H4 Dropbox Stamping US Visa with Appointment - Experience

H4 Dropbox Experience with Appointment: Process, Documents 2019

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by Guest AuthorUpdated : 48 Comments

One of our readers, Rajesh, recently got their H4 visa stamping done using Dropbox using the New Appointment Process at Hyderabad, India. He was kind enough to take time to share their experience with the community. Thanks to Rajesh for taking time to share their experience.

H4 Dropbox Experience Hyderabad– Background Info :

I applied for H4 and H4 EAD with the new Biometrics process, was waiting for approval and finally ended up going for H4 stamping as it was taking too long. I had my H4 visa stamp still valid, but expiring in November 2019. My spouse H1B recently got transferred and we got 3 years on H1B, I went to H4 Dropbox to get new H4 Stamp until end of my spouse H1B.

US Visa Dropbox Appointment Booking Process – Complete Steps

  • Complete DS-160 form : First you need to compete DS-160 form and then print confirmation page and save it.
  • Register for Account to book appointment : After that you need to register an account to book an appointment at https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/?language=English&country=India
    • If you already have an account, you can use that.
    • Duplicate Profile Details: In my case, as I was trying to register account, it was giving an error saying duplicate profile exists.  The fact was, my spouse already had an account as we did drop box in the past together. As I was traveling by myself, I needed to get a separate account for convenience.  So, I called up customer service to create an account with my profile details and they unlocked it for me. I was able to do booking using normal process after that. It took couple of days for it.

Booking Appointment for Dropbox / Interview Waiver :

It is a total 3 steps process.

  • Dropbox Eligibility Checker : Once you login, you will need to add yourself, then you will be guided step by step for drop box eligibility, where you answer questions about your age, your recent H4 stamping, etc. at the end, you will get confirmation that you are eligible for drop box, which is called as Interview Waiver. It looks like this in yellow background as you can see below. Confirmation for Dropbox Submission
  • Pay Visa Fee : After the above screen, you need to specify document delivery / pickup option, which city you plan to pick up. After that you will get option to pay the fee for the visa stamping. It was 13,680 INR. You could use NEFT using Bank of America, IMPS or pay over the counter at Citi, Axis bank or DRUX PNB Bank.  You cannot pay using your overseas accounts. You need an India Rupee account for this. We picked the offline Pay over counter option and asked our relatives to help us out.
    • Cash Payment Advice Slip : You will need to print a cash payment advice slip and that need to be used at the Axis or Citi bank as it has a CGI reference number.  It takes about a day after the fee was paid in bank for it to get activated.
  • Booking Appointment for Documents Submission: Once you pay the fee and receipt is activated, when you navigate to the visa tab on home, you will get a popup on the payment screens saying a receipt matches and would you like to use that. You can say use existing receipts, then it goes to the screen to book appointment
    • Schedule OFC Appointment / Drobpox Appointment: This is the most confusing part, when you go there, the screen does not say Schedule Dropbox appointment, it says schedule OFC Appointment. See below. They in fact mean Dropbox Appointment, but as they seem to be using the same system for normal visa stamping, it says so… but in this context, it means dropbox, so do not worry…Anyways, You need to select the interview location, where you plan to give interview, if there was a need for interview. This would also be the place for submitting your documents.  The dates are displayed like below with slots available for a day in the bottom. You can select a day and then book, if that day is open.  Once you book it, you should print the confirmation letter. You need to carry it along with you for the dropping off documents.  The appointment letter has all details on what you need to submit.
Dropbox Appointment Booking - OFC Appointment Confusion

H4 Dropbox Document Checklist :

I carried the below documents to submit dropbox.

  • Passport
  • H4 Visa Stamp Copy from passport ( expiring soon)
  • Copy of approved H1B of my spouse
  • Copy of previous H1B approval
  • Copy of my spouse’s H1B Visa stamp ( expired )
  • Previous copies of my expired H4 Approval notices.
  • Previous copies of my H4 Visa stamp
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Interview waiver letter printed during appointment booking.
  • Passport photo.

Dropbox Document Submission Process at Hyderabad, Photo :

