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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…“. September 1st in the below screenshot corresponds to September 1st, 2019.

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

Dropbox Eligibility Requirements

The criteria for the 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. Also, some may also be eligible for dropbox stamping, even if it is past 48 months if they meet certain criteria until the end of 2022.

You can read more at US Visa Dropbox Changed to 48 Months – FAQs and US Visa Interview waived for certain H1B, L1, and other Visa holders until the end of 2022

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 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 confused 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 traveling 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 the 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

640 Comments

  1. How to know if you are eligible for drop-box for ex: for H1b?
    Plus, where to book the appointment for the drop-box?
    Any help will be great!

    Thanks much

    Reply
  2. I’m a single applicant for H1B, I have paid the fees and when I login back, it shows the continue button.
    When I click the continue button, the “Schedule OFC Appointment” page appears.
    However, the next page says “There are currently no appointments available.”
    Is this expected? I have been facing the problem for many days now.

    Reply
  3. Regd the question: “Can someone else submit my visa application documents at the dropbox location?”

    Do I need to give an authorization letter to the person dropping my passport?

    Reply
  4. Can i skip drop box even if i am eligible for? I booked VAC appointment because my kids 14 year and i have to go for his in person stamping.. Is it fine?

    Reply
  5. Hi,

    Im eligible for dropbox and hold a H1B visa.
    I also have 2 H4 dependents added to my cgi portal account.

    Now, do i need one appointment alone for 3 i.e. (one appointment with 3 slots)
    or need 3 different appointments?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  6. Hi,
    I am eligible for H1B dropbox. But from last one month, I am not able to book drop box appointment due to unavailability of appoinment slots. Could you please let me know at what time slots will be opened and when can we see new appointment slots will be opened.

    Second questions is, as I am eligible for H1B drop box but my wife and son not eligible for drop box. In this case, can I apply for appointment for my dependents along with me or do I have to apply H4, once I get the Visa. Please let me know.

    Reply
  7. Can H1b Applicant (eligible for drop box) and dependent chid minor (H4) submit the documents at drop box at same time. The applicate allowed to add the second applicant and we paid visa fee for two people. Is this considered as one interview slot while booked the drop box dates.

    Reply
  8. Can I book a dropbox appointment for Delhi if I select my country and state of residence as India – Maharastra? If I select country and state of residence as India – Maharashtra, it shows post of interview as Mumbai. Not sure what to select here if I live in Mumbai and want to drop off my documents in Delhi.

    Can I still select India – Maharashtra on the CGI form and select Delhi VAC on the appointment booking page?

    Reply
    • Tanvi,
      Yes, you can select the consulate of your choice. You should be able to, many have done it. To get Delhi, you should select Consulate as Delhi during appointment booking.

      Reply
    • Hi Tanvi,

      Were you able to Select Delhi on appointment booking page?
      I am in the same boat as I have residence in Mumbai but looking for appointment in Delhi.

      Reply
  9. I am eligible for a L1 Dropbox appointemetn. While my family members are not eligible and need a interview. What is the best way to go with this scenarios?
    Should I get my appointment first and once visa is stamped, i should go for L2 interview appointement for my family OR The both appointments can run in parallel. What happens if i get interview for family before my dropbox date ? Please suggest and guide.

    Reply
    • Abhishek,
      To avoid issues, you should get your L1 first approved and then go for their L2. The main reason is they are dependents and their visa stamping is dependent on yours successfully getting stamped.

      Reply
  10. My wife and myself, have separate employers and separate DS-160.
    However while booking the appointment I booked it together – with my wife as my dependent – and it let me pay the fee and book drop-box appointment with both of us in the appointment conformation.

    The appointment confirmation very clearly states that we have our own DS160 and MRV fee numbers.

    Is this acceptable ? Can we have one appointment with 2 employers – different DS-160?

    Reply
  11. Hi Friends,

    quick question on appointment booking. My Visa dropbox appointment was booked by my wife (status H4), it was combined appointment (number of applicants : 2, having same receipt number) but when i see appointment confirmation the visa class is shown as H-4 for both of us (technically mine should be H-1B). Is this ok or does anyone experience this before. Please clarify my question .

    Thanks,
    Ravi.

    Reply
  12. Hi everyone
    Can I authorize someone to submit documents at VAC for dropbox appointment?
    Considering the new rule of home quarantine in India for international traveler.

