US Visa Dropbox eligibility Changed to 24 months News

US Visa Dropbox Eligibility – 24 months, until Mar 31, 2021

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 160 Comments

US Visa Stamping at Consulates usually involves in-person interview, unless you qualify for the Interview Waiver Eligibility, which is popularly called as Dropbox Visa Appointment. In many cases, US Visa Dropbox Appointment is a must, if you are eligible for it.   In light of COVID and safety of everyone, US Department of State has announced small change in eligibility criteria for interview waiver or Dropbox stamping, we will cover that details in this article.

As a background, let’s quickly review the Dropbox process.

US Visa Stamping – In-Person Interview vs. Dropbox

In general, when you are applying for a new US Visa, as part of process to apply for US Visa, you would give biometrics and then attend in-person visa interview.  But, for renewing your existing US Visa, if you meet certain criteria, then you do not have to appear for in-person interview.  You can submit your visa related documents at Visa Application Center and your US visa maybe issued without interview.

Below are the typical general requirements to be eligible for Dropbox Stamping for anyone above 80 years and below 14 years. You need to meet all of them

  • You need to have Visa renewal in same category. Meaning, let’s say you have renewal for H1B, your previous visa in passport should be H1B as well.
  • Most recent visa should have been issued in your same country (home country)
  • Visa was received after Jan 1, 2008
  • Your visa should not have annotations like “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”
  • You visa should be issued after 14th birthday
  • Your US visa was not lost, stolen or cancelled.
  • There were no US visa refusals in any other visa class, since your recent visa issuance
  • If applying for H, L or R visa, it should be valid or expired within last 12 months.  Also, if it is other classes of visa renewal, it is still same 12 months requirements (should be valid or expired in last 12 months).
    • To clarify, 12 months is the normal rule, this is the part that is changing to 24 months with the update

Some general criteria for other visa types, ages

  • Blanket L1 holder do not qualify for Dropbox or interview waiver. Only Blanket L2 Spouses are eligible
  • If you are applying for F visa, you should be at same school for which your previous visa was issued.
  • If applying for J visa, your DS-2019 is also issued by same institution as it is on previous visa.
  • Children under 14 years of age are eligible for dropbox
  • Adults over 80 years of age are eligible for drop box, if their recent visa application was not refused.

Now that we know the background and eligibility, let’s look at what has changed.

Dropbox Stamping Requirement Extended to 24 months from Expiry

Due to COVID-19, many US Consulates are still functioning with limited appointments and not open for regular visa operations. To help the situation and avoid public risk, Secretary Pompeo after discussions with US Department of State has done some relaxations to the US Visa stamping requirements for Renewals/Dropbox Stamping until March 31, 2021. This was originally given until Dec 31, 2020 and later extended to Mar 31, 2021.  

In the past, the requirement was “Your previous visa was in same class and valid or expired within last 12 months” . Now, they have changed that to “Your previous visa was in same class and valid or expired within last 24 months.

What does it mean? For example, let’s say you had H1B Visa issued from India and you were applying for H1B visa renewal in India on October 1st, 2020. For drop box eligibility, your US visa had to be valid or expired on or after October 1st, 2019. Now, with this change, you can apply for Dropbox Visa stamping, if your visa has expired on or after October 1st, 2018.  

Usually, if you are eligible for Dropbox appointment, you would get a confirmation in the online system itself like below to schedule for Dropbox Appointment. So far, we do not have any updates on the US Consulates or US Travel Docs websites yet on how they would handle this. Also, we are not sure how they will handle drop box with Emergency Appointments. We need to wait for their instructions on how the whole thing works.

Schedule Dropbox Appointment Confirmation after New Change on USTravelDocs website
Online Dropbox Appointment Confirmation based on Eligibility

Latest News – 24 month Dropbox Validity, Timeline

December 29th, 2020 : Today, US Department of Stat issued a press release and update that extended the eligibility of 24 months until March 31st, 2021. They are extending this to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 at consulates. Below is the screenshot of the news update and you can check official news Link on

US Visa Interview Waiver Eligiblity Extended until Mar 31-2021
US Visa Interview Waiver Eligiblity Extended until Mar 31-2021

August 25th, 2020 : US Department of State gave original guidance today indicating the flexibility in the dropbox eligibity. Below is the screenshot of the news, you can check official news alert from US Department of State

US Dept of State Update on Interview waiver requirement
US Dept of State Press Release on Interview Waiver 24 months Rule Change

Common FAQs

What is the key criteria for Dropbox ? How does 24 months work ?

