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US Visa Stamping in India – Dropbox Appointment, OFC, FAQs

In general, you need to apply for Biometrics & US Visa Interview appointments, if you need to get a US visa stamping on your passport. Since Sep 2019, US Consulates in India introduced appointments for US Visa stampings using the Interview Waiver option, popularly called Dropbox. In this article, we will look at the US Visa dropbox or Interview Waiver process in India, what it means to anyone going for US Visa stamping, and FAQs on the same.

US Visa Stamping with Renewal, aka Dropbox – Appointments

Starting from September 1st, 2019, if you are eligible for US Visa Interview Waiver, aka Dropbox option, you must schedule an appointment date to drop off your passport and all the supporting US visa application documents. This appointment booking is applicable for all dropbox option/ interview waiver applicants filing for their US Visa renewal or stamping in India.  

Below are the three biggest changes since the introduction of the appointments for Dropbox:

  • In the past (before Sep 2019), for US Visa renewals, you had an option to go for dropbox, but it was not mandatory. It was your choice to pick dropbox or an in-person appointment. But, starting from Sep 1st, 2019, it is mandatory for you to go for the dropbox option if you qualify for the interview waiver option based on the questions answered on CGI Federal website.
  • In the past(before September 2019), no appointment was required with Visa Application Center(VAC) to drop off documents. But now, you must schedule an appointment beforehand to drop off your documents for dropbox stamping.
  • In the past, the average processing time for an interview waiver or dropbox was an average of 3 weeks and there was no SLA.  Now, from September 1st, 2019, the dropbox applicant will get a decision on their case within 7 to 10 business days from the day they submitted their documents.

Official Guidance – USTravelDocs Website

As per the official guidance from the USTravelDocs.com India website for renewing a US visa, they clearly say that “starting September 1st, eligible applicants MUST schedule an appointment in order to drop off their passports…”  

Renew US Visa in India - Dropbox Requirement 2021
Renew US Visa in India – Dropbox Requirement 2021

Dropbox Eligibility Requirements

The criteria for US visa interview waiver or dropbox option have not changed with the introduction of appointment booking. All documents required have not changed. You are still required to submit all the required documents as before.  

In general, to apply for dropbox, your visa has to be valid or expired within the last 12 months. But, due to COVID-19, the US Dept of State has increased the 12 months from expiry to 48 months from expiry. You can read more at US Visa Dropbox Changed to 48 Months – FAQs

Process for General Dropbox appointment Booking India

The standard process to book an in-person US Visa interview appointment is to go to CGI Federal’s website to register for an account and then schedule a general US visa interview appointment. The process is no different for booking Dropbox Appointments as well. You need to follow the same process as in-person appointment booking. Below are the steps

  • Step 1 – Register Account: You need to register an account at CGI Federal – US Travel Docs India
  • Step 2 – Complete Questionnaire Wizard: The CGI Federal appointment booking system will give you a step-by-step wizard asking a set of questions. Based on the answers you provide, your dropbox eligibility is determined.
  • Step 3 – Confirmation for Dropbox Appointment: If you are eligible based on the answers you provide, the system will automatically give you a confirmation saying you qualify for an interview waiver or dropbox. Below is a screenshot of how it looks.
  • Step 4 – Book Appointment: After the confirmation screen, you will be prompted to put in the MRV fee payment receipt details and then prompt you to book the appointment date to drop off documents.
US Visa Interview Waiver Appointment Confirmation 2022 - Without Restrictions on Locations
US Visa Interview Waiver Appointment Confirmation 2022 – Without Restrictions on Locations

Note: In the past, there was a restriction on where you can submit documents for dropbox visa stamping, now that restriction is not there anymore. Irrespective of the US Consulate you select, now you can submit your documents at any location. There is a small fee that you may need to pay if you are submitting at non-Consulate locations. You can read more at Drop off documents at any Location in India Below is the difference on how it used to look.

Comparison of Location of Submission - Before and After
Comparison of Location of Submission – Before and After

If you are looking for H1B Visa specific dropbox process, you can check out Step by Step Guide for H1B Visa Dropbox Appointment Booking – India

Do you need Biometrics (OFC) Appointment for Dropbox?

In general, there is no requirement for giving Biometrics at Offsite Facilitation Center(OFC) or Visa Application Center(VAC), when you book a US Visa stamping appointment using the Dropbox or Interview waiver option. But, when you try to book the appointment, the online system shows “Schedule OFC Appointment” as in the below screenshot, which can be confusing as the same message is shown for a Biometrics appointment as well.