    Reply
  13. Hi,

    The CGI website allowed me to book a dropbox appointment for my F1 visa renewal. However, my last visa was issued on a different school name and this question was not there. According to the eligibility criteria, this makes me ineligible for the drop box appointment. Should I cancel my drop box appointment and book a new in person appointment now? What if I try again and the website still counts me as dropbox eligible? What will be the consequences if I go ahead and submit the documents on my drop box appointment. Please help if any of you have faced this issue.

    Reply
    • SC,
      The annotation of school name is not important. It only matters, if you have clearance received or other things. You can go for dropbox, if the system decides that you are eligible. Nothing would happen, if they really want to speak to you in person, the Visa officer would ask you to attend interview. Do not worry.

      Reply
  14. I have a 3.5 year old public intoxication case which was deferred dismissed and then expunged. My last H1B visa got expired 15 months ago. I am eligible for drop box (interview waiver). I need to travel to India but I am concerned that I may be asked to come back for an interview and may not get a slot and get stuck in India.

    Any suggestions on:
    1) Can I go for interview appointment even though I am eligible for drop box ?
    2) Will I get an appointment slot if I am asked to come for interview after I submit my documents through dropbox ?

    Reply
  15. Hello Here is my situation.
    I have 2 valid approved petitions under same employer. My first petition is valid until 27-May-2022 and my 2nd petition is recently approved under premium valid from 27-May-2022 to 15-May-2025 after first one expires.
    Now I am in a situation to go India and need visa stamping. I am eligible for drop box. Can you tell me which petition I need to use for drop box appointment on 12-Apr-2022?

    Reply
    • Based on my experience, you may get the stamping until the later petition expiry date but the I194 can only be issued for the max 3yrs.

      Reply
    • Hello. Did able to find the information on this. Surprisingly I am in a similar situation with my 797 dates and travel dates and drop box eligibility matching with you. I have reached out to my attorney but not sure if they have clear answer. If it is direct interview we can explain to VO but not sure how this will work with drop box. Please update me if you find any information. Thanks

      Reply
  16. Hello Team,
    I would like to mentioned that you guys are really doing a great job with this forum. I see million of Indians getting benefits out of it.

    I got a question too and trying to find the answer.

    I did not read and found much information about Family drop box. For example – my family has wife(H4) and child (H4) 4 year old.

    Are they going to be combined with me in primary applicant application during scheduling DropBox or their application will be separate?

    Thanking you in an advance.

    Reply
  17. I am eligible for B1 visa renewal/dropbox but can’t find any availability for OFC appointment at Mumbai location, is this true for others as well. I see dates available at other centers like Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

    Can anyone please confirm.

    Reply
  18. Hello everyone,
    My dropbox appointment confirmation says “Hyderabad VAC” instead of “Hyderabad IW”

    When I go to appointment history it does say “Interview Waiver” in Visa priority section
    Will this cause any problem. Has anyone seen this in the past?

    Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it

    Reply
  19. i am eligible for dropbox. but as there are no dates available for drop box.
    Can i book interview appointment by disqualifying for interview waiver intentionally.
    Or the dropbox is mandatory if we are eligible.
    Please suggest

    Reply
    • Any response on this. Even i am waiting for the slots for my daughter as she is eleigible for dropbox. How to go ahead with interview instead of dropbox. Pleade suggest

      Reply
  20. I have Location selected DELHI in DS160 and during Visa Appointment application, I am elgible for Drop box – can i still book for other drop box locations ? like MUM/HYD?

    Reply
  21. Hi,

    I am eligible for the dropbox appointment, it says so when I fill out the questionnaire. However, when I proceed to booking an interview slot it shows VAC and not IW. As I understood, IW is for interview waiver, then why does it show VAC locations calendar?

    Reply
  22. Hi,

    My wife has Interview waiver (IW) appointment in Hyderabad on 23rd November 2021. Is it mandatory for her to go in person and submit the documents or I can go on behalf of her and submit her documents? Any comments are much appreciated. It’s little urgent

    Reply
  23. Hello,

    I qualify for the interview waiver for H1B renewal, however I am unable to see dates for any of the locations. The system displays “There are currently no appointments available”. Is anyone here has had luck making an appointment in last couple weeks? I was hoping it would at least display a calendar with future available dates.