The key criteria is that you need to meet the 24 month criteria on the day of submission of the documents. Even though system may allow you book appointment, you should meet the 24 month requirement on the day of submission. So, technically your Visa should not have expired before March 31, 2019.

Will 24 Months Dropbox be extened after March 31, 2021 ?

No one knows, if it will be extended now. It will depend on the COVID situation, consulates operations situations and the new Biden administration priority on how to handle it. We need to wait for US Dept of State guidance.

Can I go for regular visa interview, even if I am dropbox eligible ?

No, the system will not let you go for regular visa interview, if you are dropbox eligible. You need to use the dropbox option. This changed with the introduciton of appointments option in India.

Is there any special process to get 24 month eligibility ?

No, the process is straightforward, the USTravelDocs system does the eligibility check automatically based on your information. You just need to answer the questions truthfully.

What is the reality of US Visa Stampings ? Emergency Appointments?

Even though US Department of State announced that US Consulates may open from July 15th, 2020, the reality is that many of the consulates are not open for regular operations. Most of them are still operating in limited scope.  Check US Visa Consulates Updates COVID – India for complete details on the appointments, US Travel Docs updates.

For instance, in India, US Consulates are currenlty only accepting F, J visa stampings as regular visa appointments and other visa categories are still not available and need to use Emergency Appointment booking.  Also, they are not yet open for Dropbox Appointments or processing 221g cases.  

Until consulates resume regular visa operations, this relaxation may or may not help.  You need to wait for the US Travel Docs and Consulates in the country on how they will handle this new change. Will keep you all posted.

What do you think of the change? Will it help ease the waiting ?

You can connect with others in US Visa Stamping Telegram Group  and get help from community.


Other Articles

Comments ( 160 )

  1. Anonymous

    I have a generic question to the community. Has anyone been able to successfully secure a Dropbox appointment in Kolkata in the last couple of months i.e. November, December or January?

  2. Vishal

    Hi Everyone,

    As per the new 24 month expiration policy, Is valid for people who would like to travel after March 31st? My visa expired in Nov 2019 and would like to travel in April 2021. I’m eligible for waiver/dropbox but I’m not sure If I will be able to book an appointment after March 31st 2021. Can someone clarify?


  3. Pram

    My stampped visa date is aug 30 2020. I have the extension completed nowand valid till 2023. I have changed the employer and still on H1B. Will I be eligible for drop box if am travelling to India.

      1. JB

        Hi Kumar – I am confused with the 24 months rule. Is it the visa expiration date on the visa stamp in passport or the latest approved I797 expiration date? In my case, i am in US since 2017 on H1b. Visa stamp on my passport has an expiration of Aug 2018. I got my extension from 2018 to 2020. And then another approved extension from Jul 2020 to 2023. I have been with the same employer on the same visa category. Will i be eligible for dropbox? Thank you in advance.

  4. kalyani

    Hello ,

    Can someone please help to understand how many days its taking to get dropbox appointment schedule wither in Hyderabad or chennai ?

  5. JaSiSa

    Hello Kumar,

    I have valid stamped visa till 2021 January as a developer and now my employer have been raised H1b extension with a different role code and it have been in extension status (still no result yet ) .

    Once I get approval from USCSIS can I eligible drop box ? or Since my role is changed now do I need to go for fresh stamping ?

    Note that employer / location of office have not changed .

    Only Role changed

    1. administrator

      You are eligibel to do dropbox only in same country where you got your previous visa. that is basic requirement.

  6. Raja


    I was planned to travel to US on H1B in last week in March 2020, but due COVID I couldn’t. My that Visa got expired on 02-Nov-2020. Now my extension petition ( for the same company and same client) got Approved till May 2023 and got my I-797B.

    Please suggest if I’m eligible for Dropbox stamping ? or any other way to get stamping in New Delhi


    1. administrator

      You should be eligible for dropbox. The system will tell you, once you go through the wizard to book appointment

  7. Abhi

    Hi Kumar,

    I had the following question:
    Thank you for your prompt reply. I will keep looking. Also, I have another question. I have filled all the documents: DS-160 and UStraveldocs information stating that I will be going to the Hyderabad consulate. However, I am seeing drop-box slots available in Chennai. What do I have to do change my drop-box location to Chennai? Can I even do that? Please let me know.

    You replied:

    Well, that should be fine. They should have access to it. You can write to consulate to confirm the same, to be safe.

    I have emailed both the consulates with my question (.gov email addresses). However, I have to received a reply, yet. However, I did find the below link that talks about a similar situation:

    In the above link it says: “The interview Embassy/Consulate you select at the beginning of the Form DS-160 can be different from the Embassy/Consulate where you schedule your interview appointment. However please note that the Embassy/Consulate must be located within India (New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata).”

