New H1B visa Stamping Experience FY 2011 Quota – Chennai, India

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by Guest AuthorUpdated : 106 Comments

Naveen got his H1B visa stamping in late December after Holidays. He has articulated beautifully with every single detail in the whole process. Should be really helpful for anyone attending H1B visa stamping or any other visa stamping at Chennai, India.  Congrats to Naveen on his Successful visa stamping !  Thanks to him for taking time to write up and share his experience with our readers.

If you attended any visa interview recently, please share your experience with our readers by sending  it to redbus2us(AT)gmail.com . It will help others !

My H1B visa interview experience:
————————————————-

I have tried to explain the things that might be of some importance for the smooth Visa experience. I have tried to cover the fine details too(So not the one if you are in hurry!).
After I got my petition approved, as per my petitioner’s suggestion I got my interview scheduled on 23rd Dec (Considering the fact that this date will be followed by Christmas holidays). We were just hoping that Visa Officers in general will be in good holiday mood and if at all luck factor comes in to picture for the Result of the interview then chances of Murphy’s Law (“If anything can go wrong, it will”) would be real less 🙂
I got my tickets reserved from Bangalore to Chennai. Googled the hotels around the consulate office and luckily I got the hotel just opposite to the Consulate. It was really great being there (especially considering the fact that it was just opposite to consulate office). My interview was scheduled at 9:45 and I landed in Chennai a day before and came to US consulate office only to find out its closed. I was told before that there is a service inside the Consulate itself where you can get the documents verified a day before the interview but there was no such service and you are not allowed inside the
office if its not your D-day!
Got some necessary documents printed. Late in night when I was verifying the documents, I found that there were some more documents expected for the First timers. But sadly all the internet cafes were closed. The next morning some where around 8:00, I was checking if there are  internet cafes open but found none. When I was returning to the hotel luckily an auto guy asked me if I was looking for a Internet cafe (He probably saw the folder in my hand and guessed it!!). He took me to a
24hour internet cafe and in the last minute I got my Bank statements printed. I came back to hotel and had a nice complementary breakfast. Then at around 9:00AM I went to consulate. I was not allowed and was asked to wait as the interview was scheduled at 9:45. It was pretty much sunny so I thought of going back to hotel. One important point that needs to be noted is that, Electronics gadgets are  absolutely NOT allowed inside. There is a small cart available outside the consulate office which would keep your gadgets till your interview is over (I didn’t really use it though!) Then I came back at 9:20 and found that all the 9:45 candidates had already gone in and most of the members standing in the queue were of 10AM slot. When I asked the security guy over there has asked me to skip the queue and directly go to the counter (Lucky me!). At the counter (Which is outside the office) they need your Appointment Letter CEAC Barcode Printout and HDFC printout. They will put a seal on these and generate a ticket (this is like the token number). Keep this safe as this is needed through out the process. Then there will be Frisking before entering the building. As soon as you enter the building all your documents are checked to find out if you have sneaked in any thing that you are not supposed to. After this you get in to a room which has around 12 counters which are
basically involved in Documents arrangement. You will be asked to be seated till your turn comes.

Every counter will be queued up with at most 3 members. Ticket token number will be displayed on the screens. So have an eye on the screen for your turn. Your token Number along with the Counter number will be displayed. If you don’t turn up the staff over there will be shouting the number a couple of times. When your turn comes you just need to go and stand in the Queue of your counter and wait for your turn. Here you might have to produce a latest photo (if the photo in your DS-160 is not good enough). Necessary documents will be arranged in the required order and your finger prints are taken. A pamphlet  is given which describes the Rights of employees in USA (You will be
asked to read this pamphlet  before you attend the interview). Then you will be asked to go to the next building for the actual interview. We were made to wait in the same building for a while and then all of us who were done with the documents Arrangement section had moved to next building.

In the next building too its kind of same way. Keep an eye on the screen and wait for your turn. Once your turn comes you got to go to the your counter. It so happened that I was busy reading the pamphlet  , occasionally looking at the screen and thinking that there is still some more time for my turn. All of a sudden I heard my number being shouted and I ran to the place and then realized that my number was displayed quite a long time back and it was my turn right away (i.e. again I didn’t have to wait for 2 members also at the counter!) . So I didn’t even got a chance to have a look at how others are doing (The good thing is I didn’t even get time to get tensed 🙂 ).

