Jump to content
All posts are moderated, so it will take time for your post to appear!
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
latin

Interview Waiver Program for H visa holders

Recommended Posts

I am trying to schedule mine and my wife's visa appointment at Mumbai consulate for my H1B extension. Both of us still have our old visa valid till Jan 22nd 2013. While scheduling an appointment I came across the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) but I am not sure if this program is for H1B holders or not. This is something that I found out on their official website while scheduling an appointment.

----- IWP Eligibility Listed on their website starts ------

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you qualify for our Interview Waiver Program “Dropbox”. Please proceed with your application and print your document submission letter.

Eligibility Criteria for all applicants except child below 14 years and applicant above 80 years of age:

• I received my visa after November 1, 2008.

• I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew;

• My previous visa was issued in India;

• I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance;

• If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, F, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months;

• If I am applying for an H or L visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.

• My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received”.

• My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen.

Eligibility Criteria for Child below 14 years:

• Valid visa copy of the same visa category of either parents in which the child is applying.

Eligibility criteria for applicants over 80 years of age

• Applying on or after 80th birthday

----- IWP Eligibility Listed on their website ends ------

I am 33 years old and the answer to all the questions asked below in my case is "Yes". Hence I think I am eligible for the IWP but would like to have another opinion on this. Has anybody been in a similar situation before and have gone through IWP in the past ? Is this program only for children under 14 years of age or for people above 80 yrs of age and not for H1B holders?

Please advise.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm in exact situation .I spoke to consulate in hyd and they mentioned that your age should be less than 14 or greater than 80 to apply for dropbox.But the website says for all applicants :(. Let me know if you know more abt this

Because of that i told them to cancel my drop box confirmation which they said will take 24 hrs.

Share this post


Link to post

I was also trying to schedual appointment for h1b and h4 renewal. Although I have tryed to click no for both iwp waiver question page on ustraveldoc website but next page i got was drop box confirmation letter. I also email to customer care whether h1b renewal qualifys for IWP or not but in return they sent me the link of visa renewal page. is there anybody else has similar experience.

Share this post


Link to post

I was also trying to schedual appointment for h1b and h4 renewal. Although I have tryed to click no for both iwp waiver question page on ustraveldoc website but next page i got was drop box confirmation letter. I also email to customer care whether h1b renewal qualifys for IWP or not but in return they sent me the link of visa renewal page. is there anybody else has similar experience.

Share this post


Link to post

Note: Indian Nationals are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor visa purposes) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Not all countries participate in the VWP, and not all travelers from VWP countries are eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to apply for authorization though the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), are screened at their port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Member Countries

Andorra

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brunei

Czech Republic

Denmarck

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece Hungary

Icelance

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

New Zealand Norway

Portugal

Republic of Korea

San Marino

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

The Netherlands

United Kingdom

Share this post


Link to post

I just read this announcement on the Chennai US Consulate website - http://chennai.usconsulate.gov/


  • Announcing the expansion of the Interview Waiver Program! Beginning on November 19, 2012, children up to age 14, students returning to the same school and same program, and temporary workers on H1-B and individual L1-A or L1-B visas may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Program. Details can be found athttp://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp.

Now, even the H1-B workers can use the Interview Waiver Program. Only catches are,

1. Previous visa should have been issued after Nov 1, 2008 or Nov 1, 2004(Only finger printing appointment needed)

2. Previous and Renewal visa should be in the same category.

3. Previous visa should have been issued in india.

4. No recent visa refusals.

5. Previous H1-B visa is still valid or should have expired in the last 12 months.

6. Previous visa not annotated with "Clearance Received"

Do these sound valid ?

I think it will take 1 or 2 weeks time to get feedback or more on this process w.r.t H1-B workers availing this Interview Waiver Program.

Share this post


Link to post

OK same case here. Funny thing is I called the customer service at this number "1-310-616-5424" and very clearly asked him that my visa is H1B and if my renewal is a valid case for interview waiver. He went through the questions on phone and I said "YES" to all and he just confirmed that I am eligible and can drop off my documents at drop box. Being a skeptic guy I am I called the customer service again at this number "+91-120-6602222" and this time the guy said I am not eligible for drop box document submission but only for interview waiver. He said I have to click "NO" on the website when going through the appointment scheduling screens, where it asks if I am eligible for drop box drop off but then and say "YES" for inter view waiver. So I have go attend the bio-metrics appointment to give my fingerprints and stuff but I don't have to go to the interview. I already clicked "YES" for drop box and got a confirmation letter, now to revert it back I have send an email to support-india@ustraveldocs.com and wait for their response. Now, if two people from the customer service give me two different answers I wonder who wold have the correct information about this ?!!

Share this post


Link to post

Just had a phone conversation with consulate and as per them because of some fault in the system lot of applicants are facing similar issue. They are in the process of fixing the system and will be done in a couple of days. Once the system is fixed the applicant needs to be go back again into the system and click "Yes" on the IWP page and this time the user will get an "Schedule OFC appointment" page. The user has to click on it and select a date and go for ten-printing and also submit all the required documents. No need to appear for personal interview. After submitting documents the whole process may take around 7 days.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi rajdevireddy,

I am also in tha same boat. I had selected YES because of the confusion and now want to go for normal interview appointment. The Customer Service is asking to wait for 24 hours and it is already 4 days.

