Home » Visas » USA » US Visa Stamping Experiences – H1B, H4, B1, B2, L1, L2, F1 » H1B, H4 Experiences : Regular, Dropbox from July 5th to July 10th, 2021

H1B, H4 Experiences : Regular, Dropbox from July 5th to July 10th, 2021

Below are User experiences for July 2021, starting from July 5th to July 10th, 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 Visa with NIE at New Delhi

Sharing my experience here for first time H1B visa stamping and NIE (Semiconductor industry). Both were approved. The process was smooth and fast at both VAC and VI. The only documents needed were my passport and i-797 document. No other documents were needed – no NIE letter or anything. However I went armed with a strong referral letter from manager and NIE support letter from law firm hired by my company – none were ultimately required.

Here are the details:

VAC at Kolkata on 25th June:

Appointment at 2 pm

Reached at 1:20 pm and was allowed in at 1:35 pm after temperature check.

The person at VAC only requested passport and i-797 document. He checked both documents and then pasted a pre-made barcode sticker with VAC and Visa interview details at the back of my passport.

I proceeded to next cubicle for fingerprints and photograph.

I was out by 1:45 pm

Visa Interview at Delhi US Consulate on 30th June:

Appointment at 8:30 am

Reached at 8 am and submitted my phone into a locker. There was a waiting area outside. At 8:15 am, I went through first security check-in. At 8:25 am, I went through a portal where my passport and appointment confirmation was checked. At 8:35 am, I went through second security check-in and entered the consulate.

At 8:45 am, my passport and i-797 was checked at a cubicle (preliminary document check) and then asked to form a queue for the visa interview.

At 9 am, I was called to the Visa interview. The Visa officer only asked for my passport and i-797.

Here is my interaction with VO:

VO: Hi, can I have your passport and i-797.
Me: (Provided the documents)
VO: What should I put down as your job title at XX (company name)?
Me: Semiconductor Process Engineer
VO: Is this your first time going to the US (after looking at the passport)?
Me: No. I also have my old passport which has the F1 visa details. (I thought he found the empty new Indian passport issued from SF odd)
VO: Oh that’s not required. Please just answer my questions. Please put your 4 fingers from left hand on the scanner.
Me: (Did as asked)
VO: How long have you been working for XX (after looking at i-797)?
Me: Almost 3 years.
VO: Were you on H1B before?
Me: No. I was on F1 OPT.
VO: Sorry I meant is this your first time H1B stamping?
Me: Yes
VO: What is your highest level of study?
Me: PhD
VO: Which university?
Me: YY (university name)
VO: Okay. So here’s what I will do. I will approve your H1B and also give you NIE. Now what are your travel plans? Have you booked your return ticket?
Me: No not yet. I was planning to leave around middle of July.
VO: So NIE is valid for 30 days. If you want I can approve NIE from middle of July or alternatively from beginning of July. Which one do you prefer?
Me: NIE from middle of July will be great. Thank you!
VO: Okay your visa is approved. Let me just update my system. (Was clicking some stuff and waiting). The system is a bit buggy today. And I don’t have PhD time haha (chuckled). (After 30 seconds) Okay your visa is approved. You will receive an email in the afternoon for NIE

I was out by 9:05 am.

At 12:20 pm, I received NIE approval email from New Delhi Consulate.

From 30th June till 1st July evening, CEAC website (https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/) was showing Visa application was in “Administrative Processing”. On 1st July evening, the status changed to “Issued”. It usually takes 24 to 48 hour to update.

Experience 2: H4 Visa with Dropbox at Kolkata

Booked H4 Dropbox appointment on 06/15 for appointment on 30th June without Emergency authorization.

Reached Kolkata office 30 minutes prior to the appointment time of 2:00pm.

Document check and dropping was easy, took 15 minutes.

I didn’t had any NIE Documents, provided: (a). self written letter with details about my spouse’s job description and his need to be in the USA, (b). included my USC kid’s Dr’s appointment letter from the Dr’s office, (c). mentioned in the letter about my kid’s school opening, (d). Also mentioned about the emotional suffering due to family separation, (e). Attached kid’s passports, birth certificate and Dr’s appointment confirmation letter.

Time line:

  1. Dropped documents on 30th june.
  2. Status updated on 1st july to received.
  3. Status updated on 2nd July to Final processing, passport ready for delivery.
  4. 4th July (Sunday) passport delivery to home with visa stamped with NIA annotation.

