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US Visa Dropbox Eligibility – 48 months Extended Indefinitley

US Visa Stamping at Consulates usually involves in-person interviews, unless you qualify for the Interview Waiver Eligibility, which is popularly called a Dropbox Visa Appointment. In many cases, US Visa Dropbox Appointment is a must, if you are eligible for it.   

In light of COVID and the safety of everyone, the US Department of State has announced a small change in eligibility criteria for interview waiver or Dropbox stamping, which will help many more applicants utilize the same. We will cover that details in this article.

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

Background: US Visa Stamping – In-Person Interview vs. Dropbox

In general, when you are applying for a new US Visa, as part of the process to apply for US Visa, you would give biometrics and then attend an in-person visa interview.  But, for renewing your existing US Visa, if you meet certain criteria, then you do not have to appear for an in-person interview.  You can submit your visa-related documents at Visa Application Center(VAC) and your US visa may be issued without an interview. It is called a Visa Interview Waiver or Dropbox Visa Stamping.

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

General Visa Interview Waiver or Dropbox Stamping Eligibility Criteria

  • You need to have a Visa renewal in the same category. Meaning, let’s say you have a renewal for H1B, then your previous visa in your passport should be H1B as well.
  • The most recent visa should have been issued in your same country (home country).
    • The same country requirement was removed in mid-2021.
  • Visa was received after Jan 1, 2008
  • Your visa should not have annotations like “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”
  • Your visa should be issued after your 14th birthday
  • Your US visa was not lost, stolen, or canceled.
  • 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 the last 12 months.  Also, if it is other classes of visa renewal, it is still the same 12 months requirements (should be valid or expired in the last 12 months).
    • To clarify, 12 months is the normal rule, this is the part that is changing to 48 months with the update

Some general criteria for other visa types, ages

  • Blanket L1 holders do not qualify for Dropbox or interview waiver. Only Blanket L2 Spouses are eligible
  • If you are applying for an F visa, you should be at the same school for which your previous visa was issued.
  • If applying for a J visa, your DS-2019 is also issued by the same institution as it is on your previous visa.
  • Children under 14 years of age are eligible for dropbox
  • Adults over 80 years of age are eligible for dropbox, 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 48 months from Expiry

Due to COVID-19, many US Consulates are still functioning with limited appointments and are not open at full capacity for regular visa-issuing operations.

  • To help the situation and avoid public risk, back in 2020 US Department of State increased the 12 months from expiry to 24 months from the expiry of the previous visa for US visa renewals using dropbox or the interview waiver option until March 31, 2021.
  • On March 11th, 2021, the US Department of State released a press note indicating the expansion of dropbox visa stamping eligibility from 24 months from visa expiry to 48 months from expiry until Dec 31, 2021.
  • Again, on December 23rd, 2021, they extended the 48 months eligibility rule indefinitely. See the below screenshot on the same. Check Official news at State.gov
48 Months Dropbox Rule Extended Indefinitely
48 Months Dropbox Rule Extended Indefinitely

How does the 48 months from Expiry Dropbox Visa Stamping Work?

In the past, the requirement was “Your previous visa was in the same class and valid or expired within the last 12 months“. Now, they have changed that to “Did your previous [Visa Cateory] visa expire within the last 48 months.

Example: Let’s say you had B1/B2 Visa stamping previously done in one of the US Consulates in India. Now, you are applying for B1/B2 visa renewal in India on November 1st, 2022. For general dropbox eligibility, your US visa had to be valid or expired on or after November 1st, 2021. Now, with this 48-month eligibility change, you can apply for Dropbox Visa stamping, if your visa has expired on or after November 1st, 2018.  You have basically 4 years from the date of expiry to apply for Visa Renewal using Dropbox now.

Usually, if you are eligible for a Dropbox appointment, you would get a confirmation in the online system after you complete the questionnaire.

