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

H1B Dropbox Experience  by ‘First Time Dropbox Applicant’ 
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.

First Time drop Box applicant

H1B Dropbox Experience by Sai

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.

Experience by USA – H1b applicant

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:
1. Passport Tracking(PT) at ustraveldocs using Passport Number
2. Visa Tracking(VT) at CEAC website using DS160 Application ID/Case Number

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)

Experience by USA – Shashank

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.

H1B Dropbox Experience by Rakesh

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.

H1B Dropbox Experience by V4g  

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.



Other Articles


  1. Hello Guys, My name is Sarath. I have a valid H1B visa from my previous company issued from US Consulate Chennai. I am planning to go to India next month and get my new company visa stamped onto my passport.
    I can see that I am eligible for Drop Box when I tried to set up an interview.
    I wanted to know if I can use the drop box facility in Mumbai this time instead of Chennai because I will be in Mumbai for work.
    Does anyone know that if dropbox can be used only at the consulate where you got prior H1B stamped??

    • Hi Sarat,
      I am also having same case as yours.
      Did you get any clarification w.r.t your concern?
      I also had my first visa stamped in Mumbai and planning to apply in Bengaluru for Drop box option.


  2. Hi,

    I am travelling to India for couple of weeks, so I need to go for Visa stamping, Can you please clarify if I will be eligible for drop box. Here is criteria, which I got from http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

    I have mentioned my response to those criteria in.

    I have doubt on question 4, if anyone can clarify, will be great help.

    You may submit your visa application at a CGI location as Interview Waiver and proceed without a consular interview if you meet all of the following qualifications:
    If you can answer “yes” to all of the following questions, you qualify for our Interview Waiver (No Appointment). You do not need to schedule an appointment at a Visa Application Center. Please log in, create your profile, proceed with your application, and print one copy of the submission letter. Drop off your passport along with the listed documents mentioned on the submission letter at one of our 11 service centers.
    Eligibility Criteria for all applicants except child below 14 years of age and applicant above 80 years of age or older:

    1. I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to apply
    Answer : yes, previous Visa was in H1B and applying for H1B

    2. My most recent visa was issued in India
    Answer: Yes Visa was issued in India.

    3. I received my visa after January 1, 2008
    Answer : Yes

    4. My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”.
    Answer : I have got H1b stamped twice, First time in January 2013 and then 2nd time in April 2017, when I got first time H1B Visa stamp, that time I got 221g, and my visa has Clearance Received, and 2nd time its clear. So I am not sure if I will pass this criteria.

    5. My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
    Answer: Yes, applying in same class and Visa was issued after my 14th birthday.

    6. My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was not lost/stolen or cancelled.
    Answer :Yes, never lost/stolen or cancelled.

    7. I have no refusals for a visa in any class after my most recent visa issuance
    Answer : yes, no refusal ever.

    8. If I am applying for an H or L (individual) or R visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.
    Answer : Yes, current Visa is getting expire on April, 19th, 2019 and I will be applying mostly 1st or 2nd week of April 2019.

  3. Background : I would like to share my visa experience as well. This was my second time using drop box. I’ve always gone to the Mumbai Consulate. It was for me H1B and wife’s H4.

    Jan-29-2019 : submitted docs around 11AM(OLD AND NEW I-797 COPY, PHOTO, PASSPORTS)
    Feb-4-2019 : Got email that my passport with new visa is ready at around 3PM
    Feb-7-2019 : Got email that wife’s passport with new visa is ready at around 3PM
    Feb-8-2019 : Collected both passports

    Note :
    – For dropbox , Original documents were not asked/required.
    – For dropbox, make sure the photos are as per required standards. photo with correct specification is key. I instructed my photo studio to follow US website specifications
    but at dropbox submission counter, i was told to get new photo as everything is ok except my face should be 70% to 80% of photo!! so US site itself is incomplete.

    Another note – website clearly says mobile phones are not allowed but I saw they are allowed! All you have to do is keep them “switch-off”.

    -If anybody from VFS team/US Consulate is reading this, for dropbox person, please arrange for in-house photo (like it is for first time interviewer). It is big hassle. I saw 65 year old lady fighting and trying to understand what is wrong with her photo.It is very expensive to get photo near Mumbai consulate (as private studio owners know you have necessity ).

