H1b VISA drop box

I have H1b VISA valid till 20 Aug 2016. I was in USA from April 2014 to March 2015 and have again came to USA in May 2016. I have changed employer in USA, however my petition was applied in consular processing. Now only option is either I get new I94 through automatic revalidation or go to India and get my VISA. My new employer did not apply I539 for my wife.

If I go to India for stamping, will I be eligible for drop box. USCIS site does not mention about change of employers and the length of the say in USA. I have read change of employers now is eligible for drop. Also, is there criteria for minimum stay in USA to be eligible for drop box?

Also, H1b petition for my wife has been rejected once. Are VISA refusal and petition rejected the same. I dont think so. Asking this as one of the conditions for Drop box eligibility is not VISA refusal. Petition rejection should be fine I guess.

If anyone can answer. It is really urgent for me as I dont have much time left to take decision.

You are eligible for dropbox even though you have changed employers.

Visa refusal is different from petition rejection. So she would also be eligible for dropbox.

BTW, if you guys have valid H-1 and H-4 visas, you can just leave US and return on same visas. You will have to show new employer’s approved 797 at PoE and get updated I-94. You are not required to go for stamping, but you may if you want to.

Thanks Saurabh for the reply. Now my new employer says they will process my VISA first and then my spouse. However, I cannot wait for that. Can I apply for spouse VISA on my own while my new employer applies for my VISA simultaneously. What I have read from internet is that for spouse stamping we can use copy of I797 ( my approved petition). Using original I797 is not mandatory.

Please advice

Saurabh can you please share your thoughts on my previous comment. We both are travelling to India for stamping. However my new employer says they will process only my VISA and I will have to process my wife visa. Can I apply simultaneously for my wife stamping through drop box when my stamping is not done yet? Reason for this is we need to com back immediately to USA.

Please provide your suggestion as we will be flying to India this weekend

Yes, only copy of 797 is needed, not the original.

Yes, you can schedule your wife’s dropbox submission along w/ yours. it is not required that you have your visa stamped for this, and just submit copy of your 797 approval w/ her submission.

Thanks Saurabh for the answer. Now I am confident enough to apply for my Wife VISA even if my Employer delays filling of my VISA. So she can get her VISA stamped before my visa get stamped.

Thanks a lot for clearing my doubts

Thanks Saurabh for the answer. Now I am confident enough to apply for my Wife VISA even if my Employer delays filling of my VISA. So she can get her VISA stamped before my visa get stamped.

Saurabh thanks again for your reply. However, I might not be able to apply for my wife visa with me. Our applications might be submitted differently at the same time. Can my wife submit copy of I797 and my visa ( which expires on 20 august) for drop box.?

I miight schedule appointment tomorrow or day after. Please guide on this.

Yes, she can do that and you can appear separately.

Saurabh, I submitted documents separately for me and my wife. However person collecting documents told as my visa is expiring on 20 Aug 2016, my wife might face issues for stamping. He told he will leave note with her application that spouse has also applied for visa.

I am scared now for my wife visa. Will there be really issue for her stamping?

If he left a note, possibly the officer will look at the both the cases and not bother about the end dates. Even though your visa is expiring in Aug, you have submitted a 797 with a much extended date for your wife. So it should be ok.

Thanks Saurabh . I was really tensed for my wife visa. We have return tickets for Sept 2. Information from you has given me confidence that my wife visa might be processed without any problem. Currently status online for both our application is Ready. Hoping to see issued status in couple of days
I will keep you posted on the status. Thanks again

Hello Saurabh,

My drop box visa status was last updated on 12 Aug as Ready. Since then there are no updates. They have also mentioned to check back in 2 business days
However, there is no update still. I called customer care but they told if till 10 days you don’t hear anything then we can investigate into the matter. Now I am worried as to when will they start processing my case. I have booked flight for 2nd November. I was expecting some kind of status update. Also no one providing details as to whether consulate has started processing the case or not

This processing is kind of black box. It is not possible to point where exactly in the flow it is. Did you check the status on both us travel docs and ceac site? What’s the information at both the places.

Saurabh… My visa status was updated on Friday to Administrative Processing. It says it might take multiple weeks for processing. If visa is approved it will be informed within two business days. Will they inform within two days even if additional documents are required or interview is required?

Unfortunately, there is no SLA. They would review the case and just approve the visa, or ask you to appear in person or ask you to just submit the documents. Does it show AP status for both you and your wife?

Saurabh… Both my and my wife’s status got updated as issued today. And passport is ready for pick up. Does this mean Visa is granted. I will be going to Mumbai tomorrow to collect passport. Just curious to know does issued status mean visa approved.

Although the status doesn’t say that explicitly, in my experience it means approved and issued. But hold on to the champagne bottle until you see the passport yourself :slight_smile:

Saurabh, collected passports today and visa is stamped. Thanks for valuable inputs and advice

Phew … Finally a happy ending. Good luck with the travel!