I had gotten RFE for my petition in september with big list of queries on the company running to 5 pages. The petitioner submitted evidence at very last minute for november 30.
Status changed to approved on Dec 2nd.
After couple of rescheduling, finally had OFC on Feb 15th.
Scheduled interview date at consulate being March 1. (i understand most people have the next day for interview)
Due to personal issues, had to reschedule the interview date again to March 15th.
So, system does allow you to change interview date after OFC done. Someone had asked this and got a negative answer. But condition is, there is more than 24 hrs available while rescheduling.
Also, you can reschedule for max of 5 times.
March 15 - Chennai consulate:
Appointment time - 8.30 am. (wanted to beat traffic as well as heat by going early)
Also people tend to be fresh and polite first thing in the morning.
Booked and cab to reach the venue though its just 4 km from home. There was a big accident near to consulate and hence vehicles were not moving on that road.
Got down and walked about .5 km to the consulate. Its better to try to go early to avoid any such unforeseen problems. Was bit tense because of all the delay.
Security near the entrance ask for you passport, DS-160. Always keep DS-160, appointment confirmation and passport at hand initially till you get fingerprints scanned.
Once done they ask if you have mobile phone with you. I left my mobile, watch etc at home to avoid probs. And as expected security asked if i have watch. They may keep your mobile for a fee (it may be upto 50RS). This is big collection for the police than even their salary i guess! Avoid wasting money on this.
Once you enter the premises, first is security scanning and frisking.
You will be asked to empty your pockets and put all in basket which goes through scanner. You will be frisked and you can take your belongings from basket.
Purse is allowed but no sharp items including keys.
Next you will guided to another queue. Huge crowd already inside. I was guided to one of the queues. Here initally scrutiny is done by scanning your passport (a label fixed on passport at OFC). After this you will be asked to go to another queue (counter 18).
Here there was 2 queues for fingerprint scanning. Right hand got scanned. From here on counters managed by Americans. One of the machines developed snag so there was delay again.
On completion, you will asked to join big queue for interview. The queue was snaking about like in temples we see. This queue is for english language option. There was other queues for other languages like telugu, malayalam etc. And there are seats to sit for them! Those queues shorter but they have specific counters with translators for them. They will guide you to particular counter based on language. Family with small children and senior citizens given preference in all queues.
There is absolutely no need to feel fear/ nervous. It will be very noisy, try to shut it out and dont try to listen to what is happening at the counters. For you will only get more nervous.
Counters 19 to 32 are for interviews. You can see and hear from the counters as it will be very near. They allow next interview person for every counter to stand few feet away.
After a long waiting i was asked to go to counter 32. You get to be sent randomly based on availability.
The CO at the counter was interviewing a lady. I waited for few minutes for this to end.
Office called me over. After initial greetings asked for the document.
CO was very polite and respectful.
Immediately provided I-797 B and passport. Seems he only wanted the passport and returned I797.
Questions by CO:
1) Is this your first application ?
2) Is your employer/petitioner XXX?
3) How many years with current employer (petitioner) ? (Wrongly asked ) - So you are yet to start working for XXX ...
4) Where are you going in US?
State and town
5) Whats your salary?
exact annual amount
6) Did you pay anything?
Only DS-160 (warning: this is trap, if you mention you paid its auto reject)
7) Whose is your client?
8) In-house project? Can you explain about the project?
9) Whats your qualification?
10) How did you contact the employer / apply for the job?
Thats all. I was confident that its only formality whatever he is asking as he did not even show much interest to listen to me. Simply was looking at his screen all the time.
Told me its approved and asked me to read the pamphlet without fail.
He thanked me and i returned the favour and left.
I entered at around 7.45 and left around 8.50 am.
Roughly one hour spent of which only <10 minutes at interview.
Its business as usual for the interviews, so no need to worry about current happenings in US. Wish you all good luck with the process.