I wanted to share my H1B renewal experience. I interviewed for the same company and location. I live in Bangalore and had initially filled in a DS 160 for Chennai. Since no dates were available, I picked Kolkata and filled another DS-160.
1. You need a DS-160 for specific location, i.e Fill and print a new one if you change your interview location.
2. Take your previous Visa passport copy and all petition documents including LCA.
3. Make sure your DS-160 US contact information lists your immediate manager or higher up in the chain of command. Do not list your spouse.
4. Include an India mobile number in the DS 160 form
My appointment was at 8:30 AM and I reached at 8:15. Even that is early by Indian Standards.
There are no printing shops nearby so make sure you get everything before hand.
There is no point reaching 1 hr early. They make you stand on a road for at least 20 minutes about 50 meters from the consulate entrance.
From the line on the road you will be directed to move to the entrance of the consulate where they will check your DS 160 and passport. Your name will be cross checked against a list and given a token number. I have no idea why they give you this number because there is no system inside. It looks like FCFS. Its not a physical token but a mental one. Mine was 46. Go Valentino Rossi :D
Once you enter, you will be asked to scan your documents through the machine. Make sure you dont have any battery operated devices (includes smart watches and pedometers). Make sure you dont have sealed documents like your University Transcripts.
Once scanned and frisked, you will enter the waiting area where they check all your documents - Passport, petition, relevant documents depending on your visa type. One smart guy also asked me how many people work in my company. I am still wondering why because he has no authority in decision making. Once checked you sit and warm a chair for 10 mins or less.
From here you move to another building for the actual interview. Here you form another line from where you go to either Counter 1,2 or 3. A person (of indian origin) will double check your documents and ask you about your company, designation,etc. They also give free advice which I found completely unnecessary. From here you are moved to Counter 4 for fingerprint (this is different from the ten printing, this is for verification)
From Counter 4 you move to a seating area close by where you move from chair to chair as people move to the interview queue. When it is your turn, you are directed to a specific counter depending on your language of interview.
VO: Good morning
Me: Good morning
VO: Company XYZ is a startup?
Me: No, It is an acquisition
VO: What is your designation
Me: I work as ABC
VO: Your Visa is approved
Overall, it took 30 seconds but the process took close to an hour. Overall I found Chennai embassy to be a lot more organized in their working and spacious. The only advantage of Kolkata is that dates are available easily and this is what mattered to me the most.