Home » Visas » USA » US Visa Stamping Experiences » H1B, H4 Experiences : Regular, Dropbox from August 27th, 2021 to September 3rd

H1B, H4 Experiences : Regular, Dropbox from August 27th, 2021 to September 3rd

Below are User experiences for August & September 2021, starting from August 27th, 2021 to September 3rd, 2021 for H1B Visa and H4 Visa for both regular visa stamping and Dropbox. You can check US Visa Stamping Experiences for the entire collection


Experience 1: H1B + H4 with Dropbox at New Delhi

Aug 20 – dropped docs for visa stamping along with NIE request

Aug 23 – application received

Aug 24 – Administrative Processing

Aug 25 – Issued

Aug 27 – Received passport with stamped visa, annotated with NIE for both H1B and H4

In New Delhi VAC, Passport photos taken at CVS pharmacy in US were rejected because they thought the background appeared bluish white instead of plain white. Got photos done near a studio opp to Shivaji Stadium metro station

No NIE approval email received but visa had the annotation

No passport tracking details were available when it was mailed

Passport status on ustraveldocs.com still says “on transist” but passport was received today (Aug 27)


Experience 2: H1B + 2 H4 with Dropbox at New Delhi

Visas expired in March 2020.

Interview waiver appointment at NewDelhi.

Travel Details

1.) Vijayawada to NewDelhi on Apr26.

2.) Night stay at a hotel in Aerocity , near to IGI Airport.

3.) Morning 11.30 AM took a ride to Aerocity Metro Station.

[ Tip: Paytm app has Metro QR ticket booking facility. Use that to avoid lines for buying ticket]

4.) Aerocity Metro station to Shivaji Park station, which is a 2nd stop from here. [ Look for metro station  displays for “New Delhi” bound trains Arrival times] – Travel time ~ 15 minutes.

5.) Get down and go One floor above  where you will find Visa Application centre.

6.) Return to Vijayawada on Apr27 evening.

Visa appointment Details

1.) Appointment is at 1.00PM IST.

2.) They usually allow to stand in queue in advance of 30 minutes, my case 12.30PM.

3.) No Laptops , Earphones, Earbuds, hard disks, storage devices allowed.

[ Tip: “OneVasco” Visa services counter available on the same floor , next to escalators where you can keep bags like locker room – 200INR for each bag, take printouts – Only sent through Email to them 20 INR for each print ]

4.) I left my bag at OneVasco and took token.

5.) Appeared before front security counter, appointment confirmation letter verified, passport verified, Temp Check , Sanitize hands and Enter into Visa Application Center.

6.) Token is given and asked to sit in waiting area.

7.) After 10 minutes , security has asked me to go to a counter.

8.) The person in the counter asked me about docs required, supplied all and got a stamp on the confirmation letter , he has asked me to wait for 1 week to see the results.

9.) Show the stamp to security guy, exit the room. Mine was done by 1.15PM IST.

10.) As I came through metro, I took same route back from Shivaji station to Aerocity station.

Document Information

1.) Take printouts of all applicants’ Passport front and back pages.( At least 1 for each )

2.) Employer’s position confirmation letter – 1 for each applicant ( my case 3 sets)

3.) Proclamation exemption affidavit letter with attached photocopy of my US citizen kid’s Birth certificate and passport copy. – 1 set for each applicant ( my case 3 sets )

4.)  Current I797 of primary applicants , 1 copy for each applicant ( my case 3 sets )

5.)  If “Gap between Expiry Date of latest Visa in passport and Start date of Current I797 Greater than 1 year” , provide Previous I797 copy. ( My case 3 sets )

6.) Current Visa copy of Primary applicant – 1 copy for each applicant ( my case 3 sets )

7.) 1 photo as per US travel docs specification for each applicant – [ I carried 4 for each applicant just in case ]

8.) DS160 Confirmation Page – 1 For each applicant.

9.) Copies of all I797s for each H4 applicant till date.

10.) Appointment confirmation page. First two sheets  are enough, appointment Details and Barcodes.

Documents for Minor child as H4( <14 years)

 ⁃ Photocopy of Passport front and back pages for both the parents.

 ⁃ Photocopy of Previously stamped Visa of both the parents.

 ⁃ Rest all documents are as usual as mentioned in the above section.

Helpful Information

1.) Washrooms are available in the floor above US Visa Application Center .  Look for Canada Visa Processing centre and they are just next to it.

2.) Coffee shop is available in the same floor as Canada Visa office , next to Malaysia Visa Centre.

3.) Waiting area – Seating available next to Canada Visa Centre ,behind escalators.

4.) Bag Keeping and Document print facility – “OneVasco” shop near to escalators , opposite to Visa Application Centre. Bag Storage – 200 INR / Each Print 20 INR .

5.) Carry photocopies of Passport and Visa for all applicants , an extra set.

Finally, a big big thanks to this community here which helped me a lot to understand the process, sort out the confusions, understanding the pitfalls and plan it better. Friends – many thanks for everyone who helped me , who are helping others here. 🙏🙏🙏🕊🕊


Experience 3: H1B + H4 (Wife+Kid) at New Delhi

All first time travellers.

Earlier appointment – Feb’22
18th Aug – Raised ER (attached client letter)
Got approved same day
20th Aug – OFC/Biometrics
25th Aug – Interview

H1 Questions:

  1. Client name
  2. Current designation
  3. Job description
  4. Trainings/education required
  5. When do we plan to return to India

H4 questions:

  1. For how long you’ve been married?
  2. How did you meet your spouse?
  3. Are you working?
  4. Describe your job
  5. Do you plan to continue working?

