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Xkuger
06-18-2010, 02:03 PM
Chennai GC Interview Experience ( IR5 ).

Our Appt was scheduled at the Chennai US consulate 8:00 am on 06/11/2010
I arrived at the Chennai consulate at approx 7:30 a.m. on a rainy morning to a line that was 50 people long and quickly getting longer.

Even though the security guard (guard gate at the end of the line) said everyone has to join the half mile long line I said sorry I wasn’t going too especially in the rain.. so I asked my mother to wait and approached the Officer who has checking interview letters and informed him that I was the sponsor who was going to accompany my mother into the interview and that my mother is 68 years old and will not be able to stand in the ½ mile lone line in the rain.

The officer said please call your mother and come directly to me and you don’t have to join the line, when I walked up one of the guards was trying to stop me and said please clarify with the officer, who concurred with what I said and I got in to the line right there.

My interview letter was checked and we proceeded to enter the consulate, here as they were doing metal detector as well as body checks I had to have my mother join the ladies line with the letter when I was in the men’s line with my US passport. The security guy said ‘ONLY INTERVIEW PERSONEL’ I said please clarify with the officer and who concurred with what I said and I was allowed in.

As soon as I got in the security guy began to shake down my large mountain of documents on by ones as though I had stuff hidden between the sheets, it took him 15+ minutes, by which time my mother had already entered the consulate.

The Metal detector guy said “WHATS THAT A CELL PHONE” its not allowed. I explained to him it was an insulin pump that I should wear at all times, he again had to walk out and get clarification from the officer that this was an approved device.

On entering the consulate I was blindly directed to join the line on my left and go to counter X (don’t remember the number), my mother was waiting for me and she joined me.. After about 10 minutes when I got to the counter the lady said “ OH you have to go to the other building as yours is a “IMMIGRANT CASE” “Who send you here” to which I said the lady managing the line,

Anyway I was asked to walk to the end on my right walk along a corridor where there was a water fountain and cross over in a rain and climb few steps to a couple of heavy doors that seemed blast proof and I had to give it all my strength to open.

As soon as I entered I saw a set of chairs on my left and counters on my right. I was going to sit on the last chair when a lady said. Sir, please come here so I walked up with my mother and she said what you are here for to which I said for an “IR5 – Interview for my mother”. She said please give me the letter… she read the letter and handed it into the counter #4 I think (not sure about the number) and asked us to sit on right. After few minutes I noticed that all Immigrant interview candidates where asked to sit on the right and all other interview cases on the left.

The lines on the left were constantly in motion, mostly where H1, F1 & business visas. They were mostly paying the difference in fees as well as had to go to get pictures as the pictures were not correct... some were even give passed to go out and get additional docs before 1:00 PM.

Finally around 8:30 we were called my last name by a later that began reviewing my GC documents, she first asked for my most recent W2 & Tax filing for 2009. Then she asked for my birth certificate for which I said that all I had was a non availability with two affidavits, she said “Oh we do not accept those” to which I said... 10 years ago I got my green card at the same consulate with the same letter from the municipality and affidavits. She said do you have any other document that shows you and your mother relationship such as “Old Indian Passport”, “School Leaving certificate”, “OIC”.

I told her sorry none, I have my OCI as the hotel room and if you need it I can get it for you, my old Indian passports are in the US. To this she said it’s not necessary I just asked so that I can attach as secondary proof to your birth certificate.

She then asked me to write my mothers name in native alphabet on the DS230 form. I said sorry my second language is French in school & collage so I will get my mother to come and write it. She also asked my mother to sign the DS230 form that was it the document verification was complete and she asked us to return to our seat.

After about another half hour we were called as asked to go the counter C (don’t remember the number) for finger printing. After the prints were done we were asked to return to or original seat and wait.

At this time I noticed that one of the immigrant visa applicant was about to leave thinking he was done… the lady explained that he still had a final interview with American officer.

At around 9:30 am an officer showed up and I saw him start to review the first case which was my mothers, I was sitting on the first row and recognized her picture when he flipped the pages... he spent about 10 minutes going thru all the pages then called us by last name.

So I approached the counter and said

Me - Good Morning office this is my mother and I am the sponsored and this is my mother, she does not speak English so I am here with her.
Officer – Good morning how are you doing?
Office – I speak little tamil – “Amma Vanakam, Nalla illikinga la”
My mother – Vanakkam – ”Nalla irrikanga”
Me – That is very good ‘ Your tamil is good”
Office – I am working on it.
Office – When did you come to India ?
Me- This Tuesday via the Continetal direct from Newark
Officer – I will they had some direct to “Chennai”
Officer – I see you got married in New York
Me – Yes, at St. Marys
Officer – Did you wife come too
Me – No, we are expecting a baby so she cannot travel right now.
Office – Congrats..
Me – Thank you.
Officer – I see that you wife is Hispanic do you speak Spanish
Me – No I am still learning.
Officer – Remember to teach your child Spanish.
Officer – My wife is Hispanic and I speak English to my children and my wife speaks only Spanish to my children, to by bilingual in a US so important now a days.

