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mobster6789     04/01/2013 03:29 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks for your sharing! I learnt a lot from these experiences.

I got one question when I was reading. When the VO asks "who is your client?" what does the client stand for? The employer in the US or the company's clients?


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Reehan     04/01/2013 01:11 AM

Hello all,

Why no one has posted any experience since march 24th? It's been more than a week!

How is the rejection rate any idea guys?


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bendouglas     03/24/2013 09:02 AM

Thank you again immihelp. I went for my L1B visa renewal yesterday (Mar 22).

Unlike last time, this time they asked me more questions. Following was my interview questions.

VO: Good Morning.
Me : Very Good Morning.
VO: Your passport please.
Me: I handed over my bunch of docs along with the passport.
VO : So, to which city you are travelling?
Me : xxx
VO : Who is your client?
Me : xxxx
VO : What is your Indian Salary?
Me : xxx
VO : What is your US Salary?
Me : Said my US Salary per month basis. She had a wow look at that. (In my mind, I thought I should have told the split up of Per diem and Allowance)
VO : So what do you do in your company?
Me : Explained that I am a tech Lead and will be working using my specialized knowledge with the Properietary tools.
VO : Awww, so you are a Tech Lead and what do you exactly do over there at US?
Me : Explained with a decent justifcation
VO : So, are you the only person in your company to have this specialized knowledge?
Me : Yes, absolutely.
VO : That doesn't sound right to me. May be you are not telling the truth to me.
Me : No, I am the only one to have this Specialized Knowledge in my company. And I have more than 6.5 years of experience with these proprietary tools.
VO : Not even in your team atleast?
Me : I have team members but either they don't have the necessary Specialized Knowledge or these many years of experience.
VO : That is great. Ok Sir, I am approving your visa.
Me : Thank you mam.

I almost thought she would reject the petition when she told me that I am not telling the truth. But I didn't showed that up while I am talking and I justified it by saying that I am the only one to have this Specialized Knowledge which is 100% true whatever mentioned in the docs. So I got it approved. Be confident and don't lose your hope in anyways. All the best for future applicants.

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njain     03/23/2013 08:42 AM

Heart filled thanks to all Members to post their experiences. They helped me in preparing mentally. It was a mental block, but glad that VO didn't grill me much and it ended well.

Went to the counter, greeted him Good Morning nicely with my wife and Baby.

VO: So you are working for xxxx company?
NJ: Yes.

VO: How long you have been working with them?
NJ: Answered xx months.

VO: So you will be going to xxxxx?
NJ: Yes, (added state name)

VO: What’s your current salary?
NJ: xxx Lacs per Annum

VO: US salary would be?
NJ: xx K per Annum. (VO verified the same in I129 Form)
Long Pause…

VO: You are good to go.
I had already been on L1 for 2+ years, and several times on B1 as well. May be that helped, Also my company is very well renowned and VO looked to be a regular customer of it :P

Well, all was not good before the interview. Here are my tips for case to case basis:

• If you are not taking DD, then Do not trust your Credit card. Take cash as backup as well.

My company asked me to pay the 500 USD fee by Credit card. Some previous employee had an issue with Either DD payable at or USD Exchange rate. In morning, I verified with my bank that I have enough cash balance in my CC. But to make things worse, their machine didn’t read the card. Hence I was asked to go out leaving my wife & baby, to get cash. Unfortunately, had only 1 debit card and No nearby ATM of that bank. Chennai autowala are worst for non-tamils (No Offence). I had to shell out lots of money, to get the Cash. Officer was kind enough to put me on priority list for interview.

• Do not hesitate, to ask for favors to consulate folks.

Since we had a 6 month old baby, I asked at consulate and OFC and did not have to wait long for my turn. You will be certainly be given preference to other folks in your time slots.

• Long B1 stay – did not matter in my case.

I have stayed for 12 weeks and 10 weeks on B1, but during last 2 years (not 2013). We had few rejection cases in 2012 End, but not in 2013 that I know of in my Company. So it’s not a total blocker. But yes, it is highly advisable to have a time gap between your long B1 trip and L1 interview.

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TJMax     03/22/2013 06:52 AM

I firstly wish to thank all the individuals who posted their experiences in this forum.

On the day of the interview, I was asked to pay the DD for Rs. 28,500 to a cashier at one counter and then was directed to another counter where there was no queue. The Indian guy sitting at the counter was short and stout and his job was to assemble the papers required for the interview.

My company had arranged three copies of the required documents with binder clips. Each copy had the I129S, I-797, BEP letter and org charts organized neatly for easy reference. The form I-797 blanket petition supplement had 33 pages as my company is one of the Fortune 500 firms with a presence over 100 countries.

