F1 restamping on opt, after 30 months of expiration

My F1 visa expired in 2014 June. I got my PhD in 2015, and started working full time. I’m currently on my 24 month OPT extension phase. I need to travel to India in November, and my case qualifies for a Dropbox/interview waiver case. But even in the case of visa interview, I had a few questions:

  1. Has anyone been in the same situation before? Success or failure?
  2. Which consulate did you go to?
  3. What questions were asked or what documents were presented?

I appreciate any advice or anecdotes to help.


Not sure why it is showing as dropbox eligible for you, when the old visa stamp expired more than 2 years ago.

You can appear at any consulate for the interview.

You should show proof of OPT employment, payslips, offer letter etc. You should also carry PhD completion information, resume, reference letters from profs (if any) etc.

Hi Saurabh,

Sorry, I did not see the response earlier.

Thanks a lot for your reply. The list of docs is helpful. Regarding dropbox eligibility, this is the text on the website http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp:

"I have no refusals for a visa in any class after my most recent visa issuance
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.

If I am applying for any other class of visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 48 months.
If I am applying for an F visa, am continuing as student at same school for which my previous visa was issued."

  • Based on this, I assumed my F1 visa falls in the 48 months category. Please correct my oversight if I’m missing a key point here.

  • Also, what is the risk involved in this process? Has anyone been denied a restamping on their F1 before, because of degree completion?

  • My husband is on H1B, will that present a problem as well?

Many thanks in advance!

My mistake. 12 month rule is not for F-1/F-2. You should be ok to apply for dropbox.

I know couple of friends who got F-1 visa stamp approved during their OPT period.

Although there is no surety, I don’t think husband’s H-1 will cause an issue. My wife went for her F-1 stamping some years ago while I was on H-1 and no questions were raised. You still need to mention about him in your DS form.

Thanks Saurabh! This helps clear a lot of my mental clutter. I think I’ll look at worst case scenarios as well and be prepared with a plan B when I go! :slight_smile: