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Step by Step H1B Dropbox Process: Eligibility, Documents, Change of Employer

When you apply for a US Visa renewal and you meet certain criteria, you can get it stamped in your passport without attending an in-person visa interview. This kind of visa stamping process is called an ‘Interview Waiver’ option and is popularly called the ‘Dropbox Stamping’.  The same interview waiver option is available for H1B Visa renewal as well.

In this article, we will cover the step-by-step process for H1B visa stamping using ‘dropbox’ or the ‘interview waiver’ option. We will cover all areas like H1B visa dropbox eligibility requirements, booking appointments, documents checklist, how it works with employer change or H1B Visa Transfer situations, and status changes. Also, it will include changes to the Dropbox requirements in recent times during the pandemic.

The first step to applying for H1B stamping using the interview waiver or Dropbox option is to ensure you meet all the general required criteria for a typical interview waiver or dropbox. Let’s first look at the eligibility requirements in the context of an H1B visa.

H1B Visa Dropbox Eligibility Requirements

Below are the general eligibility criteria for getting an H1B Visa stamping using dropbox or the interview waiver option. You must meet all the requirements below to be eligible for dropbox stamping:

  • You should have H1B Visa Stamping done before and have US Visa foil in your passport of type H1B.  Dropbox or interview waiver is only possible for H1B Visa Renewal.
    • Update: the US Dept of State has provided some exceptions due to the long wait times, even for first-time H1B visa stamping applicants. The key requirement is they need to have had any US Visa stamped in the past. This provision is valid until December 31st, 2023. We cover this in detail in the next section.
  • Your H1B Visa was stamped in your passport after Jan 1, 2008
  • Your H1B visa stamping in your passport should be issued after your 14th birthday
  • Your H1B visa stamp in your passport was not lost, stolen, canceled, or has CWOP written on the visa.
  • There were no US visa refusals anytime in the past. Not just the recent one.
  • (Not applicable until the end of 2023) Your H1B Visa should be valid or have expired within the last 12 months.
  • (Not applicable anymore as the US Dept of State removed it in April 2023. Check US Department of State Twitter Update ). Your H1B visa stamp in your passport should not have annotations like “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”
  • (Not applicable now) In the past, there was a requirement that the applicant’s previous H1B stamping should be from the same country. However, the same country requirement was removed in 2021 due to the pandemic situation, as consulates were not fully operational. Check Question 7 below which has an updated screenshot of the question.

Also, if you are over 80 years of age and applying for an H1B Visa renewal, then you need to only meet one condition, which is your most recent US Visa application was not refused.

Dropbox Option for certain first-Time H1B Visa Applicants

As US Consulates across the globe are operating in a very limited fashion globally due to the COVID pandemic, starting from Jan 1st, 2022, until December 31st, 2023, the US Department of State has given Dropbox Stamping option for certain first-time H1B Visa Applicants, if they meet all the below eligibility criteria.

The applicant needs to meet all the below six requirements to be eligible for H1B Dropbox as a first-time H1B applicant:

  1. USCIS Approval Notice: You need to have an H1B Visa petition approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS). Basically, this is something that your employer would apply for with USCIS for working in the US before you go for stamping and it is mandatory for stamping.
  2. Residence Country: You need to be applying for H1B Visa Stamping in your country of Nationality or Residence. For example, if you are an Indian citizen, you can only apply in India or alternatively, if you are an Indian citizen but live in Germany due to work with a proper work visa, then you can apply in Germany as it is your place of residence.
  3. Previous Approved US Visa: You need to have any type of US Visa issued (approved) in the past by a US Consulate or Embassy. It does not have to be an H1B Visa Stamp. For example, if you have previously issued B1/B2 or F1 Visa in your passport, then you are eligible.
  4. No US Visa Refusal: You should have never been refused a US Visa at Visa Stamping. If you had an administrative processing refusal like 221g, then it should have been overcome or waived. You should have not any potential ineligibility aspects on your application (this is not clearly defined by them on what they mean)
  5. US Visa lost or stolen: Your most recent US Visa in your passport was not lost, stolen, or canceled.
  6. Issued after Jan 1, 2008: Your most recent US Visa was issued after January 1st, 2008

Check complete details on the above at US Visa Stamping Dropbox Option for certain H1B Visa applicants.

Also, many are confused, about if they need a new H1B Visa stamp after changing employers, let’s look at the details now.

H1B Dropbox Eligibility for Change of Employer

Many H1B applicants, who have done a change of employer or transferred to a new employer assume that they are not eligible for dropbox submission. They are misguided by the fact that their previous H1B visa foil glued in their passport has their previous employer’s name and they may not be eligible for dropbox.

To give you more context, when your H1B Visa was issued by the US Consulate, the H1B Visa foil that was glued in your passport would have the H1B Sponsoring Company name and the petition number details on it under the annotation section, as you can see in below screenshot. Having the previous company name is the cause of the confusion. Many assume that they may not be eligible for H1B Visa using the dropbox option.

H1B Visa Sample with Sponsor Name
H1B Visa Sample with Sponsor Name

The reality is that the employer name on the US Visa is only an annotation added for reference of the CBP officer. It has nothing to do with Dropbox stamping eligibility. As long as you satisfy all the general eligibility criteria for H1B Visa Dropbox, as listed in the above section, you are eligible for H1B visa stamping using the Dropbox option.  

Also, to confirm the above, when you fill out the visa details and answer the questionnaire on US Visa CGI Federal Website, you will not be asked for your previous employer information or what your visa stamp annotation says. All they ask for are questions about your visa expiration date and general criteria. That’s another confirmation that you are eligible for dropbox stamping, even if you have a change of employer using an H1B transfer.  Also, we have many users on our blog and social media channels who got stamping done after the H1B transfer. So, it is confirmed based on users’ experiences as well.  

Now that you understand the general requirements for H1B stamping using dropbox, let’s look at the step-by-step process.  

Step by Step Guide to Apply for H1B Visa Dropbox Appointment

The process to apply for H1B Visa stamping using the dropbox or interview waiver option is not very different from the general visa renewal for other types of visas. It is mostly the documents you submit and your eligibility criteria that matter.

For background, you can read How to Apply for a US Visa for general guidance on the US Visa stamping process. Let’s look at each of the steps now.

Step 1 – Complete Non-immigrant US Visa Application (DS-160) Form online

You need to complete the Online Non-Immigrant US Visa Application and complete all the details related to your current H1B sponsor and previous employment information.  You will be asked to select a location for the visa stamping or interview when you start the DS-160 form. Select the best city that you can think of where you would go for stamping. See the below screenshot.

The city you select here does not really matter. It can be different from the city where you actually go for stamping or submitting documents.

DS-160 form on CEAC Website Screenshot
DS-160 form on CEAC Website Screenshot

The DS-160 form is very lengthy and asks for a lot of information. It can take time to complete this form.  Also,  when you submit the DS-160 form, you will get a confirmation number. The DS-160 confirmation number is also the same as the Application ID. You will enter the DS-160 confirmation number or Application ID in the next step during the appointment booking for Dropbox stamping.  