The text “Schedule OFC appointment” on the appointment booking screen can be confusing, but they have a reason. Technically, ‘OFC’ Stands for ‘Offsite Facilitation Center’ and the Visa appointment system is asking you to book an appointment to drop off your US Visa documents at an Offsite Facilitation Center(OFC). So, do not be confused with the text with OFC on the top.

Also, do not be confusing if you see ‘VAC’ instead of ‘IW’ in the dropdown on the same screen.

In the past, before Nov 28, 2021, the last 3 letters in the dropdown used to say ‘IW’, which meant ‘Interview Waiver’ and it was easy to identify the dropbox appointment. This changed to VAC starting from Nov 28th, 2021. Do not be confused. It still means dropbox appointment booking, if you were given the dropbox confirmation screen. Read complete details at US Visa Appointment Dropbox Booking shows VAC instead of IW

Schedule OFC Appointment Screen for Interview Waiver or Dropbox
Schedule OFC Appointment Screen for Interview Waiver or Dropbox

US Visa types Eligible for Dropbox Appointment – H4, H1B, Others

The appointment requirement for US Visa Dropbox applications applies to all of the US visa types that are currently eligible for interview waiver or dropbox. Below are some of the most common visa types that are relevant for our readers.

  • H1B, L1 Visa: If you are an H1B or L1 visa holder applying for visa renewal, then it applies to you.
  • H4 Visa: If you are an H4 Visa holder waiting for approval with Biometrics and traveled out for stamping, then it applies to you.
  • F1 Visa: F1 visa holders going for visa renewal, who are studying in the same school for which visa was issued in the past
  • B1/B2 Visa: It applies to B1/B2 visa renewals done using the Dropbox option.
  • In addition to the above, there are many other visa types that are eligible for interview waiver or dropbox as well. Check the USTravelDocs website for the same.

Below are some of the Dropbox Visa Stamping Experiences articles and links

Common FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions(FAQs) in the context of dropbox appointments.

Can I schedule a dropbox appointment before going to India, when in the US?

Yes, you can schedule the appointment from the US or anywhere in the world, before you arrive in India. You do not have to be physically in India to book the dropbox appointment.

How many days will I get the Visa Stamping decision with New Dropbox Changes?

You will very likely get a decision on your visa stamping within 7 to 10 business days from the day you dropped off your documents.

Can someone else submit my visa application documents at the dropbox location?

Yes, you can ask someone else like your friend, spouse, or travel agent to submit your visa application documents on your behalf. You need to ensure, that all the documents as per the checklist are in there.  Also, submitting parties may need to provide their identity documents as well.

What if I miss the US Visa dropbox Appointment, can I reschedule?

Yes, you can reschedule the appointment. They will mark your receipt as unused after 24 hours and then you can re-schedule to the new date and print a new confirmation letter for the drop off of the documents.

What do I select for Drop off Appointment? Can I select the Date and Time Slot?

You select the location of drop-off, date, and time for the appointment. You need to go to the Consulate/VAC location at the respective date and time. The confirmation looks like in below screenshot. US Visa Dropbox Confirmation with Date and Time

Can I schedule a visa dropbox appointment for me and my wife at the same time?

Yes, both of you can technically select the same date and drop off documents together. The system will show the date and time slots accordingly.

Can I submit documents in a different location than on my Dropbox appointment letter?

In the past, you could only submit your visa stamping documents at the specified dropbox location. But, starting from April 4th, 2022, you can submit your documents at any of the US Consulates or VAC locations across India. It will be free of charge for Consulate locations and there is a fee of Rs 650 INR, if you are submitting in other locations. Check US Visa Dropbox: Can drop off documents at any VAC location

Can I send my documents from the US for dropbox using International Courier?

No, the applicant needs to be physically present in their home country(India) to submit the visa stamping documents. Only appointment scheduling can be done, when you are in the US.

Where can we drop off documents for US Visa stamping with the new process?

It is suggested to select a dropbox location to drop off documents at the below centers based on where you plan to give the visa interview. If you were to be called for an interview, you will be called to the respective consulate that is tied to the relevant drop-off location. So, choose this carefully, if you prefer a choice.

Applicants for Delhi Consulate: Drop off at New Delhi, Chandigarh, or Jalandhar centers
Applicants for Mumbai Consulate: Drop off at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, or Pune centers.
Applicants for Chennai Consulate: Drop off at Chennai, Kochi, or Bangalore.
Applicants for Hyderabad Consulate: Drop off at Hyderabad Center.
Applicants for Kolkata Consulate: Drop off at Kolkata Center

The above suggestion is a recommendation, but it is totally up to you to pick the consulate and drop off location. There are no restrictions as such.

Can I change the visa interview location that I was given after dropbox submission?

