H1B Visa 2013 Stamping Experience – Chennai, India 2012

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by Guest AuthorUpdated : 140 Comments

One of our readers Jayanth got his H1B Visa Stamping done at Chennai. Congrats to him. Thanks to Jayanth for taking time to write up and share his experience. You can also share it here

Background – When to arrive, Steps before interview at Chennai
Hi Guys, I have been a reader of this forum for sometime and it has helped me a lot. First things first. Thanks a lot for this forum.

I attended h1b visa interview in chennai yesterday and it went like a breeze. I had appointment at 9.My friends had told me they will get me in much before my interview time. So, I was at the consulate at 8. But, there was a good rush and I was sent in only at 9. Make sure you go just 5-10 mins before your interview. No point in hanging out nearby.

As soon as I went in, documents were asked and bundled together. One thing I noted was, Indians inside are much less courteous towards their compatriots than the Americans! Anyway, after the interview you need to go  fingerprinting. All this took about 45 mins. No token in chennai consulate.

After this, i was sent to another building where interviews happen. There will be some 5-6 queues and one official was assigning people to queues prioritising earlier appointments. I went in at around 9:40. So I was immediately sent into one queue.
One H1b or L1 was given a white slip, another F1 was rejected, one B1 was approved by the VO officer. Here goes my exp.

H1B Visa interview Questions from Visa officer
ME: Pleasantries
VO: Pleasantries

VO: Have you worked in US before
ME: No. but I was in US before on B1 visa for around 13-14 days.
VO: <I could see he was happy that I did not abuse my earlier visa>
VO: What’s your qualification
Me: BE in CS
VO: Is it in a inhouse proj?
ME: Yes
VO: your job?
Me: blah blah blah <cut in between and says I understand sir!>
VO: where is your office
Me: XX, XX
VO: how much you will be paid
Me: XX
VO. Thats very nice Sir! I approved your visa and you will get it in another 3-4 days.

I was happy it got over without much fuss. I was also disappointed he didn’t ask any docs. I took such great pains to collect them:P. I was out of the consulate by 10:30.

My Observation and Thoughts 
Note that the Visa Interview is just a formality and they are there to give you visa. Only thing is make sure u don’t raise any red flags. Think before you say something. The F1 was rejected because he said something like “I will work there for 2 yrs after education and then come back”. If they even smell visa abuse they refuse.
If all your docs are genuine and you are honest, no reason for them to refuse.
Good luck to all of you!


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Comments ( 140 )

  1. siva


    regarding h1b visa.
    i have a query:
    if i don’t have marriage certificate now. but if my wife’s name is mentioned in my passport. is it fine? or it is mandatory to submit marriage ceritifcate? coz in h1b checklist it is mentioned that to provide marriage certificate.

  2. shrikumar

    i have filled DS-160 form for B1 business visa with marital status ‘Married’ but in passport wife name is not endorse please let me know it it ok or my visa will be rejected

    1. administrator

      It will not be rejected based on just that missing info. You should carry proof of your marriage, which is the Marriage Certificate along with you to avoid issues. If they ask, you have something in your hand to show the same.

  3. vigneshwari

    Have a query to ask. An Indian person working in USA for the past 2 years. He has a case registered on him in usa related to driving. His visa is getting over in Aug. Will the case affect him in renewal of his visa / Stamping ??? A quick reply would be appreciated 🙂

  4. shrooti

    I am working in india with a US firm. I got married, my husband is on H1b and therefore i got H4 visa. Now my company is filing L1 visa for me to get me transferred to the US. Hope its alright to have a H4 visa and then L1. I have to go for the visa interview to chennai. Please guide me. Also advise how much time it takes from visa petition to visa stamping and how many days procedure.

  5. Raja33

    I have submitted H1B petition to US Consulate in the year 2011 with one year fake experience in my resume with lots doubts. I was fortunate enough that time and the petition got approved. But i didn’t go for stamping worrying about background check by embassy.

    Now I have everything genuine experience in my resume by removing that one year fake experience which was at bottom of the resume(first company in resume). Now my current company willing process my H1b visa.

    1. Here my query is, does US Consulate will compare my previous resume and current resume and convey the resume inconsistency to my current company? if that happens i will be in trouble with my current company since i have shown everything genuine experience to my current company.

    So, please advice is it good to apply for VISA with genuine experience which i have given to current company?

    2. If I go for VISA processing with USCIS, will consulate inform the consistencies in my resume to my current company?

  6. MadGo

    Travelling close to (Stamped) Visa expiration date:

    I am on H1B visa. The visa stamped on my passport is set to expire on 01-Dec-2013. However, it was extended during my Visa Transfer process til Sep 2015 (Passport not stamped with these dates).
    I will be travelling to India during first week of November (with all my paper stating that my I797 is now valid till Sep 2015). My question is :
    # Is it ok to travel so close to (stamped) Visa expiration date.
    # I will be going and coming back via China. Can there be any issue/problem at China Airport regarding approaching Visa Expiration date.