Step 2 – Create a Profile on US Visa Appointment Booking Website

After you complete the DS-160 form, you need to create a new user profile on US Visa appointment booking website. Depending on the country managed, this website is different and managed by CGI Federal. Below is how it looks:

You need to complete basic information about yourself. Depending on the country you are planning to applying for Dropbox stamping it will look different.

Below is the screenshot of completing applicant’s personal details on USVisaScheduling.com, which is for Dropbox stamping in India.

Complete Applicant Details - USVisaScheduling.com Website

If you are using portal.ustraveldocs.com and getting stamping in another country, it will look different from above.

As there are two to three US Visa Appointment booking systems that are used now globally, in the below sections, we will clearly put a heading and tell what wesbite the screenshot is for to avoid any confusion.

Step 3 – Complete Visa Type, Personal details, H1B Petition Details, Dependents info

Depending on the country you are going to get stamping from, the steps look different as the websites are different. Below are the steps for India & outside India. First, let’s look at the steps for stamping in India.

Steps on USVisaScheduling.com Website for Stamping in India

On USVisaScheduling.com, you need to click on the Start Application to fill out a new application for H1B dropbox. Below is a screenshot of how it looks.

Start Application on USVisaScheduling.com
Start Application on USVisaScheduling.com

You need to select the below Visa Options. Each of the fields would be a drop-down, select the below accordingly for H1B Dropbox

  • Country: This will be prepopulated to India and you cannot change this.
  • Visa Type: Non-immigrant
  • Embassy/Consulate/OFC: Select the US consulate or Embassy that is applicable to your location of stay in India. While there is no restriction, it is ideal to choose that fits your location of stay.
  • Post Visa Category: As it is for H1B Dropbox, you would select the visa category as ‘Employment-based visas’.
  • Visa Priority: This will be prepopulated to English and you cannot change this.

See the below screenshot on how the actual visa options screen look on USVisaScheduling.com for H1B Dropbox stamping.

Visa Options - USVisaScheduling.com for H1B Dropbox
Visa Options – USVisaScheduling.com for H1B Dropbox

You need to seelct the visa tag as H-1B and then click on Continue button. See the below screenshot on how it looks

Select Visa Tag as H-1B and hit Continue on USVisaScheduling.com
Select Visa Tag as H-1B and hit Continue on USVisaScheduling.com

You need to enter the additional details of DS-160 and Petition Information on the next screen. You will need to enter the below

  • DS-160 Confirmation Number: This is the confirmation number after you complete the DS-160 form online. It is also called the Application ID.
  • Petitioner Name: This is the H1B Sponsor name as it appears on the H1B Approval Notice
  • Petition Request Number: This is the H1B Receipt number as it appears on the H1B Approval Notice.
  • Petition Start Date: This is the “Valid from Date” on the H1B approval notice. Do not worry about the time. It can be anything on the same date. The date is the important thing to note.
  • Petition Expiration Date: This is the “Valid to Date” on the H1B approval notice.

It looks like in the below screenshot on USVisaScheduling.com website.

DS-160 and Petitioner Info for H1B Dropbox on USVisaScheduling.com
DS-160 and Petitioner Info for H1B Dropbox on USVisaScheduling.com

After this step, you will be taken to answer the H1B Dropbox questionnaire. To clarify, this flow is different from the flow that used to be on the previous portal.USTraveldocs website. You can go to Step 4 below to continue the guide for USVisaScheduling.com


Steps on USTraveldocs Portal Website for Stamping Outside India

On USTravelDocs Portal Website, once you add your basic information, you will need to select “New Appointment / Schedule Appointment” from the menu on the left-hand side. You will be asked a set of questions in a guided wizard format, you need to complete them by selecting the relevant ones as applicable for an H1B visa. The guided wizard looks like in the below section screenshots.

1. Select Nonimmigrant Visa

First, you need to select the visa type either Nonimmigrant or Immigrant. H1B Visa is a Nonimmigrant Visa, you need select that in Step 1 and click on continue. See the below screenshot on how it looks.

CGI Federal - Step 1 - Select Nonimmigrant Visa for booking H1B Visa Dropbox
CGI Federal – Step 1 – Select Nonimmigrant Visa for booking H1B Visa Dropbox

2. Select the country and state of residence

You will get an option to select the country or state of your residence. You need to select the right country or country and state combination as per your residence and click on continue. This will be listed as Step 2 in the wizard. See the below screenshot on how it looks

Select State and Country of Residence
Select State and Country of Residence

3. Select the Language of the Visa interview, Visa Category, and Visa Class

Next, you need to select the language of the interview that you plan to do if you have to go for an interview. In general, dropbox does not require an interview, but in case, they want to interview you, you need to select that and click on continue.

In the past, there used to be multiple languages to select on this page, but they removed it in late 2022. If you need any specific language support, you can request it during the interview at the consulate on the day of the interview. You would see this listed as Step 3 in the wizard as in the below screenshot

Select Language for interview - English only option online
Select Language for interview – English only option online

Next, you will be asked to select the Visa Category, which is relevant to H1B Visa. You need to select the option “Employment-based visas” option and click on continue. It will be listed as Step 3 and looks like as shown in the below screenshot.

Select the Visa Category as Employment-based Visas for H1B dropbox
Select the Visa Category as Employment-based Visas for H1B dropbox

Next, you need to select the Visa Class, which is H1B Visa. You need to select the option that says “H-1B – Temporary worker in specialty occupation” and then click on continue at the bottom. It looks like this, as in the below screenshot.

Select Visa Class as H1B Visa
Select Visa Class as H1B Visa

You will get a chance to review and confirm the details you have entered until now as a summary. Verify the details and click on continue. It will be listed as Step 6 and looks like in the below screenshot.

Check the H1B Visa Class, Category, other details in Summary
Check the H1B Visa Class, Category, other details in Summary

4. Enter Your Personal info, Passport details, contact info, mailing address, Petitioner info

After that you will need to complete personal data like passport, address info, contact info, mailing address, DS-160 info, etc. Also, under the “Petitioner” section, you need to enter the USCIS-approved H1B visa petition details including the H1B Case Receipt Number on the same page. It looks like this, as in the below screenshot.

Personal Info, Petitioner Info, DS-160, Mailing Address
Personal Info, Petitioner Info, DS-160, Mailing Address

5. Add Dependents, Child Details

Once you go past this screen, you will get a chance to add your dependents. This option is to add your dependents as applicable if you are taking your H4 Dependents (spouse and children) for visa stamping along with you. You will need to click on the option that says “Add by Name” as it looks in the below screenshot.

Add dependent for H1B interview
Add dependent for H1B interview

If you click on the Add by Name option in the above screenshot, then you will get an option to add the spouse or child-related DS-160 and all their personal details here. It looks like this, as in the below screenshot.

Add Dependents Info - H1B Dropbox Form CGI Federal Website
Add Dependents Info – H1B Dropbox Form CGI Federal Website

Step 4 – H1B Dropbox Eligibility Check Wizard

In the next step, you will be asked a few questions related to your H1B Visa Stamping status to check, if you are eligible for dropbox or not. You need to answer them correctly based on your situation.  

