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21 H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in India by Consulate [2021]

US Consulates in India are not fully open yet for regular operations. They are giving limited H1B, H4, L1, B1/B2 slots across all the US consulates in Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and US Embassy in New Delhi. Many of the community members were generous to contribute anonymously all these experiences that are listed in this article in our social media groups. Thanks a lot to them for taking time to share with community. We have divided the experiences by consulate so that it is easy for review. For latest status on US consulates operations, read US Visa Stamping India – Latest Updates 2021

H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in New Delhi 2021

Experience – 1 : H1B + H4 Stamping in New Delhi with Baby

Background of Situation

  • Travelled to India in Jan 2020
  • Petition was approved in Jun 2020
  • Initial interview was scheduled for March 2021 Chennai consulate
  • Jan 2021: appointment was cancelled
  • End of Jan 2021: secured another slot for Feb when Delhi opened up for limited visa processing.
  • Feb mid my employer become a member of Chamber of Commerce.

H1B, H4 Visa Interview at Delhi – Carried Baby essentials

  • Feb 24th: Biometric scan
  • Feb 25th: Consulate interview was scheduled at 10am
  • Reached the consulate at 9:30am and was allowed to get in.
  • We had baby essentials in a paper hand cover. Security check went well.
  • There is a locker facility available for cell phones and baggage outside the consulate which is run by a private vendor.
  • Before the VO interview, our DS160 and I797 was verified. (we saw 2 applicants, an H4 and a B1 applicant sent back to reapply due to some issues in the DS160)
  • Our biometrics info was not sent to the consulate, so we had to go through the biometrics again. We carried extra photos and that helped.

H1B, H4 Visa Interview Questions

  • Asked name of my employer and location. 
  • Asked client name
  • Asked about my roles and responsibilities.
  • Asked client letter.
  • Asked if I was in the US in 2020. answered No.
  • Asked if i work for the same employer. Answered No.
  • Asked if I work for the same client.  Answered Yes.
  • Verified client letter for about 5 minutes.
  • Visa approved with exempt note. 

I’m not sure what led to the exemption. I work for State Client, so I think my client letter helped.  I was accompanied by my wife(h4) and our baby (US citizen).

  • Asked my wife about her university and year of graduation. 
  • Asked about our child’s citizenship.
  • Visa approved with exempt note.

Experience – 2 : H1B Stamping with Change of Employer

Background, Travel to India, EA, Transfer

  • Type: Regular
  • H1B with Change of employer
  • Consulate Delhi 23rd Feb 2021
  • 14 Jul 2020 – Returned from US to India due to Family Emergency.
  • 18 Sep 2020 – Applied for Emergency Appointment.
  • 21 Dec 2020 – Emergency Appointment Approved(Booked VAC on 04 Jan & Consular on 15 Jan).
  • 04 Jan 2021 – Attended H1 Biometrics.
  • 10 Jan 2021 – Employer suddenly notified that company is in merger process and I cannot attend interview.
  • 12 Jan 2021 – Found New Employer and LCA a was posted.
  • 19 Jan 2021 – LCA got Approved.
  • 20 Jan 2021 – Transfer petition(Premium) sent to Texas Center.
  • 26 Jan 2021 – Received RFE.
  • 03 Feb 2021 – Received hard copy of RFE, response sent by Employer on same day.
  • 05 Feb 2021 – Transfer petition got Approved.
  • 18 Feb 2021 – Received Approval notice, Booked VAC on 21 Feb (Hyderabad) & Consular on 23 Feb (New Delhi).
  • 21 Feb 2021 – Attended H1 Biometrics again.
  • 23 Feb 2021 – Consular interview.

H1B Visa Interview

  • Took Passport and I-797 xerox
  • VO: Who is your employer?
  • VO: What is your salary?
  • VO: Show your Employer Verification Letter?
  • VO: Show your Client Letter?
  • VO: Were you in US on June 24 2020?
  • Finally VO informed your visa is approved.
  • 23 Feb 2021 – Administrative Processing.
  • 24 Feb 2021 – Issued.
  • 25 Feb 2021 – Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery.
  • 26 Feb 2021 – Received passport at Hyderabad residence as I have opted for Premium Delivery.

Experience – 3 : F1 to H1B, H4 Visa Stamping Experience

Background, Biometrics  

  • H1 (F1 to H1)
  • H4(spouse and kid)
  • First time regular processing.
  • Consulate: New Delhi
  • Feb 18 :  Bio metrics took 25 mins from the arrival time.

H1B + H4 Visa Interview, Questions

  • Feb 19: Original appointment : 10:12
  • Went by 9:15 came out by 10:10
  • Interview took 15 mins at the window.
  • Questions @counter #10 for h1
  • From when are you working for your present employer.
  • Where do you live in USA.
  • When did you come to India.
  • We’re you working in USA before arriving to India.
  • Questions to Spouse:
    • Is this the first time traveling to the USA.
    • Are you excited.
  • No documents asked no photos checked.
  • Just passports and i797 original.
  • Visa was approved and advised to pick the passports in a week.

