Home » US Visa Stamping Experiences » 6 H1B Visa Dropbox (Interview Waiver Program) Experiences – India (2018, 2017)

6 H1B Visa Dropbox (Interview Waiver Program) Experiences – India (2018, 2017)

We have combined some of the visa dropbox experiences from our readers. Thanks a lot to our readers – Sai, Anonymous (USA – H1b applicant), Shashank, anonymous (first time dropbox applicant), Rakesh, v4g – for taking time to write and share their experiences. As you scroll down you find 2018 experiences.  You can share yours as well here  Also, many more updates are in comments, feel free to read them.

Dropbox Process Changed in 2019 with mandatory Appointment. Check articles: New US Visa Dropbox Process with Appointment   and H4 Visa Dropbox with Appointment Experience 2019

Check out Step by Step Guide for H1B Visa Dropbox Stamping with Screenshots

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H1B Dropbox Experience  by ‘First Time Dropbox Applicant’ 
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Background : I would like to share my visa experience as well. This was my first time using drop box, so far I have opted the interview option since I seldom travelled to India. This time I qualified for the drop box option.  I recently changed petitioner and my previous visa was valid up until September 30th of 2017 with the old petitioner.
I’ve always gone to the Mumbai Consulate.

Requirements for Dropbox of H1B Visa :
* PreviousVISA stamped in Mumbai Consulate
* VISA current or expired within past 12 months. (mine expires on 09/20/2017).
Same visa class ( I had my petitioner changed) and since my visa had not expired I did not need a previous 1797A copy from my old petitioner.
* I had a 1797A amendment I submitted both copies of that along with form DS 160 confirmation, drop box letter.

Documents I submitted H1B Dropbox at the Mumbai consulate on September 25th 2017- Monday :
1. Dropbox Confirmation Letter
2. DS 160 Confirmation Letter
3. Previous and New Passport Originals
4. Photocopy of your I797A
5. One passport photographs (Take new one – It should be different from your previous visa and it should be clear 2×2 in white background ) otherwise you end up asking to go for new photos.

H1B Dropbox Timeline and Status :

I dropped the documents on September 25th 2017 at 9.45 AM, there was no rush or lines.
I had to head up to security get a seat token/ticket.
Once my number was called they checked all documents and accepted it. I did not have a copy of my previous I797A ( I had changed my petitioner) but my visa was still valid and I told them unless the visa was expired, they did not need one They agreed.
The guy stamped my drop box confirmation form with date received confirmation. and said I should get my passport back in 2-3 business days.

On September 25th 2017 – I checked my VISA status here – https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx?eQs=WwjqOlbeRYzCYubaSQI+RA== or passport status – http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp.
Says received the documents.

On September 26th- September 28th 2017 – ” your visa is currently undergoing Admin processing and may take unto several weeks to clear”
On September 29th 2017 – Issued

Email from Consulate for Dropbox On September 29th at 12:00PM
Your document(s) have been collected from the US Embassy/Consulate
The passport number being returned is XXXXXXX
You have chosen to have your documents delivered to the Mumbai consulate.

I picked my passport on the same day on September 29th 2017 by 3.30PM
Now you can collect your passport on Sundays too. Timings are 1-5PM.

regards,
First Time drop Box applicant

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H1B Dropbox Experience by Sai
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I would like to share my visa experience so that it would be helpful for others. First time I used this dropbox option. No appointment needed. Just walk in.

Requirements for US Visa Stamping in Dropbox 

  • Previous VISA stamped in Hyderabad Consulate
  • VISA expired within past 12 months. (mine expired in 12/26/2016).
  • Same petitioner and same visa

If above criteria matches then only you will have dropbox option.

Documents  Needed For H1B Dropbox : 
1. Dropbox Confirmation Letter
2. DS 160 Confirmation Letter
3. Previous and New Passport Originals
4. Photocopy of your I797
5. Two passport photographs (Take new one – It should be different from your previous visa) otherwise you end up asking to go for new photos. )

I dropped the documents on Jan 23rd, 2017. There are two lines at the US embassy. One for fingerprints line and other for dropbox. There will check all the required docs before entering into the building. Once inside, you will get a token and go to the counter and she will check all the docs and keep them in order and ask you sign on two passport photos. She had stamped my DS160 form with date received confirmation. Left the place.