  7. Balaji AS

    Hi, I was in Company A with H1B. My passport was stamped valid upto Mar2014 with Company A. On July2013, I have transfered H1B visa from Company A to Company B. I got the approval notice with visa extensions till July2016 for Company B.
    For personal reasons, I have to travel to India for one month travel duration.
    Do I need to go for visa stamping with Campany B when I return from India?…

    Balaji AS

      1. administrator

        Your B-1 was canceled w/o prejudice when approving H-1B visa. This will not impact your H-1 renewal.

          1. Ganesha

            In case of misuse, what we will be the problem on H1b renewal? But personally I didn’t misused, may be he thinks. But I was stayed on company assignment for 4 months. Does this impact, I didn’t argued with interviewer thought he will deny new H1B. Please advice. thanks


    My friend’s L1 expires in End Aug 13. He has already got his H1b approval notice. He will EXIT the US by end Aug 13. He has Original Petition H1 approval too and will be appearing for Consular Interview by Oct 13.
    1. Can the VISA be stamped in Chennai, India by Drop Box Method or Consular Interview is a Must ( No Change in the Company.. Same company which sponsored L1 has got H1B)

    2. Hope it is a straight forward case and NO CHANCE of Rejection.. Please confirm.

    Would be grateful if you could answer this.. Thanks for your support.

    Best Regards,


    1. administrator

      1. Interview is a must as this is for a different visa.
      2. No one can say this w/ surety. There is always a possibility of running into issues during stamping

        1. Ranjit

          I have a similar question, I came here to US on Jan 2012 on H1B with an Employer A, This year I transferred my H1B with another Employer and got the approval notice along with the extension. If I go back to India for vacation, Do I need to attend the consulate interview again, Or Is there any option , If I can drop my Passport (Some thing like VFS) and copy of my new I797 Approval Notice to get it stamped.

          1. administrator

            Visa stamping is not mandatory if your current visa stamp is still valid and has not expired. However, if you do decide to attend, then it will be personal appearance and not just the drop-box as you have changed employers.

  9. susan

    i am going to marry a h1 b visa holder ………am a green card persently in india …. he will be coming to india next month . he will be coming through canada for stamping…… will my green card help him to get back his h1 visa status incase stamping is not done at canada ………how can i sponsor him to come to usa along wit me

  10. Bhairav


    I came back to India on Aug’12 after completing 5 years and 4 months in the US. My H1 is valid till May’2013. Am i eligible to apply for new H1 in coming year(2013) quota?

    1. administrator

      I recently read somewhere that to reset the clock, H-1 needs to be applied after staying for 1 year outside US. This means H-1 needs to be applied after Aug 2013. If you apply in April 2013 then clock is not reset and you get only 8 months of H-1.

  11. Vincent

    Hi Saurbh,

    I know you are answering on behalf of Jayanth. I have a specific question regarding work location. Recently I rolled out of a project and got a new assignment from the company. The new assignment requires me to work from home most of the time and it an in house project. Currently I am in US and planning to visit Chennai sometime in March for stamping. Gautham did mention about in house project but do you anybody who has encountered any issues if the work location is home.

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator

      I don’t know of any interview experiences working from home. Some of the questions that come to my mind are (for work from home set-up):
      – employer-employee relationship. How does employer control your tasks/activities etc
      – if you can work from home, then why not from India and why from US
      – visits to client site (if any)

  12. Richard


    Can you please tell me if it indeed took 3-4 days for you to receive the visa after your appointment, or did you get it on the same day at the collection center?

    1. administrator

      I didn’t appear for visa stamping and so don’t know the answer to the question. The visa experience shared above is from another member of the forum.


    Dear Saurabh,
    My wife is currently on L1 B, their office is trying to switch from L1 to H1, RFE came, RFE responded by Dec 17, 2012, Present status on USCIS case receipt shows as in the DECISION BOX,, pls clarify whether it is approved or denied…kindly clarify

    On January 29, 2013, the review of your I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER was completed. You will be notified of the decision by mail. Please check our website at www.uscis.gov for further updates on your case, including when the decision is mailed. If you have not received the decision within 14 days of the date above, please call customer service at 1-800-375-5283 for further assistance. If you move, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address.

    During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision.


    rjshn6 at gmail dot com

    1. administrator

      There are several other cases where status was mentioned as completed as opposed to approved or denied. Most of them resulted in denial and I have seen only a very few as approved. Your employer should get the actual notification within 14 days and then you will know the final status.

  14. Mukesh


    Thank you so much on behalf of everyone,for patiently clarifying all queries regarding us visa.

    I have below queries regarding us travel.I got my h1b petition approved recently.Petition validity date is till Jan3rd,2014.I got married recently in dec 2012.

    1)My passport doesn’t contain the name of my spouse as it was taken few years back.Am planning to attend pa interview without my dependent at first,Will it be a problem during my pa interview when i fill my marital status as “Married” in Ds160? as it says the provided information should match with the passport details?

    2)If i plan to attend a pa interview with my spouse(for dependent h4).Do i need to have spouse name filled in my\spouse passport?

    3)I hear the associate must travel 6 months prior to his\her H1B petition expiry date to apply for extension as it requires 4 months of us payslips? is it true?

