (old and new)
(2) Dropbox letter (which he would sign and return later)
(3) Copy of my current I-797 (he returned the I-797 addendum of my spouse, said only mine the copy of principal application is needed)

He didn’t check the original, (but I believe going without this might not be a good idea).  He checked the passports and realized that I had an earlier Visa from company A, while my spouse had it from company B and we are applying for company C. He asked me if I had a copy of company B’s I-797. If yes, he would require a copy. I had the original with me from the previous employer as well, but no copies. I asked him, that I would return with a copy in 30 minutes. He said, once I submit that copy, he will hand me over the signed dropbox acknowledgment letter.

Passport Pickup options for H1B Dropbox

I had initially planned to pick the passport at Kolkata, but had travel plans to Bangalore as well in the coming weeks. He suggested that I have till noon to change the delivery option. (it was around 10:45 AMnow).

I quickly found a cafe nearby, got a copy of older I-797 and changed the delivery option to Bangalore.
The whole process went very smoothly.
Tracking the passport:
On 16th: Status of both the passports was Pending
On 18th: Both of us showed in Administrative Processing
On 21st: My spouse’s passport turned to “Issued”
On 22nd: My passport turned to “Issued”

From 23rd onward, we started getting emails that it is ready for pick up in Bangalore. We picked it up on 28th. (Bangalore center is a VFS center and would have kept our passports for 14 days after it was received there).

Hope this helps.

You may also check  H1B Dropbox Experience at Chennai India 

What has been your Dropbox Visa Stamping experience ? Do share your thoughts.

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Comments ( 40 )

  1. Karthik

    Dear Team,

    I have my Visa till feb-2017. My employer is same , but my client has changed along with my location. I have approved petition for new client and extension.

    Please let me know if i am eligible for dropbox.

  2. Mahen

    Hi Saurabh,

    Trust you are doing good.

    I am eligible for dropbox option for H1b visa stamping. I am in Delhi and my wife is in Maharashtra.
    I want to submit my passport at Delhi consulate for stamping.
    My question is: Can I submit my wife passport as well or She needs to be present physically at time of submission?

    Please help me to understand.

    Thank you

  3. PVS

    Hi,
    I have submitted required documents for Dropbox for NIV on 25th Nov, 2016. However the case was created only on 28th Nov, 2016. It was then updated to Administrative processing on 29th Nov, 2016 and continues to remain in the same status till date ( 10th Dec,2016). From previous comments I realise that it may take several weeks to months for the processing to be done. I have travel plans in a couple of days. Please suggest me on what I can do now.

    1. karthikeyan

      Even mine is of same case. I went to drop box in bangalore office in Nov 28th still the status is showing it as – “Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate”.

      Dont know how much time does it take ? I am too worried. Anyone please let us know what are the next steps.

      1. Kr

        Hi Karthikeyan,

        Did you receive your passport back with stamping? I submitted my passport in Bangalore VFS on 2nd Dec-16 and my passport is still with US consulate chennai. I had to cancel my flight tickets too. 🙁 … Today my status changed to administrative processing and they also mentioned that it may take several weeks also. Is it the same case with you?

        I would recommend people whoever are planning to submit visa application please try to go for Hyd and also do not book your returns tickets grantedly.

        1. SK

          Guys,
          Just wanted to give y’all an update as I was following this thread. I had submitted my H1B visa extension application to Dropbox at Bangalore on 1st December 2016. They created the case on 8th December (Case Creation Date). On 15th December they updated the status to “Administrative Processing”, but I had not received any 221g or other notice so far. I called them yesterday on 28th and was advised to write an email to [email protected] to ask them for status. This morning I checked the status online on CEAC website and it said “Issued”. Hope this helps folks, as there seems to be a 3 week timeline for issuing Dropbox renewals from Bangalore.

      1. PVS

        Hi Kr,
        My visa application still shows Administrative Processing where as my passport tracking till yesterday showed ” your passport is still with US Embassy / consulate ” and currently shows as “there is no status available for passport number submitted “.

        1. Kr

          Hi PVS,

          How are you managing your tickets? I am suppose to travel on this Sunday and I did not get my passport back. Looks like whoever submitted to Chennai are becoming victims since they are taking so much of time in dropbox applications processing…

        2. Kr

          Hi PVS,

          Is your Visa approved. My status also showing as same like you now. It is showing as administrative processing. If approved in how many days it got approved after your status turning as administrative processing? Please let me know.

          1. JRSP

            Hi Greetings,
            I am also facing similar issue , submitted my docs at Bangalore on 28th Nov. The status shows as admin process from 15th Dec onwards. Did any of u received stamping yet. If so please update the time line , it will be helpful.

      1. Ashish Gupta

        Hi,
        I just got my visa stamped. I dropped my passport at Ahmedabad drop box. I dropped my documents on 18th November and since it was a Friday a case was only created on 21st as they send the documents to Mumbai consulate. The visa was issued on 22nd November.
        Not sure why is there a delay in processing at other locations.

  4. Ashish

    Hi,
    I’m in US as of now and my visa expired on 1st Oct. I already have an approved extension from USCIS. But recently I changed my client(My employer is still the same) although it’s in the same MSA but there is a change in my role and hence an amendment is being filed.
    I’m due to travel to India next week and my employer is telling me that I can go for stamping with the approved extension petition and the receipt number. Amendment approval is not required.
    Could you please let me know if it’s okay for me to go for stamping?
    I’m eligible for drop box and will be going for the same.

    Regards

  5. Pratik

    Hello Saurabh,

    Can you help understand the exact meaning of the below?
    “prior visa cannot have a “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” annotation.”

    Does it mean the immediate prior Visa or “any” of the prior visas?

    I have an H1B extension approval. This is my first extension and my original H1B visa does not have any annotation. However, before H1, I had an F1 visa which does have a “clearance received annotation”.

    Help appreciated. Thanks!

    1. PS

      When you file DS -160 there is a question regarding this where they ask if you “ever” had “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” annotation. If you answered no there then that is a misinformation from your end and will most likely have to re-apply using a new DS-160 with correct information.

  6. Kris

    Hi,
    I have an emergency need that I have to go to India next week. I will have to be back within a week to 10 days after that. My current Visa expired and have new H1B for renewal. I’m eligible for drop box but not sure how long does it take. Could anyone help with timeline on how many days does it take to receive my passport if I use drop box? Can I still go ahead with personal interview if there is a date available and do I receive passport sooner in that case? Please let me know.

    Thank you,
    Kris

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kris,

      If everything goes fine, then passport should be ready for pick-up with a week. If something goes wrong then then it can take days, or weeks or months.

  7. AA

    Hi, my last H1B visa stamping was in December 2014 from Emp A and will expire in Jan 2017. Same for my spouse who is on H4. I will be going to india in December 2016 and will need visa stamping. I am still working for same employer (Emp A) and will need stamping in same visa class. I understand from your post that I am eligible for drop-box processing. Please confirm the same.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      AA,

      Yes, you both are eligible for dropbox provided the previous visa wasn’t approved w/ security clearance annotation.

  8. H4 Visa Help

    Hi Team,

    My wife got her H4 Visa stamped in Europe which is valid till 15 Nov, 2016 and my Visa expired in Dec, 2013. Now i have extension till Jun, 2019 and we are planning to go for stamping.

    My query is with respect to my wife’s H4 Visa stamping, is she eligible for Drop Box facility even if she had her pervious stamping at Norway and current stamping will be done at India ?

    Please advise.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H4 Visa Help,

      One of the dropbox require is “My most recent visa was issued in India”. So your wife is not eligible for dropbox if appearing for stamping after Nov 15, 2016. Why is the wife appearing for stamping? When are you guys planning to travel to US?

