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Got GC at Chennai- ()     11/18/2004 15:59 PM
 


Went to India 10 days before the interview.

Had an apointment at Lister labs, 1 week before the interview. (Fix up the appoinments beforehand coz they are busy). Didn't have the medical form but got it from the lab and filled out. After the tests, they asked us to come and collect it in the evening. I went at 5pm and there was a huge crowd. The guy calls names and gives the sealed report. Don't open it. The next day (had an appointment) went to the Doc. She looked into the report, did the medical and gave the signed report.

Got the photos at the Konica lab at Nungambakkam. They know the specs.

My interview was at 10:00am. Went there at 9:45am. Don't go earlier coz you need to stand outside. Bypassed all the crowd (that was waiting coz their interview was at a later time) and went in. An Indian officer calls you and looks into the docs mentioned in the site, sorts it and arranges it for the American officer. He asked me if I had a I-184 for my family even though mine was an E3. I didn't have that and told him the same. He said "Thats not a problem. Its ok". After waiting for sometime, the American officer called us. Before he called us he goes through the documents thoroughly. He just asked me where I lived in the US, worked and that was it. He took our finger prints and asked us to wait. I think they do a background check. After 20 min, he called us, told that everyhting was OK and that we would get the stamped passports through courier in 2-3 days. We got it the next day though.

The experience was good. Everybody was courteous. Also, I noticed that for a couple of people before me who missed some docs, the officer just told them to get the docs and come back or mail the docs directly. So, CP is good if your docs are good and you don't fall into the grey areas mentioned in this site.

The site has been very useful. Thanks a lot folks...

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RK- ()     11/10/2004 17:05 PM
 


Hi folks,
I'd like to thank this website for all the
detailed information posted here. It was extremely
useful.

Here are the details of my experience in mumbai...
--------------------------------
I reached india before i got the interview letter.
The letter is required for both the medical tests
and to enter the consulate for the final
interview. I picked up a duplicate from the
consulate itself. The information booth outside
the consulate issues the duplicate letter. its open from 9:00 am through 11:00 am. its best to go
around 10:30, else there's a huge line.

Medical tests at Lilavati :
---------------------------
The medical test was a breeze. There is a section
called VISA-something where the medical test
are carried out specifically for the GC.

The medical co-ordinator was a lady called Sylvia.
She was very polite and efficient. I reached there
around 8:30 am. You need your passport, interview
letter and 2 photo's.

By 10 am, the preliminary checkup,x-ray and other
tests were completed. There were about 20 other
people with me. we were asked to return in an hour
for the doctor to complete the remaining tests. the doctor showed up at around 11:00 am. she was
really polite and professional.

A cursory medical checkup followed by the
vaccinations and i was through in about 10
minutes. The reports were ready by 3:00 pm the
same day.

Interview at the consulate :
----------------------------
My interview was scheduled at 9:15 am. They do not
allow anybody into the consulate before the
scheduled time. Everybody (immigrant and
non-immigrant applicants) stand in the same line
outside. every 15 minutes or so a batch of people
are allowed inside. I finally got in at around
9:40 am. the guards outside are relatively rude.
but not as bad as what i was expecting. basically
the system is very haphazard.

Once inside the consulate everybody stands in a
"sorting queue" where depending on their case they
are asked to sit in front of certain booths.
Immigrant cases are handled at booths 9 through
12. There are no tokens/numbers for immigrant
cases, they simply call out your name. The PA
system is quite bad, you have to carefully listen
to whats going on. within about 15 minutes i was
called. First an indian goes through your papers.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the indian
guy was extremely polite and friendly. He simply
asked for the following documents one by one.
he did not even go through them.

1) DS-230 II
2) birth certificate
3) police certificate which i got from SFO.
4) notarized job offer
5) passport + photos
6) medical report from lilavati

thats it, no questions nothing. he asked me
to wait for the american officer. after about
another 20 minutes the american officer
called me to his booth (no 12). This interview
was also short and to the point. i raised my hand
and swore that all the info i was providing was
genuine.the american asked me my name, what
company i worked for. my salary. thats it.
i signed the document, the visa was issued.
I did not have to furnish any document.

note: i did not have to pay anything at the
consulate. i had taken a draft for the visa fee,
but i was not asked to pay for it. i'm not sure
why.

