US Visa Dropbox Eligibility Checker India 2020

US visa dropbox eligibility checker 2020. H1B to H4 COS stamping eligible for dropbox due to same class H. Visa fees required. Admin processing not eligible.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  8 Jan, 20


Am I eligible for US Visa DropBox in 2020?

US visa Interview waiver is the term used for dropbox facility. There is no dropbox as such but you need to submit your documents to the VFS location assigned by US embassy.

Dropbox Processing time varies from 1 day to 6 weeks. We strongly recommend to keep a buffer of at-least 3 weeks after dropping your application as you can be called for interview. Many applications also receive form 221g and can delay your passport.

Dropbox helps you to get US visa renewed without appearing for in-person visa interview at US embassy.

Check your eligibility using this simple question and answer form (you need your Google account to use it – no spam, secured by Google)

Open link in new window.

It is possible that you receive a form 221(g) green slip after dropping your documents in US visa dropbox asking to appear for fingerprints.

Last Stamping in Canada or Mexico?

You are not eligible for Dropbox in India if your last visa stamp was issued in Mexico or Canada. Many H1B, H4 and F1 students do get their US visa stamps in near shore countries but this makes them ineligible for interview waiver in Indian US embassy.

How to use DropBox

If you qualify for interview waiver, you will receive a submission letter containing a document checklist. You will need to follow the same process on the USATravelDocs website to pay the visa fees and then answer the dropbox eligibility questions.

The system will automatically ask you to take DropBox appointment if you are eligible.

Documents for DropBox

Drop off your passport along with the listed documents mentioned on the submission letter at one of the 11 service centers.

  1. One copy of the submission letter – You will get it after you have submitted your DS-160 form.
  2. Your current un-expired passport (original)
  3. Your current or most recent visa – If visa is stamped on old expired passport, then submit that passport too in original
  4. One photograph taken within the last six months (according to US visa photo specifications).
    Do not submit the same photograph that you used in your LAST US visa. They are smart and might reject your case if you use the same photograph and your case will be delayed.
  5. Supporting documentation – 1 set in original + 1 set photo copy.
  6. Children applying through interview waiver should submit photocopies of their parents valid visas and passport bio-page.

Supporting documentation varies by each US visa type:

Dropbox eligible if last stamping was done in Canada/Mexico?

You are not eligible for Dropbox in India if last stamping was done outside India including Canada or Mexico.

Is Appointment Required for Dropbox?

Appointment is required for Dropbox submission.

Dropbox Visa Stamping Processing Time?

Dropbox visa processing can take between 3 to 21 days.

Can US Embassy call for visa interview after Dropbox?

US embassy can call you for visa interview after your have dropped your documents. There is no need to take visa interview appointment if they call you.

Green form 221(g) issued after Dropbox for Fingerprinting

US embassy can issue a green form 221(g) and ask you to visit in person for fingerprints.

Is H1B extension denial same as visa denial?

H1B extension, amendment and transfers are called ‘petition’ and are filed with USCIS. Petition denial is not same as H1B visa denial that’s denied by US embassy.

Form 221g Admin Processing Dropbox

You can receive form 221g or a call for in-person interview even when you are eligible for dropbox. My suggestion is to book your plane tickets back to US after at-least 3 weeks from the date of your documents submission.

Family Member not Eligible for Dropbox

It is possible that you are eligible for dropbox individually but one of your dependent is not. In this case, you can drop your documents separately but your dependent will have to appear for interview in front of visa officer.


Primary H1B is eligible for dropbox but dependent H4 is not. In this case, there are two options:

  • H1B primary uses dropbox and H4 dependent appears for visa interview. H4 cannot get interview waiver just because H1B is dropbox eligible.
  • H1B gives up his option of dropbox and combines his application with H4 to appear for interview along with H4. In this case, H1B application should be added to usatraveldocs online website after first adding the H4 i.e. the application that’s not eligible for interview waiver.

If you are interested in evaluating the DropBox eligibility rules yourself, you can read further.

Dropbox Questions for Age Between 14 to 80 years

You are eligible for Dropbox facility if you can answer YES to all these questions

#1 I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to apply.

