Visa - H1 and H4 Experiences



H1B 221g Blue Slip At Chennai Consulate

Posted by: Vijay69 On 15 Dec 2015

Hi,

I attended Visa interview on 10th Dec 2015 at Chennai Consulate.

Below are the questions asked by VO.
1. Is this is your fresh H1B
Answered
2. Who is your petitioner
Answered
3. How you got to know about them
Answered
4. What is your Job
Answered
5. What is your roles and responsibilities
Answered
6. Will you work at Client location
i said its in house project
7. what is your annual Salary
Answered
8. What is your qualification
Answered

VO asked all my documents (I-129, 797 B, LCA, etc). he asked me to wait. i waited almost 2 hours.
The same VO called me and issued 221g Blue slip saying they need additional documents from the Petitioner/Employer. Also he returned my Passport back.
Below are the 2 documents they marked in 221G Blue slip.

1. Wage Report
2. Notarlized list of all employees with their names, job roles, Start and end date of their employment etc

I spoke to my Employer and explain the situation. He gave me two option to solve this issue. I need to choose any one of the option from the below now.

1. Employer can provide the additional document, but employer says not sure if consulate still ask other additional forms. he also said since VO gave my passport back is not a good sign.
2. Cancel the existing application and apply for the Visa with new application with the same petition after 2 months

I am totally confused now with the above 2 options provided by Employer. Can any one provide the suggestion on this please.

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H1B Visa Stamping Experience At Delhi Consulate

Posted by: HoloLens On 11 Dec 2015

First of all thank you path2usa. You have been a great source of hope providing adequate clarity. Thanks to fellow users and friends who have been loyal to this site in sharing their experience. Though I didn't find many experiences with Delhi Consulate, boy should I tell you how much I have been waiting to draft this experience!

Time for me to payback and share my experience. What it started as a marathon ride 1year ago finally gave me hope when I came to know about my case WAC being picked up by lottery.

Then started daily checkup of H1B case status...we all do that isn't it! My case was sent for RFE in Sep2015. After an intriguing test of patience, we thought of exploring other options but thankfully, my case was approved.

Sometimes, particularly if you are working for large IT companies chasing & buttering your visa cell helps. They normally hand pick cases to expedite on basis of internal demands and escalations topped with typical Indian style of bureaucracy! Somehow, I did my bit and got back my LCA papers in Nov.

Key Takeaway: Check your H1B Status regularly. If you have options, bargain the urgency card and persuade for premium processing if possible. (Though I had the regular one)

Next came the DS160. One note to all, you can fill your DS160 immediately after your case is approved. This activity is pretty time consuming. No one from my visa cell could tell me this in advance & I ended up wasting 2-3 days for filling, checking, rechecking!

Key Takeaway: Do fill your DS160 with as much info you have at hand and keep that ready till your LCA papers arrive. Once submitted, keep the copy of submission and App Id handy. Normally you are not asked for photos if you opt for Delhi as your VAC. That is taken cared during the biometrics process.

Please and please keep all your documents ready. Have two sets of copies with you. Do not wait till last day! For a case like me with more than 20 Years Work Experience, it is tiring to scan, print and Xerox hundreds of records!

Then my Visa cell had to pay for VAC formalities and finally I received the dates for biometrics and interview during first week of Dec.

Biometrics Process:
Simple and straight forward. Be there at Nehru place 30 mins before your appointment. 15 mins before, the G4 guards will call you to be in the line. Then a formal check of your DS160 Ack, Visa appointment letter and passport before you enter inside. Once you are in, security check happens followed by token assignment. They put a sticker on the back of my passport and I waited for 5 mins till was called in to a counter.

Normal Indian Guy asks you to sit straight, smile, roll down your chin, put four fingers on the scanner, press the fingers by other hand etc. etc. Next a Canon DSLR camera takes your photo followed by a stamp on your appointment letter. You are done for the day.

Key Takeaways: Not much to worry. No one goanna kill your visa...just relax and go for it with all documents. Not sure why I carried all my history and geo records of 400+ pages...no one bothered to ask or check any of them. But carry them to avoid any last min surprises.

Visa Interview (Previous Day):

The D-Day! I must have browsed 10 sites for experiences. Baring 1 or 2 didn't find many stories from Delhi. Anyway, after 30 mins of searching, I stopped bothering. Just had enough and went to Ambiance Mall...played 5 games of bowling...drank enough beers...watched a movie and relaxed till evening :).