27th Aug – Visa issued


Experience 4: H1B + H4 at New Delhi

First time , no USC kid, never been in USA.
Embassy:Delhi
Hotel stayed: Taj
OFC date: 22nd August 21
It was very smooth and quick
Interview date: 23rd August 21 ,8:15 am
Reached there at 7:40 am
The security made us to stand in queue as per the time slot.
We were the first one to enter inside the embassy.
After first verification we were seated on bench.
And then we were called.The heart was beating like any thing.
VO:Good morning
Me : Good morning
VO:Pass on passport, offer letter and i797
VO:Explain your role and responsibilities.
Me: Explained
VO:Explain the product
Me: Explained
Then I said I have NIE letter as well.
VO: great pass on
Then a long 1 minute break… That was longest break ever.
And then heard golden words “your visa approved with NIE and you will get in 7 days.
28 August: received passport from blue dart.


Experience 5: H1B + H4 with EA at Chennai

First time H1b/H4 EA experience:
My initial appointment was feb 2022 in New Delhi, but was able to reschedule to chennai (getting the appointment was a nightmare, but the telegram groups helped me a lot, thanks everyone!)

On July 5, 2021 I applied for EA under Urgent business travel, while I was still in the US. (I am a doctor)
Uploaded

  1. EA/NIE support letter from employer
  2. Cover letter by me requesting EA and NIE for both me and my husband, who need first time H4, at that time stuck in India
  3. My I 797
  4. Passport copies for both of us
  5. Marriage certificate
    EA request was denied on July 7th. Saw the denial email when I woke up from sleep around 4:30am. I felt so helpless, and discouraged, but again the telegram groups helped me through that. I searched for EA denial and messaged who got denied and got approved after. So applied for EA again in the portal, uploaded the same documents. Only change I did was change the brief summary I gave to stress again that I am a doctor who sees patients with COVID 19. After a stressful 24 hrs, EA approved July 8! Was able to take appointments on July 28 VAC, July 29 Visa interview at Chennai. Travelled to India on July 9th.

Travelled to Chennai on July 26th evening as we wanted to have enough time to travel from Kerala in case our flights got canceled.
Interview itself was very smooth, VO asked who my end clients were, I replied I was a doctor. He smiled and said, ok no end clients then. Asked if I see patients, said yes, see patients in clinic and hospital and do procedures. Asked for my I612( J1 waiver approval). He asked my husband what his educational qualification was. VO Said my visa is approved and asked when I need to get back to the US, I said I have clinic patients on Aug 10, so aug 8 or 9 the latest.

Travelled back to Kerala July 29 night. I had chosen premium delivery, But on July 30, 2:45 pm got an email saying both our passports are ready to pick up at Chennai VAC! Checked status of visa, is said issued. Got another email saying due to some COVID restrictions in Kerala, they are unable to mail the passport.

On Sunday Aug 1, we travelled back to chennai and collected both our passports in person on aug 2. Both my H1b and my husband’s H4 was annotated with NIE.

One thing I feel like I should have done differently was to ask the VO if I will be granted an NIE, which they did give us, but until I got the passport back, I was still stressing about it.

We only travelled back on Aug 15, as we had to extend travel due to some family reasons. Via Qatar, at Cochin before check in, they verified our NIE by sending email to someone, I guess the CBP. Was approved less than 15 min wait. And in US The immigration was smooth. And got back safely!


Experience 6: H1B at Kolkata

Hello All, i’m here sharing my 1st time visa stamping experience:
Appointment time 8:45am..they allowed me inside by 8:20am. Waited in queue for 30 min. Only 2 counters was active at that time.
VO: Good Morning!
Me: very Good Morning!!
VO: pass me the passport and documents
Me : gave the documents.
VO: (straight forward) what do you work here in this company ?
Me: explained company’s services and my roles & responsibilities.
VO: do you work for end client ?
Me: No, full time for Xxx company
VO: Any employment letter ?
Me: passed the employment verification letter
VO : i seen your student visa. What degree you get from this college ?
Me: master’ degree in computer and information sciences
VO: are you married ?
Me: yes sir
VO: is your wife coming with you ?
Me: no sir. Not at the moment. May be after covid crisis.
VO: i’m approving your visa. Keeping your passport, attaching NIE requesr to it. You will get passport after 6 days.
Me: thank you sir!

Note: my company falls under critical infrastructure. I also explained roles based on it. There is no rejections or slips infront of me. Other VO officer asking NIE letter from employer.


Experience 7: H1B with Dropbox at New Delhi

Below is My experience:

April 16 : Applied drop box at Hyderabad
April 30: PP
June 17: received email to attend for interview
June 24: attended interview and consular asked for 797, client and vendor letters, paystubs, pay range and NIE. Consular took passport and said he will have to submit my NIE for review and get approval
June 25: received email to collect passport. Passport doesn’t have an approval stamp.
June 26- Aug 10 : multiple follow ups with Hyderabad consulate in status but no concrete response
Aug 19: scheduled new Dropbox appointment at Delhi @1pm
Submitted all documents along with NIE from employer and attorney
Aug 20: status changed to document received
Aug 22: admin processing
Aug23: NIE approval email
Aug 24: issued
Aug 26: passport deliver by blue dart with NIE

Got to know from customer care that when we apply for a new similar class appointment at a different consulate then the existing appointment will get withdrawn automatically. In case anyone is planning to do so..


