Mumbai and Delhi H1B and H4 Visa Stamping Experiences 2016

Delhi, Mumbai – H1B and H4 Visa Stamping Experiences 2016

In Visa Experiences by Kumar14 Comments

It amazes me the amount of time and effort many of our ardent readers take to share their experience for benefit of everyone. I am proud of the community we have to help one another. Today, the applaud goes to Sachin, Snowleopard, Rohit, and P Dhar for taking time to share their experience. Thank you guys  and Congrats on your H1B Approvals ! You can share your experience here 

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H1B and H4 Stamping Experience By Sachin

A little background about me:  My employer had file a cap exempt petition for me as I have been to USA before. My first H1B VISA was stamped in Jan 2013 and I lived in USA from Jan 2013 to Feb 2015. Since my VISA was expiring on 30th Sept 2015, so my employer filed for a cap exempt petition on 10th June 2015. Due to immense delay from USCIS this year – I had my employer upgrade my petition to premium. After receiving an RFE, my petition finally got approved on 15th Jan 2016. My employer booked for an appointment in OFC and USA consulate in New Delhi.

OFC experience for H1B and H4 Stamping in Delhi
Like everyone else has mentioned in other posts- OFC is straight forward and hassle free. You just need to carry following three documents with you.

  • Your passport
  • Appointment confirmation letter, which you get while booking for an appointment.
  • Confirmation page of DS-160. Please note that there is no need to carry whole DS-160 form (6+pages) to OFC or consulate.

Since OFC in New Delhi is located just next to Nehru Place, you can find plenty of internet shops around just in case you want to take a printout of any document which you might have forgotten to carry. But it is always recommended to come prepared to avoid last minute hiccups.

When you reach OFC, officials there will first check your appointment letter. Then they would validate your passport against DS-160 confirmation page. Ensure that Name, DOB etc. mentioned in DS-160 is in sync with Passport. Then you will be guided inside the building where the officials would first scan the bar code on DS-160 confirmation page and paste a bar code sticker on back of your passport. You will be given a token number and asks to wait. Once your token number flashes on the screen, go to the designated counter. I was asked following questions:

  • Are you applying for H1B?
  • Is your DOB is mm/dd/yyyy?
  • Is your passport # abcxyz232
  • When will you go to consulate?

Then they will ask you to give your finger prints and take a photograph of you. You will be advised to reach consulate not before 15 minutes of time of appointment.

H1B, H4  Visa Stamping – Delhi Consulate Experience:
I, along with my wife, reached consulate 25 minutes before our appointment time. Surprisingly, there weren’t much people standing in queue outside consulate. At the entrance, they asked for copy of I797 and attached it with my passport. Then they asked if I am carrying any electronic device with me. I was asked to deposit my mobile to a counter nearby where they charged 50 rupees for the service.

Then we headed inside the building. A security check welcomed us. Thereafter, we were moved to a sitting area. Around 20-25 peoples were waiting for their turn. We waited there for not more than a minute and were asked to move inside the main building wherein interview would take place.

While we were standing in a queue inside the main building, officials there took our passport in a bunch of 6-8 and guided us to counters whereat finger prints were re-taken (or validated). Once it was done, officials asked us to move to another line, from where attendees were redirected to counters for VISA interview. Finally, our turn came and coincidentally I was redirected to a counter where the same lady, who took our VISA interview back in Jan 2013, was sitting. She greeted us with “Good Morning, can I have your passports, please?” We greeted her back and gave her our passports. She then started asking us questions.

Following H1B Visa Interview questions were asked to me:

  • What is your designation?
  • Who is your client?
  • What will you do there for your client and project?
  • What will be your salary in the USA?
  • When did you get married?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Do you have rights and protection pamphlet?
  • Have you been to USA before?
  • When did you return from USA?
  • What is your highest education?

Only question asked to my wife:

  • What is your highest qualification?

She then told us the “Next time when you guys planned for VISA interview, then please visit our website to see if you are eligible for our interview waiver program”. She might have said this to us because we left USA on 07th Feb 2015 and were attending VISA interview on 09th Feb 2016 (exact difference of 1 year and 2 days).

