Check US Visa Renewal Dropbox Eligibility 2024-25 (With App)

Check US visa dropbox eligibility for stamping in USA embassy using app online in 10 seconds. Visa fees required. Form 221g Admin processing possible.

Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team    Updated 22 Mar, 24


Listen to this article

US visa Interview waiver is the term used for the Dropbox facility. This means that you can get a US visa stamp without any personal interview by a US visa officer.

Dropbox is also known as a mail-in facility in countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, and others.

There is no box as such but you need to submit your documents to the VFS location assigned by the US embassy. The facility to submit documents without an interview is called ‘DropBox’.

Dropbox Processing time varies from 1 day to 6 weeks.

We strongly recommend keeping a buffer of at least 3 weeks after dropping your application as you can be called for an interview. Many applications also receive form 221g which can delay your passport.

Am I eligible for DropBox? Check with App

Check your eligibility using this simple online app by selecting the country you are applying for a visa.

The app can check your interview waiver eligibility (or Dropbox) options for India, Canada, China, Mexico, Denmark, Australia, Singapore, Pakistan, and visa stamping within the USA.



Open App in new Window

You just need to enter your current stamped visa and the details of the visa you are applying for and the app will suggest options and your eligibility.

Example: H1B Dropbox in India

If you are an H1B worker in the USA and are planning to visit India for a new H1B visa stamp using the approved H1B extension i797. He is eligible for Dropbox and can skip the interview.

  • AM22Tech’s Dropbox App suggests that you can visit Mexico for stamping even if you are not eligible for Dropbox there as a third-country national.
  • Dropbox app also considers all the criteria set by the US embassy for that specific country.

Example: H1B to H4 change of status stamping in Mexico

Similarly, you check if you are eligible to visit Mexico to change your visa from H1B to H4.

You may receive a form 221(g) green slip after dropping your documents in the US visa dropbox asking to appear for fingerprints.

FAQ

Am I eligible for Dropbox if the last stamping was done in Canada or Mexico?

You are eligible for Dropbox in India if the last stamping was done outside India including Canada or Mexico as per the most recent rule changes done in Aug 2021.

Many H1B, H4, and F1 students do get their US visa stamps in near-shore countries but this makes them ineligible for an interview waiver in the Indian US embassy.

Can I get Form 221g After Dropbox?

You can receive form 221g or a call for an in-person interview even when you are eligible for Dropbox.

My suggestion is to book your plane tickets back to the US after at least 3 weeks from the date of your document submission.

Is an Appointment Required for Dropbox?

An Appointment is required for Dropbox submission.

Dropbox Visa Stamping Processing Time?

Dropbox visa processing can take between 3 to 21 days.

Can the US Embassy call for a visa interview after Dropbox?

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

Green form 221(g) was issued after Dropbox for Fingerprinting.

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

Is an H1B extension denial the same as a visa denial?

H1B extensions, amendments, and transfers are called ‘petitions’ and are filed with USCIS. Petition denial is not the same as the H1B visa denial that’s denied by the US embassy.

How to Use DropBox?

If you qualify for an 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 make a DropBox appointment if you are eligible.

Documents for DropBox

Drop off your passport along with the listed documents mentioned in 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 the visa is stamped on an old expired passport, then submit that passport too in the original
  4. One photograph was taken within the last six months (according to US visa photo specifications).
    Do not submit the same photograph that you used on 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 photocopy.
  6. Children applying through an interview waiver should submit photocopies of their parent’s valid visas and passport bio-page.

Supporting documentation varies by each US visa type:

B1/B2 visa renewal Interview Waiver – Dropbox

A B1 or B2 visa is also eligible for an interview waiver or Dropbox option.

If you have a valid or an expired b1/b2 visa, then you may be eligible for renewal just by submitting the documents.

48-Month Visa Expiry Rule

The US government has allowed the renewal of a visa without an interview if your last visa expired within the last 48 months.

There are complex rules in addition to the 48-month visa expiry before you can submit your documents for visa renewal.

The 40 months should be counted backward from the expected date of submitting (dropping) the documents.

For Example, If you plan to submit your visa renewal documents on 1 May, then your most recent USA visa should be valid or have expired within 48 months counting backward from 1 May.

The app takes care of all the rules and guides you on every step so that you know the answer before making a payment on the US visa appointment website.

Family Member not Eligible for Dropbox

You may be eligible for Dropbox individually but one of your dependents is not. In this case, you can drop your documents separately but your dependent will have to appear for an interview in front of the visa officer.

Example:

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

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

Dropbox Questions

Age Between 14 to 80 years

You are eligible for the 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 the same visa including the alphabet and number.

Example: H1B and H4 are different visa classes now as per new updates on the usaTravelDocs website.

#2 My most recent visa was issued in India (Condition removed recently around Aug 2021)

This clause was removed from Dropbox India’s conditions recently in Aug 2021. It is possible that it was done due to COVID but there was no official announcement in this respect. We hope that this has been removed permanently.

If you got your visa stamp in Mexico, Canada, or any other non-Indian country, you are 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 as “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 the passport was lost in Europe on your travel, you will need to appear for a 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.

The H1B extension or transfer petition denial in the US is NOT the same as an H1B visa denial at the US embassy. Your visa is counted as denied only if you applied for 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 the US embassy.

If you ever got a B1/B2 visa denial and now applying for an 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.

OR

  • 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, I am continuing as a student at the same school for which my previous visa was issued.
  • If I am applying for a J visa, my current DS-2019 will be issued by the same institution as the institution listed on my previous visa.

Age Less Than 14 years

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

Age more than 80 years

Your answer should be ‘YES’ to both questions:

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


Author

Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team