When you apply for US Visa, you go through steps such as registering an account at ustraveldocs.com and booking an appointment. Depending on your situation, you either attend the interview or submit documents for dropbox stamping.
US Consulates/Embassy uses the CGI Federal website in most countries for booking US Visa appointments, and applicants can use the same for tracking the passport after either document submission or interview. The online statuses can be confusing at times and do not clearly indicate what they mean. In this article, we will review all the passport tracking statuses when you submit your passport for US Visa Stamping at the USTravelDocs/ CGI Federal website.
Before we get into the details, let’s quickly understand the term ‘Post’ in the context of US Visa stamping as you would see the same in the passport tracking status messages.
What is ‘Post’ in the context of US Visa Stamping?
Usually, when you check the passport tracking status, you might see the word ‘Post‘ in the statuses like ‘Transit to Post’, ‘Delivered to Post’, ‘Transit from Post’, etc. It can be very confusing at times when you see the word ‘post’ as you may think it is a post office or mailbox, but it is not.
The word ‘Post‘ in the context of US Visa stamping passport tracking means ‘US Consulate‘ or ‘US Embassy‘. When the status says ‘Transit to post’ they are literally saying ‘Transit to the US Consulate’ or ‘Transit to the US Embassy’.
Now that we have some context, let’s look at where the passport status appears in the USTravelDocs website and where you can track your passport otherwise.
Tracking Passport on CGI Federal/ USTravelDocs Website
The USTravelDocs.com website, which is nothing but the CGI Federal website is the place, where you can track your passport status. You can see the passport tracking status on the CGI Federal home page, which looks like as in the below screenshot. As your US Visa stamping status changes, the corresponding tracking status is reflected for your passport delivery.
The below screenshot is a snapshot of two different statuses of the passport tracking. The upper screen just shows “Document Delivery Information:“, which is blank without any status. Whereas, the bottom screen shows the passport status as “Your Passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate“.
Let’s look at the other two common ways you can check your passport status.
How to Track your Passport Status by Email?
To get the latest status of your passport that was given for US Visa Stamping, you need to send an email to email@example.com with the email subject and body as your passport number. You should exactly enter the same passport number without any additional text or signature info in your email as shown in the below screenshot.
The below screenshot is a sample of how to do the same in Gmail. Read more details at CGI Federal Website
Track Passport on the USTravelDocs Website
Also, in some countries, the CGI Federal website has a section on the website, where you can enter your passport number and it shows the status. It used to be available in the USTravelDocs website of India as well, in the past, but with the new website, you do not see it.
For example, USTravelDocs Philippines website has a page for passport tracking. All you need to do is enter your passport and click on ‘Track My Passport’, then the system will show the status of the passport. Below is a screenshot of the same, on how it looks.
Now that we have an understanding of how to track your passport, let’s now look at the most common status that you may see on the USTravelDocs or CGI Federal website and what they mean.
Passport Tracking Statuses for US Visa Stamping, Meaning
Below are the various passport tracking statuses that you might see on the CGI Federal website or in the email that you send them for passport tracking status. You may or may not see all of these statuses as some are country-specific due to the older systems and older terminology.
- Transit to Post
- Your Passport is being delivered to the Post
- Delivered to Post
- Passport is still with the US Embassy or Consulate
- Origination Scan
- Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery
- Transit from Post
- Your Passport is ready for pickup
- There is no status update available for the passport number submitted
- Out for Delivery
- Your Passport has been picked up
- Your passport has been returned to Post
Transit to Post
If the passport tracking status says “Transit to Post”, it means that CGI Federal has just collected the passport and it is on the way to the US Consulate and Embassy. It indicates that the US Consulate or Embassy has not received your passport and they have not started working on your case yet. You would usually see this status right after you submit your passport for stamping at a Visa Application Center(VAC) or CGI Federal collection location.
Your Passport is being delivered to Post
When you see the status message of your passport tracking as ‘your passport is being delivered to post’, it means that your passport has been picked up from the VAC or passport collection location and then completed the transit to the Consulate/ Embassy. The passport is at the Consulate or Embassy, but not technically picked up by them for processing. They verify the mail and once they collect it, then its status changes to ‘delivered to post’. It looks like in the below screenshot
Delivered to Post
When you see the message ‘Delivered to Post’, it indicates that your passport was successfully delivered to the US Consulate/ Embassy. It does not indicate anything about the current status of processing your US Visa. It is only related to your passport tracking and just tells you that US Consulate/ Embassy has received your passport.
Passport is still with the US Embassy or Consulate
Your CGI Federal dashboard would show a message that says “Passport is still with the US Embassy or Consulate”, indicating that the Consulate/ Embassy has your passort. Again, it does not tell anything about processing of your visa, it is only about your passport. It looks like in the below screenshot.
The passport status ‘Origination Scan’ is something that you see, when the US Consulate/ Embassy has completed processing from their side and has filed a courier slip for the delivery partner to pick up the passport. Once the delivery partner collects your passport, they would likely issue an Airway Bill(AWB) or some tracking code so that you can track your passport. Depending on the country, you may or may not see this status.
Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery
When you see the status ‘Passport has been received from the consular section and is currently being processed for delivery‘, it means that US Consulate/ Embassy has completed processing of your passport and it has left the US Consulate or Embassy. Your passport is now at the delivery service center and is prepared for shipping of the same. It looks like as in the below screenshot.
It can take anywhere from two to three days for the delivery of the passport to VAC. Sometimes, it can take up to a week as well.
If you are in India and have paid for the premium courier fee of Rs. 650 INR, then you can expect the passport to be delivered to your given location. If you have opted for pickup, then you will get an email/ SMS for you to collect your passport. Also, if you done any last-minute changes such as, selecting ‘pick up’ first and then changing to deliver at your location, then it will get delivered and the courier service will collect the INR 650 from you at the time of delivery.