This guy first asked me when I had gone to the OFC. I felt it was unnecessary as the DS-160 form I had submitted clearly mentioned that date but I still answered politely. He then took off all the binder clips from the bundle I had submitted and shuffled the papers haphazardly. He tore just the front page of I-797 petition along with the I-129S from the first set and stapled them with the DS-160. He then pushed the rest of the papers which were messed up expecting me to clear up his mess. He incoherently muttered about providing two more copies of my petition and then called over the person who was standing behind me. Before I could ask him what he wanted, he rudely waved his hand asking me to stand aside while he called over the next guy. Apart from this guy, there was no one in the queue for this counter.

I took the I-797 petition from the remaining two copies and waited patiently till this person was done with the guy standing at the window of the counter. I felt the VFS guy should have completed processing my documents before he called over the next guy. However, I still controlled my patience. After the guy behind me left the counter, I handed over the remaining two copies of my I-797 back to him. The VFS guy said I was wasting his time and asked for the I129. I had to look for these from the mess he had handed me a few minutes ago. His behaviour pissed me off and I wanted to give him my piece of my mind. However, with the interview still to go, I decided not to create a scene and left the counter. I also felt like giving this loser a tight slap.

First of all, this piece of cr$p sitting on the other side was not doing his job properly, expecting me to do his job and on top of that, taunting me for not doing HIS job properly. If he wanted just the first page of I-797 along with I129S from all three copies, he should have either mentioned that clearly or done it himself.

With this bitter experience, I left for the adjacent building and waited for my turn. The American visa officer was interviewing candidates in front of me in Tamil (yes, Tamil with an American accent and he was very fluent in it!)

My turn came and the questions asked were as follows.

(1) Which visa have you applied for?
(2) Which company do you work for? Who has filed this petition?
(3) What is your designation?
(4) Who do you report to?
(5) How many people do you manage (both direct and indirect)?

After that, he said my petition was not clearly approvable and that the L-1A visa was for only senior managers and executives. He also said that there were other ways I could go to the US and asked me to inform my company that it should file my petition in a different visa category.

I thanked him and left.

My background:
MBA degree from a reputed business school based in the US + 8 years of work experience of which 2 were in India.

The officer neither looked at the org chart nor the petition letter explaining my role in the US.

Good luck to all who will be appearing for this visa interview.

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coolvisa     03/21/2013 14:04 PM

Hi Friends,
First of all many thanks to folks who have shared their experiences which gives an insight and confidence to those who are appearing for the dreaded interview( touted as the most crappiest and most difficult interview in current times)

I have 5 years of management experience in both India and various other countries in Europe and US. But, still was anxious because of the sheer high % of rejections that were happening since past few quarters. Following is the interview snapshot that went on for 10 minutes( normally the interview times are between 2-3 minutes)

Me: Good Morning VO
VO: Good Morning
VO: Please give your document bundle
VO: Which client you are going for?
me : XXX
VO: Which state you are going to?
VO: What are you going to do over there? (This was a blunt question)
me: I will be going as Program Manager to manage the program suite comprising of X number of applications and will be responsible for program execution and program budget. etc etc
VO: How big is your team there?
me: 18 at onsite
VO: Can i have your ORG chart?
Me: I gave VO my org chart ( She spent 5 minutes holding that and then got up from her seat and went to a colleague's desk), came back and then spent 3-4 minutes again looking at org chart and typing something in the system.
VO: Are all these associates in your team at onsite?
me : I said yes
VO: Spent another 1 minute in typing something on the screen in front of her, my heart was beating at 200 beats per sec
me : After an agonizing 1 minute of silence and a marathon 10 min interview time, she pulled out a blue form 221g stating that " your case is not clearly approvable"

Conclusion : Based on my experience, i dont see a logical justification on why i was disapproved . Spoke to many other folks around 6-7 L1A aspirants, all got rejected without any clear justification.

Anyways, wanted to share my exp with you guys. Wish you all the best for your interview and be confident when you go there. Rest is all luck :)

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sethera     03/21/2013 09:19 AM

Thanks a lot for this forum.The inputs were very useful

I went to the consulate 45 minutes before the time slot and since there was very less queue,I was allowed inside.
I had my PAI on 20th March and this is what happened (atleast the critical part)
Just 30 seconds interview with 2 questions (more sort of a conversation)
Is this visa for L1-A individual? Me- yes
What will be your designation in the US? Me- XXXX as per I-129
Approved, please collect your passport in 2-3 days. Me- Have a good day :)

I was dressed formally suitable for Chennai weather (no tie,blazer).Be confident !!! All the best.

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sree247     03/21/2013 06:47 AM

Thanks a lot for this forum..it really helpful…
Today I had my L1B blanket PAI at chennai and my visa is approved
I went to Chennai consulate before 30mins to my appointment time and luckily there is no big queue..i was allowed directly and verified my documents, paid check and waiting in the queue for PAI. I token number came within 20mins.


