|H1B Visa Applying experience: ||Hi all,
Having waited from April until August to hear those 4 words "You Visa is Approved", We feel that it is only fair that we give back to the place that helped us so much with our interview preparations.
Let me share with you our interview experience first and then I'll probably list out all the questions we had prepared ourselves with. I had applied for a H1B Visa and a H4 Visa for my wife. We scheduled our interviews on the 30th of July and got dates initially for the 26th and 27th of August 2015. We however were hoping to get dates closer to the mid of August and hence kept an eye out for any openings in earlier dates. We lucked out and the very next day we got dates for the 19th and 20th of August 2015. While we did wait a day or so more befor emaking our travel plans from Bangalore to Chennai, no other dates became available :-)
So for those of you wanting a specific date, book your first appointment on the date available but recheck every so often. You can reschedule so go for it.
On the day of our OFC (19th August 2015 - 8:15AM) we arrived at the OFC center at around 7:50AM. We barely should outside in queue for about 5 minutes before we were let inside.
A word of advise to those of you heading for OFC or interviews in the Chennai Consulate...Chennai heats up very fast, so do not reach the center more than 15-20 minutes before your scheduled time. I guess its nice not to be photographed or interviewed looking like you got dunked in sweat.
Once inside, there was another queue, thankfully this was indoors and the area did have fans. Once our turn came our DS160 and Passports were checked. DS160 was stamped and we were sent ahead. We then go to the next counter where our documents are checked again, this time a sticker is put on the back of our passports. We move ahead and once again our documents are checked and tokens are issued.
As soon as we move from there our token was called out (both for me and my wife - separate counters). We were asked about the type of visa we were applying for (answered H1B and my wife said H4). Then we were made to stand back for the photograph to be taken post which we were finger printed. That done, our passports were returned and we were free to go. We entered the OFC at 8am and we were out by 8:15am.
At the OFC please pay attention to the time-slot being called out by the security. Do not try to jump the line as they will anyways make you wait once you are inside. Also you do not wish to come across as uncouth.
We had the rest of the day to ourselves so we went shopping...but the heat forced our steps back to our hotel post lunch. We did take a walk in the evening and dine outside as well.
Our interview itself was at 14:00 (2:00PM) on 20th August 2015. We left our hotel around 13:10 and reached the Consulate at around 13:40. Our cab driver dropped us off at a location that had us walking the circumference of the Consulate to reach the queue. We make it to the queue around 13:45. Within 5 minutes we were sent inside. The security check happens at this gate and my wife had to go to the ladies queue (which was so much shorter). A full body frisk is conducted. All your documents are checked. Please do not carry any sealed envelopes as they will make you open this anyways.
Once you clear the security check, you are re-united with your spouse in the other room and sent ahead. The actual interview happens in another wing that you are directed to. Once there you are asked to join a queue. The lady at this queue will check your passport and ask you to join the queue right next to the one you are in.
Once there, your passport is scanned and you are asked to press four fingers of your left/right hand as prompted by the lady at the counter. This is verification of your fingerprints taken yesterday.
Once this is done, you join the queue right next to it and wait to be sent to one of the many counters to face the VO. After about a 5 minute wait, we were sent to counter number 19, somehow that counter was taking long, so the VFS guy moved my wife and me to counter 23 and finally to counter 27 or something.
During this entire time....there was a lot of nervousness obviously. Finally we meet our VO.
VO: Hi, good afternoon.
Me: Good Afternoon.
VO: May I have your passports please.
Me: Sure (Handed it over)
VO: Can I also see your I797.
Me: Sure (passed that over as well)
VO: Before we start let me give you this booklet. You have rights as a worker in the US and should you feel you are not being treated/paid as per promised please contact one of the numbers listed on the booklet.
VO: So what will you be doing in the US
Me: (explained in brief...the VO kept up with some verbal nods...)
VO (to my wife): So ma'am are you excited about going to the US?
My Wife: Yes sir I am .
VO (to my wife): Where in the US will you be living?
My Wife: CA
VO: CA huh...doesn't get better than that, does it?
VO: So you have been to the US before as well. Where were you living back then?
VO: So what did you think of Detroit?
Me: Its a good place
VO: Everyone says that..."its a good place". Tell me what you really felt. (he was very friendly)
Me: Barring the cold, I actually liked the place.
VO: typing away was quiet for a while. Then he looks at us and says "I have approved your Visa, just need to check something" Then he proceeded to scan my husband's passport again.
Then he looks at at us, picks up the brochure again and says "Alright then, you have rights in the US...oh wait I already gave you this. Well ma'am you can keep one as well. You visa is approved. Good luck."
Me: Thank you. Good day officer.
My wife: Thank you
VO: Have a good one.
That with that 2 minute interview we realized our dreams.
Good luck to all those that are awaiting their interview!!|