Experience 3: H1B with NIE at New Delhi

Biometric on July 1st at 9 AM.
Even though my appointment was booked using a DS160 for Chennai, I had filled out another one for Delhi and gave that one instead. They updated my profile at the counter itself.
Went in at 8:15 and came out at 8:40.
No issues

Consular interview at Delhi at 8:20 AM.

Showed up at 7:45. Allowed in at 8 sharp. Out by 8:50.
Questions asked:

What does your company do?
What is your position?
What are your responsibilities?

The VO said I qualify for NIE and it will be valid for 12 months instead of 30 days. She said that this was a new update that they received last night.

Interview lasted less than 5 minutes. I carried an NIE letter, but it wasn’t needed.

I work in semiconductor and automotive sector.

Experience 4: H1B and H4 at New Delhi

I had applied for my H1B stamping and H4 visa for my wife. We initially had our appointment booked in Chennai in May which got cancelled.
June 17: Biometrics
June 18: Interview
Location: Delhi Consulate
We reached Delhi on 16th June and booked our stay at Radisson Blu (30-45 mins journey for Biometrics and 15 mins drive for Embassy).
We reached 1 hour early on both the days and due to limited capacity of appointments we got in and out early.
Documents that I carried:
Ds 160 confirmation
Appointment confirmation
MRV Fee Receipt
Carry one passport size photograph, they might ask at the entrance.
Employment verification letter
Client letter to support NIE and all supporting documents for H1B stamping.
For H4:

Marriage Certificate
Marriage Album
Invitation Cards
Educational documents


Our VO was very nice and soft spoken.

Me: Good Morning
VO: Good Morning, how are you both doing?
Me: Doing good, how about you?
VO: I’m doing great
Pass me your passports and I-797
Me: Passed it
VO: Are you guys newly married?
My wife: Yes and date….
VO: Congratulations
Me: Thank you
VO: Where do you work?
Me: Told
VO: Who are your end clients?
Me: I directly work for my company
VO: Did you study in the US?
Me: Yes i did my MS in Computer Science from ….
VO: Did you work in your OPT?
Me: Yes i did work in my OPT and STEM OPT

Afterwards he kept typing and kept looking at his screen

VO: When do you plan to go back?
Me: As early as possible
VO: Have your booked your tickets?
Me: Yes (considering my earlier appointment)
VO: Ok, I am approving your visas and also your NIE. You guys can travel within 30 days starting from 25th June to 25th July.
Me: Thank you.
VO: Please carry all the documents with you while traveling
My wife: Thank you! Have a great day
VO: You too, congratulations and all the best.

I was carrying support letter from my company but it wasnt asked. Try and reach early.

I received my and my wife’s Visa nearly 5-6 days later on 24th June through Premium Delivery. Make sure that someone attends the delivery and pays 500 rupees to the delivery person. You can check the status of your Visa here https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx and check for delivery after the status is changed to “Issued”.

Experience 5: H4 with Dropbox in USC Kid Category at Chennai

  • Just sent a EA request mail to Chennai embassy on June 29 in USC kid category as mentioned family separation and kids well visit over due (I didn’t have any booked appointment)
    Very next day I got approval mail, asked me to come any open business days to submit required docs along with kids pp and BC and cover letter.
  • Went to Chennai VAC office @11am today.
  • Successfully submitted the docs and came out in 20 mins.

Experience 6: H1 + H4 with 221g and NIE at New Delhi

I work for a healthcare client, today collected stamped passports with NIE annotation
Here is my timeline:
24 Mar : Interview, handed over 221g – NIE required for PP10052
24 Apr : submited NIE
29 Apr : passport submit request, the case moved to AP
26May : case moved back from AP to Refused, passport returned with another 221g – NIE required for current travel ban
1 July : NIE submitted along with both passports
6 July : visa issued

Experience 7: H1B with Dropbox and 221g at New Delhi

Had drop box on 21st June 2021 at Delhi VAC, submitted DS-160, appointment confirmation , photo , employment verification and NIE (Banking and Financial sector )letter from employer. Very easy process , entire process took 5-10 mins. Please Reach VAC centre just 15-20 mins before.

22nd June – status “Refused” – got tensed.

23rd June – status “Administrative processing “” – Got much relief

23rd onwards till 25th June – Still showed administrative processing but online on cgi portal it showed passport has been revived from consular and processing for delivery. — It was confusing as what happened is it issued or rejected with 221g.

