Home » Visas » USA » US Visa Stamping Experiences » L1, L2, F1 Visa Experiences – September 2021 to May 2022

L1, L2, F1 Visa Experiences – September 2021 to May 2022

Below are experiences from September 2021 to May 2022 for L1 Visa, L2, F1 Visa and others.


Experience 1 : L1B Blanket + L2 (Spouse) at Chennai

VISA: L1 Blanket + L2 (Spouse).
(Still waiting for Children VISA drop box appointment through interview waiver)
Location: Delhi VAC (12th Sep), Chennai VI (14th Sep)
Received passports today 16th Sep stamped with VISAs along with NIE

VAC was very smooth. We were asked to just switch off the mobile phones, but the security didn’t check if we switched them off for real. Only DS160 and Appointment letters were checked. Though we carried the complete doc set, it was not really required.
VI at Chennai. We reached an hour before our slot and we were allowed in. The documents DS160, I129S & I797 first page clipped together with the passport at the entry.

Initial wait in the arrival hall. After 5 mins went to pay the Fraud detection fees. As soon as I came back it was our turn for the VI as there was just 1 family before us. So, we were asked to stand just behind them. (I could even hear the other person talking too much and very loudly.)
Exchanged Greetings with the VO. No facial expressions visible because of masks.
VO asked for the documents. I shared the clipped bundle. VO Asked me to handover all the passports as we carried the younger daughter with us. But I clarified that we got just 2 appointments (for myself and spouse) due to scarce availability of the slots.
VO asked if the kid is a US Citizen. I said no and shared her passport. I didn’t get the kid’s appointments, so, the VO offered to help by scanning their DS160 forms that I carried, but he couldn’t see it in the system. He said after you get your VISA kids VISA is just a routine stamping. So, not to worry.

Finally started the interview –
VO: Where are they sending you to in the US?
VO: What will be your salary?
VO: How long have you been with XYZ company? And total industry experience?
VO started going through my petition documents. Meanwhile he was interrupted by his colleague, so he asked us to wait. (When he came back for questions, he seemed feeling guilty for making us wait and wanted to finish the interview asap.) Lucky us😊
VO: And what will be your role in the US?
Me: I was answering while he interrupted me in the middle and asked the next question.
VO: Asked a Domain specific question which took me by surprise as it wasn’t expected. Also, the way he asked the question was a bit funny? (This made me chuckle a bit, VO also smiled back, but he was waiting for my answer)
Me: I took a moment to frame my answer in layman terms.
VO was convinced with the answer and asked me if I was required to do some work physically in the office.
Me: I said, all my work is hands on in the US labs and I also need to work with the US customers.
VO: When do need to travel to the US?
Me: I said I was planning for 1st of Sep. so, I am already late.
VO: That means you need to be there ASAP. OK.
That’s it. VO said I am approving your VISA and recommending you for NIE and handed me the green slip along with the stamped I129S.
Me: I said I have the NIE letter from the company.
VO: No need. All the best and have a good day.


Experience 2: L1A + L2 (Spouse+2 Daughters) at Kolkata

Sharing our L1 A ( individual) visa stamping experience. My wife was the primary applicant. We were family of 4 with 2 daughters (17 years and 11 years)
Our appointment was for 9:00 AM, reached consulate at 8:30 AM. After initial security check and doc verification our turn for interview came at 9:10 AM.
My wife was primary applicant and we were family of 4 with 2 daughters
VO: GM
Applicant: GM
VO: Please share your docs
Applicant: Shared 4 passports, DS 160 and approved I797
VO: Do you any more children.
Applicant: sorry, what?(She didn’t get what he was asking as she was not prepared for this, so I answered from behind No and then she also said No)
VO: Sir you have lost your passport?
Me: Yes
VO: was any us visa stamped on it.
Me: No
VO( to applicant): what is your title?
Applicant: Client Partner.
VO: Will you be working from client location?
Applicant: No, I will be working from my company’s office from a dedicated zone for client.
VO: what is your highest degree
Applicant: Bachelor of Engineering.
VO: what will be your US salary?
Applicant: mentioned the figures
VO: what are your responsibilities.
Applicant: Answered that in 30 secs?
VO: Madam, please place your right hand there( directing to biometrics machine and continuously typing)
Applicant: placed right fingers on biometrics machine.
VO: Thank you, Sir can you place your right hand ?
Me: Stepped forward and placed my right hand fingers on biometrics machine.
VO: ( Asked my elder daughter (17 yrs)) can you please place left hand for finger printing.
My daughter stepped forward did that.
VO: your visa is granted.He handed over a letter stating your visa is granted with NIE approval ( We were carrying NIE letter but neither did he asked for nor we mentioned about it.)
I think few of my observations:

  1. Do not try to share all docs you are carrying : Passports, DS160 and Petition are mandatory docs do not share any other doc unless specifically asked for?
  2. Keep your cool and calm, be confident and be in the moment.
  3. Keep your responses short and precise.

We had submitted our DS160 for Hyderabad but had ofc and consulate appointment in Kolkata


Experience 3: L1A Blanket + L2 (Spouse+Son) at Chennai

Hi everyone, got our L1A blanket petition approved with NIE (1+2).

Sharing detailed experience below

At the gate:
On entry they scan all your belongings. We had a scare as my digital signature was there with me. It was in the Form of Pen Drive.

I had to go to The Park (Hotel) to keep it back and then came back to the US Consulate. Meanwhile my family waited at the Consulate.

Documents required:
There is no point in attaching extra documents to start with in the set. You need the following:

  1. DS160 of the main applicant and not the Dependents (I don’t know why they don’t need the DS160 of the Dependents)
  2. Make 2 sets of the following:
    (i) I-129S
    (ii) I-797 (first page only)
  3. All passports (passports of all the applicants)

Interview:
VO was an American lady Officer – very polite and non-intimidating

Questions asked:

  1. How long have you been working with the current company?
  2. Have you worked with your current company in any other countries?
  3. Total managerial experience?
  4. Location in the US?
  5. Will you have Hire and Fire authority in the USA?

Son:
How old are you?

Wife:
Will you be a home-maker?