    However, the above text only talks about an interview situation. Does not mention anything about dropbox. Please let me know if you have any additional advice on this matter.

    1. Tanay Mukherjee


      I have a question.

      I have a valid I-797A till Jan 2023 with ny new and current employer, but my VISA stamping on my passport has expired on June 15th 2019 which was held by a previous employer. I was in USA on the date of the executive order proclaimation . I am planning to go to India in feb/March 2021 and I am eligible for the Dropbox/Interview Waiver per the new rules.

      If I apply for a dropbox appointment filling up DS160 and submit the documents, will it get processed / issuesor should i be expecting 221G till the excutive order ban which has been extended till march 31st , 2021

      1. administrator

        No one know, if you would get 221g or not. It totally depends. It is something that you need to be aware that, it can happen. So, plan accordingly.

    2. administrator

      It should be fine. Dropbox is just another way to get stamping without interview. There is also other guidance on Dept of state website. Your question is addressed here, again it does not tell for dropbox, but as I said it is the same. You can always write to the consulate again to confirm. :

    3. Rachna Seth

      Currently there are no appointments available. As far as I was told, the appointments gets available a week in advance.

      I have a question what do you see while scheduling the appointment VAC or IW?

  8. Arjun

    Hi Kumar,

    I had my H1b visa stamped in India (stamped till Sep-2019) with Employer A and got my H1b petition approved with Employer B recently till June-2023. I am planning to travel India in March and I would like to get clarification on below query.

    I was in USA(though with expired visa stamp) on the day of proclamation, am I still eligible for visa issuance?

  9. Rahul Das

    Thanks for the article. I changed job in April. Based on dates I am eligible for H1B Dropbox but because of job change in April 2020, does that make me ineligible for Dropbox?

  10. Ravi

    HI Kumar,

    H1B extension filed in counselor processing, Previous H1B expired in the month of Nov 2019, I am trying to book an appointment, I am getting drop box eligibility due to 24month rule.

    H1B Travel Ban ends by Dec31st.

    Is my case eligible for VISA stamping starting Jan1st, as mine is filed under counselor processing.

    Could you please review my case and respond?

      1. Ravi

        Thanks Kumar for the response

        I was not in USA During, executive order proclamation. I am back to home country in Jan 2020, H1b refiled under counselor processing in the month of June 2020, and got approval, working for same employer and client from past 5 years

        Still am I eligible?

  11. Neha Agarkar

    Found that the eligibility date just got extended to March 31, 2021.
    I have a Dropbox appointment in first week of January.

  12. Abhi

    I have a question. So, what is the COVID-19 situation in Chennai? Did you have to do 14-day home quarantine before one goes to drop-off their documents at the Chennai consulate? Also, how about people traveling from other states to Tamil Nadu for the purpose of dropping off their H-1B extension documents? Do you have to do a 14-day home quarantine in Chennai? Download TN apps on your phone? And carry a negative COVID-19 test with you? Please provide your experience on this topic as well.

  13. Shankar


    My H1B Visa stamp expired on Jan 10, 2020. Right now, the Dropbox eligibility is for anyone whose Visa expired 24 months before.
    – So if my Dropbox appointment is after Jan 10, 2021 (but booked before Dec 31, 2020) will I still be eligible for Interview Waiver?
    – If the current 24 month policy doesn’t get extended beyond Dec 31, 2020 will I be required to get a Dropbox appointment before Jan 10, 2021 (since that would be within 12 months of expiry) ?
    – Will I be able to book a Dropbox appointment between Jan 1 to Jan 10, 2021 for dropping the documents after Jan 10, 2021?


  14. Bhargavi

    Hi, my visa stamping expired on feb 2019 . I have valid h1b visa till 2023. I got drop box visa appointment in Jan 5. Is this valid? I realized the 24 month drop box is valid only until dec 31 2020. Is there an option to reuse my appointment and convert to in person appointment

    1. administrator

      This is not clear at this point as they have not given any indication, if they would extend it beyond Dec 31st. You should write to Consulate to get the confirmation.

      1. Bhargavi

        Thanks, this is the response I got. Does it mean we may be ok with Jan appointment?
        There is no official update about the change in eligibility criteria on the official website of U.S. Embassy/Consulate in India, even though your appointments are scheduled in future, An applicant must be eligible **on the date of their submission** for which their appointment is been scheduled.