Visa Interview Questions and Answers – Chennai Consulate
———–


Here goes the conversation with Visa Officer.
VO: Good morning sir, How are you doing today?
Me: Good morning, Yeah I am doing fine. How about you? [I passed on
the documents (which were arranged in the previous counter)] VO: I am doing fine [She started going through the docs and entering
some information in the computer for a while] VO: Why are you going to US?
Me: I got an offer in ABC company. So I would like to join the same.
VO: What will you be doing over there?
Me: I will working as a Programmer Analyst [Here I was not really sure
what she was expecting me say].
VO: [She gave an expression as if she was expecting me to say something more] Me: [I was kind of lost as to what more to be said] I started
explaining the project I will be working on in a couple of statements.
VO: What is your highest qualification?
Me: Bachelor of engineering (I didn’t prefer to say Electronics and
Communication as the Job doesn’t really fit to the Specialization!)
VO: Which specialization?
Me: Electronics and Communications
VO: How many years of experience do you have in this field?
Me: 4.5 years.
VO: [The golden words came out] Thank your very much sir. Your visa is
approved and you will be getting the passport soon.
Me: Thank you madam.
———–
Just make sure you maintain eye to eye contact and be confident while answering (I don’t know how I was answering things as I was hyperventilated as I went there running.) I was there with so many documents. Not even a single document was
asked for. (I had 4 Japan stampings in my Passport. That probably was the reason why my case was considered to be authentic). Anyways, prepare for the worst is the best strategy. The interview happened so fast that I couldn’t believe myself I have
done it :). It was 11:30 by the time I came out. Made all the necessary phone calls ordered one Gobi Manchurian and Vegetable biryani. Had a meal for the day and took a nice nap. Hurray!! That was the day of my life!!

   

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Comments ( 106 )

  1. Joy

    Hello Saurabh,

    I would really appreciate if you can provide me some information relted to H1B Visa stamping . I am providing you a brief info of my Visa status: I came here on H4 Visa. Converted to F1 status to do Masters. Completed Masters. Used Initial 12 months and then 8 months post OPT extension (17 months extension). This year a small consulting company(same employer whom i have been working for last one year after getting my 12 months OPT) having 25 employee count filed my H1 Visa. H1B visa is approved and i am planning to visit India for visa stamping at then end of this year.

    Please note that My company is a small software application provider company which basically gets project from its clients and all of its employees are working at its main office location. I have been working with this company for last one year at its main office location and while filing my my H1B Visa my employer mentioned in form i-129 that i will be working at the main office location not at the client site. I am the first H1B candidate in this company.

    Could you please provide me the document checklist based on the recent trend of H1B Visa stamping. I am very much concerned about my visa stamping. I really appreciate your help the time you are putting in. Waiting for your reply.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Joy,
      You may be questioned about your your credentials (work, education etc), H-1 job and the employer itself. Carry the documentation employer submitted w/ USCIS. Also have an updated job description about what you will be doing for the employer. As it is a small employer, they may ask for more details about company’s financial health. Lot of employers are not ready to share it w/ their employees, so you will have to wait and see what happens.

      In the end, have a back-up plan in case your stamping runs into issues. You may also talk to your attorney about possibility of attending the stamping in CA or MX as you have done Masters in US.

  2. yogesh

    Hi

    Me and my wife attended interview for H1 and H4 on 28th November. VO told the visa is approved. My wife got a mail to collect her passport (H4)
    but there is no update on my H1, when I check the status through passportstatus at ustraveldocs dot com, I am getting the following status “your passport is still with post”

    Could some one throw some light on this..

    Regards,
    Yogesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yogesh,
      It is possible that they are doing some administrative processing in your case. As your wife’s visa has been stamped there is a strong possibility that yours will also get approved (but it may be delayed).

  3. amit

    Hi Saurabh,
    do you have the list og things that we can carry while traveling to usa. I am traveling to houston, usa in jan 2013 month.
    Do we need vaccination certificate/medical before traveling to usa?

    Amit

  4. amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I went for h1b stamping in Delhi on 29th Oct 2012. during interview thy asked me abt company income tax statements and i said i donot have….in last thy kept my passport, i-797, 129 form, lca etc. and told me tht thy will email me on this. i m not sure wht exactly happening here. any help in this. there is no option to track passport online in new system, you can track via email. in reply i m getting ‘your passport is still with post’.

      1. amit

        Hi Saurabh…but i have not received any slip and not sure which all documents i have to submit. Thy just kept my passport and other docs..I know during interview thy want to see company financial statements but did not ask me to submit.
        and moreover and where and how to submit.

        Amit

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Amit,
          If they didn’t ask for anything to be submitted, then you need to wait for any communication from them. They would contact you w/ further steps. Unfortunately, there is no set processing time for this.

          1. Anand

            Hi Amit,

            Did you get any response from them. My collegue status is reading the same. “Your passport is still with Post”.

            Thanks,
            Anand

          2. amit

            Hi Anand,

            the status is same for me..no change so far…the problem is they kept my I-797, I-129 docs along with passport and No slip issued to me..So we cannot even track it.

            Amit

          3. kumar

            hi Amit,
            is you visa approved?
            i also have the same message “Please use a valid passport number or UID.” before it was Delivered to Post.

          4. amit

            Dear amit garg

            Got email from US travel doc:

            Your document(s) have been collected from the US Embassy/Consulate.
            The passport number being returned is Gxxxxxx.