On Jan 24th 2017 – I checked my VISA status here – https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx?eQs=WwjqOlbeRYzCYubaSQI+RA== or passport status – http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp.
Says received the documents.

On Jan 25th 2017 – Admin processing
On Jan 27th 2017 – Issued

Email from Consulate for Dropbox Visa Stamping :
I received the email as below –
Dear Sai,
Your document(s) have been collected from the US Embassy/Consulate
The passport number being returned is XXXXXXX
You have chosen to have your documents delivered to the following location:
Hyderabad, 1-8-384/385 Ground Floor, Gowra Grand, S.P.Road,, Hyderabad, 500016

I picked my passport on Jan 29th 2017. Good thing is now you can collect your passport on Sundays too. Timings are 1-5PM.

regards,
Sai
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Experience by USA – H1b applicant
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H1B Visa and H4  Visa Dropbox Stamping Process

Step 1 : Filed DS-160 form for self (H1B) and wife (H4).
Step 2: Created account on https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/?language=English&country=India
Step 3 : Entered DS-160 application numbers (for both me and my wife) in same account. Note: My previous passport had expired so had to email them to edit my account with new passport number. Also in the email I told them to link my wife’s DS-160 application number to mine).
Step 4: Pay Fees
Step 5: Book for appointment. It ask some series of questions and if you are eligible it gives you the dropbox option.
Print the dropbox letter and it lists the mandatory documents depending upon the visa type.

H1B Dropbox Documents Required (in my case)

1)Valid passports (all passport till date)
2)Photocopy of approved I-797 (2 copies)
3)2 photographs as per specifications for US visa (2inch * 2 inch) Note: in photographs make sure we are expression less and both ears visible. We were told to bring in new photos.
4)Dropbox confirmation letter

Head to Dropbox submission center. No appointment needed for dropbox. Documents are verified and signed dropbox letter is returned.

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

Day 1 – Submitted my documents .
Day 2 – No status
Day 3 – No status
Day 4 – Got email late in evening saying passport are delivered to requested location.

– Original documents were not asked but we did carry them.
– Again, make sure the photos are as per required standards.
– Carry the signed dropbox letter you got while submitting the documents to collect the passport(s)

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Experience by USA – Shashank
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Background Info for H1B visa  Dropbox Eligibility : I had my first Visa stamped in December 2013 from Hyderabad and i changed my employer in May 2016 and went for stamping in August 2016. I was hesitant on my eligibility for dropbox as i changed my employer, but after i completed my visa application questionnaire it suggested me for my dropbox eligibility. The following are the factors it considered for my dropbox eligibility.
1) My prior visa stamping was in India
2) My current visa is still valid ( here, we are eligible for upto 12 months after the visa has expired).This sounded a good news for me as i do not need any appointment and can walk in anytime at my convenience.

Dropbox Experience : I reached as early as 9 AM on Monday morning and was in a separate queue for dropbox. At around 9:45 AM i was allowed inside after looking at my dropbox confirmation. There a VFS agent verified all my documents and had raised concerns over my photograph as it was taken with my spectacles and asked me to check again at the counter before submitting it.

Once I reached the counter, they looked at my photograph and they discussed over it and finally let me use the same photograph as my eyes were clearly visible on that. Additionally, here are the documents they requested
1) Current I797 (Photocopy)
2) previous I797 (Photocopy)
3) Passport (original)
4) 2 photographs
5) DS160 Confirmation page

I asked VFS agent on the need for any other supporting documents and her response was those are all the documents needed at the moment and would inform of any additional documentation if needed. I left the place with a sigh of relief and had been tracking my status for the next three days and following are the different status it went through.
Monday – Submitted the documents
Tuesday – Adminstrative Processing
Wednesday 10 AM – Issued
Wednesday – 3 PM – Ready for pickup.

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H1B Dropbox Experience by Rakesh
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H1B Visa Dropbox – Interview Waiver Program Experience

My case was changing of employer where I had non expired H1B Visa valid till 30th June,2018.  I was eligible for dropbox Interview Waiver Program (IWP). It was pretty straight forward process.

Below documents were required in my case –
1. Previous I797 petition.
2. Current I797 petition.
3. Passport.
Status Changes for my  IWP

  • 17th Jan, 2017 – Submitted docs to OFC at Jamine tower, kolkata. Took near about 1 hour. Phones are not allowed inside.
  • 18th Jan – 24th Jan – No status.
  • 25th Jan – Admin processing.
  • 27th Jan – Issued.