No, you cannot change the US Visa interview location. You must attend the visa interview at the location you were asked to attend.  It is important to choose your preferred drop-off location tied to the consulate as listed above when you book the appointment.  

After dropbox submission, I was called for an in-person interview, Can I skip it?

No, you must appear for the interview. You cannot skip if you were asked to attend the visa interview.

Is it really mandatory to schedule an appointment for Dropbox with the new process ?

Yes, it is mandatory. You will need to select the appointment date, and location to drop off your documents. It is not optional anymore.

What if I am missing documents during Submission? My options?

You will be allowed to get the missing documents and submit them on the same day. If you cannot submit as per the checklist, then you cannot submit on that day, you will need to re-schedule your dropbox appointment.

Can I see a Sample US Visa Dropbox Appointment Letter?

You can check it out at Sample US Visa Dropbox Appointment letter

You may also check the US Visa Dropbox Stamping Experiences page for the most recent user experiences. Also, some from the past are at H1B Dropbox Experiences in India and H4 Dropbox Experience in 2019  to get an idea of how they were processed until Aug 30th, 2019. Below is the document that was released by US Consulates when they introduced Dropbox Stamping with Appointments.

What has been your experience with the dropbox appointments so far ? Your thoughts ?

References : USTravelDocs.com – Visa Waiver official Page  


Other Articles


  1. Hello,
    I have been trying to check to drop off appointments every day now for all the locations. Can anyone share what time did you open to get the slot as the call assistants mention they aren’t aware of the time they open.
    I need an appointment slot for June ASAP.

  2. Hi,

    Did anyone able to book dropbox appointment at “Chennai IW” ? I am checking since 2 weeks for May month and unable to get one . Always getting the message “no appointments available”. Do they open appointments on any specify day and time for the entire month or we have to check randomly ?


      • Hi Ravi,

        Appointment is available only at Delhi location and i booked on Sept 15. My previous visa (drop box) was stamped in chennai location. Is it fine , to choose any location in INDIA based on the first available date for drop box ? Do you have any idea.

    • I have been checking for weeks (Mumbai, Hyderabad) , but not able to find any appointments anywhere. Is there a specific time when appointments are opened up? Was anyone able to book an appointment in last 3 weeks?

  3. Hi has anyone been able to schedule a Dropbox OFC appoufor H1B visa recently? What are the earliest appointments available for different centers?

    • Has anyone got dropbox status update when ds 160 has mentione as mumbai but dropped in delhi. I dropped my visa on 22nd but no stus update. It not showing in system for status check.
      Ustrveldoc says that you passport is in possation of embassy.

  4. I and my wife both have an appointment together in Mumbai, and it was booked in one transaction and we both have same receipt number.
    a. If only one of member did show up for drop box interview, would the partial unused receipt of amount $190 can still be used in future appointment (by 30-Sep-2022?) for the person who did not show up?

    • Hello Raj, you got your answer. I am on same boat. Will counslate at least accept the document of wife or need to take separate appointment.

      • I am also on the same boat. Has anyone tried this? Can my spouse drop her documents alone for the dropbox or do I also have to be there since I am principal applicant. I am currently out of country and will not be able to attend the dropbox appointment.

  5. Has anyone been able to get an appointment for May and June recently at any of the consulates ? I only see July and August appointments. Please let me know.

    • Hi, were you able to get an appointment for June? I’m also looking for an appointment in June. Thank you for your response!!

  6. Hi friends,

    I need to go for dropbox in late May 2021. Since I checked CGI portal in the last minute i could not find desired dates in my desired location (Chennai or Hyderabad) and so I booked an appointment for Kolkata location.. I have couple of questions ,

    can I reschedule my appointment date ?
    if so, can I get the dates I am looking for if I recheck the CGI portal daily once ?
    what is the frequency limit to check CGI portal?

    Kindly help me.

    Thank you

  7. Hi Kumar,
    My Case :
    I selected Hyderabad location in DS160 and get the confirmation , but took appointment at Chennai due to no slots available in hyd. So do i need to fill up the DS 160 again for Chennai location ?

    Please replay I had dropbox appointment next week.

  8. I am trying from one month to select dropbox appointment at Mumbai but always shows “no appointments available”. Has someone recently dropped their documents at Mumbai Center? Is it closed or I should keep looking ? Thanks

      • No, not yet and now I hear there is someone in India who charges money and books appointments for you, I am not sure if this is true or not but if it is, its really sad.

        • I get the same message as “no appointments available” for dropbox. Where you able to find a way to book a dropbox appointment? What is the email/phone number to contact the office to enquire about this situation?

          • Hello, my husband I are also looking for dropbox appointments in Kochi. Were you able to find an option to even select a different location except where the consulates are?