Then she said – “Your VISA is Approved”.  We thanked her and left from the building happily 🙂
Later in the noon – I checked the VISA status of myself and my spouse. It was showing “Issued”. Hoping to quickly receive the passport and will travel to USA soon.

As have been told by many others, key to a successful stamping is:

  • Ensure that employer is authentic.
  • Ensure that your project and client details are genuine and not a sham.
  • Take all the mandatory and supportive documents with you.
  • Know about your project, your role and responsibilities in USA, your client etc. They will surely ask some, if not all, of these questions.
  • Appear confident. Face their questions with a smile and tell them crisp but authentic answers . VOs are not interested in listening to stories. They have all the information of you on their monitor screen.
  • Know where in your folder you have put your document. They might ask you to show them client letter or some other document. So be ready to show them whatever they ask for. On couple of counters I saw a few folks struggling with finding their documents.
  • Thank to God and celebrate with an ice cream once your VISA is approved. Even if it doesn’t, still thank to God and eat an ice cream. Whatever happens, happens for the best.

Take care and wishing all of you best of luck.

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 H-1B, H4 Stamping Experience by Snowleopard.

Background  and  OFC Biometrics Appointment at Mumbai.
Consulate: Mumbai ,  Status: Approved
I attended the visa interview for H-1B along with my wife who was for H4 dependant visa. Thanks to Red2Bus for creating a platform for sharing these experiences as it helped a lot to prepare for the interview. I read a lot of peoples experiences of Red2Bus to prepare myself. However, I had already attended the B1 visa interview few years ago, so was familiar with overall process.  The OFC appoint was just general biometric data collection and was done within 15 minutes.

 H1B and H4 Visa Interview Experience, Interview Questions.  :

Next day, we had the appointment at 10 am so we went there at 8.45 am. Then we were taken inside the consulate at 10 and it took half an hour more in the queue for out turn. We could see while we were in the queue that almost all of the Visa Officers were very cool, smiling, and friendly.

Then it was out turn at one of the counters. I had all the required documents except the client letter which I had read on the blogs that it’s required, but in reality nothing is compulsory except the original passports, original I-797B, educational documents, and other wedding related documents such as wedding photo album, marriage certificate.

The interview got started.  We exchanged the greeting with VO. I was asked to pass the passports and I-797B.

  • VO: What is this company XXXXX, the petitioner?
  • Me: Explained
  • VO: Since how long you are doing this job?
  • Me: This the new job.
  • VO: What are you going to do in this job?
  • Me: Explained briefly.
  • VO to my wife:
  • VO: How long have you been married?
  • My wife: answered
  • VO: Was it arranged or love marriage?
  • My wife: answered
  • VO: How did you guys meet?
  • My wife: answered
  • VO cracked some jokes and laughed, etc.
  • VO: Your visa has been approved and happy stay.

There was many other things we talked for a minute even after the interview and it was fun. The key is be cool, calm, confident, keep all the information with you and be genuine. And that’s it.
All the best!

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H1B stamping experience at Mumbai consulate (Feb 2016) by Rohit

H1B Case history: Went into RFE in July, RFE was submitted in Oct and case approved in November. I got all the needed documents by January and applied for consulate interview at Mumbai consulate. This was a position for client projects being developed at employer location. There was no client letter available.

Aside: Arrived two days before the interview and went to Juhu beach, GOI, Siddhivinayak, Phoneix malls etc to see the sights. This helped me relax and had a worry free stay (till I was in front of the VO )

Interviewees: Myself, wife and my son as H4 dependents.
Consulate is opposite to Hotel Trident and is very easy to reach. I was shocked to see the huge line when I reached by 8 45 for the 9 AM slot. There were people of 10 AM slot standing in line, the guard came and asked all those people to go out of the line. So no point being extra early, it won’t help you get in quicker. 30 mins early is the max one should target (for standing in the line that is).