      2. Abhi

        Hi Kumar,

        I have a question about your reply to Bhargavi:

        Please tell me what do you mean by write to the consulate? Do you mean to the US traveldocs people?

        Do you mean this address: [email protected]? Or is there a State Department email you are referring to? Please let me know.

  15. Nitin

    I am in US on L1 visa.My status change to H1-B was approved in October and now I need to get the visa stamp on my passport. I am thinking of getting this done in India. Do you think I am eligible for visa interview waiver and use dropbox to complete this?

  16. Sharmil


    I had a H1B visa from employer A that expired on March 31st 2020(Issue Date- March 18, 2019 and Expiration Date March 31 2020). And later I changed my employer B on January 2020 and they have filed application for H1B transfer and extension and I got I797B and its valid from April 14, 2020 to January 15,2023. The I797B Notice date was May 14, 2020. The H1B stamping was not done from US due to new rules, so I came to Bangalore, India on July 2020 because. As per the new Drop Box rule(24 Months) and Proclamation do I eligible to apply in drop box? and also am I eligible for waiver eligibility?

  17. Pradeep


    I have got my h1b visa stamped in the month of Feb 2020, and validity is till Dec 2020. However, I haven’t traveled because of covid situation. Now that, my employer is planning to apply for extension. Will I be eligible for Dropbox appointment? And also does uscis already opened drop box appointment slots ?

    1. administrator

      You would very likely be eligible for dropbox, but I have not seen any such instances. The system would tell, if you would be eligible or not. It is not USCIS, it is the Dept of State

  18. Mohan

    I am in US right now with family. My L1B Visa renewed 2 months back. I want to get my Spouse and Kids L2 VISA stamped next year. They are eligible for dropbox. Can my wife carry kids passport to India without them and drop them for stamping along with her passport?

    1. administrator

      No, that is illegal. You cannot carry passports of others without them being with you.
      It that was legal, everyone would not travel to home country for dropbox. think about it…

      1. Abhi

        Hi Kumar,

        I have been searching for drop-box appointments at the Hyderabad consulate since November 10, however, I am unable to find any. However, I was able to find slots at the Kolkata, Delhi, and Chennei consulates. Do you know anyone who’s found slots at Hyderabad? Also, do you know when the Hyderabad consulate usually makes the slots available?

          1. Abhi

            Hi Kumar,

            Thank you for your prompt reply. I will keep looking. Also, I have another question. I have filled all the documents: DS-160 and UStraveldocs information stating that I will be going to the Hyderabad consulate. However, I am seeing drop-box slots available in Chennai. What do I have to do change my drop-box location to Chennai? Can I even do that? Please let me know.

          2. administrator

            Well, that should be fine. They should have access to it. You can write to consulate to confirm the same, to be safe.

          3. tarun

            Hi Abhi/Kumar, How do you check for dropbox appointments dates? Is it the same as interview appointment date? I just checked for appt at delhi consulate and it shows as Nov 2021.

            tarun Lamba

          4. Abhi

            Hi Kumar,

            Any updates on when the Hyderabad consulate will release H-1B extension dropbox dates? I have been keeping the following log for all Indian consulates. I have never seen a slot open up in Hyderabad:

            ->Chennai dates, for Dec 7 opened on Friday, 11/20/2020.
            ->Delhi dates for Dec 4, opened on or before Tuesday, 11/24/2020.
            ->Mumbai dates for Dec 20, opened on or before 12/2/2020.
            ->Chennai dates for Dec 16, 17, and 18 opened on Dec 8, 2020.

            I spoke to a person at USTravel docs. He assured me that Hyderabad dates will open up, however, I have not seen any. I have checked at all times of the day. 5:30 AM CST, 1 PM CST, 9:30 PM CST. I even checked a few times at 2:30 AM CST. No luck at Hyderabad. If you have any information on this, please let me know.


  19. Venkat


    I am currently in the US from Jan this year and plan to travel to India by Jan mid next year. My visa expired on Apr-2020 and i have a valid I797 until next year end(same employer as previous visa). So i will be going for H1 stamping (drop box).
    (a) Do you know if i am eligible for exemption under the proclamation ?
    (b) Also, Currently how much time does it take for the stamping process(drop box) ?
    Can someone please shed some light on this ?
    Thank you so much !

    1. administrator

      a. If you were in US, you are fine. Also, dropbox are open and you fall under exception too as you are with same employer.
      b. Well, if you get the slot, it can take up to a week or 10 days at max…if all goes well…

        1. Nikhil

          What’s the availability of appointments dates for December 2020 as I’m eligible for dropbox and planning to visit India in December 2020.