  4. Hi everyone,

    I will be going to Vietnam for H1B visa renewal. I am eligible for visa dropbox. This is my first time to do it and below is the list of documents that I’m preparing. Any advice or feedback from anybody have experienced in this process would be very helpful for me and truly appreciated:

    – Passport, Copy of national ID
    – DS-160 confirmation page with a barcode, completed and submitted online.
    – One 5cm x 5cm photo
    – Interview Waiver Confirmation Page.
    – Original or copy of I-797 (Should I do copy or original?)
    – H1B Supporting Documents (I have worked for this company since 2014 during OPT, CPT and now under H1B):
    + Employment Verification Letter
    + Recent Paycheck from last 3 months
    + Form W-2’s
    + Form 1040 Tax return (2014 – 2017)
    + LCA amendment with the new address

    => QUESTION: my company has moved to a new location (still in the same area), my lawyer has filled the LCA amendment with the new address with the US Labor Department when we moved. However, I realized that the company’s address in the California Secretary of State has not yet updated. My company said by law, they have until April this year to update it and they are planning to do it soon. So, my concern is whether or not I should include the LCA amendment when I submit my H1B renewal documents. My company said I should because they used a new address for legal and also in my paycheck. Will that creates any confusion for the US Consolute when they review my visa?

    Also, I was in F1 visa and then changed to H1B last year. Do I need to include documents before I changed to H1B, such as: i20, opt card,…etc? I think I should not because my current visa is H1B. Any thought on this?

    Looking forward to any advice. Thanks for reading my long message.

  5. Guys i have situtation , my wife came here to US in H4 in Feb-2014, and we found employer and got her H1B in oCt-2017, we are planning to go stamping in india in March -2019, so my question is whether she will be eligble for DROPBOX or in-person interview.
    Suggestion ASAP will be very helpful.

  6. Hi,

    My H1 was expired on 02-Mar-2018 and my employer A filed for H1 Extension in regular processing. Meanwhile I got a full time offer from employer B and they filed H1 transfer. H1 Extension petition by Emp.A was rejected and H1 Transfer petition by Emp.B is approved. While responding to the interview waiver eligibility question ‘Have you ever been refused a H-1B (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) visa before?’, should I say Yes or No.

    If I say No, I am eligible for interview waiver. If I say Yes, it is asking me another question which I do not completely understand “Did your most recent application for a H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) result in you being issued the visa?”

    Can someone please help?

  7. My visa expired on 18-DEC-2017 and I will be going for stamping on after 24-DEC-2018, will I qualify for previous visa must be expired in last 12 month criteria. Please share if anybody has this kind of scenario and what was the decided.

    I am travelling to India tomorrow.
    My H1b is valid till June 2019 and I joined a new company in USA and my new I797 is approved till March 2021. So , I think I am eligible for the drop box and I want to get the stamping done. I have done my first stamping in Chennai consulate but I want to use Bangalore drop box facility. I read some comments which say drop box facility can only be availed in the consulate where previous stamping was done , is it true ? I couldn’t find anything like this on USCIS website , they talk about any of 11 VFC* centers. And Bangalore doesn’t even have a consulate , so who uses drop box facility center in Bangalore ? I am confused guys , please clarify if you have some prior experience in this. I need to book internal flights tickets accordingly from Kolkata.

    • Hi Vikash ,

      Last year my dependents completed stamping on Chennai and before that its in Hyderabad.

      I dont think there is an issue if you go to different consulates for stamping .

  9. Hi.
    My name is Veejay,
    I am planning on going for drop box for h1b which got extended to 2020, and my visa expired in Dec of 2017. I’m still eligible but by a nagging of maybe a month.
    My question-
    1. If i used Kolkata consulate for visa stamping last time, do i have to use Kolkata consulate again for availing the drop box facility?
    2. What is usually the processing time for drop box visa stamping.
    3. Do this cases go in for administrative processing with months and months of wait time like it is sometimes true for interview based admin processing.
    4. Do you have to take an appointment date to drop off the documents or like others mentioned it’s a straight walk in to the window to drop off the documents

    Please respond as I am running out of time.