Experience 8: H4 at Hyderabad

First time stamping:
Vac – 26th Aug
Consular – 30th Aug, 8:30 AM

7:45 – Reached (there was already a
queue)
8:00- Passport check with DS 160
8:10- security check
9:00 – Into the interview room

VO- Good morning ma’am, how is your day.
ME- good morning

VO- pass me your passport
ME- Given

VO – How long have you been married
ME- Answered

VO- Show me your marriage certificate and pictures
ME- Given

VO- Where does your husband live?
Me- Answered

VO- When did he leave for US
ME– Answered

VO- What is his annual salary?
ME– Answered

VO- Which company?
ME- Answered

VO- I will recommend you for NIE
Me- Thank you

(Types something in the system)

VO- you already have a NiE

Me- yes I had applied to Delhi and they approved it.

VO- without a visa?
Me- yes ma’am. I had applied for an emergency appointment and NIE both. The emergency appointment got denied but got an approval on NIE

(She talks to someone for a min, had a good laugh)

VO- well then you don’t need another recommendation
Me- Is the NIE from Delhi valid ma’am?

VO- It’s already in the system so it’s completely valid.
ME- Thank you

VO- Great you don’t have to wait anymore.

VO- Your visa is approved. Have a good day!

It hardly took 3-4 mins. She was a middle aged charming lady. The queue was long but fast moving.
They are very strict about mobile phones and smart watches. I was sent back to deposit mine at the locker outside the consulate. They charged 120/-.


Experience 9: H1+H4 with Dropbox at Kolkata

My Dropbox experience on 26th August.

Had an appointment at 10:00 am. (Me and my wife had separate appointments) Reached there a at 9:30. Was let inside the building at 09:50. Had to wait for 15 mins before they called me in. They let you keep your bag in the hallway at your risk. They allow a switched off cellphone with you. You cannot carry any electronics like Bluetooth headphones or smart watches (I had to leave my fitbit out in my bag)

They rejected my wife’s photo as it appeared edited. They agreed to submit it on our own risk. We decided to get a new photo and submitted it. They do not accept the photo if it has been used in a prior visa.

26th – did not check
27th – Administrative processing
28th – Administrative Processing
29th – Administrative Processing
30th – Issued

No USC kid. And had submitted NIE letter from my employer which included my wife’s name as well.


Experience 10: H1B + H4 (Spouse+Kid) at New Delhi

Hi Guys.. today’s experience on consular appointment: 1 h1 and 2 h4 (spouse and 1 year baby) at Delhi location. I stayed in ITC Maurya.
I had biometrics on 30th which went fine except baby’s photo. They asked me to carry advised photo on consular day.
As today 10 50 am, my appointment was scheduled, its raining heavily in delhi, after struggling with uber booking, I cancelled their ride and booked taxi from ITC itself and called embassy helpdesk and told them that I got stuck in traffic. They said if i come before 12 noon then they will let me in. I said i will be there by 11 30.
I reached at 11 05 .. security checkin and documents verification done in 5 mins.. then headed to consular window
VO: good morning sir
I: good morning sir
Vo: give me passports and i797
I: provided
Vo: had you been to US before
I: No, this is my first time.
Vo: H4 is for your wife and baby?
I: Yes
Vo: what kind of job you do for employer xyz.
I: explained in 5-6 sentence
Vo: do you have any supporting documents from end client or employer
I: gave client letter and Nie


Experience 11: H1B with Dropbox, NIE at New Delhi

End to End case: H1B based on NIE critical infrastructure information technology financial sector ( family already in usa no USC spouse on F1 and daughter on f2)

After a long waiting got a Dropbox slot on June 21st (second batch when the NIE letter was added to mandatory documents list)

Dropped my passport and all mandatory documents list including NIE letter, job confirmation letter ,employer verification letter on June 21st

Note : the visa officer who collects the documents only asks for employment verification letter and NIE, neither of my letter proves my credibility so I requested him to take my employer confirmation letter (17 page’s), took no other documents

Then the waiting game beings

June 21,2021 Dropbox

June 22, 2021 application received

July 6 , 2021 updatd date changed status still application received

July 13 ,2021 refused

July 19, 2021 updated date changed

July 28, 2021 administrative processing

August 19, 2021 refused again

August 19, 2021 received a mail from consulate asking to come for interview at 3:15 pm

August 19, 2021 then again received a revised email asking to come for fingers printing at 4:20pm

August 23, 2021 attended finger printing

14.a : all these 60+ days my passport was with the embassy

14.b : wrote countless(no specific pattern followed) emails to hydcea@state.gov and HyderabadNIE@state.gov and hydcg@state.gov with supporting documents including spouse f1 i120 and daughter documents including doctor certificate and i94 etc

14c. I even submitted an updated NIE on August 17th/18th/19th , to above email id

Pattern followed: 2 pages with lot of technical term used that I actually work on along with my client.

14d. The day I went for interview there were 4 check points before I heard the 6 platinum words

14e. Checkpoint one at main gate asked for passport but my passport already with embassy so they checked their list and found my name and allowed me

14f. Again before entering they checked my name and allowed me

14g. Then was asked to sit in line with other with all my stuff in a plastic box which goes for scanning

14h. Then scanning done proceeded inside where was asked for my passport which I told them that it was with the consulate and handed over the letter (email) so he took it went inside to counter 8 got my passport and all the documents that I submitted during drop box and told me that I just need to give my passport and submit my passport at the counter

Went to the counter , submitted my passport counter 11. The lady took my passport scanned few time told me that she needs my finger prints took my 10 prints and told me the 6 platinum words your visa approved with NIE

August 23rd status changed to administrative processing again

August 24th to issued

August 25th received passport with annotations ( NIE approval with pp coronavirus)

August 26th went to airindia office to book tickets

Got a ticket for SFO with fare difference of 300 usd (hyd- Delhi- SFO) Chicago tickets are costly.

