To close the year, we have some of our awesome readers take time to share their experience. Thanks a lot to Chaitanya, Amol, Krishna, dd for taking time to share their experience. You can share yours as well here
H1B Visa Stamping Experience by Chaitanya
Process at Visa Application Centre ( VAC ) – Biometrics, etc.
VAC Appointment was at 2:15 PM
Location : Delhi, India
We (Me and my wife) reached the venue by 1:45 PM, but we are allowed to stand in the queue only at 01:55 PM . As we stand in the queue, security will ask us to hold Passports, Appointment form and DS-160 Confirmation in hand to be ready for the officer to check. Officer will verify the details of Appointment form and DS-160 against the passport.
After everything is verified, we will be sent inside. Security check at the entrance, mobile can be carried inside after switching it off. The next queue after security check will be inside the office. A bar code will be stuck on back of the passports here. Check to make sure the details are correct on the bar code before proceeding.
Next, Collect the token and Wait for the number to be displayed on TV with a counter number. Handover docs to officer.. Basic details will be questioned – I was asked Full name and Date of birth.
Photo and finger prints of Left hand, Right hand and thumbs will be taken. A form is given which lists the items that are not allowed inside US Embassy. That’s it for the day.
Process at US Embassy – H1B Visa Stamping
Entrance – Security Aspects : Appointment scheduled at 11AM. Reached there by 9:30 and had to wait as Security is allowing only those scheduled until 10:30 AM There is a waiting area opposite to Embassy with 4 to 5 rows of benches for those who are waiting. A small counter is present where in we can deposit mobiles and pocket electronic devices. Bags are not allowed in here (neither allowed inside Embassy) . We did not carry our mobiles, so not sure of the charge. Do not bring a bag unless you have someone accompanied who will wait outside embassy.
If bags are left unattended in waiting area, security personnel will check with metal detector and then hand them over to local police after checking the contents inside the bags thoroughly. In the 10min’s of my waiting time, I saw three bags being taken away by police.
At 9:45 AM security announced for those who has interviews scheduled until 11:30AM to enter the queue. Here we are asked to hold latest passports – and those applying for H1B Visa, a photo copy of I-797B (1st page). An officer scans the bar code behind the passport and staples I-797B to passport. The queue then follows for a security check. We have to empty our pockets here. After security check we will enter a waiting lobby which has chairs in 4/5 rows. This is the only place that has bathroom/restrooms facility. A TV screen plays a small video in loop which explains about the process that petitioner will undergo after security check. After waiting for 5 min’s every row is called at a time to enter the office. First step is to validate the finger prints. We will be asked to either keep left/right 4 fingers on machine for validation. Then we join the main queue of the day 🙂 While in the queue we pass through the counters, and we can hear the interview questions as well as answers. We are asked to stand behind the first counter and wait for the turn.
In front of us, a family of 4 are being interviewed. The gentleman has come for L1 -> H1B. VO asked few related questions and approved their visa. With the positive vibe, I proceed to the counter.
H1B Visa Interview Questions
Me: Good morning officer
VO: Good morning, how are you?
Me: I am fine, Thank you.
VO: Can I have your passports please?
Me: Sure.. ~~passed the passports (My current and old passport, and my wife’s passport) from the opening at the bottom of the glass frame.~~
VO: I wouldn’t need the old passport, you can take it.
Me: ~~Took it back~~
VO: What work are you going to do in US?
Me: I will work as “my position” at client location.
VO: Are you going to work at “my petitioner’s place”?
Me: No, i will work at my client location.
VO: Who is the client?
Me: “Told the name of My client”
VO: oh! “Repeats the client name”.. Nice. Where in US?
Me: “Told my work location name”
VO: What will be your salary in US?
Me: “Told my salary as per LCA”
VO: How long are you planning to stay in US?
Me: 2 years
VO: Do you have kids?
We: No, not yet
VO: When did you two get married?