You must have remembered the California shooting episode by a Pakistani origin couple. Will it impact my interview...though I am a Hindu, is the visa officer goanna mistake me as a Muslim? Can’t he know that I carry a liberal view...well, if he disbelieves, how can I prove that I don't believe in religions. How can he trust me that I am goanna pay min $50K tax to Uncle Sam...And the silly thoughts bewildered me!

By night, got rid of my French-cut machismo! a treasure, I had saved since many years (after I got my B1 in 2006 of course!)Well, well, it all comes back to you even if you are old enough to laugh at mediocre beliefs, silly hypothesis grabs your mind! Night went by how I am not sure...I was not even that tensed before the Harvard result days!

Interview Day:

Then came the morning. With my most auspicious suites on, and beards gone, I was ready for the D-Day. My driver advised to be at the consulate before 7 AM for an 8.30 appointment. After all he is my trusted driver...I obeyed him but there were no one except mosquitoes of Chanakyapuri! Thought to go and grab a cup of coffee. I had left smoking few months before…all blame to my driver….he had treasured the last packet of Benson & Hedges…had to smoke couple of them! We returned back at 7.30 and would you believe, at least 500 people had crowded the place like a Kumbh Mela! There was ques for 8AM. They don’t allow you take anything…not even your mobile in switched off mode. You have to be in a long que to deposit them and pay 50 bucks! I jumped the que to request for a fasten process…and THIS GIRL….THIS LADY thought I am the most violator. “Excuse Me…could you stay behind us please”. What the hell…I thought. I was just enquiring and she couldn’t bear that! “Intolerance”, I said to myself and called up the driver, handed over the phone.

Next the G4 Guard sought 8.30 Bach…and there we were in the Que. The above stupid lady was behind me?. God’s justice to intolerants! The support staffs at US consulate are very friendly. They just verified your passport with sticker from biometrics round, I-797. They wanted the I-797 and I handed over the Xerox copy…they stapled it passport and told just carry them on hand and nothing else. Next one more round of verification outside…stood in the Que. Followed by a thorough security check. Extremely friendly people all the way till we entered the waiting lounge.

There was this Indian lady staff from consulate. A girl in her twenties…she was sitting on a table & waving her legs like a Kajol Bhai of Hum Paanch Fem. Screamed at us…”don’t sit on the first row…don’t leave any chair blank…bla and bla. Finally our turn came to enter the main interview premise. While in line, couple of Sardar Uncles started wondering loudly…”Photos”? “Did they say Photos? OMG…we didn’t carry them…what to do” and panicked till someone cooled them off! Next a staff came and took our passports, asked us to go to counter 3. We went. A slightly fat lady (she must be American) checked the passport and I-797, asked me to put my fingers on scanner…and told me…Go ahead.

Then, we were at the main action arena. To my surprise, the internal setup was totally different than old times during my B1 interview. There are so many counters these days. While we stood in the line, I could hear clearly other interviewees getting grilled by the Visa Officers. I saw one gentleman from Wipro, wearing a brown blazer being rejected by one officer. I could hear him say “you are not qualified”! The poor soul had sorrow on his face! Next I saw a couple, must be from some Haryana village in another counter. The lady American officer was speaking plain Hindi and asked “Why are you going US? They guy says we are going on a tour.” She asks “ “Aap kabhi India se bahar gaye hain? Then the guy answers “Yes. We have gone to Delhi, Shimla and Kanpur”. What the hell…I thought…was even laughing within tight lips till my inner voice slapped me and asked…control! The lady officer told them to go to Counter 33. Next, I was standing in front of my designated counter. In front of me, A Lady from Accenture with her little toddler was explaining why she came back to India. Our Visa Officer was a gentle old American man with a polite voice repeated the same question. After 2 mins of grilling, she was let go.

Now came my turn!

Me: Good Morning Officer…how are you?
VO: Oh Hello there…how are you?
Me: I’m fine. Thank You
VO: Nice Suite…Passport please
Me: Thanks…Handed over the Passport
VO: How long you have been working with YYY?
Me: Five years
VO: Why leaving India?
Me: I said, I am going to lead the product engineering group
VO: Wow…you meant R&D?
Me: Sort of R&D but more of product development
VO: Which Product?
Me: ZZZ
VO: Oh that’s cool…and showed me his Lumia Phone (Guess what!)
VO: How much are you going to be paid?
Me: I said xxx
VO: Cool…that’s a great number to get at your age.
Me: Smiled like an innocent fox as if I am a 5 year old genius!
VO: What about family?
Me: They will join later as for next six months I am goanna be extremely busy working.
VO: Hmm…can understand.
VO: So where are you going to put your camp?
Me: Redmond, Officer
VO: Great place to live…great place to live as a forced bachelor you know
Me: This time I couldn’t control my lips and laughed out loudly ?
VO: Aapka Visa Hogaya…Dhanyabaad. 2-3 din me aapko SMS mil jayega
Me: That’s it? (Not sure why and how dare I ask that! May be I got carried out by his Hindi!)
VO: That’s all it is Mr. XXX and he waved the hand with his Lumia Phone and showed a Thumps up Sign.
Me: Thank You Officer…Much Obliged. You have a nice day ahead.

