Not everyone are lucky to get H1B visa stamping at first attempt…Some of you might have got 221(g) query from the Visa Consular officer  ( blue, white, yellow) asking to submit documents.

The most frustrating thing about 221(g) blue form is that there is no way to track your application…You just have to wait….it can be frustrating to wait…This page is meant to help others get an idea about processing times and how long does it take to process a 221(g) issued H1B case…If you were ever given 221(g), please share your details to help others get an idea.  You may check out below articles as well.

You can check out our 221(g) tracker that has anonymous data with users like you, who added the details for community benefit.

Check out 221(g) Case Tracker

Check out our 221(g) Tracker with anonymous data from everyone.

Waiting for the 221(g) response from US Consulate can be very painful…To help everyone be informed on average processing time and other similar cases,  we have built an easy way to track for users their 221(g) status and let the community have an idea on the timeline as well. It is fully anonymous. Please add your case to the 221(g) Tracker.

Add your 221(g) Case

Please add your 221(g) Case for everyone's benefit. It is fully anonymous and will help many waiting for it like you.

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 3,080 )

  1. Shailesh

    Hi Saurabh,

    My wife appeared for a H1B stamping in newdelhi a month back. she works on a EVC model but she took all the possible documents which can be asked. The question answer session with VO lasted for 20 minute and at the end he said we will review all these documents and then get back to you. He kept the passport and I-797 and all the supporting documents from my wife’s employer. VO never handed back any 221g form though.

    Should we consider it a 221g case equivalent to pink slip?
    How many cases(% wise) do you know if where it takes more that 4 months?
    Is these anything which can be done by the employer or by hiring a attorney?

    -Shailesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shailesh,
      1. I don’t think its equivalent to pink slip. This looks like more related to EVC model, employer credentials etc
      2. I don’t have those numbers
      3. Nothing can be done by you or employer to expedite the process.

  2. MS

    Dear All,

    I am in a great dilemma.
    I had my interview at Delhi consulate on 19th March 2012. After some questions around my job role and length of stay in the US, I was told by VO that my visa is approved and she kept my passport. Thereafter, I was waiting for 2 days for my passport to come at the VFS and then on 21st March, I got an email with 221g letter with a case number on top of it. They asked for my Job Role Description (I am a Sales Engineer and have an internal role to support my Sales Team), Past 2 year Federal Tax Returns of my employer and my complete 797, 129 and Petition copy. I submitted the documentation to VFS on 23rd March and I am awaiting now

    1) Since they kept my passport and told my visa is approved, is my visa really approved?
    2) Do they just want to review my documentation
    3) Is the documentation reviewed by Delhi Consulate or these go to someone in the US, who then sends his comments.
    4) I am in the US for the last 9 years and have my wife and 2 kids back home in New Jersey. I am very tensed as my son who is 9 months old had a severe medical condition during his birth and he needs constant medical care. How can the embassy keep me out of my family for long
    5) How long do you think I should hear back from US consulate on?

    I am under a lot of stress and would appreciate any inputs.

    Thanks,
    MS

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      MS,
      1. Even though they said it is approved, they can still decide to reject it during their review process. The process is not transparent and unless one gets approved visa stamped in passport, there is always a big uncertainty.
      2. They may do additional check based on their review of the submitted documents.
      3. The documents are typically first reviewed at the consulate and then (if required) are sent to US (DOS). They would also contact USCIS if required.
      4. If you ask them, they would say that your family can join you in India while you wait for the processing.
      5. There is no set processing time. It can take few weeks to several months.

  3. Ashman

    General 221g question…

    1. what is EC model ?
    2. what is EVC model ?
    3. whats SOW ?
    4. any other model ?

    I dont know full form of these models and why it is given ?

    are they only given to to H1b people from consulting companies (Indian or american desi consults) OR any company in general ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ashman,
      1. Employer-client: when your H-1 employer is in direct contract w/ the end client
      2. Employer-vendor-client: When your H-1 employer is in contract w/ end client through a middle vendor
      3. Statement of Work. You can search the actual definition online
      4. There can be EVVC (multiple vendors etc)

      They can be issued to any employee who provides services to client. So if you are working as a PT and your employer has placed you at a hospital to provide services, then you also fall under these models. Only direct employees do not fall under these categories.

  4. dilemma221g

    Hi everyone,
    I received 221g green slip in the beginning of Dec’11 asking for employer’s documents. Interview was pretty fine, VO kept the passport too saying everything looks OKAY..!!!
    submitted all the requested paperwork in 10 days, after 15 days got reply from VFS that my case is in administrative process.. again I got call from the embassy in first week of jan’12 asking me many questions focusing on E-E relationship. Recently on 1st march two officers from USCIS paid visit to my office inquiring, gone through my HR file, they were pretty happy with everything. They even said everything looks legit and your employee should be back soon as they are going to send the report to india..!!! no news after that.. i have contacted VFS 3 times so far every time i got reply that my case is in administrative process…!!! employer also got the same reply.

    I want to share one more thing that the officers who visited my office specifically mentioned that they are there in response to many mails from my employer’s office..!!!! so far its going to be close to 4 months, and passport is still with the embassy…!!!! i can not express what i am going through..!!! this is going out of my patience level..!!!! i hope and pray that everyone stuck with 221g should get their things done ASAP.. 😉
    Recently my HR department also contacted the immigration officer who was there at the office, they said report already been sent 2 weeks ago…!!! I am just wondering after they check on everything and report already sent to them how long they are going to take???
    Any thoughts or suggestions..!!!

    1. dilemma221g

      hi Saurabh,
      any comment or advice on my case??? 3 weeks gone even after USCIS officers visit to my employer’s office, everything was smooth according to them as well..!!!

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Dilemma221g,
        There are 2 departments involved – USCIS (which did the visit) and DOS (which is handling the case). The latter is pretty slow w/ the work and usually 221g cases are lower in their priority. It can take few weeks to several months for 221g to get resolved. There is not set timeframe.

        1. dilemma221g

          Hey Saurabh,
          Thanks for the reply..!!! i know there is no set time limit in 221g cases, the worst part of it..!!! in my case, i am just in tension as they paid visit from USCIS..! they usually call or send questionnaire to the employer to verify..!!! but this way i got to know that they are working on my case..!!!
          hoping to hear it from the embassy soon..!
          Thanks again.

    2. MS

      Dear Saurabh and others,

      I had my H1B interview on 19th March. I live in the US for last 9 years and have had 5 H1b Stamping renewals. The VO told me that my visa is approved. I was waiting for my passport for 2 days at VFS, but it did not come. On 21st March , i got an email of 221(g) with a case number on top of the page, asking for documents around my job role, last 2 years Employer Federal Return and my complete 797, petition and i-129.
      I submitted it on 23rd March. I have my wife and 2 small kids in the US. one of my kids, who is 9 months hold had a serious medical condition at birth and he needs utmost medical attention. I am very tensed and not sure how long will it take more for me to get my passport back. If the VO said, my visa is approved, does it mean all is ok, in terms of approval and now i just need to wait for them to review my documents and clear everything. Are the documents reviewed at Delhi consulate or they go to US and then the review comes back ? Kindly guide. As you can imagine, with my family in the US, there cannot be more stressful times for me.
      Thanks

  5. Hardik Shah

    Me and my wife applied together for H1b and H4 visa(for her).

    My wife has studied in USA and during her college days she and her friends were involved in minor shoplifting incident due to which she was placed on probation. This was a misdemeanor and after the probationary period , we appealed for dismissal and the appeal was granted.

    After this incident, my wife has already been granted visa 2 years ago. This time when we went for interview, officer asked us all details and was nice and understood how remorseful we were about the incident and after the interview told us “Congratulations , your visa is approved” .

    He took both our passports.

    I got my passport mailed with H1b Visa however my wife’s passport did not arrive. Yesterday ,we got an email from VFS asking for case related documents and they are sending my wife’s passport to us (I believe without the visa).

    What does this mean ? Will this be another 221g ? My wife has already been through same 221g and was stuck for 8 months when they reviewed all her papers ?

    Can they again put her on 221g for the exact same reason trying to establish exactly same thing they did 2 years ago ?

    Any comments/ Advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Hardik Shah,
      Yes, it is possible they would do the same round of verification again. It may end up in same result and may end up being just waste of time and money for everyone; but they would still like to do it to err on the side of caution.

  6. Ashish

    Hi,
    I got 221g from Mumbai consulate. They asked various document including client letter.
    Unfortunately my project got ended and its impossible for me to get client letter.

    I am working under EC model with big Indian Company.
    Please suggest me options.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ashish,
      You should find another client and then carry the client letter for that client. However, then you also need to get LCA certified and H-1 amended for the new client.

      1. Ashish

        Thanks Saurabh for suggestion.
        My Company’s immigration team thinking to submit documents without client letter. They are planning to submit SOW ( which is under renewal) , screen shot of client system which shows I am the part of Project and Organization chart which shows E-E relationship. They are also planning to provide client information and asking client to verify me in case USCIS contact them.

        The SOW is running since last 5 yr.

        Will this alternate work? Please give your suggestion.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ashish,
          I don’t know if they will accept this in lieu of client letter or not. It will be the officer’s discretion. Have they asked you to show EE relationship? Submitting org chart doesn’t address that. One need to show how employer controls your daily/weekly tasks and activities at the client site to show EER. This could be shown by having an on-site employer representative, weekly/daily meetings etc.

          1. Ashish

            Hi Saurabh,
            Yes the did ask for Organization chart as well. Will arranging more SOW on same location help? I am not going to get client letter , thats sure. How much time takes for H1 amendment?
            Did you find ever that alternate of client letter ( if anyone doesn’t have client letter ) worked any time?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ashish,
            H-1 amendment takes around 2-4 months. I don’t know of any case where someone was able to use a document in lieu of client letter.

  7. Vipul

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got 221-G from mumbai consulate asking for all petition documents along with the SOW and client letter. My queries are:

    1. Client is ready to give the letter, But signed SOW is valid upto only 31 March,2012 and we have extension request document which is valid upto 31 May,2012 but which is not signed by client. Can I submit SOW and extension document which is not signed?

    2. Do I have to specify that SOW is expiring in client letter. How can I explain all these things in client letter?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vipul,
      1. You can submit both stating that your employer is hopeful that client will sign it soon
      2. You don’t need to specifically mention about SOW expiration date in client letter. In the client letter, client can issue the letter stating their interest in having a long term project etc.