Experience – 4 : H1B Visa extension stamping – New Delhi  

  • Location : Delhi Embassy
  • Time : 12 PM (Reached by 10:30 AM, worked in my favor as there was a huge queue of applicants in waiting)
  • Docs Asked : Passport, Copy of recent I797, 1 photograph
  • Questions:
  • Who’s your employer
  • US Salary
  • Working in-house or for a client
  • Client name and work location
  • When did you return
  • Highest degree and University
  • VO was very cool. Asked me for fingerprints. Kept my passport and then informed me about traveling guidelines and 14 days of home quarantine.

Experience – 5 : H1B Visa – COS from F1 – First time visa stamping  

Background

  • H1B lottery picked in 2020 (Change of status)
  • H1B work location amendment for remote work due to pandemic – approved in Sept 2020
  • Previous visa status – F1 OPT
  • Booked normal visa appointment on Jan 20th 2021 for Feb 7th and 8th, 2021 in New Delhi.

COVID Tests, Travel

  • Filled in the Air Suvidha self reporting form first.
  • Got negative RT PCR report from a local state testing center on 4th Feb 2021.
  • Used the self reporting forms id to fill in the quarantine exemption form on the air suvidha website and uploaded my test report.
  • At first my exemption was rejected for not having doctors sign and stamp on the report.
  • I submitted the exemption form again with the same report and it got approved.
  • Pro tip: Try to submit the form multiple times if it gets rejected. Trust me, it is much easier to travel with an approved exemption at the New Delhi airport.
  • Flew via United airlines to New Delhi directly on  5th Feb 2021 to reach on 6th Feb 2021.
  • Again, I avoided all the hassle by having my exemption approved. Didn’t fill any forms in the flight or at any airport.

Biometrics Process

  • Date for VAC – Feb 07, 2021
  • Scheduled time – 1:30pm
  • Reached at 12:30 and allowed to enter at 1pm.
  • Fairly simple 10 mins process. Just validated my DS 160 first page, visa appointment and passport. No need to carry any other documents.
  • For New Delhi VAC only: Do not carry any electronic devices to the center, cell phones are allowed when switched off. There is no locker to store your stuff.

H1B Visa Interview Experience

  • Date : Feb 08, 2021
  • Scheduled time – 11:30pm
  • Reached at 9:30pm and allowed to enter at 10:30pm.
  • For New Delhi US embassy only: There is provision for the locker.
  • There was a huge line of F1 and B1/B2 visas. Had to wait for about 2 hours to get to the interview window.
  • Me: Hey, Good Morning!
  • VO: Good Morning.
  • Asked for passport. Scanned it and then asked for I797 forms. Then she verified the details.
  • VO: How long have you been working for the employer?
  • VO: what is your work location?
  • Me: Told about my permanent work location first and then spoke about temporary remote work address and also mentioned about the amendment.
  • VO: what is your highest degree and from where?
  • VO: when did you come to India?
  • VO: where were you in 2020?
  • VO: tell me about your roles and responsibilities?
  • Asked for Employment verification letter.
  • VO: congratulations, we have issued your visa. You can collect your passport in a week.

H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in Chennai 2021

Experience – 6 : H1B First time Stamping

Visa Interview Question Asked:

  • Pass the passport.
  • Which company you working for?
  • Inhouse or end client project?
  • Client name and address?
  • What your client doing?
  • Show your client letter.
  • What is your US annual salary?
  • What is your Role and responsibilities ?
  • Keep your left fingers in scan and
  • Gave me know your rights pamphlet and said “Your Visa is Approved”! Happy and safe journey!

Visa Stamping Time, Logistics

  • Only took 2 min and overall time is 1 hour.
  • Documents asked are : Passport and Client letter
  • Note in Chennai Consulate, they allowing wallet and analog watch but they asking us to keep both in folder/File.
  • Don’t take mobile phone with you, there is no locker available.
  • Otherwise auto wala guys scam you buy changing more money to keep you mobile.

Experience – 7 : H1B ( COS from F1) Visa Stamping

Background – Travel, Hotel

  • Here’s my First time H1B (F1 to H1) VISA interview experience
  • Landed in Chennai on 9th Feb.
  • Took hotel there
  • Interview and OFC dates: Feb 11 and Feb 12
  • Chennai consulate, Biometric done on Feb 11th.
  •  They let me in 30 min earlier.
  • You just need Ds-160 copy, visa appointment confirmation copy and passport.