It takes generally 2 weeks. All the best.

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H1B Dropbox Experience by V4g  
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Second H1B visa Dropbox – Interview Waiver Program Experience at Mumbai Consulate 2018

Hi All! This was my second drop box – H1B visa stamping. After first drop box- visa stamping; I changed employer as I became Full time at same location.

My time line :-
6-NOV-18 – Document dropped @ VAC
13-NOV-18 – Case changed to Administrative Processing
14-NOV-18 – ISSUED.

Couple of tips/ observations :-
1) Check US Embassy holiday calendar and then plan your trip accordingly.
There were 4 leaves in first three weeks of November. Diwali, Veterans day and Thanks giving.
2) Usually case updated after 1.00 pm (IST).
3) Sometime you can see “Case Last Updated” field changed but no change to the status.

-V4g

   

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162 Comments

  1. Hi Kumar,

    I have submitted ny H1b amendmdnt approval copy, Company Bonified lwrrwr,DS 160 at Chennai drop box. But i haven’t submitted 1b Extension copy. As the Drop box person not asked the Extension copy . Will be any issue. It has been 2 weeks and status is still Admin processing.

    Kidly help me.

    Reply
  2. Hi ,
    The Visa stamped in my passport expired in October 2017. I have been on H1 extension in US after that. My current I-94 expires in August 2023. If I travel to India, will I be eligible for interview waiver and be able to utilize the dropbox?
    Appreciate your help,
    Michael

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    I am planning to travel to India with family in June 2020 and I have never appeared for drop box before. This time I am eligible for Interview waiver, but I am not sure when can I pay the visa fees and secure an appointment for June 2nd/3rd week. As I heard from my friends that the appointment slots will be opened on the first day of month for that month. Can anyone please clarify?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lakshinaraya,
      Your fee is valid for one year, so you can pay the fee now and start looking for the slot now. There is no hard fast rule, you need to keep checking, it is not easy to find a slot.

      Reply
  4. Hello All, Please advice if my Wife and Kid are eligible for Drop box or not?
    My H1b Visa, Wife and kids’s h4 expired in sep 2020 (Just 2 months back).
    I got h1b extension approval recently. My wife and kid are in India, and want to come back in USA as soon as possible.
    Are they both eligible for drop box?
    Major confusion is with kids eligibility as it says that “Both the parents should have valid visa”
    Please help.

    Reply
    • Hi Sunny,
      Were you able to apply through dropbox or you have to take the regular appointment. I am in the same boat. Please let me know how did it go for you. Thanks

      Reply
  5. Can we drop extra supporting documents like SOW, client letter with other required documents?
    I heard from one of my friend that they denied taking any documents other than the required ones.

    Reply
        • Sunny,
          Think about it, when you for interview, most of the times, it is hardly 1 min or 2 min for most of the approved ones, there is no additional documents checked, so they want to avoid that, unless needed…Anyways, you can try, but I doubt, if they will take it. Do update here how it goes.

          Reply
  6. I used to do my Dropbox from Mumbai Consulate location this time I am travelling to Delhi and would like to use the dropbox for New Delhi Consulate. Please let me know if there is an issue when you change your consulate for dropbox what you used a earlier.

    Reply
  7. Some recent info about H1B extension dropbox in New Delhi since it appears this process is taking about a month or so to process. Hope this helps folks who are anxiously waiting 🙂

    22nd Nov – Dropped off documents at VFS since I was eligible for Dropbox option
    27th Nov – Checked status on CEAC and my case was changed to Administrative Processing
    6th Dec – Received my passport with a white slip saying that I need to appear for interview and fingerprints
    (You do not need to schedule an appointment, you can just show up at the consulate before 10 AM as specified in the white slip)
    9th Dec – Went to consulate for fingerprints and interview. Interview lasted for literally a minute. VO asked where I work, when I started and where I graduated from. And said Visa is approved.
    18th Dec – Received passport with new Visa Stamping.

