Am I eligible for US Visa DropBox in 2019?
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)
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 (no appointment), 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 go for DropBox 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.
- One copy of the submission letter – You will get it after you have submitted your DS-160 form.
- Your current un-expired passport (original)
- Your current or most recent visa – If visa is stamped on old expired passport, then submit that passport too in original
- 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.
- Supporting documentation – 1 set in original + 1 set photo copy.
- 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:
You are not eligible for Dropbox in India if last stamping was done outside India including Canada or Mexico.
There is no appointment required for Dropbox submission. You can visit the Dropbox center anytime and submit your documents for visa stamp.
Dropbox visa processing can take between 3 to 21 days.
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.
US embassy can issue a green form 221(g) and ask you to visit in person for fingerprints.
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.
You can submit your visa application anytime in VFS office without any appointment.
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.
Class means the visa alphabet character excluding the number.
Example: H1B and H4 have same class.
#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”.
#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.
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 applied for a B1/B2 visa and got a denial. Now, if you apply 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:
- I am applying on or after 80th birthday AND
- My most recent visa application was not refused.