  9. Aravind

    Hi,

    I am eligible for dropbox for my H1b stamping . Should i fill DS 160 again of use the same old DS 160 which was used a year go for my first H1b stamping?

  10. NSH2016

    I need an advise, I have a H4 visa (approved I-797 for H4 through a H1 to H4 COS, as per most latest I94 my status is H4) but previously held an H1 (I have H1 stamped on my passport valid till Jan 2018 and a non cancelled H4 expired on Jan 2016, did a H1 to H4 COS and approved in March 2016).
    spouse has H1 (H1 visa stamp on passport expired in Jan 2016) and he is eligible for the drop-box and interview waiver.
    when spouse submitted the application on VFS website it confirmed our application is eligible for drop-box (it just asked drop-off eligibility questions for my spouse only and not for me as a dependent).
    But drop box letter has a check mark, asking “Prior visa in the same class which is still valid or expired within last 12 months. (applicable for H1,H4,L1 Individual, L2)”.
    I’m confused now, is only my spouse eligible for drop-box and I have to go for interview or we both are eligible for drop-box? (it issued just one drop-box letter for us, mentioning me as dependent and spouse as primary).

  11. Lakshmi

    Hi Saurabh

    I am still working for the same employer in the US and planning to visit India in December-2016 to renew my H1B VISA. Since my last VISA expired in April this year, and I am still working for the same employer I am planning to go for “DropBox”. However, my previous H1B Visa stamping (in Dec 2014 with the same employer) went through 121g Admin processing and clearance was issued after 60 days. Do you think the “Clearance Received” annotation in my previous VISA will stop me to go for DropBox??? Should I need to schedule a “VISA Interview in-person” instead?

    Also, what are the chances of getting 121g slip again, since I already went through this process during my last VISA stamping.

    Please guide!

    This question popped up as I was looking “Eligibility Criteria for DropBox” at
    http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

    Eligibility Criteria for all applicants except child below 14 years of age and applicant above 80 years of age or older:
    • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to apply
    • My most recent visa was issued in India
    • I received my visa after January 1, 2008
    • MY PRIOR VISA IS NOT ANNOTATED “CLEARANCE RECEIVED” OR “DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZATION”.
    • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
    • I have no refusals for a visa in any class after my most recent visa issuance
    • If I am applying for an H or L (individual) or R visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.

    Thanks
    Lakshmi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lakshmi,

      Your most recent visa stamping has “Clearance Received” marked on the visa. Then why do you say otherwise in the questionnaire? You are ineligible for dropbox if that is the case.

  12. Kumar

    Hi,

    My Company A H1B Visa got expired on December 2015. Before that i moved to Company B and i got approved H1B I797 petition for Company B. Later i moved to Company C and i got new H1B I797 petition. While am booking visa appointment i got a question that is ur last H1B visa is expired within last 1Year? do i need to keep it as “YES” or “NO”?.. I kept it as No because my 1st H1B expired on Dec 2015. I dont have my Company B visa stamping on my passport.

    Please suggest me.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kumar,

      They are asking about the last visa stamp in the passport, which in this is from A and it expired in Dec 2015. So the answer is Yes.

  13. Arsenal

    Hi,
    This is the response i got for H1B amendments hard copy.
    “I received your approval notice without the I-94 extension of stay”
    Can you please let me know what is the meaning of I-94 extension of stay

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arsenal,

      You weren’t granted any additional stay period in US. So you can stay until the original 797’s I-94 expiration date and will have to file separate Extension of Status or H-1 extension to continue to stay and work in US.

  14. Arsenal

    I submitted my amendments petition under premium processing Last month and it is changed to “got approved and decision is emailed’ on Jan25th. Still waiting for the approved hard copy to receive. How long it will take to receive the hard copy of approved notice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arsenal,

      Hard copy should be received by employer/attorney within 1-2 weeks. If not received within 30 days, they should follow-up w/ USCIS.

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