One of our readers, Sathish has shared his detailed H1B Visa Dropbox Renewal experience with us. I believe, this is the first experience for Dropbox submission. It is written very clearly and gives you a clear picture of the exact process. Congrats to Sathish on his Visa Stamping and Thanks to him for taking time to share his experience with our readers. You can share your experience with our readers here
I am working in EVC ( Employer-Vendor-Client) model. I got my first H1B visa stamped till Sep 2013 in Chennai last year. I visited Chennai again this year and I was eligible for Dropbox since it is not more than 12 months since my visa was expired (and same petitioner & same visa category).
Document Checklist for H1B Visa Dropbox Renewal :
1. Passport (Both old and new). – Mandatory Document
2. DS160 confirmation page. – Mandatory Document
3. Dropbox confirmation page. – Mandatory Document
4. Visa fees receipt.
5. I797 Document Photocopy. – Mandatory Document
6. I129 Document Photocopy. – Supporting Document
7. LCA Document Photocopy. – Supporting Document
8. Employer Verification Letter. – Supporting Document
9. Payslips of last 6 months. – Supporting Document
10. 2013 W2. – Supporting Document
H1B Visa Dropbox Submission Process
Appointment : No Appointment needed for Dropbox.
Location : TPL House, Teynampet, Chennai.
I was at VFS office around 10am and was asked by security personnel to stand in queue that was formed for Passport pickup (There will be less number of dropbox cases so there wont be separate queue for it).
Step 1 : Preliminary Documents Checking by VFS Agent – Changed Photos
I had to wait for like 20 mins before security personnel let me in. A VFS agent checked all my document before letting me inside the building. He was checking my DS160, Dropbox confirmation letter and my photos. He asked to me bring different photos since my new passport had the same photo. I was explaining for sometime like it is never mentioned anywhere in US Travel Docs that same photo from passport should never be used (same photo from old visa should never be used however). Agent told he can still let me in but it is not worth the risk and I would be sent back to bring new photos. I didnt want to take any chance so I went out again to take new photos. With new photos I didnt have to stand in queue again.
Also my surname in new passport is left blank by mistake, so I had consulate put an observation in my passport. VFS is checking for any observation page if Surname in Passport and DS160 are not same (Just in case if anyone is having observation made in passport).
Step 2 : Documents Submission, Fee payment
I went inside the building and waited for my turn to get called, roughly like 15 minutes. VFS agent in one of the windows requested me to submit the documents. I submitted my Passports, I797 photocopy (original is not required), DS160 confirmation page, dropbox confirmation page, Visa fee receipt, 2 photos. VFS agent gave visa fee receipt back to me. He was checking all the documents and making entries in his system at this point. It took like 10 minutes. In the meantime, I asked him whether I can submit any supporting documents. His answer was NO and the documents that I had produced thus far are good enough. His answer was resounding enough to convince myself so I didn’t ask any further question about supporting document. Finally he said I am all set and I can check the status using my passport number and expect passport in a week. He gave me the signed dropbox confirmation letter back for reference.
This is my 4th successful stamping experience(all in Chennai) for 3 different visa categories, obviously the dropbox one is the hassles free enjoyable experience of all.
Key Things to Remember
For dropbox, My recommendation would be just to submit the mandatory documents when VFS agent request you to submit the required documents. I carried supporting documents only for the reason that when VFS agent ask me to submit any of them I should be in a position to submit instead of telling I don’t have one. Even if VFS agent had told YES to my question on submitting supporting docs, I was intended to submit only employer letter & payslips (just to prove I am with same employer). Guys working on EVC model, take it easy on Vendor letter/Client letter. Dropbox is working like a charm, so please keep it simple. At least my personal view.
I got automated mail from US travel docs that my passport is ready to be picked up in like 2 days time. Here are the timelines for reference.
Hope USCIS keep this dropbox option for H1B stampings for good and long 🙂
Processing time – 3 Days !
Dropbox Submission – April 21st
Passport was ready to be picked up by – April 23rd.
Passport was picked up my me on – April 28th.
General Info – H or L Visa Renewal :
If you are renewing your H or L Visa with the same employer and your current visa is still valid or expired within the last 12 months (Blanket L1 is not eligible ), you may be eligible for Dropbox visa stamping. To check your eligibility, you can visit the US Consulate Website