Finger-print:

  1. Left hand for me
  2. Right hand for wife
  3. No finger print for my son

My understanding:
Most of the information is available with them in their system and they decide based on that. Q&A seems confirmatory rather than decisive.

In my case, the VO wrote something on the I-129S even before asking me a single question – it seemed like “A 26 Sep 2024”

Possibly she wrote – Approved until 26 Sep 2024 (3 years from today)


Experience 4: L1+L2 at Chennai

I had a few minor updates to be made in DS-160 for both me & my spouse so filled new DS-160s one day prior to VAC. Updated the new DS-160 number for me (primary applicant) in cgi portal > update profile section.
For getting the dependents DS-160 updated in the system, there are 2 options:
a. Call the customer service with the new DS160 number and they’ll update in the backend.
b. During the VAC, tell them you want the latest DS160 to be updated for your dependent & they’ll do the needful.

To verify, you can download the Visa appointment confirmation pdf from the cgi portal and check the 2nd page. It should have the latest DS-160 numbers.

VAC – 26th Sep (Chennai)
Docs required –

  1. Appointment Confirmation Letter (first 2 pages: first page contains the appointment details, second page is the mvr fee receipt with barcodes)
  2. DS-160 of all applicants
  3. Passports (current + expired)
  4. photographs of all applicants as speicified in https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html#nonimmigrant

On the first counter they verify the details between passport, DS-160 & appointment confirmation page. This is where you can get the latest DS-160 number updated. They’ll put a sticker behind the passport which will contain your details along with the latest DS160 number.
On the next counter they’ll take your fingerprints and click a photo. In case there’s any technical issue then they might ask you for your photograph. They’ll stamp the DS160 and give it back.
Total process took around 10-15mins.

VI – 27th Sept (Chennai)
Docs required –

  1. Appointment Confirmation Letter
  2. Stamped DS-160s
  3. Passports(current + expired)
  4. 2 Sets of I-129S and first page of I-797, keep another 1 set of I-129S and first page of I-797 separately (to be used only if asked)
  5. Photographs for all applicants as per specification in https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html#nonimmigrant website,
  6. Fraud detection fee Rs.38000 (Cash without any marks in the currency note or DD or Credit Card with international transactions enabled) Cash is preferred since their card machine can sometimes not work properly due to network issues.

Additional Docs –

  1. L1 Support letter
  2. Marriage certificate
  3. Few important wedding photos(rituals) printed in MAXI size OR you can also take a small wedding album.
  4. Wedding invitation
  5. NIE Request letter signed by manager
  6. Job Offer letter
  7. Original Degree certificates and Mark-sheets.
  8. Experience letter from your previous employment.
  9. Original birth certificate
  10. Last 1 year payslips
  11. Last 3 years ITR acknowledgement
  12. Last 3 years form-16

Took an e-pass while travelling from Pune to Chennai(https://eregister.tnega.org/#/user/pass) but no one asked for it. No need for RT PCR in Chennai airport or US Embassy.
I stayed at The Park hotel since it is very close to the US Embassy (5mins walk) and VAC biometrics center (10 mins).
My appointment was at 10AM and I reached the embassy at 9:45. There was a small queue outside and the staff let me in after 10mins. Support staff will ask you to arrange 2 sets of I-129s and the first page of I-797. Once you are done, they will send you to another building where visa interviews are taken. I was asked to pay Rs.38000 for Fraud detection fee & received 2 receipts for it.
Once that is done, you will be asked to wait in the queue before proceeding towards the VI officer.

Questions asked:
How long have you been working with Amazon?
Highest qualification?
US location & salary?
What is your specialisation?
Do you require NIE?

Spouse:
Highest qualification?
Current employment industry?
When were you married?
Marriage certificate?
Show marriage photographs

Total interview was for 5-6 mins.
VO asked me to place my left hand fingers and my wife’s right hand fingers on the scanner. He then said that I’m approving your VISA and requesting NIE on your behalf. You should get your passport back within 10 days.
He then returned:

  1. Stamped I-129S
  2. Green Slip
  3. 38k fee receipt

While travelling back from Chennai to Pune, a negative rt-pcr report OR fully vaccinated certificate is required before boarding the plane and before leaving the pune airport.
This requirement is specific to Maharashtra state and can vary state to state.

Passports Delivered:
For me(primary applicant) – 29th Sep
For my spouse – the visa application status was showing as “Administrative Processing” until 3rd Oct. On 4th Oct, the status changed to “Issued”. Passport delivered on 5th Oct.


Experience 5: L1B at New Delhi

My background:
My petition was approved earlier in July in premium processing. It took 8 days overall to get the approval after submission

Appointment booking:
Please do check H1/H4 appointment groups as well as L1/L2 visa appointment groups. But both these groups have been tremendously helpful. Slots can drop anytime, however usually on Monday

OFC:
I had appointment on Oct’5 in New Delhi. I parked my car in CP, kept my mobile phone in the car. I took

  • DS160 (that’s what they asked)
  • Appointment confirmation (that’s what they asked)
  • Passport (that’s what they asked)
  • I797 original
  • Passport xerox
  • Visa fee receipt

The process was super smooth. Only took 15 mins end-to-end. Important things to consider: your basic details should be correct in DS-160. Someone messed up their date of birth

Visa Interview:
I had appointment on Oct’8. I parked my car in DDA parking. There are autos nearby to help you to take to the embassy. Leave the cell phones to avoid waiting lines. If you are going by taxi, there is a locker to keep mobile phones. Documents I carried (probably the highest!)

  • DS160
  • Appointment confirmation
  • Passport
  • I-797B original
  • I-129 petition & LOS
  • Passport Xerox
  • Visa fee receipt
  • Pay slips for the last 3 months and ITR for the last 2 years
  • Appointment letters in India & US
  • Promotion / appraisal letters
  • Company’s certificate of incorporation
  • Education degree and mark sheets (original)
  • Training certificates
  • Patent copies

The waiting line can be huge. Do carry a handkerchief for the sun.

Visa interview questions:
Requests passport and I-797, total time: 3 mins

Q: Is there an end client?
A: …

Q: Name some of your clients?
A: ……

Q: What’s your highest educational degree?
A: ……

Q: What’s your designation?
A: ……

Q: How many years of experience do you have?
A: ….