No tokens were given to me, i was simply asked
to report back at around 3:30 to pick up the
passport. i showed up at 3:00 and as usual there
was a line. all the immigrant folks were standing
in line to pick up their passports and packets.
At around 4:00, they started distributing the
passports/packets. You simply go to the
information counter (same place where i picked
up the duplicate interview letter) and tell them
your name, they gave you the passport and packet.
Its a little dangerous since they do not
double check the identity of the person
picking up the packet.

Overall i was impressed with the entire procedure
at mumbai and would recommend it to everybody who
qualifies.

best of luck.
RK

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pramod- ()     09/30/2004 16:53 PM
 


I would like to hear of any experience at the Delhi Consulate with AC_I140 or Consular processing.

Thanks

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SuaveFinesse- ()     09/12/2004 16:20 PM
 


My 485 has been plodding along very slowly at Nebraska and I wish to consider switching to Consular Processing at Mumbai. If anyone has switched half ways, please advise on timelines and experiences - thanks in advance.

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Merle Kannus- ()     08/17/2004 00:56 AM
 


I married a U.S. citizen in 2002. Getting my immigrant visa was really frustrating - just when I thought I had all the papers ready, and arrived at the Helsinki consulate for the interview, I learned that my husband's income is inadequte for him to be my sponsor. Yes, he did cross the poverty line with his last tax papers - but the official said they guessed he would not cross it next year (the poverty line had been raised from 11000 to 15000 in 2003). So it took another month to find a second sponsor, get his tax returns etc.
To reduce the burden I laid on this person, I took medical travel insurance from my home country, Estonia.

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Karthik- ()     08/11/2004 15:38 PM
 


My interview was in July 2004. This site was of great help in collecting the documents. The interview went well.
I just want to point out a few items.

- The call letter usually comes at the last minute. So keep checking the Chennai consulate website for IV appointments
- Do not send your final packet unless you have your PCC ready. PCC for Indian passports take 40 days and your appointment letter may come before that.
- The photos taken by me at the Konica lab opposite to Chola Sheraton mentioned in this website was not good( didn't meet specifications), the consular sent me back for a short interval to retake the pictures at another Konica lab opposite to the consulate. Please do check the photo requirements at the website and go to the proper place and save unnecessary problems. Please update this site and DO NOT RECOMMEND the lab opposite to chola sheraton.
- There were no questions on the employment letter
- Carry all documents specially H1Bs and other extensions or visas. The consular was very particular that me and my wife had the proper legal visas for the entire stay and that we were never out of status even for a day. Please carry all past documents like H1B receipts, visa stamping, old passports, EAD card, Advance parole , I-485 receipts from your spouse etc. I was on I-485 as my spouse applied for her adjustment here. It was not a problem, but I had to show the I-485 receipts and advance parole
- No need to take dependents if they are US citizens. But take their passports, pictures for proof of relationship, arrival immigration card which you receive at the airport for the children who are US citizens.
-If you have paid $335 per applicant for visa processing at the NYC, all you need is the courier fees. That's it
-Do not carry cosmetics , cell phones , ceiled covers, CDs etc as they are strictly not allowed and will delay your entry into the consulate. Just carry documents in a plastic cover or file, it will save you time.
- Please note there are restrooms inside the consulate.
-Organize your documents well. Primary applicant first, dependents next etc.
- The doctor
Good luck.

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RR- ()     08/11/2004 14:56 PM
 


We got our immigration visa at the chennai consulate. The process for fairly straight forward. This website has be a great help. I would like thank this site. Basically, the consular made sure that we had legal visa papers for our entire stay in US. He also requested a copy of the SSN. Also please be sure to take proper immigration pictures. Check the conslate website for details as they change very often.

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Ramkrish- ()     05/17/2004 05:31 AM
 


We successfully completed our CP interview in Chennai on this May, 2004. Since most of the folks have listed what documents to carry and what will happen on the day of interview, let me restrict myself to some pointers. I will also elaborate on my second trip to the consulate since I have not seen much information in that front.

1. They took all H1B documents and other work permits and were particular about all extension documents. In short they validated the legality of our stay there. (On the day of interview they rejected an applicant saying that she stayed in the US in out of status condition for 1 month)

2. The consular officer commented on my switch from B1 to H1B1 while in the US as “Not Good”!, but he did not press further (and I opted not to ARGUE!)