H1B Visa Interview Questions

  • I had VISA interview at 11:30 am.
  • Went there at 10:30 am . They let me in.
  • Visa interview done by 11:15 am .
  • Questions asked:
  • Who’s your client
  • Show me the client letter
  • What is your role
  • What kind of application you develop.
  • What is your annual income as per LCA
  • How long you’ve been with this employer
  • Do you work at client location
  • How long you’ve been working with this client.
  • Is this your first time H1B
  • Where do u live in USA
  • Have u done schooling in USA
  • What is your highest degree
  • when did u graduated
  • What did you do after graduation
  • Were you in OPT
  • For how long you’ve been in OPT
  • What happen after your OPT ( got H1B)
  • Were you by any chance out of status?
  • Have you followed the quarantine rules.

Hmm that’s almost it .I was expecting a question regarding PP( presidential proclaim) as I don’t have any certificate or letter from my employer. I think PP is not considered in COS from F1 to H1. Or I don’t know I might be lucky.  I was there in US for entire 2020, and I got H1B in 2019 . JUST FYI. Whole interview completed in 5 to 10 mins.


Experience – 8 : L1 to H1B, H4 Visa Stamping – H4 Overstayed in US

  • Appointment was at 8 00 AM, let.in by 7 50 itself
  • Got visa and came out by 8 05 AM

H1B Visa Interview

  • First interaction with H1B holder.
  • Good morning – good morning
  • Where are you working – xyz
  • What is your salary – 1234567.89
  • Are you here for a H1 B – Yes
  • Where you in L1 before – Yes
  • Was it company sponsored or individual – It was company sponsored
  • Do you still work for the same company – yes
  • Where do you work in the Us – city, state
  • Do you like the climate there – yes rainy still like it
  • Lots of trails – yes good number of nature hikes/ /spots
  • Me: where are you from – I am from all over the us – lots of states.
  • When did you start from the US – Feb 2 and reached here by Feb 4 th.
  • How long did you stay in the us in your last visit – 2 years. (entire 2020)

H4 Questions

  • Where do you work – abc
  • Smart couple – smile
  • Is your baby a us citizen – Yes she is
  • Calm one most babies do not allow for a peaceful interview – Ya she is
  • Seems you overstayed for a month – I was carrying (pregnant) and as per doctor advise I started a month late in my last to last visit.
  • Place your right hand 4 fingers(wife)
  • Place your left hand 4 fingers (husband)
  • Your Visa is approved, Gave us a pamphlet and asked to read through your rights.

H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in Mumbai 2021

Experience – 9 : H1B Visa Stamping with F1 CPT to H1B Contractor

Background, COVID Test  

  • Class: H1B Approved (First time, Change of status F1 CPT to H1B 2021 Contractor)
  • Location: Mumbai
  • Date: Feb 21/22, 2021
  • Arrival in India: 20 Feb, 2021 Mumbai
  • Flight: Air India
  • Docs to carry for flight: Negative PCR and Air Suvidha self-declaration form

H1B Visa Interview Questions

  • Biometrics : Just carry ds 160 confirmation, appointment confirmation and passport
  • VO: GM.
  • GM, Gave Passport
  • VO: So you are here for 1st time h1b, show me your i797.
  • Didn’t had Original I797 so gave scan copy
  • VO: Saw my 797 and read my employer name loudly.
  • Saw my passport and my previous F1 stamping.
  • VO : When did you complete highest level of education?
  • Same Employer during you OPT.
  • VO: When did you arrive India?  As it was recent VO him/herself spoken so you were in US in 2020.
  • VO : Are you working inhouse or at client location?
  • Me : Told client name. Saw positive expression on VO face and in VO voice.
  • VO : Your Role and Responsibilities – But he was typing almost ready to say those golden words.
  • VO : Salary?
  • VO : Which state you live in US.
  • VO : Then said scan your right hand 4 finger.
  • Took my passport and told you will receive it in 3-4 day.
  • Collected Passport on 25th Feb.

Experience  – 10 : H1B + H4 Visa Stamping Mumbai

Background – Exempted from Travel Ban

  • H1b Visa Interview at Mumbai on Feb 23, 2021
  • Type – H1b + H4 – Approved
  • Impacted by proclamation, Been in India since Jan 2020, No Chamber of Commerce connection
  • Position is a University researcher position hence qualified for just two criteria’s out of 5
  • Criteria 4 = Exemplary Candidate
  • Criteria 5 = Denial of Visa will cause financial hardship to US University
  • We got a letter from the University highlighting these two points.

H1B, H4 Visa Interview Questions asked

  • Checked Passport – i797
  • Is this your first H1b?
  • What is your position
  • When did you arrive back to India
  • Did the University provide you with letter regarding PP (We handed the letter)
  • Where will you be based
  • What is your research about?
  • How long have you been focused on this topic?
  • (VO was reading the letter and inputting lot of information in computer)
  • H4 questions
  • What is your highest degree?
  • Did you study in US?
  • Have you ever been out of status? (H4 candidate has held multiple H1b statuses – Answered No)
  • My two cents – Do not go for an H1b interview if you don’t have a plausible explanation for why you should be exempted from PP 10052.