    Reply
    • same here, I’ve been looking daily. I don’t even see any calendar displayed. just a warning sign showing ‘there are currently no appointments available’
      checked all interview locations, the result is the same.

      Reply
      • yes, but if you refresh the page often, you end up receiving message ” You are approaching maximum number of times you may view this page. Please complete your transaction this time”.

        Reply
  24. Hello ,
    My parents B1/B2 visa expired this july 2021. My dad had annotation in his passport Clearance received when he received usa visa last time. i was trying to get an appointment for him as interview waiver questions said he does not qualify for drop box. Can someone help me as i heard all expired b1/b2 qualify for drop box not sure if that applies even with annotation in his passport ?

    Reply
  25. Hello, does drop-box appointment have to be done by Dec 31 2021 for 48-month expiry eligibility to apply? i.e. from Jan 2022, will the rule go back to 12-month expiry? My visa stamp expired in Nov 2019. TIA.

    Reply
  26. Hi, I qualify for dropbox H-1B renewal but my passport is currently under renewal. I expect my new passport to arrive by the end of October and I’m planning to go back to India end of November.

    Question is can I schedule a dropbox appointment now without having a new passport number in hand? Probably not but wanted to see if the interview can be scheduled with the old passport number.

    Also, if I try and book in early November, is it even possible to get a slot in early December?

    Reply
    • SKM,
      Well, frankly, it maybe slightly tricky as you need to update DS-160 and ustraveldocs portal. Best is to wait and then schedule.
      Reach out to the USTravelDocs support and seek their advice, they can confirm and provide options.

      Reply
  27. Is anyone seeing appointments for Interview waiver (IW) at any embassy? Also I see that Pune is one of dropbox location but I don’t see that option on schedule OFC appointment screen. Do we have to choose the embassy first and then we get other drop box options?

    Reply
  28. Hi, I am on H4 visa.My previous visa was expired on August 2020 and new H4 visa is valid till May 2022. I am planning to go to India to visit my family in October.
    While booking for Dropbox appointment I have certain concerns-
    1. will there be any problem throughout the stamping process without Principle visa holder(H1B).
    2. For Kolkata consulate, how many business days(approximate) will it take to get my passport stamped?
    3. Will there be any risk if I fly back to USA in December as my current visa is valid till MAY’2022?
    NOTE: As of yet I am still not exempt of the travel ban.

    Reply
  29. I was trying the dropbox appointment for last 3 months, but no luck. Is there any specific time when the Slots will be available. Any trip of tricks will be helpful.
    Also i am mostly trying at EST time zone. Anybody know if the new slots only opens during India time zone?

    Reply
  30. Hi! I have an in-person appointment scheduled on 11/02/2021 in Chennai Consulate and booked this appointment on January, 2021. When I booked the appointment, I didn’t qualify for the Interview Waiver then. But I am eligible for the Interview Waiver now as the Interview Waiver eligibility was extended to 48 months. Could someone please clarify if I can use the scheduled in-person appointment for dropbox? Or do I still need to go through the in-person interview as it was scheduled already? Thanks!

    Reply
    • I though all the interviews were cancelled by USCIS, please check and confirm if your schedule interview is till valid?

      Currently there are no available slots for drop box, so if your already schedule for interview then go ahead and do not change.

      Reply
    • Hi,
      Could you please share experience.
      Was there any issue on Consular appointment even though you are eligible for dropbox.
      Thanks

      Reply
  31. Hi, I had my Dropbox interview on July’24 and my status changed to “Document Delivery Information” on Aug’11. What will be the normal time for the visa approval through Dropbox? Will I receive my passport by any chance soon? If not please advice the necessary procedure to retrieve the passport.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  32. Hello ,
    I submitted my H4 dependent docs at Hyderabad consulate via drop box option on July 27? Still the status is not updated it shows received date ,last update date onAug 11.Generally how much time are they taking to approve ?There is no option to expedite.The response from support-ustravel.doc executive s is please keep checking your status.Any suggestions?

    Reply
  33. Hi, Can anyone tell me the waiting period for Drop Box appointments. Any location which is accepting drop box appointments kindly share. Thank you.

    Saanvi

    Reply
  34. When can I book for US visa dropbox appointment. For last many days its showing No appointment currently scheduled.
    I have got a waiver of interview (IW). So now I just have to submit my documents at visa consolate.
    Please guide for above problem.

