As I got a 221(g) query for H1B Visa stamping at Chennai, they gave me a blue form with list of documents to submit. My original perception about drop box was that there would be a drop box and you just drop off your documents packet in that box…Guess what ? There is nothing as such… Let me try to explain you the process of drop box at Hyderabad ( most likely to be same at other locations), including facts you must know.
H1B query – Drop Box documents submission experience :
After I received all the required documents from my employer, I looked at the consulate website for address of VFS drop box center… talked to my colleagues and got the address sorted out ( it is next to Airtel office/HUDA in Begumpet ). I reached the VFS office at 3:10 PM and asked at the entrance that I need to drop off the documents for US Visa Query ( the VFS office accepts US and few other countries documents)… Guess what ? they said, we only take documents till 3 P.M. You have to come next day. I was like… what ? I am late by 10 min, so you are sending me back ? She said, sorry and come next day….I was a little disappointed, well.. that’s rule. Anyways, it was my fault…. I checked website and it said drop box hours 8 AM to 3 PM.
Lesson : Check the timings of VFS Drop Box office before you go !
I assumed it would be till 5 PM. Anyways, next day I reached office at 9 AM. Now, they asked me, do you have any electronic items other than cell phone. I was carrying my laptop and said the same…They said, no Laptops….I asked them if there was any Cloak room or counter to deposit the laptop around the VFS office…they said nothing around that area….I was more frustrated….talked to gate keeper, he said the same and asked for 150 Rupees to hold it…I could not trust him…next I went down the street asking for a place…same result…finally gave 100 Rupees to few police guys and kept the laptop bag with them…I did not had a choice.
Lesson : Check what is allowed at the VFS office drop box. Call them beforehand. They do NOT allow laptops. Unfortunately, no place to deposit them too…Be prepared.
Drop Box submission process – What do you need ? What to fill ?
After security check at the door, you will be given a token….you just sit and wait until they call your token number. You will be given two small forms to fill out at the counter. You will need the following information to fill the forms:
- Passport Number
- Address details
- HDFC receipt number
- Phone numbers
- Email Address
Make sure you carry your passport as they will ask at the counter. After you fill out the details, you will go to other counter to submit the documents. You will need to pay 180 Rupees. ( he was very particular asking exact change ) The guy at the counter was slow at work… they were asking about my address for pick up of documents. My home address is not Blue Dart courier serviceable, so they chose Secunderabad Blue Dart courier office for pickup of my documents. I asked why do you need this address ? He said, US consulate may return the documents some times, so they need address….Anyways, he took the Blue 221(g) form and asked if all the documents asked in the form were part of package( 400 to 500 pages), I said yes…he checked quickly and took all the documents and placed them in a small folder ( I did not submit my passport as my form said not to submit the passport ). He just gave me receipt for the cash paid.
5 Facts about 221(g) blue Slip Drop box submission :
- There is NO drop box as such. You just need to go in person and submit the documents in person.
- Just carry the documents seperate, do not seal them in envelopes. VFS will take the documents and put them in their folders
- You will NOT get any tracking number from VFS office after you submit documents for 221(g) blue slip -H1B query.
- You cannot track the status of your case after your documents are submitted. US consulate will send you an email. You just need to keep your fingers crossed and wait for that email from US embassy…
- Carry your passport, HDFC receipt and Blue Slip with you. You will need them during the process. Do NOT mix it with the documentation.
Did I miss anything ? What are your experiences submitting 221(g) query documents ?
Any other VFS offices experiences to share ?