  • Photo : As I have seen photograph issues reported by many users, I decided to take photo at the dropbox location. Inside the H4 Dropbox submission office, you can take Passport Photo for dropbox, they charge you 250 INR, expensive, but I guess easier for us rather than taking it another place and replacing it again.
  • Not allowed Items : You cannot carry any electronic devices, including phones or anything with Bluetooth. Especially, if you use Apple watch kind of stuff, you should keep them away in your car or give it with your relatives.
  • Document Submission : The process was very simple. In the beginning one person verifies the documents, before your documents are submitted at counter. I was missing my spouse’s recent visa stamp copy; I only had the previous visa stamp copy that was expired before that. I submitted it and hope it will go well. After the documents are verified, you go to the counter and submit the documents.  You can submit anytime between 10 AM and 4 PM on that day.  It took like 10 to 15 min for the process.
  • Online Status Changes – Administrative Processing  :  I submitted documents and then checked online for the status of the passport on second day. It changed to “Administrative processing”, I was really worried on this, but on further research on similar experiences, it says it is common to see that.  Anyways, on Day 3, the status changed from Administrative processing to “Issued”.  I was relieved. Totally, the processing was done in 3 days. I got email to pick up passport on Day 4.
  • Pick up Passport – My Brother : I did not go to the consulate to pick up passport. Rather, I wrote a letter indicating that my brother would be coming in to pick up passport and put in his details in it and his photo id info. It is the authorization letter. I also gave my Aadhar Card and Driving License as proof. He carried his driving license and passport that I mentioned in letter. He also carried the appointment letter.  He was able to pick up the passport on my behalf without any issues.  Total processing time from drop-off to pick up in 4 days.  
  • Also, luckily, in parallel, by the time I arrived in US, I got my H4 and H4 EAD approved and they were delivered to my address.
   

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Comments ( 48 )

  1. Kartikeya Mohan Sahai

    Hey,

    So I booked my h1b drop box appointment and was able to schedule on my needed date with no issues. But, my “Appointment COnfirmation Letter” does not have anything under the “MRV Fee Receipt” Section other than my name, the barcode+code for DS160, and my UID (8 characters).

    In my previous experience (with actual Consular Visa interviews), that section also had the fee amount paid with a receipt number added with a dash (-). Does anyone if this is an error, or can confirm that they too have the same info in their MRV Fee Receipt section?

    Thanks
    Kartikeya

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Karthikeya,
      Yes, there should be the fee under it in INR and receipt number. Try to re-print again, it should come up.
      If not, speak to customer service once. Also, do update your experience after that here for everyone benefit.

  2. Venkatesh Ramamoorthy

    Very useful information, indeed! Especially on the part regarding booking appointment for Dropbox facility, which shows the same page as OFC appointment that would otherwise be confusing. That too, with screenshots indicating exactly what that page looked like. I followed those directions and have booked my slot, and it was quite effortless.

    Thank you so much, once again!

    Regards,
    Venky

  3. Kav

    Hi All,

    I am planning a trip to India by Feb 2020. My last Stamping with US Embassy was for H4 Visa and done by October 15 2018 and the Eligibility was until April 2019. We got H1 and H4 Extensions until April 2021 and in my trip to India by Feb 2020 – It will be only me visiting India and not my spouse.

    Please let me know If I will be eligible for Drop box also if I can go for Dropbox despite my Husband not appearing for a Visa Extension and presenting his extended i797 alone will suffice

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kav,
      I doubt it. Check the requirements here and check for yourself, if you qualify for it : https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

  4. Arun

    Thanks Rajesh for the very useful inputs on procedures for ‘Dropbox’ facility. I have learnt that I am eligible for dropbox facility. Can I schedule an appointment and let the passport be dropped off by someone else? If so, do I have to give an authorization to that person to submit documents on my behalf?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Arun,
      Yes, you can do that. Yes, you will need to give authorisation letter similar to pick-up of documents. I will share the details in couple of days as article for everyone benefit.

  5. Soumya Patil

    How to get the Interview-Waiver Confirmation printed? I am dropbox eligible (got the yellow background screen), but no-where it had instructions to Print. Now that I have paid the fees and scheduled the appointment, is the “Appointment Confirmation” good enough or is there a separate “Dropbox Confirmation” letter, that I should print. If so from where can I get it, as I am not seeing any option for that in the ustraveldocs account.
    Thanks in Advance.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Soumya,
      After you get receipt, you will need to enter it and then you will be able to select the date and time for booking…that’s when at the end you will get dropbox confirmation…that yellow screen is just an indication…you need the other letter after you book appointment.

      1. Soumya Patil

        Just wanted to update. I got my H4 stamped thru DropBox, got the passport back on 4thday after submission. The only documents that were looked into
        1. Appointment confirmation
        2. DS160 confirmation
        3. Passport
        4. Photo
        5. Spouse’s H1 (I-797) approval copy.
        Thanks again Kumar.

  6. Lakshmi

    HI all

    Need your help. I my mistake choose drop box. Like my passport expired in within 12 months and I choose Yes. Which then said i was eligible for drop box.

    I already booked for drop box, now i have to change to regular appointment. There is no option to edit. Did anyone experience this?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Lakshmi,
      I am not sure, what you mean by passport expiry. In any case, you can try to cancel the appointment and then start over. If you are having issues, you can call customer service, they can help you too. Do post your update here after you tried options.

  7. Praveen

    I renewed my Indian passport a month back and my old passport has valid visa stamping till Jan 2020. Is this impact H1B drop-box availability?

