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Drop Box submission Process for 221(g) query – H1B – Is there a Box ? Hyderabad

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 dropbox 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.

If you want to know more on basics, read What is 221(g) for Visa Stamping ? How long Processing ? – FAQs?. You can also check out our Crowdsourced Anonymous 221g Tracker to get an idea of others 221g Processing time, documents asked.

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 :

  1. There is NO drop box as such. You just need to go in person and submit the documents in person.
  2. Just carry the documents seperate, do not seal them in envelopes. VFS will take the documents and put them in their folders
  3. You will NOT get any tracking number from VFS office after you submit documents  for 221(g) blue slip -H1B query.
  4. 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…
  5. 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 ?

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    • Surya,
      Thanks for sharing. I have sent you a note, do share more details. We can publish this an experience for community benefit as it is a common situation these days.

  1. Hi

    Could someone help me here I went for H1B interview on August 6th and issued 221g blue slip and returned passport.
    Asked me to below documents

    A detailed project description (particularly for work on in-house projects)
    A complete itinerary of services the beneficiary will perform, including the worksites and dates
    Documents are ready.
    Can you please help me how to submit these documents .
    Can i mail these documents to ChennaiH&L@state.gov.
    Is there any format i have to follow.
    Please suggest me asap.


    • Did they give you any blue slip or something like a paper with details on where to send ? Usually they give a slip with details on where to send.
      You cannot just send, without any info given from them.

  2. Hi this is ram kumar me and my 2 years daughter have got rejected f2 visa twice ..now can i put my daughters visa in drop or again there will be any rejections..please suggest me..but my wife is still in india..she dont want to leave her daughter .

    • F2 is very tricky thing and can be hard to get approval at times…it does not hurt to try it out again, but there is no guarantee as such that you will get it.

  3. my husband has drop off appointment on June 11th. But his flight got postponed by 1 day. Is it ok to drop box after 1 day even though appointment is not there?

    • Well, please call them and get another appointment by explaining your situation to avoid last minute issues…They may or may not allow, always better to check and confirm.

  4. My name is Ram, working in Germany.
    I’m married (recently) and my wife is an H1B holder working in California. I appeared for H4 visa interview on 14th march in US consulate, Hyderabad. However, they returned my passport with 221(g) form and after 1 week I got a call from US ebassy and asked to appear again on April 1st. The interview was more than 1 hour, asked so many questions about my marriage, photos also some personal questions. She gave my passport back again, because she know I’m going back to Germany next day.
    After 10 days I receiver an email with subject ‘Passport requested’. In email they requested my passport submission with 221g form through VAC or VFS offices in HYD for further processing ( didn’t mentioned about approval).

    I’m in Germany now. I have to submit (drop box) my passport in VAC / VFSoffice in Hyderabad. My questions are:

    1. Do they need my passport for stamping ? If yes
    2. How long it will take for processing after submission?

    would be great, if anyone give me suggestions on this case.


    • 1. Yes, they need passport for stamping.
      2. Usually it should take about a 10 days or so, if they just issue stamp and send it back.

      You can reach out to them and check, if there are any alternatives for submitting the passport in Germany, where you currently live.

  5. My wife got 221 g in that letter she needs to submit the proof of marriage. Actually in the embassy they asked her how many people have u invited for marriage she said around 800 she took 60 photos of our wedding and after wedding but in the embassy after seeing that they said we can see only 200 to 300 so they want proof it seems so can she drop our marriage and reception C.D in which they can know that this many people are invited.. I request you to please suggest me..

    • It is an interesting request from Visa officer. Never heard such request. Anyways, as long as you can submit any proofs indicating the same, you should be fine. Some of the proofs could be like the wedding hall size, capacity, any catering bills that tells the estimate of people, any photos taken at the entire crowd, etc. You can give them a copy of the video as well, so that they can watch, if they really need to verify.

    • Hi kashif Mohammed ,
      We was in same situation got 221g , I submitted my h4 required missing documents and it’s almost 1 month. Could you please your experience regarding when did you submitted your documents and when was the visa got approved.
      Thanks in advance

  6. Very Informative post. Thanks

    What was the HDFC receipt for?

    Do we need to make online appointment for these CGI centres also?

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  9. What happens after Dropping the document? I’m only travelling for 10 days, will i get my visa in those days? or will I get an interview date when i drop off the documents?

