H1B Visa Stamping new OFC Process in Chennai India

H1B Visa Stamping 2012 – New OFC Process – Experience in Chennai India

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by Guest AuthorUpdated : 3 Comments

One of our readers Srija has gone through the new OFC processing that was introduced for US Visa stamping. Thanks to Srija for sharing her experience with our readers. You can share yours here

Background – New OFC Process for US Visa Stamping  

The H1B visa stamping process has undergone some change recently. Sharing my story with you to ease the nerves of the aspiring candidates 🙂

Under the new process, you have to set aside 2 days (mostly consecutive days) to complete the entire process. On the first day, you need to go to the Offsite Facilitation Center  (OFC) for your finger printing and a photograph. OFC is opposite to Apollo Cancer Hospital in Teynampet. You absolutely need not go there more than 15 mins in advance, unnecessarily sweating in the queue will only dampen your spirits and your photograph 😉 and even if you are a little late, it’s ok….so plan your journey accordingly.

Process Inside OFC center  for American Visa  

Once inside, you will be given a token, might have to wait for about 10 mins for your token number to be called and then will be asked to give your finger prints and pose for a photo. They will stick a barcode on the back of your passport which is a confirmation of your completion of the processes at the OFC. That’s all for this day.

Process at US Consulate for Visa Stamping 
The next day, the bigger and the final one, requires you to go to the US consulate at Anna Salai. Please make sure you do not carry anything except the required documents and some cash, you will not be allowed to take them inside and there is no provision to store the items. After the security check, you will be guided towards a counter where they will bundle your DS160 confirmation sheet, your BEP letter and your passport together. Next you will go to a counter where you will be asked to give your finger print (this, i think is for validation…just like signature verification). Then you will be asked to sit and wait for your turn. You are called within 10-15 mins and assigned a counter where you wait in a queue after 2-3 candidates. Here is how my interview went:

H1B Visa Stamping Questions : 

Me: Walking towards the counter smiling
VO: Hello
Me: Hello Sir
VO: How are you?
Me: Am good. How are you doing today?
VO: Fine. Thank You
VO: For which client are you travelling?
VO: Can I see your petition?
Me: Sure. This bunch contains the approved I797. Passed on the bundle containing the approval notice at the top and the petition, client letter, mark sheet photocopy, etc. tied together.
VO flipped through the entire bunch
VO: Your visa is approved and you will get back your passport in 3-5 working days.
Me: Thank You
VO: Have a nice day
Me: Thank you so much

So my interview was as short and pleasant as that. But there were people who were asked a few more questions, but all standard ones.

Process after US Visa Interview at Consulate  
After this, you need to go to another counter and fill up a form if you want your passport couriered to your office. You will need to pay 300 bucks per head (600 for you and your wife). Please keep the exact amount ready.

That’s all and you are ready to take off 🙂

Tip: There are many staffs all over the place and they are very polite and ready to help you always. All in all, it’s a very pleasant and smooth experience and having divided the entire process into 2 days, the average wait time has come down considerably.


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Comments ( 3 )

  1. Visaguy


    I have below questions. Could someone throw some light?
    I am scheduling H1B visa interview.

    1. How many days before can I cancel/change the interview date? and how many times am I allowed to reschedule? I might need to reschedule if travel plan changes.

    2. Can I go ahead and schedule my interview appointment before even completing the DS160. I have started filling DS160, I am waiting for one small info from my employer, i may not get that before one week from now. But I want to schedule & lock in the date. Is it ok to schedule the appointment with current DS160 number (you get the number once you start filling in) and complete the DS160 afterwards?

    Thank you very much for the help.

  2. Sai Srikantham

    Nicely written. Brief, yet informative. Thanks for that Srija.


    – What is “BEP letter”?
    – Did you say “mark sheet” as in, degree mark sheet as part of your bundle?
    – What else did you have in your bundle? Would be helpful if you answer…

    Thanks again.

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