  8. PK

    Dear Saurabh & Other Members,

    Background: In US since 2000 (5 yrs F, 1 yr OPT, 5 yrs H1B, EB1 140 approved a week back)

    My case:
    Interview for H1B @ Mumbai consulate: 21 Feb, 2012
    Issued two 221g (yellow: for making new passport | blue: for Research details)
    Submitted documents for 221g blue via email: 28 Feb, 2012
    Case status # in Mumbai consulate PDF: 16, Mar, 2012
    Submitted new passport with both 221g forms, I-797, paid courier fees: 19, Mar, 2012
    Current status: still waiting for passport to be returned (no updates from VFS yet)

    Questions:
    1) Since my case status # showed on the Mumbai consulate PDF, does this imply they have approved my visa?
    2) How long (# of days) does the Mumbai consulate usually take to return passports after submitting at VFS center.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      PK,
      1. I am not sure, but I think it means approval. 221g reasons issued to you usually get cleared and do not result in rejection.
      2. There is not set time, but it can take few weeks.

      1. PK

        Thanks much Saurabh. For the readers of this forum, below is re-summary of my 221g experience.

        Background: In US since 2000 (5 yrs F1, 1 yr OPT, 5 yrs H1B, with current employer since Feb-2010, EB1 I-140 approved mid-Mar 2012). I had two successful visa stampings before (F1 and H1B) without 221g.

        Field of work: Research in Clinical Microbiology.

        My case:
        Intended visit to India: 18-Feb to 18-Mar, 2012
        Interview for H1B at Mumbai consulate: 21-Feb, 2012
        Issued two 221g (yellow: for making new passport | blue: for Research details)
        As required, submitted documents for 221g blue via email: 28-Feb, 2012
        Case status (CEAC) # in Mumbai consulate PDF: 16-Mar, 2012
        Submitted new & old passport with both 221g forms, copy of I-797, print-out of case status PDF showing my #, paid courier fees (Rs 180/-): 19-Mar, 2012
        Current status: Received passport with stamped visa via Blue Dart: 23-Mar, 2012 (Please note: I did not know if my visa was approved until I actually opened the passport. At no point during the waiting period I could get access to information from VFS or directly from US consulate which confirmed approval).

        Additional comments: the uncertainty and waiting-period to hear from the US consulate was painful, especially since I have spent 11 years in the US and accumulated significant assets. Another downside was that after my official vacation was over, I have been on unpaid leave and had to reschedule tickets. I wish the process was more predictable and transparent to visa applicants. Although I am relieved now, I can relate to everyone waiting for their 221g to clear successfully. I earnestly hope you get to travel as planned.

  9. Jaya

    Hello Experts,
    I wrote in this forum before also. I am still waiting on my 221 G clearance . I came to know that my employer will terminate my employement on 16 april 2012, if I am unable to join the work on the day.
    I have few queries :
    What will happen if my H1 visa gets approved after 16th April, I cannot enter to US on H1, right ?
    I was wondering can I go for L2 stamping now , and if my 221G reply comes before 16th April ,I will get H1 stamped and enter US with H1 other wise will enter through L2. Is it possible?
    I donot want to go for new H1 petition filling while I am in India because after approval , I have to go for visa stamping and may be that will get me another 221 G .

    PLease reply and suggest me what is the best option for me at this point of time .
    Any help is highly appreciated

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Jaya,
      You cannot enter on H-1 as your employer has terminated your employment. You should enter US on H-1 only when the employer has a job for you. Otherwise, file H-1 transfer to another employer and enter US to work for that employer after their petition gets approved.

      Yes, it’s possible to go for L-2 visa stamping and it’s approval will depend upon your spouse’s L-1 employment. Once approved, you can travel to US on L-2, and then file COS to H-1. Or you can continue to wait in India for your H-1 to get resolved.

  10. Raju

    Experts, I am not sure whether anyone has come across this situation.

    If in case, USCIS revokes H1B petition during 221g processing, can we apply new H1B on cap exempt category?

    Please let me know if you know the answer, otherwise, I will talk to attorney and find it out.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajui,
      I don’t think it can be used for cap-exempt purpose as USCIS would have revoked it. However, I am not 100% sure and you should check that w/ an attorney as well.

  11. Sri

    Saurabh,

    My wife attended H-1b Visa interview on 28th Feb and was issued 221(g) green slip at Delhi Consulate. The 221(g) has other option ticked with ” We will contact you when our processing is complete”. The VO office retained the following documents.

    I-129
    LCA
    Client Letter
    W-2 forms
    Paystubs
    Tax Returns
    Bank Statements
    Resume
    Employer tax statements

    Passport and I797 were returned. After coming back my wife realised that employer-client contract document was also returned to her.

    So far we did not receive any updates. Should we contact consulate and submit contract between employer and client. Since, Delhi Consulate mentions not to contact them during processing, do you see any issue with submitting additional documents and would it be of any help if we submit.

    Thanks for your time.

    Sri

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sri,
      You can try to contact them, but they may or may not tell you a concrete answer. In general if they need certain documents, they would email to you asking for those documents (including passport).

      1. Sri

        Thanks Saurabh.

        We contact VFS and they replied
        “As per the US Embassy your case is currently on hold under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) pending the officer’s review. Section 221(g) of the INA prohibits the issuance of a visa to an individual whose application is incomplete or inconclusive, or whose eligibility has not been firmly established.”

        Sri

  12. gargi

    Hi!

    Have anyone contacted New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’s office for immigration help before? Please share the experience.

  13. Sand

    Hi ,

    Hi Saurabh and other experts,

    I was given 221g green slip for adminstrative processing and petition being sent back to USCIS for review by Chennai consulate on Jan/06/2012 because of EVC mode and mine is H1 extension though.

    I did not get any proper updates from VFS chennai and i called Chennai US consulate directly at 044-28574000 (open from 9am to 10am weekdays only) and talked to an officer about my 221g case and she said my Petition is still in chennai consulate because of pending PIMS verification and once PIMS is done they will sent my petition to USCIS for review.Then i remember that when i went for the Visa interview the VFS lady at the first level screening wrote ” Petition not available in PIMS” on top of my file .
    All these days i thought my petition was sent to USCIS and i am dumbfolded when they said my petition is still at Chennai consulate for PIMS.

    I assume whoever get the reaffirmation in 2 or 3 months most probably should be a “new H1” and H1 extension 221g’s are getting delayed. I am confused and not sure how long to wait.

    If i file another “Cap Exempt” H1 with my Prime vendor, how do i ensure that my new cap exempt H1 is updated in PIMS database before going to the visa interview ?
    anyone knows the process and steps to update the petition at PIMS ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sand,
      Another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you. Direct employment and EC models have better chances of approval. You should also ensure that employer-employee relationship is satisfied for better chance of approval. Regarding PIMS, I think (not sure) employer needs to file the petition in duplicate and request one of them to be sent to KCC (that’s where PIMS database is).

  14. raj

    Saurabh,
    I got a 221g on Feb3 yellow slip as the VO said she wanted to reveiw the contract and verify the employer-employee clause. Mine is a CVC model and have I-140 approved. I have changed the employer after I-140 approval. What are the chances of getting the stamping and time frame at Mumbai consulate. Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raj,
      There is no set processing time, and the chances of approval will depend upon the submitted documents. Did you go for stamping through your new employer? And is that employment in EVC model?

      1. raj

        Yes I went for stamping through tthe new employer and my employment is EVC model. I have submitted all the docs forwarded by the lawyer during H1 processing. Haven’t heard anything from the consulate from last 1.5 months. Not sure how long is the waiting period. Any rough estimate and chances of approval??

          1. raj

            Saurabh,
            Just received a response from the VFS

            As per the US Consulate your case has been returned to the Kentucky Consular Center in the United States. You may contact the USCIS office for further information. Please consider this case closed at their office.

            Please let me know what does it means and any further actions required from my side. Thanks

  15. aditya

    Hi Saurabh,

    Today I got 221G (green form) at delhi consulate. Although the documents which they asked in the form I have already with me. I told them but they didn’t listen. She told me to submit these document at VFS center and I don’t need to come consulate again. Also, she returned my passport. I wanted to know that once I submit the documents and if it is approved how they going to stamp my passport. Do I need to submit my passport at VFS?

    Also, is it possible that my visa can be rejected? Any idea how much time it will take for 221g processing.

    Thanks
    Aditya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Aditya,
      They would first process the documents they have asked for you to submit at VFS. Once they determine that you are eligible for H-1 visa, they would ask you to submit passport at VFS center. Until then you should not submit the passport. There is no set processing time for 221g and can take few weeks to several months. Yes, it is possible for the visa to be rejected.

  16. Rajesh

    Hi,
    My Passport address is different from the address that i filled in DSO form.
    Will it create any problems in document verification.
    Mine is H1B visa type

    Thanks

  17. Raj

    VFS Nehru Place is not trustworthy. Please be careful while submitting any documents to them in person. Please take receipts from them while submitting any documents.

    I was asked to submit employment letter and passport through VFS by US embassy New delhi on 27th Jan 2012 and I submitted all on 30th Jan 2012 and paid Rs.180 as a fee too.
    When I was following up my status to US Embassy via VFS and VFS replied back saying as per US embassy employment letter is submitted, please submit it as soon as possible.
    I was shocked to see such response from VFS and not not sure where VFS misplaced or lost document including passport.

    Please be careful while submitting documnts to VFS

  18. Nikhil

    Hi Surabh,

    I got 221-G from mumbai consulate asking for all petition documents along with the SOW and client letter. My queries are:
    1.I do not have the client letter, can I submit SOW and the letter from my company
    instead of client letter?
    2. What are the chances of rejection if I do not submit the client letter?
    3. If I change my location, do I have to file new LCA and amend the petition? If yes, what is the time period for approval of such petition?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nikhil,
      1. If you cannot arrange for client letter, then you can submit SOW along w/ a cover letter explaining why client letter is missing and how SOW can be used in it’s place
      2. It will depend upon the officer reviewing the case
      3. Yes, new LCA and H-1 amendment. It can take around a month to several months (I don’t think PP option is available when going for H-1 amendment).

      1. Chetan

        Is a SOW, Statement of Work ?

        Hi Saurabh,

        Although I haven’t heard from the VFS Office yet about the Visa stamping post my reaffirmation, owing to the 4 months of wait, my End client has terminated the contract with my Employer.
        So, if I will not be able to get a new end client, and have the amended LCA and I-129 on hand, is there a way to still get the Visa stamped ? What’s a SOW ?

        Thanks – Chetan

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Chetan,
          Yes, SOW = Statement of Work

          When you have new I-129, you can go for H-1 visa stamping as it is possible they may ask for client information again during the stamping. You will have to carry the usual set of client documents including client letter and/or SOW etc. It is up to visa officer whether to really get down to client letter or accept other available documents like SOW.