Dropbox Appointment with ’48 months from expiry’ Question in Online System

As you go through the questionnaire on CGI Federal website, you would get a question that looks like in the below screenshot and reads as below:

“Did your previous B-1/B-2 visa expire within the last 48 months? Note: Please be sure to select an interview waiver submission date at least 7 calendar days before your visa has been expired 48 months.”

B1/ B2 Visa Renewal - Expired within the last 48 months
B1/ B2 Visa Renewal – Expired within the last 48 months

Dropbox Eligibility Confirmation Screen in Online System

Below is the screenshot of the confirmation you would get on the USTravelDocs CGI Federal Website, if you qualify for the Interview Waiver or Dropbox option for US Visa Renewal. You can continue with Dropbox by selecting the ‘Drop-off’ button. (The confirmation screen changed in October 2022 to facilitate an emergency appointment option for Dropbox Applicants)

US Visa Dropbox Confirmation Message
US Visa Dropbox Confirmation Message

When should you book Dropbox Appointment with ’48 month from expiry’ option?

As per the US Department of State and USTravelDocs.com website guidance, the question reads that “you need to select an interview waiver or dropbox submission date at dropbox location (VAC Center) at least 7 calendar days before your US Visa has been expired 48 months”. In short, you need to submit it 7 days before your visa’s 48 months from expiry deadline.

Example: let’s say your eligibility of 48 months from expiry is ending on June 30th, 2023, then you need to submit documents 7 days before June 30th. So, you should submit your documents before June 23rd, 2023. If you want to be safe, submit it a couple more days before.

In-Peron Interview Waived for certain F, H1B, H4, and Others

In addition to the dropbox option for anyone renewing their US Visa within 48 months from the expiration, the US Dept of State also provided additional guidance, where in-person interview requirements can be waived for certain visa applicants if they meet certain conditions.

This new waiver for an in-person interview is applicable to anyone, who was previously issued any type of US Visa and applying for F, H1B, H4, H3, L1 ( non-blanket), L2, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas. Read Guide to US Visa Interview Waiver for certain H1B, L1, H4, others

If you meet the above requirement, then you will not see the question “Did your previous H-1B ( temporary occupation, temporary worker, or trainee) expire within the last 48 months?“, so do not be confused. You would see a question that looks like below and then you will be prompted for other questions and then you would get a confirmation for an interview waiver. It is normal to work like that.

Do you have previous US visa issued in any class
Do you have previous US visa issued in any class

Latest News – 48 month Dropbox Validity, Timeline

October 2022: As of end of October 2022, all the above continue to be working well and many are given dropbox appointments as indicated by the US Dept of State. No issues are reported.

December 23rd, 2021: US Department of State extended the 48-month rule for dropbox indefinitely. It was supposed to end on December 31, 2021. Check Official news at State.gov

Mid Year, 2021 : The requirement to have the previous visa stamping in the same country was removed. The USTravelDocs website questionnaire does not show the same country questions anymore.

March 16th, 2021 : USTravelDocs CGI Federal website that is used for Appointment booking for US Visa is updated with the 48 from expiry change. See above article for the details.

March 11th, 2021 : US Department of State made an announcement expanding the 24 month from expiry eligibility to 48 months from expiry. Also, they are extending the interview waiver or Dropbox eligibility with the 48 months until December 31st, 2021. See below screenshot of the Official Press release on Travel.State.Gov

US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021
US Dept of State Expands Interview Waiver Until Dec 31-2021

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 travel.state.gov

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 are the key criteria for Dropbox? How do 48 months work?

The key criterion is that you need to meet the 48-month criteria on the day of submission of the documents. Even though the system may allow you book an appointment, you should meet the 48-month requirement on the day of submission.

Will 48 Months of Dropbox be extended after December 31, 2022?

Yes, it was extended indefinitely on December 23rd, 2021. There is no end date for now on when this will expire. Unless something changes, it will be effective even after December 31, 2022.

