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malay_bhr     04/22/2013 13:18 PM
 


Hi All,
This Visa process (starting from the day of applying to today, the visa stamping interview) have taken a toll on me..
Any way, I would like to thanks all of you who shares their experiences here, and believe me, this forum has been my daily visited page. i must have visited at least 5 times a day to see, if any new experience has been added. :). Its been really a great help in preparing the interview questions and ur all experiences.

OK, Lets start my story now.
My Company has applied L1B visa for me before 2 months, and it has been approved without an RFE. my employer really got surprised to know this (as they were habituated with getting the RFEs for all the visa applications).
and finally we scedule the visa stamping date . we schedule for two dates. one for bio-metrics and another for Interview(19th Apr 2013 and 22nd Apr 2013).

Bio-metric day(was pon Friday) at OFC was really very smooth and before my scheduled time. my time was 10.00 Am but i reached at 8.30 am (to avoid Mumbai traffic actually) and i came out from OFC at 8.45. it was very fast and smooth.
1) Finger prints
2) Photo Taken by the officer ( I wasted my 4 photographs i had photographed for this visa interview :) :))
3) stamped on DS-160 form and returned back
and a wide smile on my face while i was returning from the office.

Now My Visa stamping interview Experience :
My sleep time has been reduced due to un-necessary tensions and i have mocked the interview at least 20 times in these two days(satday and sunday) in front of mirror. but it really helps and only raised my confidence.
Finally the day has come, and i woke up at 4.00 AM morning and didnt able to sleep futher. ,my timing was at 10.00 am and i left my house at 8.00 AM and reached at consulate office at 8.30 and standed in line. and got the entry very soon. but My advice is not to reach before 30 mins of schedule time. its totally a waste of time by sitting there on the heat. I had also ready this advice here in blogs. but u know i am one of those over-cautious first timer who loves to waste his time.

Any way after a long wait, i got into the office, they have pasted a slip with a number(like N-521) on my passport. Now i
had to wait for my turn by looking at the screen, which was flashing the numbers and corresponding windows. and the number was flashing now with window number 25.

I went to 25th window , i was the 3rd person standing on the line. it was an american officer taking interviews. but i
observed he was approving the visas to all my front liners. my turn came and i went near the window.
my heart was beating very fast, i tried to control. and here was the questions :

1) Which company you are working for ?
Ans : told my company name ( he asked this twice)
2) What is your specializations ? ( he was looking my face and interrupted to ask about my application)
3) what is your product name. (I replied twice, as the spelling was a bit tough)
4) where will you work for your client ( i told the city name) but i should have told him my company name. but due to

nervousness i forgot and just stated the City and state name).
but it seemed he was less interested to know all these details
5) are you married ?
Ans : No, I am single.
6) did you get the work-right pamphlet ?
Ans .Yes

Here the Golden words came from him, Sir, Your Visa has been approved. it will take 2-5 days to receive your passport. I am keeping your passport here. I said thank you .

But the way my interview went, i just surprised( it took only 3 mins for this interview).I felt this visa was pre-approved. Interview was just a formality.
I had read here in this forum, that after approval the VO will give me some kind of forms with stamp.
but he didn't give me anything. I asked him twice , is there anything else I need to submit, do i need to go to another

window for any further process . He said, no, thanks you, ( even the person was standing in front of me, had asked the same question to him twice after his approval, Ha.. Ha... :) ).

Any way finally its done, I came out with a diet coke from the office and choose to pick up my passport from OFC location( didn't choose the courier service). and got the way to my office.
Now, I am waiting for my visa-passport to be ready.

Thanks for your help and patience to ready my story. i am sure it will help others.
Have a great interview.

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vishmech2000     04/20/2013 04:58 AM
 


First of all thanks for this wonderful forum which helped me prepare for the interview and letting me know what to expect on the big day! All the advice given by fellow applicants here are worth a mention and I am skipping all those things and coming straight to OFC and Personal Interview.