          1. Javed

            Appointments are available. I was able to book H1 and H4 Dropbox appointment this morning 23 Nov 2020 around 2:30 am PST for Dec 09th 2020 (MUMBAI).

          2. Nikhil

            I need some advice on my situation. Currently, my stamped H1B visa got expired in June 2020 and the h1b extension is approved for the next 2 years, hence I’m qualified for the H1B dropbox and trying to schedule an appointment for the last 2 weeks but not getting any appointment date. I’m planning to travel to India from December 10th – January 2. So, based on the current scenario I have two options:

            1. Travel to India ONLY after getting the successful appointment date from the US.
            2. Travel to India as per my schedule and then try to book an appointment from there itself.
            I’m kind of scared for scenario#2 just in case if I don’t get an appointment then I’ll be blocked and can’t come back until stamping is done. Please suggest the best possible situation?

          3. administrator

            Option 1 is the suggested option. I know many waiting for couple of months and not able to get appointment. Some got appointment, but got 221g and could not appear for interview as they not processed…so, it is really risky to travel unless you have to for emergency.

          4. Nikhil

            Thanks Kumar. I got the slot luckily and booked it last night. I haven’t booked the flight yet as I’m kind of in dubious situation regarding coming back to USA from India during this situation. Did anyone travel to India and came back to USA without any issues in last 2-3 weeks ?

          5. Jilin Aju

            I am having a F4 immigrant visa which was expired on May 2020 due to covid restrictions . Whether I will be able to reissue my visa? Do I am eligible for drop box appointments?

  20. Sid

    Hi Kumar – my green card’s I485 is in processing and lawyers have filed for an advanced parole card. I do have a valid H1B stamp though. Can I still travel or do I wait for the parole card?


      1. Ish


        I am in the US and changed status from F-1 to H1B in October 2020. For a new H1B, can I get an emergency appointment due to medical needs to go back to India and come back with H-1B stamp? Does anyone have any idea when they might resume regular processing? It’s been so long!

        1. administrator

          It is grey area, you may or may not be able to get. The reason is, you did not had H1B stamp on the day of proclamation. You need to qualify under exceptions to be able to ask for EA. No one knows…

  21. Sid

    Hi Kumar,

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    I am trying to apply for Dropbox appointment. Looking to find timeslot in December for either Delhi or Kolkata. However, the appointments are all grayed out. Do you know how far in advance the appointment slots open?
    Someone mentioned a week in advance but wondering what date/time I should log into the system to reserve.

    1. administrator

      They open once every week or so. Well, it is hard to know…In the past they would open for couple of months, now it is very much unclear…
      You should continue to login to the system and monitor for availability..

      1. Sethi


        I am trying to book for December too so the appointments could only be week in advance because I dont see a date? The december portion is all grayed out.

        Please advise.

  22. Seema

    Hi, My Husaband was on F1 when we got married last year in india. Now His H1b got approved last month october but the stamping needs to get done in india.
    Can He travel to india and and apply for his H1b visa ?
    Also Can we submit both his H1b and my H4 spouse visa applications together? Or We have to go seperately?
    Dropbox available for both categories ?

    1. administrator

      He may or may not be able to do it. He needs to meet the exceptions criteria to be able to get stamping. The regular visa operations have not started yet.

  23. KariM

    Hi Kumar ,

    I had my H1B visa stamped and valid till July 2019 . I applied for extension through same company and got it approved till May 2022 . I switched to new company last month and the visa is valid till Dec 2022 . I would like to Travel India in Dec 2020 , am I eligible for Dropbox ? I know employer change doesn’t affect the Dropbox eligibility , but since I had done an extension after that and did a transfer , I wanted to confirm


    1. KariM

      Hi Kumar ,

      I had my H1B visa stamped and valid till July 2019 . I applied for extension through same company and got it approved till May 2022 . I switched to new company last month and the visa is valid till Dec 2022 . I would like to Travel India in Dec 2020 , am I eligible for Dropbox ? I know employer change doesn’t affect the Dropbox eligibility , but since I had done an extension and then did a transfer , I wanted to confirm


    2. Prashant Sajjan

      I was eligible for dropbox as my previous visa expiration date was less than 24 month. My current employer is different from previous one. Currently I work as Full Time Employee for US based company. I submitted documents but received 221 (g) form and asked to attend interview in person. Currently 221 (g) appointments are not available. So be prepared for worst case scenario.

  24. Srujan

    Hi Currently I’m in US, I have H1B Visa with “Employer A” till “2022 September” which i got it stamped in Jan 2020. In May 2020 i have transferred my visa to “Employer B” and my new visa starts from “May 2020” and valid till “May 2023”. In this case do i need to apply or will i be eligible to apply for dropbox for new H1B VISA under new Employer.