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

In general, you should not pick a regular visa appointment, if you are eligible for dropbox. The only exception is if you want to apply for an Emergency Appointment. If you want to apply for an emergency appointment, then choose the interview option on the confirmation screen and then book both Biometrics and interview appointments. Later you book the emergency appointments. You may also read US Visa Stamping Dropbox Appointment mandatory, if eligible

Is there any special process to get 48-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 Stamping Appointments? Emergency Appointments?

US Consulates across the globe continue to experience very high demand due to lack of staffing and the local COVID situation. It is starting to ease as of October 2022. But, it is not all like before and many consulates are not yet fully open for regular operations.

For instance, as of October 2022, Indian Consulates are not yet open for regular operations. They are processing some in-person appointments only. Most of them they process are dropbox appointments, emergency appointments, and only limited in-person appointments. Check US Visa Consulates Updates COVID – India for complete details on the appointments, USTravelDocs updates.

You can connect with others in the US Visa Stamping Telegram Group  and get help from the community or be part of the US Visa Stamping Experiences Group (only repository of experiences, no messaging option)

What do you think of the change to 48 months? How is it helping you?

   

Other Articles

356 Comments

  1. I and my family was refuse a tourist visa early this year though we have been to usa more than 4 times. Are we eligible for drop box if we want to apply.

    Reply
  2. Hi,

    My passport is expiring in 5 months. My drop box visa is scheduled in 15 days, am I eligible for appearing for visa stamping with that passport.

    Or
    Apply for new passport and take both passport to consular appointment. Will they accept at the Dropbox

    Reply
  3. hi redbus2us team

    Can you please help me for the following question for Drop Box Eligibility criteria for B1/B2 ?

    My mom already have B1/B2 visa stamp on the passport which expires on Nov 5 2023.

    During scheduling appt I see the following question:

    Have you ever been refused a B1/B2 visa before?

    Does it mean since the last visa issuance ?

    or

    Does it mean anytime before the last visa issuance ?

    Can you please help me to understand this as it is stopping me to go forward without knowing the actual intent of this question ?

    Reply
  4. I just renewed my h1b with my current employer. During the first allocation, i was with a different employer. Have not traveled since got the H1. Will I be still eligible for dropbox? And my spouse too, with H4?

    Reply
  5. I have a B1/B2 visa which have 2 months validity left. So, my question is that, can I apply for dropbox as I have visa validity left for 2 months. I am planning to go 5/6 months after.

    Reply
  6. I got new I-797 through new employer post stamped H1B visa expired. My family (spouse + 2 kids less than 14 yrs) excluding myself traveling to India. My spouse is eligible for drop box as per criteria. However, my kids are not as both parents should have valid US visa as per criteria mentioned. In this case my spouse should take appointment right to get visa for all (herself + 2kids) right?

    Reply
  7. I held L1B blanket visa initially and travelled to US in Nov,21. My renewal was filed as L1B Individual. I am in US currently and planning to visit India for stamping.

    I filled my DS-160 and selected L1B blanket, in CGI while booking appointment (given the fact L1B blankets do not qualify for drobox). While booking the appointment the portal just gave me an option to book single VAC appointment for Chennai, the portal did not show appointment booking options for consular interview.

    Was it some issue with the portal, or is it that L1B blanket – L1B Ind renewals are eligible for dropbox? I am totally confused by this, also t did not show me appointments for any other locations just few for Chennai VAC.

    I have my appointment booked for VAC..just VAC, not sure how should I proceed. Please help if anyone cam across similar situation.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Manish,

      I am in the same situation. My company’s lawyers told me that it should be fine to select L1 Individual on CGI federal for the stamping since my renewal was filed under L1B individual. However, I am worried about this as the lawyers don’t seem too competent and they have been back and forth on this a few times. Did you figure this out?

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Did you book appointment? I am in same situation, not sure what is the right way? can you share the details if u have already booked slots?