    Reply
  8. Hello all,

    Could some please help me out with my situation. I’ve dropped my H1B docs for stamping at Hyd H1B Drop box location on Dec 4th. Today I’ve received an email from US travel docs as below:
    Your document(s) have been collected from the US Embassy/Consulate

    When I track my visa status, it still says “Admin processing”. Could some one please comment here on my situation. What might be the visa status if anyone has similar previous experiences.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  9. While booking visa appointment, ustraveldocs website mentioned that I am eligible for dropbox. I changed my employer 6 months ago, and my previous H-1B visa was issued in India and expired less than 12 months (from the visa appointment date). So I am eligible for dropbox. However, I read a few experiences where people mentioned about being called for an interview after submitting the documents. Is this random or is it because of change in employer?

    Reply
  10. Hi,

    Could someone please let me know what is the dropbox confirmation letter(for H1b).
    I got the dropbox, but while collecting the documents everywhere its mentioned that we have to carry dropbox confirmation letter(is that the appointment which i scheduled) or some other letter.

    If its separate, then how can i regenerate that again from my account which i used for booking appointment.

    Thanks in advance,
    Gaurav

    Reply
  11. My parents successfully renewed their B1/B2 visa with interview waiver (dropbox) at Chennai. Took about 5 business days from drop off application to receiving passport at home. We opted for home delivery (Rs. 500/applicant). Their visa expired 5 months ago and was last issued after Jan 1, 2008. They met all the conditions and website directed us to drop off applications at ASC.

    Our cgifederal account got frozen for 72 hrs due to repeated attempts to figure out how to get the receipt number after payment to the bank (that part was not intuitive at all).

    Reply
  12. Do we need to provide fingerprints at any point in the dropbox visa processing method? I have seen few blogs where the visa processing was stalled, requesting fingerprint verification(mostly in the US embassy and not the usual OFC centres in some cases).

    My question is should we book a fingerprint appointment(the usual way while booking for interview) or the dropbox does not require that step unless told to do so?

    Reply
    • No, usually dropbox does not require biometrics. But, they may request for it, if you are asked to go for interview. It will not give you option to book OFC biometrics, if eligible for dropbox.

      Reply
    • You may send with others, but you need to give full authorization like writing a letter and sharing the details of the user sending and their identity information.

      Reply
  13. I am travelling to India in june. I am eligible for DropBox. I heard that there are delays in drop box passport return. Is it True? If there are delays how much?

    Reply
      • I submitted my passport for dropbox stamping on May 20th at Delhi. Previous few times I got my passport in under 6 days, but today was 12th day and status hasn’t changed from application received.

        My flight is in 4 days. Should I be worried and what action can i take? Will really appreciate your guidance.

        I have emailed Travel docs Customer care few times and there response just says your case was updated.

        CEAC Status:
        May 22: Case created and Status: Admin Processing
        May 24: Case updated and Status: Application Received
        May 31: Last updated May 24th and Status: Application Received

        Passport Status:
        May 24: Still with the Embassy
        May 31: Still with the Embassy

        Reply
        • Well, sometimes it can take time…You can try calling them…But, it may take longer at times…Check regarding options regarding flight, if you can move it few days and options to convert the ticket flexible for changing dates, etc…just as backup.

          Reply
  14. My father has applied for USA visitor visa renewal via drop box. He got visa approved but on visa page, there is someone else’s picture (photo) and not his. How to correct this? Whom to contact for that? He applied to Mumbai US embassy, India. Please guide me. Thanks

    Reply
  15. is there a time limit before which we need to submit the documents to dropbox after completing the application for H1B VISA?

    Reply
    • Well, if the letter does not give you a date, then it is your choice….but, that does not mean you can delay forever…

      Reply
  16. Hi,

    I have Dropbox facility available in Chennai in next two months. I have new LCA with new role and address. but employer and other stuff not changed. Do they ask new LCA at the time of dropbox or do they call for interview or what?

    Reply
    • You need to submit the documents that are current at the time of dropbox and that are valid. They will NOT ask for anything, it is your responsibility to submit all required documents to avoid delays.

      Reply
  17. How did you submit the doc in the dropbox location? Is there any representative whom you handover the doc or is there really a box where you drop all your documents? Did you use any envelop to drop your docs?

    I am not aware of this process and would like to avail that.

    Reply
  18. I am travelling to India in June 2019 and I was filing forms for interview on US Travel Docs to get an interview date for June 2019. I am eligible for drop box based on the form.
    What is the timeline when I have to go for drop box after paying the Visa Fees?

    Reply

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