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H1B, H4 Experiences : Regular, Dropbox from June 28th to July 4th, 2021

Below are User experiences for June 2021, starting from June 28th to July 4th, 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 Mumbai

VAC on 11th June Chennai
Interview on 18th June Mumbai

  • VO: Hand over pp and i797
  • VO: you were already of visa
  • Me: yes f1 from 2016 to 2018. Had to come back due to family emergency and had appointment in May but got cancelled.
  • VO: You did masters?
  • Me: yes at xy in xy course
  • VO:Ok explain your role
  • Me: I develop software for xy company which provides transportation solutions for mass transit and car sharing. Something just like Uber
  • VO: ok so basically transportation for business and end users
  • Me: yes
  • VO: so u directly work on this app?
  • Me: yes
  • VO: how many years of experience
  • Me: 3 years at xy
  • Opt: yes one year at xy and then h1b in same company
  • Me: I also have NIE letter from employer if you want
  • VO: yeah provide
  • VO reads through only first page and keeps typing something
  • Gives me workers rights slip and says read through it before entering usa
  • Gives me a slip(admin processing) and says he is recommending to his superior for NIE . Saying I’ll hear back in 1-2 days.
  • June 18th: refused
  • June 22nd: admin processing
  • June 24th: dispatched
  • June 27th: picked up

Some points for Mumbai interview:

  1. When they ask for your roles do mention that you have your NIE letter clearly and legibly. Since we wear masks sometimes they can’t hear. I waved my letter in the air a bit so VO could see it.
  2. When asked about company/roles try steering conversations towards critical infrastructure which Your work lies in.
  3. Prepare well before your interview. Treat it like an on-site interview for a company. There are only 4/5 questions asked and these are the same questions.
  4. Speak up and throw all options to the VO before he pulls up a slip/ before end of interview. Speak loudly and legibly and ofcourse with respect and humility

I got an NIE from my employer:

Three parts

  1. Company details what is the product what is the customer. Why it is critical and how COVID has impacted company and revenue ( it has given more business opportunities since my company is in transportation)
  2. My role and why I qualify for NIE under which critical infrastructure
  3. Why me not being there has an impact on the company’s business
  4. Requesting NIE for me

Experience 2: H4 Visa from New Delhi on 28th June

H1 is in India with approved NIE.

Appointment at 9:40 AM
Reached at 9:00 AM.
No queue no rush.
Went in at 9:05, out in 10 mins

Interview Q/A:

Documents asked : I797 & Passport

VO: Are you here for H1?
A: No, I am here for H4.

VO: Can you show me your husband’s visa
A: Showed visa copy

VO: You recently got married?
A: Yes, on … date

VO: What is his job title?
A: told the job title

VO: Where is your husband?
A: He is in India and he has got NIE approval from New delhi embassy

VO: Show me NIE approval
A: Showed the email printout

VO: When are you planning to travel?
A: We are planning to travel asap

VO: Have you booked the tickets?
A: No.

VO: Your visa is approved with NIE, you can book tickets.


Experience 3: H1B Visa with NIE at Kolkata

Regular appointment

VO: passport and 797
VO: first time H1B ?
VO: who is your employer
VO: role at xxx
VO: highest level of degree
VO: what does xxx do ?
VO: who is your end client?
VO: supporting documents to show relation with end client
VO: are you exempted from PP ?
VO: do you require NIE ?

Your visa is approved with NIE. You should travel in 30 days back to US. if you can’t let us know and we can work on that.


Experience 4: H1B with 221g at Mumbai

This was with new DS160 with same i797 I booked after waiting for 8 months on my prev application

Did not cancel my old DS160 .

In interview first asked about old case and why it is denied.. i told about my case and he took some time to verify why it is denied and then he started asking questions

I dont have prior NIE approval so i took letter from company. He read it carefully and noted down some info from it.
At last he gave me rights document, took my finger prints and said he had everything he need.. he just need to get approval for exception from his boss and kept my passport. I should hear back in a week.

I asked him if he need other documents for exception and he said not required.