The H1B Dropbox eligibility check wizard questions are technically the same for stamping within India or outside of India. Just the way they are presented in the system are different as they are two different websites. We will highlight it under each question, how it looks on each of the websites.

Below are each of the questions and answers that most of the H1B Visa renewal applicants answer:

Question 1: “Do you have a previous U.S. visa in any visa class issued on or after your 14th birthday ?” 

Response: If you had any US Visa issued in the past after you turned 14 years old, you would answer ‘Yes’. This includes H1B Visa as well.

Example: If you had B1/B2 from the past issued by a US Consulate/ Embassy, and now applying for H1B for the first time, then you would answer ‘Yes’ to this question.

Starting from January 1st, 2022, with the new Dropbox Eligibility option for certain first-time H1B Holders, you see a generic question asking about any US Visa, instead of an H1B Visa. Do not be worried or confused, if you see this. The below screenshots highlight the changes. This new option is valid until the end of 2023 ( Dec 31st, 2023).

See the screenshot below of this question on how it looks on the USVisaScheduling.com website for booking H1B Dropbox appointments in India. Once you select the option, click on the ‘next’ button.

Do you have any previous visa issued after 14th birthday - USVisaScheduling.com
Do you have any previous visa issued after 14th birthday – USVisaScheduling.com

See the below screenshot on how it looks on portal.ustraveldocs.com website for booking Dropbox appointments outside of India.

Do you have a previous U.S. Visa in any visa class issued on or after your 14th birthday
Do you have a previous U.S. Visa in any visa class issued on or after your 14th birthday?

In the past, you used to get the question that is tailored to H1B asking about previous H1B visa but now it does appear now with the new option of Dropbox for certain first-time H1B applicants with any US Visa issued in the past. The new change without specific question tied to H1B visa is valid until December 31st, 2023.

In the past, there was a question on ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorization’. Starting from April 2023, the US Department of State removed that question. Even if your visa has an annotation that says ‘Clearance received’ or ‘Department Authorization’, you would still be eligible for H1B Dropbox. If you do not know what this means, you may read What is ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorization’ annotation?

Question 2: “Was your most recent U.S. visa lost, stolen, canceled, revoked, or marked CWOP?

Response: Check, if your most recently issued US Visa meets all the below conditions:

  • It was not lost or stolen (meaning, you did not lose your passport with your US Visa in it)
  • It was not canceled or revoked (it could be for any reason like DUI, or by CBP, etc. )
  • It should not be marked as CWOP (Cancelled without Prejudice). For more, read What is CWOP, how it looks? why it is stamped? meaning?

If your answer is ‘Yes’ to all the above 3 points, then you would answer ‘No’ to this question. This question applies to your most recent US Visa, it could be H1-B Visa or any other visa.

See the screenshot below on how it looks on USVisaScheduling.com for appointment booking inside India. Click on the button that reads ‘Next’ after selecting the correct option.

Was your most recent us visa stolen or lost - USVisaScheduling.com
Was your most recent us visa stolen or lost – USVisaScheduling.com

See the screenshot below on how it looks on portal.ustraveldocs.com for appointment booking outside of India

Was your most recent US Visa lost, stolen, revoked or marked CWOP?
Was your most recent US Visa lost, stolen, revoked, or marked CWOP?

In the past, the above question used to say “in the same class for which you are applying“, now it does not show that anymore due to certain exceptions until the end of 2023.

Question 3: “Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before?”.

Response: If you did not get any US visa stamping(including H1B Visa) refused at a consulate before, you would answer ‘No’.

This question is related to a US Visa that was issued at a US consulate or Embassy. This is not related to USCIS petition approval or denial.

The below screenshot shows how it looks on the USVisaScheduling.com website for India appointments. Click on the button ‘Next’ after selecting the correct option.

Have you ever been refused US Visa - on USVisaScheduling.com
Have you ever been refused US Visa – on USVisaScheduling.com

The screenshot below shows how it looks on the portal.ustraveldocs.com website for booking appointments outside of India.

Have you ever been refused a US visa
Have you ever been refused a US visa?

Question 4: “Was your most recent U.S. visa issued after January 1, 2008? “. 

Response:  For this question, most of them would answer ‘Yes’, unless their visa was issued before Jan 1st, 2008. This includes any of your recent US visas, including the H1B Visa.

Important to note is that the previous visa could have been issued in any other country, does not have to be in the same country that you are attending your dropbox appointment.

Update: In the past, the question used to say “Was your most recent H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) issued in <country name> after January 1, 2008? ” The <country name> would be the actual name of the country which you were applying for a visa from. For example, India, if you are applying from any consulate in India. But, this changed in mid-2021. Now, there is no country restriction as such.

The below screenshot shows how the question looks on the USVisaScheduling.com website for India appointments. Click on the button ‘Next’ after selecting the correct option.

Was your most recent US Visa issued after January 1-2008 - on USVisaScheduling.com
Was your most recent US Visa issued after January 1-2008 – on USVisaScheduling.com

The screenshot below shows how it looks on the portal.ustraveldocs.com website for booking appointments outside of India.

Was your most recent US Visa issued after January 1st 2008
Was your most recent US Visa issued after January 1st 2008

In the past, this question used to have an H1B visa in the question. Now, with the new dropbox option for certain new H1B applicants, it does not have that.

Confirmation on H1B Dropbox Eligibility, Option to pick Interview for Emergency

If you have answered the wizard questions as mentioned above and if you are eligible, you will get a confirmation saying that you are eligible for Interview Wavier or Dropbox.

Congratulations! You qualify for the Interview Waiver. You will need to schedule an appointment to visit the Document Drop-Off locations to submit your documents but do not need to schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.…”

Depending on the country you are submitting the documents, you may sometimes see the country and consulates or embassy information related to the same on this confirmation.

In the past, there was no option for someone, who qualified for dropbox, to attend an in-person interview, in case of an emergency. The US Dept of State modified this in October 2022 and now gives an option like below asking the user to select ‘Interview’ in case of any emergency and need an emergency appointment.

If you do not have a genuine emergency, do not select ‘Interview’, go ahead and click on ‘Drop-Off’ button.

Below is the sample screenshot of the confirmation message for appointments in India done using USVisaScheduling.com. It does not show any US Consulate/Embassy-related information.

Congratulations - you qualify for interview waiver on USVisaScheduling.com
Congratulations – you qualify for interview waiver on USVisaScheduling.com

The screenshot below shows the confirmation message on how it looks on the portal.ustraveldocs.com website for booking appointments outside of India.

Congratulations you qualify for the interview waiver - confirmation message - option to choose emergency interview
Congratulations you qualify for the interview waiver – confirmation message – option to choose emergency interview

You would get another screen that shows the below text with the next steps to follow, as shown in the below screenshot. Below is the confirmation message with the next steps for the process in India. It shows details about document drop-off and pickup options for a fee as well.