  10. Hi All, this is a great blog with lots of helpful information.

    My Question is I have my First H1 in 2016 from Hyderabad. I am going to Hyderabad again for Drop Box. Do I need an appointment for Fingerprints?

    Also, what is to be answered for the below in DS-160

    Name of Person/Company who Filed Petition: Employer Name
    Where Do You Intend to Work?
    Name of Employer: Is this the Employer/my End Client Company name
    Street Address: Employer Address/End Client Address
    Phone Number: We do not have any contact number at my End Client location/ Can I mention my Employer number?

  11. Hi,

    I would like to know the processing time for H1B drop box now a days. Does anyone experience recent H1B Dropbox in New Delhi ?

    I heard that now a days processing time for H1b visa via dropbox is 1-2 months? Please suggest.

    Also, Is it possible that if case is eligible for dropbox but still want to go for Interview?

  12. I will be going to India on 5th of Aug, 2018 and am planning to visit the dropbox facility to get my visa stamped (I qualify for the waiver program). My question is related to previous I-797s.

    My current H1B visa on my passport is valid till 7 Aug, 2019. While in USA, my firm got the visa extended to 31 Jan 2020 in Jan’17. I had a separate I-797 for it, but when I traveled to India in 2017, I did not get my visa stamped then.

    In the end of 2017, my firm got the visa extended to 31 Dec 2020. I plan to get my passport stamped with this visa while in India.

    I wanted to know the following:

    1. Since I did not get my visa stamped the last time in India (as I had received a new I-797) will that be a problem this time. My firm said this was not a problem then as the visa was still valid when I traveled

    2. The interview confirmation letter says to bring a photocopy of all previous I-797 only if the last visa stamped on the passport and current petition have a gap of more than 1 year. Does this mean I have to provide the previous I-797 only if the time between the expiry date on the H1b visa stamp I have on my passport and the visa start date on the new I-797 is more than a year? If not, what does the gap refer to?


    • 1. I don’t believe it’s a problem as long as you were in lawful status

      2. It’s the difference between visa issue date at consulate and the petition start date on your current I797 in my opinion

  13. Dropbox experience, Hyderabad, July 2018

    I was eligible for the dropbox and I was changing employer for the valid H1B visa which hasn’t expired (Original expiry on the visa Sep ’19)

    13 July, Friday: Dropped my copies of current and previous I797 copies, passports, dropbox confirmation, DS 160 confirmation. You don’t need originals.
    CEAC Status: ‘Case created’; Passport Status: Awaiting Post? (something similar status)

    16 July, Monday: CEAC status: ‘Case Updated on 16 July’ and later in the afternoon to ‘Administrative Processing’; Passport Status: Still with embassy/consulate

    17 July, Tuesday: CEAC Status: ‘Issued’; Passport status: Still with embassy/consulate

    18 July, Wednesday afternoon: Passport Status: Passport available for pickup

    19th July, Thursday: Picked up my passport at VAC, Hyderabad!

  14. I am planning to head to India to utilize the Drop box program. I had a quick question. My H1B extension petition initially got an RFE and was denied subsequently. My employer filed another petition for extension and it got approved. I was on valid H1 Status when all this happened. Can I still avail the drop box facility?

    • No you cannot. Never have a visa denied is one of the requirements. I would suggest opting in for an interview to avoid wasting time.

      • I believe there’s a difference between a petition — which looks like was denied for Vaishak — and a visa, which is adjudicated by the VO at the consulate.

        @Vaishak — Seek the help of an immigration attorney to understand your specific case.

  15. Hello,

    When I used Dropbox for H4 Visa stamping, I got a 221(g) saying ‘fingerprints needed’. No details like appointment time is given on that.
    I contacted ustraveldocs team..but has not got any reply yet.
    Anyone had similar experience?

    My daughter n myself applied together. Her visa got stamped.


    • Hi, One of the possibilities is that you might have mentioned ‘NO’ in DS160 for the question “Have you ever been 10 printed?” and that’s why they might be asking you to get the finger prints. For minors under14, I think it’s not mandatory.

