Successful dropbox interview waiver in Chennai


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Just wanted to share my wife's experience with using the Dropbox (Interview Waiver) process in Chennai for her H-1B extension stamping.

She qualified for dropbox (the one where there is no need for finger printing) - previous visa stamped post 2008, expired just recently (less than a year ago), still same employer, same job, just an extension.

Some comments:

- Such a dropbox submission (where there is no fingerprinting) requires no appointments at all

- No need for the applicant to go in person!! We were visiting a different city and called Stanley office in Chennai, and were informed that any representative could drop (and collect) for us. Representative just needs to have their own Govt issued ID (Driver's License or passport or such), a copy of that ID, besides the applicant's necessary documents.

- Documents submitted:

1. Applicant's passport (current passport, and most recent visa carrying passport if different from current passport)

2. DS-160 submission confirmation page

3. Dropbox Confirmation page

4. Brand new Photograph(s)!! DO NOT REUSE OLD PHOTOS!

5. Copy of I-797 (they didn't take the original)

6. Full petition packet from the employer - this may not be asked of everyone, but the guy asked for "I-129", and our representative didn't know where to find it and instead gave the entire petition packet - which was a copy of the LCA, I-129, and all docs submitted by the employer with the petition.

7. Fee receipt may be asked if you'd paid at bank counter, but not in my case as I paid the application fee via bank transfer.

- We did take all documents typically needed for visa interview, originals + 1 copy, but none of those were asked. Maybe wasn't needed since we submitted a copy of the full petition packet. Suggest taking everything and offering the guy - this is a new process, and some of the dropbox folks may not know for sure what to ask for.

- The representative dropped these off, and got a receipt.

- You can check status using the DS-160 confirmation number.

- If submission was Day 1, by the end of Day 2 status showed "Administrative Processing" - don't panic, this is normal part of dropbox processing, not necessarily the dreaded 221g administrative processing. I've heard this interim status from others too.

- On Day 3 status changed to "Issued".

- On Day 4 we received notification that passport was ready for collection at the same Stanley office, as we had chosen to pickup.

- Our representative then picked it up. If using a representative, they need to have their ID again, a copy of that ID, and a copy of the applicant's passport ID pages, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, AN AUTHORIZATION LETTER signed original by applicant. Google to find draft of authorization letter for passport pickup. Authorization letter must state the number on representative's ID (such as representative's driver's license number).

- One last thing - when submitting the DS-160 online, requesting dropbox, it showed only 1 option - pickup at the dropbox office. It didn't show an option to have it couriered to your address, if you live outside Chennai. We didn't need that option as our representative picked it up, but I believe when submitting the documents at dropbox office, you could request a courier of your passport to your home address.

- Lastly, my wife is a direct employee, not a consultant/contractor, so no vendor/client confusions. We wouldn't know what documents would be required for dropbox in those cases.

Hope this helps.

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