“To proceed with your interview waiver application  
Step 1. Schedule an appointment to submit your documents.
Step 2. Print your appointment letter and follow the instructions on it.
Step 3. You should arrive at the time of your appointment.  You will not be permitted to enter the facility before the time listed on your appointment letter.
Step 4. Drop off your listed documents at locations mentioned on the appointment letter.
           Current passport and any old passports with a U.S. visa.
           One photograph (as per U.S. visa photograph specifications…”

You need to click the “Drop-Off” button at the bottom of the message to proceed with your interview waiver/ dropbox visa application.

The screenshot below shows the final message with ‘Drop-off’ button as it appears on the USVisaScheduling.com for booking appointments in India.

To Proceed with Interview waiver application message - USVisaScheduling.com

The screenshot below shows the final message with ‘Drop-off’ button as it appears on the portal.ustraveldocs.com for booking appointments outside of India.

Next steps to proceed for interview waiver application - Details Screenshot
Next steps to proceed for interview waiver application – Details Screenshot

The below steps for adding dependents are only applicable for Dropbox appointment booking in India. It is not applicable to anyone submitting Dropbox outside of India.

Adding Dependents in the new USVisaScheduling.com Website for Appointments in India

For H1B Visa Dropbox appointment booking in the new USVisaScheduling.com website, the adding of dependents comes at the end after the Dropbox confirmation message. You can add dependents by following the below steps.

If you want to add any dependents, click on the ‘+’ button, as shown in the below screenshot.

Managing Dependents on USVisaScheduling.com website
Managing Dependents on USVisaScheduling.com website

You will need to complete the below information, when you select to add a dependent

  • Contact Information (name, email, language)
  • Applicant details ( relationship, country of birth, etc.)
  • Contact information (phone number)
  • Mailing Address
  • Passport Details

Below is how the screenshots of the same look like on USVisaScheduling.com

H1B Dependent Information Submission Screens on USVisaScheduling.com
H1B Dependent Information Submission Screens on USVisaScheduling.com

Also, you will be asked to complete the below information in subsequent screens about the dependent

  • Visa Options (Country, type of visa, consulate location, visa category)
  • Visa Class Tag ( H-4)
  • DS-160 Info
  • Petition Information (same as what was entered for H1B Holder)
  • Document Delivery Information(pickup location, address)
H1B Dependent - Visa Class Tag - Petitioner Info - Other Submission Screens on USVisaScheduling.com
H1B Dependent – Visa Class Tag – Petitioner Info – Other Submission Screens on USVisaScheduling.com

Step 5: Document Delivery Location, MRV Fee Payment Receipt Number

You will get an option to specify the Document Delivery Option if you would pick up or choose the premium delivery option. Depending on your choice, pick the relevant option, and fill the relevant details, click on the button that reads ‘next’.

The screenshot below shows how it looks on the USVisaScheduling.com for booking appointment in India.

Choose Document Delivery Option on USVisaScheduling.com
Choose Document Delivery Option on USVisaScheduling.com

Below is how the same screen looks like on the portal.ustraveldocs.com for appointment booking outside of India.

Specify Document Delivery , Pickup info
Specify Document Delivery, Pickup info

Next, you will get Payment Options. Below is how it looks across two different sites.

Payment Options on USVisaScheduling.com

You will get an option to choose your payment options with the below payment types

  • Citibank Cash
  • VFS Credit/Debit Cards
  • VFS UPI
  • Druk Bank Cash
  • VFS EFT

You can choose any of these options and make the payment. If you choose an option, you will get confirmation for the same and asked to make payment. Depending on the number of people, like dependents, you will get the fee bundled and shown as one payment.

See the below screenshot on how it looks for payment options on the USVisaScheduling.com

Payment Options on USVisaScheduling.com
Payment Options on USVisaScheduling.com

If you choose to claim receipts and click on claim receipts, you will get an option to enter the receipt numbers. This is valid for anyone who made payment before Jul 28th, 2023. Below is the screenshot on how it looks

Claim Receipts for Payment Options
Claim Receipts for Payment Options

Payment Options on Portal.USTraveldocs.com

You will get an option to confirm that your visa fees are non-refundable, you need to click on the confirm option as shown in the below screenshot.

Important note on Visa Fee
Important note on Visa Fee

Depending on the country, you will get visa fee payment options. It looks like the below screenshot. If you click on each of them, it will show the details on how to make a payment. You can make a Visa fee payment using that option.

US Visa Fee Payment Options in India - NEFT, IMPS, Citi, Axis, PNB
US Visa Fee Payment Options in India – NEFT, IMPS, Citi, Axis, PNB

Below are the payment options for Dropbox Stamping in India. For Dropbox stamping in India, you can either use NEFT or IMPS option as listed on the website. If you pay the fee at a bank over the counter at CitiBank, Axis Bank, or DRUK PNB Bank, then you will enter the receipt number in the box. 

  • MRV Fee Online Payment: Depending on the country you cannot pay using your overseas accounts. You need an India Rupee to account for this. 
  • MRV Fee Pay at Bank – Cash Payment Advice Slip: You will need to print a cash payment advice slip that needs to be used at the Axis or Citi bank as it has a CGI reference number.  It takes about a day after the fee was paid in the bank for it to get activated.

After you make the payment and the receipt is activated, you need to enter the Machine Readable Visa(MRV) Fee payment receipt number. The amount shown will vary by country in local currency.

Using MRV Fee Payment Receipt: After you pay the fee and the MRV fee receipt is activated, when you try to navigate to the visa tab on home, you will get a popup on the payment screens saying a receipt matches and if you would like to use that option with a popup ‘Use Existing Receipts’.

It looks like this, as in the below screenshot. You can click on the ‘use existing receipts’ button and then it takes you to the screen to book an appointment. If not, you can enter the receipt number in the receipt number box and click continue, then it will show the below pop-up.

Use Existing Receipts for Visa Interview appointment
Use Existing Receipts for Visa Interview appointment

Step 6: Book an Appointment to Drop-off Documents  

Schedule OFC Appointment Screen

OFC stands for Offsite Facilitation Center in the US Visa Appointments context.

This screen is one of the most confusing parts for many. The reason is it says “Schedule OFC Appointment” or “Applicant Schedule OFC Appointment”. Many think it is for giving your Biometrics (fingerprints, photo).  In general, Dropbox stamping does not need Biometrics. So, the appointment you book on this screen is for dropping off your H1B Dropbox Stamping Document and not Biometrics.  

Update: Before November 28th, 2021, for dropbox or interview waiver appointments, it used to show “IW” at the end of the consulate name in the dropdown, where you select the interview location. This changed to VAC for dropbox/interview waiver appointments after Nov 28th, 2021. So do not be confused. You can check complete details about this change at US Visa Dropbox / Renewal – VAC vs. IW Confusion, New Change

If you are looking at booking appointment in India on the USVisaScheduling.com, you will get an option that says “OFC Post” and below that an option to “Select Date”. You can choose the Consulate where you would ultimately want your documents to be sent for stamping under the OFC Post. You can choose an available date and time by clicking on a box on the calendar that shows with ‘Green Borders’. The ones in red borders are not available. You will also see the slots available by time below once you select the date. You can choose the correct time slot as well here.