August 28 th started from hyderabad for 1045 flight

My car broke down on highway before the airport exit (exit 16) pitch dark, raining, middle of ORR. A god stopped by who with his wife simply planned for a long drive without any end destination dropped me at airport.

August 28th immigration at hyderabad all he told , going for job said yes asked me not to come back again and stamped

August 29th 12:00 am landed at Delhi , security check done boarded 330 am flight at gate 26

Landed in SFO at 730 am august 29

When you travel from air india, remember you need to ask for what you want , blanket or drinks or food

At SFO after after an long immigration wait my turn came

An Visa official guy at counter 18/19 took my passport, immigration paper which we fill on the flight and asked my i797

When you are going through bad chapter it is just a matter of time just be confident and give time sometime , He asked me for my employer name, address and told me that he is sending me to secondary room to validate my NIE (he checked my wrong visa ) I know as I saw him looking at wrong visa and then place my i797 there and handed it to an escort

In the secondary room waited for 1 hrs then asked them the reason for making me wait even though I a NIE approved they told me they need to validate (generic response not worried at all as got used to it)

Finally an Visa Officer called me and asked me why am I waiting when I am NIE approved , did I not tell the first guys the same

Told him the same that it is a matter of time going through a bad chapter so prefer to wait instead of talk something and make an unnecessary mess (KISS- keep it simple silly)

He asked me where would I sleep every day and how long on H1 and stamped it

Then came out the last(kind off) guy to come out , went to domestic counter booked my flights and finally reached home

Suggestions: to all kids who are applying for F1 if your end destination is not SFO or Chicago or Newark then it you can book domestic (connecting) flight once you land instead of waiting for hours in airport same charges would be applied


Experience 12: H1B with Dropbox at Kolkata

Guys, My Dropbox Kolkata experience, little tricky but finally done, sharing here :

Jul 19 : booked appointment for Aug13 (Kolkata)
Aug 13 : Documents DROPBOX submission at Kolkata dropbox center
Aug 14-15-16 : Weekend and Embassy closed on 16th Aug
Aug 17 : Application received
Aug 18 : Refused in morning
Aug 18 : Admin processing in afternoon
Aug 20 : Again date updated as Aug20 with Admin processing
Aug 23 : Got an email 221g (No reason specified)
Aug 28 : Refused Embassy called, said “Need to re-do biometrics” come to Kolkata Embassy
(Usually this is 221g Green slip for biometrics redo if its Old)
Aug 30 : Admin processing, Travel back to Kolkata for biometrics , See details below, it was followed by interview
Aug 31 : Issued at 10:40 AM
Waiting for passport

Aug 30 : back to Kolkata, The biometrics officer(Indian) 10 prints and says we also need to interview again , go to Interview Window , Embassy is empty only 2 of us , One Student finishes his F1 interview and I am next.
At Interview window : VO officer (American), Interview starts
Me : Good morning, How are you ?
VO : Good thanks, how about yourself ?
Me : Great, thanks
VO : What work you do for your compnay ?
Me : Answered
VO : Pulls out the NIE letter which I gave during Dropbox, I have reviwed already, it looks good
VO : Which location you work ?
Me : Answered location
VO : Will you continue at the same location ?
Me : Yes
VO : What is your salary ?
Me : mentioned Annual salary “number”
VO : Is it Monthly or Yearly ?
Me : I starts laughing and so does the VO …
Me : I wish it was monthly
VO : Someday Someday it will and smiles
VO : Watching his PC and says you speak this language, is it your native?
Me : Yes
VO : I have been to that place its beautiful
Me : Yeah it is but i am born n brought in Mumbai, never been there
Me : How do you know about that place ?
VO : My friend took me there, Vo speaks in Hindi “Bahut accha place hai”
Me : I compliment his Hindi , you speak so fluent
VO : Thoda , Thoda , smiles
VO : Your visa will be ready in 1 week

Hotels near by
Kolkata Dropbox center is at Shakespere Sarani road : Hotel Aaauris (4 star) : One block away from dropbox center
Embassy (For interview) is at Ho chi minh road : Hotel Kenilworth (4 star) : One block away from Embassy

In my Dropbox case, My last visa was in old passport, I was eligible for Dropbox with exact 46 months from last visa, 2 more months to 48 months since last visa stamped. I googled and found out that if your visa is in old passport or ten printed long back, they called such person for biometrics with 221g green slip (FOR DROPBOX PEOPLE), I went back for biometrics the Indian officer after ten printing said you need to go for interview as well, which they didnt mention when they had called earlier on 28Aug. Interview went fine and Visa approved as mentioned above.


Experience 13: H1B at Mumbai

Here is my first time H1B stamping experience.

initially I’ve had waited for June, July & August month to get hold of regular/EA appointment but to no avail. But one fine day i.e. Aug 22 was able to book Mumbai OFC and VI regular appointment for Aug 25 & 26 (thanks to telegram group).

Travelled from Pune to Mumbai BKC a day b4 on Aug 24. Stayed at BKC, closeby to consulate.
Aug 25: Visited VAC office. Spoke to security and he allowed to enter premise (neither late nor early). There are good visual signs that leads you to VAC office located on 1st floor.
Intently carried only file folder without any electronic but with all possible documents (as info gathered from this group). Security person simply enquired if I am carrying mobile, or electronic. 😃
1st counter – verified Passport and DS160 confirmation. and asked to go to the other counter.
2nd counter – security check at entrance and provided a token, waited for my turn. Went to the counter – they asked name, date of birth, took fingerprints and photo.
Overall bio-metric process was completed in 10-15 mins.

Aug 26: Visited consulate @9, my appointment was for 9:30. Same time security was calling folks having 10am appointment to form the queue. But folks with earlier appointment time were prioritized over 10am. (Many candidates were for F1, but could see dependents as well.)