      Regarding the appointment for finger prints, may be you can try this. Walk to the VAC center with your 221g slip and passport and ask if you can get the finger prints directly as walk in? If they allow, then well and good. If they don’t allow, then probably at least they might be able to guide you reg the appointment schedule in this case as they might be coming across this 221g finger prints requirements frequently.

      My 2 cents. Pls do post your update as it might help other guys in future. Good Luck!

  16. Hi all,
    I used dropbox for visa stamping.
    The ustraveldocs says passport is ready to pickup. But I have not got any e-mail yet.

    Has anyone had experience like this before?


    • Yes. I personally had this issue where I and my spouse did not receive any text or email that passport is ready for pickup. I / we went to pickup despite of that , only on the basis of online status showing ready for pickup, and it was a no problem. We did pickup passport successfully at the doc submission center which was in pune in my case. Go get it!

  17. Hello,
    My wife has submitted docs @dropbox,Hyderabad for H4 visa stamping on 30th May 2018. It’s been more than a week and when I check the track passport, it says “Your passport is still with the US Embassy/consulate”. I checked the visa status online and it shows as Case created: 31May, Last Updated: Jun1 with “Admin Processing”. She has current H4 valid till Sep 5 2018 too and (am on H1b with same employer and have the extension till Aug 2019)and it’s been many times she had H4 earlier and we got passports in a week. Am not sure why they are showing this status this time. Any idea, how long does it take to get further update? Is there any way to expedite or approach consulate to know what exactly is going on?
    Appreciate if anyone can update their recent experience(s).
    Thanks a lot!

      • Hi All,
        H4 Stamping Update: On 6/13/18, status has been updated as ‘Visa Issued’.
        05/31/18:Case created
        06/01/18: Admin Processing
        06/13/18:Visa Issued
        06/14/18:Ready for pickup

        My understanding:If it’s H4 and the spouse H1 is currently working and no further info/docs were asked, then do not worry(of course it’s easy saying). It’s just that they deliberately keep you in kind of panic mode for 2 weeks and right before the 14th day, they will issue the visa.

        Good Luck to all !

  18. Hey All,

    I am planning to renew my visa with the same petitioner via dropbox. Previous H1-B with Employer X but switched companies to Employer Y and back to Employer X now. (797 included). I am eligible for dropbox. When I filled out my DS160, it doesn’t say that eligible? When does it actually say you are eligible? After paying the fees or before?

  19. Hi, My current H1B visa is stamped till Sep 2018 and me and my family are visiting India in June and are planning to get visa renewal and come back to US. I’m eligible for dropbox as my current visa is still valid. However, my question, is regarding H4 stamping for my daughter who is 14yrs old now.

    when I was going through the dropbox eligility criteria on “ustraveldocs.com”, it says if you can answer ‘yes’ to all these questions then you are eligible and for all the questions listed , I can say yes but this one question “My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday” am not sure if this will have any impact as my daughter was 12yrs old when she got her H4 stamping done and since we are going for visa stamping after 2 yrs now, she will be 14 yrs old now. So, does that mean she is not eligible for dropbox? I thought since we all got the stamping together and it’s still valid for me as H1 and for my wife and daughter as H4, we all are eligible. But, am confused now because of the above question. Can anyone please let me know if my daughter will be eligible for dropbox or not?

    Appreciate your help..Thanks!

  20. Jan 29 2018 at 12pm
    Reached Hotel Intercontinental Plaza, Nehru Place on and went straight to window. Waited 45 mins in line and got my chance to submit the document. No tag or wait number or anything. Just like a normal Post Office type of line outside the center. (Note that this is not a consulate).

    Jan 29 2018 at 2pm
    Got new photos and Re-Submitted at the center. Window closes at 4pm.

    Jan 30-31 2018 at 2pm
    US travel docs website said that the Passport is en-route to destination (to where? it was confusing cause I didnt get an update on it for very long)

    Feb 1-6 2018
    US travel docs website said that the Passport is en-route
    Same status on website- ie. No new update , Some times it didnt even give me any result with my DS160 application id.