            You have chosen to have your documents delivered to the following location:

            I donot if it reached and not sure if i got stamping.

            Amit

          5. Mohhand

            Hi friends,
            The exact same thing happened to me where in they kept all my documents along with passport. The VO told me that they will review the documents. No slip was provided to me. My interview was on nov 27th. How long does it take them to review the documents? After how many days you got the mail from them? Is your visa approved ?
            I am getting the following status as of now: Your passport is still with post.

  5. amit

    Hi Saurabh…got h1b approval and now going for h1b interview.

    Does the interview process changes like previously we need to get receipt of approx Rs 10000 from hdfc bank and the option is removed. They put citibank and axis bank. but the Hyderabad branches are there in the list.
    Any info on that.

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      You can use NEFT option to pay the fees online (after creating the profile online). In this case, you don’t need to go to any physical branch.

      1. VENKAT

        Hi Saurab..
        My Friend’s H1B petition approved on 11th Oct as per the web site and it is mentioned that the approval is being mailed. When the Original documents will be received.. Any one know, please advise.. This will help.. Will it take more than 3 weeks.. Till now not received.

        Please reply

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Venkat,
          The employer/attorney should receive it within 30 days. If it takes longer, then they will have to follow-up w/ USCIS.

  6. amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    The company-ABC applied new h1b for me. Its a in house job and there is not client. Now we got RFE below.

    Apparently, the attorney said that they are concerned that you will not be an employee of company ABC that we control, direct, manage, etc. They are concerned because they see we are an IT Consulting firm. They are concerned that we will have you work for a bunch of other companies.

    They have requested additional evidence in the form of organization charts-reflecting your supervisor, Work Orders, Job Description, list of tools, end client letters and contracts, etc.

    Any creative evidence you can think of, let me know please.

    Thanks
    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      If the company filed the application for in-house project, then they need to show what project you will be working on, who you will report to, what products you will work on, what is a the market response of those projects etc.

      If you get SOW, client details etc then it is no longer an in-house project.

      Will you be really working as an in-house employee or did the company use it as a tactic to avoid client letter?

      1. amit

        Hi Saurabh…..

        Its in house project only….basically the company is business partner of Avaya/Cisco/VMware etc. They have some clients in the Texas state. So i will be working as Solution engineer- network. which means i will be in house mainly but may be i have to visit clients for some installation of servers or for design their network and pre sales etc.. so there is no specific client. The company is not consulting but a communication/services/telecom small business partner.

        Amit

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Amit,
          In this case the attorney will have to show the work arrangement and how you would work including supervision by an immediate manager.

      2. amit

        Hi Saurabh…..

        Its in house project only….basically the company is business partner of Avaya/Cisco/VMware etc. They have some clients in the Texas state. So i will be working as Solution engineer- network. which means i will be in house mainly but may be i have to visit clients for some installation of servers or for design their network and pre sales etc.. so there is no specific client. The company is not consulting but a communication/services/telecom small business partner.

        Amit

  7. amit

    need small help:

    Suppose I got h1b approval (got stamping on passport) on 25th Sept 2012. and My offer letter joining date in US company is 20th october and same is on DS-160 form. But i am not joining on this date.
    Company agree for new date i.e. 20th Nov and giving me new joining letter.
    So do i need to worry on this.? how this thing work and wht i need to take care?

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      As long as you have the new offer letter, it should be fine. You may be asked about the delay at PoE, but nothing to worry about it.

    2. amit

      Hi,

      Its in house project only….basically the company is business partner of Avaya/Cisco/VMware etc. They have some clients in the Texas state. So i will be working as Solution engineer- network. which means i will be in house mainly but may be i have to visit clients for some installation of servers sometimes or for design their network. so there is no specific client. The company is not consulting but a communication/services/telecom small business partner.

      Amit

  8. Karthi

    Saurabh,

    I am working in an IT Company for last 4 years, beofre joining I worked in a diffrent company for one year. Unfortunatly I missed the releaving letter after applying for H1B by a new ABC who applied for my H1B.

    Now what shall I do? Can I take the photo copy of the expreance letter or I need to get a fresh one from my old employeer. I am not sure the company is still exist.

    June 2007 – June 2008 – Not avilabe – I have photo copy.
    June 2008 – Present – Avilable
    New employer from US is processing my H1B. He is ready to offer me.

    What all the documetns I need before going to stamping?

    Please reply.

    Thanks
    Karthi Kumar K

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Karthi,
      Relieving letters are not a must. You can carry experience letter along w/ payslips to show that you did work for them. You can also carry contact details of an ex-colleague who can vouch for you. I don’t think it will be an issue.

  9. suresh

    Hi,
    My spouse has applied for the H1 b visa and has PA on 11 Jun .can u help us regarding preparation for the interview and guidlines. She want me and my son also to travel along with her. I have B1 visa with which i have travelled last year to Florida twice.