        2. Neil

          Hey Chetan

          Did you appear at the Mumbai consulate? I am waiting 2 weeks since my petition was reaffirmed. I am working at US hours from banglore and staying out of hotel for the past 3 months. Not sure why even after the re affirmation the consulate is making us wait. I have seen quite a few people from Chennai consulate being called for interview directly with all the documents after they got the re affirmation. This is causing a lot of frustation. The re affirmation actually put my plans of changing employer to my client on hold. and if now the consulate gives me another 221g on this re affirmed petition I will have effectively wasted these 3 4 weeks in hopes that the re affirmation would work.

          What a joke this entire process is………

          1. Chetan

            Hi Neil,

            Mine is through the Hyd Consulate. I got my reaffirmation on Feb 13th. According to the local VFS Office, no update on PIMS yet.

            Hope Patience pays…

          2. Neil

            so did they say that they have received ur reaffirmed case from USCIS and just waiting on the PIMS update?

          3. Chetan

            The VFS Office only said that they’re waiting for an update on PIMS. We sent them a copy of the reaffirmed notice, they didn’t say they had it already.

      2. ASK

        1. My client office is moving to different address which is about 10miles from current address. My Employer has already filed LCA with updated address. But, he told me that no need to file H1 amendment. Do we still need to file H1 amendment?

        2. If we have client letter, do we still need to carry SOW?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ask,
          1. Off late, USCIS and consulate’s stance has been that whenever underlying LCA is modified, H-1 needs to be amended.
          2. It’s good to have as I have seen instances where consulate has asked for both client letter and SOW.

  19. Chetan

    Hi Saurabh,

    My petition was reaffirmed on Feb 13th; visited, and later wrote to VFS; they replied on Feb 28th stating that they didn’t have an update on PIMS.
    My Attorney sent a letter to the Embassy, but no response yet.

    Would you be able to suggest any other course of action ?

    Thanks, enjoy your weekend – Chetan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chetan,
      That’s the only thing you can do right now. Your employer can also contact USCIS to speed up the process (update in PIMS is done by USCIS and not consulate).

      1. Chetan

        Hi Saurabh,

        I sent another reminder to the US Consulate & the VFS Office, and they called me to confirm an appointment for a re-interview. I confirmed the date of March 21st. I have also received the following E mail.

        “Please come for a re-interview on March 21, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
        Please bring your valid passport and re-affirmed petition, while coming to the Consulate General.
        Please bring a print-out of this letter, while coming to the Consulate General.”

        I will also be carrying all my documents with me, but do not have an updated client letter.

        What do you think are the chances ? Also, if they issue me another 221(g), how long could it take after I submit the requested documents ?

        Also, is this the general format (pasted above) of E mail sent to all candidates for ‘Re-interviews’, or is there a specific mention of client letters, etc ?

        Thanks…

      2. Chetan

        Hi Saurabh,

        Post the reaffirmation on Feb 13, I received the following E mail from the local Consulate Office.

        “Please come for a re-interview on March 21, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
        Please bring your valid passport and re-affirmed petition, while coming to the Consulate General.
        Please bring a print-out of this letter, while coming to the Consulate General.”

        I will also be carrying all my documents with me, but do not have an updated client letter.

        1. What do you think are the chances ?
        2. Also, if they issue me another 221(g), how long could it take after I submit the requested documents ?
        3. Also, is this the general format (pasted above) of E mail sent to all candidates for ‘Re-interviews’, or is there a specific mention of client letters, etc ?

        Thanks…

        Chetan

        1. Neil

          Hey Chetan,

          Congrats buddy. Which consulate are you going? (pardon me if i have already asked this, but cant keep track of my posts here :p)…….i am in a similar situation……..received the re affirmation on 23rd feb and still waiting on Mumbai consulate.

          I read in one of the threads here a case wherein the reaffirmed case was asked for latest client letter and hence was put on admin processing.

          Keep us posted buddy.

          1. Neil

            hey Chetan……just saw ur earlier reply…..so urs was Hyderabad consulate……best of luck buddy……..one question – is urs a renewal case?

          2. Chetan

            Thanks for the wishes Neil. Really need those until I land there and get out of the airport.
            By ‘Renewal’ you mean, is this the second or third time that I came in for stamping ? Yes, I’ve been on H1 for over 6 yrs now. Renewed 2 times earlier.
            All the best to you too…will keep you posted.

        2. administrator
          Saurabh

          Chetan,
          1. How old is the client letter? As long as it is recent it should ok, else its better to get a more recent one.
          2. Same as before. It can take few weeks to several months
          3. I don’t think they send out specific emails, but they can ask for same documents again during stamping.

          Good luck!

          1. Chetan

            Saurabh,

            The client letter is of Oct 2011.
            When the lady called to make an appointment, I’ve specifically asked her if she needed me to bring any other documents or the Passport, Reaffirmation notice and the E mail invitation that they were going to send, were enough. She said they were the only ones. So, I made the appointment for the 21st.

            Thanks for your wishes, hope it works out.

          2. Chetan

            Hey Saurabh,

            Got the VISA : )

            The Officer said, ‘Your Visa is approved’…what golden words.

            Thanks so much for all your support & advise.

            The big question – What do you think will be the precautions I need to take at the port of entry.

            I will carry my original H1B Reaffirmed notice.
            I will also ask my employer for an updated end client letter.

            Anything else ?

            Again, thanks very much…Chetan

            And, thanks much all you friends for the moral support.

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Congrats Chetan!

            Just carry the usual documents – recent employment letter from employer, client letter, re-affirmed 797 and client/employer contact/location. Also keep your employer/client point of contact to be ready for any verification calls from PoE. They usually don’t, but it’s better not to take any chances.

          4. Chetan

            Hi Saurabh,

            Am flying out in the next 2 days.

            I don’t have my updated client letter, which they haven’t asked at the re-interview stage as well. I have my updated Employer letter though.
            Would you think they may ask for that at the Port of Entry. Did you hear of any recent incidents at the Ports ?

            Thanks…

            Chetan

          5. Neil

            Congrats buddy!!!

            your case gives so much hope to me……..i am glad u got it……can you pls share the questions that he asked you and the answers u gave?

          6. Darshan

            Congrats Chetan!!!

            Can you tell me if USCIS asked for any additional documents from your employer before they re-affirmed your petition and if they did, what all documents did they ask for ?

            Also, do let us know you interview details at the US Consulate after your petition was re-affirmed and your experience at Port of Entry.

            Happy Journey!

    2. Sameer

      Chetan,

      I am also on EVC model my case is as follows:
      Interview Date: 20th Dec 2011 (221g Blue Slip given)
      Documents Submitted: 23rd Dec 2011
      Client Manager Contacted by KCC: 10th Jan 2012 ( Since then no Updates)
      I Contacted DoS: 21st Feb 2012 (They said that Mumbai Consulate has not contacted us but my case is in administrative processing and I should wait for Mumbai Consulate to get back to me)
      Contacted VFS last week to check if the consulate actually have received my papers got a reply that the papers are with Consulate and I should wait for consulate to get back to me.
      My question is how did you check that your papers are sent back to USCIS and they were reaffirmed.

      Sameer

  20. Neil

    My petition has been re affirmed by the USCIS and I have the original copy with me.

    Had sent a mail to VFS asking what would be my next steps…….today they replied back saying –

    Got a reply from VFS today –

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    As per the US Consulate the post will contact you directly when they receive the notification of reaffirmed petition from the USCIS.
    Regards,

    Anyone else who has been thru this before? How much time does it take for the re affirmed petition to reach the consulate.

    Thanks,

    1. Chetan

      Hi Neil,

      I had mine reaffirmed on Feb 13th, still waiting for the status to be updated on PIMS, and the VFS guys or the local Consulate to call in for stamping.

      I believe there are people even before we did, and still hanging in there.

      Hope we all get lucky soon : )

      1. Darshan

        Hi Chetan/Neil,
        Can you please tell me how long did you have to wait before your petition got reaffirmed by USCIS and also were you guys working on FTE, EC, EVC model ?

        I went to the USCIS website and tracked my case status. It says……..

        “On March 9, 2012, a USCIS office received this case from the State Department with a request that we review it. We will notify you when we complete our review, or if we need something from you. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.”

        1. Chetan

          Hi Darshan,

          Here are the details.

          Interview date – Nov 14th
          Update from US Consulate, Hyd – Nov 29th, stating that the case was sent back to USCIS
          Update from USCIS – Dec 23rd, stating that they’re reviewing it & will revert shortly
          Reaffirmed on – Feb 13th

          Right now…still waiting for VFS or the US Consulate to call us for stamping. I believe it needs to be updated on PIMS.

          Your Employer / Attorney can call that number to inquire the status. Updates on USCIS are very slow. The best part is that my reaffirmation is yet to be noted on their site.
          Things may move faster if your Attorney / Employer can reach out via a letter to USCIS.

          Patience pays : )

        2. Neil

          i went for the interview on 5th december………submitted the requested documents on 7th december………USCIS received petition for review on 30th Jan……..re affirmation was done on 23rd Feb………contacted VFS after that and they said tht the consulate will contact me once they receive the petition……….

          Chetan, I dont know if my case is similar to yours. For me they just said that the consulate will contact me once they receive my re affirmed petition. I guess you are a step ahead . The consulate might have received ur petition but still waiting for the PIMS update. I am not sure if I can ask the company lawyer to do anything about my case.

          And even my status on the USCIS says the same –

          “On January 30, 2012, a USCIS office received this case from the State Department with a request that we review it. We will notify you when we complete our review, or if we need something from you. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.”

          I have the re affirmed petition with me, but still have to wait. And the frustating part is that the VISA is still not guaranteed.

        3. Neil

          Forgot to add-

          I am on E-C model and was given blue slip for employer-employee relationship.

          Can do a transfer to client, but this reaffirmation has now added a new twist and I have to wait through it.

          1. karthick

            Hi Neil,

            My case is similar to your case, my petition was returned to USCIS from Chennai embassy for further review. On Feb-13-2012, my status has been changed to USCIS has received my case for review. I am a direct full time employee from an consulting company, attend the interview on Oct-2011. Petition returned to USCIS on Dec-2011.
            My question is – whether your employer are contacted by USCIS before they reaffirmed your petition. My Visa processing center is VSC.

      2. karthick

        Hi Chetan,

        My case is similar to your case, my petition was returned to USCIS from Chennai embassy for further review. On Feb-13-2012, my status has been changed to USCIS has received my case for review. I am a direct full time employee from an consulting company, attend the interview on Oct-2011. Petition returned to USCIS on Dec-2011.
        My question is – whether your employer are contacted by USCIS before they reaffirmed your petition. My Visa processing center is VSC.

          1. karthick

            Chetan,

            Thanks, did your employer or attorney got any email / mail from USCIS, When they received your petition for further processing. Can you confirm, After reading Neil post, his employer got a mail from USCIS, informing that they have received his petition for further review.