    Feb 7 2018
    US travel docs website said that the Passport is available for collection (Happy and surprised)

    Documentation :
    1. Dropbox Confirmation Letter
    2. DS 160 Confirmation Letter
    3. Previous and New Passport Originals
    4. Photocopy of your I797A
    5. One passport photograph 4×4 white background. (MUST Take new one. Not the same as your last visa or passport – I was sent out to get a fresh one there and then, thankfully a photo print shop was available at walking distance ).

    • Hi Akash,
      Wanted to confirm, if you received a hard copy of your ‘Dropbox confirmation letter’ after you submitted your DS-160?
      Kindly let me know.!! thank you.!!

  21. I had applied for extension on 12th Feb. Status as of 12th was Application Received. and no chnage till date. Customer care is useless and they just give the in fo as in the tracking website. No ETA when i can get it and almost about to cancel the return tickets.

    • Hi. Is it ok to send a relative to drop off the documents at VFS location instead of going myself? The dropbox confirmation says so. But just wanted to make sure. Also, when i and spouse both are opting for the dropbox stamping process, do we need to prepare 2 different sets of documents as per the checklist – one set for me and another set for my spouse? Or just one set with all the documents will do?

    • Hello All,
      I Submitted Documents on 27th March 2018 as i was eligible for Drop box. Its been more than a week my case is still showing “No status”. and passport status – “Your passport is still with US embassy i have not received any mail from consulate.
      It will be helpful if any one provide some information as i have booked my return flight on April 15th .

      Venugopal N

      • Venugopal, Can you pls share your update as when you received your passport. My wife has similar status for H4 stamping. She has submitted docs on 30th May @ dropbox(Hyd) and the passport status is “Your passport is still with US embassy”. Thanks!!

        • when did you receive your passport? I am facing similar issue. Dropbox documents submitted on Oct 15th at New Delhi Consulate, went to Administrative Processing on Oct 17th and since then no update.

  22. Hello All,

    I am travelling to India next week and looking to stamp visa through dropbox method. I want to fill DS160 as soon as possible, but would be renewing the passport in India. Would it be OK if the DS160 form has old passport number, and I drop both old and new passports at the dropbox location ? Thanks.

  23. As per the Interview Waiver Program for an applicant to be eligible for dropbox, we have to meet a series of conditions, one of them being
    My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”.
    Does the word “prior” mean the most recent/previous visa or any prior visa,
    My LAates H1B Visa doesn’t have any annotation but the older Visa having a Clearence Recevied annotatoin.

    Could you please let me know do I eligible for the IWP program ,,,? will they consider all old Visa’s (or) just the latest one ..?

  24. Hello All , Thanks for maintaining this wonderful blog, this is very informative and helpful.

    I am going for Dropbox in feb for me and my wife and i have extension on
    approved 140 Could you please tell me all possible scenario as with the current situation I should be ready for Interview and dropbox processing may take time.

    Apart from this if anyone is same boat and wanted to share his experience it would be really helpful.

    • This is what was in my dropbox confirmation letter.
      You are not required to submit documents in person at the Drop-Off location but may send a representative
      carrying all the above listed documents as per specification.

  25. My previous visa was stamped in Chennai Consulate which is expired few months ago and this time I am eligible for dropbox. I am going to India next month and have chosen Mumbai Consulate for dropbox stamping. Is different Consulate an issue?

    • Same situation here. My Previous visa was stamped from Chennai. And this time, I am planning to Drop box to Delhi location.

      In my DS160, I still kept my location to Chennai but drop box can be any other location (as I believe, we can pick any one of the 22 drop-box location in India)

  26. Hi, Thanks for maintaining this wonderful blog, this is very informative and helpful.

    I have a quick question… I’m traveling with my family to India in Feb 2018 for two weeks and need to get the stamping done. We are all eligible for dropbox but someone told me that nowadays a lot of people are getting 221G for fingerprinting to be done again in consulate which delays the process up to 10-15 days.

    To mitigate that risk (as we are there for two weeks only) is it OK/allowed/advisable to go for consulate interview instead of dropbox?

    • Hi,
      I am in the same boat. I am in India only for 10 days and based on average processing times for drop box issuance of visas, I want to instead goto the consulate interview instead of dropbox. Do you know how we can do that? The Visa application website automatically assumes you’d choose dropbox after answers to their eligibility questions fall under that criteria.