    1) will that B1 get rejected if we apply for H4.
    2) what all need to followed to go to the interview.

    Please help me in this,i am help less in this matter

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Suresh,
      1. They might cancel the B-1 visa stamp when appearing for H-4 visa interview. This is b/c B-1 is a non-immigrant visa while H-4 is a dual-intent visa
      2. You will have to complete DS-160 form for each applicant, then pay HDFC fees for each application and finally schedule an interview date. You all can apply for same interview date and then appear for interview.

  10. Balasubramanian

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got my H1b Visa stamped for one MNC, and there is no onsite in my company. I got call from another MNC for onsite. My question is H1b can be transferred? In case yes whether it can be sucessfull(i mean to ask the sucess rate)? Also whether my present organisation can cancel my visa?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Balasubramanian,
      Yes, it can be transferred. The 2nd employer can file cap-exempt petition for you and submit copy of old petition as proof that you have already been counted in the cap. The old employer can withdraw their H-1 petition, but that shouldn’t impact the new one’s processing. The old employer can also get your visa stamp canceled by sending your passport to the consulate. If this happens, then you will have to go for another H-1 stamping through the 2nd employer; else you can use 2nd petition and current visa stamp to travel to US and work for the 2nd employer.

      1. Bala

        Thanks Saurabh,… Does 2nd employer need to pay to first coompany? I case of transfer whether i should go for PAI?? N how long does transfer of visa takes??

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bala,
          They are not required to pay anything to the 1st employer. If you have a valid unexpired visa stamp from previous employer, then no new stamping is required. The 2nd petition can take 2-6 months to process under normal processing.

          1. Bala

            Thanks Saurabh, also please let me knw if a new employer can initiate transfer process when am still in 1st compay(60 days notice period). Also kindly tell me abt wat is the exact procedure for transfer process, what r d document that r needed??

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Bala,
            Yes, it can be initiated anytime. The new employer will have to file a cap-exempt petition for you and send it to USCIS. Once approved, you can travel to US on new petition and old visa stamp.

            Documents list is same as that for your old petition. The only extra document is copy of your approved 797 which also needs to be sent to USCIS in case of this petition.

  11. amit

    Very very urgent help:

    Hi,

    Few days back I went for H1b stamping in US Embassy Delhi…

    They kept my passport, LCA, i-129, 1-797 , client letters and told me tht thy get back in week.

    After 10 days, received my passport without Visa and i-797 form, and one letter from embassy only.

    Now my employer is saying that I should go again stamping with same form for different client, as visa approval is valid.

    Letter from embassy:

    based on the docs you have submited to us and the info elicited during interview we are not able to issue h1b visa because:

    your petitioner is does not appears to be either able or wilings to provide qualified employement in the us acc to laws.

    The us embassy delshi is no longer handling ur case.

    for ur info, visa refused under 221g Immg and nationality act. the visa canot be issued to anyone whose application does not appears
    to the consuler officer to meet the requirements of INA.

    Is this still valid?

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      Your petition is still valid. This looks like a new trick by the consulate. Earlier they used to send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration and USCIS would re-affirm them (don’t know the ratio of petitions re-affirmed). The person could then have reappeared for interview, and consulate would have to issue the visa. Now they are returning the petition back to you, and so USCIS cannot re-affirm it.

      If you want to for another client, then your employer will have to file new LCA and H-1 amendment for the new client and you can then appear for H-1 visa stamping. You will have to complete another DS-160 form, mention about your previous 221g (it’s a visa rejection) and pay HDFC receipt fees.

      1. amit

        Hi Saurabh…..

        Thanks a lot for your reply….few more queries i have…thanks for your help always..

        1. Now a new employer is ready to file new h1b visa in this year quota 2013…..so do employer or employee need to mentioned about my previous h1b visa details any where in the forms…..will this effect…
        2. New employer will file new h1b and donot want to use previous approved petition (because the problem here is that when I got approval from my Employer A for h1b visa….in the i-129, i-797 form thy put wrong country name/ birth place- philipines and it should be india.)..You already know that i have rejection letter and original i-797.
        3. Will new employer face any issue because of previous h1b.
        4. what all info/docs will be required for me or new employer in the new h1b 2013.

        Thanks
        Amit

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Amit,
          1. If they want to file a new cap-subject petition then there is no need to mention old petition details. If they want to file cap-exempt petition, then previous petition needs to be mentioned. In either case let your employer know about your entire H-1 history.
          2. If they are going through cap again, then no need to mention previous H-1 details. You would still need to mention about previous 221g visa refusal when going for subsequent stamping
          3. I don’t think so
          4. It will require same documents and information as the previous H-1 petition

  12. Bala

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have my interview on May 1st. I belong to BEP category. Regarding my roles and responsiblities i have a question. In my I129 form my role is defined as Sysyem Analyst(Roles as Developing and maintance), now i changed ymy project and in DS160 form i have entered my roles n responsiblities as Test Analyst(Every thing related to Testing). In interview if they ask about my roles, what should i tell?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bala,
      IMO, this can be an issue – your petition was approved for one kind of work, and you will actually do a different kind of work. If you would really doing the testing, then that should be your response, but you will have to check w/ your attorney if the discrepancy can cause an issue or not.

