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Dropbox allows a user to drop a file into a shared folder without having this user to be part of the shared folder. This feature is called file request.

Does Google Drive have a similar feature?

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    Not natively but you can build a form to do that using Google script. labnol.org/internet/receive-files-in-google-drive/19697 – Tom Woodward Apr 29 '16 at 10:52
  • @TomWoodward I would add your comment as an answer, or addendum to Ruben's answer since it is exactly the type of script he is talking about. – Michelfrancis Bustillos May 18 '16 at 12:29
  • @TomWoodward You should move your comment to it's own answer, since this is the best response. – cchiera Jan 19 '19 at 15:37
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Google Drive doesn't have a feature like "file request" of DropBox.

The closest built-in feature is to transferring the file ownership but this will not add the file to a folder.

By using Google Apps Script or Google Drive API you could achieve a similar behaviour. You can see an example of a script that would do that here.

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    The likely reason Google Drive doesn't have a file request feature is because Dropbox patented it, see US20160308881 – Mark Nov 20 '18 at 23:23
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Users of Google Apps for Education that are able to create classes in Google Classroom could use an assignment as a "file request".

Google Classroom works together with Google Drive to manage files. On class creation, a Google Drive folder is created on behalf of the class owner and it's shared with the teacher assistants and with the students.

Teachers could create assignments then the students could submit files adding them as attachments to the assigment. On the assignment submission the ownership of the files is changed so only the teachers could modify the files. Teachers are able to return the files to the students, but in this case (using an assignment as a "file request") this step could be omitted.

To learn more about the assigment flow in Google Classroom see Understanding the assignment flow - Google Classroom Help

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