One of our blog readers, Vijay Vasu, had an appointment for H1B visa stamping on February 11th, 2011 at Chennai US consulate office, India. He was gracious enough to take time and share his experience with us. Thank to Vijay for sharing his experience. You can share it as well, send your experience to redbus2us(at) gmail.com
The day of the visa interview:
Just like the last time (with my B1visa), I had gone to the US embassy at 09:00 AM. I had had some negative vibes the previous week with a couple of my friends getting their L1B visa rejected for various reasons. So, I tried to be as confident as I can and I ensured I was dressed best in my suits and also wore a smile always.
In front of the embassy, you will need to show your visa interview letter. They will then issue you a token. My number was N450.
You will then pass through a security check.
You will then be asked to wait in a hall till your token is called out. It’s a patient wait and the expected wait time is around 30 minutes on a good day.
Once your token number is called, you can go over to the counter. You will need to submit the following,
- The green HDFC receipt
- The passport
- Your latest photograph as per specifications
- Your H1B I797b notice of action.
- Your D160 confirmation letter.
You will then be asked to make a ten-print. That is all the fingers of your hand will be finger printed. If you do not have the latest photograph, you will be asked to go to a photographer in the same hall. He will issue 4 copies of your passport photograph for Rs. 100.
The officer will staple this entire document and put it into a USCIS cover and hand it over to you.
You will then be asked to a separate hall where the interview happens. You will be made to sit until your number is called.
The actual H1B visa Stamping interview with Visa Officer .
Coincidental as you may call it, I had to face the same lady who had approved my B1 visa in May 2010 and she was sitting in the same counter. I greeted her and she greeted me back. She got all the documents from me that was inside the USCIS cover.
She asked flipped through my passport. She asked me what role I was going to perform in the US and what my salary was. I answered it short and sweet. She then asked me about my project and I explained it and said it was an internal development project. She took a minute to review my petition and then issued a 221(g) blue form with a case number.
This form is something that requires you to submit further documents for processing.
The documents requested are all employer related documents.
1. A copy of petition with all supporting documents.
2. Copy of employment contract or letter of agreement signed by myself and petitioner.
3. Petitioners Income Tax returns for the last 2 years and financial statements.
4. A notarized list of all the petitioner’s employees. The list should show all employees’ names, their specific job titles, start and end dates and their individual salaries and immigration status.
5. State unemployment wage reports, showing all wages paid to each employee in the state, for the past 3 quarters as filed to: All States.
6. A detailed and specific description of the internal development project.
I told her that I had these documents with me. However, she mentioned that she will not have enough time to review all these documents and that I should post them at the VFS drop boxes in a city near me. I thanked her and left the place. Though a little bit disappointed, I was seeing the bright side that the visa was not rejected outright.
I expect to receive the documents from my employers in another couple of weeks. Especially the notarized list and the Unemployment wages report. I will then submit them at the drop box in Cochin.
As per what I read, from the day I submit my documents it may be processed within 15 days or it may take almost 3-4 months to get an update from the USCIS on the stamping status. I now am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best and in the mean time I will be looking forward to my next short term assignment in some other corner of the world J
I will keep you posted on what happens and I wish all the H1B aspirants all the very best with their endeavors.
You can read my complete professional background, How I found my H1B employer, transitions in careers, etc on my Personal Blog
We have all decided to stay away from India for various reasons like better quality of life, including financial reasons. If you want to help and don’t know how to do it, please visit us at www.aramtrust.org. Every little helps. Thank you!
Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4648496819/sizes/m/