    • Me and my husband are also eligible for drop box but we want to go to interview instead of drop box as we are also going to India for 2 weeks. Please respond if you found any information regarding this. Thanks.

      • My wife had a drop box eligibility last year and she got her visa in Hyderabad consulate in 3 days. Not sure why it is taking 2 weeks now. I am in a similar boat as you all. Visiting India for 10 days and need a visa stamping done…

      • If you get eligibility for drop box, based on your answers, you have to go for drop box. You cannot go for interview if you are eligible for drop box.

        • my wife and I qualified for Dropbox. submitted docs in Dec 11th. Received mine and wife’s on 19th of Dec . Mine was issued but wife had 221g green slip to attend interview in person with passport and no additional docs. She attended interview on 20th of December and vo said visa approved will receive in 7 days before return travel on jan 3rd early morning. It for stuck in admin processing and she only received the passport with visa issued on Jan 4th. return flight ticket for Jan 3rd was wasted and new oneway ticket had to be booked for 5th which luckily was lower than a $1000. We ran into holiday of dec 25th and jan 1st and also nuisance maharashtra bund! issue which may have caused delays. However many people while interviewing told VO of their return travel within 3-4 days but they were told visa likely will not come within that time frame. it’ frustrating. if you reach India support they don’t help much and rather suggest not to book travel ticket or do any hotel bookings in advance which practically is impossible since responsibilities one may have in USA.
          If someone is going to India on 2 weeks or 10 days and has us visa stamp requirement then think many times because visa may not arrive in time and money and time will be wasted. also tickets first few weeks of Jan are not cheap .
          Good luck folks.

          • Hi Upen Could you please let me know issue regarding your H4 Stamping does your wife has EAD ?

            it will be helpful if you provide some information.

          • Hi! Sorry my wife is on H1B status not on H4. Not sure what exactly the reason behind 221g and calling for interview was. However it appears they are having people do biometrics again even if 10 printed before in the previous visa interview. 221g interview was only a formality , VO asked what’s your title and what’s highest education. visa was approved and was assured it will come in 4-5 days but was still put into Administrative processing and took 16 calender days to be actually issued after the interview.
            Good luck.

  27. I applied h4 visa stamping for my son through dropbox and lady collecting documents did not take all passports (old and new) and after 3 days , we got 221g letter saying to submit old passports as my son’s current passport was completely new with any old stamping.
    Any idea how long if will take to get through this. Its under admin processing since 1 week. My son is missing his school.
    Response will be highly appreciated.

  28. Will I be eligible for dropbox option in India if my previous H-1B visa was stamped in Canada (provided I meet all the other requirements).

    It’s not very clear and have varied comments on different blogs.

    Can someone please advise?


  29. Hello,

    My Case is little peculiar, I’ve arrived to U.S on 2008 on F1 VISA, later converted to H1-B back in 2013. When our employer filed for extension, it denied back in 2016 and I had to travel back to India. I’ve never travelled to India between 2013-2016 on my initial H1 and never had my passport stamped with H-1b VISA

    Currently, I’m about to book VISA appointment with new I797 petition from the same petitioner(fortunately new petition got picked in FY2018 lottery and approved). I’m facing a series of questions related to previous H1-b VISA prior to booking VISA appointment. Like, whether I had previous H1B VISA, if its expired or denied, if its denied and new petition resulted in new VISA etc? I’m confused and don’t know how to answer these questions. Since my passport carried only one VISA being F1 back in 2008, should I just answer the very first question “Did you previously had H1-B visa” as NO? Please help.

    • I would answer to that as NO . That because there was never h1b visa stamped in the passport. change of status from f1 to h1b in itself , approved or denied , would not be the criteria to answer that question, need h1b visa stamped in the passport to answer Yes to that question. Again this is my opinion.

      • I think answer would be No, because you have denied based on your application filed to USCIS. You can consult to lawyer. last and not least do not hide anything they have all your data.

  30. My Visa expiring in May 2018. Petition valid till Aug 2019. Planning India trip In Feb 2018. Can I get the updated Visa stamped on passport?