Q: Do you have any family members accompanying you?
A: ….

Your visa is approved. Your NIE is also approved

Interview advise: I had mock interview sessions with my HR. It’s best to practice them. However, be genuine, be truthful, don’t act over smart, be precise and be cool and be confident. All the best!


Experience 6: L1A + L2 (Spouse+Kid) at New Delhi

OFC at Kolkata on 5th Oct, 12 pm ist. bit humid climate. They allowed to get inside just 15 minute prior. Closest hotel is Kenilworth. Walkable distance.
Very stream line process there , you can even carry a small backpack and keep it outside the door while having your biometrics. Only passport , DS160 confirmation page and Your appointment confirmation letter is needed.

8th Oct consular interview at New Delhi. For L1A individual they only checked below :

  1. Passports
  2. Appointment confirmation
  3. DS160 that was stamped at OFC
  4. Copy of i797 (also carry original)
  5. Onsite position confirmation letter
  6. NIE letter

VO officer was cool, he only asked what you do , that’s it. And then he started typing somthing for 2 minute and then stated wrapping our passports in a rubber band, we realised that time we are good. He just asked my wife if we have only one india born child or any more is there. Then he said I m approving all your visa along with NIE and you will receive your passports at your home within a week as i have availed premium passport delivery service. At OFC they said you need to pay cash when blue dart courier comes to your home, 650 rupees per passport.
New Delhi is best, choose that if possible.


Experience 7: L1B Blanket at Chennai

Here is my experience for:

  1. Visa interview took approximate 3-5 minutes.
  2. Question asked by VO :-
    a. Which city you will be transferred into US?
    b. What is your base salary in the US? (Answered in monthly and yearly numbers)
    c. What kind of work you will be doing in the US? (Talked about my work in brief 2-3 sentences)
    d. Why is your physical presence is needed in the US? (This is something new asked by VO. Answered like “Certain access are only available in US and my work requires me to be present in the US.)
  3. One thing I learned is that If you have to pay any kind of Fees at US Consulate, In my case It was L1 Blanket Fraud Detection Fees, you can take you credit card but always keep the cash with you in case credit card doesn’t work. I had to run outside to withdraw cash from ATM as ATM inside Consulate was out of cash and they only have one ATM. I also saw similar situation with other applicants also. So Always carry cash for backup.

Experience 8: L1 Blanket at Chennai

OFC in Delhi on 4th Oct

VI in Chennai on 7th Oct

OFC Experience

  1. Pretty smooth. Out in 10 mins
  2. Only checked passport, DS 160 confirmation page, appointment confirmation page
  3. Will return passport with stamp which will be used in VI

VI Experience

  1. Had carried all documents mentioned in appointment confirmation letter including NIE Letter from employer.
  2. There are multiple security checks. Make sure to not carry anything apart from documents & cash/card to make fraud payment for L1 blanket petition.
  3. They won’t let you in more than an hour earlier than the slot you had.
  4. They let me in 45 mins early. There weren’t many people people waiting outside the consulate.
  5. After security checks, One of the persons there will bundle I-797 first page & I-129S. Paid the fees using credit card.
  6. There weren’t many people. I was second in queue for the interview
  7. Interviewer asked questions like where am I going, salary, designation. Asked about the project, couple of follow up questions on the project, what technologies will it involve, are these proprietary or not. He asked why I really need to be in US and what exactly I can’t do from here. He asked if there is any data or hardware that I can’t access from here. He kept probing on the project until he really understood.
  8. Overall I feel, he really was interested in understanding the project and why I need to go now. He explained the project to me in one line when he got the gist of it.
  9. Finally he approved with NIE.
  10. He didn’t ask for any additional documents or even NIE letter

Passport status

  1. Showed administrative processing on 7th
  2. changed to Issued on 8th Oct
  3. Passport delivered on 9th Oct with NIE annotated

Experience 9: L1B Blanket at Chennai

VAC: 27th September , VI : 7th Oct.
For VAC reached 45 min in advance, was allowed to enter when I reached, completed in 15 min after entering premises.
For VI reached 1/2 hour in advance, allowed to enter. After security check, one person bundled 2 sets of I 129S ( 8 pages ) + I 797 (1st page) along with passport+DS 160 and sent in VI section.
Submitted fraud prevention detection fee in cash at a separate counter and waited for my turn which came in 10 min. No rush at Chennai consulate, most were for Student visa.

Questions asked:
1) Which US City is job .
2) Current and future designation + job role
3) your job Specialisation.
4) Why can’t you do work from India

VI: Your visa is approved with NIE annotation, safe travels.

No documents other than passport+I 797+I129S +ds 160 asked

Case created : oct 6
Case last updated : Oct 7 ( under AP )

no update until 18th Oct. 18th Oct : CGI profile showed nothing under Document Delivery information tab.
Administrative processing until Oct 18th
Finally Issued on Oct 19 morning


Experience 10: L1B with Dropbox at Mumbai

Previous Visa was ‘L1B Blanket’

Got extended within US in ‘L1B Individual’

As I had to travel to India for Vacation, had to undergo through Visa stamping against new approved ‘L1B Individual’

Here though petition type are different (Blanket -> Individual) , Visa Class is still same as ‘L1B’

There was some unclarity if my case qualify for Drobox, as CGIFEDERAL website has Questionnaire slightly different than IW checklist mentioned at USTRAVELDOCS

As per USTRAVELDOCS, requirement was Visa class should be same but as per CGIFEDERAL it asks if my previous Visa is ‘L1B Individual’, which was offcourse not in my case

Still I attempted for Dropbox, considering Visa class didn’t changed and it complies USTRAVELDOCS IW checklist.

VAC center straight away accepted my Dropbox application without any questions / arguments

And got passport stamped by consulate with new L1B Visa

Though for some of my colleagues with similar cases , they had to convince / argue VAC guys to accept Dropbox application with justification of class didn’t changed, but luckily I didn’t had to.

This might be useful to someone withing this group with similar situation…

L1B blanket -> L1B individual can attempt for Dropbox.