28th June – Received passport with one slip mentioned 221g , I need to attend Interview with ECL, MSA or itinerary of services signed by both employer and client . It was mentioned I can come any business day before 10am and no need to book appointment. Nothing mentioned about PP or NIE .(that’s might be because I submitted NIE letter during drop box)

Travelled to Delhi again on 6th July with ECL and MSA and attended Interview on 7th July.

Reached Delhi Embassy at 8.10 am , saw 100+ at least F-1 student visa guys waiting for security screening , only very few were H-1B it seems.

Around 8.40 am I was inside embassy building after initial screening and few check point where they scan your passport. I deposited my mobile during initial screening for Rs. 50, no other items I carried except my documents file.

I was told to proceed further and sit on chair until it’s called.

9.05 am I was told to stand in line for one of the window. 3 person in front of me in same line.

9.10 am – I was in front of VO.
VO – please give your passport and 797.

VO- after checking in screen he told did you get one slip.
Me- Yes , I forgot to give him during passport.

VO- He checked screen and slip and asked me Do you work for xxx company and you applied for NIE as well.
Me- I said yes and I applied for NIE during drop box itself.

VO- Do you have Client letter.
Me – Yes , passed the client letter ( he didn’t bother about MSA as it was mentioned in slip as well)

VO – Asked my position/role .
Me – Architect

VO – You mean software Architect
Me – No , only Architect

VO- Got it , Your roles please
Me – I spoke 2 lines hardly and he said ok ok , your Visa is approved and I have given NIE date from July 12 th and end date he spoke. He also told I will get mail about NIE (but I was so excited that I forgot end date 😀).

He told I will receive passport in 4-5 days, I said thank you so much and have good day!!

I have not received NIE mail yet and online status shows administrative processing still but dates shows current , probably I will get NIE mail after it shows Issued status( I will wait , as I waited 16 months strongly 😊)

My interview lasted for max 1 min only – probably it was follow up interview after drop box and they already verified my docs and NIE.

I was waiting for this golden moment visa extension through H-1B cap exempt and stamping since March 2020, my petition were denied in US for last extension. Since then I am separated from my wife , she is on different work visa in US. I wanted to go for work visa so never thought of H4 as my perm is already filed.

Please note I work for same employer and client since I joined in 2012. Never changed either of them.

Here is the trick – I know and mostly confident many of your employer or client might not support or they even don’t know about NIE letter so I didn’t even bother to contact my employer , I drafted by myself and got it printed on company letter head with HR sign , for this I got help from my US manager.

Experience 8: H1B with Dropbox and NIE at Hyderabad

Brief timeline of my case

  • H1B application – Hyderabad embassy
  • April 26th initial Dropbox
  • May 28th application refused
  • June 5th, recieved PP with 221g letter
  • Jun 10, 12, 15 sent multiple emails with medical emergency.
  • Tried to fill new ds160 and a new appointment June 18 and raised EA with medical emergency even it got denied on June 21st.
  • Got call on June 23rd to drop passport on June 28th
  • Status changed to issued for H1B today June 30th
  • Received pp with nie annotation on july 3rd.

Experience 9: H1B with Dropbox and NIE at Kolkata

I work in IT for a American product based company .

Documents provided:

Employment letter,NIE letter signed by employer mentioning criticality of the project and my roles and responsibilities, Current and previous I797, 1 Photo copy,DS160 confirmation (I had it for chennai, but was accepted without any issues), Dropbox confirmation, current and previous passports.

Dropbox – Jun 30 (12:00 pm)

Application received – Jul 1st

Administrative processing – July 6th ( Delay might be due to long weekend) else kolkata is processing super fast.

Issued – July 7th

Waiting for passport. Hopefully I will get it max by Friday EOD.

Here I am Sharing the template of “NIE Letter signed by employer”:

United States Embassy
Non-Immigrant Visa Unit
Re: Requesting Expedited Visa Appointment under National Interest Exception: Critical Infrastructure support under IT for Applicant Name
Dear Sir/Madam:
Please accept this letter requesting an Expedited Visa stamping and National Interest Exception for Applicant Name for the Critical Infrastructure support under IT sector. Applicant Name recently traveled to India in order to complete necessary H-1B stamping. Prior to cancellation, he had scheduled the Dropbox Appointment on Apr 26 2021. Applicant Name meets the National Interest Exception requirements given his critical role at ‘Organization Name’. On behalf of ‘Organization Name’, I formally request that he is allowed prompt re-admission to the United States. Below is the necessary information to process his exception:

Last name:
First name:
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Country of citizenship:
Passport number:
Travel dates ( fly back ASAP upon stamping completion)
‘Applicant Name’ has been employed at ‘Organization Name’ since August 2018 as a Job title. ‘Organization Name’ is a healthcare system of more than 1,700 employees across multiple locations and serving several counties. ‘Applicant Name’ serves in a critical role to patient safety for our entire health system. He is a valuable member of our Quality Department which is currently at a critical staffing level of only five employees. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Applicant’s Name’ has additionally been working as the System Manager for the Safety Reporting System at ‘Organization Name’. Given ‘Applicant Name’ level of skills and expertise in managing the Safety Reporting System, ‘Organization Name’ is experiencing an undue burden in his absence. This role is important in identifying the trends of safety issues across the system and collaborating with management to address the same immediately.

‘Applicant Name’ qualifies for National Interest Exemption as he is a Critical Infrastructure Worker based on the following points:
‘Applicant Name’’s role is critical to the daily operations at ‘Organization Name’ and in ensuring patient and staff safety, incident management, and patient advocacy. He traveled to India with a notion to return to the US as soon as received his passport with stamped H-1B visa on or before May 20, 2021. Any further delay in his return will cause an undue burden on the operations at ‘Organization Name’ as a whole and specifically to the Quality Department. Therefore, we request you to kindly provide an Expedited Visa stamping on the Urgent Business Travel basis due to the critical nature of his role.
We look forward to the rapid re-admission of ‘Applicant Name’ to the United States to resume employment with ‘Organization Name’, and we respectfully request that you kindly extend all due courtesies. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at ‘email address’ or via phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Manager for the Organization”

Experience 10: H1B with NIE at Mumbai

H1B Regular Visa Interview Experience (Automotive/Manufacturing sector)
Consulate: Mumbai
Biometric: 1st July
Interview: 2nd July

Documents carried: Passport,I797 (old and new),Employment Verification Letter,Client Letter,NIE Letter and other supporting documents

VO: please pass me your documents
Passed passport and I797
VO: H1 or H4?
Me: H1B
VO: (He gave my passport and I797 to a person working in the background and asked me to sit.
VO took one F1 interview in that time. Received my documents and asked me to come back.)
VO: please confirm your name.
VO: Who is your petitioner and what this company do.
Aksed me more details about company profile and services.
VO: job title and description
Vo: you work at end client.? Who are they? what they do?
Vo: What are their products? (Asked me in detail)
VO: You had F1 visa before?
VO: When did you graduate and from where?
VO: you worked on OPT? and how many years
VO: your visa is approved (i missed the sentence after this)

Received my passport with visa with NIE today.

Tip: Prepare well about company profile, services. If applicable end client, prepare well about their products. In my opinion, this might give idea about NIE category.

Experience 11: H1B with NIE at New Delhi

OFC: April 26th 2021
Original Visa appointment on April 30th at Kolkata, but cancelled due to COVID surge
Secured an appointment on July 14th for Mumbai consulate
I was able to reschedule to July 6th for Delhi consulate
Appointment day, July 6th, 8:20 am Regular Appointment
Entered at 8 am,
Initial admin counter: I submitted my I797 and passport. I had filled up a new DS-160, so they took my fingerprints and Picture at the counter again.
(PS: FYI You do not have to fill up a new DS-160 if you have a changed VAC after your OFC)
In about 10 minutes I was called for the interview

I: Good morning how are you doing?
VO: good morning I’m doin well, can I have your passport and i797
I: handed over the documents
VO: looks like you’re eligible for NIE under information technology sector
I: Yes I am (super excited lol)
VO: what is your position
I: Answered
VO: What’s your salary?
I: Answered
VO: when did you come to India?
I: Answered
VO: Where did you do your masters from?
I: Answered
VO: Did you change your status in the past 5 years?
I: Yes I did, I moved to STEM OPT under F1
VO: was that 2016 ?
I: Yes
VO: You will get your NIE soon and just so you know you can travel anytime within one year. The National interest exception is now valid for one year! (They will ideally not be askin for a travel plan since the window now is 365days)
I: Thats wonderful, I was not aware of that. Did that happen over the weekend?
VO: yeah literally last night!
I: this is exciting! Thanks a bunch
VO: ofcourse!
I: When can I expect my passport ?
VO: should be within a week
I: alright ty have a good one!!