    Reply
    • Swapna, how do you know before booking appointment that you have received an interview waiver? I qualify for one, but don’t know where to confirm after filling ds160 and paying fees (B1/B2 visa)

      Reply
  35. Hi Kumar,
    I had my dropbox appointment in Mumbai on July 28th under USC kid category. I submitted a cover letter stating we are exempt from the ban but the employee took only kids birth certificate and passport and returned the cover letter back to me saying it’s not required as I have already submitted all required documents. Is this normal? Is it a bad idea to email a copy to the consulate directly?
    also, any idea what’s the average processing time in Mumbai for dropbox

    Thanks in advance,
    Prashantha

    Reply
    • I finally got my visa
      here is my experience

      **H1+H4 Dropbox experience (Mumbai consulate – USC kid category – First stamping after change of employer)**

      July 27th – Travelled alone to Mumbai and stayed at Trident conveniently located to US embassy/VFS location (walkable/Trident provides free pickup drop service if required).

      If you carry laptop or any other luggage you can just drop it off at the front desk and collect it later once your appointment is over (even after checkout)

      July 28th – Dropbox appointment at 1:30 PM. Reached early at 10:30 AM and allowed in 10:40 AM.

      List of documents I carried inside are as follows

      1. Appointment confirmation page

      2. DS160 confirmation page for H1 and H4 (This one was filled for Chennai location and I DID NOT fill a new one for Mumbai)

      3. H1 and H4 applicants photos as per specification

      4. All old an new passports (H1 and H4)

      5. Primary and dependents latest I797

      6. Employment verification letter provided by my employer

      7. USC kids birth certificate and passport copies

      8. Cover letter explaining we are exempt from the ban

      VFS employee returned dependent I797 and the cover letter (#8 above – she said no need to provide any cover letter as kids pp and bc more than enough)

      July 29th – CEAC “No Status”

      July 30th to August 4th- Application received and passports still with embassy

      August 5th – H1 and H4 status changed to Refused

      August 5th – H1 status changed to Administrative Processing in the afternoon and H4 still Refused

      August 6th – H1 Changed to Issued and H4 still refused.

      August 7th – Both passports status Picked up from the embassy and preparing for delivery (something along those lines)

      August 9th – Collected both passports and ONLY H1 was stamped and no visa issued for H4. They attached a 221g document asking H4 to submit husbands whereabouts (H1B visa copy OR kids USC proof which I already submitted)

      August 9th – Travelled to Bangalore overnight and submitted all requested documents at VFS Bangalore location

      August 10th – H4 status changed to Administrative Processing

      August 11th – Today morning H4 status changed to Issued 🙂 It’s very quick response from Mumbai consulate after 221g (resolved in just 2 days)

      Waiting for the passport now, flying back to US on August 18th via Doha. Happy to answer any question

      Reply
      • Hello Prashantha,

        Congratulations on your visa stampings. Can you please help with the below queries?
        1. Is there a way to get USC kid category? Did not see any such option while filling the DS-160 or the appointment.
        2. Could not get hold of appointment yet, what time did you book yours. Any suggestions on the time of the day to check for an appointment?

        Reply
      • Hi Prashantha,
        Can you explain what is ‘USC kid’ category and how did you book visa appointment under that category?

        Reply
        • USC kid category = You are exempt from the ban if you have US citizen kids under the age of 18. You don’t have to request NIE for stamping or to travel to the United States from India

          Reply
      • Hello Prashatha.
        I am on Hi, extended visa here in USA , .need to go to India but need stamping , I am in healthcare sector.
        How does the process of NIE work ?? Would appreciate your feedback .
        Thanks so much

        Reply
        • Hi,
          I am not sure exactly how NIE works. I am exempt from the ban so did not submit any NIE. But it looks like your employer need to provide one.

          Thanks,
          Prashantha

          Reply
          • Hi Prashantha, how did you book your Dropbox appointment? I have been checking for more than a week now but always see the message ‘no appointments available’ . Is there any particular time that I should check?

    • Hi Prashantha,
      Thank you for sharing you experience. I am on H1 and eligible for dropbox when i tried to schedule an appointment. Do i need to take NIE approval with me?
      But looking at you post if we book under USC category we don’t need NIE.. But where and how do we book under USC kid category i did not find this option while scheduling an appointment.

      Thanks
      Swapna

      Reply
      • Hi Swapna, there is no special category as USC kid category while booking the appointment. It’s just that you don’t need to submit a separate NIE Letter during your dropbox appointment if you’re a parent of USC kid.