All the best 👍


Experience 11: L1B Blanket + L2 (Spouse+Daughter) at Chennai

Vac on 28th
VI on 29th

Vac on 28th had problem with name as my passport has single name. The Vac asked me to change it in DS-160. The internet Center is below VAC they changes by DS-160 and update new application number. After updating all three got biometric done. They took photo of my daughter photo soft copy.

VI on 29th:

The interview was at 11.30am we went there at 10.30am had to wait in rain till 11.15am outside then we were allowed inside.
Routine checkup was done also check on any electronic items.
Next point they asked us to arrange 2 sets of documents I-797, I-129s 8 pages, primary applicant ds-160 and passport.

Later allowed inside asked. All L1 blanket was asked to sit separately and asked to pay fee.

Got my turn for Visa interview
Vo :- what is your company doing
Me :- explained in few words
Vo :- what technology you work on
Me :- explained she was interested
Vo :- showed more interest asked few more questions was very friendly.
Vo:- which place your work
Me :- explained
Vo :- what’s your job title
For my wife she said you are working as HR
Asked my kid age.
Later said my visa is approved under nation interest exception

Thanks for this group


Experience 12: L1B Blanket at Chennai

Sharing my interview experience. Hope this will be helpful.

Status: Approved

Biometric: 18th Octopber 2021 mornig 10:00AM

Interview: 19th October 2021 10:30 AM

Need to pay $500(INR38000) fraud prevention fee if it’s an L1 blanket petition, I carried cash with me INR38000. The process was very smooth

Questions:

VO: work city and state in the US?
VO: What is the base salary?
VO: What are you working on?
Explained about the product that i am working on.
VO: How long have you been working for this company?
14 months
VO: What will you be working in US?
Explained the project that i will be working in USA.
My reply was: There is new project started in USA under the same team. It is a submodule of the product that i am currently working on. Explained about the project and why it is critical in 2 to 3 sentences.
VO: why not someone in the US team is capable of doing your work?
VO: As the entire team is formed newly they need the resources who has hands on experience and technical expertise in this product.
VO: What will happen if you don’t go there at this time?
Me: There will be delays in achieving the project timelines.
VO: Your right-hand fingerprints
VO: She checked my Visa status online and asked with a surprise, Do you have a valid H4 Visa?
Me: Yes, I have valid H4 visa stamping. As my husband is currently in USA.
VO: Don’t you have work authorization there.
Me: Yes, I don’t have work authorization
VO: Ok. I am approving your VISA with NIE
Me: Thank you so much
VO: Do you have any kids?
Me: Yes i have a daughter, She is a us citizen.
Vo: I should have asked you before providing you NIE. But that’s ok. Now you have two approvals to go to USA your daughter and your NIE (with a smile).
VO: she handed me I129s copies with approved stamping and green slip which has details on how to collect passport

How I have prepared for L1B interview:
As i was entirely new to work visa interviews, i was not having any clue on which type of dress to wear or what type of questions that are asked?
I went through all the L1B interview experiences in telegram groups and https://redbus2us.com/visas/usa/stamping-experiences


Experience 13: L1A + L2 (Daughter) at Kolkata

Biometrics on Dec 8th 3pm Kolkata allowed 15 minutes before
Documents submitted
Appointment Confirmation
passport for all the applicants
DS-160 for all the applicants
Pic for my daughter she is 7 they took a picture even though we took one

Note: I carried 2 different sets of DS-160 one set that I submitted initially what I mentioned while booking the appointment, later I have to submit a fresh set of DS-160 for both myself and my daughter and carried that as well and asked the staff to use the newer ones

Dec 13th KOLKATA 8:45am appointment

we went there by 8am but they didn’t allow inside and we have to wait in the line for them to call the 8:45am appointments

VO: Please pass the passports
ME: Passed both the passports

VO: what is your job title?
ME: answered

VO: What is your salary ?
ME: xxxxx$ per annum

VO: what is your job duties?
ME: explained some of my job duties after which I stopped and said that’s all I remember for now

VO: Do you work for end client?
ME: Yes

VO: Do you have any client letter to establish the relationship?
ME: No, I don’t have any

VO: what is your highest degree?
ME: Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Information Technology

VO: Are you married?
ME: Yes

VO: your visas are approved you will receive in a week
ME: Thank you


Experience 14: L1A + L2 at Chennai

All my almost 5 month wait ended today.

Been looking for Blanket L1a appointment since August 2021.
Finally secured an appointment at Chennai consulate for interview on 22 September.

17 September 2021 VAC at Mumbai.
Smooth process, in and out in 10 mins.

22 September 2021 reached Chennai consulate 30 mins before schedule. Was let in immediately. Documents checked and put together by a front desk person.

Ushered to interview hall. Paid the fraud detection fees at the counter.

Only 1 window was open and there were around 4 applicants before us.
We were anxious and trying to listen in to the questions being asked. We’re pretty confident after hearing and also saw that all 3 applications before us were approved.

Wait time of about 20 mins there.
Called to the window.
White officer, late 30’s
Usual greetings
Pass the passport, i129 and i797.
Passed the bundle which was already aligned by the front desk.
Questions asked
Company name
Location
Salary
Org structure
Define your role
What does your company do

VO was typing continuously. He asked a few probing questions regarding our software product and I answered what I knew.

Officer took a pink slip and marked few checkboxes for documents.
Told he had every intention to issue the visa and would like to retain passports. Our hearts sank. Had a miserable day after that.

Next day responded with all documents like invitation letter, travel history etc.

Got an auto response but no movement on the application.
Kept following up over email every other week.