Also confirmed with him apart from travel ban there is no other to not issue my visa.

Questions:

Employer name?
Why it is denied last time?
Where did u apply?
Salary?
Do u have nie approval?
Job duties?
What does ur company do?
Your first H1b company?
Did u travel anywhere in last 2 weeks?

It took 10-15 mins


Experience 5: H1B with NIE at New Delhi

H1B VISA approved with NIE today 29th June.
First time stamping at New Delhi.
Questions asked:
What does your employer do?
Who is the end client?
Domain of end client? Healthcare.
End client letter?
When did you arrive in India?
Visa approved with NIE. Advised to travel between July 5th – Aug 5th.
This group helped a lot in preparing for the interview. Thanks all for sharing their experiences.


Experience 6: H1B Visa with Dropbox Appointment and NIE at New Delhi

I came to India in March for stamping and got stuck here. When I booked my first dropbox appointment I got it for Sept 10th, but thanks for telegram groups i was able to reschedule it 4 times and finally got Jun 25th slot at Delhi consulate.

Documents submitted-

  1. Appointment confirmation
  2. DS 160 Submission confirmation
  3. 1 photo
  4. All passports
  5. Copy of latest 797
  6. Copies of all previous 797
  7. Position confirmation letter from employer
  8. NIE letter from employer

Jun 26,27- weekend
Jun 28 – online status changed to ‘Application Received’
Jun 29 – Received approval email from Delhi Consulate. Website status changed to ‘Administrative processing’

I work for an IT company and client is a leading insurance/reinsurance company.


Experience 7: Regular H1B Visa, F1 to H1B with NIE at New Delhi

Day 1: Biometrics June 28:
Note: Entrance is from the back of the building!
Appointment was at 2:30 pm, went at 1:20, got out at 1:25.
Simple and straightforward, asked for DS160 confirmation, passport and appointment confirmation, took photo and fingerprints.

Day 2: VAC June 29:
Appointment was at 10:40am, arrived 9:20, went in 9:25, came out 10:15, overall 50 mins, interview was less than 5 mins, rest of the time was waiting.
Location wasn’t so busy, many people were there for F1 ~60% and others were mostly H1/H4.
Security check cleared, sat in lobby, then walked to document check, sat at the interview area, 5 windows were open.
Me: Good Morning
VO: Lady, smiled.
VO: Give me your passport and I797
VO: Who is your petitioner
Me: X company
VO: Who is your employer
Me: Same (FTE)
VO: Salary
Me: Told
VO: What does you company do?
Me: Told, elaborated little on the NIE sectors
VO: Role?
Me: Senior Software Engineer
VO: I dint understand you, tell me about your company, so that I can consider it for NIE
Me: Sure, I will. I also have NIE letter I can give.
VO: Yes, explain and also give the letter.
Me: Told about company and NIE. (When you wear a mask and talk VO can’t clearly hear you, try to explain again slowly and don’t remove your mask)
VO: Which sector does it fall into?
Me: Financial and Information Technology sectors
VO: Oh yeah, I see it in the letter, skims letter for like 30 secs.
VO: When do you plan to travel? Does Jul y end to August first week work?
Me: Yes
VO: Wait a second, you were a student also? Went to school in the US? Did you change your status?
Me: Yes, was a student. Changed status from F1 to H1.
VO: Okay. Take your I797 and NIE letter and the know your rights form. Your visa is Approved!!! Kept passport.
Me: Thank you, have a good day
VO: Waving at the person behind me to come. Already, lol.