3. My passport was damaged. So the officer gave me a Blue Form, in which he wrote my name & “need new passport” and asked me to comeback on Tuesdays to Fridays at 8.00AM. He stamped my (and my wife’s) passport as document received, handed us the passports as well as the interview appointment letter (which was sent with the Packet 4) and off we went. (They did not give the documents back and our H1B1 was stamped as Cancelled without Prejudice)

4. Once I received my new passport in 15 days, we went back on a Friday at 8.00 AM. We showed the passport, Appt Letter and the Blue form to the security and he let us in.

5. A consular officer appeared and called for all applicants with Blue Form (there were quite a few!!). We formed a Queue and submitted the passport long with the Blue Form.

6. About an hour later, another consular officer appeared, called in random order and told us that your visa is through and will be sent in courier. He also gave us back our H1B1 papers.

7. For some folks, the officer asked for some more documents and sent them back. So it is not that the officers wont ask for some more documents during the second time. So it is advisable to carry all supporting documents.

Other Pointers

1. We were not asked to take the Oath.
2. Any US born children of the applicant need not be brought to the interview.
3. The Blue Form is Valid for 1 Year
4. One does not have to schedule another interview to go back. Also it is sufficient if the Primary alone goes to the interview in the second time. However, it is advisable to check with the consulate about not bringing the dependents

My best Wishes to all of you out there! There is a light at the End of the Tunnel!

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Krish- ()     02/25/2004 23:55 PM
 


I went for successful CP at chennai on Feb 18th. A couple of observations:

- There were some comments on this website that said that the salary on the labor petition has to be lesser or equal to the prevailing wage or the wage specified in the offer letter. My salary on the labor petition was higher than my prevailing wage or the wage on the offer letter. This aspect did not seem to matter

- My offer letter was not notarized and that did not seem to matter

- The security at the consulate is very tight. Do not take cell phones, water bottles, CD's or any bags. Just take all docs in plastic covers

- When I had called earlier they had said that courier charges could be paid in cash. But at the counter they said cash cannot be accepted

- The american official was fairly intimidating. But as long as the docs are accurate he cannot deny.

- I did not get the packet 4 since I had a US address. I downloaded the packet 4 forms from the chennai consulate web site and evidently they were obsolete and I was asked to refill a new form at the counter.

Best of Luck

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pepper300- ()     10/13/2003 07:51 AM
 


My last post reported my experience obtaining a green card based on EB-2. I wanted to create a specific post surrounding the issue of RCMP police certificates as this requirement could cause 5-7 months delays and may be unnecessary in some situations. This non-legal advice is based on applicants living in the United States on H1-B status from Canada.

Background:

If one has spent any amount of time in Canada, NVC requires an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) police certificate police certificate for each visa applicant aged 16 years or older. In Canada two types of police certificates exist: a non-finger print name check – and a fingerprint and name check.


Name check only - non-fingerprint based certificates:

The RCMP non-fingerprint check procedure is a simple procedure. One visits an RCMP detachment (ensure you call ahead as some detachments do not provide this service) provides the reason for the request (your NVC letter) a Canadian passport for identification and your last known address in Canada. One’s name is run through “CPIC” Canada’s national criminal database and if nothing appears you’re issued an RCMP certified police certificate. The procedure costs around 20 dollars (cash only) and takes about a half hour. One can usually find and RCMP detachment at a boarder town and you may find this link useful to locate the detachment nearest you:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/index-eng.htm

Make sure you call ahead to the detachment you plan on visiting, confirm if hey offer this service and what the office hours are. Remember that only the RCMP can issue police certificates in Canada, therefore do not bother visiting local or provincial police, as they cannot help you.


Fingerprint based certificates:

The Second type of Canadian police certificate is an RCMP fingerprint based police check where one’s prints are rolled at a local police department and sent to the RCMP Civil Fingerprint Screening Services (CFSS) of Canada for identification. One can find information of this from the following link:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/crimrec/finger_e.htm

A common understanding should be that this is THE single source in Canada for fingerprint checks and that no other RCMP detachment in Canada or private company can issue a police report based on fingerprints. This is very different compared to the United States where one can walk into any police department and if you can prove that you have an address in the area receive a finger print check within days or even hours.