      1. Bala

        Thanks Saurabh.. I work for an MNC, when i asked they are asking me to say what they have mentioned in I129. But i have mentioned abt testing roles in DS160. So i am confused wat to say on my PAI

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bala,
          The right answer is what’s there in LCA and I-129. But looks like that’s not the truth. So talk to your attorney on how to deal it.

  13. amit

    Hi Saurabh…

    Hi….I went today for my h1b interview…as you know there were some error in 129 and 797 form ( citizenship- philipness by mistake)….thy did not ask me anything abt that….VO Officer asked me lot of questions on employee-employeer relation……

    In the last she gave me one gree paper and marked some circles on the required docs ( lca, 129, clint letter, offer letter) and asked to get that in 2-3 min…..so i went back to seat, arranged the circled docs and gave to her back….she told me that she need to verify my details and kept my passport too…we will inform you in few days…

    wht it means, selected or rejected?
    thanks
    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      It is still up in the air. They will review the documents and your petition, and will then either approve it or reject it. As they have kept the passport, it’s a positive sign.

  14. Manu

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for answering everyone’s queries on this forum. It’s a hit.

    Coudl you please let me know that once the visa has been stamped and you have heard the golden words, what all documents do i need to collect from the visa office. It’s given that passport would be send via courier.

    I have seen in many posts on this forum that people have indicated on their 190 being held and all…

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Manu,
      I don’t know what you are referring to as 190. Usually after the stamping they return all the documents to the applicant except for passport and 797. These two will arrive in the packet sent once visa has been stamped.

  15. RongDecisions

    Hi Saurabh,
    I had my visa interview on the 11th. I was asked a few questions which I answered. The VCO seemed satisfied. She said “You will get your visa in a week”. She did not say your visa is approved. And she kept the I797 with her along with the DS160 and my passport. I wasnt issued any slip. VFS website says “Your Passport is under process at U.S Embassy/Consulate.” when I track my visa. It didn’t occur to me ask her if the visa was approve (stupid me).
    1. What chances of my visa going into admin process even if i wasn’t given any such indication?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      RongDecisions,
      It is tough to say. I have seen instances where they said the magical words, but then put the case under administrative processing. If everything is fine, the passport becomes ready within 1-3 days. If it takes longer, then it means they are doing some additional processing. And yes, they can put it under administrative processing even w/o issuing any case number of colored slip.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          rongDecisions,
          You can try, but I don’t think VFS will provide any more meaningful information than what’s already there on the website (passport under process).

  16. Amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am having a valid H1-B visa for Company X but due to project cancellation, I am not able to go to US. Now, I am having an offer from Company Y and they have an instant Onsite Opportunity. So, can I go to US on payroll of Company Y on same H1-B visa? Please brief me about the process?

    TIA
    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      Yes, you can. Y can file cap-exempt petition for you. Once approved, you can travel to US using Y’s petition and existing H-1 visa stamp from A. No new stamping is required as long as A’s visa stamp is still valid.

      1. Amit

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks a lot for your revert. Will I be required to go for the interview again at the US consulate for company Y and will this come under the normal cap of 65000 H1-B approvals?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Amit,
          You don’t need to go for stamping again as long as A’s visa stamp is still valid. Also it will be cap-exempt i.e. it not subject to any 65K quota. It can be filed independent of what’s happening w/ the quota.

  17. HR

    Hi Saurabh,
    My wife and myself work as Software Engineers for a non profit healthcare company that has more than 30000 employees among which ~800 are IT staff. I am in my 6th year of H1 B that is valid till Nov, 2012 and I have approved I 140. My wife’s H1 B is valid till Feb, 2013 and she is waiting on I 140 approval. We have plans to go to India in May and we need to attend the Visa interview. Since I will have only 6 months of H1 B validity from May, would we have any issues in the visa interview. We both got visa stamped for the same employer in 2010. We attended the interview together as co-workers. We are planning to do the same thing this time too.

    I am also very much worried about 221 (g). Could you please let me know if you see any issues in our visa interview?

    Thanks in advance.

    HR

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      HR,
      If you are working as direct employees of such a big firm, then 221g shouldn’t be a big concern. However, as your industry is healthcare, there is a possibility that it may trigger TAL (technology alert list). If that happens, they would issue 221g which may take 3-4 weeks to process. As you have got visas stamped through same employer in the past, it may not be a big concern, but it’s better to have contingency plans in case situation changes.