Below is the screenshot of the Dropbox location, Date and time selection on the USVisaScheduling.com website for India Consulates appointments.

Appointment Booking Screen for H1B Dropbox on USVisaScheduling.com
Appointment Booking Screen for H1B Dropbox on USVisaScheduling.com

If you are looking at booking appointment on the portal.USTraveldocs.com for booking appointments outside of India, it looks like in below screenshot. Even though the text says “Schedule OFC Appointment”, what they mean is the appointment for Dropbox to drop off your documents.

Dropbox Appointment Shows VAC instead of IW in Dropdown
Dropbox Appointment Shows VAC instead of IW in Dropdown

Step 7: Print H1B Dropbox Appointment Confirmation Letter  

Once you book the dates, you would get confirmation of the same and it will show all the relevant information about your appointment. You would need to ensure all the details are correct. This looks slightly different based on the website you are booking on.

How to Print US Visa Appointment Confirmation letter on USVisaScheduling.com

If you are using USVisaScheduling.com for appointment booking in India, you would get a confirmation screen that looks like in the below screenshot. You may or may not see a proper print button this page. You can use Ctrl+P on Windows or Command+P on Mac to print out the confirmation letter. If for whatever reason you missed to print, you can print the same at the URL https://www.usvisascheduling.com/en-US/DropboxConfirmation/ . Verify the Visa Category and ‘Visa Priority’ to ensure, it is ‘Interview Waiver”, which means dropbox.

H1B Dropbox Appointment Confirmation on USVisaScheduling.com
H1B Dropbox Appointment Confirmation on USVisaScheduling.com

If you are booking on the portal.ustraveldocs.com for appointments outside of India, steps are like below.

After you book the dates, you will be navigated further to print the H1B Dropbox Appointment Confirmation Letter. It will usually be 6 pages. The first page would have your details, Appointment details, Document delivery or pickup info, fee information, and DS-160 details.  

The second page would have the details of the Dropbox Location and instructions. See the below screenshots.  The list of documents to be carried will be given on the rest of the pages by Visa type. Look for the one relevant for H and L Applicants. You can check more at Sample US Visa Dropbox Confirmation Letter

H1B Dropbox Document Checklist

Below is the list of documents that need to be submitted for H1B Dropbox Submission during the appointment :

  • Dropbox Appointment Confirmation Letter
  • DS-160 CEAC Confirmation Page
  • Passport Photo as per US Visa Photo specifications
  • All Original Passports with a previous US Visa ( if you have one, just carry that)
  • Your previous US Visa that is valid or expired (it would be in your passport)
  • Photocopy of your I-797 Approval Notice (Current & Previous)
  • Employment Verification or Confirmation Letter (original or copy)
  • (Optional) H1B LCA Copy (this was asked during dropbox for a few users in Mumbai)
  • (if applicable) End Client Letter. If you work as a consultant for a client, carry the client letter.
  • (Optional) Additional I-797 approval notices, if you had any in the middle for transfers. They may or may not take them. You can request and submit to be safe.
  • You can check H1B Visa Stamping Document Checklist for full details

Never give any original documents, except your passport. If you give the I-797 approval notice original, you may not get it back. So be careful

You can carry either color printout or a black-and-white printout of your appointment letter/ confirmation page. Also for all supporting documents, carry originals and copies of the same. The originals can be verified as needed by them when they take copies.

Documents Checklist for H1B Dropbox from Appointment Letter

As per the US Visa Dropbox Appointment Letter, below is the screenshot of the list of documents that you need to carry for document submission. There are two sets of documents they suggest. The first one is the list of common documents and the second is the documents that are specific to H1B visa applicants.

List of Common Documents for H1B Dropbox Applicant

List of Common Documents for H1B Dropbox Submission
List of Common Documents for H1B Dropbox Submission

List of Documents specific to H1B Visa for Dropbox applicant

H1B Dropbox Documents Checklist from Appointment Confirmation Letter
H1B Dropbox Documents Checklist from Appointment Confirmation Letter

H1B Dropbox Document Submission Process

The process to submit documents is pretty straightforward as listed below.

  1. You need to go to the relevant address of the documents drop-off location that is on the Dropbox Confirmation Letter.
  2. You need to go only during the appointment date and allowed times to the dropbox location in the appointment confirmation letter.  This can vary by location, check the letter.
  3. They will verify all the documents and then take the listed documents in the above checklist. 
  4. In India, they have changed the dropbox submission process allowing any of the consulates or VAC locations to accept the dropbox submission. Check Can Drop off US Visa Dropbox Documents at any Location now for full info.
  5. There is no requirement for the actual applicant to submit the documents. The documents can be submitted by a representative on the appointment date and time. The representative needs to carry a photo id to submit documents. The appointment letter would have all the details related to the representative submission process.
  6. Additional instructions like parking and other location-specific info would be listed on the confirmation letter.
  7. Due to the pandemic, there may be additional checks in place and health checks, so be prepared.

You may add your H1B Dropbox details anonymously at US Visa Dropbox Stamping Tracker to get details on current processing time trends and for community benefit.

Let’s now look at the next steps after the submission of documents.

US Visa Status on CEAC Website after Documents Submission

After you submit the documents, you can check your US Visa Status Online on the Consular Electronic Application Center(CEAC) website.  Below is the typical sequence for the change of various statuses.

  1. No Status’: This status does not appear for everyone, it can appear for a few. If this appears for you, do not worry, within a day or two, it would change to one of the below status
  2. ‘Application Received’ Status: You would see the “Application Received” status on the same day or by the next day after submitting documents.
  3. ‘Administrative Processing’ or ‘Refused’ Status: You may see the status change from ‘Application Received’ to “Administrative Processing” or “Refused” status. Do not panic, if you see these statuses.  It does not necessarily mean your visa is refused or going through 221g. They are very common to appear in the middle during visa processing time. You may see these statuses for 3 to 4 days. Some users said they have seen this for a week or 10 days. So, do not panic. Read Why CEAC website shows Refused Status for US Visa?
  4. “Issued” Status: You will see the status change to “Issued” if your US visa was approved by US Consulate.
  5. After your passport is in ‘Issued’ status, you can track your passport status on CGI Federal Website. It will show the status of your passport is ready for pickup, and also once you collected your passport.  You can collect your passport or it will be delivered to your address if you have picked that option. Read How to track Passport after US Visa Stamping, various Statuses meaning

H1B Dropbox Stamping Not Approved Situation

If your H1B visa was not approved by the US Consulate for some reason with the dropbox option, then you will be notified that your visa was not approved. The visa status on the CEAC website will continue to show status as “Administrative Processing” or “Refused”.

When you go to collect your documents and passport, they will return everything and also issue a 221(g) Administrative Processing slip that gives instructions on the next steps. Sometimes, the Consulate would ask you to appear in person on any day by visiting the consulate at a certain time and sometimes, they may tell you wait as it needs more processing.