          2. raj

            Neil, Chetan,
            I received an email today from VFS mumbai saying that my case has been returned back to KCC. How long do I need to wait for reaffirmation from KCC. Mine is a EVC model. Would it help if the lawyer contact USCIS to expediate the process. Please advice. Thanks

          3. Neil

            are u the same “Raj” whom i asked questions regarding the second interview below?

            my petition was reaffirmed in 23 days (15 working days). My employer wrote to the senator to expedite the process, but the senator’s office turned the request down and told us that it will take its normal time.

          4. raj

            Neil,
            Thanks for your response. I am a different Raj as I am on this forum for the first time. Anyways, as chetan said would it help if my attorney writes a letter to USCIS for quicker processing of my case. Since I received the email from VFS mumbai today, how many days would it take for the USCIS to respond of status change like review under progress, reaffirmed etc. Any rough time schedule would help. My I-797 is approved through VSC but the case is sent to KCC. Thanks

          5. Chetan

            Raj,

            It took about 51 days to be reaffirmed, this is from the date that USCIS informed that they received the petition for review.
            Your Lawyer writing to USCIS may help, though they may not receive a response. In my case, it seemed that way.

          6. Chetan

            Hi Karthick,

            No, my Employer or Lawyer didn’t get any updates from USCIS about the review being done.

  21. P T S

    Hi Saurabh,
    My Husband(in finance field) was on H1B in US since 5 years and 5 months. He got lay off(on 2/22/12). His employer filed his LC, cleared(dec 2011) but did not filed his I 140 and gave him lay off before that. I am on H1B (healthcare field) too since last 9 months. We both have direct employers (small firm in both’s case but genuine). After getting laid off he went to India to stamp his H4 on 03/07/2012 (since he wanted to stop clock on his H1 because only 7 months + 2.5 months (recaptured) left on his h1). He got yellow slip 221g, not asked for any documents. What do you think we should do? Should wait for reseponse from USCIS? VO gave passport back and he has not cancelled his previous H1B in passport. What is the usual time it takes in such cases to heared back from Consulate office? Any idea??Any suggestion? Can he find new employer and can file new H1B petition?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      PTS,
      Usually they don’t have any set processing time, and it can take few weeks to several months. Which consulate did he go to? Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for him at this moment.

    2. kokkakolla

      Hi, if your husband got 221g with PIMS marked on it, rest assured he will be through. Mine had a similar case, intervieved on 29th feb, given 221g with PIMS and within less than a week there was a call from embassy to drop the pp at vfs. So….., rest assured, and best of luck

  22. Kumar

    Hi,

    I am on OPT Extension which is going to expire on August 22nd, 2012. I am working on a EVC model. My F1 Visa will expire on Nov 13th, 2013. I plan to go to India in October 2012 and come back in December 2012. Instead of filing a H1-B petition, I want to take an admission for MBA in the University in which I pursued Masters and use the CPT option to work.

    1. If I apply for H1-B in Dec or January 2012while on F1-Status provided the quota exists, What will be my H1-B Startdate?

    2. If the quota gets filled by December 2012 and If I apply for H1-B in April 2013, Will I be eligible for Cap -Gap? or Do I need to wait till October 2013 to work?

    Regards,
    Kumar

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kumar,
      1. It will be the date on which H-1 gets approved. So if it gets approved on Mar 1, then that would be the H-1 start date.
      2. You will get enrolled in MBA course, right? So the question of cap-gap doesn’t come into picture as it comes into picture only when OPT or F-1 status is ending prior to Oct 1.

  23. ASK

    Seems, most of people who work in EC and EVC model are screwed up during H1 visa stamping. Would you guys advise me (F1) guy to look for FTE wherever possible. Would there be any disadvantages of taking full time?

    I noticed most of the Desi friends are working on consulting model. This may be very fundamental question for me to understand.

    1. Darshan

      I don’t see as to why there would disadvantages taking full time. See if you can get a FTE job in big company like Microsoft, VMWare, Google etc. which probably would create less hassle for you while stamping.

      Most desi’s work on consulting model because either a) They were not able to find full time jobs, b) The consulting model pay is good since you get paid on hourly basis and you can get over time and also you get to work for different clients on different sets of projects which in way boosts your skills and resume, c) They were about to go out of status and they found a consultant who is willing to sponsor H-1 and hold on to it till they find a project at a client site.

      .

  24. San

    Friends, Can we have list of common questions asked during H1 visa stamping in India these days?

    I’m following up this forum every day to get an idea what is going on stamping. I’m working on EVC model, I would need to go for visa stamping in Chennai consulate on May (Most likely), I could understand, that is very risky. Unfortunately, I can’t escape from stamping for long time. Would it be really worth to switch to EC model? If that’s the case, I would need look for new client and project.

    1. Darshan

      San,
      To be honest you have to be REALLY lucky in order to come to India and get your visa stamped these days given the fact that you’re on EVC model. If you don’t mind sharing, what is you GC status ? I think it would be really worth to switch to a full time job and then come for stamping.

      1. Darshan

        San,
        Check out the first section “Kolkata Consulate – 221g then Rejection on EVC. Applied new H1- EC Model-Visa Stamped” of this link http://www.immihelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91138

        1. San

          Altogether, this will be my first H1 stamping. My status changed from L1 to H1 6 months ago. The closest consulate for me is Chennai. Can I go to Kolkata if in case that has the bit fastest processing time? Or Must I go to Chennai only?

          1. Darshan

            Well I would say try google and see if you can find out which consulate is serving better. Also, lets say if Chennai consulate is closest to you and if you go to Kolkata, the visa officer might ask you as to why you didn’t go to Chennai consulate. The best answer here according to me is to say that you were not able to get interview dates you were looking for.

            I might be sounding repetitive but please check with an immigration lawyer and schedule a consultation session (if you want one….ofcourse you will have to pay a fee for this) before you making any travel plans.

      2. San

        Darshan, I have only 1.5 years left on my H1 to reach 6 years limit. My GC Labor PERM was filed on Nov, 2011, however, I received Audit on last week. So, I’m really not sure, how long would audit takes to get cleared.

        Would it be worth switching to FTE now and have them to start over GC from beginning, generally, FTE companies won’t get start GC filing process very soon, I have 8 years of IT experience. What’s your thoughts?

        1. Darshan

          You are right that FTE companies won’t start GC process very soon but that is something you can tell them when they offer you the job. Usually they should start in 4-5 months since by that time you would already passed the performance evaluation period and you can also port your Labor dates (check with attorney on this) but the Labor filing process has to start again.

          I would say talk to an immigration lawyer and explain him your situation. Also, think again about travelling to India.

          1. San

            Thanks Darshan. I didn’t think, I could port Labor dates since it was not yet approved. Anyway, I will try to talk to an immigration lawyer to make the decision.

  25. Raj.SK

    Hi Experts,

    Need advice on my situation.
    Worked in US for 4.5 years with clean employment record, EB2 I-140 approved with PD of Feb/2009, came for 2 weeks vacation for my brother marriage and now struck for ever.

    1. Consulate interview Nov/11/2011 and Green 221g issued asking for documents because of EVC model
    2. Docs submitted to VFS on Nov/30/2011 along with Passport.
    3. Client agreed to allow me to work from remote but only with 30% of the actualy billing rate
    4. Response from VFS on Jan/2/2012 with no stamping, passport returned along with another green 221g that my petition is under admin processing and sent back to USCIS

    for further review.
    5. Reached out to my local senator office on Jan/09/2012 with a detailed letter stating about my Home, cars, other valuables at home and request them to expedite my

    case.
    6. Senator office took my case and reached out to New Delhi Embassy on Jan/14/2012, New Delhi visa chief replied to my Senator office stating that my case is being sent

    back to USCIS for review and possible revocation because of EVC, letter to USCIS not specifying explicitly about middle vendor, LCA not having middle vendor location

    and no employee-employer relationship etc.
    7. Tried to find new employers, got few, explained my situation they are ready to H1 only if i have a project.
    8. Requested middle vendor to do H1 they declined since they never do H1 for any one.
    9. After extensive negotiation and discussion, we convinced middle vendor to release me and got a NOC to add my employer as a direct vendor to my client.
    10. My employer is now preparing to file another H1 (cap exempt) with same client (EC model)

    What are the chances my H1 gets approved ? What are the chances and possibilities that i will get a Visa when i go for stamping?

    btw – My EB2 PD become current on Jan, when every one is happy that their PD is current i am kicking myself.

    Regards

    1. Darshan

      Raj,
      I am more or less in the same boat as you. My petition is also sent back to USCIS for further review and possible revocation. I spoke to an immigration attorney and he suggested three options :-

      1. Either wait for USCIS to get back to you (this takes a very LONG time)

      2. Have you current employer file for a new petition (you would probably still stand less of a chance here since you will be asked same sort of questions)

      3. Have your client or any other company offer you full time position. If you go with this option, you will have to ask you current employer to retain your I140 approval assuming you haven’t reached you 6 years term on your H-1 and you current employer might need to withdraw the petition from USCIS (the one sent back by the Consulate) but check with the immigration lawyer on this.

      I would recommend you to go with option no. 3 assuming you find a full time job since it will have less complications in the eyes of the visa consul officer.

      As far your questions go “What are the chances my H1 gets approved ? What are the chances and possibilities that i will get a Visa when i go for stamping?”……….no one can give you any guarantee here. Just hope for the best.

      I would also recommend you to talk to immigration attorneys

      http://www.murthy.com/
      http://www.peerallylaw.com/en/index.php
      http://www.manta.com/c/mmy9fqb/michael-d-ullman-attorney

  26. Nilesh

    HI Saurabh and all experts…
    I am really confused now. As I got g221 on 6th Jan and submitted all required documents after two weeks and after almost a month I got email mentioning that my case has sent to USCIS for review and possible revocation . After that no updates since 40 days. Since almost two months I am working remotely for client but now client may not extend remote working. I talked to my empolyer and it seems that reply from USCIS about reaffirm/Deny will take some or may be long time. I am pretty sure once my client asked me to stop working I will not have much support from empolyer as I worked on EVC model. I was in US since 2004 and I have approved I 140. Is it a good idea to file another h1b application from same employer ? what would be the best option for except waiting ? Please let me your opinion.

    1. Darshan

      Hi Nilesh,
      I am in the same boat as you. I work as a consultant in CA where as in my employer is in Bellevue, WA and my client is in San Jose, CA. No vendors in between though. I too got 221(g) and then a notice from Consulate saying that my petition and all supporting documents were returned to USCIS for further review and possible revocation. I too have my I140 approved.
      I spoke to a couple of immigration lawyers and they gave me 3 options :-

      1. Either wait for USCIS to get back to you (this takes a very LONG time)

      2. Have you current employer file for a new petition (you would probably still stand less of a chance here since you will be asked same sort of questions)

      3. Have your client or any other company offer you full time position. If you go with this option, you will have to ask you current employer to retain your I140 approval assuming you haven’t reached you 6 years term on your H-1 and you current employer might need to withdraw the petition from USCIS (the one sent back by the Consulate) but check with the immigration lawyer on this.