    Thanks! In Advance

    1. administrator

      You are fine to get dropbox. You just need visa to be valid or expired in last 24 months. There is no need to have it for same employer. Usually the system will automatically qualify you, so try it out before you make a decision to leave the country.

      1. PV

        Hi All,

        I’m currently in US, I got my last H1B stamped in Feb 2020 from Hyderabad Consulate but my Visa expired in June 2020 and Now I’ve my extension approved until 2023(Same Employer and same client ). I’m planning to travel India and started looking for Visa slots. The system shows I’m eligible for DropBox but have a couple of questions:

        1. Am I eligible for drop box in regards to President’s Proclamation Act ?
        2. Though the system says Dropbox but the Dates page says ‘OFC appointments’ , Is that Valid? not sure if that is the date I need to select for dropbox appointment.

        Kindly please advise, Any inputs here would really help me.

        Thanks !!

      2. GMur_86


        Even iam also in the same scenario, Switched from Company A to Company B and planning for Dropbox.

        Does anyone recently got their H1B Stamping with above scenario through Dropbox?


  25. RA

    I was in US unti July2020 (stamped unexpired visa) on blanket L1. Meanwhile my L1A extension is approved for 2 more years. I had to travel India due to emergency.

    Please help to understand below –
    1. Am in eligible for drop box? Considering it is blanket L1 A to Individual L1 A extension?
    2. Under Executive Order exception- Am I eligible to get emergency interview appointment as will return to Same job same company and was physically in USA until July ?

    Kindly help .

    1. Manju

      Try scheduling on Mondays, I think they open cancelled and available slots on Monday .

      I am working for Consulting firm at client site (Like Wipro , Infy ). I would like to know are they asking any extra documents for dropbox as I am trying dropbox in Dec .


  26. Devans

    I am trying to schedule an appointment for H1B renewal. It says I’m eligible for dropbox and that I need to schedule an appointment for the same. After payment I have clicked next page and on the appointment page, it says “This page is for OFC appointment”. Is that same as the dropbox appointment? Do dropbox appointments have same availability as others?

      1. 4rth Timer

        Pratik, Yes I was able to see Chennai location for Nov 4rth but have some query and could not book it and since last 2 days I am not able to see any dates and its saying no appointment available.

  27. G Anand


    My visa expired on Dec-2018, as per new rules i come under Dropbox eligibility for visa extension. May i know where do we have this option to select interview waived ?

  28. MST

    Is there anyone who travelled to India recently(may be after July/Aug) and who got their h1b stamping via drop box without any issues? please lets know.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Abhi

      Hi MST,

      I have the same question as you. Is Hyderabad consulate accepting h1b extension drop-box applications? And has anyone used the dropbox at any U.S. consulate in India to get a h1b visa extension stamp in their passport?


    2. bb

      did anyone get 221g asking for interview after dropbox? In such cases do they call you in immediatly? or are you blocked like if you were not eligible for dropbox and needed interview?


    I had a h1b visa from employer A that expired on Sept 1 2020. I changed my employer on Oct 2019 and got a new h1b visa till Sept 2022. I came to India on Aug 2020 and also have a previously cancelled appointment from March, where I selected interview as was suggested by others. Am I eligible for drop box? If I select “do you have a previous H-1B visa” it leads me interview waiver.

    1. Swe

      I believe you’r eligible for drop box, since your visa would be same even though you changed your company.
      I would wait for others to confirm it .

  30. Harsha


    I have a valid visa till Dec 31st, but seemingly difficult to travel by then. The visa was Stamped last December.

    I would like to know, if I can get my extension done while I am waiting on travel approval and also go for dropbox stamping.

    Thanks and regards,

  31. Shashi A

    Hi, My Visa expired on June 15th 2019 and got it approved till April 15th 2020, I didn’t visit after my visa expired. I am with same employer until now. I have following questions. Can someone please clarify?

    1. Am I eligible for drop box? If so until when (is it only until 12/31/2020) or I am eligible until June 15th 2021 (considering 24 months drop box new rule)

    2. Any idea on how many days it is taking to get the stamped passport during pandemic days (earlier it used to take 7-10 days)?

    3. My last visa was stamped in chennai embassy, if I am eligible for drop box then can I drop it any other locations too?