And that’s all it was friends. Nobody…nobody was bothered to see all the documents I was carrying. No one checked them…no one stopped to ask “how many hours you spent at the Xerox machine?” I came out just like that.

Now, since I didn’t have my phone…with no parking place in front of the embassy, my driver was absconding. Then Mr. Venkat, who sells newspapers, biscuits and snacks on his cycle and enquired “Do you need to make a call Sir”?. I said yes…and he handed his phone like a long lost brother. After I made the call, I asked him, why did you help a stranger? He said, since last 20 years, he is standing in front of the embassy and can read a happy face! I bought few papers…5 of them I think and gave him a tip.

I waited for that SMS as our Visa Officer promised. Never received one. Checked the Visa tracker every other hour. After four days, it changed from “Admin Processing” to “Issued”. No mails or sms acknowledgement yet. 2 more days went and I stumbled upon this other link on ustravel site which tracks your passport. It said, “your passport is ready for pickup”. Damn…it was already 3.30 PM. From Gurgaon to Nehru Place it takes 2 hours by car. Held my breath till next morning. By 8PM, I received a mail with Subject “No reply”. With crazy words it read…“Your documents have been returned”.
Very next morning, I got my passport. With golden words…found the writings as per expectations. Much deserved Happiness at last. Most of us, who have embarked this journey for higher ambitions to conquer the world, never thought a Visa interview could offer me so much anxiety but Happiness at the end of it. Made few calls and yes…went straight and gulped few Coronas :)?

Key Takeaways:

Please don’t hand over your original I-797 papers with passport. As it happened with one guy from TCS in our row, you can only get that back with your passport while collecting. Chances are that it can get torn. Always hand over the copy…keep the original as a treasure for next 6 years.

Please don’t panic at all. I know few Southies have posted their horror stories, but it’s not universal truth. A sense of humor helps you to remain calm. Go dressed in smart formals after all you are smart and talented. Display calmness and display vigor & confidence. Don’t behave like a confused mind. Don’t listen to the occasional panicky crowd with tube-light syndrome. To my Muslim friends, everything I said in humor was just that happened with me. Sacrificing my French-cut was an act of panic which taught me a lesson! As I could see many Muslims and Sikhs with long beards standing proudly in the line, your religion hardly matters. They all have the same dream…to justify talent or to search for welfare and excellence. If your dreams are not paradoxically influenced and your intent is to attract happiness, you got to go for it…you will get it. That’s what matters.

Wish you all the very best friends and may you succeed in justifying your talent. Goodbye.

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US H1B Visa Interview Pleasent Experience

Posted by: Viru On 06 Nov 2015

First of all I want to give my sincere thanks to path2usa website for providing and explain all the various stages of H1B visa processing in simple and user friendly manner. I acknowledge that I followed all the steps from DS160 Application to VISA interview at Mumbai location.

For successful interview I ensured that I will be in positive frame of mind. If you have family then process the visa for spouse and child\children at same time, as your chances of getting visa would be 99.99%.

I went for H1B VISA with my wife and son on November 6, 2015. At Mumbai Consulate there is pay and park nearby so I parked my car there, but the catch is that you are not allowed to carry the car key inside consulate. So I have to go back to pay & park and gave my car keys to keeper who said he will charge 200.

At waiting area outside interview hall I was just be relaxed, looking around at trees, birds,children around and talking with my spouse and child about what they want to see in US.
At interview hall they scan passport label bar code and scan left fingers to match with biometrics taken earlier, once it is done you will be asked to be in the line for window. Appear for interview with my family insuring that my son and wife are also in front of interviewer. interviewer asked about the company name, designation, roles and responsibilities and salary. She said so you are taking your family this time. I said I am travelling for the first time at which she said you had H1B visa earlier and B2 as well for which I have to explain her that I didn't travel on those as I switched the company and VISA was cancelled without prejudice.

She asked my son what he want to see in US and which city he will be travelling too (at this point I knew that I am going to get VISA) and she said that it would be very cold. Surprisingly she didn't ask any question to my wife. At the end of small five minute interview she said those golden words that I have been granted the VISA.

Word of precaution is that answer only what you have asked don't talk to impress interviewer even if it is good or positive on your part.