Extras:

  1. Delhi has a lot of Civil officials on the street, who don’t wear a uniform. If they see you not following social distancing or removing mask or not wearing properly, you will get Rs. 2000 fine. My companion was fined. And all the money goes to Modi fund 😒Better be careful and follow all rules.
  2. No RTPCR required, travelled HYD to Delhi.
  3. Delhi has the highest approval rating, I’d suggest to book an interview at this location.
  4. At the embassy, there was 5 counters, my observation was everyone were getting approvals, even the people in front of me, most of them students, few H1B and few H4. I only saw one woman with a kid, assuming she was H4 – got yellow slip. There was another woman who dint understand English at all, but the VO was so kind, repeating the questions multiple times, her visa was approved, she was H4. I’d say, I saw 95% of people getting approvals.
  5. Delhi is hot! It was 110 degrees when I was there. Both biometrics and VAC centers have AC.
  6. My old DS160 had different location, I filled a new DS160 with Delhi location and updated the same in the portal. Took a print of new DS160 and visa appointment for both appointments, to avoid any hassle.
  7. Finally, I’d say get prepared for the interview, mostly about the company and your role, proving justification for NIE, go with the flow by adopting to the style of VO, I did OPT and CPT, 2 masters, but I dint say any of that because VO was fast and maybe dint want to hear. Good luck, hope this helps.

Experience 8: H1B, H4 with Dropbox at Kolkata

Dropbox experience (H1 + two H4( Spouse & Child)) together on 29th June at Kolkata VFS

  1. Only 1 copy of first two pages of confirmation document ( return after acknowledgement stamping)
  2. DS 160 confirmation pages for each applicant
  3. Employment verification letter ( 1 copy)
  4. Current I797 ( 1 copy )
  5. Previous I797 ( 1 copy)
  6. 1 copy of NIE waiver cover letter ( USC kid ) signed by primary H1 applicant only
  7. 1 copy of USC child’s birth certificate
  8. 1 copy of USC child’s passport
  9. All current and previous passports for each applicant if passport has US visa stamped in the past. ( Actually submitted 7 passports based on their ask)

Note:: If parents visa is expired then VFS will NOT accept the child Dropbox along with parents for renewal. However if parents current US visa is still valid then they accept all of them together for renewal.


Experience 9: H1B Visa with Dropbox at Hyderabad

My last visa 3 stampings was in Canada , this was my first H1 stamping in india and I was eligible For Dropbox.

My spouse H4 was in process during our travel

They just took below docs from me:

  • USC BC and PP copy
  • DS-160 (they requested in email post should be Hyderabad)
  • Primary I797
  • New passport only (myself and spouse)
  • Employment verification letter
  • Photo 1 each

They did not take below
Appointment confirmation, Previous Passport, Previous H1 or H4 copies

Status: Issued


Experience 10: H4 Visa at Mumbai

H4 Visa (New) Stamping Approved today for my wife!

Location: Mumbai Consulate
Date: 30th June.
H1 Visa Holder Spouse already in USA.

Experience:
Phone deposited at locker, charged Rs. 100. for electronics. Documents & Wallet allowed inside.
(Biometrics locker at site, was Rs. 500.)

“Good morning!”
VO. Please give your passport, latest I797 and husband’s VISA copy.
VO. When did you get married?
VO. Can I have your marriage certificate?
VO. Did you do pheras? Can I see a picture?
A. Due Covid restrictions, we limited ceremonies.
VO. Did you do any religious ceremonies or “poojas”? Can I see a picture of mangalsutra?
A. Picture shown
VO. This is a “haar”, not a chain.
A. Gave the picture to VO pointing out mangalsutra.
VO. Yes, I see now.
VO. Does your husband have NIE?
A. My husband is already in the USA
VO. Ok great, please place your 4 fingers of right hand here (fingerprint scan).
Congrats, your Visa is approved. Have a nice day.


Experience 11: H1B Visa with pending 221g and new DS160 from New Delhi

Hyderabad consulate:

I have attended Dropbox interview on dec 31st 2020. Status changed to application received on jan 4th 2021. Jan 18th got an email from embassy to attend In person interview on feb 8th. Attended in person interview and VO asked multiple questions of where I work, stay etc and took my client letter, w2 copies. Later on the same day got an email to submit same documents and replied to that email on the same day. My status remained in refused state from feb 8th to till now.