I had my OFC scheduled at Mumbai on April 12 at 09:30 am and I was out by that time. It's easy process and VFS guys are really courteous and will guide what to do. They verify your passport details with the DS-160 confirmation page and appointment letter for the OFC. Then they guide to main window (which looks like the interview window at the consulate) for biometrics and photographs.

We had our interview at chennai consulate on April 15th at 09:00 am. We stood in the queue at 08:30 am considering the heat of chennai. I advice applicants to stand atleast 30 mins before your interview time. Here again they will verify your DS-160 confirmation page and passport, they frisk you and your documents after which they will allow you inside the building.

I had to go to totally 3 windows for documents sorting, biometric scan and main interview. They stick a sticker with a number which will be your number for rest of the time while at consulate. Keep looking at the large TV screens for your token number and window number.

I got my turn after waiting for nearly 45 mins. The officer was an Indian who was approving the visa infront of me for a student, a elderly gentleman and for us.

Questions asked:

1. What kind of visa is this? Individual or blanket?
2. Who's my employer?
3. Where am I going?
4. What's your Indian Salary?
5. How much you will be paid in US?
6. What's your role?
7. What's your specialization? This is most important as he was directly looking at me and was cross checking with lot's of supporting questions to get the clarity.

Questions to my wife:
1. When did you get married mam?

That's it. He said our visa was approved and gave 2 copies of petition with seal on it.

We then filled out the form for the courier service and we received our passports very next day. Yes within one day we had our passports with us.

I think all you need to be sure of is "Specialized Knowledge" and why it is unique. VO's are there to approve our visa and are really nice people with quick thinking. Go enjoy the moment and don't be nervous. Also prepare very well with mock interviews and answers for all the questions from this site.

All the best!

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damodar     04/18/2013 03:02 AM
 


Hi,

Thanks to this forum for guidance in preparing all the required Q & A.
I had my visa interview @ 8.30am on 18th April 2013.
I was with my dependents (wife and 2 years old daughter). With small kids you really get preference in the queue.
Here is what the VO had for me.

VO : greeted me good morning sir how are you doing?
me: i am fine thank you how are you? (My heart beat was high since my number came as soon as paid the fraud prevention fee).

VO: Relax sir take your time.
me: yes sure thank you.

VO: For which company do you work sir?
me: XXXX i was still huffing;

(My kid and spouse came from behind; my kid was eating snacks)
VO greeted my daughter with smile, but she was busy eating her snacks. Then my wife said to VO, she is busy eating her snacks. VO said with a broad smile thats good good very good, eating is a good thing!
 My wife allowed me to calm down and took control here.

VO: Sir why are you going?
me: Answered appropriately (I had prepared what to say, but i said what came to my mind and not what i prepared it was the instinct).
(while i was answering the VO did not looked at me at all and she was busy doing something on her computer and with papers that i gave her).

VO: Why is this knowledge specialised?
me: explained.

Then to my wife
VO: Mam, what is your Qualifications?
me: my wife explained appropraitely.

(VO said lets complete this quickly sir and again typing something in her PC.)

(Now VO is looking at me and asked below questions)

VO: how long you have been working with this company?
me: answered no of years in this company.

VO: What is your total experience?
me: xxx no of years.

VO: what is the expected duration of stay?
me: explained and justified why 3 years.

VO: I am approving your visa sir!
me and my wife thanks so much.

VO: Enjoy your stay is US sir & mam (to me and my wife)

We thanked her again and left.

For my case at least it seemed, it was pre-approved, because i think she was hardly interested in what i was answering and more looking towards my wife and daughter, as she knew i guess what she had to do already.

This was very smooth than i anticipated, it could not have got better than this. I was very tensed prior to the dicussion rather i should say, than interview. Anyways thanks to all the posts in this forum. I also did a mock with my friend who does not know my profile and answered to convience and make him understand what i was doing for many hours, which helped me to be confident.

as long as your case is genuine and you have already worked on the specialized knowledge.i.e. you know what you are going to do then you should not have any problems.