      Reply
  8. I am having F1 visa now my H1b papers are approved , i have to go to Consulate. Am i eligible for Drop box or i have to go for Interview . Pl help

    Reply
  9. I am in USA now, came on L1B Visa in 2018 & Now Visa got changed to L1A – I do not it stamped after L1A and have kids below 14 age also, will I eligible for Drop Box option? planning for India visit May/June next year, just exploring options for stamping.

    Thank you very much for good video, very informative,

    Regards
    Naresh

    Reply
  10. Hi, My H1B visa stamping expired on Dec 2020 has annotation “NIE under PP on risk to Labor Market”. I’m planning to go for stamping now with new I797 approval. In Appointment booking, for the question “Was your prior visa annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”. Should i say “Yes” or “No”. Please advise.

    Reply
  11. I have the dropbox appointment at Mumbai at May 24th 2023 so If I wish to dropoff my documents at Ahmedabad vac, then at what time and date I need to dropoff at Ahmedabad. Please reply.🙏

    Reply
  12. Hi

    On H4 Visa I have Annotation – NIE UNDER PP ON RISK TO LABOR MARKET.
    Just want to check whether this Annotation will not impact my dropbox eligibility?

    Reply
  13. Hello,

    I have gotten eligible for a drop box for first time H1B stamping. I have been issued a F1 previously however, I got rejected for B1/B2 and never received a visa in that category. The eligibility rule says that you are not eligible if after rejection you didn’t receive visa in that category. What should I do now ?

    Reply
  14. Hello sir,

    I am applying for my son Dropbox visa. My son Birthday 03/02/2008 (14 years/5 months)

    So, My son eligible for under 14 year Dropbox.

    Reply
  15. Hi
    I received a 221g in 2011 and later after 3 months was returned my passport and did not get my H1b in passport. So next year I had to apply for new H1b and then on I had no stamping issue.
    So this would mean I am not eligible For Dropbox since I got a H1b refusal more than 10 years ado?
    Thanks

    Reply
  16. H1B Visa Dropbox eligibility if the visa expired more than 48 months ago.
    My last US visa was valid till Jan 2018, which is beyond 48 months, and I have never received 221G.
    While scheduling the appointment, I answered a few questions before the payment page, and it says I’m eligible for a dropbox appointment.
    Can anyone from this group help me with this? Any help will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
  17. Hi Kumar,

    I got my new H1B petition approved in Nov 2021.
    I had previous B1 and H1b visas, which are expired over 4 years now.
    I am dropbox eligible.

    I tried cgifederal website every other day, last 4 months, but could get Dropbox Appointment only in September 2023..!!

    Is this kind of delay common nowadays ?

    Thanks

    Dan

    Reply
  18. The website says that slots after oct 2022 are placeholders for emergencies.
    Do dropbox qualify for the same or are placeholders only for in person appointments?
    I got a nov 2022 date for a dropbox for h1b, trying to understand if that is for emergency or regular. My need is for a regular dropbox appointment

    Reply
    • Deepak,
      This is slightly confusing for many, best is to email the CGI Federal support and get their confirmation. Do update here on how it goes for community benefit.

      Reply
  19. Hi, Please help me out with B1/B2 dropbox eligiblity, I have applied renewal for my old parents and paid MRV fee on August 23rd 2021.

    Their previous 10yr B1/B2 visa got expired in April 2016?

    i read that same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely ?

    its been more than 48 months, near to 5.5 years? are they still eligible for dropbox, pleaseeeeeee answer ??

    from the date i paid MRV, i am trying for their regular appointment slots, i see some dates for OFC when i proceed to next screen there are no dates available ( i tried for 4 consulate locations mumbai, hydrabad, chennai and also delhi), but i see same above response ofc dates i am able to slect and later screen no in-person appointment dates.

    can anyone help, going to agent will help? or any help you can provide is appreciated.

    Reply
    • Nusrat,
      The 48-month rule has been extended indefinitely. What it means, the 48-month rule was set to expire last year, that’s what they extended.
      Your parents may not be eligible as it is over 48 months. Very few in -person slots and they will only open for later this year.

      Reply
  20. Hi

    My L2 VISA is going to expire in August and before that we are planning to go to India and come back 10 days before the Expiry. Meantime we are renewing our Visas here and my question is do i need to go VISA stamping before retruns to US or can i do it in my next trip?

    Thank you
    Leela

    Reply
  21. Hi,
    I had a valid H-1B visa till 31-Dec-2021. I moved to India during Aug 2021 because of family emergency.

    My employer applied H-1B visa cap exempt from India and it is valid till Mar 2025.
    Will I be eligible for drop box appointment as I already had a H-1B visa which expired less than 48 months
    (Or)
    Am eligible for in person interview as my new H-1B Visa is applied from India but not an H-1B Extension? Please let me know

    Reply
  22. Hi,

    I have F1 visa refusal in 2012 after that my B1/B2 visa approved in 2018 .now I am going to apply for H1b visa .Am I eligible for dropbox.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  23. Hi
    Please help me with the following situation.
    The H1 and H4 stamping for me, my wife and kids (below 14 years) have expired in October 2019. We call received our I797 and I539 approval for Employer A sometime in 2021. I changed job for employer B in Jan 2022 and got new I797 approved. However, I539 approval for my wife and kids pending for employer B. I scheduled group dropbox appointment for all of us.
    I want to make sure all of us are eligible for dropbox.
    Appreciate your early response.
    Satya

    Reply
  24. I recently was able to book an appointment for an H1B visa stamping. With the scarcity of dates and slots filling up fast when I logged in to my account, clicked on continue and booked the date it gave me an OFC appointment and also an in person interview appointment . For the first time (clicking on the New appointment),While filling up the questionnaire it said I am eligible for a drop box appointment and I confirmed. Can you please confirm that even if I am eligible for the drop box , I can still do an in person interview as that is the only option I was given ? If not, do I need to cancel my appointment? With the scarcity of the dates it is really difficult to book another appointment and any information will be of great help to me.

    Reply
    • Hi Sandipan,
      Did you attend your in-person interview? Did they ask you about your dropbox eligibility? Did you get your visa? I am in a similar situation.

      Reply
  25. Hi,

    I have a H4 Visa issued in Nov 2018 and it expired on Aug 2020. I travelled once to US on H4 Visa. Now i am back to India. Now i am applying for H1B. Can anyone suggest me whether I am eligible for Dropbox or i have to go for Visa interview .

    Regards,
    Adi

    Reply
  26. I am on H1B and my wife is on H4 and we are eligible for drop box as we have done before. my kid is 3 years old and is on H4, Is kid eligible for drop box ?

    Reply
  27. Hi, I have a question on visa stamping. Currently I moved to the H4 dependent
    visa from L2 dependent visa and my i-94 is expiring in 6 months from now. My husband is already got the H1B stamping for it in November 2021 when visited India, but I wasn’t able to travel with him due to personal reasons. Now I am trying to schedule the H4 appointment but it keep saying me that I am eligible for Visa waiver program. Does anyone know why it is saying that? Because I am not renewing my visa, instead changing status from L2 to H4.
    The question was – ”
    1) Do you have previous U.S. visa in any visa class issued? –> Yes
    2) Was your prior visa annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”? –> No
    3) Was your most recent U.S. visa lost or stolen or cancelled? –> No
    4) Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before? –> THIS WAS THE MAIN DOUBTFUL QUESTION FOR ME. I ANSWERED: “YES”
    5) Did your most recent application result in you being issued the visa? –> Yes
    6) Was your most recent U.S. visa issued after January 1, 2008? –> Yes

    If for question 1 does it mean, the previous visa has to be in the same category? or any type of visa?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  28. I paid for Visa Extension fee on March 2021. My drop box appointment is on May 2022. As Fee is Valid for 1 Year, will they cancel my appointment or do I need to pay the fee again?

    Is some one face the same issue? Please let me know the process how to pay again?