I have filled new ds 160, applied for EA as my son is USC and Got EA approval from Delhi consulate booked interview On 6/29/2021

Delhi consulate:
Bio metrics was quick, entire process took just 5 mins

Interview:

Asked who Is my client?
Answered
Asked for client letter?
I don’t have so gave him the email what my client manager gave and MSA
What is Optum?
My end client company name
What are my job responsibilities?
Answered
What is my salary?
Answered
Which location do I work?
Answered
Did I do masters in USA?
Answered
Asked details about my US kid?
Answered
When am I planning to travel?
Answered
Finally here comes the golden words, your visa is approved and passport will be delivered within a week.

It was a weird journey for me from past six months but finally I am relieved.


Experience 12: H4-EA Visa (Mom and Daughter) with NIE from Chennai

Timelines:
April -22 – Payment done
May 13 – Booked slots for Nov in Chennai Consulate
June 11 – Raised EA on Medical Reasons – Family Separation
June 13 – EA Approved
June 25 – Visa Interview
June 29 – Received Passport with NIE

Questions asked in Visa Interview:

1) Does your spouse work in US?
2) What’s your educational qualifications
3) What’s your spouse’s role?
4) Do you have any other kids?
5) When are you planning to travel
6) Both you and your daughter born in India?

Me: Will I be getting NIE approval as well
VO: I have requested for it, Hopefully it should get approved, I don’t see any issues in it

I received my passport today(June 29) with NIE approval.


Experience 13:H1B with NIE at New Delhi

Started looking for Dropbox appointment from April end. Was able to get appointments on September. Started sending email to all consulates to get EA on the Dropbox box but always received response that Dropbox not eligible for EA and every consulate mentioned that they can’t accommodate my emergency due to limited staff OR I don’t belong to their home district. All Consulate acknowledged the emergency though. Finally, Delhi consulate advised to look for an in person appointment than the Dropbox and apply EA on it. Followed the advise and was able to get appointment for 18/21 June.
Consular interview:
• Highest qualification
• Who’s the end client
• What do U do for the them?
• Explain again what all u do? (He was noting these points)
• Any US kid?
• Are u the only one performing this role?
Visa approved .
Passport collected on 21 June
Travelled on 27 June with lot of delay and rescheduling of United flight.

Port of entry:
What’s my role?
Officer asked NIE annotation. I shown him the annotation on visa. He said he needs a to talk to his senior. I was taken to a different place for some checks .it mostly applied to all visa holders as there were other candidates already awaiting their turn.
After few minutes officers called me and asked about my employer and what all it does and what’s my role. He again went back to check something. He came back and announced that all good and I am admitted. He then asked about where I am going and how’s the city. (Mostly to make the experience lighter)

Patience and perseverance is the key.
Rehearse ur roles, responsibility and about employer so you don’t goof-up.


Experience 14: H1B and H4 with NIE at Mumbai

IT consultant – automation software project, Critical infrastructure – Top communications client in US

June 23 – 9:50am scheduled, joined the line at 9:25am, came out by 10:40am,
Probably the only family in a sea of students.

Line was moving so fast, it looked like a temple visit 😂 also students were on autopilot mode, they were giving answers before the VO even greeted, one guy got reprimanded for the same.

Our turn came, I was ready with 3 passports, I797, client letter, NIE letter from client, NIE letter from employer, employee verification letter

VO: Good morning
Me: Very good morning. Howz is your day so far?
VO: Busy, Give me the passport and I797
Me: I first gave my passport but he asked me to give all passports.
VO: Whose your employer?
Me: Answered.
VO: What does your employer do?
Me: Well prepared answer. Tried to tie it my work for client.
VO: Who is your end client?
Me: Answered. We had a too & fro on the name, as I was not pronouncing it in the American accent (Nervousness started). So I told that I have an NIE document from them
VO: Ok pass it on
Me: I have too many documents on the file, and I was not able to grab the NIE letter (More nervous), finally gave the correct document but VO again asked me to share all the documents I had on the file.
VO opened the Reference document on Presidential proclamation and started comparing the client NIE letter.
VO: Tell me about your role?
Me: Answered.
VO: Gave a not satisfied look 😱
Me: Shall I explain more?
VO: Sure
Here is where I changed the answering pattern, instead of him asking more questions, I told him a story with all possible answers.
Starting with what is the revenue of the client, what businesses they are in, what technology they use, what is the current business challenge, why automation software can solve it, why my company is one of the best in implementing such software, what is the team that will implement the software, why I am needed and why I need to travel like yesterday
VO: Need couple of minutes to write all the details you just said.
Me: ok.