Application showed refused till 14 December 2021
15 December moved to AP
16 December issued
17 December passports received


Experience 15: L1B at Chennai

Firstly, I would like to thank the redbus2us community for the wealth of information on previous L1B success stories, which gave me preparation and  confidence.
A bit about my background: 12+ years experience, currently working in cutting edge cloud domain
Previous Visa rejections: H1B rejection through another employer in 2017

L1B stamping Experience:
I managed to get the biometric and consular appointment on dec21st. biometric at 8  AM consulate appointment at 10 AM

Checked in at a hotel the day before. If you are traveling from outside chennai, arriving a day before is mandatory.
Documents carried:DS-160Appointment confirmationI-129 and approved I-797
Employer L1B support letterPay slips ( last 3 months)  + last few year tax returns +  Bachelor’s  degree certificate ( All other additional documents  as suggested by the company)

I got multiple company wide awards. carried the same to demonstrate “I am unique and distinct with in the company with the corresponding specialized knowledge
Visa Interview
Step-1:
Need to carry two sets of I-129 and I-797 (Please carry two copies of each). Once we enter inside the consulate, the visa category would be asked for.I was guided to arrange I-129 and I-797 ( two sets)500$ – visa fraud prevention fee.
Ensure to check your email used for scheduling the appointment/correspondence e-mail given during DS-160 .
The dollar exchange rate is e-mailed.I had to pay 39000 based on the then dollar exchange rate, as per the email.I have carried the  cash. DD/ Credit card is an option. Prefer cash, which is hassle free, since some credit cards may not be accepted or may  throw an error due to $ to INR conversion.
There will be a person helping to arrange the documents in the following order1) I-129 & I-7972) DS-160, passport3) Cash
Step-2:
After Step-1, will be guided further to the actual visa interview section. Prior to the interview, 500$ cash had to be paid at the cash counter.a cash receipt would be given, which we should submit during the interview.
We will be guided accordingly, once the L1B blanket section is mentioned.
Due to the social distancing norms, The crowd was less which gave me a relaxed vibe.

After waiting for 10-15 minutes. I was guided to  the counter for interview
ME: Advanced christmas & New year with a smile
VO: Documents placeME: Handed over
VO: which company are you working for?ME: Answered the XXXX Indian companyVO: which city or work location in USME: Answered YYY city
VO: US Job TitleME: XX job titleVO:Total experienceME: XX yearsVO: Current company experienceME: 4+ years

VO: what is your specializationME: Answered. I built a framework .I gave a 2-3 line description accordingly.
I momentarily drove the VO attention to the company-wide award( which I was holding(color printout of a soft copy of the award in my hand), I got for designing and developing the framework. She subtly acknowledged and said , “That’s good”  ( This is purely optional, not required at all. I felt demonstration of award will drive my uniqueness and affirm my specialized skill set)

VO: What are you going to do in the US:ME: explained about the US role in 2-3 lines
VO: Do you have past L1B/H1B visas?ME: No, I hold a B1 visa
VO: your visa is approved,
ME: I was elated, since I earlier had a H1B rejection through another employer  and worried about  the chances this time.ME:Thank you, I really appreciate it
VO:Please place your left hand four fingersME: DONE.
VO: Safe travels, handed me approved I-129 with a stamp of approval for 3 years  and  a green slip affirming the visa approval
My passport was delivered today on dec23rd.

 Summary: L1B blanket is a pre verified employer petition. The changes of approval are high. Please go through your I-129 petition and employer L1B support letter thoroughly , which will specify all the details. Previous visa rejections in other categories do not impact current visa approval chances. My L1B is approved despite an earlier H1B rejection albeit unrelated.
please ensure to have a strong narrative on your specialized knowledge, business requirement in US, impact to organization/project in the US etc.

Good luck everyone. It’s unfortunate, there is so much hype and hoopla about the whole visa thing, when the process is all about factually presenting your case during the interview with accurate preparation.


Experience 16: L1B Blanket at Chennai

20th Dec 2021: VAC
The appointment was at 1230hrs
Reached the center by 1215hrs. The total process took 10 minutes.
Documents Required:
Appointment Slip
Passport
DS160
They will stick a sticker on the back of your passport with some details about DS160 and Visa type.

21st Dec 2021: Consular
The appointment was at 0900hrs
Reached outside the center by 0830hrs.
They formed a separate queue outside the center for 0900hrs people. Security allowed only documents and wallets. No electronics item allowed inside. They asked to remove analog watches as well.
First, a lady helped to arrange all required documents in sequence
2 copies of I129
2 copies of I797
1 DS160
Passport

After this, I was asked to pay 500$ in fees for the L blanket type. I paid via Credit Card. The payment was smooth and quick without any issue. Just make sure you enable international transactions on your card beforehand as the amount will be deducted in $ and the card will decline if international payment is not enabled. There is an ATM available for those who face issues with Credit card payment and want to withdraw cash for the Payment.
Waited for another 10-15 minutes for a Consular interview.
The consular officer asked to pass all the documents.
Questions Asked:
1) Visa Type
2) How much you will be paid?
3) How much experience do you have working with your company?
4) What work you will do in the US?
5) Have you been doing similar work in the India Office?

The officer took his sweet little time to enter all the details in the system and then asked me to scan my left hand four fingers. He then informed me that the Visa is approved. Stamped both copies of I129S with the “valid until” date and passed 1 copy of I29S and green slip to me.

I was inside the Embassy for about an hour. The process was very smooth and I did not see anyone getting Visa rejection while I was there.
Just keep calm and answer the questions asked briefly and to the point. Only elaborate when asked.

I had opted for Premium passport delivery so received my Visa at my home after 2 days via Bluedart(paid 650rs).


Experience 17: L1 Blanket + L2 (Spouse+2 Kids) with In Person Interview at New Delhi

Biometrics: 30-Jan-2022 1500 hrs
Reached center at 2:15 pm as needed to take photograph of my infant and kid, I preferred to capture at studio inside building to avoid any issues related to photo guidelines. They have charged ₹200 per kid. As accompanied with infant they allowed us to bypass queue, anyway it’s less crowded. At first counter they verified details DS-160, appointment and passports- later they stocked stickers which has details name, appointment etc., proceeded to security check where they asked me to switch off my mobile phone. Then moved on to photograph capture and biometrics. Overall it took less than 15 mins.
Consular interview: 2-Feb-2022 0930 hrs