Me: “Told the date”
VO: Do you have marriage certificate?
Me: ~~Handed over the certificate~~
VO: ~~Pointed to the US rights form~~ Did you receive this pamphlet before?
VO: Did you bring any marriage photos?
Me: ~~ Gave the officer a bunch of photos (about 20) ~~. Note : Don’t bring them in an album as it might not fit in the opening under the glass.
VO: Your visa is approved. Have a safe trip.
We: Thank you!! Have a good one.
H1B Visa Stamping Experience by Amol
Background : I had OFC appointment on 10th Dec, and the interview appointment on 12th Dec in Mumbai BKC.
OFC experience at VAC
My appointment was at 9:30AM. I arrived at the OFC building at 8:30AM. I stay little in little long distance from OFC location so I came by car with the family. (You need to find parking place nearby so come early and grab the place, you will always get a place after some waiting). Make sure about the information that you are entering in DS-160.
1) The security checks your appointment confirmation and validates the time and lets us in (or wait outside in line if you are early).
2) A couple of personnel first checks/validates DS-160, appointment confirmation and our passport. (While getting inside security said my wife’s name is not matching as per passport which need to correct (..silly me..). There is correction booth just beside OFC centre who charge you Rs.300 for correction. So don’t worry and rush elsewhere if you have done any mistakes in form.)
3) After this, you enter the actual OFC office. First there is a security check, then some personnel stamp a bar-code on to your passport (this is what will be used during the OFC and in the consulate). Another personnel scans and validates the bar-code in your DS-160.
4) We are given a token number and asked to wait till our token number appears on the screen. We proceed to the corresponding counter.
5) Here, the personnel get the token and our passport, takes our photo and ten prints us and Voila! we are done.
Tips: To avoid waiting in queue for long time, be at the OFC 0-15 mins before your appointment. It doesn’t matter even if you are late, you are still allowed to enter. Phones are allowed inside the OFC. You will be asked to switch it off though. You have to carry only your passport, DS-160 and appointment confirmation. All other documents are redundant.
Consulate H1B interview experience – Mumbai :
My appointment was at 10 AM, I arrived at the consulate at 9:00AM. Again, no waiting, I was let in. Those who are planning to come by car and worried about parking let me tell you don’t worry at all. There is a pay and park opposite Ambani International high school, just beside US consulate office who charge you for Rs.60 for 2 hrs. So come by car if you are coming with family as I did. Also it doesn’t matter even if you come late or early by ½ an hr they will still let you in. Just be in time for self-satisfaction.
1) You go through a security check similar to the one at the airports and asked to proceed.
2) Inside the consulate, there was a queue. I had to wait for about 10mins to get to the initial verification counter. At the counter they verify your appointment time and the bar-code that was stamped on your visa the previous day at OFC.
3) Then you proceed to validate your fingerprints.
4) Once done, you wait in line for your turn for the interview. It took about 5mins for my turn.
5) You are asked to wait behind a yellow line while another person is being interviewed.
6) Below is the Interview I had.
Visa Interview Questions
Me: Good Morning
VO: Hi, Good Morning. Please give me your document and PP
I handed over my passport.
VO: What do you do for XXXXX Company
Me: Explained in short.
VO: What is your highest qualification?
ME: Graduate in XXXXXX
VO: What is your salary?
ME: XXXXX dollars p.a.
VO: When you are expecting to travel?
ME: Told the date.
VO: (To my wife) what is your highest qualification?
My wife: Said.
VO: (To my wife) How long you have been married?
My wife: 8 years
VO: (To my Kid 3.5 yrs) Hiiiee.. (and waved at her)
My Kid: Hiiiee… (and waved back to him)
VO: (To my wife) Are you holding previous H4 or H1b visa?
My Wife: No
VO: Thankyou sir your visa is approved.