    Please clarify me. Based on this, I need to plan my india visit soon.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Shashi A

      Hi, My Visa expired on June 15th 2019 and got it approved till April 15th 2022(sorry earlier post I posted wrong date, but this one is correct), I didn’t visit India after my visa expired. I am with same employer until now. I have following questions. Can someone please clarify?

      1. Am I eligible for drop box? If so until when ? i.e. (is it only until 12/31/2020) or I am eligible until June 15th 2021 (considering 24 months drop box new rule)

      2. Any idea on how many days it is taking to get the stamped passport during pandemic days (earlier it used to take 7-10 days)?

      3. My last visa was stamped in chennai embassy, if I am eligible for drop box then can I drop it any other locations too?

      Please clarify me. Based on this, I need to plan my india visit soon.

      Thanks in advance.

  32. Prathyusha

    My H1B stamping/visa was expired on May 2019 and I was in US on June 24 when the travel ban was issued. I have applied extension got approval till Dec 2022 and I’m with same employer(EVC Model).
    So Am I eligible for drop box and do i need to still satisfy proclamation conditions? If so, what conditions i need to satisfy?

    1. Jane

      Is there anyone who stayed in USA even after June 24 ,2020 and who got H1b stamping successfully through Dropbox with out any issues while visiting India ?

  33. Suresh Kumar

    I have stamping at my passport till JUNE 2019(Expired Now) with Employer A and i switched into Company B on AUG 2019 after that i didn’t travel into India. But i have valid Approval Notice from Company B till year 2022(Not yet stamped). As per the new Drop Box rule(24 Months) and Proclamation do i eligible to apply in drop box on October 2020.

      1. Hema

        Kumar, Do we need any emergency appointment for dropbox in this scenario and will this come under exempt from presidential proclamation 10052.

      2. Suresh Kumar

        Thanks for the reply.

        But when i check in US Embassy India it described like below.

        “Consular sections across India are now accepting drop box applications for renewals of all nonimmigrant visa categories at Visa Application Centers across India. If you have a U.S. visa that is expiring soon or has expired in the last 24 months, you may be eligible for drop box processing:
        . For H, L, and J categories subject to Presidential Proclamation 10052, applicants must also qualify for an exception to the proclamation: ”

        They are expecting it should be eligible in both Drop Box as well as H category should be eligible in Presidential Proclamation 10052. In My case i am eligible for Dropbox, but as per the proclamation it should be in Same Employer right? Mine is different employer. Still i am eligible in that case for Drop Box stamping in OCT2020?

        1. Gokul

          Hi Suresh,

          I am in the same scenario like you, switched from Company A to B and planning for Dropbox option. Have you done with your H1B Visa extension ?

          Am planning on December for Dropbox(Visa Stamping).

          Please Advise.

  34. Manognya

    Hi Everyone,

    I have few questions and would appreciate any feedback and comments on these please:

    I am on a L2 EAD and my husband is only L1A and with the same employer. Our visa expired in 2019 March and we are on our extension in US.

    We plan to travel mid of December 2020 to India and wanted to know if we could have a Dropbox option for our visa and return back in Jan 2021 ?

    Also I don’t see anywhere it showing the dropbox appointment slots available for Hyd consulate. Not sure if I am missing something here.

    Kindly let me know as I am confused with the whole visa process right now.


    1. administrator

      If your expiry is less than 24 months and you meet all requirements, you will be able to.
      First step for you is to verify, if you would be eligible or not. You can pay fee, fill out DS-160 and try to book a slot. During that process, you will get eligibility confirmation. Then you plan to book dates.

      1. Sanmayi

        Hi evryone! Iam on H4Ead…my husband is on H1b…My husband applied for an extension in June 2020 …as our visa going to be expire on 30 sept 2020…. recently we got an extension …currently am in india .. my husband in u.s …. he is planning to visit India mid December 2020….want to know if we could have a Dropbox option for renewal? Please..Kindly let us know

      2. Manognya

        Thank you so much Mr Kumar for your prompt reply. Another quick question – you have mentioned expiry less than 24 months (could you kindly elaborate that please ?) I am little confused there.


  35. Prashant Sajjan

    Currently I am in US and trying to schedule dropbox appointment for Chennai Consulate as my previous visa was issued by Chennai consulate . I had opted for dropbox last time too.

    But dropbox appointment for Chennai is unavailable. So I want to know can I schedule dropbox appointment at other locations like Delhi, Kolkata and get Visa stamped.

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Prashant Sajjan

        I called US Visa Customer care – +1 703-520-2239 and got information that we can schedule appointment at any location in India. There is no restriction to schedule only at Consulate which issued your previous Visa.

        But if anyone has done in the past can share their experience will be great.