      Also it should be ok to go for stamping w/ only 6 month petition remaining.

  18. kumar

    Hi Saurabh,

    Brother I have some questions where your help will be required for VISA stamping.
    Please answer taking into consideration my company have applied for L1 B blanket in March 2008 and it got rejected. I was given the reason that I do not have specialised skills when I appeared for the interview, and I do not have the rejection slip after teh interview as I have lost it.

    Saurabh, You asked me whether it was rejcted in petition phase?
    The answer is I went will all my documents to Chennai consulate and they after going through the documents at the counter asked me questions regarding my skills and said it is not specialised skill for L1 so I should apply for H1. It is the normal scenario where most of the L1B Blanket petitions are rejected. I hope this is only the petition phase please confirm. They gave my passport back with a slip which I have lost.

    Please provide the best way to answer as I have read that our answer should be short and to the point.

    1. Have you ever applied for US VISA ?
    Answer: No.(Please let me know whether I should say yes or add that have applied for L1B blanket by my employer).

    or Have you ever applied for USA work permit?
    Yes( As I have gone for L1B vlanket ptition.

    2. Have your VISA been refused ever?
    Answer: No (Or should I add that the L1b blanket petition was rejected. If I just say No is that a good answer)

    3.Is this the first time you have applied for USA Visa?
    Yes(Please let me know whether I need to mention the L1 B blanket petition or how I should answer such questions).

    4. Were your USA petition have been rejected before?

    Yes , My employer have applied for L1 B blanket petition before and that was rejected because I did not had specialized skills.

    5. Why are you going to USA?
    I am going to USA on a temporary assignment wher I need to gather the requirements for the new project and the project details.(Please let me know if the answer should contain more data).

    Please answer these questions which requires your expertise.
    Also please add if some thing like this where we might need you.

    Regards,

    Kumar

  19. Kumar

    Hi Saurabh,

    Brother I have some questions where your help will be required for VISA stamping.
    Please answer taking into consideration my company have applied for L1 B blanket in March 2008 and it got rejected. I was given the reason that I do not have specialised skills when I appeared for the interview, and I do not have the rejection slip after teh interview as I have lost it.

    Please provide the best way to answer as I have read that our answer should be short and to the point.

    1. Have you ever applied for US VISA ?
    Answer: No.(Please let me know whether I should say yes or add that have applied for L1B blanket by my employer).

    2. Have your VISA been refused ever?
    Answer: No (Or should I add that the L1b blanket petition was rejected. If I just say No is that a good answer)

    3.Is this the first time you have applied for USA Visa?
    Yes(Please let me know whether I need to mention the L1 B blanket petition or how I should answer such questions).

    4. Were your USA petition have been rejected before?

    Yes , My employer have applied for L1 B blanket petition before and that was rejected because I did not had specialized skills.

    5. Why are you going to USA?
    I am going to USA on a temporary assignment wher I need to gather the requirements for the new project and the project details.(Please let me know if the answer should contain more data).

    Please answer these questions which requires your expertise.
    Also please add if some thing like this where we might need you.

    Regards,

    Kumar

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kumar,
      When you say L-1 blanket was rejected, do you mean it was rejected during petition processing stage or during the visa stamping interview?

      1. kumar

        Hi Saurabh,

        For L1 blanket petition I went with all my documents to Chennai consulate.
        during the inetrview where they question what are my skills they told me that I do not possess specialised skills to go for L1 Blanket and gave me a slip which I have lost. I hope this is the petition process itself as after this counter acceptance only i woul have gone for Visa stamping.
        Please confirm my understanding as most of the L1 B blnket petition is rejected as was my case in chennai because of not having specialised skills.

        Also please add one more question to the above given list.

        Have you ever applied for USA work permit?

        Answer: Yes(Or it shoul be No as the L1 B blanket petition was rejected during the petition phase as explained above)

        Regards,

        Prince

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Kumar,
          If you went to the consulate and received the rejection there, then it was visa denied and not petition denied. Petition is I-129S (L-1 blanket petition) which was already approved at the time you went for interview.

          Based on this your responses should be:
          1. Have you ever applied for US VISA ? Yes
          2. Have your VISA been refused ever? Yes
          3.Is this the first time you have applied for USA Visa? No, but first time H-1
          4. Were your USA petition have been rejected before? No, visa was rejected and not petition
          5. Why are you going to USA? This should match the role and duties mentioned in the letter employer would have sent to USCIS as part of H-1 filing
          6. Have you ever applied for USA work permit? Yes, L-1

          Also please keep all communication related to this at one place only. Do not post it again multiple times on different pages. Thanks

          1. Kumar

            Thanks Saurabh,

            Now that I have already submitted the DS-160 how should I explain them this.
            Also I do not have the rejection slip.

            How should I answer because I have given the answer as No for have your VISA been refused before in the DS-160.

