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Dropbox Stamping India: Can Drop off Documents at Any Location

USTravelDocs India has announced an important update that allows US Visa Interview Waiver, also called Dropbox, applicants to submit documents at any location starting from April 4th, 2022. In this article, we will review complete details about the announcement, like how it would work, changes to the Dropbox confirmation message, changes in appointment letters, responses from customer support, user experiences, and other common FAQs.

USTravelDocs: Dropbox Applicants can submit Documents at any VAC Location

Starting from Sep 2019, Interview Waiver or Dropbox Stamping in India requires applicants to book an appointment to drop-off documents. Relevant to that, USTravelDocs India just put up an announcement on their website that reads as below and appears as in the below screenshot. It will appear as soon as you go on to the USTravelDocs India website and choose ‘Non-immigrant visa’.

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Effective April 4, 2022, applicants can submit their interview waiver applications free of cost at any of the Visa Application Centers (VAC) where the Embassy or Consulate is located. If applicants wish to submit at any other location, a nominal fee of Rs 650/- per passport will be charged in cash at the time of submission.”

USTravelDocs India Announcement on Dropbox Application Submission
USTravelDocs India Announcement on Dropbox Application Submission

While the announcement seems simple, it is unclear to many how it would work. Let’s dive into details.

How does it work? Where can you drop off the documents?

As per the announcement, if you qualify for an Interview Waiver or Dropbox Submission for your US Visa Stamping, then you can drop off documents for the Dropbox stamping at any of the 11 locations across India and there are no restrictions by location of the US Consulate. In the past, there were restrictions that you can only submit documents at locations related to that consulate.

For Example: In the past, if you selected New Delhi Embassy, you could drop off documents at New Delhi VAC, Chandigarh Center, and Jalandhar Center. Or, let’s say you selected, Hyderabad Consulate, then you could only submit at Hyderabad VAC. Similarly, there were restrictions for the drop-off of documents for each consulate with listed cities.

Now, with the new announcement, starting from April 4th, 2022, the restriction of location tied to a US Consulate is not there anymore. It means, as an applicant, you have the choice to drop off documents at any of the 11 locations across India.

For Example: Now with the new announcement from April 4th, 2022, if you selected New Delhi Embassy, then you can drop off documents anywhere in India at the listed locations like Mumbai VAC, Chennai VAC, Pune, Kochi, etc. The only catch is, that you would need to pay Rs 650 INR fee, if you drop off documents at a location that is not a US Embassy or US Consulate Location. We will look at the details below.

Where can Dropbox Applicants Submit Documents? Free vs Paid Locations?

As per the new announcement, starting from April 4th, 2022, all Dropbox or Interview Waiver Applicants can submit or drop off (including pickup) documents for free at all the US Consulates and US Embassy locations in India. If the applicant is submitting documents at a location that is not a US Consulate or US Embassy city, then there is a fee of Rs 650 INR per applicant.

Below is the full list of locations, where applicants can submit/pickup documents for free and where they need to pay the fee

Drop off LocationFree or Paid Drop-off/ Pickup Location?
Hyderabad VACFree of cost drop-off/pickup location
New Delhi VACFree of cost drop-off/pickup location
Chennai VACFree of cost drop-off/pickup location
Mumbai VACFree of cost drop-off/pickup location
Kolkata VACFree of cost drop-off/pickup location
PunePaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual
KochiPaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual
BengaluruPaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual
AhmedabadPaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual
JalandharPaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual
ChandigarhPaid drop-off/pickup location, Rs 650 per Individual

US Dropbox Appointment Confirmation Letter – List of Locations

Below is the sample US Dropbox Appointment Letter shared by one of our community members, who has a dropbox appointment for June 28th, 2022. Thanks to the user for sharing the info. Really appreciate it!

If you look closely, the appointment confirmation letter on page 3 says “Documents can be only submitted on Appointment Date at below Locations ONLY…” and lists the location and if it is free or paid. Below is the exact screenshot of the letter for your info.

Interview Waiver or Dropbox Appointment Letter - Locations List - Free or Paid
Interview Waiver or Dropbox Appointment Letter – Locations List – Free or Paid

Comparison with Old Appointment Confirmation Letter

To clarify, let’s compare the Dropbox Appointment Confirmation letter before and after the announcement.