Were you able to resolve this? Please provide any input you may have.

Thanks,

-PM

Share this post


Link to post

@Pamahadik

Nope I have not been able to book a Biometric interview. I emailed support and got a reply saying wait for 24-48 hours and it is almost 2 days now. If I try to start over and click "NO" on the dropbox screen and then "YES" for just interview waiver and then move on, on Payment page I get an error saying the MRV receipt number is not valid. But if I follow the same path as before, that is clicking "YES" on the dropbox screen I can go through and I get a DropBox confirmation letter with same ID and other details as before. So, will have to call the customer service again tonight...

I was wondering any one who got the DropBox confirmation letter was able to go back, start over and book an appointment yet? Anyone?

Share this post


Link to post

No, i dont think anybody is able to book an appointment. Neither Biometric nor Interview. Everybody is getting the same DropBox confirmation letter whether you Yes or No on the IWP page. This problem is there since 3-4 days and every time I talk to customer service they say that the issue will be fixed in 24-48 hours. I have my flight tickets in the first week of next month and now I am thinking of rescheduling my travel plans.

Share this post


Link to post

Looks like the issue is back. I got the Dropbox confirmation letter but not able to schedule my OFC appointment. Any one still having this issue? How are you guys scheduling your oFC appointment?

Share this post


Link to post

Looks like they finally resolved the issue. I booked Biometrics appointment. My renewal qualifies for interview waiver, so will see how it goes this time with out an interview..

ok. so they are asking to schedule the biometric appointment even though the visa interview is waived?

Share this post


Link to post

@tusharvk

There are two things, one you qualify for Interview Waiver and the other the dropbox submission. If you qualify for interview waiver you still need to book the appointment to give your finger prints. If an applicant qualifies for interview waiver and dropbox document submission then you can just take the confirmation letter and submit documents at what ever the address is. Difference between rules for just interview waiver and interview waiver + dropbox submission is that, for one the prior visa is issued after 2004 and the other after 2008. However I am skeptic about dropbox submission working for H1Bs and ppl out side of too young or too old age brackets (less than 14 yrs old or over 80 yrs old).

Share this post


Link to post

I appeared for OFC , fingerprinting thing last Friday evening i.e. 30th Dec ( I was eligible for IWP ) , does anyone have any idea approx. how much would embassy take to return back the passport .... their customer care says 2-12 days, but just wanted to check if somebody has already received the passport , just wanted to get an idea how many days it took for their case ....

-Learner

Share this post


Link to post

Note: Indian Nationals are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor visa purposes) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Not all countries participate in the VWP, and not all travelers from VWP countries are eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to apply for authorization though the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), are screened at their port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Member Countries

Andorra

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brunei

Czech Republic

Denmarck

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece Hungary

Icelance

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

New Zealand Norway

Portugal

Republic of Korea

San Marino

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

The Netherlands

United Kingdom

Dude Are you kidding around? we are talking about interview waiver for H1B and you reply for something else for a visitor's visa?

Share this post


Link to post

I appeared for OFC , fingerprinting thing last Friday evening i.e. 30th Dec ( I was eligible for IWP ) , does anyone have any idea approx. how much would embassy take to return back the passport .... their customer care says 2-12 days, but just wanted to check if somebody has already received the passport , just wanted to get an idea how many days it took for their case ....

-Learner

Hey Learner,

What is the process for the OFC _ No interview? Where do we submit the documents? Can you please send me a list of documents they accepted? Do we submit the Original I797A or the copy?

Share this post


Link to post

I appeared for OFC , fingerprinting thing last Friday evening i.e. 30th Dec ( I was eligible for IWP ) , does anyone have any idea approx. how much would embassy take to return back the passport .... their customer care says 2-12 days, but just wanted to check if somebody has already received the passport , just wanted to get an idea how many days it took for their case ....

-Learner

Please update us how many days it took

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

I am trying to book for an appointment for visa interview. For the IWP, I am little confused with the following question..

If I am applying for an H or L (individual) visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months. Note: L (Blanket) visa does not qualify.

I just changed my employer but my visa from my old employer is still valid. Am I eligible for IWP or will I have to go through the interview process.

The helpdesk were not clear. They seemed doubtful.

I Appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Guru

Share this post


Link to post

Just putting it out here so others going through this get an idea.

So I opted for the interview waiver for H1B and went to the OFC in Chennai to give my finger prints and submit document. I got the passport back in one week but there was no visa stamped! Instead there was a 221g and it said I have to attend an interview in person. Mine was the best case possible for interview waiver according to the criteria listed on the ustraveldocs website - sane employer, same class, prior visa stamped in India and afer 2008 so on. I had confirmed this by calling customer service a couple of time before I planned to opt for IWP. I also had all possible docs they could ask for in my packet thet I submitted at OFC and I got a 221g. Good thing is it said I can just stop by at the consulate any time and need not book an appointment again. I did that and I was asked nothing, the officer said thanks for showing up and done, visa was approved...If they plan to make the candidate attended an interview any way I wonder why they even have the interview waiver program for H1B. I would have saved my self some unnecessary travel back an forth to Chennai and some nervous days in India had I just attended the interview with out going for IWP.

It would be interesting to know if IWP worked for any one for H1B renewal

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×