All of us reached at around 9 am, entry board displays 9:30 am, on seeing infant they allowed us in and asked if we were carrying watches, mobile phones or sanitizer. We carried only feeding bottles, diapers, clothes, a toy for infant and documents. Post security check, we were asked to keep documents in order I-129S, I-179, DS-160 of primary, passports and if Opted DD to pay L1Blanket fraud detection fees of $500 or ₹39,000 per current conversion rate of ₹78 per $. Once documents are sorted, we proceeded to visa lobby, paid in cash ₹39,000 at counter 32 /cashier. Then to VISA officer along with family.
Me: good morning officer
VO: good morning
VO: please pass on documents
Me: passed
Vo: he scanned bar code on passport which is stocked at biometrics and does something on his screen. Asked is it for L1A or B
Me: L1-A sir
Vo: are you working for xxxx company and for how many years have you been there?
Me: yes I work for xxxx and for about yyy years
Vo: what is your designation
Me: I am xxxxx
Vo: how many years of managerial experience you have with this company
Me: I have xxx years of managerial experience
Vo: do you have any direct reports who will be working in the us
Me: no direct reports but virtual cross function team leads report to me
Vo: will you be moving to xxxx
Me: yes sir
Vo: “he took some time working on his machine and written down notes on I-129S” place your right hand four fingers
Me: I did it
Vo: “asked my wife to do same”
My wife: she did it
Vo: your visa is approved, safe travels.
Me: thank you

Overall it took around 30 mins inside consulate.


Experience 18: L1B (Blanket) with In Person Interview at Chennai

07 Feb, 2022 – Biometrics

Things you can carry,

1) Phone (switched off)
2) Paper or clothes bag, backpack, files or folders
3) If you have extra documents, they allow you to carry it inside.

Required documents,

1) Appointment confirmation
2) DS-160 barcode
3) Current passport
4) 2″X2″ photo (1 copy) of your child if child is not with you. They are very strict about photo requirements, so be careful.

Experience,

Outside, there are separate queues for each time slot, so stand in the correct queue.

At the counter they ask 1 or 2 questions like full name, date of birth etc. for verification purposes. Then they’ll take your fingerprint and photo and you are done. They will stamp your DS-160 barcode page and give it back. They will take a photo of your child’s photo and give the photo back.

08th Feb, 2022 – Interview

Same process outside. They call by slot times. If you are unsure, check the board which will have the time slot.

Inside, one person will help you sort your documents. For L-1B (blanket) they only needed,

1) DS-160 barcode
2) Passport
3) I-797 front page only
4) I-129S two copies (earlier they took three copies, now only two)

After that, you will be taken to a room where interviews are happening. Just next to it, there is a counter for fee payment. For L-1B, I had to pay ₹39,000 ($500). They will give two copies of receipt (at the interview counter they will take one copy).

Next step is the interview and you are out.

Questions asked,

1) Full name
2) Child’s name
3) Where is your wife? (I explained that she’s already in the US)
4) What is she doing?
5) How many years are you with [present company]?
6) What is your specialization?
7) Yearly salary in the US
8) Yearly salary in India
9) How much is that in USD? (I initially said I don’t know, then I did the mental calculation and came up with a number)

Just relax and don’t be afraid. And clothes do not matter. I wore a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. At the counter, they cannot even see your shoe.


Experience 19: L1B+L2 with In Person Interview at Chennai

VAC/Biometrics:

Slot:
4th Feb 9.30 am

Documents needed:

  • Appointment confirmation letter
  • DS 160 confirmation page with clear barcode (of mine and my spouse)
  • Original passports
  • Any government issued id card – I carried Aadhar for both of us
  • No need to carry any other documents for VAC

Experience:

  • Reached vac office at 9 am
  • Google location – Chennai VAC Bio Metrics, Good Shepherd Square, 82, Kodambakkam High Rd, Nungambakkam
  • They aren’t checking slots specifically and will let you in even if you reach early
  • Go to 1st floor and wait in the queue, there one lady asked to keep the above documents handy
  • Then move to 2nd floor
  • 1 officer will check all the documents and tally details in passport and DS-160. Ensure there are no name, passport number or any other discrepancies.
  • You will then be moved for Biometrics and photograph
  • Total time taken was around 35 mins

Note:

  • Keep fingerprints dry and do not over sanitize them
  • Mobile phones are allowed in switched off mode

Consular Interview

Slot:
8th Feb 9.30 am

Primary Documents needed:

  • Original passports
  • DS 160 Confirmation pages (with acknowledgement stamp after biometrics)
  • Interview Appointment confirmation letter
  • Fraud prevention fee of INR 39,000, I carried cash
  • Petition papers original – 3 sets of I-129S (8 pages) + 1st page of I-797. Staple the 9 pages together of 1 set and keep 3 sets handy (only 2 will be required)
  • Original Marriage certificate if the spouse details aren’t updated in passport (I was asked for it since I got married recently)

Supporting documents/good to carry:

  • Original old/expired passports if any
  • Pay slip for last 6months
  • Bank statement for last 6months
  • IT returns OR Form 16 for last 3years
  • Transcripts or Educational certificates, marks sheets, technical certificates etc. all original
  • Previous company experience certificates
  • Resume
  • Original marriage Certificate, Marriage photos 25nos or Marriage Album
  • Employment proof letter
  • Company ID card in original
  • Any Govt. issued photo ID proof in original
  • Carried most of the above for Spouse, nothing was asked, only marriage certificate was asked

Experience:

  • Reached location at 8.45 am
  • Google location – Consulate General of the United States, Gemini Flyover, Teynampet
  • I was let in the building as soon as I reached
  • There will be a security check at 1st point
  • Next, there will be an officer who will ask you to arrange the primary documents above in a specific order and keep them handy
  • Then I waited for around 40 mins in the waiting area near this officer
  • Then I moved to adjoining building for the interview
  • I was first asked to pay the fraud prevention fee at counter number 32 (that’s the cashier)
  • After the payment, waited for 2 minutes, and then was my turn for the interview at counter number 30

– Officer was a male US citizen, very friendly and jolly

Interview:
Me: Good morning, how are you doing?
VO: Great, how are you doing?
Me: I’m doing good, thank you
VO: please hand over the documents
VO: Ok, so you are going for xxx company
Me: Yes
VO: what will be your designation in US?
Me: told my designation
VO: I see you have visited US before
Me: Yes, on B1 twice
VO: Where will you be travelling to?
Me: Told city and state name
VO: What is your specialized knowlege
Me: explained in 3-4 lines
There was some mic echo, so VO turner off his mic and confirmed if I can still hear him well
VO: Can you please show your marriage certificate?
Me: Handed over the document
VO: You guys have married recently , congratulations
Me: thank you so much

Took my right hand four finger prints

To spouse:
VO: Have you been to US before?
Her: No, it’s the first time
VO: Are you excited
Her: Yes, very excited

Took her left hand four finger prints

VO: Congratulations, your visa is approved
Me: Thank you so much, have a great day ahead

VO handed over the green slip, stamped I-129S and specifically showed the petition end date.