Greetings with VO!

VO: passport and documents ?
Me: handed over PP with DS160 confirmation.
VO: I797
Me: Done.
VO: What will be your designation in the US ?
Me: xxx
VO: How many years of experience with firm ?
Me: xxx + overall
VO: Is any end client involved ?
Me: xxx
VO: Who is end-client ?
Me: xxx, indicated critical infrastructure (thanks to the group)
VO: What you will be working on ?
Me: xxx
Me: trying to add additional details.
VO: no, not required – I am putting your case for NIE exception.
Me: (alright).
VO: do you have USC kid?
Me: xxx

VO then passed pamphlet for rights and said the golden words, you know that! 🙂
Me: thanks a bunch!

Overall interview was completed quickly (lightening fast) and to my surprise it really didn’t go to the wire.

Case created: 25-Aug-2021 (AR)
Case updated: 26-Aug-2021 (AP)
Case updated: 30-Aug-2021 (Issued)
Now I await to receive the document…


Experience 14: H4 at Mumbai

My mother-in-law had managed to get an appointment for me in June 2021 for Jan-Feb 2022. Luckily on 20th Aug we managed to get an appointment for 26th Aug (biometrics) and 27th Aug (consular) at Mumbai.
I flew down from the US on the 22nd of Aug by Qatar Airways. My PCR test report and self declaration form was checked before boarding. Transit through Doha and immigration at Mumbai was smooth.

Biometrics:
26th Aug: They checked the Ds160 confirmation and appointment confirmation letter along with the passport. Straightforward process. It took around 15 mins in all.

Consular:
27th Aug: Mine was an H4 renewal Visa and my husband is in the US.
VO: Good Morning ma’am, please hand me your passport, primary applicant’s I797 and visa copy.
Me: Good Morning and passed the documents.
VO: Is this a H4 renewal?
Me: Answered
VO: When did you get married?
Me: Answered
VO: Is your husband in the US?
Me: Yes
VO: Okay your visa is approved with NIE. You’re all set, and can collect your passport in a few days.
Me: Thank you.

31st Aug: Visa status changed to issued from Admin Processing.
1st Sep: Collected passport with stamp.


Experience 15: H1 + H4 with Dropbox at Hyderabad (USC Kids)

Aug 4- Dropped documents
Aug 5 – Received status
Aug 11 – Received status update
Aug 19 – Received status update
Aug 20 – Refused status
Aug 24 – Received email from consulate to attend interview on Aug 26. No new appointment required.
Aug 26 – Interview, was asked questions about employer, client, salary, location, client letter, marriage certificate and USC kids. VO said visas are approved. Status changed to Admin Processing after interview.
Aug 27 – H4 issued status
Aug 30 – Received email for H4 passport pickup
Aug 31- H1 issued status
Sept 1 – Received email for H1 passport pickup


Experience 16: H4 at New Delhi

Date/ Time: 1-Sep-2021, 8:50am
Location: Delhi

Outside the Consulate:
Reached around 8:10am and they have already started lining up people from 9:00am slot. It was raining very heavily so they allowed umbrellas inside. I did not use one, but looked like there was a locker service for small items across the road that folks were using to keep their belongings in.
They did a quick passport check, no other document was checked outside the consulate before entry.

Inside the Consulate:
There was a security check first (they did not check temperatures, were asking everyone to put on masks). After that there was a queue for document verification that took roughly 15 minutes, staff there keeps on announcing what documents do you need to keep handy for the verification. For H4, it was passport and primary applicant’s I-797 copy. After verififcation, they asked us to sit in the waiting area where the staff seated us in the order in which document verification was done. We waited for around 15-20 minutes and then one-by-one, the interviewers started calling people.
I gave VO my passport and spouses’s I-797, and then she asked for marriage certificate. I had the photocopy so she asked if I can give her the original, I didn’t so ended her giving up marriage photos and wedding card. Here are the questions:

  • What does your husband do?
  • What is his designation?
  • Where is he currently located?
  • When did you get married?
  • Where did you both meet?
  • Where did I complete my Master’s from?
  • Do I know about a pamphlet she showed (it was about H4 not allowed to work in the US) – I said am aware

As she was typing, I mentioned that I have a NIE request letter, she asked if it was from my husband’s employer. As mine was self-written based on family separation, she saw it and then returned. In the end, she told me that they will inform me in 7 working days if the visa is approved (she said something about she not being able to make the connection to my husband’s I-797). She also mentioned that if they need more information, they might call me again and kept the passport.

The overall process from entry to exit took an hour. Hope this helps!


Experience 17: H1B with Dropbox at New Delhi

Long post. But, sharing my dropbox experience in detail.

Delhi IW slots for the last week of Aug were thrown open on Aug 3rd Tuesday. I was lucky to grab a slot. Settled for Aug 26th 2 PM slot.

Fast forward to Aug 25th 2021. I took an evening flight from Hyderabad to New Delhi. For folks who are worried about RT PCR / Vaccination to travel to DEL from HYD – No such requirement at the time of my travel. No questions asked during check-in at HYD and upon arrival at DEL. Walked out of the airport like one would in pre Covid days. I had booked a room at ITC Maurya in Chanakyapuri Area. There are ample restaurants nearby and this neighborhood happens to be equidistant from both the VAC and the Airport.

On Aug 26th, I left the hotel at 1230 PM and took an Uber to Shivaji Stadium Metro station. It is a 20 Min ride under moderate traffic conditions. I did not take the photos in US nor did I approach any studio here in Hyderabad. Photo studios near the VAC never go wrong. Luckily, there are small shops behind the BPCL Gas station (opp Shivaji Stadium Metro Station) where one can get 4 photos for 250 Rs. Collected the photos in 10 Mins and walked across to enter the station.

