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User- ()     07/01/2001 02:01 AM
 


I want to thank you for your web site information about consular processing. I had a visa interview in Guangzhou, China recently, and the whole process is very smooth, except for the unpleasant medical exam experience at The Health Care Center of Guangdong International Travel. My wife had her exam at The Health Care Center of Guangdong International Travel and I had my exam at the first hospital of Guanzhou medical university. The staff at The Health Care Center of Guangdong International Travel is very rude, and the whole place is very crowded. The cost for the exam at The Health Care Center of Guangdong International Travel is much more expensive than the cost at the first hospital of Guangzhou medical university, plus the so called fast processing at The Health Care Center of Guangdong International Travel is even slower than the normal cost at the first hospital of Guangzhou medical university. Anyway, I strongly recommend people go to the first hospital of Guangzhou medical university for the exam.

The consular interview was very easy and short. She just asked a couple of questions, such as where I graduated from at US, and how I met my wife.

My wife and I entered the port at New York (JFK), and the officials are very nice, no any questions at all. He just told us that it takes about 4 to 6 months to get the official Green Card.

Again, your information is very helpful. I would like to thank you sincerely, and hope my information is helpful for others.

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


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

Medicals:
---------
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:
----------
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:
------------------
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:
----
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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GCIND- ()     12/04/2000 16:36 PM
 


Completed CP At Mumbai

Hello all Potential Immigrants this site has been very informative from my I140 stage onwards and I will miss the hourly visits here, however, let me share my CP interview details that I completed last week by the grace of God. It was a simple process, I was extremely happy with the consulate staff and my attorney.

Pre Interview Preparation:
Did medical at Lilavati Hospital, very good people (1 day)
Took photos at My own studio (2 days)
Made 2 bank draft for me and my wife, 1 for processing and the other for visa issuance, Grindlays Bank (1 hour)

Pre Interview:
Reached the consulate an hour before the interview time
Went inside and paid the processing fees at counter 13, then was asked to be seated in front of counter 10 (Waiting time about 1 ½ hrs).
        At the counter submitted all the documents in the following sequence
1. Passport (Old and New)
2. Photos
3. Packet IV
4. Birth Certificate
5. Marriage Certificate
6. Employment Letter
For my wife all the documents and additional I-134 within packet IV
The document checker returned my old passport and took the rest of the documents and asked us to wait to be called for an interview.

Interview:
Went into the booth, and was asked to raise our right hand to take the oath
Questions asked:
1. What do you work as?
2. Where do you work?
3. Name of you manager?
4. How many employees? He was a little taken by shock because the company has less than 8 employees.
5. Why did the company apply for your immigrant visa so quick? That question came up because he was looking at my new passport that had a new visa (extension) from May/2000. Therefore I showed him the old passport to prove that I am working for the same company for the past 31/2 years.
No additional documents were asked, other than the one submitted to the document collector.

P.O.E.:
POE was NYC, went to the non immigrant queue, submitted my documents and they asked me to go to the immigration room. There they took my fingerprints and stamped my passport with a 551 stamp.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have I will try to answer them all. One suggestion be calm and confident and don’t try to hide anything from the officer. Good luck to all future immigrants.

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happycp- ()     09/13/2000 20:18 PM
 


Hi,

When I was waiting for CP, I got benefited a lot by the messages posted here. I thought I will return the favor by posting my experience here. I have tried to capture all things I have remembered. Sorry, I will not have time to answer specific questions.

Here is our experience during the green card process at Chennai.

Case Details:

EB2 Category, Country of birth India, Country of citizenship Singapore
Labor Cert Application : Apr 23, 1998
I-140 Filed on: Mar 30, 1999
I-140 Approval Date : April 1st, 2000
Packet 3 Sent to Chennai: June 15th, 2000
Interview Date: August 23, 2000

The interview date was announced on Chennai web site around July 18th. The actual letter from embassy informing us about the appointment reached us in US on August 2nd. We called up Surima Medical from USA and fixed an appointment for August 9th morning. They asked us if we have appointment letter.

Medical Checkup
-----------------------

Went to Surima medical at 9 AM. The whole process took about 2.5 hours. The shots that we had taken US were considered invalid by the doctor (Suresh rao). So we had to take the shots again. My wife got a lady doctor to do the physical check up. X-Rays were taken as well. It takes 3 working days for the report to come. We asked our uncle in Madras to collect them and returned to Bangalore. The total cost for I and my wife was Rs. 7200.

Immigration Interview
-----------------------------

Went there by 7.30 AM even though our appointment was at 8 AM. Since we had appointment letter, there is no need to wait in line. The security guards there act very smart. Initially they refused to allow us in because we had Singapore passport. When we reminded him again about our appointment letter where embassy had invited us, security guys could not say much. Then one of them moved on to our baby's diaper bag. He said we can not carry the diaper bag inside. He said we can keep the bag with tea shop fellow nearby. When we repeatedly explained why a baby would need diapers and milk for the 4 hours we stay there, he finally relented and let us in with the diaper bag.