The appointment confirmation letter for anyone submitting documents before April 4, 2022, it clearly says “Appointment Date at below Address ONLY“, but if you are submitting documents after April 4, 2022, it says “Appointment Date at below Locations ONLY”

The main difference is ‘Address’ vs. ‘Locations’. For before April 4th appointment confirmation letter, it has a list of one address or more addresses. But, for after April 4th, 2022 appointment confirmation letter has the list of all locations across India. It lists all the 11 locations across India and indicates if it is free or paid. See the below screenshot that compares both side-by-side.

Comparison of Drop-off Locations in Interview Waiver Appointment Letters
Comparison of Drop-off Locations in Interview Waiver Appointment Letters

Dropbox Qualification Confirmation Message Changed

As you go through the US Visa Appointmentment booking questionnaire like in H1B Dropbox Step by Step Guide, if you qualify for Dropbox, you would get a confirmation message at the end that tells, if you qualify for an interview waiver or dropbox submission.

In the past, this confirmation message that reads “Congratulations! You qualify for the Interview Waiver. You will need to ….” used to have the list of locations where you could submit documents for interview waiver or dropbox appointment. It used to clearly show the Consulate or Embassy location and the list of allowed locations for Submission. Now, that “Locations of submission” section is removed. See the below screenshot of the updated confirmation message

US Visa Interview Waiver Appointment Confirmation 2022 - Without Restrictions on Locations
US Visa Interview Waiver Appointment Confirmation 2022 – Without Restrictions on Locations

Comparison with Old Dropbox Confirmation Message

Below is a comparison of the previous confirmation message and the latest confirmation message after the change. As you can see in the below screenshot, the section of “Locations of Submission” is completely removed in the latest confirmation message. This further clarifies that there are no restrictions on where you can drop off documents.

Comparison of Location of Submission - Before and After
Confirmation Message: Comparison of Location of Submission section – Before and After

USTravelDocs Customer Service Response on Locations to Submit

Some of our community users, reached out to USTravelDocs Customer Support to get clarification on where they can submit documents. The response is very clear and confirms that applicants are free to submit documents at any of the 11 locations in India. They need to pay Rs 650 INR, if they choose a location that is not a US Consulate or US Embassy City.

Below is the response screenshot for your review. Thanks to the community user for sharing it in our US Visa Stampings India Telegram group.

Where can you drop off documents for Interview Waiver - USTravel Docs Response
Where can you drop off documents for Interview Waiver – USTravel Docs Response

Below is another customer service response from April 4th, 2022 confirming the same.

Applicants can use any of the 11 dropbox locations in India Response
Applicants can use any of the 11 dropbox locations in India Response

Overall, this new option to submit documents across 11 locations in India is really good news for many as they do not have to travel to specific cities now. Also, with the 48 months US Visa Dropbox Eligibility rule extended indefinitely and as certain first-time H1B, L1 Applicants can utilize the dropbox stamping now until the end of 2022, this will help a lot of applicants.

User Experiences: Submit Documents at Different Location

2023: In the last one year since the introduction of this, all users were able to submit without any issues.

2022 : In the last 3 months since the introduction of the option, many users in our community groups on Telegram and Facebook confirmed that they were able to submit documents at a location that is different from the original location that they booked.

Even if you drop off documents at a different location, in general, the processing time did not matter and it was essentially the same as before. But, in early June 2022, US Embassy updated that the processing times for Dropbox stamping is taking anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks, so be prepared. See below screenshot from US Embassy India Facebook page

US Embassy Update - Processing time for Dropbox Stamping in India 3 to 4 weeks
US Embassy Update – Processing time for Dropbox Stamping in India 3 to 4 weeks

Community Members Updates: Many of our community users in the US Visa Stamping India Telegram Group, had an appointment at one VAC location for Dropbox submission, but were able to submit in different location.

Below is one example of a user who was able to drop off documents at Mumbai VAC without any issues on the same day, when his location was Hyderabad. As per the person at the counter, the Visa will be processed at Hyderabad Consulate only and not at Mumbai.

User Experience Submit Documents at Mumbai after New Rule
User Experience – Submit Documents at Mumbai instead of Hyderabad after New Rule

Common FAQs

I have a US Visa dropbox appointment at Kolkata VAC, can I drop off documents at Hyderabad VAC?

Yes, starting from April 4th, 2022, you can drop off documents at Hyderabad VAC. Also, as you are submitting documents at Hyderabad VAC, which is a US Consulate location, it is free of charge for submission and pickup. In fact, you are free to submit at any of the 11 locations across India.