    • Sohil Kherani,

      The passport with stamped visa could be available for pick-up within a week. However, if they ask you to appear in person for interview (depends upon the specific case), then it may take around 1 week from the interview date. If 221g is issued, then it could further delay the processing.

  10. I am eligible for the drop box service.
    However I do not live in Mumbai.

    Does anyone know if I can courier the document set to VFS.
    Or is it still required to go in person.


    • I am copying the chat I had with the Telegate Americas regarding the drop off service.
      I hope this will help some one.

      18:16 Gladis .: Thank you for contacting the U.S. visa Service Desk.

      18:16 Sachin Dabhade: Hi
      18:16 Gladis .: I understand that you have a query regarding the Drop Box Program.
      18:16 Gladis .: Hello.
      18:16 Sachin Dabhade: yes
      18:16 Gladis .: I will be glad to assist you with the information. Before we go ahead, May I know few details like applicant’s passport number and email address?

      18:17 Sachin Dabhade: I am eligible but I do not live in Mumbai. I have H1B and 2 dependents H4.
      18:17 Sachin Dabhade: I want to know if I can courier these to the drop box office
      18:18 Gladis .: I will certainly assist you with the information.

      18:18 Gladis .: Before we go ahead, May I know few details like applicant’s passport number and email address?

      18:19 Sachin Dabhade: gimve me a moment.
      18:20 Gladis .: Sure.
      18:22 Sachin Dabhade: email – sachin123@gmail.com
      18:22 Sachin Dabhade: PP – J2012651
      18:22 Sachin Dabhade: I am the primary H1B
      18:22 Gladis .: Am I chatting with the applicant (If “NO” may I know your name and the relationship with the applicant)?

      18:23 Sachin Dabhade: Yes. I am the primary applicant
      18:24 Gladis .: Thank you providing all the information.

      18:24 Gladis .: I would like to inform you that, the applicants who are eligible for the Drop Box does not have to schedule/attend any interview, they or their representative may drop the documents at any of the Document Drop off Locations mentioned in the following link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-documentdropoff.asp#locations from Monday to Friday between 10am to 4pm, along with 1 Drop Box Confirmation page and 1 photograph as per the photo specifications mentioned in the following link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-photoinfo.asp#picsreqs .
      18:25 Gladis .: I am sorry, the documents cannot be couriered.
      18:25 Sachin Dabhade: ok..
      18:26 Gladis .: And the applicant should be physically present in India.
      18:26 Sachin Dabhade: ok
      18:26 Sachin Dabhade: My son is 7 years old. Is he eligible for drop box? I read it that people under the age of 14 cannot use drop box
      18:26 Gladis .: But however any of the representative may drop the documents at any of the Document Drop off Locations.
      18:27 Sachin Dabhade: ok
      18:27 Sachin Dabhade: The same applies for the H4s as well?
      18:29 Gladis .: The children who are under 14 years of age are not required to to attend any interview, the child’s parents can drop off the documents on behalf on him/her.
      18:29 Sachin Dabhade: You there?
      18:29 Sachin Dabhade: ok
      18:29 Gladis .: Along with the documents and a recent photograph as per the specifications mentioned in the following link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-photoinfo.asp#picsreqs .
      18:29 Gladis .: Yes, I am there.
      18:29 Sachin Dabhade: One package for all family or 3 individual sets
      18:30 Gladis .: May I know if the dependent is eligible for the Drop Box ?
      18:31 Gladis .: If yes, the same applies for she/he.
      18:31 Sachin Dabhade: I think if I am eligible, dependents should be as well. Is there a different criteria?
      18:31 Gladis .: You may carry the documents all together.
      18:32 Gladis .: May I know if the dependent is applying for renewal?
      18:32 Sachin Dabhade: yes
      18:32 Gladis .: All the criteria’s are same for all.
      18:33 Gladis .: If they meet all the criteria’s then proceed.
      18:33 Sachin Dabhade: What is the processing time? If I drop it today, when can I pick it back
      18:34 Gladis .: The usual visa application processing time is 3 to 7 working days. However, it may vary from case to case.
      18:35 Gladis .: Once you drop off the documents.
      18:35 Sachin Dabhade: Ok.. so then I have to go in person to pick it back or it can be couriered
      18:35 Gladis .: You may track your passport status on line.
      18:35 Gladis .: Additionally, please follow http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp#optionsto track the passport status.