The class now means exact same visa including alphabet and number.

Example: H1B and H4 are different visa classes now as per new update in usaTravelDocs website.

#2 My most recent visa was issued in India.

If you got your visa stamp in Mexico or Canada or any other non-Indian country, you are in-eligible.

Example: If you got your first time H1B visa stamp in Mexico or Canada or any other US embassy outside India.

#3 I received my visa after January 1, 2008

#4 My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”

If your last visa stamping got a form 221g for any reason, your US visa stamp will have the marking of ‘Clearance received” or “Department Authorization”.

H1B visa clearance received annotation
H1B visa clearance received annotation

#5 My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday.

#6 My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was not lost/stolen

Example: If you got your US visa replaced after passport was lost in Europe on your travel, you will need to appear for visa interview.

#7 I have no refusals for a visa in any class after my most recent visa issuance.

This question asks for visa refusal after your last visa issuance but when you actually go for appointment booking online, the question changes to ‘any visa refusal anytime in past’. Hence, we have changed it here.

H1B extension or transfer petition denial in US is NOT same as H1B visa denial at US embassy. Your visa is counted as denied only if you applied it in any US embassy and not USCIS.

L or H visa petitions are sent to USCIS and H and L visa applications are sent to US embassy.

If you ever got B1/B2 visa denial and now applying for H1B visa, you are still not eligible for dropbox as your B1 was denied.

#8 If I am applying for an H or L (individual) or R visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.


  • If I am applying for any other class of visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.
  • Note: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify for the Interview Waiver, but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.
  • If I am applying for an F visa, am continuing as student at same school for which my previous visa was issued.
  • If I am applying for a J visa, my current DS-2019 is issued by the same institution as the institution listed on my previous visa.

Dropbox Criteria for Child Age Less Than 14 years

You should be applying for visa stamp before your 14th birthday along with other criteria mentioned above.
Note: Children under 14 must submit a photocopy of both parent’s passport biographic information and valid U.S. visa page.

DropBox Criteria for Age more than 80 years

Your answer should be ‘YES’ to both questions:

  1. I am applying on or after 80th birthday AND
  2. My most recent visa application was not refused.


   142 Useful Questions & Answers from comments

  1. Sunny Xavier Swarna
    Sunny Xavier Swarna 8 Jan, 20 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I am currently in US with my approved i797 for my H1B extension. My wife’s H4 & H4 EAD are still under process (applied in Aug 2019). I’m planning to visit India in Feb 2020. I filled myDS160 & then my wife’s DS160. Based on my responses to questionnaire in USTRAVELDOCS, I qualified for Dropbox. Meanwhile, the website gave me an option to add my wife’s name as it was saved as dependent from my previous H1b/H4 stamping.

    1. Do I need to separately log in with my wife’s credentials & verify if she is eligible for Dropbox? Or can I assume she will qualify due to my qualification.

    2. Does she need to accompany me to the Dropbox facility or can I drop off / submit her documents along with mine?

    Appreciate your help.


  2. parag doshi
    parag doshi 23 Dec, 19 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Anil ,
    the Questionnaire for visa waiver qualifying checker on ustraveldocs website asks clearly if ‘Have you ever been refused a H-1B (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) visa before? ‘ and hence it does not translate to any visa refusal in any class . so if you a visa refusal in F1 category before but applying for H1b currently then you still qualify for visa waiver aka dropbox, just to clarify things for other readers

  3. sandeep kataram
    sandeep kataram 23 Dec, 19 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Anil,
    I have a valid H1b visa stamped on my passport from my previous employer/petitioner. I am planning to visit India in 3 months. I have a new I-797 from a new employer/petitioner now.

    Can you please answer below questions..

    1. Do I qualify for the Interview Waiver program?
    2. While submitting application for appointment, it asked below question what should I answer to it? Yes/No.

    Is your previous H-1B visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or traine
    e) still valid?

    If I answer yes, it is waiving my interview..