Below is a sample screenshot of 221g issued for someone in Mumbai, India in January 2023, where they tell the applicant that their application requires additional processing and the consulate will contact them via email.

US Visa Interview Required -221g after Dropbox Submission not successful
US Visa Interview Required -221g after Dropbox Submission not successful

Below is a sample 221g issued by the Consulate for dropbox stamping that was not successful in August 2022 from New Delhi. In this case, it clearly tells that the applicant has to attend the interview. You also do not need to make any appointments. All you need to do is take your passport and go to the Embassy on any day before 10 AM.

221g Slip after Document Submission to Attend Interview 2022
221g Slip after Document Submission to Attend Interview 2022

Below is sample 221g given at Consulate for H1B Dropbox before pandemic asking to attend the consulate for interview on any day.

221g Green Slip given for H1B Visa Dropbox
221g Green Slip given for H1B Visa Dropbox

Conclusion

Overall, the process to renew an H1B visa, using an interview waiver/ dropbox option, is very straightforward and should not have any complications. Sometimes, even if your application is all good, they may call you for a random interview, so do not panic and handle it with confidence.

What has been your experience with H1B Dropbox stamping? Share your thoughts and inputs in comments section below.

   

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369 Comments

  1. Is Dropbox for first time H1B stamping from F1, still valid for 2023?
    At some sites it’s mentioned it’s till end of 2022 only but some sites say otherwise. Please can anyone confirm this?

    Reply
  2. Hi

    I have paid MRV fee for my deependents B1/B2 using one CGI account .
    I have used the same account to pay for my spouse Visa as well.
    Can some one please let me know if I can create a new CGI account and tag my priori payments made for dependants ( using that MRV receipt something like that)?

    Also can some one please share the customer care number just in case If I need to get this resolved with them?

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. I I was admitted on F1 student VISA and will file an application for my first H1B Visa stamping this year.

    In the set of criteria to qualify for Dropbox appointment there is a question that asks “Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before?”

    I had a L1B blanket petition denial early on in my career. Does anyone know if that will count as US Visa refusal?

    Reply
  4. Hi ,

    I am currently in H4 and got my H1B COS approved ..planning to go to India for visa stamping , after filling DS160 it says am eligible for dropbox but my attorney since it is my very first H1B i should take interview appointment …please can you somepone who has been in this boat help me with pointers….has anyone succesfully got the first H1B stamping via dropbox ?? or any suggestions on how to take this forward…many thanks

    Reply
    • Raji,
      No need, with the provision until end of this year, you can go for dropbox. You need to follow the instructions, cannot bypass and ask for in-person.

      Reply
  5. My last VISA stamp was in 2016, which falls outside the 48 month expiration. Does this mean I require an in-person interview ?

    Reply
    • Ashish,
      H/L visas do not have the 48 months rule until the end of 2022, so you may be able to get dropbox. The best thing to do is to fill out the questionnaire online and then get to see it for yourself.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        I have seen in the telegram groups that with the new broad dropbox eligibility questionnaire many f1 to h1 cases or first time h1 cases are technically eligible for dropbox (due to the very broad nature of the eligibility questionnaire) but once the documents are submitted via dropbox they issue a 221g and call for interview/fingerprints and then approve it without any issues. Has this happened to redbus2us users? Can you provide more guidance on this or direct me to the appropriate channels to post this query?

        Appreciate your help!

        Reply
  6. We have scheduled a interview for all the 4 of the family members(1 H1, and 3 H4) under a single payment receipt.
    Now only H4 person will not be able to attend the interview. Other can .
    How do I keep the 3 appointment and reschedule only one appointment.

    Reply
  7. Hello

    I recently changed my employer but still have valid visa stamp from previous employer so I am okay for reentry in the US until stamp visa expiration date. Is it correct?

    My wife was on H4 (expired in Sep 2020), then got F1 visa and studied in university for 2 semesters and now dropped out and waiting for change of status to H4 (while staying in the US). If she travels to India now, does she qualify for drobox for H4?

    Reply
  8. I know most people are eligible for dropbox however my case is different due to visa type.

    Does anyone have any recent consular interview experience from Mumbai (or other Indian location)? How is it these days with respect to how busy / covid protocols / process / return of passport etc.?

    Many thanks in advance for any/all pointers.

    Reply
  9. Hello Kumar,

    I am eligible for interview waiver but my dependents are not. Due to dropbox appointment unavailability, can i book consular appointment for myself along with my dependents.
    Is that even allowed?

    Thanks

    Reply
  10. My son too is applying for F1 drop box. We are also not aware of the list.. please let us know, if your appointment is over. And what documents are required

    Reply
    • Marco,
      In general, it is not based on location, it is based on your eligibility. Check with the consulate to be sure.

      Reply
  11. Thanks for taking the time to put this highly detailed guide together! Much appreciated.

    I will be renewing my H1B visa this year (expires in August 2022) and was wondering if getting the renewal stamping could be done in any other countries apart from India/Canada/Mexico to avoid long wait times to get an appointment

    I did have good luck with this method in the past as have successfully got my F1 to H1B visa stamp done in Vienna in 2019. Just wondering if anything has changed since then due to COVID.

    Reply
  12. In the cgi website I have added my wife and kid( 2years old) as dependent by using ‘Add By Name’ option. My wife and I am eligible for dropbox. But for the kid this will be first time. Is my kid eligible for dropbox.

    Reply
  13. Hi,
    I plan to travel to India in the latter half of 2022 for my marriage. My current H1-B visa has expired and I have an approved case for my H1B-EOS but my spouse will be an H4 applicant getting H4 stamped for the first time.
    So my question is:
    1. I will be eligible for dropbox automatically but my spouse will not be eligible as she does not have any prior US visa stamped, so can I also join her in her H4 in-person VISA interview for my new H1B stamp (or) should i have to get a dropbox appointment for myself and schedule an in- person VISA interview for my spouse?
    2. Is H1B holders passport a required document for H4 stamping?

    Reply
  14. Hi- this morning when I’m checking the OFC appointment availability – it shows no appointments available in any location. Does anyone has the same problem,

    Reply
  15. Hi,
    I have an upcoming H1B dropbox interview. I’m planning to submit my speeding ticket-related court documents as proof that the matter has been closed. Will VAC accept other supporting documents along with the required documents mentioned in the checklist?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • kumar,
      Probably not, you can try. They will call for an interview, if they need to assess. I think, if it is not DUI, should be fine.

      Reply
  16. I am trying to book a dropbox appointment and i saw dates available for OFC appointment. i went ahead and booked the slot. Later it also took me to the Consular appointment as well.
    But i am eligible for Interview Waiver and after i answered all the questions it said you are eligible for IW.
    Is the Consular appointment page mandatory?
    I’m confused.

    Reply
    • Hi Kush,
      Wish you good luck brother…
      I am not able see any appointments for any of the 5cities.
      Do you know why this is happening to me?
      (I have paid MRV fee and it is tagged to my application already)
      thanks in advance
      Babu

      Reply
      • I have the same issue now, I was unable to see the Appointment screen, so I had to pay MRV fees (30,000INR) for me and my wife, and now it says no appointments.