    • I recently got my visa through Dropbox from Bangalore. My appointment was on March 24th 2021. It was hassle free and easy. It takes 2 weeks to get back your passport. May be you should try chennai VAC and Bangalore Dropbox.

      • Thats great to hear. I submitted documentation on March 25th. Awaiting my passport. While checking status, Document Delivery Information: is blank. Any idea? did you mail your passport to home or collected it from Embassy? let me know your thoughts.

      • Hello Karthik, Glad to hear your dropbox went smooth.. I am visiting Bangalore and need to go for dropbox. i am little confused with your statement saying “visa through Dropbox from Bangalore “,, you mean your dropbox consulate is chennai or hyderabad and collected your passport Bangalore or we can submit our documents in Bangalore itself and collect in the same city??

        kindly help me with the answer..

        Thank you

      • Hi Karthik, This is exactly what i am attempting to do for June-2021. Do I have to make the payment of $190 right away to be able to see the available appointments for drop box ? Also, how much in advance does the system let you book these appointments?

    • Has anyone tried booking appointment for Visa stamping after H1b travel ban expired on March 31 2021. Please let me know if any one had any recently scheduled for Dropbox or interview at the VAC Hyderabad.. Thank you

  9. Hi,

    I have my document drop-off appointment for my H-1B visa at New Delhi VAC. In case I’m called for an interview, would I have to wait for the New Delhi consulate to re-open as this link says it is temporarily closed :
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html ?

    This link says we have to select interview appointment at the same post as where we dropped the documents off: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/renew-visa.html
    But if New Delhi consulate is really closed, I’m not sure why they are allowing us to book the drop-off appointment at New Delhi and asking to book interviews at the same post.

  10. Hi, I qualify for interview waiver and I can submit by documents through drop box option. I would like to know if we need to submit sponsor documents for B2 visa. If yes, can I get them through email and take printout or should I ask my sponsor to send them through courier like FedEx or DHL

  11. Hi Kumar,

    I have drop box appointment in Delhi on April 21st for my self , wife and daughter.

    Have couple of questions.

    >> Will be there any biometric process for drop box?
    >> I can drop my wife and daughter documents also right? Do they need to be physically present to drop documents?

  12. Hi guys
    I got 221(g) Refusal letter. They are looking for the below :

    1) Letter from end client company stating that there is a vacancy for me in US.
    2) Schedule an interview with a Consular office once the regular operations get resume.

    My questions is if the Regular operations get not get resume on 1st April (which is likely). What option do i have on above scenario ?


    • Hi Sahil – I am in same situation. Let me know if any progress on your case. I have sent 221g form and end client letter as per the instructions to the chennai consulate email.

  13. Are there any Authorized agents in Pune who can submit the documents for drop box to other locations like Chennai/HYD/Delhi/Kolkata.

  14. Hello. My wife’s visa (H1B) expired in August 2020 and her extension is approved. We have applied for our extension (H4) but it is still under process. Are me and my wife exempt from the Presidential proclamation? We were thinking of stamping through dropbox in March

    My wife (H1B) was in the US when PP was announced and she’s working at the same company. Additionally what is the typical processing time? We were thinking of scheduling the dropbox interview on 22nd March. We want to return to the US by 7th April. We were hoping this timeline would be sufficient

  15. Hello,
    I recently had my dropbox appointment at Hyderabad for my H1b visa renewal. Here are the details.
    Dropbox appointment: February 16
    Case created: February 17
    Case last updated: February 18
    CEAC status: Refused with long text since February 18
    Passport status: shows as ‘still with US embassy or consulate’
    I was seeing the same status in my cgi federal profile until yesterday. Today I am not seeing anything at all, it is just like a new profile.
    I tried mailing and calling the UStravel docs support many times for updates but haven’t received any yet. They keep saying that it’s in process. I haven’t received my passport back or any communication of 221g to submit extra documents or attend an interview.
    I also tried to contact the NVC helpline but they gave me a different update that they see it was updated in the system of a 221g to attend inperson interview on March 3rd and to confirm it with the embassy support. But the embassy/US travel docs support keep saying the same status it’s still in process. I am not sure what I can do at this time.
    Did anyone face the same situation? Please let me know.

    • HI Deepthi, I have the similar situation- attended dropbox last few days back and the status changed to refused status yesterday. They sent an email to me ” your case needs further review and requires you to come to the Consulate for the visa interview”, in April. The email was sent with interview appointment date and time and asked to carry required documents and appointment email confirmation. Passport is still with embassy. Waiting for the Visa interview in April

  16. Hi,

    I will be coming to India in April and will have to get my h1b stamped. It will be a dropbox. what have been the typically turnaround times for h1b dropbox? Also, in case they need more information, will they be open for me to walk-in for more information. i somewhere read about people getting 221g form. Since the embassy is closed, want to make sure I’m not stuck forever in India . Please advise.