      • I have same situation with Visa expiring on Aug, 2018. I was confused if its a good idea get Visa stamping done through Drop-Box when I am visiting India in Feb,18.
        I am thinking so, because I’ve heard that we can not travel India through some countries without valid visa in future.
        Also, due to on-going changes in policies, not sure if process to renew visa might get complicated in future.

  31. Hi,

    I have scheduled an appointment for dropbox in Bangalore, but I don’t see the appointment date in the dropbox confirmation letter. Can anyone please help.


    • Hi Krishna, please read the drop box confirmation letter and drop of process word by word. It’s 4 pages and it says Monday through a Friday 9-4 for Mumbai not sure what it is for Bangalore.
      This is not a visa appointment as you are already qualified to drop the documents off. Since I was in India only for 2 weeks, I arrived Sunday and dropped everything off Monday and got my passport back Friday.
      Good Luck

  32. hey guys such a informative blog this is. I greatly appreciate efforts of op and people sharing their experiences.
    Question: my wife and I qualify for visa IWP. Could someone cofirm how far ahead of visa dropbox can i pay the visa fees and also can these just be paid from CGI online instead of visiting a bank ? We will be going India after 40 days but would like to be done with online cgi application and fee payment online asap. Any pointers would be helpful.
    Thanks op and everyone.

      • You can do it now itself. You can pay via NEFT through an Indian Bank and it will be credited within a day. A receipt # is automatically generated and can be used on CGI online site to print dropbox confirmation. Make sure your DS160 is already submitted.

  33. Hi,
    I am on H1B and qualified for dropbox. But I am planning to get married this year and my wife need to still go for Visa Interview for her H4.
    Please advice –
    1. Should keep the applications separate and use drop-box for myself and schedule interview for her?
    2. If I don’t receive my H1B via dropbox before my wife’s visa interview appointment, does it negatively impact her chances of approval?
    3. Skip my drop-box and go for a group interview with my wife, not sure if skipping drop-box is allowed?

    • I dont know whats your marriage date and when is ur wife’s visa interview date. But if its more than 7 business days apart, get your visa approved through dropbox first and then let her go for interview. Because in most cases, people get their visa approved through dropbox before 7 busines days.

      1. Should keep the applications separate and use drop-box for myself and schedule interview for her?
      Answer Yes, ideally

      2. If I don’t receive my H1B via dropbox before my wife’s visa interview appointment, does it negatively impact her chances of approval?
      Answer: I am assuming you have used all the valid documents for your wife’s visa. So as long as the documents are correct (your i797 and other details) then I think these are 2 different events.

      3. Skip my drop-box and go for a group interview with my wife, not sure if skipping drop-box is allowed?
      Answer: No

  34. Is dropbox facility discontinued again ? one of my colleague didn’t get those 5 question while he was scheduling interview on website . He finally taken an interview schedule in Mumbai Consulate

  35. Hi Kumar/Suarabh

    I have few questions regards to drop box option for dependent – Both me and my wife attended for visa interview together and her H4 Visa valid till September 2018.

    I came to US in 2016 Oct and my wife never came to US till now.

    I changed my employer in 2017 April and visited India in May 2017 when my baby born.

    I used drop box felicity and I got new Visa valid till 2018 with my new employer.

    Now I am planning to call my family here and I would like to check whether both my wife and kid are eligible for Dropbox or they need to attend Consulate interview.

    Please provide information related to dependent Visa and drop box eligibility for above situation. Thank you

  36. Hi ,
    I have few question – I recently changed my employer and new petition is filed for change of employer which is still pending with USCIS ,got receipt #.
    On december 2017 I am planning to go to India but I have visa till 31st March 2018.
    Question 1 – I am still eligible for the DropBox ?
    Question 2 – If I am eligible I have to take an appointment , Before taking appointment I have to fill new petitioner start and end date and currently I don’t have those details. Now I have opted for premium but still it will take 15 atleast to get my petition and it will be one month period before my vacation , Can I get appointment for dropbox before one of vacation ?