Me: Good morning
VO: Good morning
VO: Which type of Visa you are applying for? (Blanket or Individual)
Me: Blanket
VO: Who is your petitioner?
VO: What is your total exp with petitioner?
Me: 6 years 2 months
VO: Why are you going to US?
VO: Asked again, what is your total exp with petitioner?
Me: 6 years 2 months
VO: What is the project?(asked twice as he could not able to understand)
VO: Who is your client?
VO: He asked a cross question, to understand what exactly am doing for proposed project
VO: Who is this intellectual property that you have knowledge on?(customer or employer)
VO: What is your Indian salary?

That’s all….Finally golden words “your Visa is approved”

I was dressed normally without blazer and tie..
Be confident and don’t fake anything….

All the best!!!

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tootifrooti     03/20/2013 23:18 PM

Appearance, appearance and appearance....no matter what people say about how its vain and blah blah, that's the only thing that talks for you, about you, way before you open your mouth. Please invest in yourself, groom yourself and buy nice clothes for the appointment. No matter what, when you dress the part, you start feeling the part and DEFINITELY ups your confidence which decides on how you talk to the VO.
Anyway, I spend 12K Rupees for my interview. Though I have closet full of clothes, i bought a new Pant, shirt, shoes, pantyhose, silver chain with a pearl pendant to go with my pearl studs/earrings and an expensive silk scarf (square scarf). I groomed myself (eye brows, waxing and basic face massage).
For the interview I wore the scarf under the collar and made a knot (youtube for the different styles and pick one that works for you). I wore pearl necklace (single strand) and a very simple silve bracelet and a silver watch. I had glasses with Tommy Hilfiger frames. So, my point is make yourself presentable and make others believe that are worthy a L1A.
Questions asked:
Q. Were you denied a visa?
A. Yes, XX visa was denied but that was long time back. (FYI, i was denied a dependent visa 10 yrs back. I told the truth).

All the procedures after you enter the consulate is regular stuff that VFS does. The VFS guy who verified my docs, BEP letter and DD etc took whatever he needed and threw back the rest of the papers. That really pissed me off. I looked into his eyes and asked him to arrange them and put the clip. He apologised and arranged my papers and gave it back. My point here is don't allow others to treat you like cr$p.

When my chance came, the VO took his own sweet time to type, donno what, in his system. During that time, I took out my org chart, project roadmap (for my program) etc. ready to show it to VO in case i get questions related to reportees or my projects.
Q. Do you have clients?
A. Yes, we do. We serve XXXXXXX (list of clients). We serve over 14,000 financial institutions.
Q. Will you be working at client location?
A. No, I'll will not be working at client location. I'll be working out of my employer location at XXX.
Q. Whats your Indian salary?
A. XXX lacs
Q. Whats your US salary?
A. XXX K dollars
Q. How many report to you in India?
A. 11 reportees. 5 direct and 6 indirect. (I had the org structure ready. I showed it to him).
Q. How many will report to in US?
A. 8. 3 direct and 5 indirect. (I showed the org chart. He took that and looked at it for sometime)
Q. Who will you be reporting to?
A. VP XXX (He looked at the chart again)

He typed something and stamped my docs and said it was approved.

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subarubo     03/20/2013 20:20 PM

Tanks to everyone who has shared a wealth of information.

My VISA was approved.. here are some additional notes thought would help everyione.,.,

Prior to travel question:
1. Do I need to return I94? ? I dint return it and on return back, it was collected during by immigration officer.
2. Do I need to exchange currency?
a. Use your credit card, but check on the transaction fee with your bank. There was no fee on my Amex, but VISA card there was transaction fee.
b. Taxi driver take US dollar, so no issues.
c. If at you need cash, with draw from ATM the charge is less compared to exchange rate 7 dollar fee.
3. How do I pay the 500 dollar fee?
a. Cash of 500 USD. (I had a confusion whether USD or Canadian Dollar)
4. Where to stay?
a. Hotels in Gatineau are comparatively cheaper and close by to embassy also.
5. What is Loomis?
a. It is part of DHL and you choose any one.
b. Choose the one close by the Embassy.
For VISA interview:
1. Dress code – There is no dress code. My take is to be formal.
2. Now the temperature should be fine, when I went it was snowing and had an early morning interview. It was cold and freezing. Did not have my jacket, please take them. Had a wait time of 5 minute outside.

Question was pretty standard plus I have almost 20 years of experience, direct employee in a leading company and have a pretty large team in US (20 members).
I never gave a single line answer except for the first question.
1. Do you work for XYZ?
2. What is your role?
3. Who is your client?
4. What do you do for the client?
5. What is your position?
He looked at me and said it is approved.
The day I went almost all the interview was success except for a person who had only work contract for 3 months. Good luck guys!!

What to do in three days?
I went to Niagara. Had friend and they gave me couple of options, you can explore it.
1. Take Via Rail (if you book early they have a web deal)
2. Take the greyhound (online price is cheaper)
3. Rent a vehicle.

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