Experience – 11 : H1B Visa Stamping with 221g

  • Background: Got my 212f cleared today which was for COC letter verification.. picked up passports… visa stamped with the new annotation about PP 10052
  • Location: Mumbai
  • New H1B after i140 approval
  • Continuing same employer and client
  • Was in India throughout 2020
  • Had COC letter for exemption

Visa Interview, Status Changes Online

  • Feb 3rd: Interview
  • Feb4th: CEAC status as Refused
  • Feb 4th: same day changed to administrative processing
  • Feb 10th: flipped back to Refused
  • Feb 16th: again changed to AP
  • Feb 17th: changed to Issued and same day available for pick-up.

Experience – 12 : H1B Visa First Time Stamping in Mumbai

  • Location: Mumbai
  • Docs asked I797, passport

Questions asked

  • What is your Company Name?
  • Are you full time or contractor?
  • what is your salary ?
  • What do they do?
  • Where is the city and state of the office?
  • Where were you in June 2020?
  • When did you arrive in the US?
  • What status were you before this?
  • What is your highest degree?
  • When did you graduate?
  • What was your major?
  • What was your status after graduation?
  • Were you out of status at any time?
  • Visa is approved!

Timeline:

  • Jan 14: Booked appointment
  • Feb 7: Biometric
  • Feb 10: Interview
  • Feb 11: Admin Processing status change
  • Feb 12: Issued
  • Feb 13: Delivered to Pune

Experience – 13 : H1B Visa – First time Stamping – Mumbai  

  • Fresh 1st time H1B
  • I had US Chambers of Commerce Membership Letter
  • Biometric – 15 Jan – Mumbai
  • Simple process .. try to reach 45 mins
  • You need only 3 documents needed
    • Passport
    • Appointment Confirmation
    • DS160 confirmation (only 1 page docs)
  • My interview date was 29th Jan 2021.
  • Below were the questions asked
    • Experience
    • Position
    • Job description
  • Final: The officer took the document and “Your Visa is on HOLD and we will verify membership with US chamber of commerce. This shall take 1-2 weeks of time. You Will notified on your email and phone number
  • Timeline of Passport & Visa  Status
    • Till 4 Feb 12 noon – Status – Refused
    • 4 Feb 12.30 pm – Status – “Administrative Processing”
    • 5 Feb 1 PM – Status – Issued
    • 6 Feb Received Passport with H1B stamp

Experience  – 14 : H1B Stamping with 221g – Second Interview Success

  • Background  
    • Travelled from US to India on 6th Dec
    • Visited Chennai VAC for Dropbox appointment on 8th Dec
    • Received 221g asking to come for interview once they resume regular visa processing on 17th Dec
  • Didn’t receive any calls or emails from Chennai Consulate.
  • Second Interview Process
    • Created new DS 160 visa application and booked new visa appointment on 14th Jan at Mumbai Consulate.
    • Paid fee once more.
    • Also sent an email to ustraveldocs and Chennai Consulate to withdraw my old visa application since I need to travel back ASAP
  • Visa Interview
    • Attended interview on 29th Jan, 2021
    • Was asked when did I fly back to India
    • Visa approved
    • Received passport Feb 4th, 2021.

H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in Hyderabad 2021

Experience – 15 : F1 to H1B Visa Stamping Experience

Background – COVID test, Booking Appointment  

  • First Time Stamping my last trip to India was on Sept 2015)
  • Jan 14th: Booked Visa slot (not emergency appointment, booked this after US Consulate Announced that they opened limited slots for Temporary Work Visa)
  • Jan 20th: Gave COVID test, received Negative results after 24hrs and uploaded in Delhi Airport website for exemption but didn’t receive online Exempt Approval email. Also declared self assessment form too.
  • Jan 23rd: Flew India & Delhi Airport authority expect us to have Exempt Approval email soft/hard copy for Airport exist pass. Since I didn’t receive any confirmation online (software glitch), I was asked to go through manual evaluation process for Exempt approval (took 30mins)

OFC Biometrics

  • Jan 27th: Fingerprints – simple straight forward, duration: 90mins
  • Validated info in original Passport, DS-160 & stamped – took fingerprints, photo & left VAC.
  • Documents carried: DS-160 confirmation pdf print (just page with barcode), Appointment confirmation, Original Passport, Fee receipt – good to have