    • My wife’s H4 Stamping took about 7 days after it was dropped off to get approved and an additional 3 days for it to be picked up by her, total of 10 days since it was dropped off to pickup. This was on Feb 3rd 2021, hope that helps you.

  17. Hi,
    I have scheduled a dropbox appointment @ Chennai IW. There are three site options for Chennai IW ( Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi). Can I drop by at my preferred location of these 3 on the date and time of my appointment? Wondering because they didn’t ask me to select a specific site.


  18. i am having appointment in 3rd of march.for my c1d visa renewal in kolkata embassy.after how many days can i get my passport back in my home address.plz let me know

  19. Hi Guys
    I have one questions.
    In DS-160 Form i have selected Mumbai Consulate. But i m not seeing any available slots for Dropbox in Mumbai. Can i schedule for Chennai /any other location for Dropbox stamping. The reason i m asking is it mandatory to go for Dropbox only in given Consulate. Like in my case i have selected Mumbai. Please confirm

      • Hi Kumar,

        I am in same situation. Would you know if I choose some other locations like, Chennai IW, which
        has many open times, can I drop documents in Ahmedabad? If I choose Chennai IW, do I have to travel Chennai, Bangalore, or Kochi to drop off documents?

      • Hi Kumar,

        In the Sahil’s case, he selected Mumbai location in DS160, but took appointment at Chennai. So do he need to fill up the DS 160 again for Chennai location ?


  20. Hello,
    I am trying to schedule an appointment under Interview Waiver for me (H1); and my dependents , spouse & kid (H4). I have a question. On the ustraveldocs site, I gave my DS-160 application ID, and added them along with their application IDs as well. Then it asked me what visa type, I chose mine as H1; but I didn’t see any option to select for dependents. We three of us wants to submit the documents for drop-off together. Am I still doing it correctly; or missing a step here? Please help.

    • Hi Praveen,
      Did you get any update?
      I read it that dependent children (under 14) are not eligible for Dropbox if parents don’t have a valid visa.
      This is very helpful for many.
      Actually i dont see a point why drop box is not available for Children under 14, if parents are eligible for dropbox (and applying together with children).

      • What if one of the parent has valid visa( H4) and other parent (H1) has no valid visa and he is in USA still working . Will the Kids in India are eligible for dropbox or not?

        • Did you find out if one parent on H1 is working in US (visa stamp expired, but I797 is valid till future date) and the other parent and child, both on H4 wants to use dropbox? The other parent’s visa stamp is also expired but has valid I-797. Will the child be able to use dropbox along with the other parent?

          • As per one you tuber, who posts video’s on visa related issues, he says Kid is not eligible for drop box along with H4 applicant but eligible when doing so with both the parents or with at least H1 parent.
            As per the UStravel docs, it doesnt say anything like that but says, dependent children (under 14) are not eligible for Dropbox if parents don’t have a valid visa (and every individual member in the appointment should satisfy the condition).

  21. Hi,

    Have question on drop box location. If I opt one location in DS160 and can I opt drop box different location while scheduling appointment?

    Please confirm.

  22. Is anyone able to select an appointment Slot in Mumbai for B2 Visa renewal which is for dropbox.
    I have been trying for a month and dont see any appointment slots open up only for Mumbai IW.

  23. Is it “Mandatory” to go for Dropbox instead of one on one interview for the visa extension stamping?
    If one on one interview is available, but drop box is not can I schedule the one one interview?


  24. I attended drop box appointment in Chennai on January 6th, now I have received my passport back, along with a 221g form, asking me to attend in person interview, carrying the required documents. It is mentioned that i do not have to schedule an appointment and can directly come for interview, once operations resume.

    My doubt is, because my drop box appt was in Chennai, should I go for the interview only in Chennai or can I attend in any other locations?

    • Usually if we get 221g we can do direct Walk in to consulate office during business hours. Not sure currently they allowing direct Walk in for 221g cases.
      I would be more interested it you can share more information if you already attended.

      • Meeraprince,
        it will clearly tell, if you can do that. Since the pandemic, they are not doing and tell you can do that once the regular operations resume. So, should follow consulate instructions.

        • Thank you Kumar . I just booked appointment on March. I partially understand your answer and you mean to say that until they resume normal operation we cannot attend direct Walk in, if we get 221g?
          This is little scary to me that I may need to wait if get that situation in worse case I am considering. Please update if you have any information on when visa office resume general operations.

