H1B Visa Stamped in a Dramatic way: 2 Days Admin Processing, LCA issue, POE Questions

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by Guest AuthorUpdated : 15 Comments

One of our readers, Vasuven, shared his dramatic H1B visa experience, which included long interviews, admin processing in 2 days, POE questions…it is great experience and gives hope to many. Thanks to Vasuven for sharing his experience with us. Congrats on his stamping!  You can share your experience here

Background:

Switched from L1 to H1 (for a small desi company) in US and worked for 1.5 yrs. on H1 (EVVC model) before going to India with family on vacation. 1st H1 stamping at Hyderabad consulate. Changed 2-3 clients at different states in those 1.5 yrs.

OFC interview:

Took only 10 minutes.

Only Question asked by the Indian VO :

Q) Why are you visiting US?
A) Employment purpose.

Question to my wife in a separate counter by another VO:
Q) Are you going as a dependent
A) yes

Main H1B Visa interview scheduled for the next day.

On the day of H1B Visa Interview – Documents, Process
Went along with my wife and son. Although my son is a US citizen, we took him with us.
I went in formals for the interview. They have given us priority in the queue as we have a kid. So it was much faster for us to attend the interview.

Checklist  of Documents carried for H1B Visa Stamping:

  • I-129 form
  • I-797 form
  • LCA,
  • Client letter
  • USCIS letter sent for petition
  • Pay stubs
  • US bank statements
  • W2 Forms
  • US Tax Returns
  • Marriage certificate,
  • Experience letters,
  • Resume

After taking token and clearing security, waited for 20 mts for our turn.

Went to the interview counter along with my wife.

 

H1B Visa Interview Questions by Visa  Officer (VO)

VO: GM sir
Me: GM officer

VO: Can I have your 797 and passports?
Me: sure. I have handed over my old and new passports and my wife passport.

VO: Why two passports. Please don’t confuse me. Take back your old passport .I don’t require it
Me: I’m sorry

VO: What is the Purpose of visit?
Me: Employment

VO : Whom do you work for?
Me: Employer name mentioned.

VO: so, since how long are you working in India
Me:(what???) No. I have been working in US and came to India for vacation.

Vo: with a shocked face, but you are on L1. Oh so you switched from L1 to H1
Me: yes (glad you understood that)

VO: ok. Please handover all the documents that your employer has given to you like 129,797 etc….
Me: I have given the big packet containing 129,Lca,797,uscis letter.

VO: thank you sir. Please wait in the waiting area. We will call you in few Minutes.
Me: thanks

They did this to so many people, took documents first and asked them to wait in waiting area.

After 30 minutes, an Indian VO came to the waiting area and called up by my name and asked me to go to the same counter.
No token system this time.

VO: We have few questions about your employer.
Me: (hmmmm. gone case) sure

VO: Whom do you work for
Me: employer name

VO: what is your salary
Me: mentioned as per the latest paycheck. 30% more than that of the amount mentioned in LCA. But it didn’t strike my mind at that time.

VO: where do you live
Me: told my client location name only

VO: Whom do you work for
Me: Surprised to hear the same question. Realized that VO is not happy about something. Mentioned my employer name. About to mention details about client also but she interrupted me.

VO: Sir, we have few questions and need to do some background check. We will get back to you in few days in case we need anything and handed over both of our passports. No pink/white/yellow letter issued.
Me: shocked. Don’t know how to react, what to ask, but asked a stupid question. How many days will it take for you to finish your checking? She responded with few days to weeks.

I said thanks and exited.

221g Processing – No Slip given

I have all documentation .No client name/letter asked. No questions asked to wife. I thought VO is not happy about something, but couldn’t figure it out. Don’t know how to check my status online as no letter issued. Used my DS-160 confirm number to check status and saw the most disappointing words ‘Admin Processing’.

Called up help desk to confirm this and they stated it as 221g.

Lost hopes on the VISA as I knew that it takes ages to clear admin processing and avg. time is 3-6 months based on the forums.
Cancelled all my US utilities, Apartment lease the next day. Started putting my resume in Indian job sites as I was not interested in going back to US after 6 months.

 

Call from US Consulate in TWO Days
Then a miracle happened 2 days after the interview, while I was in a shop, received a call in the afternoon from an Indian lady from US consulate.

VO: Sir, please re-attend the interview tomorrow at 8:00 AM
A: Great, thanks. How about my wife?

VO: Sir, no need to bring her, instead bring her passport with you and a copy of the re-interview letter that will be emailed to you.

Surprised and felt happy to hear that. Never read in the forums about like getting a call within 2 days. So, to confirm, called back the received number and yes it is indeed from US consulate 🙂

Went back to home, but still somewhere felt unhappy about the call.so many questions. Why called for a re-interview within 2 days, did they finish background check, how come so fast? or did they find problem with my employer? if yes, are they going to cancel my petition.
LCA Issue – Change of Location and Client
Did some research in the websites and rechecked my documentation again. Found that LCA for the new client location and the old location is missing. Also found that LCA given by my employer to me was the first LCA filed by him and has the address at which I had never worked. That client is also closed 2 yrs. ago. Although my employer amended the LCA with the correct client location later on, he didn’t put in the docs packet and so I didn’t carry it for the interview at the first time.

So called up by employer overnight and got all the LCAs and took printout at around 10 PM.

Went to the interview location with my wife. As guessed they didn’t allow my wife to enter as her name is not mentioned in the re-interview letter. Waited for 15 minutes for my turn.

Went to the counter as per token. An Indian VO looked at my passports and asked me to go to different counter. I was shocked as that counter is at a far end and no US VO’s sit there. A VO guided me to the room, unlocked the door and asked me to wait inside. It’s a small room with a window. After 10 minutes, 2 Indian VOs came to the other end of the counter and wished me.