  37. Hi,

    Actually we are in USA and travelling to India in Dec 17. I have changed the employer last year and my VISA is valid till Aug 2018 mentioning old employer. So i have 2 questions:-
    1. Our native is in Delhi. But, earlier i used to work in Pune. so, got my visa stamped from Mumbai. So we don’t need to travel to Pune. As per the questionnaire we are eligible for the dropbox facility. So, can just go to Delhi dropbox location and apply it there? I hope it doesn’t matter from where earlier visa got issued in India.
    2. Can we avoid visa stamping and travel back to USA on the current visa? is it safe since we have valid visa?

  38. Is there a specified time in which drop box facility has to be availed. I submitted my DS160 on 09/10/2017 and is in the process of paying fees for Visa. I am currently in US and plan to travel to India in Dec 2017. I was curious to know if the dropbox facility could be availed 3 months after I submitted my DS160 and paid my visa fees.


      • Hey Vikas and Huzefa,

        Any response or information you received with regards to the Maximum time in which drop box facility has to be availed. I submitted my form back almost 2 months ago. I am visiting India next week.
        Can I still avail the drop box?


    • You have to meet all eligibility criteria on the date of document submission to the dropbox.
      For example if your visa expired on 30 sep 2016 and you are going to submit your documents in drop box after 30 sep 2017 you would need to schedule an OFC and an interview.

  39. Hi,
    Thanks in advance.

    My H1b started in 2011, it got extended in 2014 and i got stamped in India in AUG 2016 and it is valid till feb 2017.

    My new H1 b is valid till 2019. I want to go to drop box in oct 17.

    My questions is my company ABC was merged to company XYZ in 2016. Do i qualify for drop box? will there be any problem.?

  40. Hi Guys,

    I am planing to go to India in December 2017. I checked Dropbox – Interview Waiver Program checklist. Everything looks good except one criteria my previous Visa expired on Nov 2016.

    So December 2017 will more than 12 month time line(1 month). Do you think still i can go for Dropbox option or I need to go Visa interview.

    Any suggestion?

  41. Hello, Thanks to all for the information about H1B drop box.
    I am confused whether I will have the option for drop box or not.
    My situation:
    1st I797 issued from Oct 2013 to Sep 2015 – with that when I went to interview in 2013, I got VISA stamped for Oct 2013 to Sep 2016 on my passport(that is 1 year extra to my I797 date).
    So, in 2015 I applied for extension and received the 2nd I797 approval from Oct 2015 to Sep 2018.

    I am travelling to India next month(July 2017) and need to go for stamping. Will they consider the date on my passport VISA stamp(expired date is below 6 months) for drop box? or the date on my 1st I797?

    Please reply if anyone had similar experience.

    Thank you.


  42. Hi friends, I changed my employer and the petition was approved with extended H1B visa valid till December 2017 (Original stamping of visa at Mumbai, valid till august 2016) I am planning to visit India when I need to have the visa stamping done. My present project for the client will be over on 30th June. Is the letter from client is needed for stamping of the visa? Or employer’s letter is needed / suffice

  43. I Submitted Documents on 15th May. My Wife and Son Visas got Issued and Status is “passport ready for pickup”. But my case still showing Administrative Processing. I called customer care they said they don’t have much more information, if visa will not issue within 10 Working days. I have not received any mail from consulate .

    • Hey.. i am in the same boat… did you pick up the passport? For me it is “ready for pickup” but CEAC says admin processing….

    • Hi pradeep phuloria,

      I have a same situation. My wife’s visa application status shows issued but mine it shows “Administrative Processing” is it a part of visa process? Did you get your visa?

  44. When I was filling my DS-160 I was surprised to see I qualify for Dropbox as I changed my employer in the recent months. Now I am going for Dropbox in May 2017 and the information you guys shared is really helpful, thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • Hello Shanmugam

      Did you get your Visa Stamped . As I am in the same boat .

      March 2017 previous employer
      New employer till 2020 going to India with Visa Waiver program .

      Please update . Here is my email id ajayram.arya@gmail.com

      Thanks in advance

  45. I dont think the criteria

    — Same petition same Visa is correct, or it holds for all scenarios. Its better to go to website and go along with the process of scheduling appointment. The website will tell you if you qualify for Dropbox. It will even congratulate you, if you are eligible 🙂


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