We received approval for H1B via email with new I94 number and expiration dates etc. However we have not received the actual I-797 notice because USCIS is backed-up and it will take weeks to get it. For our dropbox submission, the required documents for Calgary, Canada consulate states “receipt number for your approved petition as it appears on your petition for a non-immigrant worker form I-129 or Notice of action form I-797 from USCIS (does not apply to H1B1 visa applicants)”. The travel.state.gov website has the same instruction with the “receipt number” bolded.
Without worrying about “(does not apply to H1B1 visa applicants)”, From this it appears only receipt number is required and not the actual I-797. but it has been ingrained in us to take the I-797 to the appointment, and all the forums state this as well. Is this a new change to ask just for the receipt number? If anyone has successfully gone through this experience without waiting for the actual I-797 notice to arrive, please let us know. Much appreciated.