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US Visa Dropbox Eligibility – 48 months, until Dec 31, 2021

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. It is called as 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

Visa Interview Waiver or Dropbox Stamping Eligibility Criteria

  • 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)
    • The above 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”
  • 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 48 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 48 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, back in 2020 US Department of State increased the 12 months from expiry to 24 months from expiry of previous visa for US visa renewals using dropbox or interview waiver option until March 31, 2021.

On March 11th, 2021, US Department of Statement released a press note indicating the expansion of dropbox visa stamping eligibility from 24 months from visa expiry to 48 months from expiry. Also, they are extending the eligibility beyond March 31st, 201 until Dec 31, 2021.

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

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 48 months.

Example : Let’s say you had H1B Visa stamping previously done in one of the US Consulates in India. Now, you are applying for H1B visa renewal in India on April 1st, 2021. For general drop box eligibility, your US visa had to be valid or expired on or after April 1st, 2020. Now, with this 48 month eligibility change, you can apply for Dropbox Visa stamping, if your visa has expired on or after April 1st, 2017.  You have basically 4 years from the date of expiry to apply for Visa Renewal using Dropbox now.

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. When 24 month from expiry changes was done, users were getting the same confirmation. Now, with 48 months from expiry eligibility, we can expect to see the same change.

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

On March 16th, 2021, US TravelDocs CGI Federal website, which is used for US Visa appointment booking, has the updated question related to the 48 months from expiry option. See below screenshot from USTravelDocs CGI Federal Website. They also gave guidance saying in the question saying that “you need to submit the documents 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 7 days before your visa’s 48 months from expiry deadline.

What it means is that, for example, let’s say your eligibility of 48 months from expiry is ending on June 30th, 2021, then you need submit documents 7 days before June 30th. So, you should submit your documents before June 23rd, 2021. If you want to be safe, submit it couple more days before.

US Visa Renewal - 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System
US Visa Renewal – 48 months from Expiry in CGI Federal System

Below is the screenshot of the confirmation you would get on USTravelDocs CGI Federal Website, if you qualify for the Interview Waiver or Dropbox option for US Visa Renewal. Also, if you notice closely, the 48 months from expiry is also highlighted here and also has guidance that you need to submit at least 7 calendar days before the 48 months from expiry date reaches.

US Visa Stamping - Interview Waiver or Dropbox Confirmation on USTravelDocs Website - 2021
US Visa Stamping – Interview Waiver or Dropbox Confirmation on USTravelDocs Website – 2021

Latest News – 48 month Dropbox Validity, Timeline

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 is the key criteria for Dropbox ? How does 48 months work ?

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

Will 48 Months Dropbox be extended after December 31, 2021 ?

No one knows, they have extended it from March 31st, 2021 until December 31st, 2021. It will depend on the COVID situation by end of the year, consulates operations situations and the new Biden administration priority on how to handle it.

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 introduction of appointments option in India. 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 Stampings ? Emergency Appointments ?

US Department of State announced that US consulates across the globe will open in phases based on local conditions. Even though the situation is under control in many countries, the reality is that many of the consulates are still not yet open for regular operations. Most of them are still operating in limited scope.  

For instance, as of October 2021, India Consulates are not yet open for regular operations. They are processing only emergency appointments and limited slots are given for Work Visas like H1B, L1, others like B1. Check US Visa Consulates Updates COVID – India for complete details on the appointments, US Travel Docs updates.

As the US State Department has expanded the Interview Waiver or Dropbox Visa stamping requirement to 48 months from expiry, we may see more people able to get Visa stamping. You can connect with others in 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 ? Will it help ease the waiting ?

   

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269 Comments

  1. Hi
    My first H1B is finish in sept 2019 I check on line and I am eligible to apply Dropbox but I try to book appointment but there is OFC window open and appointment is not available also left side there is mention (11 February) available.(Mumbai)
    Can you help me?

    Reply
  2. Kumar,
    My visa expiration date is 14th Feb 2019. 24 months puts me out to 14th Feb 2021. When I try to schedule the appointment it does say I’m eligible for dropbox. The first available appointment is on March 1st 2021. Would that be considered as beyond 24 month period as I would dropping it off after Feb 14th, but I would have set it up an appointment say on Feb 5th which falls before the expiration date.

    Reply
    • Even I have the same issue,i.e same date for Feb 14th 2021,it will be 24 months and I am not getting any slot before that How should I go ahead…

      Reply
    • Chetan,
      Yes, you need to have 24 months on the day of documents submission, not booking. Not much you can do. keep looking for a slot.

      Reply
  3. Hi Kumar,

    Me ,my wife and daughter(2 year) had Visa upto 31st Dec 2020. Now my extension got approved for 3 years . I am planning to go India by May 2021. I think Myself and my family are eligible for drop box.

    My question is, My wife and daughter never traveled to USA with previous VISA. Are they eligible for drop box now?

    Reply
  4. 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?

    Reply
  5. 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?

