Update: India Dropbox Processing Only at Chennai Location

The U.S. Embassy in India has released an important announcement in regards to nonimmigrant visa interview waiver cases, or dropbox cases. They are centralizing the processing of dropbox cases through the Chennai U.S. Consulate location. This means that most nonimmigrant visa waiver applications will be processed in Chennai, with the exception of B1/B2 visitor visas, which will continue to be processed in every U.S. Embassy/Consulate location in India.

The reason behind this change is to streamline the processing of interview waiver nonimmigrant visa applications to increase the productivity of the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India and improve efficiency overall. This update is also part of the U.S. Mission in India’s goal to reduce the visa interview wait time and processing times for U.S. travel visas from India.

If you already have a scheduled interview waiver appointment at a location other than Chennai, don’t worry – your appointment will be unchanged and you will attend as scheduled. However, any new dropbox appointments for C1/D, F, H, J, L, and M visas will only be available in Chennai after October 1, 2023.

Note

Applicants can still drop off and pick up their interview waiver documents at any of the 5 VACs or 6 Document Drop Off Centers located throughout India. Documents will be forwarded to the Chennai office. However, if an in person interview is required, it will be held at the Chennai location.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai is located at:

Gemini Circle
Chennai 600 006

What is an Interview Waiver or Dropbox Application?

The interview waiver, or dropbox, option for certain renewals and first-time visa applications allows the applicant to drop off their documents and have their request processed without having to attend an in-person interview. This greatly reduces the wait time for the applicant and speeds up processing.

Typically, dropbox appointments are available to those who have previously been issued a visa for the United States and are applying for renewal. However, there are some instances where an in-person interview may be waived for a first time applicant for select visa types.

Even though you are not attending an in-person interview, you must still schedule an interview waiver appointment to drop off your passport and required documents for processing.

Who is Eligible for Dropbox Visa Renewals?

You may be eligible for a dropbox visa appointment if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Renewing any visa in the same category within 48 months of expiration
  • Applying for a F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, or academic J visa and you were previously issued any type of visa
  • Certain H-2 (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers) under certain conditions, first time and renewals
  • Certain first-time F, M, and academic J, or individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
  • “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” on previous visa
  • Certain renewals of renewals of H, L, C1/D, O, I, F, M, and J visas

It is important to remember that even if you meet one of the criteria listed above, you may still be required to attend an in-person interview. Check with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information.

How To Book a Dropbox Appointment

To determine whether or not you are eligible for a dropbox appointment, first visit the US Travel Docs website and fill out your information accordingly. If you are notified that you are eligible for interview waiver, then you will schedule an appointment for document drop-off. 

To learn more about the U.S. visa interview waiver, or dropbox, process, see our complete 2023 dropbox guide on eligibility, how to apply, and more.

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