VO was typing continuously during the interview


Experience 20: L1B + L2 with 221g, In Person Interview at Chennai

Personal interview appointment- 15 Feb timing 10.30am
Received white 221 g
Took appointment on 15 Feb as on the 221g mentioned to schedule an appoint.
I am originally based in Mumbai but had my first Dropbox was in Chennai on Jan 18.
The application status was application received then turned to refused and stayed that till 9 Feb.
I sent all necessary docs via email as well as mentioned on 221g.
I carried all hard docs as well for the interview.
I stayed at the park and left for embassy at 9 am. I will taken in by 930am.
There was security check and many people were there mostly they were H1 or their dependants.
I was directed to an Indian lady in about 15 mins after entering .
She saw my passports and then told me i was ready for interview.
Waited another 15 mins and then finally was told to go to a counter. 4 counters were open.
Here is how my interview went.
VO : Hello good morning
Me : good morning.
VO : please pass your passports.
Me: OK
VO : asked me some qts about my company and my job profile.
Then he asked about my husbands degree and where he currently works.
Then he was looking i believe to the email i sent with all docs.
VO : what is your USA salary
Me : i replied and asked if he needed to see offer letter. He said no as he has seen all docs.

Thanks your visa is approved. Gave me a green slip stating that visa is approved and expect delivery in 7 days.


Experience 21: L1B+L2 with In Person Interview at New Delhi

Dec 2018 L1 b blanket rejected 😑😑.
After 6 months B1 rejected 😢.
Applied for Individual in jan 2021.
Received RFE 🤔.
Replied to RFE with utmost details.
Petition approved in May 2021.
Paod fees on 8th Dec, same day got slot for April 2022.
On jan 6th rescheduled to 17th feb delhi.

Biometric:
Was very straightforward.
Requires only.

  1. DS160 confirmation page.
  2. Appointment confirmation page.
  3. Passports.

CA
I have 2.5 year old kid but this didn’t helped to skip the que.
Was waiting infront of 17 no. Counter and seen few approvals and few rejections.

I was asked to go to counter 21, he was asian guy,I was bit relaxed becoz 17th no counter guy was rejecting and was asking many questions.
On 21 counter i was 3rd, l1b indi guy wid family was interviewed and approved, then L2 lady also got approval.
My turn.
Me: Greeted VO good morning.
Vo: good morning and said Hi to my baby.
Vo: how many years experience in current company.
Me: 10+, he was happy wid anser I cud see that.
Vo: after this there was nothing standard question, he was very confused about my profile.
I tried explaining what is my job, you guys do not worry, our job is quite difficult to explain.
But I explained for around 7 mins , he was ok with it.
VO: HE THEN asked u had previous refusals
Me : yes.
Vo: he was writing things whatever i was explaining to him , he did removed lines many times and wrote again and again.
Finally he said approved.


Experience 22: L1A + L2 with In Person Interview at Chennai

VAC APPOINTMENT(2nd March; 8 AM slot)-

Documents to carry ONLY:

  1. Appointment confirmation;
  2. DS 160;
  3. Passport;
  4. Child’s photo 2’*2’ (if not present in person).

Experience-

  1. Reached at 7:15 AM; We stood 7th in the queue outside the building; Was let in at 7:35 AM.
  2. Guided to 1st floor; checked Appointment confirmation. Asked to arrange DS 160, Appointment confirmation and Passport together.
  3. Guided to 2nd floor at 8 AM; verified DS 160 and Passport.
  4. Guided towards 1st counter for Bio verification and attached barcode stickers on passport.
  5. Guided to final counter for Biometrics (fingerprints and photograph). Asked couple of biographical questions (DOB, Full name) to verify passport details. Stamped DS 160, verified Passport and sticker details. You need to carry the same stamped DS 160 and passport (with the sticker) for the Consular Interview.
  6. Exited the building at 8:20 AM.

Very smooth, hassle free processing. The key is to reach early and ensure all your documents are correct/ complete as per the guidelines.
Mobile (switched off) and wallet allowed; no other luggage allowed. Locker facility available in ground floor.
Social distancing maintained inside the building; sanitised properly.

CONSULAR APPOINTMENT (3rd March; 8 AM slot)-

Documents to carry-

  1. Passports
  2. DS 160
  3. Appointment confirmation
  4. I 129S (2 sets)
  5. I 797 (1st page – 2 sets)

Supporting Docs-

  1. Educational and Professional documents (original)
  2. Marriage registration certificate
  3. Child birth certificate.

Experience-

  1. Reached Consulate at 7:10 AM.
  2. Guided inside the Consulate at 7:35 AM.
  3. After initial security scanning guided towards document arrangement counter. Documents checked and stapled. Asked to move to Consulate building next.
  4. Waited at the interview sitting area for 20 minutes.
  5. Asked to move towards Fees receipt counter.
  6. After fees receipt formalities waited for Interview for another 5 minutes.
  7. Interview lasted for approx. 2 minutes- asked basic questions: where are you going? Length of stay? Job role? Company profile? How long are you married? Have you ever been to the US? Role and Strength of team in US? Child’s age? Why you need to fulfil this role?
  8. Very cordial and easy to talk Officer. Seemed more of an interaction than an interview.
  9. Visa approved! Was out of the Consulate by 8:30 AM approx.

Experience 23: L1A with In Person Interview at New Delhi

September 2021 Applied for L1A individual petition for i129
October 2021: Received RFE in 10 days of filing
Feb 2022: filed RFE Response
Feb 2022: petition approved
March 2022: VAC: Delhi– Smooth experience
CA: 31st March 9:30 AM IST (Scheduled time) 10:15 AM IST (Interview time)
Total Duration: 2 hours.
Interview duration: 1 minute
Questions asked:

  1. Who is your end client?
  2. Years of experience?
    VO took passport and said Thank you and called next person in queue.
    I asked is it approved? She said yes, its basically approved.