      18:36 Gladis .: Once you see the passport status as “Ready for pick-up”, you can walk in and can collect the passport from the pick-up location.
      18:36 Gladis .: The Home/Office Delivery service has been ended on December 1, 2013. You will not be able to select courier service now. The applicants or the representative has to collect their passport from the pickup location, which they have selected while scheduling the appointment. Please follow the link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-passportcollection.asp for more information on passport collection.

      18:38 Gladis .: May I know the pick up location?
      18:38 Sachin Dabhade: sad but this does not make sense. If I live outside Mumbai, I have to visit Mumbai twice.
      18:38 Sachin Dabhade: Mumbai or Pune
      18:38 Gladis .: Ok.
      18:39 Gladis .: I would like to inform you that, anyone can collect the passport on the applicant’s behalf, if the applicant’s passport status is updated as “Ready for pick-up”.
      18:39 Gladis .: Please follow the link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-passportcollection.asp to know more information on passport/documents collection timings an d documents to be carried at the time of collecting passport/documents sent by the Embassy/Consulate.

      To view the timings and address of the pick-up location, kindly click on “here” under “Locations” and you can view the list of documents to be carried for passport/documents collection under “Pick-up Information” in the above mentioned link.

      Request you to check the following link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-passportcollection.asp#collectiondocs to know the detailed information about, the documents to be carried by the representative for passport collection on applicant’s behalf.
      18:39 Sachin Dabhade: ok
      18:39 Gladis .: The passport collection timings to collect the passport from the pick-up location is Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
      18:40 Sachin Dabhade: Any one can drop and anyone can pick up. Is this correct?
      18:40 Gladis .: Yes, correct.
      18:40 Sachin Dabhade: Thanks
      18:40 Sachin Dabhade: can you ping me the link to check the eligibility
      18:41 Gladis .: Yes, sure.
      18:42 Gladis .: Please follow the link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp to know more information on IWP/Drop-Box Eligibility.
      18:42 Sachin Dabhade: >>My most recent visa was issued in India.
      18:42 Sachin Dabhade: Is this the visa stamp or the petition?
      18:43 Gladis .: Anwer the questions as per visa stamping.
      18:44 Gladis .: I am sorry, we cannot comment if the applicant is eligible for the Interview Waiver Program/ Drop Box, hence request you to follow the link http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp
      18:44 Sachin Dabhade: ok
      18:45 Gladis .: This for information sake.
      18:45 Sachin Dabhade: Thanks a lot Gladis. YOu have been helpful.
      18:45 Gladis .: The applicants who are eligible for Interview Waiver Program have to schedule the biometrics (Visa application center interview) and have to attend the Visa application center interview for the Fingerprinting and Biometrics on the scheduled date and time and have to submit the documents at Visa application center while attending the biometrics interview.
      18:45 Gladis .: Your welcome.
      18:45 Gladis .: Is there anything else that I may assist you with today?

      18:46 Sachin Dabhade: Oh this mean I have to schedule biometric as well?
      18:47 Gladis .: No as informed earlier, that was for information sake.
      18:47 Gladis .: The applicants who are eligible for the Drop Box does not have to schedule/attend any interview, they or their representative may drop the documents at any of the Document Drop off Locations.
      18:48 Sachin Dabhade: And biometric is not required?
      18:49 Gladis .: I you are eligible for Drop Box then biometric appointment is not required.
      18:50 Sachin Dabhade: But this is contradicting with what you said earlier “The applicants who are eligible for Interview Waiver Program have to schedule the biometrics (Visa application center interview) and have to attend the Visa application center interview for the Fingerprinting and Biometrics on the scheduled date and time and have to submit the documents at Visa application center while attending the biometrics interview.”
      18:50 Gladis .: They are 2 different programs one is Drop Box and Interview Waiver Program they are both are different.
      18:51 Sachin Dabhade: oh got it
      18:51 Sachin Dabhade: I am in the drop box and I do not have to do biopmetric
      18:51 Gladis .: As you say you are eligible for the Drop Box then do not have to schedule/attend any interview.
      18:51 Gladis .: Yes, correct.
      18:52 Sachin Dabhade: awesome. Thanks for clarifying
      18:52 Gladis .: Is there anything else that I may assist you with today?

      18:52 Sachin Dabhade: nothing more now 🙂 Thanks a lot
      18:52 Gladis .: It was my pleasure to assist you with the information.

      18:52 Gladis .: You are welcome. We are always here to assist you. Thank you for contacting the U.S. visa Service Desk. Have a great day.

    • My experience in Pune drop center was excellent. All was smooth n easy.

      Just that pock up was 4 days later so had to travel again.


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