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Amitabh Shah- ()     04/09/2001 11:24 AM
 


Case Details:
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You can find it in older threads on the CP discussion board.

Medicals:
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I did my medicals at Lilavati. Had called them from US and taken appointment. "Rocky", the program manager at Lilavati, rocks!! We (me and my spouse) reached Lilavati OPD at 8:00 AM. Were asked to wait till 8:15 AM. Filled out a form asking medical history. It's a straight forward questionaire which helps them judge what to administer and what not. The last question was on whether you had suffered from Chicken Pox, etc. We answered yes to this question and hence did not have to take that vaccine. No proof was asked. We had to take two vaccines - MMR & Tetanus. If you produce proof that you had taken MMR within the past 10 years than you don't have to take it. We did Chest Xrays, then Blood Test, then Vaccines & lastly Physical Examination. Everything was routine with a few minutes wait between each. We were out by 11:00 AM. Went back between 4:00 & 4:30 PM to pick up the reports. You get 2 sealed envelopes each - one with the Xray and the other (which is more important) with the reports. Everything was normal for us. Please keep a buffer of few days between medicals and interview in case additional tests are recommended. Rocky Coelho, the program administrator at Lilavati is very professional and courteous, a rarity. Highly recommend Lilavati.

Interview:
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Appointment was at 9:30 AM. Reached Mumbai Consulate at 9:10 AM. Showed appointment letter to the security guards. Were asked to stand in the line that was to go into the consulate within 5 minutes. Were not allowed to go in directly. The guards think they are gift of god to mankind. Avoid confrontation and ignore them as long as you are not losing time. Went in at 9:20 AM. Paid application fees - one draft each for self and spouse - at the fees counter. Then collected reciept and waited in front of window numbers 10, 11 & 12. All three of these windows were processing IV cases - family based as well as employment based. Had to wait till around 11:00 AM. Called on window 12 for submitting forms and documents. Was greeted by a courteous young indian officer. First he asked for my (primary applicant) OF230PartI, OF230PartII, Copy of Birth certificate, Copy of Marriage certificate, Original (Notarized) Employment Letter. No degree certificates or educational records asked. Same for my wife, except that in her case he asked for the Original I-134 Affidavit of Support instead of the Employment Letter. My wife's Birth Certificate was in Gujrati, so we submitted copies of notarized translation into English. Surprisingly, no originals were asked or verified for either one of us. No other documents were asked. The only question asked was who my employer was. That's it, no other questions. Both of us were asked to change our addresses from US ones to the Indian one in OF230PartI. Then we were asked to sign it. I was asked to sign another paper which stated that I will come to US and work for my sponsor and notify them of any changes, etc. I submitted printed versions of the fillable forms from this site. Had hand-filled the forms received in Pkt 4 just in case.., but they were not asked for. The person chatted with us all the time in a friendly manner. He told us that our H1Bs will be cancelled since we will be getting our IVs. This was pleasantly surprising because we expected the interviewer (an american officer) to say this. This whole process took around 7 to 8 minutes. Then we were asked to wait for the interview. We were called to window number 9 for the interview at around 11:25 or so after a wait of 15 minutes. There were two officers at this window, an american lady officer and an indian (assisting) officer. The american lady asked us to raise our hands and take oath. Then she made us sign the OF230PartIIs. I saw her cancel our H1Bs with the Cancelled Without Prejudice stamp. The only question she asked us was where we lived in the US. We answered and she told us that we were granted IVs and that we should go and pay the issuance fee. We then paid one draft each for the issuance fee. Carefully retain the application fee and issuance fee receipts. We were called at 3:00 PM to collect out IVs. We got them at 4:30 PM.

There was a spelling mistake in my wife's name and so we had to go back the next day at 7:45 AM to counter number 9 for correction. For an hour or so in the morning, this counter seems to be functioning as the corrections counter. We submitted my wife's IV and were asked to collect it at 3:00 PM. They asked for an additional photo since the IV approval notice had to be recreated entirely. We got the corrected IV at 3:30 PM that afternoon. Highly recommend keeping a couple of days buffer after the interview day for any travel.

Documents Carried:
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Everything recommneded in the CP section of this site.
Even though we weren't asked for any documents, I highly recommend carrying everything just in case...

POE:
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POE was Newark. Stood in the Permanent Residents line. Had filled only the Customs form. No I-94 required. INS officer asked which company I worked for and for how long. Then he asked if I had any proof of my present employment. I told him that I had the H1B stamp in my passport, H1B approval notice, Paystubs, Company Letter. He didn't see anything. Just punched in something in the computer and asked us to go to the Secondary Inspections room. We were escorted by another assisting officer who took our passports, IV packet & customs form. We were asked to wait. Then after about 10 minutes or so an INS officer came in and spent a few minutes on our IV packet. He then called me to sign the I-551 form and took Index finger print on the form. Same for my wife. He confirmed whether the address on my IV was correct for sending the Green Cards. No questions or photos asked. He stamped our passports with the temporary 1 year validity Green Card stamp with Alien numbers on it. He told us that our cards would arrive in 8 to 9 months. He also informed us that the temporary stamp was as good as the permanent stamp and can be used for travel.
The whole process took about 20 to 25 minutes. We then calimed our baggage and cleared customs and entered US as Lawful Permanent Residents. What a feeling!!

I recommend CP if your case is clear without any complications and have all your paperwork in order.

I WISH TO PUT ON RECORD MY APPRECIATION FOR "IMMIHELP" FOR RUNNING SUCH A WONDERFUL SITE AND DICUSSION BOARDS, WITHOUT WHOM I WOULD NOT HAVE GOT THE CONFIDENCE TO GO DOWN THE CONSULAR PROCESSING PATH (I MEAN IT)!!

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