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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, response 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’.

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 make it more clear, 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

Comparision 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

April, May, June 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

April 4th, 2022: One of our community users in the US Visa Stamping India Telegram Group, had an appointment at Hyderabad VAC for Dropbox submission for April 4th, 2022. The user was able to drop off documents at Mumbai VAC without any issues on the same day. As per the person at the counter, the Visa will be processed at Hyderabad Consulate only and not at Mumbai. The user was kind enough to share his experience in the community group. Thanks to the user for sharing the update. Below is the screenshot of the experience.

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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77 Comments

  1. I am planning to apply for B1/B2 renewal. My visa was issued in Mumbai and I live in pune. Currently for Mumbai the dropbox appointment dates are available for November but for Delhi it is much earlier (Sept). Can I apply for Delhi and submit my documents in Pune? Will this have any impact on the renewal success rate (applying at different consulate for renewal)? And do I need to redo my DS160 for Delhi or I can still use my DS160 filled for Mumbai?

    Reply
  2. Hi Kamakshi,
    Hope you are doing fine!
    I was wondering if you figure it out your above mention question as I have the same question to be honest. So wanted to know your perspective if you have figure it somehow.
    Appreciate your help in advance.
    Thank you in advance.
    Shree

    Reply
  3. Hello all,
    I have H1B drop-off appointment confirmation letter is in Kolkata before April 4, 2022 but my visa stamping appointment date is in June 2022. Can I drop my passport in Mumbai VAC location as per new law that we can drop-off any location?
    Need response asap
    Thank you in advance for your time
    Thanks,
    Shree

    Reply
  4. Hi All-,

    I have my drop off appointment in Chennai on Oct 27th at 8:30 am and I live in Bangalore. Then as per these changes I can submit my documents on Oct 27th at Bangalore location? But my question is Bengaluru Drop off Location opens from 10 am to 4 pm only but my appointment is at 8:30am. When should I submit the documents as I need to submit in my case

    Reply
    • Mala,
      Yes, you can. Go there first thing in the morning, it should be fine. You should email them and then get confirmation to be safe. Do update here, how it goes for community benefit.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar but the bengaluru location opens only by 10am but my appointment is at 8:30AM. Will they really allow me if I go there first in the morning. I have submitted the question to ustraveldocs but what I got the reply is
        “You should arrive at exactly the time of your appointment; there is no provision to wait in and around the Embassy/Consulate area. ” but does not poivide the correct info in my case

        Reply
        • Mala G,
          Ask them the same question that your center does not open and see what they come up with. This is a confusing thing with the drop off at other locations. Worst case, you can go there and tell them you never opened. Do update here, how it goes.

          Reply
  5. Hello,

    I booked an h1b dropbox appointment for Sep 13, 2022 at chennai VAC. The appointment confirmation page has VAC appointment details and document delivery information sections. But in the CGI portal application history, the visa priority is Regular and not IW. Is this an issue? The appointment scheduling page does not have any information about consular appointments. Just clicked on the date and showed appointment confirmation page. Can I consider this appointment for dropbox?

    Reply
  6. Hi,

    I have submitted my passport for visa stamping through through Dropbox at Bangalore on Apr 26, 2022 (for VAC at Chennai). It’s been more than 10 business days since I have submitted. So, I reached out to their call center as well as emailed support-india@ustraveldocs.com. I keep receiving standard message as “you need to wait!”.
    When I checked for the status using ceac.status.gov, the status is still “Application Received”. However, last updated changed on last Monday to May 9th and today to May 16th .
    I am not sure how to decode this wait. Is/Was any one on this situation? Requesting your inputs or suggestions on this regard.

    Reply
    • Hello, My Spouse is also in same situation, we had summitted at Chennai on May 16th ( for VAC at Hyderabad). Since May 17th I was tracking the status though CGI portal by logging in with my user info and the status was “Passport is still with US Embassy” on May 24th it got changed to “Document Delivery Information: ” this leads me to check on Application status tracker link and there I started seeing the status as exactly like yours Case created on May 25. This is such a confusion now, I have sent an email to support-india@ustraveldocs.com but no response yet. The way I have decoded it so far is, I think the Visa is issues in my Spouse case but the embassy have turned it over to Hyderabad as the appointment was originally scheduled to VAC, since that’s the first time they received the case they have updated the status as case created on May 25 but they may be not processing the delivery yet. But this is just my hypothesis.

