Posted by: Kartik Krishna On 23 Dec 2015
I am here to submit my experience of H1B visa interview. It is not mandatory that whatever experience i have had, you would also undergo the same. But it is a good practise to be prepared before appearing for the interview.
First appointment was with the Visa OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) where they would ask only for the Passport, DS-160 confirmation copy, Embassy appointment letter. They will check if all of them matches and then send you inside. They will assign a token number to you. Keep checking the monitor for your turn and counter number. On appearing at the counter they will take the above mentioned documents and ask you to read the "Declaration of Truth"(attached to the right of the wall) in your comfortable language. They will also ask the purpose of your visit to US. After that they will take your fingerprints, face picture. They will handover the documents back to you and ask you to appear with all the supporting documents for the main interview at US Consulate. That is all for the first day.
Second appointment was with the Consulate. Do appear a 15-30 mins before the scheduled interview. If you appear before that, you may have to wait for a very long time. There will be a queue. Join it. At the gate entrance, they will validate the barcode(on your appointment copy) to see whether you have paid the appointment fees or not. After that you will be allowed inside. There will be a series of shelters with rows of seats. Basically this means that you will be put in queue a max of 3 times from here.
First they will ask you form a queue and give you a tray. You need to empty your pockets into that tray. Place your documents, passport, keychain, purse, belt, pen etc here. The items in the tray will undergo a x-ray check and you will be thoroughly checked through a scanning door. Once checked, you will be handed over all your items. Get back your belt, keychains, purse, etc and get prepared again. Now carry your documents and join another queue. This queue will be directed to a separate counter one by one to validate the fingerprints you provided at OFC the day before. Once the validation is done, you will be directed to another queue. This queue will be directed to another series of counters, one by one. A maximum of 2 applicants will be allowed to stand in front of the queue one after another. The minimum distance between 2 candidates should be 5 feet. Now this is the counter where the actual interview will take place. So be prepared.
- Dress well with a decent light color shirt and dark trousers(complete business formals). Avoid funky dress up if you are going for a H1B visa.
- Shoes also should be formal.
- Carry all your documents in a neat transparent harmonium folder. Its easy to pull and push the documents whenever needed.
- Following is the link where you can get a series of possible interview questions.
Reference 1 - http://www.path2usa.com/h1b-visa-guide/interview-questions
Reference 2 - http://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1-visa-interview-sample-questions-answers.html
- The interviewer will try to see if you possess the basic requirements for this visa i.e.
b) command over language and fluency
c) minimal educational qualification for the job i.e. Graduation in Specialized Occupation(which is Computers generally) and Post Graduation in the same field will be a big plus.
d) willing to work under mentioned contract without fail
e) willing to return back to India after your work is finished
- Following are the documents required for the verification.
a) Embassy Appointment Letter
b) DS-160 copy
d) I-797 original
e) Client Letter(optional) - If you have the client letter with you, things become much more easy,since it is clearly mentioned in that letter that your services are required at the client workplace. Even if you don't have the client letter, its not a big issue. Client letters are not disclosed to some of the employees. Hence you can mention(if asked) that "my HR and client communicate with one another internally and it is not disclosed to the employees as part of company policy. If need be, i can ask my HR to forward the client letter to US Consulte office."
f) Master service agreement - An agreement copy made between your employer and the client for continuous consultation of services.
g) US Offer letter
h) Indian Company Office Photos
i) Company Letter to Embassy Officer - mentioning about your purpose of visit to US and thereby assistance in approval of the same.
j) Company brochure
l) Payslips of last 6 months
m) Bank statements of last 6 months
n) Form 16 of all financial years
o) Current Company offer letter, official confirmation letter, salary appraisal letters
p) Past company offer and service letters
q) Educational certificates
r) Marriage certificate and marriage photos - in case you are appearing with your family
s) Child's birth certificates original
t) Child's passport sized photographs (dimensions of the photograph should match the specifications mentioned in the US consulate website).
Hope all goes well with you too!!
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Posted by: Vijay69 On 15 Dec 2015
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
2. Who is your petitioner
3. How you got to know about them
4. What is your Job
5. What is your roles and responsibilities
6. Will you work at Client location
i said its in house project
7. what is your annual Salary
8. What is your qualification
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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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.
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!
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?
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 :)?
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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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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Posted by: praveen On 08 Oct 2015
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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Posted by: Sarayu On 05 Oct 2015
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.
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Posted by: MH On 04 Oct 2015
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
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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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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.
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?
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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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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