All the very best!!!!

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jeet     04/17/2013 02:21 AM
 


I was well on schedule and appeared before the VO, who was a Lady officer. Below is the Q & A that happened:

VO: Who is your client?
Me: Replied with correct name

VO: What will be your location in US?
Me: replied with correct location

VO: Which company do you work for?
Me: Replied with current company name

VO: What's your current Salary?
Me: Replied with exact figure

Then one of her friends interrupted in between. She returned after few minutes

VO: What's total experience with current organisation?
Me: More than n years

Then she turned back a bit for a while and returned

VO: What would you do in US?
Me: Mentioned the role in US and the tool I have expertise.

That was all I was asked in precisely 5-6 minutes (including the interruption time in between). And finally she stamped with "Not Clearly Approved" and advised to apply for a different category.

Looks like they don't actually listen and understand what we say. It all depends on their mood. There's was one more VO (guy) was at the other counter who had interviewd & approved Visa for 3 candidates, who were appeared before him. But this lady was already busy at the back of her mind.

Never mind, will try again after some time.

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ablis     04/16/2013 16:20 PM
 


I appeared for the VISA interview in Chennai on 15th. It went pretty well. This site helped a lot in anticipating some of the questions. VO was friendly. Here is how the interview went:

He checked the screen and the documents. Then the questions:

How long have you worked for this company?
What does your company do?
Who are the clients/customers?
Why the name of your company is so different from what it does.
What is your current salary?
What is your role here?
What is the specialized skill that you have?
How long will you be going to USA?
Will you be employed by XXX, USA or by the clients?
Will you be working at XXX, USA or at client site?
To my wife - What is the birthday of your husband?

Then, 'your visa is approved. You will get your passport in a week'.

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Sundeep P     04/16/2013 02:17 AM
 


I had applied for L1 B visa in Dec'12. But was rejected. I reapplied in April'13, now i am granted the visa.

I had read on the web that once L1B is rejected, then we need to submit petition for individual processing to USCIS. there was an additional cost for this. But my management insisted that i apply for L1B.

I had interview at Chennai on 15th April.
 
This time it was a different officer. He asked me following questions:

We both greeted each other & I handed the documents to the officer.

VO: So you work at XXXXXX?
Me: Yes.

VO: You are going to XXXXX, XX ?
Me: Yes sir.

VO: Whats your indian salary?
Me: _____ p.a

VO: What XXXX will be paying to you in US?
Me: _____ p.a

VO: What you will be doing in US?
Me: I will be working on XXXXX.

Then he started typing and was looking at his screen for some time.

VO: How long will be your stay in US?
Me: 5 months

VO: Your visa is approved sir. Have a safe trip to US. You will get your stamped passport in 3-4 days.
Me: Thank you sir.

So incase you have your L1 visa rejected, you may give another try. Never loose hopes. Luck is also an important factor.

Best Luck.

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greyandparamathma     04/14/2013 04:05 AM
 


Token numbers are flashed on the display mentioning which counter todo, the visa officer was already similing while me and wife walked to the counter. He said "How are you doing? Good morning", i smiled and said Doing great!
His interview questions was more rapid-fire like, very standard which i had seen it in the forum, My and my wife had done a few "Mock rounds" before the interview which kinda helped and was over within 30 secs.

My piece of advice - While the officer sometimes seems to be in a hurry sometimes, you can take a deep breadth while at the counter and respond to his questions. a little elaboration will help, but its mostly the confidence, while the heart beat increases 2-3 times while at the counter, Just relax. If you are clear about what your role is, dont need to fret.

Questions they asked me -

1. How long with your company?
2. whats your indian sal?
3. Who are your cliets?
4. How much will they pay you in US?
5. to my wife - "How long you been married to this gentleman" ?