H1B Visa Interview, Questions

  • FEB 1st: Visa interview (9.15am)
  • Reached 30mins before
  • Interview Process
  • Note: (My scenario: EVC model – Employer-Vendor-Client)
  • VO: Good Morning I can see your passport?
  • Scanned the barcode on the passport.
  • VO: when did you come to India
  • Me: told (VO check something in the system)
  • VO: So you applied for H1B visa, who do you work for?
  • Me: xxx company
  • VO: do you have client?
  • Me: yes & explained EVC chain.
  • VO: where is your client location?
  • Me: told him.
  • VO: Job title?
  • VO: how long you hav been working for this client?
  • VO: what’s ur Salary, who pay that, how you will be paid? How often u get paid etc.
  • VO: Job duties?
  • VO: Did you complete masters in USA?
  • Me: yes
  • VO: where/when did u complete masters?
  • VO: what did you do in OPT/OPT Ext ?
  • VO: when did you get your H1B visa ?
  • VO: can I see your I-797 copy ?(didn’t carry original)
  • VO: do you have client letter?
  • Me: provided
  • VO: vendor letter?
  • Me: provided
  • Verified above docs and gave it back to me.
  • Note: Updated DS-160 1 day before OFC
  • VO: did I make any changes to DS-160 last week?
  • Me: yes
  • VO: did something in the system for 2-3mins & said I’m good so far, don’t have questions.
  • VO took my passport & informed that they need 2-3days to get DS-160 issue fixed. Handed over 221(g) white – administration processing option ticked.
  • VO: you should hear back from us in a week or 10days.

Passport Status Changes

  • FEB 2nd: verified status using DS-160 number & it came up as “REFUSED”
  • Feb 5th: status changed to “Administrative Processing”
  • Feb 9th: status changed to “ISSUED”
  • Feb 9th: passport status as “Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery”
  • Feb 10th: passport status as “Passport is ready for pick up” – after 4hours received email notification as well.
  • Feb 11th: picked passport, stamped H1B visa with “exempt from or not subject to pp 10052”

Other Info

  • Note: Status Keywords has been changed around March 2020 with REFUSED etc. Check CEAC US Visa Status Refused – Why
  • Documents carried: Original Passport, DS-160, i-797, I-129, W2(last 3years), 3months pay stubs/bank statements, F1 related docs (I-20’s, OPT/OPT Ext cards etc.)

Experience – 16 : H1B Visa  – First Time Stamping

  • I got my regular h1b visa approved for first time today. It was applied through the consular processing route.
  • My employer was not part of the lawsuit and I wasn’t present in the US on June 24.
  • Feb 8th – Mumbai
  • Interview questions –
  • Is your company part of chamber of commerce?
  • Were you inside the US in June?
  • Is your visa application change of status?
  • I’m already working on OPT for the same company. So, mentioned that.
  • What’s your salary?
  • What’s your role in the company?
  • What are it’s general applications?
  • He didn’t ask for any documents other than i797 and passport.

Experience -17 : H1B + H4 Stamping for dependents – Hyderabad

Background :

  • Originally got an appointment for March 2021 – booked in November-2020
  • Got canceled in mid-January-2021
  • And within couple of days, again got an appointment for Feb first week.

Biometrics VAC:

  • Went to VAC 30 minutes ahead to the appointment time.
  • We were let in 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
  • Checked temperature before entering the biometrics area.
  • It took just 5 minutes to complete the things and come out.
  • They told strictly that no kids under 14 are allowed for consular interview.

Consular interview:

  • Went to VAC 40 minutes ahead to the appointment time.
  • We were let in 25 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
  • Checked temperature before entering the security check.

Documents carried:

  • Passports (including old expired), i797, LCA, Chamber Letter, Position confirmation letter, Highest Degree copy, kids original birth certificates, marriage certificate, marriage photos, 51x51cm photos for all the applicants, employer provided ID card.
  • Documents asked: (because of COVID, VO is not touching any of our documents, you just show them through the glass):
    • Passports for kids – bio page and address page ( since they were not with us in interview)
    • For me & spouse: Asked to show passport entry date/stamp into India.
    • For me: Previous stamped Visa.
    • Client Letter ( I did not have one – I told the same but mentioned about the position confirmation Letter and showed that).

Interview Questions asked (for primary applicant):

  • Name of employer?
  • Do you work for an end client? Who’s your end client?
  • What’s your annual salary?
  • What’s your job title?
  • How long have you been working for your employer?
  • How long have you been working for this client?
  • Where do you work?
  • What’s your highest degree?
  • When did you come to India? Asked to show the entry stamp.
  • What brought you to India?
  • Where were you on June 24, 2020?

For my spouse:

  • How long have you been married?
  • How many kids?
  • Where do you stay in US?
  • Where were you on June 24, 2020?
  • VO said your visa will be approved and asked us to drop the passports in a box on my side of the glass.
  • They have different pamphlets outside (on the applicant side of the glass window) and he told us to pick the worker rights one and CDC guidelines on US travel.

Timeline:

  • Feb 5 – Biometrics VAC
  • Feb 8 – Consulate interview
  • Feb 8 evening – Visa Status as “Administrative Processing”
  • Feb 9 – Visa Status as “Issued”
  • Feb 11 – Passports ready for pickup

Experience – 18 :  F1 to H1B Visa COS – Stamping in Hyderabad

Background – Travel to India, COVID Test

  • Initial H1B approved in 2019 (F1 to H1B COS)
  • H1B amended in March 2020 (client)
  • Physically in US on June 24
  • Booked the slot in January first week.
  • US to India travel on Feb 20
  • IAD to Delhi to Vijayawada
  • COVID Test: Got tested through RT-PCR and submitted the report in Air Suvidha Portal. (no institutional quarantine required in Andhra Pradesh)

H1B US Visa Stamping – OFC

  • OFC – Biometrics  on 24th February in Hyderabad.
  • Visa on 25th February (regular slot) in Hyderabad.