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Debdas Dhabal
    Debdas Dhabal 16 Dec, 19 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Anil,
    Your article and forums are always helpful for me.
    I have a question regarding dropbox facility. I (J1 visa) and my wife (J2 dependent) both are eligible for dropbox facility individually. In that case while paying visa fee should I add her as a dependent and proceed with the dropbox appointment together?. Or should I apply from two different profile ?. Because in my profile even if I add her as dependent all the questions are related to J1 visa only and not related to J2. I am worrying that if we apply together they might have consider both as J1 visa class.
    Any comments regarding this will be very helpful.

    Thank you

  5. Santosh
    Santosh 11 Dec, 19 at 10:38 am

    Hi Anil,
    Great article. I am applying for my H1 renewal and got a Dropbox option. I have two questions

    1. My previous stamping was in Chennai so should I go to Chennai for my Dropbox or any other US consulate in India will be ok. I saw someone said it should be the same city consulate as prior one. Please clarify

    2. I am not seeing any dates open in 2020 Feb, do you happen to know how long before these dates open? Should I be looking at other city consulates as a backup?

  6. Parag Rathi
    Parag Rathi 5 Dec, 19 at 4:21 pm

    I have a situation. Me and my wife are eligible for dropbox. She is on H4 and i am on H1 and our visas expired on september 30, 2019 so well within 12 months. Our immidiately prior visas were also H4 and H1. However, as i answered the questions – it just led me to setting up an OFC and interview appointment. Is there a different set-up (or website) to schedule dropbox appointment. Alternatively, I am wondering if i accidentally answered any of the questions incorrectly. So right now i have interview appointment date of Jan 6, 2020. Is there a way i can re-check my eligibility for dropbox and go for dropbox option?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 11 Dec, 19 at 10:38 am

      You cannot go back now as you have already scheduled the interview. You may have answered something wrong. You can go through the questions once again given above.

  7. rag
    rag 6 Nov, 19 at 1:46 pm

    I have a situation for dropbox submission. My visa expired last year dec 20, 2019. I am qualified for dropbox as of now. But I see a “Note” with the dropbox eligibility on usatraveldoc website that

    Note: “If you are renewing a visa, your previous visa can be no more than 12 months expired. Please select a submission data atleast 7 calender days before that 12-month deadline.”

    Now the situation is i am planning to land in india on dec 18, and do the submission. What should i do in this case. Shall i answer no somewhere and get bypass this dropbox eligibiltiy so that i can go in person interview at embassy? I cant change travel dates.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 11 Nov, 19 at 3:20 pm

      Have you already booked the dropbox appointment ? The appointment date can be anytime earlier than the 12 month deadline. You should be fine.

  8. Ramgopal Bachu
    Ramgopal Bachu 24 Oct, 19 at 12:06 am

    Hi Anil,
    Would you please help me with information can someone else (my brother/friend) submit my documents for the Dropbox for me, Its H4 dropbox? or is it I should only need to submit the documents in person.

    MAHAK RAJVANSHI 2 Jul, 19 at 11:38 am

    Hi Anil,

    I have a valid I797 for H1B extension and its valid till January 31, 2020. If I get my visa stamped through dropbox and have a valid H1 visa stamp in my passport and then my new H1 extension is pending with USCIS. Will I be able to travel in month of November to India under H1B extension pending with USCIS? Please let me know.

  10. subhani sk
    subhani sk 2 Jul, 19 at 4:45 am

    Hi Anil, I have valid H1B visa until July 2018 and I got one extension till December 2018. My company applied extension again in December 2018 and it is extended till June 2021. I am planning to travel India next month. Can you let me know if I am eligible for drop box as I have two extensions in the last one year or Can I go in person for interview?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Jul, 19 at 8:52 am

      H1 Petition extension and visa are two different things. If your H1B visa stamp in passport has expired more than 12 months ago, then you will not be eligible for dropbox.

  11. Bala
    Bala 30 Jun, 19 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve a valid H1 stamped, H4 spouse and H4 kid (8 year old) don’t have valid visa. H4 spouse qualify for an interview waiver, can the H4 spouse and kid apply for a visa through interview waiver at the same time? Or should I get first for H4 spouse through interview waiver and then for kid? UStraveldocs help center folks said ,if both parents don’t have visa, kids has to go through interview, this doesn’t make sense for a family application , any help would be appreciated.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 1 Jul, 19 at 10:01 am

      Each individual has to pass the dropbox test individually. If your kids are not eligible for “interview waiver”, then either they need to attend interview alone (if they are eligible) or you have to appear for interview too even when you are eligible for dropbox.