Few Tips -

1.Carry all the supporting docs, they might just not ask any, But carry it.
2.no need of a blazer / tie, wear it if you like it, but it doesnt matter to the officer. \
3.Reach visa office 20-25 mins earlier,
4.Carry a handkarchief (Its muggy and you sweat a lot while standing in the Q), OR Carry a wet tissue, makes you feel fresh before the interview
5.Carry a bottle of cold water. you can throw it away just before entering the counslate.
6. Cell phones not allowed. you can leave them at the a small "chowki", he charges some 10 bucks or so..
7. Have a good clarity on your role, people reporting to you in US and India, numbers help. throw some approx nos, it shoud be OK, but be confident.

Carry a smile, Be confident, Take a deep breadth. things will be fine.

cheers.

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HappyGuy123     04/11/2013 11:35 AM
 


Hi all,
   My L1B Blanket visa got approved at chennai and the information at the immihelp site helped a lot. Following is what i prepared and my experience during the visa interview:

Preparation:

1) I read all the rejection cases of L1B on this site . Some of the experiences were very scary since people mentioned that it depends on the mood of the interviewer, but i didnt find it to be so during the actuall interview.

2) I took the list of all questions they can ask from this site and made sure i had convincing answers for each question. I actually created a word document of the exact answer i would give for each question in the exact narrative style. Most questions have objective one line answers and thus are simple. The important questions that requires subject explanations are:
            i) your current role and what specialized knowledge u have.
            ii) your future roles and responsibilties in USA .
            iii) why is this knowledge specialed
            iv) why cant the USA team member do this
            iv) why cant you do it from india
            v) Why you and not any other team member in India
   
I wrote down convincing answers for all these and rehearsed them in front of the mirror. The actual rehearsing took only 1-2 hours once the answers content matter was ready.

The Experience:

  The OFC started with a bit of bad note since some information was missing on my DS160 confirmation and he sent me back to get it edited from a cyber cafe. I had to run in the heat of chennai to find a cybercafe to edit it and run back to the OFC center. so reach the OFC a bit early and get your documents verified with the person at the door. Actual OFC was done in less than 15 min.

 The Visa interview i reached the gate 30 min ealry. The queue was luckicly small since it was an afternoon slot. The document assmebling etc was done quickly by the person. He asked me why I edited the DS160 (since the confirmation numbers differed for the frist and second DS160). I told him what was missing in the first. He assembled the documents and took my OFC again at the consulate and then I went for the actuall visa interview. I greeted the Visa officer with a pleasant smile (all these tips of being confident and pleasant and polite are mentioned at this immihelp site so i wot repeat them. In general be a good human being and let it reflect in your demeanor at the consulate.) He started with normal questions about what my company does, what salary i would be getting etc. The he came to the specific of the specialized knowledge and asked to explain everything in detail. I explained him in simple terms of what i did. He probed a lot about why it was special, how it differered from our competitors , what programming language i used, who are the customers. Finally he granted the Visa and gave me two documents to carry back and kept my passport. The important thing was being confident with your answers and not throwing in too many technical terms since they anyway wont know all of it. Infact explaing it in layman terms seemed to impress him. The mirror rehearsing helped a lot since I didnt fumble for words during the interview. I am happy that unlike some of the success cases listed here, i got the visa after lot of probing.


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rwik78     04/06/2013 18:49 PM
 


Dear All,

I wanted to share some suggestions about what matters and what doesn't during your interview for Blanket L1 interviews...