Do not carry any bags at all. Put all your documents in plastic covers (One that you get in india when you buy sarees for example). They do not seem to have any problem with such plastic covers.
Many other guards along the way will see your appointment letter and passport and finally direct you to sit inside the office. All immigration visa seekers were asked to sit on the left most column in a 3 column of chairs. The final lady who did security check asked me to switch on my organizer and off just to make sure. It was about 7.50 when sat there in the office.

At 8.30 AM, folks were called to submit the documents one by one. An Indian guy collects the documents. As long as you have all docs mentioned in their letter you are OK. He asks you to pay the immigration visa fee at counter 1. He also gives you a token number. This token number will decide how soon will you get out of the embassy that morning. The guy was real nice. He even asked my wife go back immediately after signing because she was carrying the baby.

At 9.30 AM, all the names are called and people are collected and taken outside the building. We all wait for about 10 minutes. A white lady shows up, briefly explains the procedure and asks us to take a oath that all things that we say are true.

At 10 AM, people are called one by one in random order. We were called at 11.00 AM. Another Indian lady asked more questions about our papers. The company name change was an issue and she asked me to show some documentation about the name change.

At 12 AM, folks are called based on token number and advised to pay issuance fee. We were asked to come back in the afternoon to collect the passports. The job was done!

While you are waiting in the room, you can see some drinks, food, water etc. but there is no body to vend them to you. The only lady vendor they have is busy serving non immigrant folks outside the building. So if you need any thing, you must go outside the building (still inside the consulate premise) and get the food. They charge Rs 15 for water. Rs 30 for coke etc.

At 4 PM, enter the embassy through same security gate as in the morning. In our case, we were made to wait till 5.05 PM. It is not necessary for all in the family to go. Only one is sufficient. Make sure to take your receipt for visa issuance fee. They give your passports back with your non immigrant visa cancelled. They also give you sealed brown envelope that you are supposed to take with you to US immigration.

Arrival in USA
--------------------

Come through "New Immigrants" line. There will be hardly anybody in that line. They take your brown envelope, open it up, take your thumb print. They also take your passport somewhere else to do some checks. Finally, they will put a 551 stamp on your passport which is valid for 1 year. The guy was very nice to us. He said that real green card will arrive in 2 to 3 months. He also asked us to visit social security department. He asked us how long the whole process took us and told that Consular processing is really the way to go and tell my friends to do the same as that is much faster.

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rockstar123- ()     08/26/2000 10:03 AM
 


I had a successful interview yesterday [AUG25] in Mumbai. Needless to say that immihelp has done an extremely good job in providing info on CP. Here's my suggestions/comments based on my experience:

1. Hinduja needed a photograph [per person] and a photocopy of first few pages of the passport for the medical exams.
2. If you wear a prescription lens and if you are planning to take photo from US, have your photo done without glasses. There is a photographer inside the consulate across from the interview windows. Just have your photographs taken there as he charges 150 RS for 5 photo and there is no line for it.
3. You can carry a [big] plastic bag to carry your files, just don't carry an obvious hand bag.
4. If you have a child(s), it is better to have someone take care of him/her/them as it is quite boring for a child to wait in the consulate. I had mine with me and it was not a great problem as security guards there were entertaining him!
5. Mine was an SII case. If yours is like mine, make sure you carry a letter by current company stating that it has taken over your X-company. My X-company's one portion went to my current company and the other portion went to another company.
6. Carry atleast 2 copies of everything as the consulate likes to see and keep photocopies and not the originals.

My interview time was 9:30 AM. I was at the consulate at 8:50 AM, got inside by 9:00, was asked to pay visa fee at window 13 or 14, did that and waited in the waiting area till 12:30 PM [when my name was called for submitting papers]! They call your name randomly. Since one has to wait atleast 2 hours, i suggested earlier to get the photos done inside the consule. I submitted my papers to an indian guy [very nice guy]. He saw my 230 form and asked 'so you work for "x" company?' I said 'actaully i work for "y" company'. He asked 'oh so X is owned by Y?' I said 'ya'. He asked me if I had anything which mentions that and I presented him the SII letter from my current company. He asked my get new photos from the photographer across. He was smiley and very friendly. He then asked me to wait until my name is called for the interview. In 10 minutes, i was called. It was over before I knew and I asked the consul [vice consul @ mumbai], so am I done? she said yes! She was straight forward and nice. I was out by 1:05 PM.

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Murali- ()     07/17/2000 15:20 PM
 


I had a successfull interview in the Mumbai consulate. As every body else mentioned it was a breeze. Let me describe the details.

Hotel:

We stayed in Royal Castle in August kranti marg. It was Rs1500 room. I will recommend this room to anybody who has a kid. Reason being it is much more spacious than any other room in the hotel and gives lot of space for the kids to move around. There are three other types for 1200/900/600. The 1200 is little smaller and the the 900/600 are unlivable. They are very small compared to what we got used to in US. The hotel staff is very curteous. TIPS of 10/20 Rs in a day keeps them pretty happy. There are two staff who are almost there all the time Pandey-ji and Bablu. Both of them are very helpful and soft spoken. Day time usually Mr Tiwari is there along with the owner Mr Deepak. Deepak has visited US and talks well and guides you. Mr Tiwari has a smile on his face all the time.