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H4 Visa Port Entery

Posted by: praveen On 08 Oct 2015

Hi,

I am H4 visa holder, Now I am in USA I AM traveling to india for one week, after one week I am plaing to come back to usa. any problem in port entry in USA...? my H4 visa valid till December 2017. my I94 VALID till 2017 December.

please let me know,,, in port entry officer they will ask any qus,,,,

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Query On H1B Visa

Posted by: Sarayu On 05 Oct 2015

Hello Friends,

I will be attending the visa interview in the next month. My employer who filed my H1 petition is very small company and has revenue of 150000$ and they have only 2 employees in their organization. Will there be any issue in giving visa on such a small company? Kindly post your suggestions.

Thanks,
Sarayu

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US Embassy Singapore Pls Help

Posted by: MH On 04 Oct 2015

Hi ,

I got 221g yellow slip requesting , W-2,W-3 of three years from company,
Currently I am holding employment pass and working in a local company Singapore.

In this case, my W-2 form will be income tax from Singapore ? or is it related to all W-2 forms of employees working with U.S petitioner?
Please kindly advise.

Thank you for your help in advance

Regards,
MH.

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Working From Home For The H1B Sponsoring Company

Posted by: Baps On 04 Oct 2015

I joined an US based company on Oct, 2014 and started working form home remotely as they don't have any office in India. They sponsored my H1b and my I-129 approved on 29 Sep 2015. Now I am planning for the visa interview in the US consulate.


Now if the VO ask me where is your office in India? I have to say My home. Currently in India I can't be an employee for them as they don't have any office here. I am currently working for them like a consultant/freelancer/contractor(whatever you say). My employer pay my salary through Paypal every month. I am afraid after hearing this the VO can reject my VISA.


Please help me. What I exactly need to say if VO ask me about my current employment.

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H1 And H4 Interview Chennai

Posted by: Sreenath On 26 Sep 2015

Total applicants 3

Myself on H1B

Wife and child on H4 visa

OFC Date: 22-Sep-2015

Biometric Time: 3:30PM

we reached OFC center chennai around 2:30PM and as we are standing with a small kid(less then 3 yrs) so security person asked us to get in to the building. Our photo's and Bio metric taken and then whole process completed less than 30 mins.

Main interview was on next day morning 8:30 AM

We reached consulate by 7:30 AM and carrying some biscuits, cakes for my daughter. Initially security person told me we cannot carry any thing to inside the consulate and need to dispose everything. We told ok and then moved to queue but when the security person saw we are with small baby,
he asked us to come forward to proceed inside the consulate.


1st verification is checking if any mobiles, CD's or any closed covers with you, if you are carrying any thing they will ask you to put them out side of the consulate (there is private counter where he will keep all our luggage for some good amount) then they will scan all our documents and perform complete checking.

Then can you can people sitting with little tense and preparing for interview.

Later you will be asked to move into another building where actual interview takes place.

2nd verification is checking the passport and visa application details then they will put a sticker on your passport. As we are with small baby they put an additional sticker which indicates for priority...:)

Then asked to move further, 3rd verification is comparing the bio metric details which taken on previous day.

Once you complete this you will be asked to move into actual visa interview queue, where your final tense starts.

As we are going with small baby and the supporting staff asked us to go ahead and sit in the preference area, we went and waiting for consular to start the process, all this process completed by 7:55 AM

My daughter asked for water and we are not carrying so my wife took daughter to have some water mean while consular came and asked officers to proceed for interview, they asked me to proceed by the time my wife also returned so we went in front of visa officer.

Greetings exchanged.



As i am working for an MNC, Visa Officer told ohh you are working for XYZ company very nice.

asked for passports to share.

Then she asked

What is your highest education ?

Ans: Bachelor of Technology

and then she immediately asked what is my wife highest education?

Ans: Degree

Who is your client?

Answered as i am going to work for US organization and there is no end client involvement.

she told OK.

She asked about what is your married date?
i am not able to hear correctly and asked for excuse then she repeated the question and still i am not able to get the exact question then she pointed as Marriage then i answered appropriately.

She turned my wife and told with a big smile Madam,looks you are troubling sir a lot that's way he forget's marriage date also...all are with big smiles.

Visa Officer immediately told i am clearing your visa application and this is the rights for you in US.

By 8:15 AM we are out of US Consulate and how sweet this will be.

I prepared a lot on the visa interview and referred several sites for additional details but nothing is asked and no questions. How lucky to have this interview. Always try to be faith on god and trust on your luck.

Today i verified in us travel docs site and status appearing as "Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery"

I am exited to receive my passports, as there is holidays in this week hope i will get by next week.