Second H1B Visa Interview 
VO: Hello sir
Me: Hi

VO: Sir, we have some questions to clarify, have your worked at xyz company
Me: No

VO: or at least have you heard that name and its relation to your employer
Me: No

VO: sir your LCA submitted the other day has xyz company address and that xyz is a closed company and we are not sure how come you have been working in a closed company.
Me: (Hurrah. My guess is right. Felt happy internally) While opening my big file book, I said I worked at different clients but not at the one you have mentioned.

VO: Do you have the amended LCA then?
Me: I already took LCAs out of the file and immediately handed over to them and said I forgot to submit the documents on the first day of interview

VO Looked at my LCAs and felt satisfied.

VO: Sir, thanks for clarifying us. Can I see your paychecks and list of clients you have worked and the durations.  I have submitted last 1 year paychecks and given all the details. They have noted down on a white paper.

VO: Do you have any gaps in your payroll.
Me: No. While they are discussing something, I said I also have client letter which you may be interested at.

VO: Excellent, please give the client letter.
me: Handed over the client letter and asked do you need any of the W2s or my employer tax return docs?

VO: No. Thats fine. Sir, the reason we called for the interview is to clarify about that client location in your first LCA. You have an excellent background in which you have visited USA on B1 and L1 multiple times from the same company and now you switched to a small desi company which is purely a staffing company. We want to make sure this is not a fraud case. Now that we have got all the docs we are clear on it. We will inform US VO about this and it is at his discretion to issue VISA to you or not. We will let you know in few hours if your VISA is issued and then took our passports
Me: Thanks

I felt happy and I knew that I will get VISA this time. So waited for 2 days for the call and keep on checking the status online and finally saw the golden word exactly after 2 days of the re-interview. “ISSUED”.

Went to the VISA office to collect passports the next day. Still not sure whether is indeed stamped as ISSUED doesn’t always mean stamped in 1% of the cases.
But finally saw mine and my wife passports are VISA stamped. The passport envelope also has my initially submitted 129,797 and other docs.

VISA expiration date matches to the petition expiration date.

Port of Entry Interview – United States on H1B Visa

At POE, had to wait in a long queue. Had been watching all the POE officers. Felt that I shouldn’t go to the left most officer as he was asking too many questions and sent back few people to wait in another room(probably deporting cases).But again since my case is genuine I have had full confidence.

Officer: GM sir
Me: GM officer

Officer: Purpose of the visit by looking at the passports
Me: Employment

off: oh, so you are on H1B
Me; yes

off: so you went back to India recently
me : yes, I went to India for a vacation.

off: so what do you work
me : Explained my job duties. He closely observed me while I was explaining

off: What’s your job title again
me: said per LCA

off: Took finger prints and photo. Thanks and good luck
me: Thanks.

I-94 issued and expiration date matches to the petition expiration date + 10 days

My tips:
Never tell lies
Be confident
Carefully look through all your documents and check if they are matching to your work.

   

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Comments ( 15 )

  1. Aishukou

    My husband’s and my case is stuck in admin processing. We were eligible for dropbox and we submitted passport/documents on 9 th of may 2 weeks ago. Case creation date for my husband shows 11th may and status update date shows 11 th may. In my case the status update date shows 23rd may. But still administrative processing. We have recieved any letter/ email from consulate so far. We have no option than tracking our visa status online. Its a very difficult time as we came here for vacation and got stuck. Is there anyone who has faced similar scenario and got there visa approved?

    1. Aishukou

      We have NOT* recieved any letter/email from consulate. No slip issued. Please let us know what could be the possible scenario. My husband had changed job (full time) reputed bank. So we dont have any client consultancy issue.

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Aishukou,

      Unfortunately, you don’t have many options other than what you have listed. You have to rely on online tracking using passport number. Also, there is no SLA for this. Can you provide more details about your case – whether H-1B holder is working for a consulting company, and what industry is s/he working in?

      1. Aishukou

        Hi Saurabh,

        He is working in IT in the finance sector. He joined this well Known bank last November. We came here on a vacation of two weeks. Had to cancel our flight tickets unfortunately. It’s exactly 3 weeks today with no update.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Aishukou.

          If the employer is a well known company, then the delay shouldn’t be long. In my experience, most of such delays are sorted out within 3-5 weeks.

          1. Aishukou

            Our status changed to issued today morning 😊 43 days approx 6 weeks . Thanks a lot. Wishing everyone speedy resolutionn God is great!

  2. sudheen

    Well done vasuven !! Quick question since many of us can face the same situation

    When you say “Cancelled all my US utilities, Apartment lease the next day” .. how did you move your stuff out of your apartment ? Did you preplan anything before ?

    1. Aishukou

      Hi Saurabh,

      He is working in IT in the finance sector. He joined this well Known bank last November. We came here on a vacation of two weeks. Had to cancel our flight tickets unfortunately. It’s exactly 3 weeks today with no update.

  3. rohit

    My H1B was put under adminstrative processing in embassy and i was in panic after i read few of the comments in this page and other forums.To my utter surprise i got mail from embassy to collect my VISA and all this happened in less then 2 weeks. I just want to tell you guys please dont blame US agengies only for the delay caused in stamping. They are very proffesional and do their duties very well so for most of the applicant cases related to admin processing is resolved in very short time . so dont panic and wait.Your VISA will get approved very soon for all those whose cases are pending under admin processing.

  4. ram

    Vasuven hats off of to you! You sure have nerves of steel.

    Here is a big thank you (for sharing your priceless experience) from me and all those who are too lazy to type a few words.

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