        I came to the VFS center in Bangalore and he simply denies to even talk! they dont even tell u how to proceed further.

        I tried calling VFS chennai and i am on the phone for more than 50 minutes in waiting and no one picked up!

        This is soo broken and I have no clue anywhere on what the next steps is.

        Reply
  17. Hi ,
    I have DS160 filled with I797 which is approved till March 2023 and I am planning to travel India in November 2022 . If I file my next extension in premium and get approval , can I simple take new I797 for stamping or do need to fill new DS160

    Reply
  18. Hi Kumar
    In CGI portal I added my H1B & two H4 dependents( spouse and child) in my profile and it showed me I am eligible for drop box appointment which I got for July 2022. No question on age was asked during the CGI eligibility check in step 7. However in us travel docs site , I read that interview waiver is applicable only if last us visa was stamped on or after 14th birthday. My child who is currently 13 will turn 14 before the Dropbox appointment date. Does that mean they will not accept my passports at the drop box location? Or do I need to cancel my current drop box appointment and schedule biometric and consular appointments? Kindly advice , CGI customer care is not at all helpful and doesn’t provide a definitive answer .

    Reply
  19. Hi
    I live in US with my husband. I am on F-2 visa currently and I want to get my own F-1 visa to join a university starting Aug 2022. I meet all the requirements for interview waiver program. Can I apply for dropbox, send my docs (passport etc to my family) to India (Hyderabad) to submit to dropbox and get my visa stamped WITHOUT BEING PHYSICALLY present in INDIA ? Later I could cross the border of canada/mexico and activate my F1 though US customs boarder. Just trying to save a trip to india since I have a 4 month child with me. Please help

    Reply
    • I think it is illegal to send passport across countries without the passport holder traveling. It is mentioned in the last page of Indian passport. Even if you take chance and send it, what if your drop box is not successful and you are asked to appear for interview? Then you cannot leave USA without your passport. Also, by some bad luck or some emergency situation arises, you have to travel to India after you have sent your passport with relatives. Please keep passport with you all the time. Don’t send passport to India with relatives.

      Reply
  20. I filled ds160 last year but was not able to travel . Now i got new visa extension letter and got the slot. Is it ok with old ds160 or I need to change somewhere visa information?

    Reply
  21. Hello,
    We recently got appointment for my spouse’s H4 dropbox. I couldn’t get an appointment for my H1B dropbox yet. I don’t recall the system asking to add my spouse as dependent while filling the appointment form. So, we have been trying separately for appointment.
    Could we both go for dropbox using my spouse’s appointment since in her DS160 I’m listed as primary applicant? Or, do I need an appointment of my own?

    Reply
      • Thankyou, Kumar. Will it work if I added my spouse as my dependent as shown in the steps of this post? To clarify: We both have our own DS-160 and have paid the fees.

        Reply
        • GK,
          Yes. As long as they qualify for the interview waiver and have fees paid for their appointment and have separate DS-160, you can.

          Reply
  22. Hello,
    I had my F1 visa stamped on my old passport which was expired. I am now in H1b and need my first stamping. Unfortunately I lost that passport. So now i have a new passport (ofcrse no visa stamp nor i have my old passport anymore).

    I selected “Was your most recent U.S. visa lost or stolen or cancelled?” yes for this option while booking appointment in CGI website , it is asking me to book in person appointment.

    Since i have a new passport can I answer no to this question “Was your most recent U.S. visa lost or stolen or cancelled?” so it will take me to dropbox ?

    Please advise.

    Reply
    • Akshay,
      You should answer accurately that you lost your visa and passport. Do not answer wrongly just to get dropbox option, it will considered fraud and you can be denied visa.

      Reply
  23. Hi, could you please make a documents checklist for F1-dropbox. I had Tourist visa before so I am qualifying for dropbox. But I don’t know what documents to submit for the dropbox appointment under F1 category. Thanks!

    Reply
    • My son too is applying for F1 drop box. We are also not aware of the list.. please let us know, if your appointment is over. And what documents are required

      Reply
  24. Hi
    I have Annotation on my Visa as ‘NIE UNDER PP ON RISK TO LABOR MARKET’. Want to check am i eligible for dropbox?

    Thank You

    Reply
  25. Hi, I am the applicant and if I meet all the interview waiver conditions but my dependent’s are applying for the first time, how does this works, coz they haven’t done their biometric at all.

    Reply
  26. If you make mistake in any step for dropbox eligibility & it doesnt pop for dropbox success , you can correct it later . Call helpdesk.
    Even after appointment booked, Cancel ur appointments if any, then fix ur answers again.

    Reply
  27. Hello Kumar

    I have a question on my H1B stamping. I have a 221G while stamping in the year 2015 and it was administrative processing and it was never cleared. Recently(2022) when i check the status of the case number it was refused.

    But i have transferred my petition to new employer and stamped successfully in 2017 and now i am in USA. My stamped visa got expired on 2019. i have 797 approved until 2025.

    Now I am planning to go to India for stamping, am I eligible for drop box? Please suggest.

    Reply
  28. Hi,

    I have filled a new DS 160 for my kid as some details needed to be updated. I am not seeing an option to update the DS 160 for dependent in CGI portal.
    Please let me know how to get the new DS 160 number updated for dependent. I was able to update for myself.

    Best regards

    Reply
  29. Hi all, my first H1b stamp and i-94 based on that is expired. We are planning to visit India during summer. As there are no dropbox appointments available, what are other options like if we can get stamped from different countries?

    Reply
  30. Hi .. i got 221g in 2014 its was administrative processing and that was never cleared. I transferred to another employer and did my stamping 2nd attempt. When I check recently status of my first visa stamping it shows refused. Now am I eligible for dropbox?

    Reply
  31. I want to travel to India and get my E3 (Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia) visa renewal stamped there. I tried to check on CGI Federal website for appointment and it doesn’t give any option for dropbox eligibility. Does that mean they don’t provide dropbox for E3 in India?

    Wondering if anyone has any experience for this?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Aakash,
      Very likely E3 is not processed in India. Usually, not all countries process all visa types, if you check USTravelDocs website, they will tell what is processed and what is not. You may write to consulate to get confirmation.

      Reply
  32. Hi,
    First time H1b . I see the yellow box appeared for interview waiver. Selected a date in Hyderabad VAC in the ‘Select OFC appointment’. When I clicked continue, it prompts another page saying no interview slots available. I tried today March 3, 2022.

    Reply
    • I tried for one week to get an appointment.hired agent and he got it in 3 days. I got my appointment on mar 16 for at 17 at Chennai. I reached India at 11pm mar 16 and be flying to Chennai on mar 17

      Reply
        • Ankush,
          Do NOT encourage using agents. There is a lot of fraud and also consulates have sent back people, who booked using agents as they track IPs and send back.