Visa officer questions

  • Who is the end client?
  • What is your current location?
  • Few minutes casual conversation with VO about my current US location since the VO is from the same area.
  • VO: Your Visa is approved, please drop the passport in the wooden box.

Tips from my experience  

  • At least from what I observed, the interview process has been very smooth for a lot of candidates at Hyderabad. But make sure to carry Client letter, LCA and necessary documents.
  • DS 160 status is still issued. Slight delay in passport delivery at Hyderabad location. My friends got interview done on 25th at Chennai and received their passport immediately in couple of days.
  • Planning to travel back on 6th March
  • Vijayawada-Delhi- IAD if passport comes on time.

Experience -19 : H1B visa stamping interview experience Hyderabad

Background

  • Lottery picked in 2020
  • First time stamping
  • Approval date In June 2020
  • Change of status from F-1 to H1-B happened in October 2020
  • Was present in USA on June 24 2020
  • Company not a part of lawsuit
  • Full time employee

US Visa Stamping, OFC Appointment

  • OFC appointment- 02/18/2021 (Hyderabad)
  • Was asked for DS-160 confirmation page and passport. Done in 10 minutes.
  • Visa Interview -02/19/2021 (Hyderabad, counter 14)
  • Had the appointment scheduled at 11:45am. Reached the embassy at 10:00 am. Since there were less people was asked to enter and go through the security checks. No sealed envelopes allowed.
  • Was not asked for any documents related to covid.
  • Documents asked by VO : Passport

Visa Interview Questions

  • Where do you work ?
  • Are you a full time employee or do you work for a client?
  • Where is your employer located ?
  • How long have you been working for this employer?
  • When did you travel to India?
  • When was the last time you went to USA?
  • Were you present in US for the entirety of 2020?
  • Did you do your master’s in USA?
  • Where did you do your master’s ?
  • When did you graduate?
  • Took my fingerprints and asked me to drop the passport in the box that was kept outside.
  • And then said “ Visa is approved”

H1B Visa Stamping Experiences in Kolkata 2021

Experience – 20 : H1B + H4 Stamping in Kolkata

Background

  • Scenario: previously on L1 with different employer. First time H1B consular processing, lottery selected in March 2020.
  • Left US by August 30, 2020
  • Consulate: Kolkata
  • Biometrics: 15th Jan2021
  • Consular interview: 20th Jan2021
  • Slot time : 9am

Visa Interview for H1B & H4

  • VO: good morning sir
  • Me: Good morning sir
  • VO: can you please pass on your docs(DS160, Passport, I797)
  • Me: provided it
  • VO: tried to scan our passport but for some reason didn’t work , so he redirected to different window and the lady in that window helped us to update our passport details in system
  • Then again went to the line and this time redirected to different VO
  • VO: pass on your docs
  • Me: provided it
  • VO: who is your employer in US?
  • Me: mentioned employer name
  • VO: verified my docs in the system for 3-4 mins
  • VO: you already been to US on different visa
  • Me: yes , on L1 for a different employer
  • VO: again verified docs in system (again 3-4 mins)
  • This time I noticed that, VO was looking for departure stamp in passport
  • VO: your visas are approved and took our passports.Make sure to take a PCR test 72 hrs before travel and go through US quarantine rules in USCIS website.
  • Me: Thank you sir.

Experience  – 21 : L1 to H1B Stamping in Kolkata Consulate

  • Appointment purpose: L1 to H1B COS Stamping.
  • Appointment booked: last week of Dec
  • Biometrics: Jan 10th (Delhi) – went smoothly no questions asked.
  • Consular: Jan 14th (Kolkata)
  • Questions asked
    • Is it a fresh H1 stamping?  -I answered it’s an L1 to H1 COS
    • Are you still working for the same employer as L1? – yes
    • What’s your job position? – responded accordingly
    • When did you come to India? – last week
  • Confirmed my fingerprints and said the visa is approved you’ll receive the passport in 3 to 5 days
  • Documents asked for – I797 and passport.
  • Travelling from Delhi to Kolkata no quarantine requirements, Consulate didn’t ask for the report either.
   

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24 Comments

  1. Hi Kumar,

    Hope you are doing well.

    My H1B lottery was cleared in June 2019 and then I received RFE in Feb 2020. My employer responded to RFE and case was approved in September 2020 but due to covid stamping was closed till December 31,2020 and later extended to March 31,2021.

    I left company in March 2021. I have below 2 questions and wanted to check if either of one or none option will work-
    a) Is there any way I can transfer my H1B case to new employer?
    b) Can I re-join my company after some months and then go for stamping?