Transit from Post
If you see the passport tracking status as ‘Transit from Post’, it means that the delivery partner/ courier service is transporting your passport from the US Consulate to the Visa Application Center(VAC) or the location you have selected for passport pickup.
If you have selected an address for delivery, it will be delivered to that location. If you have selected the VAC location for pickup, it will be sent to the VAC location.
Your Passport is ready for pickup
When the passport tracking status says ‘your passport is ready for pickup’, it means that your passport has arrived from the US Consulate/ Embassy after their processing and is now available at the VAC location or pickup location for you to go and collect the passport. Sometimes this status is also shown as ‘Ready for Pickup’, both mean the same.
You can now go to the VAC location or pickup location address and collect your passport by presenting your identity proof and your appointment letter. Make sure you check the timings of the VAC location for pickup. They have fixed hours of operation and you need to go only during their operating hours.
There is no status update available for the passport number submitted
When you check the passport tracking on the USTravelDocs website, you may see the message that reads ‘there is no status update available for the passport number submitted’. You get this message, if you have entered an incorrect passport number or if your passport is not yet ready for tracking. You will see the status change after a day or two.
The below-listed statuses may or may not appear across all countries. You may see the below in countries like Japan. If you do come across them, below is what they mean.
Out for Delivery
You would see the status of your passport as ‘Out for Delivery’ when the passport was dispatched from the US Consulate/Embassy and it is on its way for delivery at the address that was specified by you for delivery. When you see this status, you can track the passport delivery status at the courier website as well.
Your passport has been picked up
Your passport tracking status would say ‘your passport has been picked up’, if your passport was actually delivered at the location you specified or you have personally collected the passport from the VAC location. You also would see this message, if the courier person tried to deliver and you were not there and they provided a note for pickup. You can track the status on the courier website as well.
Your passport has been returned to post
You would see the status as ‘your passport has been returned to post’ when the passport is sent back to the US Consulate or Embassy. Usually this happens, when there are any issues with the delivery of your passport due to any errors in your name or address and they could not deliver it. Also, it can happen, if you could not collect the passport after the courier service requested you to pickup. You need to contact the customer service to get your passport re-delivered to you.
How to Track Passport in Courier website Blue Dart in India
If you are in India, Blue Dart is the delivery partner for US Consulates. If you have not got any tracking number related to blue dart, then you can use the UID that is listed on your appointment confirmation letter to check the tracking status. You can check your passport delivery status after the passport tracking status has changed ‘Passport has been received from the consular section and is currently being processed for delivery‘.
All you need to do is enter the UID number in the Blue Dart Courier Tracking website. Below are the steps.
- Go to the Blue Dart Tracking page
- Select the ‘Ref No’ radio button as shown below in the Track your shipment
- Enter UID in the tracking box
- Click on Go button
- You will get the result of the passport status.
Below is a screenshot of the Blue Dart website, where you can track your passport using the UID.
If you are not sure, what is your UID, check your Visa Appointment confirmation letter. It will be on that. It will be under MRV Fee Payments. Below is a sample screenshot of UID on the appointment confirmation letter.
Why does the ‘Document Delivery Information’ shows blank on CGI Federal Website?
The ‘Document Delivery Information’ section on the CGI Federal/ USTravelDocs website is the place where you would see your passport status that is related to US Visa processing. The word ‘Document’ here corresponds to ‘Passport’. In general, after you submit your passport for US Visa renewal using dropbox you may sometimes see this section as blank. Below are some of the common reasons.
- US Consulate / Embassy Still Processing your Visa: If your US Visa stamping-related process is not yet complete for your passport, you would see this as blank. Meaning, they cannot really give an update on your passport, when it is being processed by them.
- US Visa Processing Completed, but not yet tagged: Sometimes, when you check the CEAC website, your status may show as ‘Issued’ or ‘Approved’, but still the passport tracking status may not be updated and be shown as blank. The reason is, they move it as batches and the status of the passport will get updated soon. Do not have to worry about your passport status, it has nothing to do with your US visa approved/ issued status. Usually, wait for two to three days after the ‘Issued’ status in CEAC, you would see it updated by then. You can read How to check US Visa Status on the CEAC website to know more.
- US Visa Appointment is not booked or have not dropped off documents: You also see the status as blank, if your US Visa appointment is not yet booked and you have not given your passport to the VAC or consulate/Embassy.
- US Visa Status still in ‘Application Received’ Status: Sometimes, there are delays in your US Visa processing and your CEAC status can be stuck for a long time in ‘Application Received’ status. In such cases, you will also see the blank status for the ‘Document Delivery Information’. This basically means that they still have the passport and they will need it for processing. Until the CEAC status changes to ‘Issued’ or ‘Refused’, you may not see the blank status change.
- Intermittent Status During Visa Processing: You would also see the status as blank when your US Visa is still being processed by Consulate/ Embassy and goes from one status to other. Also, sometimes, when your visa is under 221g administrative processing, you may see this as blank after the submission of your passport during the processing phase.
‘CGI Federal’ is the outsourcing company that works with the US Department of State to facilitate booking appointments, and shipping various documents and passports between consulates. That’s the reason you see USTravelDocs.com redirect to the CGI Federal website for appointment booking.
Usually, the CGI federal website shows updated information in the ‘Document Delivery Information’ section two to three days after you see the status as ‘Issued’ on CEAC Website.
What has been your experience using the passport delivery with USTravelDocs? Share your thoughts and experiences in comments section below.
References: You can check USTravelDocs Japan Passport Status