      I am going with option no. 3 since now when you go for visa interview you will be having a full time job and there would be no doubts about the employee-employer bond.

      P.S. – I would recommend that you talk to immigration attorneys in US since in most cases they are aware of the ongoing situation and would be able to guide you in the right direction. Here are some links :-

      http://www.murthy.com/
      http://www.peerallylaw.com/en/index.php
      http://www.manta.com/c/mmy9fqb/michael-d-ullman-attorney

      – Darshan

      1. Nilesh

        Darshan,

        Thanks for your reply.My client does not do H1b visa. I also reached 6 year of h1b term and currently I am on 1 year extension.I have around 10-12 years of experience so I may find other employer but in that case also I will have to pass through long process like interview, h1b filing, and again dirty stamping process. Even if I find new employer and go with them for h1b visa do you think my I140 will be valid ? or is it worth to wait for 4-5 month s for USCIS decision ?
        Nilesh

        1. Darshan

          Nilesh,
          Yes, your I140 is still valid as long as your current employer doesn’t withdraw it. Also, in order for you to find a new employer who can file for your H-1, you do need your I140 because this is the ONLY way you can get that extension on your H-1 since you have reached your 6 years on your H-1b term. If your 140 is not valid then as per law you need to wait for 1 year and be outside US before you can file for new H-1b petition with a fresh 6 years term. I spoke to an immigration attorney and he said it is valid to have H-1b for a new company with your old company holding onto your 140 approval. A far as the wait for USCIS goes, from what I have heard its more than 4-5 months. Again, talk to an immigration attorney and you will have some peace of mind.

          And also I am curious as to why you only get 1 year extension if you have a valid 140. You should get three years extension if you have a valid 140.

          1. Nilesh

            Darshan
            So if I find new employer then still my I-140 is valid, if current employer does not withdraw it, so that is good thing. For your question why I get 1 year extension because my extension was filed before approval of -I140. Infact it happened almost same time, I mean filing of extension and I-140 approval so at the time of filling my company did not receive all related paper about I-140 so I got only 1 year extension but weather its one or three years it could not have made any difference and still I would stuck here. As per current situation looks like for near future we are stuck and chances for getting Visa does not looks bright
            Nilesh

    2. Nilesh

      Hello, Experts

      Can any one tell me if I change to new employer how long it will take to get approval notice from USCIS for new employer ? I have I -140 approved and I have approved 797 till august 2012 with current employer. My question is if I change to new employer, they will file my h1b under cap-exempt correct ? and so how long approximately it will take to get approved 797 so I can go here for h1b stamping ? basically I was trying to determine weather to wait for G221 response on current application or find new employer start all over agian ?

      Nilesh

      1. Darshan

        Nilesh,
        It usually takes 2-3 months before you can get the approved 797 in your hands. You can go for premium processing but that will cost approximately $1200 or something.

        I am assuming you meant 221(g) when you said G221 . How long it has been since you submitted your documents ? Because if your documents are accurate then you should get a response pretty soon. Again it depends on case to case.

        1. Nilesh

          Darshan

          To be precise , I had a visa interview on 6th Jan and VO gave me blue 221g . they aksed for employee-employer relation, project details , how many consulatants company have and what is their status, project location, salary , company’s tax information from my side resume, academic reports, and client letter. Everything submitted on on Jan 24th. On Feb 10th got an email from mumbai consulate mentioning that your case has been sent to USCIS for review and posible revocation. After that there is no updates .

  27. Bhavna

    hi,
    I attended H1B stamping interview on 22FEB. after verifying all the documents they issues a 221g blue slip asking for an updated LCA document from employer and asked me to drop it along with the passport at consulate center. My employer submitted the documents within 1 week (29FEB) and in VFS site my passport is showing as ‘under administrator review’ .i didnt receive any acknowledgment mail that it has reached consulate I was informed my employer that it would get processed within 1-2 weeks as it a simple one document that has been requested for evidence. Is there any way to track the RFE number in any site? How long it will take to get the decision of consulate? is there any chance of rejection? Is there any way to prioritize the request?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bhavna,
      The only way to track it w/ your passport. In general processing can vary from few weeks to several months.

  28. Jaya

    Hi ,

    I appeared for H1b stamping on 27th jan 2012 in new delhi.
    I was issued with 221 G ( green form ) . Officer didnot keep my passport .I submitted the requested documents on 22nd feb 2012 at VFS Bangalore . Now I am waiting to hear from them. I cannot check status online.
    Is there anyone who was in same situation or anyone can tell how long its gonna take.
    Any info will be appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. Raj

      Hi Jaya,
      I am in the same boat. I got the visa refused the first time and got 221G green slip the second time. All we can do is patiently wait to hear back. What model are you on – EC? or EVC?
      Raj

        1. Raj

          Chances of approval are high on EC but again unless one gets asked to deposit passport I would keep praying. What questions were you asked?

          1. Jaya

            He asked me alot questions , I wont remember all but few of them were like :
            Oh you are in US since long ?
            What is your highest qualifaction for this job ?
            When did u finish your masters
            Why you applied H1 late ?
            On what status you were working before H1.
            Where is your work location ?
            Who is ur end client
            why u moved to syracuse from Atlanta ?
            Who manages your work at client location
            Is ur manager of same company like you ?
            how oftenly you see her ?
            How many other employee from your company work at that location?
            Do you have letter from client ( I unfortunately didnot have that ).

          2. Raj

            Good luck with your case Jaya, just deposit your documents and wait patiently. Hope your client can let you work remotely and pray you hear back from the Embassy soon.

        1. Raj

          Check out my detailed thread at:

          http://redbus2us.com/sample-221g-h1b-visa-denialrefusal-letter-from-us-consulate-india/#comments

          search for “Raj” on the page.

  29. Mahee

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working on a H1-B in a EVC model. My Employer, Vendor and Client are based in three different states. My employer is running a perdiem of 1327 dollars since one year. I am planning to go to India for h1-B stamping in September. Could you please let me know if including the “per diem” legal? Do you forsee a chance of VO questioning me on the perdiem?

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Mahee

    1. Raj

      Mahee
      You have no idea how big a risk you are about to take by leaving the US for stamping. I would strongly suggest not to leave the States for stamping. Google “221G US Embassy India” and you will see how unfortunate a lot of people have been who in spite of having all documents, have been forced to stay behind for several months. Unless you have an emergency, do not leave. Looking at your case, it doesn’t appear simple to me as your Employer/client are based in different states, its hard as it is to establish the Employer/Employee relationship. Do some more research on google so you can see how the US Embassy has been giving a good run to legit workers (its really sad).
      Raj

      1. Mahee

        Hi Raj,

        Thanks for your Response. I am waiting for your response on the per diem thing. Is it legal to have the per diem component?

        Please let me know.

        -Mahee

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mahee,
      Re per diem, it should be ok as long as your salary is at least equal to what’s there in the LCA. H0wever, I don’t know from tax perspective if per diem is taxed in similar way as regular salary, or not. What’s your attorney’s take on this?

  30. Lucky

    Hi Saurabh,

    quick question,

    since i attend H1B interview at chennai consulate on Jan 5th 2012, there is no update on my case, and i just heard from my client that says – there is no paid work from Feb but we will hold your position untill you come back to US and start working again. So i am day by day i am loosing my patience on issued 221g blue slip with only Administrative Processing and no docs asked.

    Now i am thinking apply for H4 / Dependent as my wife has H1b and she is in US. So, please advice, should i wait for my existing H1B 221g case or go for H4 , If i start H4 what are the steps to follow?

    by the way i am working on EVC model and my wife also EVC Model and since 2008 to till date she is working with same client

    please let me know if you have any questions

    Thanks
    Lucky

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lucky,
      As your wife is also working in EVC model, there is a possibility that you would be issued 221g there as well. EVC models are ripe recipes for 221g these days whether you are going for H-1 stamping or H-4 stamping. In case you decide to go down H-4 route, then you need to get all the documents from your wife and her employer and then go for H-4 visa stamping. If approved, you can travel to US and later apply for COS to H-1. If 221g is issued, then you are back at square 1.

      The other option you can evaluate is to change employers. You can change employers to move to EC model or direct employment, and then go for H-1 stamping again.

    2. Harika

      Hi Lucky,

      Me and mu husband came to India and we had stamping on Jan 18th. I had my first H1 stamping from F1 to H1. Now I work Fulltime .My husband works in EVC model. Even though he had approval, they gave him 221g and he has 7+years US exp and 140 approval.

      I spoke to 2 to 3 lawyers and decided to apply for H4 visa , I came back to USA and my husband went for H4 visa stamping yesterady and he got his H4 visa. They didnt ask many q? they just asked my paystubs and asked if I have kids. My hubby replied I am expecting ( I am pregnancy currently) thats all. It went smooth.
      I can understand you, we have gone thru a lot. Also we tried to follow up about the H1 process through congress man here, But that is taking time and more over if that is rejected, he cant transfer his visa. If that is pending atleast from H4 he can apply transfer on his H1 .

      Lemme know if you have any q? on H4. But think about your situation as your wife also worked in EVC model, Its just time thats all.

      Good luck
      Harika

      1. Lucky

        Hi Harika,

        Thanks for writing and your ideas

        i am also thinking the same to go with H4 but right now my wife H1 valid till June 2012 and she applied for extension (she has 2 years left on H1) with premium and expecting within 2 weeks. so, after that she need to apply for H4 through from her employer? or here in india just i need to take my wife paystubs and other docs (if so what other docs required) to go for stamping?

        I think i need to take again appointment for H4 stamping? please let me know how & what will be the steps to go for H4 stamping with my wife docs.

        Appreciate your response and advice…

        Thanks
        Lucky

        1. Harika

          Yes you need to fill DS 160 again and take new Visa apt. I sent all the docs as much as I can, Doesn’t matter if they ask you there or not but its better be on safer side.

          1. My 797 approval
          2.Client letter
          3. My offer letter as I got the job recently
          4. LCA AND i 129
          5. W2 Tax returns
          6. Pay stubs
          7. Bank statements and transactions
          8.My marriage card
          9.Our marriage certificate.
          10. My company batch
          11. Marriage pics and I had my baby shower pics too.

          Other than these my hubby took his docs, I sure they wont ask any , but sometimes if you are moving from H1 to H4 They might ask your pay stubs so better to keep them.

          Thats all I rem as of now. They might or might not ask about your 221 g. They ask in our case.

