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spar128

Interview Waiver Program(IWP) Dropbox Experience in Cochin(Kochin)

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I went for Visa stamping through the new Interview Waiver Dropbox program for the first time in Cochin (Team Stanley office). Thought of sharing my experience. MY experience was quite similar to the one described in http://forum.murthy.com/index.php?/topic/61363-h1b-stamping-in-india-dropbox-in-kochi-cochin-kerala/?hl=cochin

 

Summary: very quick,convenient and pleasant experience - extremely satisfied.

 

Details:

I (H1B) and my wife(H4) qualified for the dropbox facility and went to Cochin Team Stanley office on Sep 27, 2013. Only I went to drop the documents (H4 spouse is not required to physically go there to drop off documents). Overall it took only 15 minutes for everything to be over! I took a lot of documents, but they asked for only a few documents. I specifically asked if they need anything else such as pay stubs, employment verification letter, W2, tax documents etc and they said No.

 

Documents submitted for me (H1B):

- original passport

- dropbox confirmation letter

- DS-160 confirmation page

- H1B I-797A copy

- Previous H1B I-797A copy (which corresponds to your expired/soon-expiring visa stamp)

- 1 2x2 photo

 

Documents submitted for my wife (H4):

- original passport

- dropbox confirmation letter

- DS-160 confirmation page

- H4 I-797A copy

- Previous H4 I-797A copy (which corresponds to your expired/soon-expiring visa stamp)

- Spouse's H1B I-797A copy

- Spouses's previous H1B I-797A copy (which corresponds to your expired/soon-expiring visa stamp)

- Copy of spouse's last visa stamp (which is expired/soon-expiring)

- 1 2x2 photo

 

They acceped all documents and gave me a confirmation sheet as acknowledgemen. Also they gave option to pick up passport in the same office or from a blue dart office. I opted for pick up in the same office. (Actually Blue Dart would have been closer to my home).

 

Then I tracked passport using http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp (just enter passport number). It took about 12 days for it to be ready for pickup. Again I went alone and took my wife's authorization to pickup her passport, but it was not needed. You can pickup your spouse's passport if you have a copy of her passport (also take other documents in case needed).

 

Timelines:

Sep 27 - dropped documents, status: "Your passport is being delivered to post"  (means they are sending it to consulate)

Oct 1 - status: "Your passport is still with the post" (means still with consulate)

Oct 3 - status "Passport has been receieved from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery" (means decision has been made and they are about to ship it back)

Oct 8 - ready for pickup

 

Additional Info:

 

Cochin/Kochin Dropbox location:

Mon-Fri 10:00a.m.-4:00p.m.

3C South Point Hinton Chittoor Rd
Nr Kasba Police Station Kacheripady
Ernakulam - 682018

 

All locations can be found at: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-documentdropoff.asp#locations

 

Passport tracking URL: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp

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Could you please share the documents requested when you signed up for the Interview Waiver Program. Once you signed up online they must sent you a document check list. It would be great if you can share that. I understand that they didn't take all the documents but what were the documents from the original list they sent out. Thank you.

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This is what was there in the dropbox confirmation page - #4 says documentation for the visa type which is very broad and vague:

 

>>>

Documents to be submitted:
1.      Applicant’s valid passport with all previous passports.
2.      A completed DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode.
3.      Photograph with white background (2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size. Specifications available htt
4.      Supporting documentation in original and one photocopy required for your visa type 
5.      Valid visa photo copy of the same visa category of either of the parents in which the child is applying
(applicable for child under 14 years of age)
 
Note: Applicant is not required in person to submit documents at any Drop off location. Only ensure the
representative is carrying all the above listed documents as per specification.
<<<

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Hello Spar128,

 

I am also planning to use IWP option and i meet all the requirements for the process. I have only one question though, My wife does not have  Previous H4 I-797A copy as last time she had stamping it's her first time stamping for H4 visa in India. During the renewal of my H1 visa after she came to US, she did get H4 797 form. Does it require to have previous H4 I-797A  Copy to be eligible for my wife for IWP?

 

Thanks

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I completed my DS-160 (for my H1B extension with say, XYZ company), paid visa fee and
while scheduling an appointment, I came across Interview Waver Program.
As per my knowledge, I am eligible for this program.

I just have one clarification/doubt that I would like to be 100% sure
before proceeding ahead with the Waver Program.

For Reference I would like to copy the Eligibility criteria that I would
like confirmation on:
• *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: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify,
but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.*

*Question*: My prior visa is in the same classification (i.e. H1B) with the
same petitioner (say XYZ) and expired in July 2013.
I am in the same job, same role, same organization (i.e. XYZ) and same location.
BUT, in my prior I-797, my petitioner is mentioned as "XYZ Corporation Inc"
and in my H1B extension I-797, my petitioner is mentioned as "XYZ Inc".

As per my attorney, both XYZ Corporation Inc and XYZ Inc. are the
same company but they have different FEINs.

So, my question is would it be considered as same petitioner or a new petitioner scenario?