      Reply
  7. Hi. I am planning to get my H1B visa stamping done in India. Due to non availability of dates, is it possible to get the visa stamped from Indian consulate in US via my employer. I am eligible for dropbox/interview waiver. Please advise. Thanks

    Reply
  8. I live in Mumbai and am eligible for dropbox for B1/B2 renewal. I have a dropbox appointment at Delhi VAC on June 8, 2022. Since I live in Mumbai, I can submit all docs at Mumbai VAC. Then docs would go to Delhi get processed and the passport will be delivered back to Mumbai VAC from where I can pick up personally…is my understanding of the process correct? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • @R Krishnan

      even I’m interested to know about this use case for B1/B2 Visa renewal. let me know about your experience.

      Reply
      • @R Krishnan – did you get any more insights on this?
        I’m in exactly same situation as you. I live in Bangalore but have dropbox appointment in Delhi. Should I just submit my docs in Bangalore VAC or I will have to travel physically to Delhi to submit those???

        Any other inputs also welcome.

        Reply
    • Hello, can you please share your experience now? Were you able to submit it at Mumbai and have you received your passport/visa considering your date was 8th June?

      Reply
  9. I have my H1B dropbox location set to Hyderabad for next week. I wanted to see if I can instead drop off my documents in Delhi instead of HYD since the dropbox issue times are much faster in Delhi. Any suggestions or advise here?

    Reply
    • PK, You should be able to drop off anywhere. Even though it will dropped off at Delhi, it will still go to Hyderabad for processing, if you selected HYD in first place.

      Reply
  10. Everyone,
    This is very insightful. Thanks for all the info!
    I have a question – I am eligible for drop box and finally got a slot for May 17 with Hyderabad VAC as drop off location. However based on my home location, my pick up location is Kolkata.
    With this new announcement, I can submit the documents in Kolkata location(although its HYD VAC) but what will be my pick up location ? Since the documents will be processed at HYD VAC, am I supposed to pick up from HYD or can I pick up from Kolkata ?
    All inputs/experiences are appreciated.

    Reply
    • Sushma,
      You can drop off and pick up anywhere, need to pay the fee accordingly as listed on the appointment letter. You can email the support or call them, they will confirm as well.

      Reply
  11. I am having an appointmend to at Delhi on 1st July 2022 can i drop of my documents at chandigarh before that date or I need to submit on the date i have an appointment for?
    plz let me know if someone is familiar with it.
    thanks

    Reply
    • Robin,
      As far as submission goes, you can only submit on that date. So far, we have not seen others share it. You can email the consulate to get confirmation. Do share how it goes here for community benefit.

      Reply
  12. One thing that is not clear is the appointment slot. We have a dropbox appointment on Apr28th at Delhi VAC. I understand we can drop off our application at Hyderabad VAC – but can I do it earlier or do I have to do it on the 28th on my original appointment slot.

    Reply
    • Divesh,
      Try to do it at the same time that you have at Delhi VAC. This is not fully clarified by them. You can call the customer service and update everyone here for benefit of community.

      Reply
    • This is the official message on my confirmation:

      For Interview Waiver Applicants
      Documents can be only submitted on the Appointment Date at the below Locations ONLY. 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.

      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.
      Location Free /Paid Drop off location
      New Delhi VAC Free of cost drop-off location
      Mumbai VAC Free of cost drop-off location
      Chennai VAC Free of cost drop-off location
      Hyderabad VAC Free of cost drop-off location
      Kolkata VAC Free of cost drop-off location
      Chandigarh Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)
      Jalandhar Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)
      Ahmedabad Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)
      Pune Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)
      Bengaluru Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)
      Kochi Paid drop-off location (Rs 650/- per individual)

      Reply
    • This is the official message on my confirmation:

      For Interview Waiver Applicants
      Documents can be only submitted on the Appointment Date at the below Locations ONLY. 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.

      Reply
      • You can refer the image https://redbus2us.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Comparison-of-Drop-off-Locations-in-Interview-Waiver-Appointment-Letters-.webp

        Reply
  13. Hi!
    We have drop off option as our interview is waivered. But its so hard to book an appointment. It always say “No appointments available”. Then how to book appointment ? Is there a way?

    Reply
    • I am wondering why always 5 VACs are shown to book an appointment (ofcourse always not available) if the new rule says we can drop off anywhere shouldn’t all the other drop off (paid) locations should be listed? Is it like have to book in one of the 5 VAC but can drop off anywhere in the 11 locations?

      Reply
      • Sagar,
        They want to know your preferred consulate, if you need to go to visa interview, that’s why don’t list the paid location.

        Reply
  14. Can i book dropbox appointment before 120 days of program commencement??
    Can i book appointment in Hyderabad and drop off and pickup in chennai??

    Reply
  15. Will this rule stay permanently? Currently appointments are booked 3-6 months in advance, so I am wondering if it is safe to book an appointment in Chennai knowing I can submit the documents in Mumbai or Kolkata.