    • Usually if we get 221g we can do direct Walk in to consulate office during business hours. Not sure currently they allowing direct Walk in for 221g cases.
      I would be more interested it you can share more information if you already attended. If you selected Chennai as your consulate office during appointment schedule then you should go to Chennai consulate office only.

    • Hi Sowmitha,

      Can you please share some more details around your visa interview? Assuming you were in the process of renewing your visa, what query they had on your application and how long it took you to get the visa eventually? I have a dropbox interview scheduled in april, but I would not have more than 2 weeks to stay in India. Wondering if that will be sufficient for me to get my passport back?

  25. Hi,
    I am eligible for visa Interview waiver(B1/B2) but I don’t see any available slots for Chennai IW. I have been waiting for more than 2 weeks but still do not see any available appointments. I only see available slots for New Delhi. Any idea when these slots would open up?

    Thank you.

    • We don’t see any pattern to open slots . I am on the same boat looking for slots. I see once in while few slots are available but really don’t know is there any criteria. Somebody said it’s open weekly and other said month starting but I don’t see such pattern. Best thing once in while login check there is note displaying about earliest appointment dare if you see that yes some slots are available otherwise it’s not available any slots. Don’t login very frequently account may locked for 24 hrs to 72 hrs. If slots available don’t click or Check on multiple dates then also you cannot book appointment. I really don’t know how many times or when it happened but we should be careful while access account

  26. Hi,
    I appeared for dropbox in Dec 2018 and back then I received “Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter” which I didn’t receive this time. I did receive the page which says “Congratulations, you qualify for waiver”. I want to confirm if the 6 page “Appointment Confirmation” letter which has drop box details and appointment location/ date details acts as interview waiver confirmation letter

  27. I am planning to go India this month and need to do the stamping. I have changed company last year and. I have a valid visa and valid till 2022. But my previous expired on Feb 2020 and same visa category (h1b) only changed company.

    My question is I am I eligible for Dropbox?

    Appreciate your response.

    • Hi Kumar, thanks for helping the community. Just wanted to know are the IW appointment dates filled up for Feb and March or do they open up at the beginning of the month?

      • Swami,
        They do not release like that. It is very intermittent. They release in short batches every week and even some open up everyday.

        • Thanks Kumar, one other question. I have chosen Chennai to fill up DS-160, but the chennai IW has been always like no appointments now, if other locations are available like Hyd or Mum or Delhi, can I choose a date there or it’s not allowed? In the IW dropdown I see 5 locations along with chennai IW. This is for submitting the dropbox documents.

      • I am also looking in March but currently no slots are available.
        However I see few of them released in Feb an January for specific days for kolkotha and Delhi. But its completed very quickly ?

        • I was able to see new slots open up every day when I logged in at exactly between 2:48PM CST. Not sure if anyone else had similar experience but it worked out for me, initially I booked an H4 dropbox slot in Delhi and was later able to find a slot in Chennai by logging in at the same time, but was unable to find a slot in Hyderabad. Anyways in my experience I found out that there are a lot more Dropbox slots available in Delhi compared to Chennai. Based on available slots I have found Delhi has the most followed by Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad(0).

    • Dropbox questionaries don’t have anything on employer change so you should be eligible however just login and try to create new appointment and follow the steps then you will see Dropbox questionaries.

      • I am on the same boat. You are eligible. Just complete the questionnaire and the site will automatically tell you about your eligibility. As long as it’s in the same class, you are fine.

  28. 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

  29. Hi,

    Could you please confirm if my visa pick up location and documents dropbox location can be different? I have filled my DS-160 for New Delhi and I am looking for any open slot for dropbox appointment. Currently, there are no open slots in New Delhi, but some in Mumbai. So, Can I select dropbox location for Mumbai and my documents pickup location same as New Delhi? Or if I select my passport pickup location and DropBox location same as Mumbai, but my DS-160 was filled for New Delhi?

    Monender Sharma

  30. Hello Kumar,

    I have a question Can you please clarify on it .

    I have raised new H1b where it has been approved till 2022 .I havent went to H1b stamping since stamping is not yet open .here issue is I have passport validity only till 2021 May 19th.

    Question is –> Can I go for tathkal and get the renewed passport and go for stamping such that will I get validity till the H1b i797 visa I have ?

    or while submitting H1b visa I have my passport validity till May , sovisa also get stamped till that date ?

    Will wait for your reply .

  31. Hello, i need one information.
    My Visa Expired on 31st March 2019 and applied for extension and got denied. I travelled back to India on 20th Novemeber 2019. After 8 months i have applied my H1 Cap Exempt and got approval for extension. Am i Eligible for Dropbox facility. The DropBox App shows i m eligible. Wanted to confirm on this.