11:30 AM IST: Status Refused
I panicked.

Started researching, learnt about 221g refusals. Called customer service agent.. They said application must have been refused under this section. I panicked more. Joined US VISA 221G refusal geoup in telegram. Seeing experiences there, lost my sleep for next few days.

1st April (to be precise 11.35 AM): status changed to Admin processing
2, 3 April: Weekend (no status change)
4 April: no change (panic level surging)
5 April (to be precise 11.32 AM): status issued
6 April: 9 PM IST received email/sms to pickup passport from delhi VAC, even though i selected premium passport delivery.
Little stressed… Researched again about such situation…found plenty of similar experiences.
Didnt wasted time for reaching support team as it would take time and booked bus for next day early morning.
7 april: 6 AM IST boarded bus to Delhi (as I am 300 kms away)
7April: 12 PM IST Reached VAC. Got passport in less than 5 minutes. (Mandatorily Carry a photocopy of your ID proof, Appointment letter and original ID card)
7 April: 1.45 PM IST writing this message and I am thankful to everyone out here.

My learnings: Never ever panic like I did. If VO said your visa is approved, the initial refusal status is because they want some additional admin processing on your case or they need the approvals from their US counterparts as they couldnt get it by then. DONT research too much. Give consulate time of 10-15 working days to process your application. Also, after an interview a VO Has authority to either refuse or issue you visa. In cases on which they dont have clarity they mark it as refused, and then do the background work. IMO, “Refusal” is a heavy negative word thus we all tend to panic. I have written a feedback to Consulate regarding the same.


Experience 24: L1+L2 with 221g at Chennai

Pink Slip 221(g) for L2 Spouse (L1 applicant visa was issued immediately) (Year 2022)

March 25: Chennai VAC

March 29: Chennai Visa Interview
L1 and L2 together.
L1 visa issued immediately.
L2 Spouse visa refused under 221(g) providing pink slip and kept passport.
Visa officer said that after I send the requested documents listed in the pink slip, it will take about 2 weeks’ time to process. She suggested to send the documents ASAP.

March 30: Sent requested documents as mentioned in the pink slip such as invitation, resume, research work, publications, job positions, travel history, funding, contact information on Chennai Admin email address given in the pink slip.

NOTE: I sent only applicable documents from the given list of the documents in the pink slip along with my marriage certificate and employment letter as 2 additional documents to support my case.

March 29 – April 19: Refused

April 19: Administrative Processing

April 20: Issued

April 21: Passport with Visa Stamping Received.
In Visa annotation it has been written ‘Clearance Received April 13, 2022’
And issue date is April 20, 2022.

221(g) resolution time depends on case to case basis. But if you have provided all the information as requested and have been truthful throughout every aspect of your Visa process, it should not take long.

However, 3-4 weeks’ time is the resolution time with Chennai Consulate on an average.

Thank you all. Info on this group really helped. 🙏😊


Experience 25: L1A with Dropbox, 221g, In Person Interview at Mumbai

May 2nd – Passport, DS160, employment verification letter, i797b xerox copies along with 1 photograph submitted at Kolkata VAC.

May 4th – CEAC status changed to application received

May 9th – Application received
May 12th – Status changed to refused

This was the time when I was about to loose patience …..

May 14th – Recieved passport with a white 221g slip. Asked to appear for face to face interview on 1st June.

Between May 14th to 31st May – Gone through multiple YouTube vidoes. I should say, watched more than 50 visa interview, 221g, do’s and don’t videos. Prepared myself for all possible questions along with answers.

May 31st – reached Mumbai

June 1st – Visited embassy at 10AM. My appointment was at 11AM.

I was allowed to move inside. Infact, 221G gets little preference over rest.

Step 1- security guard verified 221g letter along with passport.

Step 2- security scan

Step 3- One helping lady asked me to keep passport, appointment letter, employment confirmation letter, 221g on top and rest docs can be kept aside in a folder. This is a counter with a tag 221G. She even gave a red ruler like strip which has a bold letter encrypted on it – 221G. This further created a sense of panic.

Finally, I am asked to move to counter 28.

A bald American Officer.

Me – Good morning officer. Hope you are doing well.
VO – Good morning. Please pass your documents.

Me – I panicked and passed only passport.

VO – please pass everything.
Me – Sorry Officer. Passed i797b along with 221g slip.

VO – I see C1 as well as B1/B2 stamp. Why do you have a C1.

Me – Answered him. I took transit through US while going to Mexico.

VO – Why you went to Mexico?
Me – Answered him.

VO – how long you are working for XYZ?
Me – 8 years, 2 months, 8 days
VO – Waow, you even remember days.
Me – hmmmm, yes, thank you.

Now, I was little relaxed.

VO – Are you a manager or an executive?
Me – I am a Manager.

VO – Why you never thought of leaving XYZ in last 8 years
Me – Answered him back

VO – how many people you are managing?
Me – 7 here at offshore and 4 will be at onsite

VO – What is your highest education qualifications?
Me – Answered him back

VO – Which location you will be working from?
Me – Answered back

VO – What is your job title?
Me – Project Manager

VO – how many years you were in Mexico?
Me – 4 years in India, 4 years in Mexico. Same employer, same client
VO – Waow. Thats good.

VO – What is your roles and responsibilities?
Me – Answered back

VO – Do you have hiring / firing authority?
Me – Yes

VO – Do you have budgetary related authorities
Me – Yes

VO – Congratulations, your visa is approved. You will recieve your passport in a week.
Me – Thank You officer. Have a good rest of the day.

Observation – neither he stamped my i129, nor he took my fingerprints. Even he gave nothing as a confirmation of approval, except his words.

CEAC status – Refused changed to Admin processing on 1st June

CEAC status – Admin processing changed to Issue on 2nd July at 11AM IST.

Note – To be on a safer side, I carried every possible documents with me (except client letter as my company said, it is not required for intracompany transferee)


   

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