    Thanks

    Reply
  29. Back in Aug 2016, I went to US Embassy, New Delhi for H1B visa stamping through employer A. I was handed over a 221(g) slip – Administrative Processing. I got my petition transferred to employer B few months later and H1B stamping was successful. I traveled to US through employer B in Jan 2017 and the visa was valid until Nov 2019. I never pursued my 221(g) case that was given to me through employer A. I checked the status of that case few days back and it now shows “Refused”. I had a doubt if I will qualify for dropbox appointment or not.

    To verify my doubt, I created my profile on USTravelDocs and filled in the details (I used the same old DS-160 receipt number that I had in 2016 for successful visa stamping). Below are the questions asked and how I answered them. In the end, the website told me that “I AM ELIGIBLE FOR DROPBOX”.

    1) Do you have previous U.S. visa in any visa class issued? –> Yes
    2) Was your prior visa annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”? –> No
    3) Was your most recent U.S. visa lost or stolen or cancelled? –> No
    4) Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before? –> THIS WAS THE MAIN DOUBTFUL QUESTION FOR ME. I ANSWERED: “YES”
    5) Did your most recent application result in you being issued the visa? –> Yes
    6) Was your most recent U.S. visa issued after January 1, 2008? –> Yes

    Congratulations! You qualify for the Interview Waiver . You will need to schedule an appointment to visit the Document Drop-Off locations to submit your documents but do not need to schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

    Click “Continue” to proceed with your application..

    Step 1. Schedule an appointment to submit your documents
    Step 2. Print your appointment letter and follow the instructions in it.
    Step 3. Drop off your listed documents at locations mentioned in appointment letter.You should arrive at exactly the time of your appointment; you will not be permitted to enter the facility before the time listed on your appointment letter.
    Current passport and any old passports with a U.S. visa.
    One photograph (per U.S. visa specification).
    Photocopy of form I-797.

    Locations for Submission
    New Delhi Embassy – Can only submit at New Delhi VAC, Chandigarh center and Jalandhar center
    Mumbai Consulate – Can only submit at Mumbai VAC, Pune center and Ahmedabad center
    Chennai Consulate – Can only submit at Chennai VAC , Bangalore center and Cochin center
    Hyderabad Consulate –Can only submit at Hyderabad VAC
    Kolkata Consulate – Can only submit at Kolkata VAC

    Note:
    • Using the Interview Waiver does not guarantee visa issuance. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate retains the right to call an applicant in for an interview, if necessary, and you must appear for interview at the post to which you submitted your renewal application.
    • Documents will only be accepted at locations mentioned in appointment letter, so please decide the Post before scheduling the appointment.
    • The U.S. Embassy/ Consulates in India offer free document pickup/submission services at the OFC where the Embassy/Consulate is located. Applicants collecting/submitting documents from any other locations will need to pay a nominal fee of Rs 650/- per individual at the time of pickup/submission.

    Reply
  30. Hi,

    My spouse has an approved H1-B and I’ll be applying for an H4 visa for the first time. I have been approved for multiple US visas in the past. This includes B1/B2, F1, and I also had an approval notice for an H1B visa as well but never got the stamp on account of an unfortunate situation with my employer. Most recenly I have travelled on B1/B2 to the US and back.

    Do I qualify for the recent interview waiver program? If anyone can shed any light on this what would help.

    Reply
  31. Hi,
    My husband and i are eligible for the IW program. our kid is 2 years old and he has not travelled to US and he does not have any visa stamped in his passport. Question is we have booked our drop box appoinments for all three of us, will there be any issues with my kids visa issual?

    Reply
  32. Is dropbox feature available in Canada consulate or mexico consulate ? I am renewing H1b and my spouse is on H4 EAD approved initially it was H1b and now on H4 after job loss.
    Could we go to Canada or mexico and use its dropbox feature?

    Reply
  33. I had my Dropbox appointment for April 2021 and got 221g for presidential proclamation can I apply again through Dropbox appointment ?