Security checked the sticker at the back of our passports and let us in; there was another huge line inside the consulate. People were let in from this line inside the interview area in batches.

Once inside, the finger prints and passports were checked again. People with kids were allowed early interview. In general the VOs looked reasonable and I did not see anybody being grilled for more than 2-3 minutes.

H1B and H4 Visa Interview Questions:

  1. How long have you been working for this employer?
  2. What does your employer do?
  3. Where will you be working from
  4. Is this a client project or in house project?
  5. What is your project?
  6. What is your role in this project?
  7. How long have your worked for the current employer?
  8. How did you find this job?
  9. Have you gone through this rights list?

After this point I was feeling comfortable; but then the VO started doing something in his computer and did not speak for over 2 minutes. The wait really made me nervous. However, at the end of two mins I was told the VISA is approved and I shall get it in 2-3 days.

Not a single question was asked of my wife and kid. Perhaps it helped that my son is an exact copy of myself.

Tips:

  1. Dress professionally. Shirt, pants will do. I saw people appearing in jeans and T. Please understand your could be understood as not professional enough.
  2. Have a pleasant smile, don’t laugh. Look in the face of VO all the time.
  3. Don’t rub your face, nose, pull hairs etc 
  4. Give only as much information as is being asked not more not less. Always chance of blabbering something weird if your talk too much.
  5. Don’t give jargons like spring, hibernate etc. Simple Computer programmer will do. Give this info only when asked.
  6. Greet the VO politely. Whatever happens, thank him after the interview. They are doing their jobs. Nothing personal.
  7. Lastly, don’t take tension. You will either get it or you won’t. In either case you will live and you will have a story. This is especially true for people who make way too many castles in the air while in the home country. If you feel light and confident there are more chances of you succeeding. Nervous wrecks rarely clear interviews (of all kinds)

Note: Once I reached back home, I checked the status of VISA. The status was “Administrative processing”. Turns out, this is the next stage one the passports are held back by VO, this means they are printing your VISA etc. The status changed to issued the next day. Best is to check the status after 4 -5 days so as to not have the kind of tension I had..

P.S. : I am grateful to redbus2us for providing invaluable help during this ride (and what a roller-coaster it was). I hope my exp helps someone else too.

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H1B visa Stamping by  P Dhar

Background of H1B Case : After a very long process (Nearly 8 Months) with 2 RFEs finally the process ended smoothly.  My H1B appointment was scheduled on 8th and 9th of Feb, the first day (8th Feb) was biometric in the Chennai VAC.

OFC experience
Reached around 45 minutes earlier (10:45), the process had already started. the security guard announced for schedule candidates. By 11:15 i was inside the center, the DS-160, appointment confirmation and passport were verified and token was issued for biometric. Say after 10 min, the token number was called, the VFS officer asked Date of Birth and Full Name. Next, They asked for finger print, first left hand, Second Right hand and at last both the thumbs.

Officer returned the passport and asked me to attend the interview next day (9th Feb)

H1B Visa Interview at Consulate
As they have clearly mentioned to be there 15 minutes prior to the schedule, it is really worth to follow the same.     I still remember during my B1, i went there 2 hours before but in the weather it is very difficult to stand as there is no shelter.

Reached the consulate at 11:15, approached the security and asked entry for 11:30 slots. He verified the passport and allowed me inside.
Note: Please dont carry any electronic devices (Mobile, Tablets, Laptops etc.), Digital Watch, Bag, USB.
Post 5 minutes, another round of finger print session and then they directed towards the main queue.  Around 40 applicants were standing.

H1B Visa interview:

  • VO: Good morning , How are you doing today?
  • Me: I am doing good Sir, thank you. How are you doing?
  • VO: All Good, can i have your passport?
  • Me: Sure
  • VO: where are you travelling?
  • ME:ABC is the Location
  • VO: Who is your Petitioner?
  • Me: XYZ company
  • VO: You work for the same company in India?
  • Me: Yes
  • VO: What is your highest degree of qualification?
  • Me: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • VO: Is this an Internal Project?
  • Me: Yes
  • VO: what is the project called and describe it?
  • Me: XXX described for 10seconds
  • VO: Sounds all good, your visa is approved and here is your instructions manual
  • Me: Thanks Much sir.