Time was 125 PM or so when I entered the Metro station. I was allowed to go inside after a Security guard checked my appointment confirmation. VAC is two levels down and I joined the queue at around 135 PM. The queue moved slowly and my turn came at around 210 PM. Please note that Mobile phones are allowed as long as you switch them off. Smartwatches were also allowed. It is ok to carry backpack as long as you don’t have any bluetooth devices, HDD, Pen Drive, Laptop, iPad etc., If in doubt, please use the One Vasco kiosk to store the belongings. This kiosk is bang opposite the VAC suite and I guess they charge 200 Rs for 1 Hr.

I was made to sit in the waiting area inside the VAC until my token number was called. Sorted my documents in this order.

  1. Appointment Confirmation
  2. DS 160
  3. Passport(s)
  4. Original I-797 and two copies.
  5. 1 Photo
  6. Employer provided NIE letter (I work fulltime for Banking Software company. So, NIE is under both Financial Services and IT sectors)
  7. Position confirmation letter

No other documents are required. When my turn my came, the VAC officer asked for the documents one after the other. Verified them and returned the Appointment confirmation letter with an acknowledgement stamp.

26th Aug – Dropped the documents.
27th Aug – Status changed to Application received.
28th, 29th Aug – Weekend – No change in status
30th Aug – Administrative Processing
31st Aug – Administrative Processing
1st Sep – 11AM received the NIE approval email. Sometime in the afternoon, status changed to Issued.

Opted for premium delivery of passport. Waiting for the passport now.


Experience 18: H1B at New Delhi

Aug-29: Travelled from Hyd to New Delhi.
Initially booked Embassy Suites, Chanakyapuri for the stay. Had a bad experience as I couldn’t find the hotel at the given address. Tried to contact via phone but no answer. Had to rush to Hyatt Regency New Delhi at 1:00 Am IST (Received great hospitality. A bit expensive as well).

Aug-31 : OFC 11:10 Am New Delhi
OFC was smooth. Arrived at 10:00 Am. Allowed to go to the counter at 10:30 Am. Formalities were completed by 10:45.
I was asked for the following docs.

  1. Passport
  2. DS-160
  3. Appointment Confirmation

Make sure DS-160 number is reflected properly in the appointment Confirmation.

Sept-1 : Consular Interview 11:00 Am New Delhi
Interview went well. I was asked the following questions.

  1. Passport and I-797 please..!! passed on the docs
  2. Do you have an end client letter with you? What do they do? passed on the letter and gave brief summary about my client’s business
  3. Where are they located? Which state? How far do you live from the office? answered
  4. Who do you work for? Got any letter from them for NIE ? answered and passed on the letter from employer
  5. Are you married? answered
  6. What is your highest degree? answered and mentioned about my recent masters.
  7. Looks like you have done double master’s where did you do your first one? yes, mentioned my first master’s univ name and briefed about the course work. Also, mentioned about the specialization that was done in second master’s.
  8. I don’t see 2 F-1 stampings in your passport. Why? I haven’t visited India in the last 6 years. Hence, I couldn’t get another stamping for my F-1. However, I maintained my status for the entire period of my stay in the states.
  9. What are your job responsibilities? answered

Few seconds of silence as the interviewer was busy checking the screen.
Visa is approved with NIE.
Interviewer held back the passport, client and employer letters.
Handed the I-797’s.

Sept-2 : Received an email from “NewDelhi NIE” approving NIE for an year with multiple entries.

Waiting for my passport to be delivered to Hyderabad consulate.

Make sure you are aware of Delhi’s traffic on a rainy day. It could get dramatic as it took me almost an hour to travel a distance of 4KMS to the embassy. Almost missed my interview time. Try to start as early as you can and expect heavy traffic on a rainy day.


Experience 19: H1B at Kolkata

First time interview experience with no travel history :
Final result – Visa approved with NIE
NIE category- Financial Services(IT for big bank)
I had gotten a regular appointment in Mumbai on 1st Sept(booked in May) but I was very tentative to go to Mumbai since they are providing 221g to most first time H1 candidates(Followed almost all experiences on this group and saw only one approval between June till August) hence I decided to reschedule to New Delhi or Kolkata.
Tried for complete July and August month to get earlier date and finally got lucky at 3:20 am IST on 17th August and got the appointment for Kolkata on 26th, 27th August
interview experience:
I had my ds160 and i797 location as Mumbai but went to Kolkata as I got my slot there.
Biometrics were super smooth, had the appointment at 10:45 am, reached there by 10 am and was allowed inside at 10:15 am. In and out within 10 mins . No electronic items were allowed hence kept them in hallway in my bag.
Next day Reached consulate at 8 am for 8.30 appointment. Did not carry phone or any bag – only documents in transparent folder.

Was 4th in line for the interview. Only two windows are operational at Kolkata. Window 1 – American guy, Window 2 – Chinese looking guy.
I was hoping for getting Window 2 since he seemed very easy going and got it .