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Employer Lost I797

Posted by: shaks On 19 Sep 2015

Hi , my employer lost I797 original and dont even have a copy of it.
My Stamping interview is scheduled next week and i may need to fly by 1st week of Oct.
here are my questions:
1. can i attend the interview without I797 copy?
2, can i get a copy of it in any website with my Approved Receipt Number?
2. If i shouldnt attend the interview then what is the time-frame to get the duplicate I797 copy from USCIS?

I'm worried , Experts please advice

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Successful H1B Stamping At Mumbai On Sep 16th 2015

Posted by: Neeraj Maurya On 19 Sep 2015

Hi All,

I got lots of help from this site. Sharing my stamping experience at Mumbai for the benefit of others.

Just a little background: I am a cap-exempted candidate because of earlier filing (In Mar-2011), but visa was never stamped and never traveled to US. The previous stamping was rejected with 221g yellow at Hyderabad. The petition was reaffirmed in May-2012, but the petition was valid only for 1 year and expired in Mar-2012.

Being a cap-exempted, got second sponsorship from same employer in May-2015, this time in premium processing. The petition got approved in less than 15 days in Jun-2015. OFC interview was scheduled on 13-Sep (Sunday) for finger printing/photo and consulate interview was on 16-Sep.

OFC interview was at 1:00 PM at Bandra, trade center. I reached there by 12:15 PM and found some 15-20 people waiting in queue. Security checked appointment letter and passport and allowed inside, well before time. Another counter inside the premises again checked the document and was queued to be serviced from any of the 16 counters. My turn came in 5 minutes but there was some technical issue and I was shifted to another counter. After finger printing and photo, i was searching my wife at 12:45 PM out at main gate well before my schedule interview time :). She accompanied me to take care of mobile and bag as there is no locker facility. Later i found there is locker facility asking 200/- INR. The entire process took 20 minutes.

Note: Just carry Passport, DS160 submission confirmation, Interview Appointment Letter for OFC.

Consulate Interview was at 10:00 AM at US Consulate Bandra, Mumbai. It takes 1 hour from my station till bandra but because of train derailment 1 day before at vileparle, the journey took 2 hours and I reached somehow at 9:55 AM finding myself among somewhat odd 200 people. After security check the coordinator checked my appointment letter and asked if I am for H1B. On my positive answer she gave me a pamphlet which explains human rights and emergency numbers in USA, and pointed me to sit in an open area (with roof) opposite the main building, where around 200 people were already waiting. Serially they were allowing 50-70 people inside the main building where people were routed to 3 counters where fingers were rescanned and then sent to the final queue. There is no token numbering and people were redirected to any of the available counter out of 39 counters from the queue. My turn came and I was redirected to counter no 25 where a lady VO was interviewing a family. Because of sound from surrounding counters and people chatting in queue, I was very stressed, wondering if I will be able to listen and understand the questions of VO, who was little soft spoken.

My turn came finally (The extreme stress moment).

VO: Good Morning. Your documents Please
Me: Good Morning. (handed over Passport, I797B, I129 copy, LCA copy)

VO: Which company you are going to work?
Me: XXX INC

VO: What is XXXXX XXXXXX
Me: Its XXXXX XXXXXX doing business as (dba) XXX INC.

VO: Ok. XXX INC.
VO: What is your designation?
Me: Programmer Analyst

VO: How many employees this company has?
Me: XXX

VO: How much is the pay?
Me: XX thousand USD per annum.

VO: What is your highest qualification?
Me: Master in computer applications

VO: Which project you are going to work?
Me: told the product name

VO: What is this project all about?
Me: Started explaining but she stopped me asking me to come closer to speaker. I finished in 3 lines.

VO: Is it In-house project.
Me: Yes

VO: Are you going to work for client.
Me: No

VO: Are you married
Me: Yes

VO: Is your family accompanying you?
Me: No. Not Now.

She seemed satisfied with the answers and pointing towards the pamphlet at counter

VO: Have you read this?
Me: Yes. (I had read that when I was in waiting area)

VO: You will get your passport in 2-3 days. Thank you.

She returned remaining documents to me and kept the passport. I greeted her and left the counter.

It took nearly 2 hour for the entire process. Outside consulate gate at 11:55 AM, I was again searching my wife who was sitting just sitting beside the pedestrian, along with other waiting people to share the good news.

There was no SMS and email to notify passport pickup, but 1 day later I checked on passport tracking which showed “Ready to pick up”. I took the driving license copy with me and collected the passport from the trade center, with stamped visa ?

Good luck guys for your successful stamping.

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