My Dropbox Appointment is after April 4th, 2022, but it has a specific location. What should I do?

You can go to USTravelDocs and re-generate the Dropbox Appointment Confirmation Letter, it will be created in the new format as shown above and will reflect the new change. If you are having issues, reach out to CGI Federal/USTravelDocs customer support and they will email you the new appointment letter.

I have a H1B Dropbox Appointment at US Embassy in Delhi, can I submit documents at Pune?

Yes, starting from April 4th, 2022, you can submit documents at any of the 11 locations across India, including Pune. Because Pune is not a US Consulate location, you will need to pay Rs 650 INR to submit / pick-up documents at this location.

Does submitting Documents at US Consulate Location has a better Visa Approval Rate?

No, the location of submission of documents will not have any impact on the outcome of the Visa approval. This is just a logistics issue to transfer the application to the respective consulate and making life easier for applicants.

What do you think of the new change? Does it help? Share your experiences, and questions in the comments section below.

   

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143 Comments

  1. I have couple of questions. While filing DS 160, I had filed New Delhi as location but since drop box is only available for Chennai, I booked the appointment for Chennai. Is there any
    issue with it?

    Also, I booked the appoinment for myself and dependent on the new platform. On the confirmation page, I see visa category listed as H1 for both. It should be H4 for depedent. There’s no way to change it either. Will this create any issue?

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Hello, Have this rule changed? I send them an email asking about the same and this was their reply
    “Please follow the link: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/en/renew-visa to learn more about the interview waiver process.
    Applicants may use any of our eleven drop-off locations. Those applying at the New Delhi Embassy should drop off at the New Delhi, Chandigarh, or Jalandhar processing centers. Applicants for Mumbai may drop off at Mumbai, Pune, or Ahmedabad processing centers. Applicants for Chennai may drop off at Chennai, Bangalore, or Kochi. Applicants in Hyderabad and Kolkata should drop off at their respective visa application centers.”

    Reply
    • Dhrubo,
      Nothing has changed in terms of applicant’s process. You can drop off documents anywhere. Only the processing operations are going to be in Chennai for faster processing. This is not relevant for applicants, it is just a measure to speed up process on their end.

      Reply
      • I am confused with this information as well. In my case, when I filled my DS160, I opted Kolkata for pick-up location. I got appointment slot available at Delhi and booked my appoitment for Delhi. Now I am planning to drop off at Kolkata. So, as per this information, can I drop off at Kolkata or I have to go to Delhi for document drop off ? Any suggestions will be highly appreciated. Thanks

        Reply
          • Important Announcement: Change in Interview Waiver (Dropbox) cases processing location, effective October 1, 2023
            The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are centralizing the processing of most nonimmigrant visa interview waiver (drop box) cases in Chennai to maximize productivity and increase efficiencies. This change will apply to all visa categories except B1/B2 short term visitor visas, which will continue to be processed at every consular section. Already scheduled interview waiver appointments will be unchanged, but new C1/D, F, H, J, L, and M interview waiver appointments, after October 1, will be available only in Chennai. Applicants will still be able to drop off and pick up their interview waiver documents at any of the five Visa Application Centers or six Document Drop Off Centers located throughout India and should not experience any delays as a result of this change. This change is one of many measures we are taking to streamline visa processing and increase our capacity to meet Indian demand for travel to the United States.

            link:https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/en/nonimmigrant-visa

          • Hey Anu,
            How are you?
            Can you please share your experience since i have the exact same question.
            Any help will be appreciated.
            Thanks

        • Dear Mintu,

          What has been your experience as I too have same issues and appointment during first week of Nov’23. Can you please share your experience. Thanks

          Reply
          • Hi Sushanto,
            Can you please share your experience?

            I have a similar situation.
            My appointment is in Chennai but I plan to drop off documents in Ahmedabad.

            I really appreciate your response.
            Thanks,
            Swapnil

        • Hey Mintu,
          How are you?
          Can you please share your experience since i have the exact same question.
          Any help will be appreciated.
          Thanks

          Reply
      • My dropbox appointment was on 09/29 at Ahmedabad VAC. Case was created on 10/04 with Application Received as the status.

        My case last updated date changed three times so far. On 10/11, 10/20, 10/26 but with the same status Application Received.

        It be almost a month but no updates. Has anyone faced similar issue or any suggestions on what should I do?

        Reply

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