Checked the status around 4pm on the same day: it changed to administrative processing
July 7: Issued
Received an email from Delhi Consulate with NIE approval and validity is One Year!
Waiting for Passport

Note: What 365 Days of NIE implies:
1) This means we can plan travels anytime before it expires. However we should be aware that H1B regulations prevents us from working for a prolonged period of time outside the US. Discuss with your HR, leadership and immigration team to see if they are okay and no tax implications applies!
2) Can be used for multiple entries to the US within the annual validity

Experience 12: H1B (USC Kids) with Dropbox at New Delhi

Appointment was @3:00 pm today

Reached early. Seen too many applicants for F1 visa and Biometric compare to Dropbox. Seems consulate is booking only 1 Dropbox appointment for an hour.

Got the entry around 2:30 pm. mobile was switched off no need to deposit.

No need panic if you forget print or anything. Facility is there for that. But charges are high obviously.

Submitted the document as per confirmation letter
-NIE – USC kid so officer know no need for exception letter. She mentioned herself. Took USC kid passport and birth certificate.
-Photo -took two type of sets for precaution. Officer was fine with first one itself.

Officer said should get the status in a week.

Came out in ~15 minutes

Waiting for passport.

Experience 13: H1B Regular at Mumbai

Location: Mumbai (24-25 June)
No USC Kid
No EA (EA was rejected when I applied during early June)
Type: Transportation Sector (I had NIE Letter from Employer)

VAC Experience:
VAC was very smooth and I was in and out within 5 mins.
Documents asked: Appointment Confirmation + DS-160
Photo and fingerprints taken during VAC.

Interview Experience:
There was a long line. My appointment was at 11:00 they took us inside at 11. Total time in building was 1.5 hours. Interview Time 3-4 Mins.

VO: Pass me Passport and I-797
Me: Passed (After this, I made sure to keep NIE letter and employment letter in front, facing VO, so that he could see.)
VO: What do you do for XYZ?
Me: Answered
VO: What do they Make?
Me: Answered.
VO: Is there any End Client?
Me: Answered
(At this point VO got confused and told me to pass both NIE letter and employment letter which was kept in front of him)
(Reading and typing for 2 mins)
VO: Oh, Ok.
VO: your visa is approved
Me: thank you.

Received Passport July 2nd (1 week after interview)

Personal Tip:
Please note that after giving I-797 and Passport to VO, keep your NIE letter and employment letter in front (facing towards VO). This is not a standard step but has helped me during interview.

Experience 14: H1B + H4 at New Delhi

I would like to share my H1B/H4 Drop box experience here. (Appointment at New Delhi at 12 noon on July 7th for a H1B Not subject to CAP)

Travelled from HYD to DEL yesterday (July 6th) – Indigo flight (No RT PCR test neded)
Stayed with friend. Friend dropped us at the VAC at 11:30 AM today.
The secuity at desk checked temperature (No RT PCR test neded) and then, reviewed the visa appointment letter and DS 160s for both of us.
He then, asked my wife to stay at the waiting area and only allowed me in.

Note: Our original DS 160s were for HYD. But, we also had new DS 160s for New Delhi.

Documents for H1B taken by official (in the order asked).
Visa Appointment letter
DS 160 (for New Delhi)
1 copy of Photo
Passport (ONLY New was taken)
Cover Letter + US Child Birth Certificate & Passport copies
Employment Evaluation letter (Note I had bonafide letter from my company with My Name, Designation, Date of joining)
Current and previous I797 copies

Note: Though I gave Client Letter, they didn’t take it.

Documents for H4 taken by official (in the order asked).
DS 160 (for New Delhi)
Passports (both Old and New were taken)
1 copy of Photo
H4 – All previous I797 copies
H1B (Candidate’s) – Current and previous I797 copies
H1B (Candidate’s) – Latest Visa Copy
Cover Letter + US Child Birth Certificate & Passport copies

Note: Though I gave Marriage Certificate, they didn’t take it.

VAC official then said – You will get your passports in courier to the address provided in 7 days. Pay Rupees 500 for each passport delivered.

Time – 12:15

As I wait for the outcome, I would like to know if not taking the Client Letter and Marriage Certificate will be an issue or not. Keeping fingers crossed!!

Experience 15: H1B with EA, NIE at Mumbai

I work full time in a company which is in the Energy Sector. My manager got in touch with our in-house lawyer and got the letter for EA/NIE.

