H1B Visa Dropbox Eligibility: Everything You Need to Know


By Imagility

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The H-1B visa dropbox facility is available for certain H-1B applicants who want to renew their H-1B visa. The H-1B visa dropbox allows H-1B holders to get the visa stamped on their passports without appearing for the interview. The US government provides this facility to shorten the wait times for H-1B visa holders and fasten the process.

However, there are certain eligibility criteria that an H-1B holder needs to fulfill to avail of the H-1B visa dropbox facility. In this blog, we will discuss the H-1B visa dropbox eligibility along with the documents required for the H-1B visa dropbox and the process to apply so that you can know them and prepare for the visa stamping with ease.

So, let’s begin!

H-1B visa dropbox eligibility

Dropbox is available for those who already have an H-1B visa and now want to renew their H-1B visa. The facility is unavailable for those applying for an H-1B visa for the first time. Let’s look at the H-1B visa dropbox eligibility.

  • H-1B holders must already have stamped visas on their passports previously.
  • The most recent visa must be stamped after January 1, 2008.
  • H-1B holders must have the passport in which the visa was stamped. You could not avail of the dropbox facility if the passport was lost, stolen, or canceled.
  • You did not face any US visa refusals in any other visa class since H-1B issuance.
  • You can avail of the dropbox facility if your visa is still valid or has not expired within the last 12 months.
  • In your past visa, annotations like Clearance Received or Department Authorization should not exist.
  • Your visa must be issued after your 14th birthday.

If you meet all the above criteria, you are eligible for the H-1B visa dropbox facility even after you change your employer.

Documents required for H-1B visa dropbox

By now, we have discussed the H-1B dropbox eligibility. Let’s look at the essential documents you require for the H-1B dropbox facility.

  • Valid passport
  • Dropbox confirmation appointment letter
  • DS-160 CEAC confirmation page
  • Passport-size photo as per US visa photo specifications
  • The previous visa that is either valid or expired within the last 12 months
  • Photocopy of the I-797 approval notice
  • Employment verification letter

Never share original documents except for the passport. You may not get the other documents back.

How to apply for an H-1B visa dropbox

The process to apply for an H-1B visa dropbox is not much different from other types of visa renewals. The only thing that matters is the documents and the H-1B visa dropbox eligibility criteria. Let’s look at the step-by-step process.

  • Fill DS-160 form

The DS-160 is a non-immigrant US visa application form you must complete. The form is lengthy and requires lots of information from you, like your present H-1B sponsor employer, previous sponsoring employer, location of visa stamping, etc. When you fill out and submit the form, you get a confirmation number you will need during the appointment booking for visa stamping.

  • Create profile online

The next step is to create a user profile on the CGI Federal website. You will need to provide basic information about yourself. You will also be asked to select the country where you want your visa stamping done. It’s important to note that you can not select the country where you got your original H1B visa stamped.

  • Confirm the details

You must confirm all the details and H-1B visa dropbox eligibility to apply. You must answer several questions about your H-1B visa status. The questions may include anything from annotations, the validity of your H-1B visa, passport, etc. Remember, your dropbox approval depends mainly on these answers. Once you are done with answers, you will be notified whether you are eligible for an H-1B visa dropbox.

  • Confirm the dropbox location

After you get the confirmation for the H-1B visa dropbox, you need to select the country where you will drop off your documents.

  • Pay visa fee

In the next step, you have to pay the visa fee. Choose the type of payment mode as per your preference.

  • Book your appointment

Select the date for your H-1B visa dropbox appointment. Remember, you must carry all the documents with you.

  • Check your case status

To check your case status, visit the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.

Final Thoughts

You can apply for an H-1B visa dropbox if you meet above discussed criteria. You can also track your case online through CEAC and know whether the application is received, rejected, in administrative processing, or issued. Once selected, carry your documents and visit the center for visa stamping.

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