One of our long time readers, A.S. Kumar, has been through the long process of H1B Since April 2015 and recently had his H1B stamped with a ton of tricky questions and nervous experience. Congrats to him on his visa stamping and Thanks to him for taking time to write up a detailed experience. With H1B 2017 season, some may expect to be in this timeline, worth reading. You may share your experience here
Introduction : I am a silent reader of RedBus2US since Jan 2015. This website helped me a lot in understanding the process, terminology and experiences. Many thanks to RedBus2US team.
It’s great to see so many interview experiences in the site. I read all interviews available. Thanks to each and every one who shared their experiences. Now it’s my turn to share. I tried to give more clearly and step by step procedure (Hyderabad Consulate). These steps may differ at other consulates. Sorry if you feel you don’t need this much clear info. Please bear with my explanation.
A little background:
It’s a new offer for me. My new employer filed petition in Apr 2015, got selected in lottery in June 2015. Went to RFE in Sep 2015, RFE cleared and finally approved in Jan 2016. Received I-797 and other documents, scheduled OFC on Apr 3rd and interview on April 6th.
Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC ) Experience in Hyderabad
Day 1: Hyderabad OFC: Pretty simple and fast: Go to the OFC centre not more than 30 minutes before the appointment time. Do not bring mobile or any other prohibited items. (If you still want to bring mobile, there is a small canteen near to Hyderabad OFC & Consulate. You can pay 100 INR and get a locker)
- What do you need ?
- You need DS160, Appointment Letter and all passports. Any other documents are not required.
- Security at Entrance gate: Security will check the appointment time, allows if your appointment is within next 30 minutes. He will guide you in which way you need to go.
- 2nd Entrance: An officer will check your DS160, Appointment letter, latest passport and asks you to go inside for security check.
- Security will give you a small box and asks you to put everything (docs, watch, belt, whatever you have in pockets) in the box. They will check with metal detector. Here you will be issued a token and asked to go to nearby counter.
- At counter, they will ask your passport, attaches barcode sticker to your passport (This barcode will be scanned at consulate at the time of visa interview) and asks you to go inside. It’s an air conditioned big room with 12 counters and a TV which displays the token numbers and counter number to attend for finger prints.
- Once your token appears in TV, go to the counter and wait till officer calls you. He will ask your passport and asks you to read one poster which has some rules in English, Hindi and local language. He will take finger prints and photograph then returns your passport.
Day 2: HYD Consulate: The BIG Day
Go to consulate not more than 1 hour before appointment time. Remember that in every step you will be clearly guided by officers. Do not bother about the process how it goes. Just concentrate on the interview. Prepare well. Let me try to give more clear steps.
Document Checklist for H1B Stamping : Do not forget any documents
- Appointment Confirmation page
- DS-160 Copy ( Required Info to Fill DS-160 )
- All Passports
- Petition Documents
- Offer Letter
- Client Letters
- Previous Employment letters & Educational Documents
- Marriage certificate if applicable
Other documents if you are going with wife and children (I am not sure what are all docs because I went alone)
Step by Step H1B Experience
- Entrance Gate: An officer checks your passport and DS-160. He attaches a card which will have multiple entries (like Entrance time, bio-metric start time, bio-metric end time, interview start time, interview end time, waiting time comments etc.) and fills the first entry time. Go inside the gate (No security check at this place)
- Security Check: If you are at Hyd consulate, at this point of time, you are not inside the main building. You will be asked to sit in the available chairs at the entrance of building and an officer will inform you when you are allowed to go inside. Same security check happens as it is at OFC. Once the security check is done, you will be allowed to go inside.
- Bio-metric verification: You need to sit in available in chairs and an officer will be informed you whenever you are allowed to inside for biometric check. Here, they will scan the bar code attached to your passport at OFC. Then, you will be asked to put your hand on biometric machine. If it matches with the finger prints given at OFC, you will be allowed to next step. He will enter biometric start and end time in the card attached to your passport.
- Waiting : Again you need to sit and wait in available chairs inside. An officer will guide you to stand in a line to wait for your turn. Here, there are 16 interview counters in Hyd Consulate. At this stage, you are in line at outside interview counters room.
- Going Inside : They will give you a card which has counter number and asks you to go inside. Just take it, go to the counter. You need to return this card after your interview.
- Waiting for your Turn : At counter, an interview will be in progress for other person, you need to stand in a line where other people also waiting for their interview at the same counter. Maintain some distance in the line to give privacy to others.