ME: with smile thankyou sir. (took my documents and left)
There was a guy before me whose visa was rejected, so I was tense as well. But I faced him with smile. So doesn’t matter what situation is be confident and keep smile on your face. Try not to get nervous based on the questions being posted to or the result of the the one in front of you. Also, try to avoid the conversations happening in the counters/windows around you (its hard), it only gets you more nervous. Read your i-129 before visit, read all the documents which are there in your folder. It will give you confidence. Only if they find anything fishy they will check it with you by more questions
H1B Visa Stamping Experience by Krishna
Background : I got my H1b approved on 20th Oct. My appointment was on 22nd Dec for Photo and Fingerprints at VAC, Trade centre, Hyderabad@ 11AM. Visa interview was on 26nd Dec 10:00 AM at U.S. Consulate General
Fingerprint Taking – Experience
On 22nd I reached at OFC at 10:30AM. Security ask us to step in for the process. There they need your passport and DS 160 copy. Then we got one bar-code sticker on back of our Passport. We moved then to the window individually where they were clicking your photo and taking the Fingerprints. This process hardly took 7-8 mins
Day of H1B Visa Stamping
What’s the process inside ?
10am finger print verification. The queue (which is a seating arrangement) was moving to interview hall, i stepped into interview hall at around 11:00 AM. While inside the interview we ware able to listen Q&A for other applicant’s as the interview window was not far from the queue. There was three windows, where interview was conducted by ladies was having more rejection than other window. I prayed to got not to give those window to us. Luckily we got window #13. The lady that side was cool. Then the conversations starts as follow.
H1B Visa Interview Questions :
Me: Good morning.
VO: Good morning sir.
Me: —- is ur petitioner?
Vo: Since how long u have been working with this company?
me: Its a new opportunity.
Vo: Do u have client.
me: yes, client name ……
VO: How did u found this opportunity?
Me: In online while i was searching for jobs.
VO: Annual salary?
Me: ……US dollars
VO: what is ur highest qualification?
Vo: Where do u live?
Me. ..city, ,…. state
Vo: Thanks for details do u have know ur rights pamplet? yes i have
Vo: Then she replied back the golden words “Ur visa issued sir”
Me: thank you …
Just 2 mins of interview no docs are asked…
around 11.10 Am i came out from consulate
H1B Visa Stamping Experience by dd
Background : Went for finger print yesterday and interview this morning. Both went smoothly. Nothing new to report other than the same old story, VAC centre go in and get your finger print done. took only 15-20 mins.
Next day (today) 11 am was the time. 10:30 queue was still out so they asked all of us to wait on side, then about 10:45 am they asked us to continue in the line. took about 5-7 mins to get in, they checked passport at the main entrance let us go in. then it was the security like airport. after that there were queues of benches under a shed, it was in the complex of consulate but out side of the main building. they were letting people in, queue by queue. after 15 mins, they let us in, first was the fingerprint scan, then the queue continued waiting for a window.
Visa officer was a young African American lady. I went with a copy of 797(lawyer sent by post but didn’t received yet).
VO: where is the original?
Me: told her the same thing as above.
VO: looking at the 797 (the approval time was 3 years till 2019 so) is this just renewal ?
Me: No first time for H1. Then she went in side with my passport and 797 copy, took her about 3-4 mins to comeback
VO: so you are goanna be working for XXX ?
VO: what is the position, salary and location?
ME: XX, YY, ZZ
VO: when did you start working for them?
Me: started back in 2014 when I was on OPT, they applied in 2014 and 2015 for H1 but didn’t get picked, so after the OPT ended I came back and continued as a contractor for them
VO: ohh cool!
At this point it was just small talks about my education and graduation and all, she asked for my old passport which had my student visa stamped. she looked at it. During all this she kept typing something while asking, talking.
She asked me to sit and wait and told me that she needs to verify my details. waited for 15 mins. at this time I was the only one left in the consulate, it was lunch time I think. after that she called me. and returned the 797 copy and kept the passport and told you are all set. And have a good one.