28th Jun Applied EA with letter including EA -qualification with NIE -via portal
29th -recvd rejection email (the automated one)
30th -recvd EA approved email

Booked 6th and 7th July both at 8 AM
6th july- no issues, all Docs checked within 15 min I was out.

7th July – got in at 7:55, VO arrived little 20 min late, interview started at around 8.30
VO- Please give me you passport and the 797 form
Me- here..
VO – Do you Work at End client?
Me – Yes.. I am a full time employee with the petitioner… (got interrupted)
VO – I asked ‘Do you Work at End client? ‘
Me – Umm.. I am a full time employee
VO – when asked, did you say ‘Yes.. ” ?
Me- Sorry, I meant No, I work as a Full time Employee as XYZ.
VO – OK (he was annoyed for some reason)
VO – what is your position?
Me – SE
VO- Does your company have like,.. SE-1 and SE-2 kinda thing ?
Me- No XYZ does not have those kinds of levels.
VO – How large is your team. ?
Me – 4 other people
VO- What does your company do?
Me- Provides Software Solutions for Energy providers, AMI…. (interrupted..)
ME – Yes, Advanced Metering Infrastructure… (interrupted..)
VO- what is that exactly?
ME- Connects Electric meters and other utility meters over the internet, services to energy companies like ‘XYZ Energies ‘ which provides electricity for most of the east coast.
VO- How many total SEs are there in your company?
Me – hmm.. not sure.. around 50 -60
VO – and they all work in projects related to Energy Services?
Me- Yes
VO – How many total teams are there in your company..
Me- Umm.. not sure.. around 50 may be..!
VO- hmm, ok
( waited for 2 min typing.. n stuff)
VO – your Visa has been approved.
Me- Thanks!

Did’nt received any slips, just gave back the 797, kept the passport.

( It felt like he was just ready to reject for the slightest of reasons, not that he needs any!
I advise plz do not eavesdrop., he rejected 2 F1 Visa’s b4 me and I got bit nervous. )

Experience 16: H1B with NIE at Kolkata

I work in IT for a American product based company .

Visa type – H1B

Documents provided:

Employment letter,NIE letter signed by employer mentioning criticality of the project and my roles and responsibilities, Current and previous I797, 1 Photo copy,DS160 confirmation (I had it for chennai, but was accepted without any issues), Dropbox confirmation, current and previous passports.

Dropbox – Jun 30 (12:00 pm)

Application received – Jul 1st

Administrative processing – July 6th ( Delay might be due to long weekend) else kolkata is processing super fast.

Issued – July 7th

Waiting for passport. Hopefully I will get it max by Friday EOD.

PS: No USC kid

Experience 17: H1B, H4 with USC Kid at Chennai

Visa approved: 08th july

Travelled US to India for visa interview

Documents asked; passports, i-797, USC kid passport

Questions asked: Company name, location, How long working, Graduation year, opt completion and couple of questions regarding h4.

FYI: myself phd holder working in academics on H1. Better to take your USC kid along with you to make it faster.

Going back to US next month

Experience 18: H4 Visa at Mumbai

H4 visa renewal interview experience:
25th June : Atlanta-Chicago American Airlines flight, Airindia Chicago to Delhi
Delhi to Bangalore one day before flight canceled and air India give me Delhi to kochi to Bangalore flight, reached 26th June
Air India and United combined their passengers
Immigration happened in Bangalore it was very smooth no line very fast
Came to India for medical emergency
30th June Bangalore to Mumbai indigo flight Rtpcr required
Stay in Sofitel hotel good hotel near to biometrics and embassy
1st July Mumbai biometrics vac
2nd July Mumbai interview
VO Questions:
1 ) asked for my passport and my husband I 797
2) where is your husband
3) what his designation in company
Told and give him employer letter and offer letter as well
4) husband visa copy and asked why his visa is expired
Gave and explain why he was not able to come bcs of his job profile
Explain I came here for medical emergency and wanted to go back to join my family
5) asked marriage certificate and date of marriage
6) asked husband date of birth
7) I have nie letter from my spouse stated family separation and stated he can’t work from India with my husband signed gave it to him
After some typing he said approved
2nd July afternoon Mumbai to Bangalore indigo flight (full flight ) no rtpcr required if you are vaccinated with one vaccination
6th July status issued
7th July passport received

Experience 19: H1B, H4 with Dropbox at Delhi

Jun 30th – booked slot for Jun 8
July 2nd – travelled to India via Air India
Jun 8th – Dropbox at Delhi.