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L1orH1@ - I am not a legal expert, so the best thing to do here will be to ask a lawyer or directly call Indian consulate (or customer care)and ask them. They seem to be 2 different legal entities, but if US Consulate says that you qualify, you can continue with IWP. (also ask them to send some email for reference)

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gcchecke@ - the dropbox criteria is given here: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

 

If you meet all of them, you will qualify even if you don't previous H4 I-797 - but you said this is the first time your wife is getting stamped in India, so she will not qualify if she never had a visa stamping in India before (see criteria #1)

 

>>>

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

  • My most recent visa was issued in India
  • I received my visa after January 1, 2008
  • My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”.
  • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen.
  • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
  • I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
  • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew;
  • If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months;OR
  • If I am applying for an F/M/J visa, my prior visa in the same classification and same Academic Institution is still valid or expired within the last 48 months; Note: F/M visa interview applicants must submit their original I-20 form and J visa interview waiver applicants must submit their original DS-2019 form along with their passport.OR
  • 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: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify,but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.

<<<

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More info for people on the overall flow:

 

There is no direct way to select dropbox during "schedule appointment" process - read through the blog to find the flow. (images are missing, but you can read through the article).

http://www.dodla.com/2013/05/drop-box-option-to-renew-h1-b-visa.html
 
This is the overall flow:
1. Fill out ds-160
2. Register at https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/ as mentioned in http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp#apply

3. Then follow the instructions in the blog, at one point you will be presented the dropbox eligibility criteria

4. At one point, you will get stuck and need to pay to proceed, you can pay using these banks: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-bank.asp

4. proceed after payment (follow the blog) and you will get the dropbox confirmation.

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Hello Spar128,

 

I am also planning to use IWP option and i meet all the requirements for the process. I have only one question though, My wife does not have  Previous H4 I-797A copy as last time she had stamping it's her first time stamping for H4 visa in India. During the renewal of my H1 visa after she came to US, she did get H4 797 form. Does it require to have previous H4 I-797A  Copy to be eligible for my wife for IWP?

 

Thanks

Dear  gcchecke, can you please share your experience if you already awailed the IWP ?

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Dear  gcchecke, can you please share your experience if you already awailed the IWP ?

I will be going to submit my documents for dropbox in Feb 2014. I will surely update my experience in this forum. Are you planning to go for Dropbox too? If so when?

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gcchecke@ - the dropbox criteria is given here: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

 

If you meet all of them, you will qualify even if you don't previous H4 I-797 - but you said this is the first time your wife is getting stamped in India, so she will not qualify if she never had a visa stamping in India before (see criteria #1)

 

>>>

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

  • My most recent visa was issued in India
  • I received my visa after January 1, 2008
  • My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”.
  • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen.
  • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
  • I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
  • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew;
  • If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months;OR
  • If I am applying for an F/M/J visa, my prior visa in the same classification and same Academic Institution is still valid or expired within the last 48 months; Note: F/M visa interview applicants must submit their original I-20 form and J visa interview waiver applicants must submit their original DS-2019 form along with their passport.OR
  • 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: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify,but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.

<<<

Spar128,

 

My Wife already had her Visa Stamping in Mar 2012 in India which was expired in July 2013. So this would be her second visa stamping with same category(H4) , same company (My Company), As we can answer "Yes" to all questions to qualify for Dropbox, I went ahead and applied for Dropbox. Thanks!

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  • Hello,

     

    I am on H1B Visa and my wife is on H4 visa. We are here from last 2 years and I recently changed company. My wife is going back to India and i am scheduling for an appointment for stamping. I see that there is a dropbox facility to waive off interview. I see that we are meeting all criteria for dropbox option and i only have doubt about this point.

  •  
  • 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: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify,but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.

 

I know for H1B my petitioner changed, but when i see I797 for my wife it is showing petitioner as her name. if for H4 petitioner is considered as Applicant then can I go with Dropbox option for my wife's H4 stamping?

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I have a valid H-1B visa that I got stamped in India (New Delhi) a few days ago. I have 2 I 797s - One expires in Nov 2014 and the other is an extension one that's valid until Nov 2017. The consulate stamped the visa with an expiration date of Nov 2014 and not Nov 2017.

 

Since I do qualify for the IWP/Drop Box option,  can I just mail my passport with all the needed documentation to someone in Delhi to go drop it off at the VAC and then mail it back to me in the US once the visa is stamped based on the new I 797 that's valid until Nov 2017? Is there any hard requirement to be physically present in India for this?

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@asaajid - AFAIK, you have to be in India to avail it. For eg, there could be complications and they might ask you for further evidence or interview while they hold the passport. Then you could be in a weird situation where you can not get out of the country.

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Very useful post, Some additional points

 

1. Remember to take copies of ALL previous I-797A (approval notices)

2. You have to submit ALL passports (original) which have a US visa stamp (irrespective of whether it is expired)

 

When you go to collect your stamped passport

 

1. Remember to carry a copy of ID proof (passport) for you and anyone else you are collecting for- You will need to submit these copies

2. If you are collecting for someone else (spouse), remember to carry authorization letter from spouse (they will not hand over spouse's passport without it)

 

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Hi,

 

Can you please let me know if dependents were eligible for drop box.. My Family is in india and their Visa expired recently.. I just got my extension and I'm travelling to India.. and I'm eligible for dropbox.. I need to know if my dependents are also eligible for that.

 

Kindly reply.

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Hi,

My H1B visa expired on June 30 2015.

 

I'm planning to travel to India on June 14 /15 with valid I797 till July 2018.

 

What should I answer for the below question:

 

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?

 

YES or NO, will determine my drop box eligibility? Please advise.

 

Thanks

Can some one please check and advise?

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I am eligible for dropbox.....but dont want to take risk..

Can i go for interview instaed...by answering NO?

Edited by tara12
email

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I am eligible for dropbox.....but dont want to take risk..

Can i go for interview instaed...by answering NO?

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