  12. Jemis Gandhi
    Jemis Gandhi 26 Jun, 19 at 10:35 pm

    One of my friend got usa student visa before one week. Now question is he got personal serious problem so he cant be go for usa for one year so do he has to go for visa interview again? or can he go to usa on same visa after one year.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Jun, 19 at 6:34 am

      If the stamped visa is valid, there is no need to get a new visa stamp.
      You can travel and use the stamp to enter US as long as its valid.

  13. Jemis Gandhi
    Jemis Gandhi 26 Jun, 19 at 3:50 am

    I had visa of X university of usa and i went there and took transfer in Y university, studied there in Y university for 3 semester but could not complete study in Y university due to health issue and i came back to india. Now i want to go back again in Y university to complete my study. May i eligible for interview waiver program?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Jun, 19 at 7:02 am

      Please use the questions app given above to check your interview waiver eligibility.

  14. Appy
    Appy 25 Jun, 19 at 10:35 am

    Hi Anil,

    My spouse’s L1 Blanket visa was extended but the category has now changed to L1 Individual.
    My L2 visa has also been extended from L2 blanket to L2 Individual.

    Do I qualify for dropbox in India?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 25 Jun, 19 at 1:39 pm

      Did you use the app above to check your eligibility? Answer the question as it asks and you will get the answer at the end.

  15. deepu kanna
    deepu kanna 18 Jun, 19 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Thank you for setting up this blog. While I understand that the change of employer would not effect the drop box eligibility, I still have few additional questions around it.


    My visa stamp expired in May which is from employer A. I switched to employer B in April and then to employer C in May. My current employer C is a full-time organisation. Now I am planning to go to drop box in July/August.


    1) When I submit the documents for the drop box, should I also provide them the older copies of I-797 held by my previous Employers A & B or just the current one from Employer C should suffice ?

    2) Because I switched jobs so frequently, should I be concerned of any additional scrutiny by the Visa adjudicators like calling me for an in-person interview?

    3) What may be the right answer in justifying the frequent job switch if I were to be called for an in person interview? While my intent was to join employer C, I had to join employer B and wait for the visa transfer approval by C and make sure that I at least have one of the opportunities.

    Thanks in advance

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 18 Jun, 19 at 6:00 pm

      You only need current H1B approval i797 to apply for H1B visa stamp.

      There is no way to find out if you will be called for interview or not. Just make sure that you do not make any mistakes and avoid common form 221g reasons.

      The only correct answer is the truth for changing employers. Normally, visa officer does not ask for reasons to jump jobs. They don’t care as long as you are working as per visa rules.

  16. Vaibhav
    Vaibhav 15 Jun, 19 at 8:50 am

    Hi Anil,
    If there is h1b amendment after ds160 and visa appointment; how should one proceed? Is it required start all over again or is there a way to retain the visa appointment date and correct the petition number?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 15 Jun, 19 at 9:03 am

      Has the amendment been approved? Have you got the approved amendment’s i797?

      • Vaibhav
        Vaibhav 15 Jun, 19 at 9:03 am

        No, not yet.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 15 Jun, 19 at 9:28 am

          Then, you cannot use the pending amendment to apply for H1B visa.

          You should have planned your visa stamping after the amendment approval.

          Many people are getting form 221g if they file an amendment and then go for stamping using previous approved H1B.

          • Vaibhav
            Vaibhav 15 Jun, 19 at 10:29 am

            I understand. My question is little different, what happens when I take an appointment with already approved h1b, but before the actual appointment after reserving the interview appointment, h1b is amended. There is a huge delay in getting a visa stamping date and I don’t want to miss a convenient date for h1b amendment that will be approved and ready prior to the actual appointment. At the same time, I don’t want to be in a position where I am required to resubmit ds160 because prior to the actual appointment I have a new amended petition.


            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 15 Jun, 19 at 1:26 pm

              I think i have clearly answered your question earlier.