        1. administrator

          Yes, you can schedule anywhere, no restriction. Usually, they may ask at Consulate whey you scheduled, you just have to give the real reason…

      1. Radhika

        When I click the renewal category it shows “some countries have been recently updated .If you are seeing this page please update your links “.

  36. parthosh

    I have a valid H1b visa stamping till september19th 2020 with my previous employer but i was not in USA in june . Now I am with different company and my visa is valid till may 2021. I have dropbox scheduled on september 22nd but I am unsure if I am eligible for dropbox because of the proclamation and my visa expires before the appointment and it might be considered as a new H1b visa with new employer.

    Please help. I am currently in USA and planning to come back for stamping since my wife is still in usa waiting for new H4 visa.

    1. administrator

      Well, there is a clause that tells that you need be exempted. If they believe, you do not qualify, they will not issue your visa and issue a 212(f) regarding the same.

        1. administrator

          If you are eligible for it and there is no proclamation in place now, then you may. Write to consualte before you go.

  37. sammy

    i had my 6yrs of h1b until dec-2018 and this year i applied for a new h1b in apr and was approved in august and when tried to schedule visa appointment i got below question and was eligible for dropbox, what are my chances for approval with EO ban in place or will i get 221 g ?

    Step 1 : Select whether you are applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa or an Immigrant Visa.
    Nonimmigrant Visa
    Step 2 : Please Select Your Country or State of Residence.
    Step 3 : Language Of Interview.
    Select Visa Class: (H1B)

    Step 6 : Please make sure all selected information is correct before continuing.

    Step 5 : Please make sure all personal information is correct before continuing.

    Step 6 : Please click “Add by Name” or “Add Existing Applicant” if you have a group/family member (including a child) who needs to apply for a visa with you.

    Do you have a previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee)?
    Was your prior H1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”?
    Was your most recent visa (in the same class for which you are applying) lost or stolen or cancelled?
    Have you ever been refused a H-1B (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) visa before?
    Is your previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) still valid?
    Did your previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) expire within the last 24 months?
    Note:Please be sure to select an interview waiver submission date at least 7 calendar days before your visa has been expired 24 months.

    Was your most recent H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) issued in India after January 1, 2008?

  38. Yogish

    Hey Guys,

    Couple of questions on visa extension, suppose if I loose my job and my I 94 expired and travelled back to home country, if my new employer file new petition and transfer my H1B with in 12months, am I still eligible for interview waiver ? Do I get extension for 3years even if extension is filed in 12th month ?


  39. Anudeep

    I am staying here and my wife is in India, will she be applicable for drop box application in H4 category?

    Note: she never had an visa! If so could you please share some information

  40. Naresh

    Hi, Currently I’m in US and plan to go to India in November 2020.
    My H1B stamping/visa was expired on May 2018.
    Applied extension got approved till 12/31/2019 then again applied extension approved until 12/31/2022 in March 2020.
    I’m with same employer and working as consultant. I’m working in the EVC model.
    Me –> Employer -> Prime vendor –> Client
    Due to the recent dropbox change i.e. 24 months. Am I eligible for dropbox option? Please advise

      1. Naresh

        Hi Kumar, Thanks for your reply.
        Sorry for the typo mistake. My H1B stamping/visa was expired on May 2019 so i’m eligible for drop box , correct? But do i need to still satisfy proclamation conditions as well if I want to comeback to US in Jan /Feb 2021 ? Please advice.

        1. administrator

          Yes, you still need to satisfy the proclamation conditions as per the guidance given by them on the consulate website. Currently, the proclamation is until Dec 31, 2020. If you plan to come later, it may or may not apply.

          1. Prasad

            Hi Kumar – The order says “The Proclamation does not apply to applicants who were in the United States on the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24)” so anyone who is currently in US and planning to go for stamping should not be impacted by the proclamation. Am I missing something

    1. Shweta

      Hi Everyone,

      My h1 got picked and approved for the first time in lottery, and have never been on h1 before. It would come in effect from oct 1, 2020. Would i be eligible for dropbox option?

      Thanks in advance!

  41. RameshS

    Hi Kumar,

    I was in the US on June 24 and require a stamping if I visit India to come back. Am I eligible for Dropbox? I don’t qualify for an emergency appointment but was wondering whether I can get my stamping via dropbox. Thanks!

  42. Prakash


    I am currently in the US and plan to go to India in Oct. My visa got expired in feb 2020 and I have a valid I797 that was extended last nov from feb 2020 to Jan 2023. Do you know if I stayed in the US after June 24th, if I am exempted from the proclamation ?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

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