    Also, I don’t have any approval notice or form with me. The Only thing I have is receipt number.

    Please suggest.

    Reply
    • Dinesh,
      a. This is grey area as you did not get stamping done. In the past, some got it, but lately it is not very consistent and they ask for H1B status
      b. You could do that, but they need to have the same job for you. They can technically apply for extension, if it is the same company.

      Reply
  2. Hi, I am hiral Last year, My H1B petition got approved.

    I have scheduled an appointment for H1B on 26th march, 2021. Before scheduing, I have confirmed with them that as I am fresh H1B applicant, am I eligible to schedule Visa.

    At the end of the interview the consular officer told me, due to PP10052, we are putting your case on hold.  We will write back to you once PP10052 is expired (which is expiring very soon) you don’t need to come again for an interview, just submit your passport. He gave me letter which says

    “This is to inform you that a consular officer found you ineligible for a visa under section 212(f) of the immigration and nationality act, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10052. ”

    I haven’t heard back from them yet, upon inquiring they are saying my visa is refused and I have to schedule an appointment again. Which is very contrary to what the consular officer said. 

    What can be done in such scenario?

    Reply
  3. Hi Kumar, Thanks for posting the compilation of surveys. I was wondering when people get the I-797 approval notice, is there a due date before which they are required to schedule an appointment with the consulate for H1B visa stamping?

    Reply
  4. Dear Kumar

    I had interview yesterday for fresh H1b stamping.
    At the end officer ask me i will be furthur processing your case.We will send you email in the evening we will ask for some docs try to answer that email ASAP.
    No slip given he kept my PP.
    I received email after 30 mins of my interview.its a generic email for f1 and h1 visa asking resume,invitation letter,details of job responsibilities others not applicable on me,
    is it 221G as no slip given only email was sent

    Reply
    • Dear Maz, I believe you don’t have to worry as two positive things happened :

      1. Not given any slip
      2. Kept your Passport

      I faced similar issues. You just reply the email with exact details and information asked for by consulting your employer attorney possible. be careful with the Job responsibility documents and your resume all things should sync.

      and As far my understanding it’s not 221 g and to get an confirmation check status here by providing appropriate details: https://ceac.state.gov/ceacstattracker/status.aspx

      Reply
  5. Hi, I got my h1b in Feb 2020 and was supposed to travel in March 2020 but manage to travel in March 2021.

    I applied for H4 for my wife and kid through my employer in Feb 2021 as their appointment for April 2020 were cancelled because of covid 19.

    The employer paid the visa fee but I have no ide when their appointments will be scheduled

    Reply
  6. My interview experience starting from interview till the Stamping of H1B:

    Giving a little background of me, I am based in Singapore and already having B1/B2 visa, which I got from Singapore consulate, And also I had traveled to USA as well. So, I was overconfident on the my interview and went with less preparation.(Which was biggest mistake)

    I scheduled my interview on 24th Nov 2020 in Singapore Consulate without doing lots preparation with a thought process that the interview will be same as B1/B2, But I was completely wrong .

    Interviewer asked me following questions :
    1. What business your employer do ? (I explained in short answer and she was not satisfied with my answer As, she was expecting in details. So provide as much as details as you can including products, clients etc. )
    2. What will be your role and responsibility ? (Explained well, try to explain with technical verbose rather plain english)
    3. Asked my resume (This is the most important thing to carry, try to get the USA consulate format resume. I had taken my resume which was little modern and which she did’t liked. She given me a sample format and asked to send according to their format )
    4. Asked my degree certificate, my marriage certificate (I didn’t had a copy of my marriage certificate , so please do carry a copy)
    5. Interesting fact about photo: Please do take your very recent photo and don’t go for any hair cut which will do any significant appearance change comparing to your submitted photo . (I made a mistake, I took my photo with medium hair and cut it to completely short before 2 days of the interview. She didn’t accepted my photo and asked me to resend photo)
    6. She asked me the the president proclamation exemption (P10052) document which your employer should give(My employer told its not required and I went without the same)
    7. She asked me lots of question around my client and work location (As I din’t had any client and I was going to work for my employer product itself. so I had not any clue what to say. I told I am going to work on product and on my employer location. but, she didn’t got fully satisfied with my answer and asked to get document from my employer confirming my work location details)

    She asked me and my wife some 4-5 more general questions like where you will stay, asked my wife that do you know you can’t work on H4 , do you have read the non-immigrant work policy (they will give a document, suggestion : try to overlook it) etc.

    Then finally she given me a Yellow 221(g) slip stating all required documents and returned my passport. I am literally devastated as I didn’t thought I will face all this.

    I went back to my employer with the list of required document and my employer asked me to wait. And finally, my employer came back to me with a response by consulting the attorney on last week of Feb 2021. Then I send all requested documents to the email which visa officer asked me to send And within 5 days I got response from visa officer. this time they asked my offer letter , salary and benefit details , roles and responsibility details which were not listed on 221(g) slip.