    4)How long does USCIS normally take to provide a decision on petition extension case in a positive case(without rfe)?When i would be required to apply for petition extension with uscis considering my petition validity end date (Jan 3,2014)?

    5)If i do not use(travel) my petition which is valid till Jan 2014,is it possible in any way to extend the petition validity after Jan2014 from india-chennai embassy?


    1. Bobby

      I can answer some of your questions…. based on my knowledge….

      1) Having spouse name in passport is not mandatory. It doesnt affect anything.

      2) If you plan to attend PA interview with your spouse then just have proof of your marriage, like marriage certificate, invitation card, wedding album etc. Having spouse name on passport, not mandatory

      3)Nope it is not true, I have seen folks applying for extension as late as 5 days before expiration. There is no such thing like payslips and all. (unless some new rules changed yesterday or today, that am not aware of )

      4) This one is hard to answer… Though my expriences have been, if everythings is ok, you can get the approval as early as 2 month… But I have seen cases where people waiting for 4+ months and still no approval. But good thing is that once you file extension, even if your current visa expires you can continue living in US for a period of 270 days or when decision is made, whichever is earlier.

      5)No, you cannot file for extension from India. You have to be in States to file the extn. If you dont use your petition by Jan, 2014, it’d just expire and you’d have to apply for H1B afresh.

      Hope this info helps!


      1. administrator

        Agree w/ Bobby’s responses except:
        4. You can stay for 240 days from I-94 expiration date and not 270.
        5. The employer can file cap-exempt petition even while you are outside US and have not travelled to US.

        1. Mukesh

          Thank you so much Bobby and Saurabh,for the info.

          cap-exempt petition is going to be a petition without participating in H1B cap but it is a complete fresh application for H1b with charges involved? rgt?

          What if i am traveling in this may and coming back to india before Jan 2014(my petition expiry date) without extending the petition validity in u.s. Is it possible for me to extent the petition from india before petition validity is expired?

          I heard that the fee for h1b is around 3.2L from my employer.How abt the cost for h1b petition extension? any idea?

          1. administrator

            If the employer holding the current petition files for the next petition it is H-1 extension which is also cap-exempt. Any petition which is not subject to cap is considered as cap-exempt and this includes both H-1 extension and H-1 transfer.

            When filing extension, the fees is lower than the original petition cost. However, if the petition is filed by a different employer (i.e. H-1 transfer) then cost is same as original petition.

  15. Richard

    He said you’ll get the visa in 3-4 days! I thought you got it the same day at Blue Dart’s collection point in Chennai. Did it really take 3-4 days for you?

  16. GaneshK

    Hi Saurabh – I do have valid L1 A blanket visa valid till April 2014. I am planning to file H1 this year. Should i go for converting L1 A to H1B or file a new H1 B? Please advise to take it forward. I am currently in India.


    1. administrator

      There is nothing like L-1A to H-1 visa conversion. You have to file a normal H-1 petition just like a person who has no visa stamp in the passport.

      You may be confusing this w/ COS (change of status). If you were inside US on L-1A visa at the time of filing H-1 petition, then it could have been filed w/ COS from L-1A to H-1 allowing you to start working on H-1 w/o needing to get your H-1 visa stamped first.

      1. GaneshK

        Hello Saurbh,
        Thanks for your reply. In my case, If am applying H1 and if it is approved by USCIS this year, how can i hold two valid visa at the same time in active state. or
        If my L1 is cancelled with Prejudice , will my current employer be notified?


        1. administrator

          You will have multiple visa stamps in the passport, but will have only one visa status in US. Your visa status is determined by the latest I-94 which will be only 1 and not multiple.

          Does that clarify?

  17. Kin

    What was your visa interview date? I have given interview on jan first week 2013, can you tell me after how many days we will get such email?

  18. Neeraj

    Hi ,

    My VISA got approved for only a year.Got approved on Jan 21 2012 and Its valid only till Dec 21 , 2013 this year. My stamping is not done. I have already spent one month in stamping process. Does anyone know when this timer starts for my visa. ?
    Does my visa get extended for a month since I already spent one month in stamping ?

    Thank you

    1. administrator

      You will get the visa stamp valid until your petition expiration date. Your employer can file for petition extension at most 6 months prior to the expiration date. On H-1, you get at most 6 years and only the time spent inside US on H-1 is counted.

      1. Neeraj

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your earlier response. it was helpful.

        I filled my DS-160 form. but i failed to attach my photo. The application did not prompt me to add an photo but i got my cinfirmation page.

        Any problem ?

          1. sandy

            Hi Saurabh,

            What is the maximum duration for a petition ?
            How they determine the durtaion of the visa/petition?
            Any idea about this?

            Sankara K

          2. administrator

            Petition’s maximum validity duration is 3 years, but you will have yours mentioned on your petition. Look at 797 document and it will mention the start/end dates.

  19. Prabhakar

    Hi Saurabh

    I came to US on L1b 3 yrs back and then transferred my Visa to H1b for the same company due to some take overs in 2012. My L1b stamping expired in Jul2012, My H1b was processed in US and i got a I94 valid till Mar2015 for myself and family.