          1. Darshan

            Hi Harika,
            I also got 221(g) during my H-1B stamping interview and I am trying to find another full time job after which I will be filling out a new DS-160 form. They do ask in that form if your visa has been ever refused. Of course we have to write Yes but in my case after I got a 221(g), I got a reply from US Consulate that they have sent my petition to USCIS for further review and possible revocation. Do I also need to mention that in the DS-160 form.?

            Also, you said “They might or might not ask about your 221 g. They ask in our case.”. Could you please elaborate the reply that you gave upon that question being asked ?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Darshan,
            You don’t need to mention anything additional in DS form regarding your petition being sent back to USCIS for reconsideration. You will have to still mention about your visa refusal (221g).

          3. Lucky

            H Harika,

            Hope all is well,

            Quick question,

            Finally decided to apply H4 after long waiting of my H1b 221g.
            So, Do I need to withdraw now my H1b which is under 221g process? And then take new appointment for h4? Please advice how was your husband case?

            Awaiting your response

            Tx.Lucky

  31. Jay

    Hello friends,

    I finally got my H1-B visa approved after a second interview through a cap-exempt filing through a different employer (changed from EVC to EC model, same client, different position).

    I went for my visa interview for the second time after my previous visa was refused and petition sent back to USCIS. Following is the account of my case with the visa interview transcript for both instances:

    My initial H1-B petition was for an EVC model. I got the approval on Nov. 3rd 2011 and went for visa interview at Hyd Consulate on Nov . 18th 2011. I had most of the expected documents except a copy of the letter to USCIS which was filed along with the petition. The interview went as follows:

    Q. Sees my MS diploma and immediately asks for it to check. It appears he suspects my case even before the interview with the help of some info on his computer screen. “Where did you do your Master’s?” followed by “What was the best part of your school?” and then “Would you change something about your department, if you could?”
    A. Replied as appropriate. (The questions seemed irrelevant)

    Q. Who is your employer and what does he do?
    A. Answered them knowing that my employer was mostly a S/W consultancy and was located nearly 200 miles from my client location.

    Q. Asks for letter to USCIS filed along with petition by employer.
    A. I didnt have that!! (Guessing why my employer didnt provide that to me)

    Q. Who is your client and what do they do?
    A Answered appropriately.

    Q. Asks for the agreement between the client and employer.
    A. Done
    Q. How many people work for “Employer” at the client location?
    A. I dont know the exact number but I know 2-3 others (Later the memorandum from the VO detailing reasons for refusal misinterpreted me as not having complete knowledge about my employer.

    Q. Who supervises your work and how often?
    A. I was completely honest and said my work was supervised by a client representative.

    Q. Does someone from “Employer” visit client location?
    A. Mentioned “Employer” calls me once a week and visits once in 2 months. (Again, very honest answers due to lack of knowledge about employer-employee relationship criteria)

    Q. What tools do you use to go about your tasks and who provides them?
    A. Honesty again, I replied client provides the s/w and tools (the client letter itself mentioned the same) duh!!!!

    Q. Who assesses your performance?
    A. Honesty pours heavily…..I said my client manager did rate my work recently but the pay perk was decided by my employer.

    VO issues a Form 221 G asking me to submit the letter to USCIS ( he had the copy of it in front of his screen) along with the passport.

    Submitted them and after 3 weeks I received an email saying my petition had been sent back to USCIS for possible revocation due to lack of evidence of employee-employer relationship. Contacted employer and argued why he didnt provide me a copy of the letter to USCIS describing my job duties and details of Right to Control, etc. He did not have an answer, neither was willing to challenge the decision made by Consulate. Later when I read through the copy of letter to USCIS, I found significant discrepancy, it stated I had passed out from a different university and it also stated that Employer provided all the tools and instrumentalities to complete tasks. On the contrary, the client letter stated the tools were provided by Client!!! Utter carelessness by my employer which led to so many sleepless nights for me! I feel like reporting them to the USCIS and shut their business down, I will do that for sure!! Summary: My petition must have been sent back to USCIS due to my employer being a s/w consultancy, careless petition filing and also mine being an EVC model. I realized all this after all this happened, so some blame goes to me too for not staying updated about what is required to ensure visa gets approved.

    I approached a different employer ( I knew another agency around where I previously worked) and explained my case and asked if they had any positions vacant. This time it would be an EC model. New employer, new position but same client. Had an interview over phone and made through without problem. The LCA and petition filing (cap-exempt H1-B transfer, I had pay stubs from previous employer till the period before I left US for stamping) were done in about 3 weeks and on the 4th week since approaching new employer, I was approved. Due to some trivial delays, my visa interview was scheduled around 3 weeks from the approval date (Guessing this time must have helped update the PIMS). This time I was prepared with all required documents with specific emphasis to “Right to Control” documents and “employer-employee relationship” evidence (Nothing but simple documents which were copies of petition and other supporting documents consistent with what was filed by employer during filing and some documents evidencing “employer-employee relationship”!!!) Check this link explaining documentary evidence of “employer-employee relationship” http://www.h1base.com/visa/work/H1BemployerEmployeeRelationshipRule/ref/1577/

    Transcript of second interview through new employer:

    Q. Who are you going to work with?
    A. I will work with “employer” after I get my visa approved.

    Q. Ohhhhh….so this is your first job with them…….who did you work for earlier?
    A. I worked with “previous employer”

    Q. What does your new employer do?
    A. I explain it.

    VO asks for the copy of my petition…..I gave him that along with the cover letter to the USCIS….it was a whole bunch.

    After going through the petition and other supporting documents for about 3-4 minutes, he asks

    Q. How many employees of your employer work at “client”?
    A. I dont know.

    Q. You dont know??? (a little startled)
    A. I dont know the exact count but I have seen some employees of “employer” work at “client” ….by their badges.

    Q. Who will supervise your work?
    A. My onsite engineering manager, “name of supervisor”

    Q. Where does your supervisor sit?
    A. I paused for a brief sec and said ” She is stationed at the client location”…..(The VO looked like he was anticipating something before he decided to approve the visa)

    Q. What is your highest educational qualification?
    A. Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from “university”

    He went about typing stuff for almost 4-5 min and I was looking around to see if he was writing a form out to me….he said my visa was approved and passport would be delivered in 4-5 days.

    I left the consulate but was still a little nervous about getting a 221 G along with the passport….luckily everything went fine and I got my passport with 3 years of approval.

    I really dont know what the “changing” factor was, apart from going to EC model from EVC model, but I feel my attorney did a very good job while filing the petition.

    I wish all the others the best and hope the legitimate cases come out successful! Please let me know if you have questions.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Congrats Jay! Nice to hear that it worked out for you, and hopefully others will also be successful.

      Thanks for the nice and detailed write-up. Did you finally withdraw the other petition or have you stopped following it?

      1. Jay

        Hello Saurabh,

        Thanks!! I did not withdraw the other petition, I asked my previous employer to withdraw it, but he doesnt seem to pay attention to it….so it is his pain I guess. Do you think I should withdraw the old one?

        Great work Saurabh on this forum, you have helped thousands like me get lots of issues solved! Thanks to others who have contributed to these discussions too, please continue the same. I will try to share whatever I can to help others out.

        Good luck folks!

        Thanks

          1. Jay

            Saurabh,

            Is there something I need to be prepared on at the Port of Entry in US? I wonder if the form I-94 will be given to me on the flight or if I should detach a portion of the I-797 I got from my previously rejected H1-B visa. Would it be useful btw?

            Thanks

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Jay,
            No special requirements needed for PoE. You will have to complete the I-94 form (given in the flight) and show the re-affirmed petition at the PoE counter.

    2. Raj

      Congrats Jay ! Did you go same embassy/consulate both occasion ? Which one? Did you withdraw your prior pending petition before going to 2nd interview?

      1. Jay

        Thanks Raj,

        Yes, I went to the same consulate (Hyderabad) both times, as my attorney felt it wouldnt really matter where I went. I didnt withdraw my previous petition. Wondering if I need to get it done now…..

        Regards

        1. Raj

          Jay,
          You do not need to withdraw your petition. Here i meant withdrawing pending case from consulate. Some times consulate embassy issue 221g based on prior pending case thats we wanted to know whether did you withdraw or not.
          My case has been pending for more than 3 1/2 month and still pending after USCIS reaffirmed the approval on 13th jan 2012 and I went 2nd time after reaffirmed approval and they issue 221g saying that submit current dated employement letter and passport which I submitted on 30th Jan 2012. I dont know now what are they doing and sitting my papers. No clue.
          My empployer has filed another petition after we heard my petition was returned to USCIS and got another approved petition and wanted to go another consulate for visa stamping but in the meanwhile prior petition was reaffirmed and I went again with it and now my passport with them therefore I can go visa stamping with newly approved petition.

          To me it sounds they are knowing harrasing people and playing with their career in the name of so called secirty or whatever

          1. Jay

            Raj,

            My heart goes out to you….I know you are probably sandwiched in the fray between the USCIS and the visa consulate. One thing I figured was if the Visa Officers see what they want in your petition, they will simply approve it. Now it stands to be determined what they exactly want, what kind of preset requirement in terms of documental validity/ conformality or plain adherence to the visa rules. Complete agreement of employee-employer relationship is nearly impossible in all consulting positions. I feel if you satisfy certain criteria as prioritized by the Visa consulate, then the other “trivial” rules are ignored.

            I really wish this ordeal ends for you and others in the same boat!

            Good luck.

          2. Neil

            Hey Raj,

            What questions did they ask you when you went for the 2nd time? I have got my petition re affirmed and I am waiting for a response from VFS for my next step. Why did you get the first 221g? Employee – Employer relationship ?

          3. Pankaj

            Hey Jay,

            I have the similar situation and will be going for a second visa interview. Can you please let me know if you withdrew the pending 221g case from the consulate before going for the 2nd interview?

      1. Neil

        Hi santosh….similar uestions to you as I asked Raj …

        What questions did they ask you when you went for the 2nd time? I have got my petition re affirmed and I am waiting for a response from VFS for my next step. Why did you get the first 221g? Employee – Employer relationship ?

    3. Darshan

      Congrats Jay !!!….Thanks for putting up a detailed description of your case. Actually I am in a similar boat as you were. I work as consultant where as in my actual employer is based in Bellevue, WA and my client is based in San Jose, CA. I live in CA and work directly with the client. NO vendors in between. I went for my visa interview on 13th Jan 2012 and was asked more or less the same questions as you were during your first interview and received a blue 221(g) slip. I submitted all the documents on 19th Jan 2012 and got a reply after 42 days from the Consulate stating that they have returned my petition back to USCIS for further review and possible revocation. Now I am in talks with my client if they can hire me as full time employee and the immigration lawyers whom I have spoken to so far also think that this would be the best approach.

      I have an approved 140 petition as well which my current employer is willing to hold onto (which is really nice of them!). I am hoping that there would be NO issues during my second interview as I will be applying as a full time employee.