- What is it like at interview : Wait in the line till the officer calls you. There will be a bullet proof glass between you and visa officer and a small window to pass the documents (looks like the ticket counter). Both you and officer will have mic to speak.
My H1B Visa Interview Questions
Me: Good morning sir.
VO: Very good morning.
VO: Who is your petitioner?
VO: I never heard about the company. The company exists?
Me: Yes sir, it is located in
VO: How many people working there in US in your company?
Me: I don’t know sir. I don’t have exact count of US employees.
VO: Oh! You don’t have the information about your company?
Me: I know about company sir. I don’t have the exact count but I know there are X more petitions filed along with my petition.
VO: You don’t know the count? You don’t have even proper info about company. (with shocking face) How can I proceed?
Me: Sir, I don’t want to give you the wrong count when I am not aware.
VO: Do you have client?
Me: Yes sir, client is XXXX. You want to see the client letter?
Me: Given the client letter.
VO: This is false information. There is no such client exists. (He retuned me the client letter asked me to take it)
Me: No sir, we have client. I have project documents with me. Do you want to see?
VO: Tell me the client website?
Me: Told website (My bad luck, told wrong web site)
VO: Are you sure? 100%?
Me: Yes sir. I am sure.
VO: (Typed website name on keyboard) The website is wrong. It’s not exists. As I told you there is no client, no such company. You don’t know anything man. About your company, client. How can I approve your visa?
Me: No sir, My Company located in and we have client XXXX and the project is XXXXX. I have all the documents with me.
VO: Tell me how much you paid to your employer?
Me: I have not paid anything sir.
VO: Your company website?
Me: Told the website (This time, I am right 🙂 )
VO: Are you sure? 100%?
Me: Yes sir. I am sure.
VO: You told me the same for your client website also?
Me: I might have overlooked and forgot sir. This is for sure. You can check. Told the spelling of my company website.
VO: Opened the website. Read something.
VO: When is the company established?
Me: Told the year.
VO: Its wrong.
Me: Might be wrong in the website. As per LCA, it is established in XXXX. You want to see the LCA?
VO: Yes, give me the I-129 as well.
Me: Given LCA and I-129
VO: Gone each page of LCA and some pages of I-129. Typed something and verified the documents.
VO: Tell me how much you paid?
Me: No sir, I haven’t paid anything.
VO: You must be paid something as deposit which they will return to you after your joining.
Me: No sir. Nothing as such. I haven’t paid anything sir.
VO: How did you get this job?
Me: Tried to explain in detail but VO interrupted me and asked me the same question again.
Me: Employee referral.
Me: Told my friend name who is working with my employer.
VO: How do you know him?
VO: How much they offered you?
VO: It’s less. You can’t survive with that salary
Me: No sir. It’s more than the average salary paying in XXX state.
VO: No. I am telling you. You can’t survive.
Me: Silence for 3-4 seconds.
VO: I am talking to you man. Please reply.
Me: As per my inquiry with my friends, it’s more than the average salary in XXX state. I inquired it before accepting the offer.
VO: Show me the project description?
Me: Given all the project documents and client letters (I was having client letter, project description docs, ppt, proposed technical design by my employer)
VO: So, you are going to to work?
Me: No sir, I am going to work at office located in XXX, XXX state, working for the client XXXX. I don’t work from XXX Client location office.
VO: He verified all the documents again (Project Docs, LCA, I-129 etc.)
(He took almost 2 minutes to verify all the docs)
After 2 minutes….
VO: What is your highest qualification?
Me: XXX (Told the short form of my qualification)
Me: Told the complete abbreviation of my highest degree from XXX University during the period XX-XX
VO: ok. Your visa is approved.
Me: Thank you sir.
I was too tensed when I told the wrong name of my client website and when I answered I don’t know for the “No. of employees in US” question. But, what is feel is, when you don’t know you have to convince the VO that you don’t want to give the wrong information when you are not aware. That will be fine.
My Suggestions for H1B Stamping :
1. Don’t forget to read the company website, client website, LinkedIn profiles.
2. Remember the names of website, CEO, and Year of establishment
3. Check the number of employees in USA
4. Your reporting manager in new company
5. Read all the documents multiple times.
6. Inquire about salaries in the state you are going to work.
7. Get as much as info about your employer and client.
8. Better to have a discussion with your employer about company and client project and project description (Like I had, helped me while answering the questions with confidence).
9. Keep your documents handy to give to VO as fast as you can because they don’t like delay at counter.
Last but not least, it took 6 days for me to get my passport back. Finally I got my visa. All the very best guys !
For more experiences, you may check out Visa Stamping Experiences section.