    Now i’m planning to go to India for a visit, i know i need to get stamping for the new H1b do i also need to schedule an interview at the US consulate in India/Chennai.


    1. administrator

      Yes, you will have to appear for the stamping. You can schedule the interview at the consulate of your choice in India.

  20. Vipin C Mohan


    My H1B visa is pending for stamping.
    I’m planning to get the stamping of mine and spouse together.
    In my passport, wife’s name is not endorsed. But in wife’s passport my name is endorsed.
    And my DS-160 form have been submitted with my passport details (without wife’s name endorsed).
    Is it mandatory to get wife’s name is endorsed in my passport for stamping?
    If Yes, do I need to fill a separate DS-160 with new passport details?

    1. administrator

      Vipin C Mohan,
      It is not mandatory for the name to be mentioned in each other’s passport. You should still be able to demonstrate that you are married using marriage certificate, wedding card and/or wedding album.

  21. Bala


    My H1B petition for 2013 got approved. I was out of India from last April to till date. Now, I am planning to go for visa stamping in Chennai by January End. I heard from some source that Visa rejection is quite high now. Can someone able to tell, how is the visa approval/rejection rates now ?

    1. administrator

      It varies from case to case. Are you working for a consulting company or as full-time w/ a US company? If consulting, are you working in EC or EVC model?

    2. Bobby

      I am in the exact same situation as yours. Got my approval and am in India since April.
      But regarding stamping date, I got a stamping date of 2.5 weeks from now 🙁 Did the same happen to you.
      Dont we get earlier dates, or its just that my folks didnt try to get an earlier date.

  22. mohan


    I got h1B Visa on 2009 and valid until june 2010. I stayed here with valid petition till now. I got approved I-797 till jan2014. Plan to stamp in chennai by march. is it any issue last 2 years without stamp in USA?. Am eligible for Without appear interview to get visa?

    1. administrator

      The outcome of the stamping will not be impacted by the fact that you stayed in US w/o unexpired visa stamp. You remained in US legally and it should be fine. As your visa expired more than 1 year ago, you are not eligible for waiver. You have to appear for the interview.

  23. Jiya

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’m on H1b Visa that i applied in US only. It got approved and is valid till 2015.
    So my question is: If i want to get it stamped do i have to pay some fees to get it stamped in india?
    If yes how much is that?
    also what is the mode of payment(Eg DD or credit?)


    1. administrator

      Yes, for H-1 stamping additional fees need to be paid – INR 10,830. Several payment modes are available, and you can view them here.

        1. Bobby

          Hi Jaggu,
          What was your wait time to get a stamping date in Chennai? Mine is like more than 2 weeks, was wondering if people do get an earlier date 🙁

  24. Haasini

    I’m also facing a similar situation. I’m working in India with above average salary and I’ve found one small employer in the US who filed H1-b for me. Before signing up LCA, they said I’ll have to sign a bond worth $7500 for a tenure of 18 months. In the LCA, the offer is less than average salary in California. I agreed to both of them and signed LCA. The H1-b petition is approved and now before sending me for H1b visa stamping, they said the corporate has changed rules recently and so I’ve to sign a bond worth $15000 for first 12 months and $7500 for the next 6 months, total bond is for 18 months. I feel they are not fair on their part. I also feel $15000 is a huge liability and earn less than average salary in the US. Generally asking, is it acceptable if they increase by 100%, that too after I’ve signed up LCA? is $15000 an acceptable amount for a bond? Pls give your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

    1. Karthik

      There’s no such thing as a “bond” in the US. almost all employment is at will. Don’t waste your time or money on such swindling idiots. Did he furnish any proof that your “petition” was approved? anyway, as long as there’re desperate fools like you, there will be swindlers like them.. circle of life 🙂

      1. Haasini

        The employer said that the H1-b petition is approved. I’ve also checked in USCIS site and confirmed approval against my receipt number.

        1. Mishra

          But, how do you know the petition number what he gave belongs to you. He can give you any number which is approve. So ask him to send soft copy of the approved petition and then proceed.

          1. Haasini

            Yep, possible. I’ve asked the HR to first send me the approved petition copy and then only I’ll think of the rest.

    2. administrator

      Like Karthik mentioned, bonds are not legal in US. The employment is always at will. However, an employer can still sue for reasonable business damages and if the case goes to court, they will have to show those damages in the court. Lot of employers add this language to create fear among their employees but you should be aware of the laws and your rights. BTW, I don’t know what happens if the employer decides to go after you in India.

  25. Sus


    Iam on L1B visa in US and my visa is valid till Jan,2014. I have lost my passport and I-94 few months back and got them replaced here . Do I need to attend the interview for visa stamping if I travel to India before Jan,2014 as the visa is still valid ?

    Thanks in advance.

  26. srinivas Omkar

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a question on DS160 form, please help me with this before that…… let me explain my scenario :

    I Gradtuated from a university in DEC 0X… after that I was on my first OPT from next JAN 0Y till AUG 0Y with employer 1. It was unpaid training.