VO – good morning how’re you?
Me – Good morning, doing well * passed my i797 and passport * how are you?
VO – so who is your employer?
Me – Answered
VO – What are your roles and responsibilities?
Me – Had prepared a whole paragraph but could only say 4 word answer (Very nervous by this time)
VO – Do you have any letter from Employer?
Me – I passed my NIE letter
VO – Will you be working for any client?
Me – Yes
VO – Do you have client letter?
Me – Passed the client letter
VO – What will be your salary?
Me – Answered
VO – What is your total experience?
Me – 7 years
VO – Are you married?
Me – yes
VO – Do you have children?
Me – Yes, I have a daughter, 2 years old
VO – Are they traveling with you?
Me – No, considering the pandemic

  • Types for a minute and passes white paper having NIE format*
    Okay your H1B is approved with NIE. This the NIE letter, you don’t have to do anything. You’ll receive your passport in a week. Have a good day.
    Me – thank you

Documents that I carried :

Passport
Appointment confirmation
Ds160 barcode page
I797
Nie letter
Client letter
Offer letter
Agreement copy between employer and client
LCA copy
I-129 copy

But at the end the only documents that was required was i797,my passport , NIE letter and client letter.
Timeline:
27th August – Visa Interview
27th August – Administrative Processing
30th August – Issued
2nd September- Received passport with NIE

Few tips for first time H1 candidates:

  1. Don’t go to Mumbai or Hyderabad since they issue 221g mostly
  2. Chennai is very slow in processing hence opt for New Delhi or Kolkata.
  3. For slot booking, don’t rely on any agents. Just stay active on slots group and you will be able to book one for yourself.
  4. Stay at Pallavi international for Kolkata interview since it is convenient for both ofc and consular appointment.

Experience 20: H1B with Dropbox at New Delhi

Us visa Dropbox experience in Delhi :

  1. Got an appointment on august 20 in Delhi (initially had an appointment in Chennai , heard processing time in Chennai is more)
  2. Reached Delhi on aug 19 night , stayed in hotel and went to vfs global location 1.30 hrs prior to my appointment. They didn’t allow me inside and allowed only 30 min prior (don’t go too early , it’s a waste of time). I had some luggage , there is a cloak room nearby where they charge Rs.200 to keep luggage for 1 hr.
  3. Went inside , there were only 2 people before me, just waited for 5-10 for my turn and submitted the documents (NIE and position confirmation letter are must). Also they specifically ask when was the passport size photo taken . So try to get a latest photo for submission
  4. Got NIE APPROVAL email on aug 25 and the status changed to issued on aug26. Received the passport on aug 28 with NIE annotation.
    Tip- they charge a lot on Internet cafes/photocopies/visa photos outside the Dropbox location. Try to take everything necessary with you.
    Hope my experience help someone.

Experience 21: H1B with Dropbox at New Delhi

Came to India in Feb, got stuck in April due the second wave of covid lockdown in India. I then switched employer in July, new H1B got approved in the first week of August. H1b was cap exempt because I used my approved I-140 which had not become current yet. I then got my dropbox appointment for August 30th in New Delhi

New Employer is into manufacturing 3D printers and hence gave me an NIE letter on the basis of critical infrastructure

Reached Delhi the day before the interview, stayed with a friend in Saket. The next day, I reached the VAC 30 minutes before my appointment which was at 12pm. I would advise everyone to not go any earlier than 30 minutes. It’s a waste of time.

I was let in at around 11:40 AM. There was a security check and then we went down two levels to the VAC. There is a cloak room of sorts right opposite to the VAC and they charge 200 rupees per bag. It was fairly easy and quick to drop off my bag over there. Please carry change if you want to get out quick else you can also use card.

The dropbox queue was empty and I was waiting at the front of the line for 2-3 minutes. I was then called upon to a counter. The person asked for my appointment confirmation and ds-160 confirmation, my passports and the photo. Please take a new photo, they do not accept an already submitted photo. I provided all of them. Then she went onto ask for my position confirmation letter. I gave her my offer letter. Finally she asked for the NIE letter and I provided that as well.

She went through all of it and then told me that if everything goes well I should be able to pick up my passport in Chennai once the processing is done. I had chosen document pick up in chennai as the mode of delivery. She then gave me back the appointment confirmation letter back with the date stamped.

Overall it took about 5 minutes. I was done with the entire appointment by 11:55 AM, well before my appointment time. I then collected my bag, and proceeded to the ticket counter to buy the metro ticket to Delhi Airport and then flew back to Chennai.

August 31 – No Status
September 1 – Administrative Processing
September 2 – Issued, Got my NIE Approval Email

NIE is approved for 12 months, and multiple entries. NIE start date is only from next week.

Currently waiting for my passport to come to Chennai vac so I can go and pick that up. Planning to travel in the 3rd week of September.

For anyone wondering what the NIE letter should look like, please look at the pinned messages and find the sample NIE Letter that’s pinned over there. I provided that NIE letter format to my immigration attorney and they gave me a letter very similar to that signed by the Director of HR.

You don’t have to send an email to the consulate prior to your dropbox appointment, you can just submit the NIE letter during your appointment as part of the other documents. Please fill your DS-160 accurate to the best of your knowledge. If you are unsure, you can ask your employer to have it reviewed by your immigration attorney. My immigration attorneys reviewed my DS-160.

Documents I dropped off
1) New Passport, Old Passport
2) One photo
3) New I-797, Old I-797
4) Offer Letter
5) NIE Letter


Experience 22: H1B at Hyderabad

Place & date: Hyderabad – Sep 3 – 8:00 AM.

Note: everyone was talking about an old lady in the consulate and could see the fear in their faces.

Reached the consulate by 7:10 AM and a police person asked us to stand in line based on the Slot timing and he was talking with each and every persons and made them comfortable. He even conducted a mock interview to me, gave ideas to crack the interview and wished success to all.

At the Gate, first round of security verification and after entering the consulate had the second round of security verification. Here they asked to remove the Belt, empty the pocket and scanned the transparent file which i carried.

Next, they asked to wait for some time and took my passport and stamped DS-160 confirmation. since i have selected Chennai during the creation. Ggot back the passport in 5 mins. when my turn came, i was asked to go to the counter 14. i saw a middle-aged lady with semi casual attire(hoping she should not be that Lady everyone talked about).