Matters:
1) The company that is filing the petition. Being in IT isnt necessarily a drawback. But if your employer has a history of visa fraud or has more than 50% of US employees that are not US citizens, it is unlikely you will get approval on a blanket application.
2) Your eligibility under the visa category (manager or specialized knowledge) you are applying. Managing a large team isn't significant. You must demonstrate your skills and value to the organization. Part of that value is the salary and position offered in the US. If its sub-par vs American salaries, you have a problem.
3) DS 160: The VFO has only your employers petition and the DS 160 as immediate reference. DS 160 is the most important as he is going to refer to this online. The job description part of this form is the reference for your interview. In many cases (including mine), he won't even ask for your CV!
4) Communication and English: You are going to work in the US. Atrocious English and not communicating confidently with the visa officer are major reasons for rejections. Also, during the interview, elaborate your answers. Short answers mean either you are hiding something or don't know enough about your job.

Doesnt Matter:
1) Nationality: As I wrote above, if you have the right qualifications under the category applied for, and your company isn't under a watch list, Indian or any other nationality will not impact the outcome.
2) Dress: Dress normally, formally, probably the way you go to work every day. The VFO doesn't care an iota about lingerie he cant see (that post was honestly hilarious) or how dapper/glamorous you look. Tie and blazer (and pearl necklaces and facials:-):-)) are okay, but they aren't requirements for a positive outcome.

--------------------------------
My experience....
I appeared for the interview on 3rd March with my wife and 2 year old son.(Don't carry metal/electronic objects to the embassy for a hassle free entrance.) We went in, presented the documentation, paid the fraud detection fee and settled down for an hour long wait. From my thick sheaf of papers, the doc officer just took the I129s, DS160 copy of blanket petition for me and just DS 160 for my wife and son. NOTHING ELSE. I am also thankful the embassy was kind enough to provide a play area for kids. My son spent the entire time coloring and making a lot of noise, which was tolerated with kindness....

During the interview, the VFO (Vice consul as per his name-card) just asked 3 questions. How long have you worked for this company? What do you do now? What will you do in the US? I took 2-3 minutes to reply to each of his questions. Then he turned at my wife and said, Ma'am, I hope you like the Austin area. He was formal but extremely cordial and kind. I must add that all during the interview, my son was smiling at a cute girl sitting behind the VFO, and she was smiling and waving back. It made all of us smile, including the VFO. Finally, he said that we would get our visa in 3-5 days. We got it in 3. I was dressed in jeans and sweater. No tie. A blazer I wear to work, and that only because it was cold.

All the best,
Rwik

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srinijourn     04/05/2013 07:17 AM
 


First of all, thanks a lot folks keeping this forum a lively and useful one. I started preparing 2 months before and know all cases here in this forum :-).

OFC --------

I had OFC on Apr 4 at 1PM. It was a quick and all done in 15 mins.

Stamping ----------
My appointment was on Apr 5 12PM and we went in 30 mins before time as there was less crowded (since it is Friday i guess). I wore a blazer, tie and company ID card

Went to first counter who will arrange and rubber band the docs
Then to another counter for right-hand fingerprint check

Then moved to another building for DD/Check payment

At last moved to counter 17 for interview. Below are the questions from VO

VO : How are you
Me : Good

VO : What visa is this ?
Me : L1A Blanket

VO : Which company ?
Me : Replied (I'm from India's second top IT firm)

VO : What is your annual salary in lakhs
Me : XX, XX, XXX p.a

VO : what is your designation and what are going to do there?
Me: Senior Project Manager and explained about my roles and responsibilities

VO : How many onsite reports ?
Me : XX

VO : All of them are currently in US and in same place where you are going ?
Me : Yes

VO : whom do you report to
Me : Group Project Manager

VO : Is he there at the same place where you go ?
Me : Yes

To my wife and me - some personal questions
VO: How are long are you married (to my wife)
Wife : Replied

VO : How did you meet (to my wife)
Wife : Replied

VO : what is your wife's mom name (to me)
Me : Replied

He stamped all the I-129S and said "your visa is approved. You will get the passport in few days"

My 2 cents : L1A folks, pls invest in a blazer and tie. Also you need to have min 10 onsite reports and good experience with your current company and good US/Ind salary and your designation should be senior enough.

All the best !!!

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