Overall the interview happened around 3-4 minutes.

All the best guys!!   PS

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Comments ( 14 )

  1. fireworks

    Hi All,

    I want to visit mumbai for h1b stamping. I wanted to know how long does it take to get the passport once approved? I need this info to plan my trip and keep it as short as possible. Please share your experiences.

    Thanks,
    Gulshan

  2. Ramanath

    I need to know whether in Delhi consulate and OFC center there is any place where I can deposit my mobile and/or a backpack before going inside. I dont have anyone coming with me and I will be going directly to consulate from airport. So I need a place to keep my stuff. Any insight into this will be helpful.

    Thanks
    Ramanath

  3. PRITI SHIRNAME

    I submitted my minor son’s application via dropbox on 20th Oct in Delhi and I was told I will get the passport in 2-3 days. It’s been 5 days now and the status says ” still with the embassy”. Any idea how much time does it take to process ?
    Thank you

  4. Visu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I was eligible for Interview Waiver Programme (IWP) for my H4 visa and I am done with it on 05/27. However when I check my CEAC status it is showing as “Administrative Processing” and the Case Creation Date as 31st May 2016 and Status Updated Date as 31st May 2016.

    What does that mean? Is it a regular status only or are they going to issue 221g for my case?

    Please help.

    Thanks,
    Visu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Visu,

      It looks like it has been put in Administrative Processing. If it is just administrative work at their end, then no 221g will be issued. if they need information and/or documentation from you, then 221g would be issued asking for those specifics.

      Wait for 1-2 weeks to see if it gets resolved on it own.

  5. sai

    Hi,
    I am done with the visa interview. VO said Visa is approved. When I check my CEAC status it is shown “Administrative Processing” and then to “Issued”. It is showing Case Creation Date as 1st April, 2016 and Status Updated Date 5th April, 2016. I am done with my Biometrics on 3rd April, 2016. Why is the Case Creation Date before that?

  6. ACC-H1B

    Hello Admin,

    I need you suggestion as well as path of get my VISA stamped, I got H1B petition approval in Oct’15 from USCIS but my company doesn’t have project in USA. Could you please help me to understand whether i start searching another companies those are having project in USA.

    Shall i ask my current company to provide hard/soft copy of approved petition or what is required by another company to get re file my petition?

    not very much clear on this process, as always i am again looking for assistance to get understand this process.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      ACC-H1B,

      Another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. For this you need to know at least the receipt number or if possible, have copy of the approval notice. No other document is required from current H-1 employer for this process.

      1. ACC-H1B

        Hello saurabh,

        Thanks a ton for your reply. Had a word with my company as per them they will only give receipt at the time of stamping…

        Now what to do, what is the way of getting receipt number?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          ACC-H1B,

          You need to have the receipt number, else there are no other options. Some folks have suggested using FOIA to get the receipt number, but I haven’t heard any results back. You can explore that as well.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sibananda Sahu,

      Bangalore doesn’t have a US consulate. You have to appear at a different consulate. The experience may differ even within the same consulate as well.

    2. Anuj

      Hi,

      I have taken my H1b appointment for VISA stamping and travelling to India on 21st Oct 2016.

      I filled up DS-160 first where I selected the OFC and VISA both interview locations as New Delhi.
      So on my DS -160 the VISA Location is mentioned and U.S. Embassy, New Delhi.

      Now while taking the interview appointment, I could not get the VISA interview date in New Delhi So I booked in Mumbai.

      Now my –

      OFC appointment – 24th Oct 2016 in New Delhi (in OFC center New Delhi)
      VISA interview appointment – 27th Oct 2016 (U.S. Embassy, Mumbai)

      Could you please confirm, If I need to fill and print a new DS-160 with New location as Mumbai ? Please confirm.

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