Officer – OK here is how we will do the interview, first I will ask you some questions and your mother can sit, then I will call your mother and ask her some questions after that I will call and speak to you and we will conclude the interview.

Next I asked my mother to go back and sit down.

Officer – Where do you work?
Me – I work for Xxx and consulate at client Xxxx.
Officer – Oh you work for this Xxxx Bank.
Me – Yes I was an employee for 7 years and left.
Officer – How did you get you GC?
Me – Employee sponsored.
Office – How did you first go to the US – Student?
Me – No I went on a H1.
Officer – Did you see your mother’s medical report?
Me – yes
Officer – how many children
Me – Me and my 2 sisters
Officer – Have you sponsored any of your sisters?
Me – No, My one sister has already an EU citizen and lives in Country Xxxx
My other sister lives here in India and is not interested in immigrate.
Officer – They said you should check something out..
Me – yes my doctor is aware I have detailed report/analysis do you want to see it.
Officer – You have a small family and make a lot of money and have no issue but I was just suggesting that you take look as such medical procedures as they are cheaper to take care in India.
Me – Our family physician has advised Xxxx and that’s what we propose to do now.
Officer – returned all the originals that were collected...



Officer - Ok Mr. Xxxx you can now sit down and please call you mother.


My mother’s interview:-

Officer & Tamil translator – Please raise you right had and swear that everything that you have mentioned here is true and that you are telling the truth.
My mother – Yes, I swear.
Officer & Tamil translator – Are you Mrs. Xxxxxx
My mother – Yes
Officer & Tamil translator – have you been to the US before
My mother – Yes
Officer & Tamil translator – Do you remember how long?
My Mother – About 4 months.
Officer & Tamil translator – When did you son first go to the US
My Mother – I do not remember
Officer & Tamil translator – That is fine.
Officer & Tamil translator – When did your son last come to India
My Mother – This Tuesday
Officer & Tamil translator – When did he last come to India
My Mother – Last year
Officer & Tamil translator – how often does you son call you from the US
My Mother – Everyday
Officer & Tamil translator – Looks like he is a very good son and loves you a lot
My Mother – Yes
Officer & Tamil translator – Oh you will enjoy living with Him, I am granting you the VISA “Welcome to United Stated”
My Mother – Thank you.

Then the Officer called me

Officer – Mr. Xxxxx we are done I have granted you mother the Visa, you should have it in the next 3 to 4 days.
Me – Thank you officer have a nice day.
Office – Bye you have a good one too.

I was not given nothing the lady clarified all I needed was a VFS receipt to collect the passport & Packet.

I was done and walked out of the consulate by 09:50 Am approx 2 hrs in total.

The VFS site is horrendous and was not giving any status and threw a system error whenever I check status… however when I got to the VFS office at 4:00 PM they claimed that it was updated since 1:00 PM and I collected the passport and check everything
Sorry for the Long Post but I made it as informative as possible as some of you may benefit from the details

sooner88
06-18-2010, 02:14 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience!

tray
06-24-2010, 11:04 AM
Congrats!
Just wondering how long did it take before your mother got to the interview from the time you submitted application?:)

kalpesh131
06-26-2010, 08:49 AM
Congratulations! I have a query. If visa granted, can I collect the passport/visa the same day as the visa interview day? Can you give me some guidance on what are the things I should take care when I collect the passport? Is interview office different from VFS office from where passport can be collected?

Thanks much,
-Kalpesh

Xkuger
06-28-2010, 12:16 PM
Answer 1: No currently you cannot collect the passport / VISA documents the same day. You can collect the next business day between 4-5 PM at the designated VFS office.

Answer 2: Yes the Interview is at the US consulate and the VFS Office is at another location.

To collect from VFS here is what is required.

1. Firstly if you are not in a rush to travel let the passport reach you at home.

However if you want to collect it..

2. Check online on the VFS Website using the passport number that the passport has been handed over to VFS ( In my case the VFS site was down and continously throwing an error - In that case just showup and check).
If you miss the following day/time, it will be couriered to you by Blue Dart. so stay on the ball on this.

3. Documents need to collect if you are not the VISA recipient.

3.a. A letter of authorization indicating you are authorized to collect ( mention name and ID the person will providing)
3.b. Original VFS receipt that was given when you paid the fees.
3.c. Do not take cellphone / large bags as they will not allow it inside.

Check VFS Global / Chennai in google and you should be able to get all the information regarding their location/ hrs of operation/ entry requirments etc.

Xkuger
06-28-2010, 12:19 PM
Response to Tray: In my case the whole process was 18+ months because my mother did drag her feet about supplying papers.

we were delayed at every step of the way due to want of documents such as original birth certificate, police clearence etc, etc.

I would say that if you had all your documents prepared and ready to go... it should take 8 to 10 months or a year at max.

joji_ninan
07-06-2010, 11:41 AM
Your descriptive post was very helpful for me. Thank you for sharing this with us.