        Thanks,
        Prashantha

        Reply
      • Hi Swapna, were you able to book the appointment? I have been checking for more than a week now but always see the message ‘no appointments available’ .

        Reply
  36. Hi my current visa stamping expires on September 15th, 2021. I’m planning to travel back to US before that date by applying to NIE. Then I found a visa dropbox appointment for Aug 11th and so can apply for new visa stamping along with NIE.

    My question is can I apply to NIE on my existing visa (with my previous employer) as I have some time before my dropbox appointment and then also apply for another NIE during my dropbox appointment to get my new visa stamped (with my current employer).

    Can we apply for two NIEs? I’m thinking NIE is tied to visa number so if I get a new visa stamped, I have to apply for new NIE. Please clarify

    Reply
    • Shan,
      Yes, you can. First try to do it using existing visa, then you can try the next one. You can try to send them as two separate requests.

      Reply
  37. Hello Sir,

    My H1b extn case status moved to “Case Was Reopened For Reconsideration” on today 28th Jul,. but it got approved on 23rd Jul. What does that means?
    Should I wait for scheduling appointment? I did not get my approved notice yet.

    Reply
  38. I contacted the us travel docs support and they responded saying the interview waiver for B1/B2 visa renewal is currently suspended. You will start seeing Interview Waiver(IW) appointment dates at consulates when it resumes. There is currently no ETA on that. You can schedule dates if you are planning to give an interview to apply for the first time.

    Reply
    • I filled out the application and already paid the fees for B2 renewal, but its showing only VAC appointment eligibility right now, but i am eligible for IW. Hope i don’t have to redo the registration and it will automatically let me book IW appointments later when they open the drop box for B2. Is that what they told you.?

      Reply
  39. I am trying to book an appointment at Mumbai(India)consulate for Interview Waiver(IW).Its basically a dropbox appointment to submit documents for B2 visa renewal.
    I have been looking for dates for the past couple of months and it only shows me Mumbai VAC dates when I am eligible for dropbox (Mumbai IW) and dont need to go for Interview.My previous B2 visa dropbox appointment got cancelled bcoz of covid surge in India.
    This looks like a bug in the system. Anyone encountered this when scheduling B2 visa appointment from India ?

    Reply
  40. I am not able to get any appointment )There are currently no appointments available.) for H4 drop box. Is there any specific time when should i try so that i can get the time slots for booking.

    Reply
  41. I am going to submit the docs in drop box location. But I saw one message “Photocopy of each parent’s valid U.S. visa page (applicable for child below 14 years”. What does it mean? Can I submit My H1B, wife H4 and kids H4 under 14 all together or not? I am little bit confused in this… I dont have stamped visa as of now but going to submit docs in dropoff location, can i submit for under 14 or not with my application?

    Reply
  42. Hi Kumar / everyone – I just got my renewal i797 and I’m dropbox eligible (have been for my last 2 times renewal too and it’s been an easy process). I’m currently in the US.

    If I travel to India and to get my stamp, do I need an NIE? It’s been over 2 years since i’ve seen my family and I’m trying to figure out if it’s even worth going at this point. Esp, if I need an NIE for even getting the dropbox appointment

    Reply
    • Following..
      Similar question… can one apply for NIE and Dropbox visa application at the same time? If so then when to submit the justification letter for NIE? … via email or when submitting all other Dropbox documents?

      Thanks
      M

      Reply
  43. Has anyone been able to schedule a drop box (OFC – IW) date recently? I have been trying for the past week for an F1 renewal. Any word on approximate wait times or when they will release more dates?

    Reply
    • Hi, can you please post here when you get an appointment or any guidance on how long it is taking to get an appointment. Also do you know if one is eligible for dropbox for 12 months or 24 months from visa expiry?

      Reply
  44. I submitted my documents at hyderabad consulate on 23-Jun-2021.I still havent got any updates/response.
    Passport Status :
    Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate

    What is the usual processing time for dropbox at Hyderabad consulate?

    Thanks
    Swathi

    Reply
      • Yeah, I saw an article in which they say only one month of appointments will be seen for appointments to be scheduled. I’m planning to travel to India in Oct / Nov this year. Will the appt schedule for that be showing up only in Aug / Sept?
        Anyone, please advise.

        Reply

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