Thanks to Prashanth and Sunny for sharing their H1B Visa Stamping visa Dropbox option. You can share your experience as well here
H1B Dropbox experience in Chennai by Prashanth
Background : I want to share my experience using the dropbox option at Chennai fro my H1 visa renewal. This is my second H1 and I had changed employers in the period of the first visa (worked full time in both companies).
H1B Dropbox Process : I filled out the DS160 and submitted it. Take a print out of the DS160 confirmation page. On the ustraveldocs website I used the same login from my prior visa. Just make sure that the DS160 number is updated on your profile. As you go through the pages you’ll be asked a number of questions, once you answer them you’ll be told if you qualify for dropbox or not. If you do, then the system does not allow you to choose an appointment date, simply print out the Dropbox Letter confirmation page.
Required Documents List for H1B DropBox:
1. Passport which has your current H1 visa
2. Dropbox confirmation letter
3. DS160 confirmation page
4. Copy of current employer i-797
5. If changed employer, copy of prior employer i-797. I’d suggest to keep this copy in either case
6. Two passport photos to US visa spec
Steps at the Dropbox VFC Center for H1B:
I arrived at the Chennai VFC center around 10:30 AM. You just need to tell the guard that you are coming in for dropbox and he will let you in without need to wait.
Then you will need to stand in the line for document verification. There is usually a separate line for Dropbox and one for the people coming in for biometrics, make sure you’re in the dropbox line. Also, this is the most uncomfortable part of the process in Chennai as you are under a tin roof with a few fans and it can get really hot and muggy.
Once docs are verified they staple on photo to the back of your passport and insert the other along with the documents as a leaflet in your passport. You will be asked to go to the second floor where you get a token and need to wait.
Once they call the number out (looks like they have dedicated counters for dropbox) you will submit the documents and receive the signed dropbox letter back. Make sure to keep this safe as you will need it to collect your passport back.
Then the wait begins. I think the crowd is at the peak around Aug wk 3 – Oct wk 1 given that is the time frame the H1s are issued so many people come to renew then.
My H1B Dropbox timeline was as follows:
Aug 22nd – Documents Dropped off
Aug 23rd – “No Status”
Aug 24th – “No Status”
Aug 25th – Consulate Closed – Janmashtrami
Aug 26th – First update from “No Status” to “Ready”
Aug 27th – Weekend
Aug 28th – Weekend
Aug 29th – “Ready”
Aug 30th – “Administrative Processing”
Aug 31st – “Administrative Processing”
Sep 01st – “Issued”
I got the email to collect the passport at around 3:00 PM. Make sure you have your original Indian government issued photo ID along with the signed dropbox letter. I noticed many people coming in with their US drivers license and were not entertained. Once your ID is verified you can go to the second floor and collect your passport.
Overall the dropbox is a lengthy process but the timeline depends on when you apply. I think if someone tries the dropbox in Feb they should get the visa in 5 days. Dropbox is ideal if you are in India on a 2-3 week break and want to renew your visa during that time.
Hope this helps!
H1B Dropbox experience at Bengaluru VFS by Sunny
Background Info :
First thing first- Before subscribing to anybody’s view on Dropbox process I would request you to please review below given site and later read the experience.
Please go through Noimmigration Visa Information and Noimmigration Visa Application tab and it’s links. It clarifies most of the doubts on topics like Fee, DS-160, Dropbox eligibility and Interview Scheduling to Tracking.
H1B Visa Extension visa DropBox : I had a visa with company A and later received approved petition from company B. Since I fulfilled the Dropbox criteria http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp so was supposed to drop my passport to VFS office.
Unit No.: 302 & 303,
Level 3, Second Floor,
Prestige Atrium, No.1 Central Street,
Bengaluru – 560001
Karnataka – India
For other locations please refer http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-documentdropoff.asp#locations
Documents Required for H1B Extension Dropbox :
1) I797 of Company B (New Company) + I797 of Old Company A
2) One Photo http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-photoinfo.asp
3) DS160 Page
4) Drop Box page copy (Two copies)
5) Passport New/Old
6) People do carry other supporting docs but it has never been asked by representative
H1B Drop Box Experience:
You may go to second floor and may get a token from security. After waiting for 10 minutes, your turn comes. Handover the above given docs and get one copy signed by the representative. You may need stamped copy for pickup.
Status Check of Visa and Passport:
“Issued” means your visa has been stamped. It takes typically 3-5 days to show the status from the time you have submitted the documents.
Passport Tracking Status and timeline
21-Oct-2016 There is no status update available for the passport number submitted
21-Oct-2016 Your passport is being delivered to post
24-Oct-2016 Your passport is being delivered to post
25-Oct-2016/26-Oct-2016/27-Oct-2016 Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate
28-OCt-2016 Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery
31-Oct-2016 Your passport is ready for pickup.
31-Oct-2016 Your passport has been picked up
Passport Pickup Experience:
Please follow the instruction below to pick up the passport.