  32. Sunil

    Hello,

    I was issued a 221g and case was sent back to USCIS. Now USCIS has reaffirmed the case. Can anyone please suggest what next? How long it takes to Visa now?

    1. Raj

      Sunil,
      There is no such pre-defined procedure. It is all random and no one know what to do next including US consulate/embassy itself.
      Write email to VFS mentioning that USCIS has reaffirmed the approval. Mean time get the copy of your reaffirmed from your employer and VFS will respond you to come any day before 12.00 with the copy of reaffirmed petition and other relevant documents. It will be your 2nd interview and visa office either issue again 221g or approve visa.

  33. Arvind

    Hi Saurabh,

    I appeared for my H1B interview on 1st Mar 2012 at Mumbai US Consulated. They issued 221(g) – Blue slip to me. My case is EE based model not the EVC one.

    Is there any hope to get H1B stamped.
    Please clarify.

    Thanks.
    Arvind Goel

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arvind,
      It will depend upon the response submitted to 221g. Do you meant you are working in EC model (employer-client)? Usually they have better chance than those in EVC model. In addition, does your employment set-up satisfies employer-employee relationship?

  34. Karthik

    I went for L1 blanket stamping on Feb 17 2012.. All 3 petition copied were stamped approved and then a pink slip issued. At the other counter was asked for resume that I did not have. Emailed documents to SAO mail id on Feb 23. Passports were taken on the interview day.
    Any idea if mine is on track for issuance of visa.. Is my wait start date from Feb 23rd.. or Feb 17th..
    Also what is the role of the Chennai consulate..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Karthik,
      For 221g processing the start date would be Feb 23 – the date on which you submitted the documents. Pink slip is usually issued when one is working in a sensitive field (pharam, biotech, heavy metal etc) which is there on Technology Alert List. Once your documents are received they would do the background check and finally decide to approve/deny the visa stamp. There is no set timeline and it can take few weeks to several months (pink slips usually get resolved in 3-8 weeks).

    2. Sameer

      I had my Visa Interview on 20th Dec 2011, got 221g blue slip. Documents asked were complete I129 and technical description of the projects I will be working on and the Client letter. I am on EVC model. Submitted the necessary documents on 23rd Dec 2011.
      My Client Manager was contacted on 10th Jan by KCC for verification, manager responded to all the questions asked. Since then nothing has happened and it is almost 2 and half months from the date of interview. I called the DoS on 21st Feb 2012, was told my case is in Admin processing and Mumbai Consulate has not contacted the DoS for my verification.
      I am not sure what is holding the US Consulate from giving a decision after all this?

      Sameer

  35. Swaroop

    Hi Saurabh,
    We attended the Visa interview on Jan 6th and got a blue slip with only the first option marked as administrative processing and no other options marked. VO even took our passports and returned without stamping a few days later with a similar blue slip. Till today no other documents have been requested. No EVC model. I got a reply from VFS ‘As per the US Consulate, they do not need any additional information from you. Your case is under administrative processing. Be assured that the U.S. Consulate will contact you if the administrative processing is complete or if they require additional information.’
    1. Is there a possibility that they can come back now and ask for more documents.
    2. Is the quota for 2012 full for H1b? if so will my case be considered after march for the next year?
    Thanks in advance..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Swaroop,
      1. Yes, they can ask for more documents even at this stage.
      2. Your petition is already approved and the quota impacts the filing of the petition. In other words, your petition has already made through the quota and will not be impacted.

      1. maram

        Hi saurabh
        I been the similar situation, i attended interview on 23rd agust VO gave me blue slip in that mentioned one doc from my employer as well as replace my damaged passport with new passport to submit and i have submitted passport aswell as required doccs in sept. Recently i received my passport with out stamping and gave me a 221g white slip in that they doesn’t mentioned any docs from my side just mentioned still under administration process.
        in that they gave me a mail id i.e hydadmin at state dot gov i replied to that regarding my application status,i just received an automated message which is ‘Thank you. Your questionnaire has been received. We will contact you by e-mail if we require any additional information’.
        What does it mean healp me out

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Maram,
          There is nothing you can do except to wait. Once they complete their processing, they will either ask you to submit the passport again or reject the visa stamping. Are you working in EC or EVC model?

  36. chetan

    I gave my H1B interview in November 2011 at the Chennai consulate,

    the interview went well , but the consulate finally issued me a 221g blue slip and checked all the items from my employer ,apart from my passport and he said he needs to take a closer look into the case and i need not submit my passport , after reviewing the case he will let me know about it.

    i submitted the additional documents without the passport in Dec.

    as people advised its no point in sending an e-mail regarding the 221g, i did not contact them for 9 weeks after submitting my documents.

    finally i sent an e-mail requesting the update….the very next day they responded back stating that they are awaiting a reply from the US Consulate

    and the third day they have sent an e-mail requesting me to submit my passport…

    Is this a good sign of my passport getting stamped

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chetan,
      Yes, it’s a positive sign that they have asked you to submit the passport. However, be aware that there is a possibility it can still take them weeks to complete the process and issue the visa (even after asking to submit the passport).

  37. Neil

    Hi Saurabh,

    USCIS has reaffirmed my petition and my employer has shipped the approved 797 C document to me. I am not sure whether this is a positive sign or just another way the consulate is trying to delay my case or something. I was thinking about changing employer and the client is ready for it.
    Confused about the entire thing.
    Any idea on the exact procedure after re affirmation?
    What would be the chances of getting the VISA?

    Thanks,
    Neil.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Neil,
      You should email/call VFS and tell them that your petition got re-affirmed after 221g processing and want to go for stamping again. Based on the consulate, they would direct you w/ the next step of actions. Once you go for stamping, it may either be just formality and visa will be issued, or the officer will notice something and then issue another 221. Make sure you carry all the documentation again including employer’s letter to USCIS, I-129 copy, LCA copy, re-affirmed notice, old petition, client/project documents etc.

    2. Dana

      Hi Neil,
      Can you please let me know how long it took USCIS to reaffirm your petition?
      The matter is I am in the same situation here – my H1B petition was revoked after administrative processing. I am trying to figure out what timeframe I am facing.
      Thank you for your reply in advance.

      Dana

      1. Neil

        it took around 2 months(from the date of doc submission) for the petition to reach USCIS…….and USCIS re affirmed it in 25 days……

        1. Dana

          Thanks for the reply.

          I have a few more questions:
          1. I received an email from the Consulate that my case was sent back to USCIS in the end of January, haven’t heard anything since then. You said it took around 2 months for the petition to reach USCIS from Consulate.
          Should I just wait now till I receive a reply from them? Is it too early to worry?
          2.Was the USCIS answer emailed or mailed to you?
          3. Did USCIS send a NOIR to your petitioner/ Employer before they reaffirmed?
          4. Did you ask for lawyer’s help in your case?

          1. Neil

            Check the USCIS web site with ur petition number – EAC…..

            When they receive it the status will be updated saying that they received it.

            USCIS will contact your employer. They will email them when they receive the petition for review and mail the re affirmed I797 copy to your company lawyer (who filed the petition).

            Nope USCIS did not send a NOIR to my employer. They sent a notice sayin we have received it and we are reviewing it. And then they send the re affirm petition by mail.

            The lawyer did reach out to the local senator when the case was with the consulate. Not sure if that helped anywhere.

          2. Dana

            Thank you for your help and time.
            Your answers are helpful indeed.
            Neil,
            1.I heard that cases can be stuck at USCIS for months. How was your case resolved within 25 days? Did you contact them with a request to expedite the process? Or any help from a lawyer & a congressman?
            2. Has your case been under Administrative Processing at the Consulate before it was sent back to USCIS. If yes, can you please let me know for how long?
            3. How long did it take you to receive your passport with the stamped visa after reaffirmation?

            My case was under Admin Processing for 4,5 (!!!) months. After that it was sent back to USCIS in the end of January. As for now, my Petition has not reached the USCIS yet as my status hasn’t been updated yet. I totally understand each is different. But I am trying to figure out how long approximately it will be reviewed at USCIS and if there is any chance to expedite the Process after such prolonged Admin Processing.

            Thank you.

          3. Neil

            1.I heard that cases can be stuck at USCIS for months. How was your case resolved within 25 days? Did you contact them with a request to expedite the process? Or any help from a lawyer & a congressman?

            No idea how it was resolved in 25 days. I had given up when they sent it to USCIS and was looking for H1 transfer. My employer contacted the senator to expedite the process before the petition was sent to USCIS. The request was turned down. The senator said it wud take its normal time.

            2. Has your case been under Administrative Processing at the Consulate before it was sent back to USCIS. If yes, can you please let me know for how long?

            Yes. I got the blue 221g. It was in admin processing from 5th dec till they sent it to USCIS. USCIS receivd it on 30th jan.VFS replied to my email queries on 30th Jan saying that it is with the USCIS. So the exact day when they send it to USCIS is not known.

            3. How long did it take you to receive your passport with the stamped visa after reaffirmation?

            I am still waiting for the consulate to contact me.

  38. VN

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have attended interview at hyd on 28th Feb, I joined new H1 B employer in the month of Jan and traveled to India in the month of Feb, Visa Office was very particular on the company the internal project I am working on (internal project is real and is in good shape), he was asking on my they are not advertising on internet etc, at the end of the interview he said that my cases will be send back to US and did not handover any 221g slip, when I asked how to track the progress, he said, I can mail them or if everything is ok in US I will get a mail or courier,

    What does this mean?

    Thanks in Advance
    VN

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      VN,
      Probably the next action needs to be taken by USCIS. They would review the case along w/ visa officer’s comments and make their judgment whether to approve the petition or not. This seems to be a new trend where the visa officer immediately sends the petition back to USCIS w/o doing their end of research first. They are relying on the interview and not on doing background check (which would take both time and money). I think they are getting flooded w/ 221g cases and to share the load they are sending cases back to USCIS ASAP for such cases. But that’s just my thinking.

      1. VN

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for the info!
        Since my visa stamping is now pending, can I work with my employer from India (They dont have any office in India) until I hear back from USCIS/Hyd Consulate? if yes can they run US payroll? and what are the best options I have? or can I look for new employer who can file new H1 B with cap exemption?

        Thanks in Advance
        VN

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          VN,
          Yes, you can work for them while you are in India. It is up to them whether to agree to this agreement or not, and whether to continue paying you in USD. I don’t know what will be tax implications for this arrangement.

          The other option is to have another employer file cap-exempt petition for you and then go for another visa stamping.