    From SEP 0Y to JAN 0Z was with another employer2 for my OPT Extension. It was unpaid training.

    From FEB 0Z to current date year ‘ 12 with my currently employer 3. He applied my first H1, after my H1 I didn’t change my employer.

    Question :

    while i was filling my DS160, I see a question

    Were you ever Employed before ( provide employment details for last 5 years ) : Yes or NO

    What should be my answer to that question, do i need to say YES ? or should I say NO …since it was OPT and was on unpaid training, I don’t have any paystubs that is no payroll was run during that period.

    Once I joined my Employer 3 on my OPT Extension I had a job from FEB 0Z to till date i have all paystubs with no gap ( was not on bench ). On my H1 I don’t have any gaps..have been working all the time …

    please help me out with this question, I am worried that if I say yes …will thier b any question from VO why did you change so many employers ..?

    I really appreciate your help with this, who have been already in the same situation please share your experinces.

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator

      Srinivas Omkar,
      I don’t think the officer will actively ask about the frequency of changing employers. What the officer might ask is for payslips for the OPT period (I am surprised that USCIS didn’t ask for your OPT payslips at the time of OPT extension and H-1 processing).

      As you were employed on OPT, the correct thing to do is to mention those employments in your DS form. Does your employer have an attorney? If yes, what are they suggesting?

  27. VENKAT

    Any one who recently applied for H1b VISA in Chennai, please pass on your contact to my email id kuruvigilli at yahoo dot com.. I need to get some clarifications… THANKS FOR YOUR HELP & SUPPORT..

      1. VENKAT

        Hello Mishra,

        I have also attended the VISA interview with my dependents on 3rd Dec 12. VO told that ” YOUR VISA IS APPROVED .. HAVE A NICE TRIP…”.. How long it will take to receive the passport. When I tracked it was initially showing
        NO UPDATES
        ORIGINATION SCAN… ( the present status).. I have given Chennai Cenotaph Road as collection center.. Can I expect today or tomorrow.. Please advise.



  28. VENKAT

    Hello Saurabh,

    Thanks for all your help

    I request your help in getting answers for the following

    1. We got the H1b papers and ready to apply for VISA @ Chennai US Consulate (any one has any idea – when we will get the appointment).. Can we choose or it is system assigned ?

    2. We are going as a family (Self + 2 dependents).. Medical Test is for the Main Applicant or for all the dependents ? Please advise.

    3. Any way to get the appointments quickly ? Premium processing etc ?

    4. Also My name is mentioned as XXXXXX in my Given Name.. and Blank for SURNAME in my Passport.. As per some website info, I need to fill my given FULL NAME (XXXXX) in SURNAME IN FULL and FNU for Given Name .. Is that Correct.. My Petition approval also shows FULL NAME XXXXX , NO NAME GIVEN against beneficiary.. Hope my understanding is correct

    Thanks for your help

    1. administrator

      1. This site is the starting point for scheduling interview.
      2. There is no medical test for H-1 or H-4 applicants.
      3. No, premium processing services are not available for visa interviews. You will have to look for earliest dates on the site.
      4. Yes, FNU will be the first name, and everything else goes into last name.

  29. Neethu

    Hi Saurabh

    My apologies for posting on this page. I have registered on ur Q&A section but have not received a confirmation email yet so unable to post there.

    I am currently working for an employer in the US. My H1B was applied in April 2012 and was approved. I recently found out the rate of pay on my LCA was wrongly quoted as $63328. My pay was quoted at $60000 per year on my offer letter, my I-129 and that is what I have been getting paid.My prevailing wage on LCA is $58422. My lawyer says that it was a typing error.
    Will this be an issue during my H1B stamping? I am planning to go for stamping in 1 month

    Should I ask for an amendment to LCA? In that case, will I need a H1B amendment too? How long does that take?
    Or can I get a letter from my immigration attorney explaining this error and show that to the VO in case he asks?

    Please please guide me here! I am waiting for your reply


    1. administrator

      Even though it was a typing error, the officer may not think it that way. He can assume that petition was approved only b/c of the mentioned LCA amount and any change requires review of the petition.

      I would suggest getting new LCA w/ revised salary and then apply for H-1 amendment (a must w/ every new LCA). You should only then appear for stamping.

  30. Rahul


    I have applied for a 3 years H1B, but got my petition valid for 1 year. I have the following ques:

    1. Can I send this back to my company’s legal visa body to correct this
    2. Can I mention ‘intended duration of stay’ as 3 years in DS160.
    3. Can validity dates differ in petition and visa. If yes, which one legally entitles me to stay in US after the other expires.

    Many Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator

      1. They will have to submit it to USCIS, which would take time. Also, it is not required for them to always approve for 3 years. They can approve it for shorter term under certain scenarios. Did you submit a client letter w/ this? What was the duration of the project?
      2. It should be same as 797 duration
      3. Usually they approve visa valid until petition expiration date. Your employer can file for extensions later.

