As US Consulates in India are still closed for regular visa appointments, many are forced to apply for expedited appointment(EA). When you get stamping, many of you may have got US Visa with annotation NIE under Risk to Labor Maket, which was not very common in the beginning. Some were questioned at airport.
One of our user went through something similar and some nervous moments. The user was kind enough to take time to share the experience with the community. Thanks a lot to our reader ( anonymous for privacy) for taking time to share experience. We really appreciate it. You can send your experience as well to [email protected]
Background – H4 Stamping after H1B Denial in US
I was applying for H1B to H4 visa conversion stamping at Mumbai consulate due to denial of H1B extension while in US. When H1B was denied in USA on 11th March, boarded a flight on 13th March but could not bring kids (4 and 8) due to OCI travel ban. US Citizen Kids and Spouse (on H1B) are in the USA. Biometrics was completed on March 15th before closure but Interview on March 16th was cancelled due to Embassy Closure.
Since 16th March, we had been writing emails to support but were told to submit emergency appointments only in case of life and death situations. Hence we never submitted an emergency appointment. When we heard news about the Delhi embassy being operational , we submitted an emergency appointment on medical grounds.
We had taken a new regular appointment for October 6th in May itself and requested for emergency based on Medical condition of the kid and family separation on Aug 3rd. A Medical Letter from a Primary Physician was provided to support the medical emergency. It is important you have the relevant documentation like a doctor letter beforehand for providing proofs as needed.
Steps to Apply for Expedite Appointment from Mumbai
Below are the steps followed by me to get the Emergency appointment
- First you need to have the regular appointment in place. As I already had a regular appointment for H4 Interview on October 6th, I requested for Emergency Appointment using US Visa Travel docs website.
- I provided all medical letters and a cover letter explaining the situation. Also provided insurance proof. Also mentioned family separation as a criterion for emergency request. These all are attached in the Emergency Appointment request.
- You will get confirmation of the same after you submit.
- Waiting for their reply usually takes 1-2 business days. They replied saying it is approved and asked to book an appointment for the week of Aug 10.
- After approval, when you login to US Visa Travel docs website, try to look up for appointment you see openings for the current or next week and I booked one for Aug 11th, 9 AM. Since, Biometric was already done on 15th March, only had to schedule interview.
H4 Visa Interview at Mumbai, Questions
- Though I had a 9 am appointment, I reached at 8 but embassy was just opening up. I was taken inside around 8.30 upon security check but my interview started before 9 am.
- During interview, following questions were asked:
- At first, I thanked the officer for granting me an emergency appointment.
- Who lives in the US?
- Have you ever been on H4 or any other visa? I had to then list down my journey of visa status changes from F1 to H4 to H1 to now back to H4. I paused in between after the F1 to H4 story but the officer was keen to listen to the H1 story too.
- What does your husband do and where is his company located?
- Have you been to any other country other than the US and India. If yes then when?
- Which state do you plan to visit in the US?
- At the end. How do you plan to quarantine after going back?
- At the end, I get a pamphlet about passport collection upon fingerprinting of right hand 4 fingers.
- I was told to look for SMS for when the passport will be ready. Received a message next day that the passport was ready for pickup
You may also read H4 Visa – Over 20 Emergency Appointment Experiences
Flying to US – NIE on Visa, Nervous Moments at POE
Return Flight from Mumbai – Boston
- Booked a flight through United Airlines with a layover in Newark
- With just 1.5 hours to spare in between it was tough since I had to go through immigration and move the luggage to the Boston flight carousal
- Immigration at Mumbai airport : Officer was not aware of the NIE clause and questioned me on the visa. I explained the officer what that means to the best of my knowledge and he let me go past that checkpoint at my own risk of deportation upon reaching US.
- Flight experience – Everything was normal except the wearing of PPE kit.
- Immigration at Newark, Secondary inspection – Went through regular immigration check but the officer took me inside to a room where I had some company. This was first time for me going through this additional immigration screening.
- Secondary screening at Newark was more dreadful because unlike at Mumbai Airport where I could talk to the officer, here at Newark I just had to be seated to hear back from them. That too in a different room along with others like me going through such additional verifications.
- No phones or side conversations were allowed in that room. One individual’s phone was confiscated owing to same reasons, and it was indeed a scary moment to all sitting in that room.
- Once the secondary verification was completed which took like approximately 30 mins, the US immigration officer called me and gave me back my passport.
- When asked about i94, I was told it will be updated to coincide with visa end date.
- I was almost on the verge of missing my connecting flight now. After 30 mins of wait time , I was called again and told that I was all clear.
- I ran to the carousel for moving my luggage, stood back again in the long security check line for the domestic flight and was the last one to board the connecting flight.
I would like to thanks RedBus2US and this telegram group to help me reach my goal. Additionally I would like to wish everyone good luck to achieve their goal and praying for same every day.