    • Yes sahil, you are absolutely eligible. I have exact same case. Old h1 b expired in 2019. Extension denied. Fresh h1b cap exempt approved in Nov ,2020. I did a dropbox in Dec 2020. Now I am back to usa on a h1 b.

    • Sahil,
      If the USTravelDocs system shows you are eligible for dropbox after you answer the questions accurately, then you are eligible.

  32. Hi there,

    I am planning to go India on 10th Jan, I received Dropbox IW appointment on 15th. I am planning to come back end of January. Is there any risk or any any new rule to ban stamping? I read they are giving 221g in all cases. Please help.

  33. Hello,

    I am scheduled to travel to India between 26th December till 19th January and I am looking to book IW appointment at Mumbai however I am not seeing any dates available for Mumbai. Is there any way we can get updates on dates availability as they are available? I even tried to look up other centers like Delhi or Chennai for document drop off but I don’t see any availability. Additionally, they locked my profile for 72 hours probably due to frequent checking. Any guidance you can provide will be helpful.

    • cg,
      Well, this is the sad situation of many, keep looking. You can join Telegram groups where they talk about the slots. One of such groups is https://t.me/us_visa_stamping_india

    • I had same experience locked for 72 hrs. But I just did normal way of Accessing. But I login more times on same day I tried multiple ways of Dropbox questionaries to see the Dropbox eligiblity and few times I might clicked browser back button. This is what I am thinking as it is suspesiou activity for them ?. Regarding slot there is no specific pattern. You should login once in a while and check. I heard if you login for more times also account get locked. If slots available don’t click multiple dates that is also stoping you further.

      • Meeraprince,
        They primarily count the checking of appointments for that. it is a standard message, does not have any significance.

  34. Hi, I am on H1B. I will need a visa stamping. I filled DS-160, paid the fees and I got an interview waiver(Dropbox).
    But I am still asked to schedule an appointment date for OFC on the portal and I am unable to find any slots. My questions are :
    a) Is OFC the same as Biometric?
    b) If yes, Do I need to get Biometric even though I have to use Dropbox for Visa renewal?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Pooja,
      Usually, if you are eligible for dropbox, there is no need for Biometrics. Yes, OFC is the place, where they take Biometrics.
      The online system can be misleading…when they say OFC for dropbox, they mean the actual appointment. It is a bug in the system. You should see IW in the dropdown next to the consulate city, then it means interview waiver.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you so much for the response. I have been trying to look for an answer to this for months!
        Yes, I do see an IW next to the consulate city.

        Dropbox locations are more than 5. The dropdown for OFC gives an option of just 5 cities.
        Do you think this is also a bug? Is there a way to choose a city that is not in the dropdown?

        With the pandemic, I would like to schedule the appointment somewhere closer to where I stay.


        • Pooja,
          No, it is not a bug. The way they are structured is, dropbox locations are grouped by consulate. You need to pick the consulate that has the dropbox location. Let’s say you pick Chennai, then you can drop off documents at Chennai, Kochi and Bangalore. Read above article, it has the list.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Thank you so much for your response! I was able to find a slot just now in Jan. Thank you for helping a lot of people like me with your expert knowledge on this. Please keep up the good work, appreciate it! 🙂

          • Hi! I am eligible for Interview Waiver and have got an appointment for drop box facility in Delhi in the month of January. I just wanted to check if my representative like a friend or a family member can submit my documents on my behalf in the consulate?

          • Hi Pooja,

            I am trying to find the same answer as yours. I wanted to drop off my documents at bangalore location but i don’t see bangalore as an option in the OFC appointment page. Can I select chennai iw and pick a date and drop off my documents at Bangalore on that date? Please let me know

        • Hi, I’ve filled DS-160 and US travel docs says I’m eligible for waiver. But it’s not letting me see available drop-off date without paying fee. Do we generally get date we’re looking for? I’m landing on Feb 24 early morning and need the appointment for that day because I need to travel to my home town after that.

          Does anyone have idea about availability regarding dropbox appointment? Thanks !

          • Hi Kumar. thanks for replying to so many queries. I am eligible for IW and had my visa stamped in Mumbai the last time. From what I know I have to drop my documents in one of the centers affiliated with Mumbai Consulate, but I don’t see any IW dates. I do see them in Delhi and Kolkata. Is is ok to select a different center?

          • Saurabh,
            Sure. Yes, absolutely you can use different Consulate. As long as it was in India, it is fine. Does not have to be same consulate this time as well.