  31. VENKAT

    Dear Saurabh,

    Thanks for all your updates and it is of great help to everyone.. Just couple of questions

    1. My friend earlier went to US on H1b and forced to come back to India on family emergency after a month. Also he went on B1 visa for training and came back to India and no overstay anytime. Now he applied for H1b and got his Petition approval and will be going for VISA interview soon. Also he has brothers in USA on H1.. However their PARENTS are in India only. This time it is working directly for the Company in Senior level which processed the VISA. No issue.. Will the previous history / brothers based in USA will affect his chances.. But my friend is a well qualified engineer with lot of abroad experience and worked in more than 4 countries and never overstayed in any country.. any way he has to fill his siblings details in the interview form. It is better not to hide any information.. Please advise..

    1. administrator

      Previous visits and the fact that the brother is in US shouldn’t adversely impact his chances of H-1 visa stamping. He will have to mention about his siblings in US in the DS-160 form. As H-1 is a dual intent visa, it is ok to have immediate family in US.

  32. MadGo

    I am currently in US on H1B. The visa is valid till Dec-2013. I got my visa through employer X in May 2012 and now I have got it transferred to employer Y (though the transfer was not smooth). Now I am planning to travel to India early next year.
    My question is will I be required to go for Visa Stamping in India because of change of employer (although the Visa is still valid date-wise).
    If yes, what precautions should I take for that.

    Thanks in anticipation

    1. administrator

      It is not required to go for another visa stamping if the previous visa stamp is still valid (even if it is w/ old employer). Check w/ your employer if they want the visa stamp to be in their name (as some employers prefer that).

  33. ramanan

    My H1 got expired on july 2012.My employer has already filed my H1B extension.
    Status is showing as “initial review” with USCIS.Im waiting for extension update.
    My wife is in India.She wants to come to USA.
    1)In my current scenario, which visa she will be eligible to travel?
    2)Whether B2 Visa will work out to bring my wife to USA?


    1. administrator

      1. I am not 100% sure, but I don’t think she can travel to US until your extension gets approved.
      2. She can use B-2 only if she has valid reasons to travel on B-2. It has maximum stay of 6 months, but on H-4 one can stay until H-1 holder is in US.

      My suggestion would be to upgrade your petition to premium, get the result quickly and then ask her to travel to US on H-4.

      1. ramanan

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your reply.
        Today i got an update that my H1 Extension status moved to RFE.
        My Employer will submit all required docs to USCIS.

        Question 1:
        1)In my current scenario,i cant bring my wife to US using H4 for another couple of months.
        I want to bring my wife atleast for short period.
        What visa will help to bring my wife to US
        2) Whether B2 Visa /Tourist visa will workout for my scenario.

        Please suggest in detail.

        1. administrator

          She cannot go for B-2 visa stating the reason that she wants to join you. B-2 is for tourism and purely non-immigrant visa. Using it for any purpose even w/ slight chance of immigrant nature can result in denial (H-1 is a dual intent visa and so is H-4). I would suggest upgrading your petition to premium processing when you submit the response. This way you will get the result quickly and she can then appear for H-4 stamping.

  34. VENKAT

    My Friend’s H1B petition approved on 11th Oct.. When the Original documents will be received.. Any one know, please advise.. This will help

  35. uma


    This Uma ,my H1B approved by USCIS, i had to attend a interview on xxxxx date,
    2 years back i attend a interview for student visa and rejected,,
    will they ask about my student visa,, why it rejected?,,,,
    if any one faced this situation please replay me,,

    Thanks ,

    1. administrator

      They can ask about it, and you need to reply truthfully. If the F-1 was rejected b/c they considered you as a potential immigrant, then that would not change the outcome of H-1 interview.

  36. Ganesh

    I am also going for stamping at chennai consulate tomorrow for inhouse project. But we are doing this project for specific client at my employers location. My employer is a development company. I have all the documents relating with my employer and client. Will they ask for client letter?

    1. mishra

      Ganesh, good luck !!

      I would say, goo with as much relevant documents on the product you will be working on with this employer and be prepared to answer them confidently.

      I am in similar situation. My employer is a consulting company and the petition is approved for house project. Hope, things will go well.

      By the way, what was the Chennai consulate visa waiting period?
      Are you taking your wife as well for her H4 Visa?


      1. Ganesh

        Thanks Misra.

        They didn’t ask for client letter. I went alone. But I got 221G white. They asked me to submit some project related documents and Employers last two years tax statements. I going to submit the same tomorrow.

        Saurabh : I have one doubt. They verified all my documents. Interview went almost 45 mins. But at the end, they returned all the documents. Even they didn’t take approval notice. They just asked me to submit some documents. Is it +ve sign or -sign?

        1. administrator

          It is tough to say. When they ask for passport submission then its definitely a positive sign. In this case, you will have to wait for them to complete the processing before starting to get excited or dejected.

          Good luck!

          1. Ganesh

            Today I got a mail from USConsulte saying below

            Date/Time Case Opened: 1/25/2013 7:03 AM
            Origin: Portal
            Case Reason: Hold case/221 G & Refusals/214B
            Public Response: Your application is pending under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for mandatory administrative processing. There is no definite time frame for this processing as it depends on the individual circumstances of each case. The Department of State is continuously working to improve processing and expedite visas, and we appreciate your patience. Please be assured that we will contact you as soon as the processing in her case is complete.