Interview Part:

VO: Good Moring. Pass on the passport alone Please.
Me: Good Moring (passed the Passport).
She was going through my passport and started to ask questions,
VO: For which company you are working for?
I took 4 sec to understand the question and answered.
Vo: who is you end Client?
Me: answered.
VO: how long you have been associated with you company.
Me: answered.
VO: where is your company based at?
Me: answered
VO: what is your annual income?
Me: answered
Vo: what is your graduation degree?
Me: answered.
VO: what are your total years of experience?
Me: answered
Vo: what is your role and responsibility?
Me: as i have prepared big paragraph, i was waiting for this question but the words stuck for 3 sec.

Started answering and spoke just 1 sentence and she interrupted and asked me to keep my left 4 fingers on the scanner. Took 10 sec for this and VO started.

VO: i will recommend for NIE. thank you.
and took my passport with her and announced for the next person to come.

I was puzzled because she did not ask for the client letter nor NIE letter and nothing except few questions (had all supporting documents ready). Had a mixed feeling but when i came out the consulate gate my face began to smile as i was relived from this interview stress. Gave some money to that police who gave confidence to everyone. Reached the hotel by 8:30.


Experience 23: H1B at Mumbai

My visa stamping experience,

Reached Mumbai on 8/30, produced negative covid test results and cdc vaccine card to skip mandatory quarantine at the Mumbai Airport

9/02 – biometric done, I was instructed to come 15 minutes before scheduled time, not prior to that.

09/03 – interview date, Got in and waited for two hours in the waiting area

Entered inside, there was only one VO who was taking h1 and h4 related interviews

Handed Passport and i797 to consular, and VO interview questions,

  • Who is your client? Healthcare customer
  • Do you work remote or at client location?
    I reponded saying client location, even though my client letter mentioned about my remote work with in US due to covid
  • Your role? (Talked about covid related work and project description) Immediately asked me for client letter and verified my role the letter.
  • What’s your salary? I responded and also produced my employment verification letter, which had my salary and designation info
  • Why didn’t you apply for interview waiver?
    Not eligible as my previous visa was issued in Toronto

Finally, he said that I am approving your visa and gave know your rights pamphlet.

He told me wait for few seconds to got nie approval slip.

Inside Waiting area observation from other candidates,

Who is your client? Just mentioned their name and VO was not sure about their industry, then VO asked about what do they do. Candidate didn’t answer clearly and created lots of confusion about his actual job.

VO did lots of typing….

He asked about his role, he gave lame job description, it sounded like first Google response

VO did lots of typing again…

VO asked a couple, how did you meet? They took almost a minute to respond.

VO did lots of typing again…

They got 221g and asked them to send lots of documents.

Please clear about what you do (brag about your role and criticality, no one can do it withoutyou) and why do you want to travel (clear justification about your customer and their critical infra or not ) if not 221g or refusal. (I felt really sorry for them, they missed easy chance)


Experience 24: H1B at New Delhi

August 31st – Appeared for Bio-metrics and it was done in 10 minutes.
September 1st – My appointment was at 09:50 and I reached Embassy premises by 8:30AM as I am unaware of the cloak room facilities there and thought reaching early would help. Reaching early had helped me as it started raining heavily. There is a cloak room opposite to the Embassy entrance and they would charge 50 rupees per bag and 50 per mobile phone. There is no proper shelter to wait and I was drenched in the rainfall but ensured my certificates are safe.

Documents I carried : I carried I797 originals, Employer provided NIE letter, Supervisor letter, position description letter, DS160, appointment copy and passport.

Interview experience: Though my appointment was at 9:50 AM, I was allowed inside before 40 minutes and I checked in all the counters and entered the Interview premises. I was allowed to attend interview at 9:30 and the consular had interviewed me for 7 minutes exactly.

Questions asked :
Why are you traveling?
Whats your last travel date? (I had travel history on B1/B2 visa)
What work you did while on Business Visa in US?
NIE letter?
Overall work experience?
How long are you working with the same client?

Result : Visa approved with NIE. Done with interview by 9:30 and came out.

Suggestion : If possible, reach the Embassy atleast before 45 minutes. Delhi roads were completely clogged on 1st September due to heavy rainfall and it took me 3 hours to reach my hotel while going back from Embassy. It usually takes 15 minutes. I heard from folks on the same day on this group that they couldnt reach on time to Embassy due to heavy rains. So please plan to reach early!

Few experiences shared here had helped me and hence posting this detailed review assuming that it would help! All the best!


Experience 25: H1B with NIE at New Delhi

Status: H1B approved, NIE approved.
Interview date and Venue: September 1, 2021, Delhi VAC(biometric), September 2, US Embassy Delhi(consulate)
Process: I was stuck in India since April. My Interview on April was canceled by the embassy. Waited for 4 months looking for normal appointments. Finally got a slot for on February 2, 2022. I took the appointment. Then submitted an emergency appointment request with a ‘statement of need’ and ‘letter from manager’. In the statement, I applied under critical infrastructure business need. After the emergency appointment request, i got response mail with in a day approving the request. The mail had a link to the same ds160 portal. Where I was able to reschedule my appointment to September 2(slot was open even for the next day). I went for the interview with all the required documents. But VO asked for only passport and I-797.

Interview questions:– 1) Have you worked in US before.
2) Checked my passport and saw J1 visa. Asked what I did under J1.
3) Which university i studied in US under F1.
4) Explain your work at current company.

Finally VO said:- Your H1B visa is approved. NIE is also approved. You will receive the passport in 1 week.


   

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