    If not is there any complication for delay approval? Please let me know if someone has a similar case in the past.

  8. Nikita Sharma

    Hi,
    I have a simple question.. is it possible that I can go for drop box option for my H4 visa extension stamping prior to H1B (my husband’s) visa stamping, if I have copy of approved i797 for my husband?

    Thanks

  9. Abhi

    Hello all,

    Quick question: I heard that if we switch employers and require stamping, then we are not applicable for H1B DropBox stamping. Is this a valid scenario?
    I know, this question wasn’t listed in the H1B DropBox eligibility questions, but I just want to confirm.

    Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Abhi,
      No, it does not matter, that is not a qualification criteria. You can be eligible for dropbox, even with transfer…

  10. Abhi

    Hello,

    Are the Appointment dates same for both Interview and DropBox or does the dates differ for both? Meaning, I see the current availability for Interview is December 26th, Is that the same date for DropBox too or will it differ?
    If so, could someone please share the available H1B dropbox appointments at Hyderabad consulate for the month of December?

    Thank you,
    Abhi.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      No, they are different. The interview dates are much more backlogged than just visa dropbox appointments. The dropbox appointment dates are not public, you cannot see the dates, unless you put in receipt…In general, they are mostly open…

  11. Mayank

    What does the earliest availability look like for Dropbox?
    Planning to go for visa stamping during December, and UI am wondering if it is already too late

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      I saw it available immediately even for next week. Should be fine to get it for December…You need to start the process to be safe.

      1. Abhi

        Hello Kumar,

        I really appreciate your help on this blog !

        Have you seen the available H1B DropBox appointment dates next week for Hyderabad Consulate? Also, I have paid CGI fee via Axis bank 48 hours ago. I haven’t received any email reg Receipt number activation and I couldn’t use the receipt num yet to book an appointment. Could you please suggest me on this? I have my account frozen for 72 hours due to suspicious activity and now I don’t know if the receipt number is activated yet.
        I’m trying to book an DropBox appointment for December first week, and now I’m worried if I might lose the dates.

        Thank you.

        1. Sudhakar

          Hello Abhi,

          Did you see the latest (Nearest)dates available for Drop box appointments. As I am planning in January 2020 and my H1B extension is in progress now.. Based on the drop box dates availability I have to decide whether I need to go with premium processing or not.

          Kindly update once your appointment is booked.

          Thanks,
          Sudhakar

          1. SS

            I guess you get date next day also, My husband filled the form on 10 /17, he took date of 10/21 in Chennai,
            On 10/19 he was able to change it to Delhi for 10/21 as some cancellations might have happened. As of now they easily available.

        2. administrator
          Kumar

          Abhi,
          I do not have access to the online system…based on what user said, they are available from recent update…try calling them to get it unlocked, you should have got it activated by now…Also, do share your inputs on dates availability here for everyone benefit. You can add a screenshot or share details on the threads listed in Community Forum for Dropbox Appointments

          1. Abhi

            Hello Sudhakar,

            The drop box slots are wide open. You can even find a slot for tomorrow. I don’t have a screenshot but they are available.

            Thank you.

  12. Sandeep

    Your screenshot for schedule OFC (Dropbox) appointment has the earliest date of Sept 13th.. Are the date availability immediately available? When i go to ustraveldocs.com the interview wait times says 34 days. I hope that is not applicable to dropbox scenarios..Can you confirm? Thank you

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sandeep,
      The one you see on the top is for actual visa interview that is not applicable for Dropbox. You should have immediate availability in most cases. For you to see the dropbox availability, you need to put in the application receipt by paying fee, then only you can see the availability.

      1. Sandeep

        That was my understanding too initially but thanks very much for confirming it…good to know that dropbox availability is different from interview availability..

  13. Vishal Verma

    As far as i know, if you leave country (US) while you H4 or H4-EAD are in process, the applications will be rejected/denied automatically and you would need to file for it again. Is that not true?
    I see in above it didn’t happen. M confused.

    1. Raj

      No, it was applied in US. I applied for H4 Extension and H4 EAD in US and then was waiting…as nothing was moving, I decided to go for stamping in India…Luckily after I came back, I got my H4 EAD approved as well.

    1. Pallavi Koratkar

      Don’t you need a 797 approved for H4 dependents? In my case, I have my H1B extension approved, but we’re waiting for H4 extension 797 notice. We are not sure if we can travel to India and get Visa stamped for all. Any idea?

      1. Raj

        Pallavi,
        No, you do not need that, if you are going for stamping. All you need is your Spouse’s H1B Approval. You can travel and get it stamped. It is exactly my case, we did not had H4 approval, when I submitted for dropbox. I only used my spouse’s h1B approval during submission.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            If you have the original, it is preferred…if you do not have it and is with employer and only have the copy, it also works…

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