  39. Pankaj

    Hi,

    I appeared for H1B Visa interview on 15th Feb at New Delhi Consulate and was handed over a 221g green slip to submit more documents. Mine is a EVC model. I have not submitted the documents yet as I am still waiting for the documents from my employer. After reading your article “The Beast called 221g”, I know that I can apply for a new petition through another employer even when my 221g is pending. The end client is ready to file a new petition for me. My question is:
    1. Do I need to mandatorily submit the documents requested for pending 221g before the new petition is filed?
    2. If not, then what is the favorable condition. Whether to submit the documents for the pending 221g or not before filing the new petition?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Pankaj,
      1. It is not required to necessarily take action against the current 221g. However, your employer may question you why you are delaying the response to 221g (assuming they are not aware about your petition filing through the client)
      2. The client can file H-1 petition for you. Once approved you can go for visa stamping. I am assuming your passport and 797 are w/ you and not w/ the consulate. During the DS-160 form filling, you should mention about the past rejection and then go for visa stamping. Once stamped, you can travel to US. I don’t think you need to withdraw the 221g, but you can check w/ an attorney to be sure.

  40. ga

    My wife for a pink 221(g) on feb 7th and VFS/Embassy site still doesn’t show any record for the case number given. I have emailed VFS but they are clueless. Any pointers/suggestions about how to go about requesting a status update?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      GA,
      At times the status doesn’t show up on the consulate website. Did you go to Delhi? You can alternately track on VFS site by entering the passport#. The first communication sent on approval is SMS to the phone number submitted in the DS form and interview appointment letter.

  41. Sky

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got 221g white sleep on 24th JAN and after that all required document has been submitted on 9th FEB. it is almost 20 days pass away and still i did not get any reply from them. can you please let me know the usual time frame they take for this? when can i expect any reply?

      1. sandeep

        My interview date:-10th Feb,2012(Issued 221g asking for client letter)
        Doc Submitted:-27th Feb
        Email received to submit passport:-1st mar,
        Passport Submitted :-1st Mar.

        Any idea when I will received my stamped visa and whether the visa is approved or not as I was told to submit passport.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sandeep,
          There is no set processing time for this. They can take few weeks to several months to process it. However, they have asked you to submit passport which is a positive sign.

  42. Ruchika

    Hi All,

    I got my Passport stamped with visa on Feb 18 after it was stuck in embassy for one month. Just wanted to give an overview of my case:

    1. Jan 18: Appeared for H1B extension interview and they kept my passport but not issued any slip. They just said we will investigate and let you know.
    2. Feb 18: received my passport with visa stamped through courier.

    Regards,
    Ruchika

  43. anand

    Hi Saurabh,

    what is the format of email i need to send in order to withdraw my H1B petition. as my current employer has terminated my job .

    -Anand Kotti

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anand,
      There is no set format. You can write an email addressing the consulate and request to withdraw the petition and return your documents (if any). You can also mention your address where the documents need to be mailed.

  44. deephoenix

    My 221g case details:
    Visa interview date : Jan 13, 2012. Officer kept passports and all papers
    Got 221g in email on Jan 18, 2012 asking for H1 bundle, notarized employee list, product information document.
    Docs submitted(with non-notarized employee list, employer forgot to notarize it) : Jan 31, 2012
    Mailed them next day and they asked to submit it again.
    Notarized employee list submitted on : Feb 7, 2012
    Got a call from embassy : 23 Feb 2012. They called me four times in space of 2 hours. I missed call on my cell, they called my spouse, who told them to call me back and they called back in afternoon. Had detailed interview. I asked whats the status now, she said cannot tell right now. Then she called again in 5 min, and follow up questions for 5 odd minutes.

    I am direct employee of 50+ company set up in 2009 and working from their India office(6 people right now) for last 6 months. I work for their product and have had 2 successful H1 B’s before.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Deephoenix,
      Chances of approval will depend upon your particular case details. Most likely, they would do a background check based on your responses, and if they find the employer and job H-1 eligible they would approve the visa. Are there other employees in the firm on H-1? If yes, then how did their interviews go (if any)?

      1. deephoenix

        No employees on H1. This is first H1 they are filing. No Indians in the company, all US citizens. In fact phone interviewer kept asking questions around how many Indians in company, who is owner, how many H1 employees…spell name of owner, CEO, CTO etc..Asked many quetions around our India operations though India operations is very small right now..

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Deephoenix,
          As this is their first H-1 filing, it is possible that consulate has limited information about the company and want to get more information about them. I am assuming it is not a public company, and so not much information is available online as well. That’s why they are collecting all the information that would help them in background check and future stampings.

          1. deephoenix

            Ok..So any ideas how much time it takes after they call you..Found very few cases where consulate calls and do telephonic interview..Mostly they call them in embassy and do interview..Have you seen any such similar cases

  45. Priya

    h4 is under 221g at Mumbai consulate,

    What are other options to enter USA, I heard they will reject visitor visa because h1 in in admin process. Is the visitor visa worth a try? if that gets denied is there negative effect on outcome of current h4 admin processing.

    Other options? many be f1.
    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priya,
      You can try any other visa option only if you are eligible for that visa. So you can go for F-1, if you intend to enroll into a school as a full-time student and have an I-20 from an accredited university.

      You can go for B-1 visa, but you may be questioned about your reason for travel etc. As your spouse is on H-1, B-1 may not get approved as B-1 is a highly non-immigrant visa while H-1/4 is a dual intent visa. You can talk your attorney about the chances of getting B-1 visa approved. If approved, you can travel to US and then file for COS to H-4 at an appropriate time (say after staying on B-1 for 60-90 days).

      1. Priya

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your valuable advice. Will start exploring the options you have mentioned.
        Things really changed nowadays, best is to avoid stamping in most cases unless extreme urgency.

  46. Raj

    Has anyone come across a case where USCIS reaffirmed the approval and applicant re-appeared for interview and got 221g green form to submit passport and employement letter
    How much it takes to get back passport with or without visa issue ?
    It has been more than a month after submission of employement letter and passport and no news. While following up through worthless VFS they are not responding to follow up emails. Does any one know what is exact process after UScis reaffirmed the approval and return the case to DOS for action and how much time embassy take to take the final decision? My petition was reaffirmed on 13th jan 2012 and still no clues what is going on

  47. Sonali

    Hi Saurabh and experienced friends,
    I am looking for your guidance on my case
    Here is the scenario:
    I was in US since 2004 and I came to india in jan. I went for h1b visa stamping on 6th jan and I was given g221 green form. They asked me to submit documents like client letter, employee and employer relationship , copy no of employee their salary and project location and their visa status. I submitted all docs on 24th Jan. Then I got email form us consulate Mumbai stating that your case has been returned to USCIS for review. After that till date I have not received any response but not sure what would be next action from USCIS ? How long it will take ? when they will return my case to Mumbai consulate,any time?

    1. Raj

      Sonali,
      Check your petition on USCIS website. If they have already received it will be shown. Keep checking status there till you see next action from uscis

  48. Ramana

    Hi Saurabh,
    I stayed is USA on L1 for 3 years. Later I got my H1B. I was told that a person can stay on L1 or H1 for a maximum of 6 years. So in my case, do they consider my 3 year tenure on L1 in the 6-year limit? or my 6 year-limit starts with the H1B?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ramana,
      6 year limit includes time spent on H-1 and L-1 together. Did you stay out of US anytime after your L-1 stay in US?

  49. Bala

    Hi Saurabh,
    When I appeared for my H1B interview, Hyderabad US Consulated issued 221(g) – White slip to me on December 6th 2011. I am yet to hear back from them. Meanwhile, my spouse got his H1B and is currently in USA. Can I now apply for H4-dependent visa? Will there be any objections from USCIS to apply for H4 visa while I am waiting for my H1 due to 221(g)-admin processing? In case my H1B gets approved after I travel USA on H4, should I travel India for visa stamping to start working on H1B. Please clarify. Thanks much.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bala,
      You can go for H-4 interview. I have read about similar instances where H-4 visa stamping got approved and no question was asked about pending 221g. Once in US, you can apply for COS to H-1 and when it is approved, you can start working on H-1. If COS is denied, then you would need to get H-1 visa stamped in the passport in order to work on H-1.

      1. Bala

        Saurabh, Thanks for your time in replying our questions. Have a question on your earlier clarification: After entering US on H4, Can I apply for COS to H1 even though Hyderabad US consulate is yet to decide on my H1B 221(g)?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bala,
          You can apply for COS to H-1 as long as that petition has not been revoked by USCIS. When the COS is filed and approved, you can start working on H-1 from COS approval date, which can be earlier than Oct 1, 2012.

          1. Bala

            Thanks Saurabh. I hope the COS from H4 to H1 can be filed by the same employer by which my H1B Petition got filed and is currently with 221(g)-admin processing. Please correct me if I am wrong.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Bala,
            It can either be done by the same employer or a different employer. In case of different employer, it would COS + H-1 transfer.

  50. Prasad

    Hi all,
    Attended PA on August 1st 2011 in Chennai for H1 B. Recvd 221 g blue form asking to submit some documents. I submitted all the docs on 21st Feb along with my passport..PLease let me know when can I expect update on from VFS.
    Am working in EVC model. What is the possibility of visa getting approval..
    Should I hope for it..Am so frustrated with h1 bprocedure..pls help me out with info…thanks in advncne

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Prasad,
      They may take few weeks to several months to process. Chances of approval will depend upon your case details and what documents you have submitted. It is not possible to provide an accurate answer to this, but off late lot of EVC petitions have been denied.

      1. mn

        Hi ,

        I appeared for H4 visa on 30th jan 2012 and was handed over a blue slip to submit payslips and W2 of my husband. It was send thru vfs on Feb 7th and till now no news. No updates from anywhere. On VFS website, it says under admin processing. My husband travelled to US on 20th Feb. Now i m stuck here. Guys, anybody knows how to track the status of visa. Waiting is really making me mad….

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          MN,
          There is not much one can to do expedite the process. To track, you will have to rely on VFS site or on the consulate website you went to.

          1. Mn

            Hi Sourabh,

            Today i got an email from vfs helpline which says ” Your passport with ref no. 90XXXXXXX is ready for delivery by courier except H.A.L. ”

            Does this mean that visa is approved? Please help

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Mn,
            They usually don’t mention whether the visa has been approved or not in the email, and probably use the same status when returning passport w/o visa. Be optimistic, and you would know in few days.

          3. Mn

            Hi Sourabh,

            Finally , got it stamped after long wait.
            Will go by 10th March. Thank you for the support.

            Below are the details for all those who is eagerly waiting for visa processing.
            Interview Date : 30th Jan and recieved Blue slip to submit W2 and payslips of 2011 of my spouse on the same day.
            Submitted Docs on 7th Feb.
            Status changed on VFS : March 2nd.
            Received passport : March 3rd.

            After submitting docs,whenever i checked vfs site ->Track ur passport site, it said “It is under admin propcessing”. NO other way is their to track your visa status.

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