            What will be outcome of this mistake. How will they react and how should I answer, If put the above questions.

            Regards,

            Kumar

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kumar,
            Have you already scheduled an interview date? If no, then you can fill another DS-160 form. If yes, then you can carry the same and request the VFS guy (who looks at the documents at 1st counter in the consulate) to update that for you. Rejection slip is not mandatory, and just knowing the reason (to the best of your knowledge) is good enough.

          3. kumar

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the reply.
            Please let me know whether instead of modifying the details in the first counter if I directly answer that my L1B visa was rejected because i do not have specialized knowledge if at all I am asked this question by the consulate, then will it be alright.

            Please guide.

            Regards,

            Kumar

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kumar,
            That would be alright. However, if the VO asks the question that your visa has been rejected in the past then why did you not mention Yes in the answer, that would put you in a fix. If you would have already talked to the 1st counter person, you can at least say that you filled it incorrectly and then tried to fix it at the 1st counter.

            They know about the rejection, as it would be in your file. In addition, the rejection was due to a reason which doesn’t impact your H-1 processing.

          5. Kumar

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the reply. Asking the counter 1 guy to do the modification might lead to rescheduling of the appointment.
            How much is the possibility of that.

            Please let us know.

            Regards,

            Kumar

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kumar,
            The 1st counter (VFS) is usually the person who ensures that all information is captured, along w/ photo and questions you few things to confirm the same. IMO, it should be ok to request him to modify than to carry the risk of lying on the document. It’s your choice.

  20. nadeem

    hi,
    did someone from Hyderabad went to Chennai for h1b stamping for the first time?

    can a resident of a.p go to Chennai too……….

    i have read a press release of nov-2010 where us ambassador states that all the consulates in India now accepts applications irrespective of state of residence.

    has someone tried it? plz reply

  21. Subba

    Can anyone please help me in the choosing the US Visa Consulate: Can Andhra Pradesh residents go to Chennai for H1-B Visa stamping for the FIRST TIME?

    Thanks,
    Subba.

  22. raj

    Hello saurabh & others,

    I have a valid H1B from my company and recently my company merged with another company and got a name change and my lawyers said they don’t need to reapply for my h1b because of successor in interest, They also told would provide me a letter as a proof for the merger. in this situation i am planning to go for stamping in January in India(chennai) for my H1b, should this be a issue at the consulate or port of entry? has anyone gone to stamping in this situation? should i mention about the merger to the VO at the time of stamping or just keep quiet. guys this is urgent since i have already booked my tickets. please shed your comments.. thank you..

      1. raj

        Thank you saurabh. should i bring this merger issue to the notice of VO or just leave it for him to find it..would he or she be able to interpret successor of interest? by the way my company Tax id number is changing as well.. I have my 1-797 with previous company name on it.. with consulates in India being stricter would it be better with this situation, go to Canada for stamping? I don’t mind cancelling my trip if it has a lot of risk.. what do you think?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          IMO, you can leave it to him. If he asks about it, then you can submit the documentation.

          If you are working as a direct employee, then it is still ok to go to India for stamping. If you are working for a consulting company, then you always carry that risk of getting stuck w/ 221g.

  23. vinita

    hello friends !
    i am an h1b holder and formaly i had h4 (student) visa. so now on base of my h1b if i want to travel india
    1) do i need visa to come back to us even i have visa of h4.
    2) if yes !!!! then what suggestions about doccuments and interview and things to be aware

    thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. If you want to return and work on H-1, then you need to get H-1 visa stamped in your passport. If you want to return as a dependent, then you can use existing H-4 visa stamp (provided it has not expired).
      2. You can get the list of documents either on this site (there is a blog entry for the same). In short, they include documents related to:
      – your profile (797, resume,, I-129 etc)
      – your employer (wage reports, tax returns etc)
      – proposed job (contract, client)
      – maintenance of status (W2, payslips)
      – spouse information (H-1, payslips etc to show that you were maintaining status when on H-4)

  24. Ramya

    Hi,

    I have a quick question, I will be going for my H1 stamping for the first time I am filling my DS 160 form, while filling the Job title my LCA document says as Test Engineer and my Employment verification letter says as System Engineer , do you think I will have any problem with it ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      IMO it should be same as your LCA. Will you be going to work as a Test Engineer or System Engineer? Can you ask your employer to send updated employment verification letter w/ designation same as LCA.

      1. Ramya

        When I got my offer letter it was Sr.System Engineer, I donno why my lawyer has filled it as Test Engineer when I asked my lawyer about it he said the SOC code is for DOL and your job falls under the larger broader category of systems engineer. May be I can ask my Manager to enter it as Test and get it signed by him. Will that be a good idea.

        Thanks

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It would be a good idea to have the 2 consistent. At this point, it seems easier for the offer letter to be changed to Test Engineer. However, note that you may be questioned regarding the role mentioned in LCA and offer letter.