Donot expect (like me & my wife) that the hotel will be in a nice place and will have porch etc. This hotel is on busy street (40feet wide) and has lots and lots of traffic with jams now and then. This hotel is on the first floor. Inside the hotel it is clean but the streets are dirtier than I thought. By the way any other hotel and streets other than a 3/4/5 star hotels are similar.

There are two restaurents. Hotel Shiv sagar towards Kemps Corner(2 minutes) is decent and lot of crowd at night. Another one east down hill towards the grant road station is Hotel Krishna on the circle. Both of them are Pure veg managed by Karnataka Udupi guys. Their sambhar and chutney with idly vada is very delicious.

It is advisable to take taxi if you are travelling to VT/Churchgate (bus nu 122). It will cost you between 30-40 bucks. If you are travellig north then train is faster and better. Do not travel in train between 8-10 am towards vt/church gate and 5-7.30 pm towards borivali/andheri/kalyan as these are peak hours for commuters.
Medicals:

I did my medicals in Hinduja. I think people coming for CP are unnecessarily worried and come to India 4-5 days in advance(like I did) I think it is not needed. If you are doing medicals in Hinduja then you need only one day. It takes 2.30 hrs in the morning and 2 hrs in the afternoon(worst case). You have to be there at 7.00 am and fill out the registeration form (new patient). You have to pay 1400 for adults and 800 for kids. Then go to the first floor and wait for your name to be called. The reception will guide you to the wing you need to go to. They will very carefully fill out the paperwork (they do not want to screw up the docs, so be patient). The nurse will then draw some blood. The attender will take you to the next building for chest X-ray. Here also you might have to wait. After the X-ray you are all set to go. They will tell you the time to return for physical, usually it will be after 1.30pm. Come back and sit comfortably till your name is called. Doctor will do a formal physical which will take 10 minutes and then you are all set to collect the reports. IT IS ALL DONE BY 4.30 PM same day. I will advise every body to go to Hinduja, so save the precious VACATION time.

By the way one has to report to the OPD which is on the east side of the road. think the west side is for in patient. This check up is "executive health check" and I did not see any 'executive'ness in this.
it took Rs70 and 1/2 hr from Royal castle. Hotel Shobha (take a left at east building gate and left again near the petrol bunk, walk 10 minutes) is also a nice place in Mahim for breakfast and lunch on the day of your medical. Again this is veg and Udupi guy's.
Interview:

We reached there at 8.00 am. PLEASE DONOT goto RAJ Pavalion. Go straight to gate 15 minutes before the interview and inform them your interview time and MENTION that you are there for IMMIGRANT VISA. The day I went there were 600-700 NIV guy's and it was a crazy rush. People from Raj pavalion were flowing in till 1.30pm.

You have to pay the apps fee $260 per application. I talked to cashier and he told me that we can get $$ DD from US PAYABLE in US (NOT India). This is for people who do not have time in India before the IV interview. Getting DD is not difficult. The forign banks charge a lot, try to get from National banks, there are plenty of them nearby.

There were three people collecting the documents One young guy(very smart and polite) and two ladies one old and one young (pretty). The young guy called me and took my packet 4. He returned 230-II and 9003 prepared by attorney. They need the one they sent us. We hand filled it before we left US. He DID NOT look at any of my originals. Out of curiousity I asked him and he said " what we need is I-797 and the papers your lawyer sent. They are complete and by looking at you I can make out every thing is OK". That was a surprise to my wife as we had spent quite some time checking and cross checking whether we have all the documents in place. He takes the $260 cash receipt. To give an example how simple EB cases are, it was taking 20-30 minutes for family based cases and it took me 5 minutes to submit my documents. I do not know whether every body's experience is same as mine. I was the only EB case on 3rd July.

After 1/2 hr my name was called. A young white guy was there are the counter with smiling young Indian lady. He asked us to raise our right hand and then we took the oath. He asked whether my second son is American, to which I said yes. He asked me
1. Which company do I work for
2. What do I do there (I wonder whether he understood what I said I do). I guess it is just a formality.

Then he said "OK", the lady started filling the blue slip. He asked to pay the money turned and walked away. THAT's IT. I was through.

It took me 2 hrs to pay the fees due to the heavy NIV rush that day.

I came back at 4.30 to collect the IV and the security said I was late. I was supposed be there at 3.00pm. He gave me a shock when he said IV officers are gone. Then he went inside and came back and took me inside. The same documents guy was there and gave me the IV's.

I have tried to explain as much as possible. If anyone of you have any questions please feel free to ask me.

All the best to the guys/gals waiting for IV interview. DO NOT get tensed. If your case is clean then no problems at all.

Murali

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Ravi Gupta- ()     07/08/2000 16:38 PM
 


Applied for CP through Mumbai and entered through Washington Dulles International Airport. (March 4)

Received the cards for myself and my wife last week. Both didn't come together. Second one came 4-5 days after first one.

Good luck to all.

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