One of our readers, Tamana Singh attended H1B visa interview at New Delhi in late June 2012. She was kind enough to write up a very detailed article explaining process at US Consulate in New Delhi and some important advice for prospective H1B Seekers. Thanks to Tamana for taking time write up and sharing with our readers. Congrats to her on getting H1B visa stamped ! You can share your visa stamping experience here
Background Information :
The whole process for H1B got completed fruitfully on XX June 2012 in New Delhi. My petition was filed on Nov 4th 2011 but took a lot of time due to RFE that got raised in March 2012.
Process at US Consulate in New Delhi before Visa Interview
My time slot was for 10:00 AM and I reached the US embassy at 9:30 AM. The applicants are supposed to wait outside in the open waiting for their time for the interview process. Things are very well planned at the embassy.
1) Small posters are pasted at the entry gate which mention the timing for which the applicants are supposed to get in. Announcement is also done for the same side by side. Therefore, you come to know of your turn/timing very easily. You stand in the queue for the entry. The personnel at the entry gate check your interview letter (provided by Visa department of the organization) and match with their own record, so one has to ensure that they try to go inside in their time slots only. Also keep your passport in your hand along with the interview appointment letter.
2) If you carry any mobile phones,electronic items etc. they are to be strictly deposited at the entry gate only since they are not allowed inside.
3) Then you move inside the premises of the embassy and find the support staff in front of you who will organize our documents in a proper order. Following is the order in which you should present the documents to them:
a) Visa fee HDFC receipts
b) DS-160 form submission page that clearly shows the barcode.
c) I-797B form original
d) Company letter
The support person will take out one slip from the HDFC fee receipt and will paste it on your passport front. The above mentioned documents will then be stapled with the passport and you will be directed to move to the token machine.
4) A person will get you a token from the token machine based on the type of Visa that an applicant comes for. It”s basically a slip with a number mentioned on it. This token will be stapled by this person on your DS-160 submission page that was stapled along with your passport. This token number will be referred to at all points in the whole process. There is a seating area near the token machine with display panels in front which shows the token numbers and counter numbers. the applicant has to wait until his/her token number is flashed on the display. After it gets displayed, note down the counter number and move towards the Visa area. Direction boards show you the path to go towards the Visa gate.
5) After you enter the Visa area, wait for your token number that gets displayed on the display panel there. Then move towards the counter number that is shown along with your token number. The personnel at the counter will take your documents(passport and the stapled docs). Mainly some kind of information is entered by the operator there. The operator may also ask 1-2 question. In my case, the lady asked for the current designation in my organization. You are then asked to move towards the area where fingerprints are taken.
6) At the fingerprint area, support person will direct you to the counter where fingerprints are taken. Give your docs to the personnel and the applicant is asked by the personnel at the counter to place their hands with four fingers at a time on the machine for each hand. Then prints are taken for thumbs of both the hands. The personnel will return the applicant’s docs and ask to wait in the waiting area.
7) Till now, the process is very fast but now the process will get a little slower since the interviews take a little time. There are screens on both sides of the waiting area, with counters in front where interviews are taken. Theses screens will again be displaying the token numbers and the corresponding counters where an applicant is supposed to go for the interview. Multiple token numbers are displayed against a counter so the applicants are supposed to stand in the queue for their counter before their turn.
8) Now the most important part: INTERVIEW
H1B Visa Interview Questions at New Delhi by Visa Office ( VO)
The Visa counselor (who takes interview) will ask for your documents and will ask questions.
Following were the questions that were asked in my case:
a) Are you applying for H1-B??
b) Which company are you working for?
c) Who is your client?
d) Is it the first time you will be travelling to US?
e) What will you be doing for the client? – The applicant is supposed to speak about his/her role and responsibilities in US.
5 Tips and Advice for H1B Visa Interview
Following are a few tips for the interview:
1) Dress well. It doesn’t mean that one has to wear suits or something. Males are expected to wear nice formals (shirt/trouser etc.) and females are expected to wear suits/business formals etc.
2) Don’t get distracted by the interviews that are taking place at the other counters while you are in queue of your counter.
3) Stay cool, calm and appear confident. There is nothing to worry about.
4) Give to the point answers for the questions asked. Don’t unnecessarily start elaborating things on your own.
5) Stay CONFIDENT. The only thing the Visa counselor looks for is your confidence level along with the information that you provide to him/her. This is the most important part in the whole interview.
H1B interview is very simple, trust me. Just remember the information that you provided in your documents for your application and always be honest. The Visa counselors are very well trained and if an applicant gets stuck anywhere, the applicant is definitely grilled.
One more thing, even if you don’t know answer to any question, don’t stand speechless there. Reply that you are not having that information or provide with some relevant information but with full confidence.
Base on your interview, the Visa counselor will let you know the outcome. If you are through, the counselor will say that your Visa is being approved, will take back the documents (passport and stapled docs) and you will get it in X days through courier. Say thanks and come out of the Visa area, Don’t start talking to other people there.
If unluckily, you are not through, the counselor will say that your visa is not getting approved and will return your docs then and there. Don’t start requesting again and come out of the Visa area, Don’t start talking to other people there. There is always another day and this is not an end to things.
If an applicant is confident enough and doesn’t commit a blunder (like telling the wrong hierarchy/supervisor in US, work location etc.), he/she is definitely going to get the Visa.
I wish very good luck to all the applicants and hope that my experience will be helpful to all.
You can share your visa stamping experience here