Those 2 mins felt like an eternity.

VO: What will be your salary?
Me: Answered.
VO: What’s your total experience for your employer?
Me: Answered.
VO: Do you know that presidential proclamation is in place?
Me: Nodded
VO: I will refer NIE for you, but it will depend on my supervisor, you have to wait for additional 2 days of time (He took a printed white paper which has additional administrative processing crossed and handed over to me)
Me: Thankyou, have a nice day.
VO: You too.

June 28 – Refused Status.
June 29 – Administrative processing.
June 30 – Issued.
July 1 – Collected from passport counter.


Experience 15: L1 to H1B at Mumbai

VAC – Biometrics: 28th June, 12:30 PM Appointment

Reached at 11:50 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). I heard other people paying like 100-200 so try to negotiate. I didn’t know about this.

Docs checked: DS-160, appointment confirmation, passport

No queues during my appointment time and I was done in 5-10 mins.

Consular interview: 1st July

My Appointment time: 9:00 AM

  • I reached around 8:40AM 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.
  • People with 9:20 AM appointment showed up and were asked to come after 10 mins as security was allowing candidates with max appt. time as 9:10 AM.
  • No backpack allowed. One of the students tried to argue with security but no luck.
  • I was let in around 9:10 AM and was asked to handover the phone to the security locker guy ( sitting immediately after entering inside). He seemed to be from the security agency and charged Rs 50.
  • 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. He entered my passport number in the system and immediately confirmed that I already have NIE.
    I have applied NIE @ Delhi consulate a few weeks back which was approved.
  3. If you have L1 visa, Why do you want to switch from L1 to H1 ?
  4. What is your title/designation
  5. Annual Salary
  6. Role/Kind of work.
    After I said 1 line, he seemed to be convinced & moved to the next question.
  7. How many years with this employer
  8. Wife/Kids: How about their visa.
    They are already in the US and the wife is on her own H1B. For kids – I will move them to H4 soon.
  9. Highest Qualification

He kept my passport.

I was done with Interview by 10:15 AM.

Twist: Around 2 PM I got a call from the consulate admin staff to submit an old passport which has a valid L1 visa. I was about to start for the airport. I was lucky that my local friend was able to drop the passport @ VAC office.
This was highly unexpected as I told VO that my old passport has a valid L1 visa. Still he didn’t keep my old passport at that time.


Experience 16: H1B with NIE at Mumbai on 2nd July

I work for a bank so applied under Financial Services sector, got a letter from the employer to justify the request as I am not able to perform my job duties due to reduce access to the softwares used by bank because of cyber security concern.

Consular Interview:
VO asked the following questions:

  1. Asked for passport and I797
  2. Name of Company?
  3. Position at which you work?
  4. Where is the company headquartered and which region does it serve?
  5. Asked for brief explanation of Job duties
  6. Asked for Employer Verification Letter and NIE Request Letter
  7. How many years have you been working with the company?
  8. Where did you do your Masters from?

Told me that the visa is approved with NIE and will receive it next week.


Experience 17: H4 Dropbox at Pune

My H4 Dropbox submitted in Pune location (Mumbai IW) on 21st June. H1 is in US, H4 in India.
June 21,22. : No status
June 23 : Application received
June 24,25 : Refused
June 26,27 : Weekend
June 28,29,30,July 1 : Administrative processing
July 2 : Issued

Waiting for passport to see if it is with NIE.

Docs submitted : DS 160, Passport, Photos , H1’s i797, Visa and Position confirmation letter.


Experience 18: H4 Visa with 221g at Mumbai

First time H4, 221g experience of my wife:

A little background: Her visa was refused in March 2021 in regular appointment as we had a registered marriage and did not do any ceremony. 3-4 weeks back, I got her a regular appointment for June 27 for Biometric and June 28th for Interview at Mumbai consulate. We booked the same consulate as her visa was refused there previously. We got married in February this year and since then I am in US.