    Reply
  34. What about those whose visa has expired 5 years ago (and hence not eligible under 48month rule) and who want to travel to India now?

    Reply
    • i am in the same category my Visa expired 8 years back ..whether you have any update?
      Looks like same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely so we are eligible for Drop box ?

      The authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely.

      Reply
  35. Hi!

    I had a visa denial on B1/B2 visa long time ago. But, after that I had an approved H4 stamping twice without any issues. Now, it is time to renew for the third time. I am not sure if my previous visa denial will prevent me from being eligible for drop box.

    Here is the text in the announcement.
    The interview waiver announcement mentions that you shouldn’t have had any visa refusal.
    “applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived”
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-waivers-of-the-interview-requirement-for-certain-nonimmigrant-visas.html

    The article here says, after your recent visa issuance.
    “There were no US visa refusals in any other visa class, since your recent visa issuance”

    Can you please clarify.. Thankyou.

    Reply
    • You shouldn’t have any denials since your last visa stamping. If that is the case, you shouldn’t have any issues with dropbox eligibility

      Reply
      • The state.gov announcement says “You should not have any visa refusals” but you mentioned “You shouldn’t have any denials/refusals since your last H1B visa approval” Can you explain what is the exact meaning of this eligibility? I had 221(g) in Aug 2016 from employer A. I didn’t persuade that one and got my I-797 transferred to employer B. Got H1B visa approved by employer B and traveled to US in Jan 2017. I am in the US since then.

        Am I eligible for Interview Waiver?

        Reply
  36. My Previous visa was L1B which was expired within 48 Months. I got a status change and now will be applying for H1B visa. There are no questions for previous L1B visa or status change and all questions are related to H1B in the appointment portal while evaluating for dropbox eligibility. I am not sure if I am eligible?

    Reply
  37. Can someone please cite the source of information that the following eligibility criteria has been removed in mid 2021?
    “Most recent visa should have been issued in your same country (home country)”

    Reply
  38. Hello,
    I made a mistake while answering the questionnaire while booking visa appointment slots. I was confused and answered Yes instead of No for the question “Is your previous h1b visa is still valid” and it took me to the drop box slots available page and I booked the slot. Actually my previous visa is expired but it is still within 48 months of my expiration date So actually I am still eligible for the drop box. Can someone tell me if it would be problem when I go for the appointment. Or the questionnaire is just to find the eligibility for drop box vs in person interview.

    Reply
  39. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/expansion-of-interview-waiver-eligibility.html is error 404 as of today 23 Dec, 2021. So either the eligibility is going to be changed back to 12 months or expanded indefinitely.

    Reply
  40. I have a Dropbox appointment for Feb 2022. And I’m well under the 48 month deadline. But if the appointment is after Dec 31st 2021 can I still use Dropbox? What is the Dec 31st deadline for? Is it for booking the appointment or attending the Dropbox?

    Reply
  41. My last h1b expired in aug 2019 and i moved to h4. Now, i am applying again in h1b category. Am i eligible for dropbox as i have previously held h1b and it expired within 48 months?

    Reply
  42. My H1B visa stamped in India expired in Sep 2020. Under current 48 month rule I am eligible for Dropbox I am planning to travel India for stamping in Feb 2022 will I be still eligible ? Since 48 month extension rule expired on Dec 31, will I be still eligible for Dropbox. Please reply.

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Reply
    • I am also in the same situation as you and was able to book a dropbox appointment in April 2022. I am not sure what is going to happen. The Dec 31st rule seems confusing. If the 48 months rule is considered on the date of the submission then just having the appointment should suffice. I don’t know how it is going to work.

      Reply
  43. My H1B visa stamped in Mexico expired in Nov 2020.under current 48 month rule I am eligible for Dropbox but I am not finding any slots at all.If I get slot in January 2022 will I be still eligible ?as per current criteria I am eligible only for dropbox.If 48 month extension rule expired on Dec 31 I will not be eligible for Dropbox.I am not sure how it works

    Reply

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