            Applicants can also check the status of their visa online at: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/.

          2. Ganesh

            Hi Saurabh,
            Today I got collected my documents from BlueDart. There I have seen one document where they asked to submit the passport. I am going to submit the passport tomorrow. Is it a good sign?

          3. administrator

            Yes, it’s a positive sign. They ask for passport when they are ready to issue the visa.

          4. Ganesh

            Thanks, Saurabh. But in CEAC website still my case is showing as Adminstrative Processing and no change in Status Updated Date.

          5. administrator

            They don’t have many different status messages (like USCIS’s petition processing). So it will remain like this until actual visa gets issued.

  37. Siva


    I got RFE for my new H1B and my employer is saying to give the documents within 3 days. Is there any timelines for the submitting the documents in USCIS?

        1. Syed

          S, you are right. USCIS will give sufficient time for responding with docs. Some time employers to be on safer side ask the employee to provided it ASAP.

  38. rinku


    my h1b visa applied in may at California center has been approved in sep after converting to premium. Status has been showing in decesion from 13 days and not yet moved to post decesion. Hence I havnt receveid i797 form. Any idea how long it can take to get i797 after approval.

      1. rinku

        Thanks Syed, It almost 20 days now but I have not recevied i797 approval of Notice. Not sure how long it take to get that. Any idea how we can check that uscis dispatched or not. I have tried calling but they want attoreny or petitioner, they dont give any info to applicant.

      2. VENKAT

        My Friend’s H1B petition approved on 11th Oct.. Original document still not received.. When the Original documents will be received.. Any one know, please advise.. This will help planning for the Visa Interview..

        1. administrator

          Employer/attorney should receive the approval notice within 30 days. If not, they should contact USCIS to follow-up.

          1. VENKAT

            Hi Saurabh,

            Many thanks for the reply.. Is there anyway we can track this. If we call up the USICS, will they answer on the present status, i.e. When they will send ? etc.. or we have to WAIT till document receipt..

            Please advise at your convenience.

            Rgds / Venkat

          2. administrator

            You cannot follow-up w/ USCIS; only employer/attorney can. USCIS may be able to tell them if it has been dispatched or not but generally ask people to wait for 30 days.

  39. Ajay

    Hi Saurabh ,

    My current H1B expires Dec 2012 it was granted only for 12 months based on client letter ,my employer has filed for extension , how long does it take for extension to be approved. Will this be a issue while i go for stamping nest year as this will be my first stamping.

  40. Rajesh

    Saurabh, I am really in tough situation and your feedback is highly appreciated. Right now I am in US on L-1B visa. L-1B visa expired on 1st Aug 2012 and applied for extension. With another employer, I applied for H-1B visa and currently it is in ‘Initial Review’ status. My wife got RFE on H-4 visa and I need to respond by 05 October 2012. I doubt this RFE is raised because my L-1 visa is expired and they want latest approval document. RFE is to prove relation between my wife and me.
    RFE details:
    Provide the following establish a dependent relationship between applicant(s) and their principal alien spouse.
    1. Principal Alien’s Form I-94 Arrival departure record.
    2. Principal Alien’s Form I-797A, Notice of action
    I thought of to respond for RFE once I got approval for L-1B visa, but I got RFE on my L-1 Visa so I cannot provide latest I-797 document along with new I-94. My H-1B visa is still in ‘initial Review’ what I should do now.
    1. What happens if we don’t provide evidence by October 5th 2012 ?.
    2. What happens if I provide all my previous visit I-94 & I-797 approval forms as my L-1 Visa extension is due and H-1B is not yet approved?
    3. I am planning to upgrade H-1B visa to premium processing, so that I will get latest I-797 and provide.
    Please let me know if I have any other options to respond for REF.

    1. Syed


      Reply mentioning that you have applied for chagne of status from L1 to H1. Also attach or mention the reciept number got on appling H1.


  41. Anonymous


    I am stuck in a problem and i will be glad if you could help me regarding this.

    My company (IT services company, MNC) applied for my “H1B Visa” in the first week of April 2012. The petition got approved by USCIS. If the interview goes fine, then i will have to travel in the month of October.

    My company made me sign a document/bond agreement which states that i will have to work for my company for the next 2 years in USA (i.e. 2 years from the time of start of my employment in USA). If i decide to leave within 2 years, i will have to pay an amount of $8,000. My company states in the bond agreement that it has invested $8,000 to apply/process my h1b visa and it is liable to take that $8,000 if i leave within that 2 year service period.

    Because of some personal reasons i am planning to quit my job altogether and go back to my hometown. I have absolutely nothing against the company. Infact i love working for my company.