Interview details from June 28th at Mumbai consulate:
VO asked her basic documents like her passport, DS160 and my I797.
He then read the notes under the refusal section where our attorney had clearly mentioned that there is no need for a ceremony and that our marriage is valid for visa adjudication. He also mentioned that she qualifies for NIE as she is a follow to join derivative family member of a noncitizen who is engaged in employment lasting 4 weeks or more.
VO then looked at the notes, asked her basic questions about me like my position, where I am currently (in US), marriage date, called the VO who refused her visa last time, discussed something, looked at the marriage certificate closely and then asked to put four fingers on the scanner. He then took a white 221g slip and told her it needs administrative processing. My wife said that she qualifies for NIE and he said thats good but I have to give you this for admin processing but that she is eligible for visa. He did not write anything on the 221g form, like case number or even her name, just ticked the admin porcess needed box. He kept the passport, my wife wished him good day and left.

Status: June 28-29 – Refused
June 30 – Administrative Processing
July 1 – Issued
July 2 – Delivered at home with premium delivery option.

P.S.: Her visa has NIE annotation on it.


Experience 19: H4 Visa at Mumbai

Consulate Experience for H4 first time Visa stamping, previously F2, Spouse H1 in US
Initial Date: Jan 2022
Emergency appointment: July 1
(Applied under Medical Needs and Family Separation, they approved EA within 5 mins of submission documents and request)
Location: Mumbai

VO: Show me Passport, Ds-160, husband’s i797
VO: what is your husband role and what company is he working for?
Me: answered
VO: when did you get married?
Me: answered
VO: typing and finding things for 10 mins
VO: your visa is approved.
Me: asked about NIE
VO mentioned it will be included on Visa copy.

It was fairly smooth experience. Be positive guys. Not even asked a single question about why EA document or anything!


Experience 20: H1 + H4 (Spouse) + H4 (USC Kid) with Dropbox, NIE at Chennai

Hi Friends, I got my visa approved and I want to share my experience.
I reached India on 23rd Apr with a booked IW appointment on 28th Apr. Due to a lockdown in India, my DropBox appointment got cancelled and got an email over the weekend before my scheduled appointment date. Then I joined the TELEGRAM groups, many friends/Bro’s/Sister’s gave me ideas about the EA and NIE letter and how to contact the consulate.
9 June – I sent an email to the Chennai consulate requesting an IW/Dropbox appointment, attached all relevant documents with USC kid’s details (No NIE letter), and got a doctor’s vaccination letter with an appointment date for USC kid.
10 June – Got reply from the consulate to send a list of supporting document details with applicant details.
10 June – Replied back to US.Consulate with relevant details.
14 June – Sent a reminder email to US.Consulate to follow-up on my previous email.
14 June – Luckily I got a reply from the Consulate on the same date, I sent a reminder. Asked me to stop by for the IW anytime.
17 June – Prepared the USC kids parents, NIE letter as an exemption from the President’s Proclamation. And Dropped my passport and dependents passport (H1 + H4 Spouse + H4 YoungerKid).
Then I was monitoring only the CEAC website to track my passport status.
21 June – DS160 status changes to “Application Received”
22 June – DS160 status changes to “Administrative Processing”
30 June – DS160 status changes to “Issues”
2 July – Passport delivered (opted to PICKUP from BlueDart, no fee to pay for this).


Experience 21: H4 with Dropbox at Bangalore

I had appointment at 10 am. Reached Bangalore vac at 9.30.

Overall it took 10mins

Submitted following documents :
1.Passport
2.Appointment confirmation letter
3.Ds160 ceac confirmation page
4.Spouse New I-797
5.Spouse Previous I-797
6.Spouse passport cooy
7.Spouse visa copy
8.Spouse position confirmation

9.NIE letter stating Family separation and attached Spouse employer NIE letter
10. 1 photo

   

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