The problem with obtaining a fingerprint certificates in Canada?

One office, serving the entire country of Canada located in one of the most bureaucratic government cities in North America can cause ? : yes you guessed - huge delays : ) CFSS reports that the checks can take up to 150 days, however based on the reports from others, the average time to process a fingerprint application at CFSS can be more like 5- 6 or even 7 months !

A 6-month delay on top of the long process of applying for a green card can be discouraging, especially when the delay is coming from your own country !

Package three requirements:

Regarding the RCMP police certificate the question most people have in the package three is which certificate does one submit - the fingerprint or the non-fingerprint based ?

NVC’s rule states that if one is a resident of Canada they simply have to visit the nearest RCMP detachment and obtain a certificate that way. In other words they do not have to do finger printing and wait 5-6 months. I’m not an attorney but one has to read this rule carefully as I’ve seen countless people on H1-B proceed with finger printing when this seems to be completely unnecessary.


Read the rule carefully – the key word is “resident” :

An H1-B visa provides absolutely zero residency status in the United States and is a visiting visa based on specific employment. If one has a valid Canadian passport and a former known address in Canada one is still technically a resident of Canada. Revenue Canada certainly considers this true, as even Canadians on H1-B in the United States must technically file income taxes unless they declare that they do not plan on returning. Therefore applicants on H1-B that have lived in Canada exclusively may submit the non-fingerprint certificates.

My wife and I drove to Ontario specifically to have this done. It meant taking a day off work but it was worth it not to delay things 5-7 months. The RCMP office we visited knew the drill and had seen many other folks that day doing the same thing. When we re-entered the US we told the customs person why we had visited Canada and he knew based on our H1-B stamps the reason we had made the long trek - no hastles from him regarding our trip to Canada..


So why do people still proceed with the 5-6 month fingerprint based certificates submitted thought CFSS in Ottawa?

The answer appears to be based on prior posts pointing to NVC being tougher on naturalized Canadians and those that have lived in other countries before Canada. Fingerprinting may prudent in this situation. Other reasons:

1.) Does the last known address on the DS-230 match the police RCMP police certificate? if not fingerprinting may be necessary.

2.) I’ve seen at least one other post of a CP applicant on H1-B born in Canada who was told by her attorney to proceed with a fingerprint based certificate. Perhaps her attorney did not read the NVC rules carefully considering her case –or- is not up to speed on new the NVC procedures that review and approve ALL supporting documentation before the CP interview. Therefore the risk of submitting a non-finger certificate is worth it as the danger of one being turned down at CP for the wrong police certificate virtually eliminated. I know this to be true as I submitted the wrong type of birth certificate and NVC mailed me 2 weeks after package 3 was submitted requesting a long form certificate. I did and my application preceded – certainly a failsafe for CP – as I was not turned away in Montreal.


Can private companies can help?

If you must do FP’ing - as I mentioned previously, only the RCMP CFSS can conduct finger printing -however- I did run across a company in Ottawa that claims to streamline the process and hand deliver applications to the RCMP.

http://www.policecheck.com/services.html

In my personal opinion this service offers little value to those that are living in the United States and require fingerprint certificates. Private services cannot speed the application process in Canada and this site seems to act simply as a middleman. Personally I would visit the RCMP site and follow the instructions + Fedex the application rather that going this route. Moreover I feel that the site unnecessarily directs people into fingerprinting when it is not required ! be warned.

** Off topic - regarding birth certificates - I can recommend a private company to speed up birth certificate applications in the province of Ontario. The department of vital statistic in Ontario is in chaos and those requiring requiring a long form birth record may have to wait up to three to six weeks by mail (expedited !) The average waiting period in other provinces is 48 hours by mail (expedited) The following company can help out:

http://www.ontariobusinesscentral.ca/forms/certificates.asp

Will assign a personal courier to wait in line at the only office in Ontario that does same day processing of records. The line for this office in Toronto extends around the block and our courier began his morning at 6:00 AM. We found this service to be amazing, especially as via his cell phone our courier called us and put a clerk on the line who could not find my wife’s birth record. It turned out that the clerk was spelling her name incorrectly : ) !!!! A delay by mail that would have cost us weeks. The total cost was about 80 dollars – well worth it.


Overall, I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone.

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