  25. Lachitha

    I got my H1B visa approved on Jan,11 2011. For an important reason I will have to go to my home country INDIA in March 2011.
    My H1B was filed by my ABC employer (Consultancy) as Web Developer but now I want to change my profession to HR and I have got a contract position in XYZ company.
    I will still be in the payroll of ABC and work for XYZ as a HR. I will have only 2 months pay-stubs (Jan and Feb) from ABC company when I go for stamping. Is that enough??
    AND do I show myself as a Web Developer / HR to the VO at Chennai in March when I go for stamping.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      What was your status in US prior to this H-1 from ABC? The CO may want to see your recent payslips from H-1 period, and also inquire whether you have been maintaining valid legal status prior to this H-1 (i.e. F-1, H-4, L1- etc).

      Also, what does the contract say – HR or Web Developer? A cleaner and legal way would have been to file a new LCA as your primary responsibilities have changed from Web Dev to HR.

      1. Lachitha

        My prior status was H4.Started working with ABC after my H1B got approved. I have not got a chance to look at the contract / LCA.

        But, I am sure that No new LCA has been filed. So now?? Can I not portray myself as a HR or no??

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Legally that’s not the right way to do it. A person on H-1 is supposed to work in the job category mentioned in the LCA. At the same time, the person should be paid at least the wages mentioned in the LCA, which are in turn determined from the job category.

          If your original LCA was for WebDev, then your salary mentioned in the LCA also corresponds to WebDec job category. You are supposed to work and get paid according to that. If you want to move to HR, then your employer needs to file LCA with the new job category and new salary (minimum salary requirements for HR may not match to those for WebDev). Once the LCA is filed, they will determine whether that job category requires foreign nationals or not, and then approve/deny it. You should then only work on the basis on new LCA.

          At the moment, there might be issues if your LCA says WebDev while you go for stamping for a HR role.

  26. Vijay Vasu

    Hi Naveen and Kumar,

    Congratulations on your stamping. Many thanks for sharing your experience. My H1B petition is approved and I have my interview on 11 February 2011. yeah….. 11 02 20 11 (the palindrome date) 🙂

    I have tried getting a list of all possible documents from my employers.

    I have the following questions for you. Can you please answer.

    1. Do I need to pay an addition amount of 2000 USD for the H1B visa?? The guidance sheet for applicants intending to work in the US says so.
    (Excerpts from the document: “Under Public Law 111-230 requires an additional fee of $2,250 for covered L-1A and L-1B petitions and $2, 000 for covered H-1B petitions. This fee is in addition to the base processing fee and the existing Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee required for a Petition Nonimmigrant Worker.”)

    Where will the payment be made and how will it be made?? I am sure it must be by my employer. Did you make any payments during the visa process?

    Thank you so much for your answer in advance!!!

  27. Naveen Gara

    Though I am not an expert on these lemme try to answer,
    >>1. I’m planning to get stamping in March. But when i go through the VFS site, there are no dates (as of today) for Feb 2011, and March is not being displayed. Any idea how many days before I would need to check for the appointment date??

    1A. I am not really sure about the algorithm used by VFS to open the dates. It atleast seems to be kind of random. So if you really prefer having the dates that you need, they you might have to keep polling the vfs site and book the appointment as soon as it gets opened. You might have to keep checking vfs site once or twice a day!!

    >>2. I’m planning on getting married when i go to india, and then take the h1b. so, when i book the visa appt. i can book same slot for both of us, right?

    2A. Yes!! There probably is an option to do the booking one after the other for such cases. And probably there is option to connect both the appointments (i.e. your;s and your spouse’s).

    >>3. Can I use emergency appointment for visa date, (worst case i dont get any date in march that i am looking for), giving marriage as the reason??

    3A. No idea about this!! You might have to catch some else (like Kumar!!) to figure this out!

    You can get in touch with me @ [email protected] if necessary.

  28. AK

    Congrats, Naveen on your H1B. I have some queries; if you could answer them, it ‘d be really helpful:
    1. I’m planning to get stamping in March. But when i go through the VFS site, there are no dates (as of today) for Feb 2011, and March is not being displayed. Any idea how many days before I would need to check for the appointment date??
    2. I’m planning on getting married when i go to india, and then take the h1b. so, when i book the visa appt. i can book same slot for both of us, right?
    3. Can I use emergency appointment for visa date, (worst case i dont get any date in march that i am looking for), giving marriage as the reason??

    Kumar, or Naveen, or anyone who has knowledge on any of the above queries, feel free to give input.

    Thanks,
    A.K.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      AK,
      1. I am not sure exactly about when they would open. Not the best answer…I would keep checking in the second half of previous month for next month…
      2. Yes, you can.
      3. I think, yes you can….if you are in US and traveling to India for stamping. You can call VFS.

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