My parents got DS-230 approved yesterday (7/5/2010). When can I expect the Chennai US consulate interview?

In your case after the case completion from US NVC, how many months did you wait to hear from Chennai?

Since I already submit DS230 part 1 and 2. Should I give it to the Chennai consulate again? Or they may ask this along with supporting document again?

What other papers do we have to take to US Chennai consulate?

Thank you for you help in advance.
------

Xkuger
07-07-2010, 10:29 AM
Actually the Chennai Consulate letter only arrived approx 15 days before the Interview. However the Packet 4 was sent by NVC was send almost immediately / next month if I can remember.

I would say 2 months at max. I recieved the letter via E-mail and quickly scheduled a medical appointment. Do remember to Avoid Dr. Rama Narasiman at Apollo. I have just completed drafting strong letters to NVC & consulate about her unecessary questioning and un professionalism.

Here is my opinion.

1. Take 1 copy of all documents you have filed including Affadavit of support etc ( If you have saved electronic copies).
2. Take all Approval that you recieved from Immigration.
3. Also copies of communication from NVC.
4. Copies/ records of Fees paid ( You will not have to pay anything more)
5. All originals of those that you send attested copies such as marriage cert, birth cert etc.
6. Extra copies of Photograph (just in case they lost yours)
7. Photocopies of Passport.
8. If you parents have visited the US before ( have exact dates they left the US i.e. less that 6 months, they will ask how long they stayed)
9. If you plan to attend the interview drop a note to the consulate that you are planning to attend and they will respond, you can.. so take a copy of their response -- will avoid any riff raff at the entry point.
10. US passport if you plan to accompany you parents into consulate.

In my case somehow they asked if I had any secondary document that showed my relationship to my mother such as old expired Indian passport / School certificate, which I did not have.

I told then I had used the same letter from the registrar of birth & death from the Municipality when I got my GC 10+ years ago at the same consulate and the person said fine.

Just another note.... DO NOT STAND IN THE LONG LINE, just approach the Consulate guy/lady checking documents and say you have an Immigration appointment & your parents cannot stand in the long line. You will be able to join right before the entry ( I had to do this as it was raining and my mother is 68 and could not endure long lines)

Best of luck.

tray
07-08-2010, 11:50 AM
If the entire process takes about 8 to 10 months or so...it is not so terribly bad. I am just about to start - me as a intending immigrant. I've had GC and I lived in US without leaving any more than 2 weeks at a times for 25 years untill 2007. I left US only 3 times during those 25 years. I went through a divorce and continued to live there to raise my sons with no financial support from my EX.

Since 2007, I am in UK and my sons, who are American citizens by birth live in US. Obviously I am trying to get back to the States so I live close to my sons. I consulted several lawyers and they all told me that I lost the permanent resident status. I have an appointment with a lawyer who specializes in US immigration law in London next week. However, the petitioners are in the US and I am in UK (I am Japanese nationality), I am wondering if it will be better to have lawyer in the US rather UK...?

When times comes for the interview, do I need to be acompanied by my son?
Is that a requirement?

Thanking you in advance.

Xkuger
07-09-2010, 10:46 AM
Any time you are outside the US for an extended period of time i.e. 6 months you may loose the ability to get back in and maybe refused entry.

You can apply for an extended stay outside for 2 years but on or before the the end of that period you should return.

In your case both 1 & 2 are aged out so you have in effect lost your GC.

I guess you have 2 choices.

1. Have your sons file a GC for you as a parent ( Should be less than 1 year to get one)
2. See if there is anyway that you can try to revive your Old GC ( A lawyer would help and give you the options/ possibility).


In either of these case your sons do not have to be present. if you choose option 1 and you son sponsors you GC, when it gets approved the file will be send to UK an and interview will be scheduled at the US consulate in London, as you son is the sponsorer he can attend the final interview with you.

If you choose option #2 then I do not think your sons add any valure or are in anyway helping your case by being present.

About Lawers -- Option 1 is strait forward and does not require an Attorney, you can can file the papers and move the process foward till the interview.

Option #2 I am not sure if your case will be Adjuricated in the US / US consulate in London. If in London then get an Attorney there, if you then its better to get on here.

There are few very good Immigration attorneys (Google it) which National reputation in the US and I suggest you use them as your's is not a cookie cutter case.

sampar
07-22-2010, 05:25 AM
We just got Police Clearance Cert from the Passport Office for my mom and it is stamped on her Passport. However NVC wants all original documents and obviously we can't mail her original passport to NVC. Would they accept only a photocopy of the PCC stamping (from the passport) in lieu of sending the original passport? Do we need to get it notarized?

tray
07-28-2010, 12:33 PM
:) Xkuger, thank you for your response to my question.
I am seeking to have one of my kids to petition for me.

Could you tell me...at what point did you send YOUR and/or your mother's photoes? I was looking at I-130 form and it says to send G325 and photoes of beneficiary and the petitioner if filling for a spouse. So I guess photoes of me or my son are not neccessary when sending I130 initially.