          Reply
  33. Hi,

    Is there a way to check/edit petitioner’s receipt number for H1B visa application(not DS 160) after booking visa appointment? I don’t see an option to edit anywhere in the portal and also I’m not able to verify what receipt number I have entered.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
  34. When trying for drop box appointment it always comes as ‘dates not available’ . How to know when the slots will be available.. anywaY to know slot availability?

    Reply
  35. Both me and my husband are on our own H1B and we have two H4 children. We are eligible for Dropbox. We have added two H1B and two H4 in same CGI profile. Does one Dropbox appointment suffice?

    Reply
      • Hi,

        Me and my wife are on H1b with different petitioners. I have booked Dropbox appointment under my profile and added my wife’s DS160 confirmation number. I have the appointment scheduled for next week, should I be concerned about this?

        @priya, were you able to book under one profile and able to get the visa stamped successfully?

        Really appreciate the response here. Thank you so much!

        Reply
      • Hi,

        I have the same question. Me and my wife both are on H1b with different petitioners. But while booking the dropbox appointment I created one profile and added my wife as family member and provided her DS160 confirmation number. Should I be concerned about this?

        Priya, were you able to use one profile and able to successfuly get your visa stamped?

        Thank you! really appreciate the response here.

        Reply
        • Hi Kaushik, Priya, : Did you end up using same appointment for two H1B petitioners?

          I did some research and there is contradictory information out there. Would appreciate if you can share your recent experience.

          Reply
  36. Hi, I recently changed my employer and have approved H1B petition. The same employer has applied for my H1B amendment due to change in my job location. Can I go ahead and book my drop box appointment with current petition or do I need to wait till my amendment gets approved? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • H1BCandidate,
      It is best to wait for the amendment to be approved and use that for stamping. This is to avoid issues for you at the port of entry or during stamping. If you have something pending, they may issue 221g and delays the process.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar. Can I still fill my DS160 with the current petition and get the drop box appointment and then update the DS160 after the amendment approval assuming I get the approval before the appointment date?

        Reply
        • I am in the same boat. My understanding is that once you have booked an appointment you cannot change the DS160 number. At that point you will need to fill out a new DS160 and take that for interview along with all the other documents. I believe that is risky and it is better to wait for the amendment approval. However would be grateful for guidance by Kumar.

          Reply
        • H1BCandidate & Keena,
          You cannot update old DS-160 after submission as it may not allow you to edit those details. You need to fill new DS-160 after you get new approval. Also, need to update the cgifederal website by calling them to update new petition approval receipt number.

          Reply
  37. Hi,
    Currently, I am employed with Company A and I have an approved I-797. I applied for a different Company B and I got selected (recruited). I am waiting for the VISA transfer by the Company B. I wanted to book an appointment around the end of May/2022. Without the receipt number from Company B, will I be able to book an appointment for Dropbox using the receipt number provided by Company A and then change the receipt number for the same appointment, once I receive the receipt number from Company B? Please help with an answer for this situation. Thanks.

    Reply
    • NewMemberQuestion,
      Well, this is slightly tricky. Ask them to apply in premium and then apply. The reason is, you need to fill in the details of the approval. When you fill, you would not have approval, so it is not true statement, so should avoid it.

      Reply
  38. I got dropbox appointment scheduled for May, since it is my first time stamping and if possible I want to go for an interview. Is it possible to switch?
    if I want to go with Dropbox appointment, How long is it taking for First time Dropbox appointments to complete and get the passport back to hand?

    Reply
    • Sunny,
      If you are eligible for dropbox based on new rules, you are fine. Just use the dropbox. Usually, it should take anywhere from 10 to 15 days or even less at times. You can check dropbox appointments tracker : https://visagrader.com/trackers/us-drop-box-visa-appointments

      Reply
  39. Hi ,
    My application was the old one which was submitted long back. At present the interview date shows as March 22.

    As per the new guidelines how can I change this existing application to Dropbox . As this option only comes when we do new application process. Help me . Thanks

    Reply
    • R..K,
      If you have the slot confirmed, it is best to take it and go for interview. If you really want to change it, then you would need to cancel and re-run the wizard and it will give you interview waiver option. But, slot is not confirmed and you need to go through the same hassle to get a slot.

      Reply
  40. Hi,

    There is an update on https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-waivers-of-the-interview-requirement-for-certain-nonimmigrant-visas.html
    It does not mention renewal cases or 48 months. So does it mean if a person was issued a US visa in the same category , he is eligible for interview waiver ?

    Thanks
    Mahesh

    Reply
  41. Hello .. I have drop box appointment scheduled for First time h1b. I have a quick question . i came to US on H4 . started my masters with H4 and did the COS from H4 to F1 . Never stamped F1 as i never got to travel india from past 3 years . Continued on OPT and Stem OPT Now i have h1b approved . What are all the documents to submit in this case ?

    Reply
  42. Hi, I have a dropbox appointment for march/22 for myself (h1B) and my family (2 xH4), do we all need to go CGI center on the day of the appointment or I can drop the documents on behalf of everyone.

    Reply
  43. Hi, I’m going for L1A individual drop box. My job title in Employment verification letter is pretty generic & is different from the specific title on Petition. Will this be an issue for drop box?
    I have 2 i797s one says i797C Notice Type Approval notice & is around 8 pages, the other one is i797A Notice Type Approval notice & is 2 pages long includes i94. Which of these 2 needs a copy to be submitted for dropbox?

    Would really appreciate any help on this. Thanks.

    Reply
  44. Hello,

    I followed the steps that are outlined very well here. I need to request for myself and two dependents. At he payment page I see three boxes, one for each applicant. The total fee being 3 x 190 x 78.00.

    Now should I make a NEFT fee payment of (190 x 78.00) for each of the applicant to the same Beneficiary Account Number? Will the receipt numbers be associated to the applicants randomly?

    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
  45. Hello,

    I followed the process that is outlined very well outlined here. After adding 2 dependents I at the payment screen I get to see three separate boxes for Recript Numbers, one for myself and one each for dependents. Total fee being 3X190X76.

    Now am I supposed to make three separate NEFT payments of 190$x76, for the same beneficiary account number (TIER*)? Will the three resulting receipt numbers be randomly assigned to the three applicants?

    Thank you for the help!

    Reply
  46. Hi, can someone please tell me what the availability is at the Bangalore dropbox location for late December – early January? Hope to hear from someone soon!

    Thanks fellow Indians!

    Reply
  47. Hi,

    My wife and I have booked an appointment in Feb 2022 on the same time. Both of us booked it not as a dependent of each other (initial plan was to travel separately). But now since we have the same date of dropbox (not as a dependent), can we still do the dropbox? My concern is that if we need the original I-797 (H1B) document? if so, how do we address this issue? Is it okay to submit copies of I-797?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi All, I also have same issue. I am currently on H1B and traveling to India for my VISA stamping. Last year in the US I got married. In my current Indian passport it’s still single. Before my Dropbox appointment do I need to get a new passport and submit for the dropbox or can I submit my current passport and attach my marriage certificate? Please let me know I appreciate your help.

      Reply

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