  35. Hello,

    I have a situation,and very much in need for an expert opinion, kindly help.
    I have traveled to India in first week of March for attending visa interview, my husband was suppose to join me after a week of my arrival, before the interview date, visa appointment was booked for both of us L1 and L2( my visa category), due to pandemic it didn’t happen the way it was suppose to. Now he is in the US and I am in India,both of our visas are expired in April 2020. We got married in Nov 2019, and I had my L2 visa approved then based on that I got eligibility for doing dropbox, the very important doc we considered was my husband I 94 and his salary slips to prove his legal status, but now I have been asked to produce his valid I 129,which we don’t have, because his petition was suppose to be approved during the visa interview in month of March 2020 in India. Given this situation what best we could do, so that I can get back to him?

    • Nadi,
      Talk to your spouse’s company’s attorney and see what can be submitted. There must be some legal document that tells that he can work on L1 right ? So, that should be submitted along with company letter or something…

  36. Hi Kumar,

    “If you are eligible for Visa Dropbox, you will get a confirmation like below to schedule the appointment.” when do we see this confirmation? when we fill ds160 or when we pay the visa fee and try to book appointment?

  37. Hi,
    I got interview waiver but unable to see any dates to drop off my documents. What can I do for this? Is this a technical error? When can I expect to get Dropbox appointment. Please let me know.

    • I am in the same boat. Looking for last 3 weeks with no luck. Did you find any slots? Is there any particular time in the day when I should be checking?

      • I am also trying for the last two months for my C1/D visa. It has happened twice that my a/c was frozen for 72 hours. Was told by the customer care representative to keep a gap of about 4-5 hours. This does not happen. chances of people loosing their job as with out a valid C1/D visa the company cannot arrange for our joining the ship.

      • Hello, I have the same issue. Just paid visa fees but not seeing any appointments available for dropbox visa renewal. Any idea how long the wait is these days? How often do I need to keep checking?

      • Is there anyway out to cancel visa interview and get the refund of fee? I applied for B1/B2 visa for 4 of us and we got 19mar2020 date but they inform us all visa appointments were cancelled till any further notice and now we do not have any plans to visit next few years, Is there any way to get refunds?
        Secondly I moved to new place and my passport is also going to expire in next few months still us embassy not resumed the visa services is it possible to change the passport and address details in DS180 I filed in the month of Jan2020? Please help…..

        • Katie,
          It is a non-refundable fee. They have clearly mentioned that it is non-refundable. You can check USTravelDocs website.
          You can create a new DS-160, if any details change before the interview. There is no issue with having multiple DS-160 forms. You just need to carry the latest one and submit the same at consulate.

    • Khushboo,
      You can register for account in UStravelDocs website and then you will go through the wizard, that will tell you, if you are eligible for it or not.

  38. Hello everyone, I’m currently in US on H4 and I’m planning to go for H4 dropbox appointment in January. Can I fill the DS-160 while I’m in US?

  39. Hi This is Ravi , Currently , I am at USA . My previous visa expired on 12/31/2019. I would like to go for new Visa Stamping. Even though there is 24 month dropbox option , it is applicable for me until Dec 2020 because 24 month option valid until Dec2020.

    My question is, I have DS 160 filled and going to pay Visa payment now .If I am not getting the dropbox appointment before 31st Dec 2020, how can I proceed for Dropbox? Do I need to go for an interview?

  40. Hi, When I first gave an H1B interview in 2017, I went through the process at Mumbai Location. Now that my H1B is renewed in 2020 and trying to get the stamping done through dropbox, I am unable to get the dropbox dates[appointments] in Mumbai.
    Is it okay, if I go for a dropbox from a different location for stamping like Hyderabad/Kolkata/Chennai?

  41. Why does the applicant need to be physically present in India to submit the visa stamping documents ? You said some one else can submit the documents on applicant’s behalf, then why does the applicant need to in India. Can’t someone just courier their documents to India ?

    • Donald,
      No, cannot. It is a requirement. There are many that need additional verification, in such cases, they will ask to attend interview.
      If that was the case, no one would go to any country, they would just do it from US only…

  42. Need Info; Is the Bangalore VAC (drop-off location for Chennai consulate) has resumed for accepting dropbox applications(h4/h1) as well as passport pick-up services?

    Appreciate your response.

  43. I just want to check, If I am eligible for my H1B Visa dropbox or not.

    Please go through below details-
    I was in US and my H1B Visa was Valid till 31st March 2019 and submitted documents for Visa extension but unfortunately my H1B Visa extension got Denial and I came back to India in October`2019 and I filed Cap exemption in Premium and got approval on 23rd June so I just want to know as per H1B presidential ban and after that some exemption has been given but multiple clauses are there and I am not sure whether I am eligible or not. Please suggest


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