    1) What should i do now?
    2) Is such kind of bond valid?
    3) The bond paper was not a stamp paper. It was just a set of white papers with all these details. Would applying signatures here be valid?
    4) $8,000 (the bond amount) is a lot of money. It is almost my one year salary. I am in no position to pay that amount of money. Infact i dont even have that amount of money with me
    5) Should i tell the company about this upfront and try to negotiate the bond amount? I doubt they will want to negotiate. They have invested a lot of money on my H1b visa.
    6) Should i just abscond?
    7) Should i tell the company my problems and also that i will work in USA for only 1 year and quit after that. Tell them that i wont be paying any bond money. Instead of 2 year service, i will do only 1 year service. Will they be fine with this?

    I am in a lot of confusion. If possible please help me out of this.

    1. administrator

      I assume you are in your home country and not in US. The bond becomes effective after you land in US (as it says 2 years from start of employment in US). If you leave them even before traveling to US, I don’t see how this bond goes into effect.

      Anyways, talk to a labor attorney.

  42. Suganthi


    My original H1b Visa Period (Which I stamped in Chennai,India) Expired Last Year (2011) and My Employer Filed a Extension which I got for 1 year. That Visa Extension is going to get end by next month 16 Sept 2012. My Employer has already filed another Extension for me 1 month before (July 2012) and they said it may take 3 to 4 months to get the extension approved. All of the sudden I got a emergency situation where I need to travel to India asap and I’m in India now which happend on 2rd Aug 2012 just 2 days before.

    Now my real problem is I need to visit Chennai Embassy to get my visa stamped again but my current Extension is going to expire next month (Sept 16) and my filed Extension not yet approved, how bad is current my situtation now? If I schedule a interview and visit US Embassy by next week is there a possibilty to get my visa stamped by showing both my current Extension which has 1 month of validity and the receipt of my filed extension? or should I wait for my filed extension to get approved before I visit US Embassy? Please clarify my douts and provide me suggestions.

    PS: I checked with my employer and he threatens me that Im in deep trouble and I should not left US.

    Thanks in advance


    1. administrator

      They would not issue visa stamp based on pending extension petition. They would issue based on what petition is already approved. You can upgrade the extension to PP, and go for stamping once it has been approved and extended.

  43. Nalini Gorak


    Curently ,I am employed with Company A on H1B Visa valid till September 2014. I am planning to visit Canada to get my H1 B Visa stamped.Prior to that I am travelling to NY sometime next week for vacation and was thinking to get my toruist visato canada from the NY canadian consulate. And I have the following question in this regard:
    Let us say I am able to get my Canadian visitor visa . However, if a new company offers me position, do I have to apply for my canadian visitor visa again? I am asking this because when I got approved for canadian visitor visa or tourist visa , I was with comapny A. However, do I have to get a new visitor because my employer changed. Therefore, will it be a fresh application again?


    Company B has offered me a full time position and they h

    1. monika

      vo : Hi

      me: hie mam!
      vo: when did u get married?
      me: 26 april 2012
      vo: what is your qualification
      me: mca
      vo: are you working here
      me: yes mam
      vo: ok!! will you work when you go to the US
      me: no mam.
      vo: ok.. where does your husband stay in us
      vo: ok… i approve your visa … you ll get ur passport within 3-4days
      me: thankyou mam .. hav a gr8 day:))))

  44. Ankita

    My H1B (non premium) was filed in the month of May 2012. It is not yet approved by the USCIS. Can I switch my application to premium now!! How long will it take to process the visa in that case and how early I can fly to US.

    1. administrator

      Agree w/ Earnest’s response. You can upgrade it to PP, in which case it will be adjudicated within 15 calendar days. Earliest date to travel to US is Sep 21 w/ employment start date of Oct 1. This also depends upon if any RFE is issued or not, and how your visa stamping goes (PP service is not extended to stamping).

  45. Raj

    Hi Saurabh, My L1 visa expires on August 1st 2012 and my employer is filing for extension. I also filed H-1B with other employer in May 2012, current status is ‘Initial Review’. I got RFE for my wife H-4 visa with below reasons, what does it mean?. What should I do now?. It is because my visa is expiring on 8/1/2012 ?. What are the possibilities that I will get my H-1B without RFE ?.

    RFE Details:

    Dependents of Principal Aliens in the H Nonimmigrant Classifications
    The applicant’s length of stay as a ‘Dependent alien’ is governed by the length of authorized stay of the ‘principal alien’ Provide the following to establish a dependent relationship between the applicant(s) and their principal alien spouse. Submit photocopies of documents, only, unless the originals are requested. All copies must be readable and clearly legible.
    • Principal Alien’s Form I-94 Arrival Departure Record
    • Principal Alien’s form I-797 A, Notice f Action

    1. XYZ

      Ya So just give all the Documents requested. Whats the harm? Ur new H1b mite get Approved on time if all the documents are presented on time.

    2. administrator

      You will have to submit the requested documents including copy of your own 797C to show that your H-1 is in progress. Nothing can be said w/ surety if your H-1 would get approved w/o RFE or not.

  46. visa info

    Hi all,

    My H1b is filed on April 4th-2012, and in USCIS website it is showing that it recieved on April 9th. I recieved my reciept notice too, the applications which 1+ and 1- of mine, are approved and are in Post decison stage. Can some one let me know how much time it will take. Reciept number series is EAC 12139515XX.

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