Docs submitted:

H1B –
Ds160 delhi consulate (had to create one since I had a chennai one earlier) updated the CGI portal with the same
1 PP photo
Current I797 copy
Prior visa ( expired within a year) copy
Role confirmation letter from employer
NIE exception letter ( US born kid )
Kids PP copy and birth certificate copy.


DS 160 delhi consulate ( VFS officer was kind enough to update the DS-160 on the portal)
H1B I797 copy ( no I797 for H4)
Prior H1B visa copy
1 PP photo
H4 cover letter from employer
NIE exception proof ( Kids PP copy)

Officer said usual processing time is 5-7 days but depends on the Embassy. Fingers crossed 🙏

Experience 20: H1B with 221g, NIE at Chennai

Finally I got my passport with NIE annotation . Following is my timeline .

  1. Feb 19th – Dropbox
  2. March 1st – Status changed to refused
  3. March 4th-Received passport with 221g white slip to attend in-person interview (walk-in after regular operations begins)
  4. March 8th- Tried to walk-in to chennai consulate , didn’t know that regular operations weren’t resumed. I was sent back asking to schedule an appointment with support-india .
  5. March 9 – April 12th – kept calling support every day , 6 times a day to get a follow up appointment.
    Observation –
    1. not all support person knows the complete information and most of them are dumb. Had to get the right person to enable the follow up option.
    2. My application was employer change and my old employer did not revoke the petition. So after my 221g , looks like there was a USCIS process that verified with my old employer and only then my old petition was revoked – looks like a data correction on USCIS side.
  6. Only after the above process, my Receipt number was released by consulate on which follow up option could be enabled on the portal .
  7. April 16th – could see slots available on portal for appointment and booked for April 22nd.
  8. April 21st – 6:00 AM travelled to chennai with all the documents . Received a CANCELLATION email citing covid surge around 12:30 PM . Tried directly going to consulate but consulate was closed.
  9. April 22nd – tried to walk-in with the appointment confirmation and tried convincing them that the cancellation was last minute and I travelled a long way for this . Nothing worked . They didn’t allow anyone else either . Looks like there were no officers to process visa.
  10. April 24th – slots opened up again in portal but this time it was available only for July 1st. (2 more months to wait )
  11. April 25th – had to convince my employer about the situation . Had to start working 3 time zones (india, Germany and US) almost 18 hrs a day.
  12. May 4th – July 1st – Travel ban. Confusion on NIE process . Lost hope of traveling by atleast the year end .
  13. July 1st – interview was smooth . Asked about duties , convinced them that I am eligible for NIE, no letters asked for the same. Visa approved and NIE approved .
  14. July 8th – status changed to Issued . (Ppl who attended interview the subsequent days after me got it issued 3 days before me not sure how it works here )
  15. July 9th – picked up passport with stamp and NIE annotation .

Now I am applying a new H4 visa for my wife . We got married on March 15th . Expecting to request for EA. Hope it works out.

Planning to travel this month end by Qatar airways.

Experience 21: H1B (USC Kids) at Chennai

My Visa status is changed to Issued today. USC Kids and working in critical sector.
In-Person EA Interview Date: 17th June in Chennai Consulate. Received 221g white slip for further administrative processing.
June 17th : Refused and same day status changed to Administrative Processing.
July 8th- Last updated date is changed.
July 9th- Issued.

Experience 22: H4 Visa at New Delhi

First time H4 Visa experience:

Completed VAC on April 22 in Delhi but consular on May 5th got cancelled due covid lockdown.

Rescheduled in Chennai and raised EA for H4.

EA raised on April 30. EA approved on May 6th.

Scheduled appointment for May 27. Got cancelled due to complete lockdown in Tamil Nadu.

Rescheduled to Hyderabad to November 22 but EA was not available(us travel docs mentioned you have used up the EA for the MRA even though EA cancelled due to lockdown)

Rescheduled again to Delhi on June 7th luckily because regular appointments started opening up.

Interview was straightforward:
When did you get married?
How do you know your husband?
Where does your husband work ?
Where does he live?
Is your husband in India or back in the USA?
Does he have NIE?

VO said since your spouse doesn’t have NIE and is in India you cannot travel.
My wife tried explaining to her that we will try applying for NIE and if we don’t get approved we will travel via third country quarantine.
VO replied she won’t be able process the visa since spouse is in India and doesn’t have NIE.
Handed her yellow slip with case number which read H1b spouse should apply for NIE and returned passport. She was very friendly and even suggested that if you’re interested in studying, student visa is easier in the current COVID scenario.