    Thanks,
    Vishal

    Reply
      • Hi,
        I had the same situation and just last week I filled my DS 160 and with the receipt number, when I looked for dates, I was able to see & pick the Dropbox date of April 1st in Delhi embassy.
        My question however is that what will happen if they don’t extend the 24 months eligibility beyond March 31st. As my previous visa has expired in October 2019, will they refuse to accept my documents on My scheduled date of April 1st or will they deny the application or ask me to reschedule with visa appointment when I reach to Dropbox location.
        Please suggest as how should I proceed in this case?

        Reply
        • I am also planning to do the same.My Visa stamping expired on June 15 2019.So with the new rule I am eligible for dropbox.If i want to book an aqppointment after March 31st , will that be an issue or the appointment dates has to be within March 31st 2021

          I have seen in USTrtavelDocs that as long you can book slots and its says IW you should be able to submit dropbox as long as it is 7 days prior to 24 months of yuor visa stamping expiry

          Reply
        • Manish,
          Yes, they will very likely not take your documents and ask you to go for regular stamping slot. But, why do you want to take that risk when they said clearly that you need to within 24 months window on the day of submission of documents.

          Reply
          • Thanks Kumar.
            I will still be under 24 months window on 1st April (my visa expired October 2019) but the question is, “will they accept the documents if the 24 months rule is not extended beyond 31st March”?

  6. 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.

    Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
  7. Hello ,

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

    Reply
  8. 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

    Reply
  9. Hi,

    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

    Regards,
    Raja

    Reply
  10. 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:

    Abhi,
    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:
    http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-ds160info.asp#guidelines

    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.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      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

      Reply
    • Abhi,
      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. : https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/ds-160-faqs.html.

      Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
  11. 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?

    Reply
  12. 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?

    Reply
  13. 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?

    Reply
  14. Found that the eligibility date just got extended to March 31, 2021.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/expansion-of-interview-waiver-eligibility.html
    I have a Dropbox appointment in first week of January.

    Reply
  15. 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.

    Reply
  16. Hi,

    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?

    Thanks

    Reply
  17. 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

    Reply
    • Bhargavi,
      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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
      • 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: support-india@ustraveldocs.com? Or is there a State Department email you are referring to? Please let me know.

        Reply
  18. HI,
    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?
    Thanks

    Reply
  19. Hi,

    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?
    Thanks

    Reply
  20. Hi,

    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 ?

    Reply
  21. 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?

    Reply
    • Mohan,
      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…

      Reply
      • 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?

        Reply
          • 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.

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

          • 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.

            Thanks,
            tarun Lamba

          • 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.

            Regards,
            Abhi

  22. Hi,

    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 !

    Reply
    • Venkat,
      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…

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

          Reply
          • 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).

          • Hello,
            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?

          • Nikhil,
            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.

          • 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 ?

          • 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?

  23. 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?

    Thanks.

    Reply
      • Hi!

        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!

        Reply
        • Ish,
          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…

          Reply
  24. 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.

    Reply
  25. 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 ?

    Reply
    • Seema,
      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.

      Reply
  26. 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

    Thanks

    Reply
    • 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

      Thanks

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  27. 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

    Reply
    • Srujan,
      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.

      Reply
      • 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 !!

        Reply
      • Hi,

        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?

        Thanks

        Reply
      • Hi Kumar, thanks for your reply. I have one more question on this. As I have a valid H1B VISA stamping till 2022 September, Do i still need to get visa stamped with new employer ? I am planning to travel Mid-Feb and i am not able to find any slots. My Law firm confirmed that i don’t have to go for stamping again as i already have a stamp which is valid, but I just want to confirm from other sources on this.

        Reply
  28. Hi,
    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 .

    Reply
    • 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 .

      Thanks

      Reply
  29. 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?

    Reply
  30. Hi,

    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 ?

    Reply
  31. 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.

    Reply
    • 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?

      -Abhi

      Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
  32. 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.

    Reply
  33. Hi,

    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,
    Harsha

    Reply
  34. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  35. 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?

    Reply
    • 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 ?

      Reply
  36. 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.

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

        Reply
      • 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: https://bit.ly/3hiMnaP
        . 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?

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
  37. 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.

    Thanks,
    Manu

    Reply
    • Monognya,
      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.

      Reply
      • 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

        Reply
      • 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.

        Thanks,

        Reply
  38. Hi,
    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.

    Reply
  39. Hi,
    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.

    Reply
  40. hi,
    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.
    india
    Step 3 : Language Of Interview.
    english
    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)?
    yes
    Was your prior H1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”?
    no
    Was your most recent visa (in the same class for which you are applying) lost or stolen or cancelled?
    no
    Have you ever been refused a H-1B (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) visa before?
    no
    Is your previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) still valid?
    no
    Did your previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) expire within the last 24 months?
    yes
    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?
    yes

    Reply
  41. 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 ?

    Regards,
    Yogish

    Reply
  42. Hi,
    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

    Reply
  43. 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

    Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • Naresh,
          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.

          Reply
          • 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

    • 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!

      Reply
  44. 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!

    Reply
  45. Hi,

    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!!

    Reply

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