    Reply
  16. Hi,
    Can you please share if there is any information from US Travel Docs on processing time if you dropped at other location? If not, can you please share any user experience who dropped at other VAC location (e.g. dropping at Mumbai VAC instead of appointment location of Kolkata). Does US Travel docs still honor 7-10 working days of processing time? Please share if you have any user experience or have any information from US Travel docs

    Reply
    • Pratap,
      The above article has the experience shared by the user. Yes, they should. Too early to say on the timelines. But, should not be 1 to 2 days more than normal processing.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar for your quick response. I called their customer care and they affirmed that it will not take any extra days, though we dont know for sure.

        Also do you know if called for and interview, will that at booked dropbox appointment location or we can attend where we dropped out documents

        Reply
  17. i have submitted my drop box documents on April 4th, still,(11 April) i didn’t get any communication, status showing as ISSUED.
    can i check my visa status at consulate.

    Reply
    • Hey Simha, can you please let me know when you receive your passport. I have my drop box appointment in June, so thinking how long I should plan my India trip.

      Reply
    • Hey Simha,
      did you drop it at the same location of your appointment or at a different location. Trying to figure out how long it is taking for issuing visa if dropped at a different location.

      Reply
    • Hi Simha, can you please walk us through your experience of visting dropbox center and submitting documents?
      Please also mention the documents that you submitted.
      I’m very confused about the document checklist because Appointment confirmation asks for few documents only whereas the normal visa process has a long checklist.

      Reply
  18. Hi,
    I booked my dropbox appointment on March 28th
    My appointment date is June14 in Kolkata, my confirmation email says to drop off documents at Kolkata location. Can I drop off my documents at Hyderabad instead of Kolkata even though my email says to drop off at Kolkata?
    Can you please hep with my question.
    Thank you in advance.
    Kamakshi

    Reply
  19. Hi,
    I booked my dropbox appointment on March 28th
    My appointment date is June14 in Kolkata, my confirmation email says to drop off documents at Kolkata location. Can I drop off my documents at Hyderabad instead of Kolkata even though my email says to drop off at Kolkata?
    Can you please hep with my question.
    Thank you in advance.
    Kamakshi

    Reply
  20. I have an dropbox appointment confirmation in Delhi Consulate on April 19 now as per new update we can submit at the nearest location which is Hyderabad consulate. So i have couple of questions could you please help me
    1) Can we use the same appointment confirmation letter to submit in Hyderabad ?
    2) If we need to regenerate the new letter where do i need to generate it ?

    Please help Thanks …..

    Reply
  21. Hi,
    What is the email or phone number of the customer support to reach out and confirm regarding my appoinment and drop off location?

    Reply
  22. HI,

    What happens to the people who have already paid the visa fees? 190$.
    Will it be refunded? Is there any discussion on that?

    Reply
  23. Since application is reviewed at the user selected location only, does this mean submitting documents at different location will lead to delayed processing of the application.?

    Reply
  24. I have my drop off appointment in Chennai on April 26 at 2pm and I live in new Delhi. Then as per these changes I can submit my document on April 26 at 2pm at any location across India (say New Delhi)? And since I have an Interview Waiver this is all I need to do? No need to travel to Chennai for any other formality?

    Reply
  25. Hi,
    Do we still need to go to the dropbox at the appointed time? Will it cause a bottleneck where that VAC location appointment person turns up as the time as me and they ask me to come some other free time?

    Mamta

    Reply
  26. With this new benefit how my DS160 form should look like for Location Information!?
    DS160 form Question column:
    “Where you will be submitting your Application?”

    The Location I selected for Dropbox? Or location I am literally dropping my documents!?

    Please advise!

    ~Arun

    Reply
    • Arun,
      In general, the location you select for DS-160 does not matter for submission, it can be any other location. They have already clarified this on FAQs of DS-160 check it.

      Reply
  27. Hello,
    Im eligible for dropbox . But i couldn’t see any slots open . Can you please let us know how to book appointments?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Hi Swarna, keep looking for slots. You will get it.

      There is a telegram group for H1/H4 dropbox availability..Join there. It is really helpful. From January, I am looking for slots. Last weekend, they opened the June slots .As per my understanding, they haven’t opened the July, August slots.

      Reply
  28. This sounds like a sweet deal for people who have to travel to other cities just to submit their passport.
    So I have an appointment for dropbox for h1b on april 20th at Kolkata and am planning to utilize this feature. So my question is “I haven’t completed filling my DS160 yet and I started by selecting the location as Hyderabad, but Since I got my appointment in Kolkata should I submit the DS160 by selecting Kolkata as passport dropbox location or should I keep it as Hyderabad?”.

    Reply

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