My company’s legal team advised me to take third country quarantine route as we not part of critical infrastructure. Raised NIE twice on my own at my H1B consulate and was rejected.

Decided to travel back to US via Mexico. Reached US on June 27.

Submitted i94 with cover letter and passport instead of NIE at Chennai VAC on June 30.

No update for more than a week. Status was still refused but passport tracker showed that it had reached the consulate/post.

Followed up with ustraveldocs helpline on phone and after a long discussion they said it might take 90-180 days. They even suggested that going for a fresh interview might be quicker way.

After a day after the call status changed to administrative processing from refused. And next day to issued – July 7th.

Experience 22: H1B with NIE at Mumbai

VAC – Biometrics: 8th July, 12:30 PM Appointment

Reached at 11:30 and was allowed inside immediately.

Security told me that phones are not allowed and asked me to keep the phone in a locker next to the shop which charged me Rs 500 for keeping the phone (just for 5-10 mins).

Docs checked: DS-160, appointment confirmation, passport

No queues during my appointment time and I was done in 5 mins.

Consular interview: 9th July

My Appointment time: 9:30 AM

I reached around 8:30 AM and was asked to stand in a particular Q outside (there are 2 queues).

Outside the consulate the waiting area is NOT covered so in case of rain carry an umbrella. Yes – Umbrella’s are allowed.

I was let inside at 9:20 AM

Security check followed by a covered outdoor waiting area inside the consulate.I waited like 30 mins there.

Around 10:00 AM: Batch (including me) was let inside to interview area.

Interview Questions:

  1. VO asked for passport & original I-797
  2. Who is my employer? Answered and gave NIE LETTER I had
  3. Who is your client? Answered and gave Client letter
  4. What is your role?
  5. Explain about your Project? Answered
  6. Typed for some time and gave Rights to know letter about the traveling back to US
  7. VO told me that he will be recommending me to NIE to his manager and took left hand 4 fingers scan and took my passport.

I observed during the interview process few are taken right hand fingers scan and few asked to give left hand fingers scan.. What the difference?

Experience 23: H1B + H4 with EA, USC Kid at Chennai

Biometric on July 4th, took 25min.

Consular interview at 8:30 AM.

Showed up at 8.15, Out by 9.15AM

VO: Good morning
Us: Good morning

VO: I will take your passports
Us: Handed over all passports(3, including my son’s)

VO: Is this your first H1?
Me: no, this is for H1 renewal

VO: Where is your son?
Us: he is with my sister at xyz.

VO: ok, so this is your get away trip from your kids.
Me: my son wanted to join us, but we wanted him stay at home because of pandemic.

VO:who is your employer?
Me: xyz

VO:In which state you are working?
Me: Answered

VO: what is your salary?
Me: Answered

VO: I will be back (took 3 to 4min)

VO: how long you have been married?
Us: Answered.

VO: I have approved your visa, but need sometime for generating NIE.
Me: we don’t need NIE since we have USC kid.
VO: oh ok, then it will be quick.

Me: I have quick question? I have opted for mailing the passports, is it possible to collect the passports at VAC?
VO: let me check
VO: you can change your delivery option online by the end of today.it might take a day or two get your passports.
Me: Thanks.

VO:I need to check your finger prints.
VO:here is some information on your working rights,Safe travels.
Us:Thank you.

Consular took around 12 to 15 min, didn’t ask for any other documents other than passport. This is my 4th renewal.

Experience 24: H1B (US Citizen Wife) with Dropbox at Hyderabad

July 1 submitted documents
July 2 Case was created
July 6 Administrative Processing
July 8 Issued

I had submitted a cover letter mentioning that I am exempt from the travel ban. I had attached my wife’s passport copy, marriage certificate and vaccination proof.

Experience 25: H1B with Dropbox at Kolkata

Stayed near Aauris hotel near just 500 meters from VAC center
Hotel was good
Better to go 30 mins early before your slot
Appointment: July 1st
Documents submitted
1 Confirmation letter
2 DS160
3 1 Photo
4 Current I797
5 Previous I797 and Visa stamped
6 Employer Verification Letter
7 Client Letter
8 NIE from Employer
Application Received: July 2nd
Refused: July 6th
Administartive Processing: July 6th
Issued: July 9th
No USC kid, Waiting for Passport, I hope this helps


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