    Again I responded with the details and then I din’t heard from them for 15 days. Finally after long await and going through lots of anxiety I received a email from visa office that your administrative processing got completed and submit your passport along with your marriage certificate at their dedicated location for stamping.

    And finally after 5 days from the day I submitting my passport, I received email for passport collection.

    Finally !! I received my stamped visa. the happiness and felling can’t be expressed with words after getting it.

    Reply
  7. On the US consulate website I see all the schedules temporarily closed. So which are these interviews that are happening in March in Hyd, Del, Chennai etc?
    Are these old appointments ?

    Reply
    • Jatin,
      The data you see there is not accurate. Technically they are not open for regular appointments yet. They are opening in batches and limited fashion.

      Reply
  8. Hi,

    I had my visa interview[H1 and H4 Dependent[spouse] ] on 03/22/2021 at Delhi Consulate. Here is my experience sharing.
    Biometrics was on 03.21.2021 and Interview on 03.22.2021. We went to biometrics appointment, where they verify the ds-160 confirmation and interview scheduled time and date. Make sure everything on DS-160 Confirmation should match to passport like name and etc[i had an issue with my first name where there was a space in passport but not on DS-160 So, I had to correct it by filling out new DS-160. VAC team will update your new DS-160. ]
    On Interview day[9:50 AM was the scheduled time, we were at consulate by 9:30 AM], need to go for thermal and body scan check 1st then, you will be enter to waiting lounge. Later you will be asked to go to interview building where documents will be verified one more time[DS-160 and Passport]. Once done, again you need to wait for your turn for the interview, there was close to 15 counter opened[It was 9:50 AM]. We were asked to go to Counter #2.

    VO : Good Morning, Could you provide Passports and I-797?
    VO : What do you do?
    VO : Are you still working for the same employer ?
    VO : When did you travel to India?
    VO : Visa Approved.
    No questions asked to my wife, just took finger prints.
    We were out of the building by 10:00 AM.

    Hope this one helps.
    Thanks,

    Reply
  9. Hello,

    I was on H1B(visa expired in May 2019). I moved to India in Jan 2019 (personal reasons) and have been working for the same employer from their India office, ever since. My H1 extension petition was approved until Oct 2021, while i was in the US (late 2018) and is still valid; my employer hasn’t withdrawn it.

    1. Can i use my H1 extension petition to get my visa stamped now, provided i have an employment verification letter/offer letter from the US (same employer), with the joining date details etc.? I will be eligible for a drop box.

    2. My current DS-160 has salary details pertaining to my H1 extension petition from late 2018, but the letter from my employer now, will have a revised higher salary. My title, location would be the same. Could this be a problem during visa stamping?

    3. Since i haven’t been in the US last summer when the presidential proclamation on travel ban was enforced, and is still valid until this March.. could there be any issues towards my visa stamping? Do i need to carry any additional documents pertaining to this?

    Reply
  10. I received my H1B Visa stamped in passport with the Annotation : Not subject to or exempt from PP10052. I did not provide any exemption letter during my interview and wasn’t asked either. Does this mean I’m free to travel? Would I need any other document if I do?

    Reply
    • Nikhitha,
      It is hard to say as we do not know when the regular operations are going to be started. It is very much fluid.

      Reply
  11. Hi,

    I have valid H1-B VISA which currently stamped and valid till Aug8, 2021, I have a petition I-797 for current VISA which is valid till Aug8, 2021 with company “A”. Our group was acquired by a company “B” in 2020 and a new H1B amendment was not needed because it was a “successor in interest” kind of acquisition. I recently applied for an extension and got it approved and received a new I-797 valid from Aug9, 2021 to Aug2, 2024 for the employer “B”.

    I am planning apply for H4 visa for my wife. But I have few doubts, any advise in this regards is really appreciated.

    1. Should my wife need to carry both I-797s?

    2. Which I-797 do should mention under DS-160/ustraveldocs appointment?

    3. what is the start date and expiration date to be mentioned in ustraveldocs?

    4. which petition number will be mentioned in her H4 stamp?

    Reply
    • Nira,
      1. Yes, both would be needed to be safe
      2. Use the one that is valid on the day of the interview.
      3. Use the current ones.
      4. Likely the one valid on the day of stamping.
      I suggest you check with your attorney once on this and clarify the same.

      Reply
  12. Hi
    I am seeing H1B Visa – COS from F1 – First time visa stamping getting approved. I though due to the existing proclamation, new visa issuance is banned. Is it because these people are employed with organizations that are exempted ? Can you please elaborate. I had by M1B approved CoS approved in July 2020, before F1. I am still waiting for the ban to get lifted. Or can I get my H1B stamped currently ? Thanks

    Reply
    • CaptianSpark,
      I cannot speak for the users specifics. Some were on H1B Status in US before proclamation and some were exempt for other grounds.

      Reply

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