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jini2020     04/06/2020 17:35 PM

Hi, I have an appointment scheduled for visa stamping in Canada and I have a couple of questions.

1. Do I need to get a separate appointment for biometrics like we do in India? Or are they taken on the same day?

2. Do I have to take photos with me or will I be photographed at the center?

Thanks, in advance, for your inputs.

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CanPR2020     03/30/2020 23:22 PM

H4 to F1 (Border Crossing).
Visa interview date: 19 Feb 2020 (Wednesday).
Appoint time: 7:45 AM.
Place: Toronto, Canada.
Be prepared to go early for your interview even though you live/stay close by the US consulate. If you are new to the place, go the US consulate where you are going to attend the visa interview a day prior and check how far it’s from your place and roam around the neighborhood. Get familiar with the area. Look for some stores where you can take printout close by. These will help you during the emergency. Ask one of your family member or friend to accompany you on the interview day. They have mentioned 15 minutes early to the appointment is enough but it is my suggestion to be at least 30 minutes early to the appointment. I reached the US consulate well before my appointment time. There wasn’t much crowd, I believe because of the winter season. There were only 5 to 6 people before me in the line outside the US consulate.
Step 1: Passport check
My turn came; the security checked my passport and asked whether I have any weapons or mobile phone or any prohibited items with me. I answered no. He asked me to proceed to the security check. I went inside the US consulate. Check the list of items which you cannot carry with you inside the US consulate. https://ca.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/calgary/security-procedures/?_ga=2.14595511.1638103991.1582306085-1730199926.1582121600
Step 2: Security check
The security officer will ask you to take off your winter gear and place it in the scanning machine. They will provide you with a tray to keep all your documents and belongs for scanning. Make sure you empty all your pockets before you move to full body scan.
Step 3: Passport and DS160 confirmation check
Before you join the queue for next process, they will check your passport and DS160 confirmation page and stick a sticker in the back of your passport and ask you to join the line.
Step 4: I20, SEVIS Validation and Photo scanning
This is where the line for the first counter starts. My turn arrived; the person in the first counter asked for my I20 and SEVIS for validation. They validated my I20 and SEVIS I-901 Payment receipt in their system and asked for my photo. They scanned my photo and then asked to join the next counter queue. If you could upload your photo successfully while submitting your DS160 application, no need to carry a photo.
Step 5: 10 printing
I moved to the next counter queue, first, she asked my I20 and SEVIS I-901 Payment receipt. Then, the person in the counter asked me to place my right hand 4 fingers (except thumb) in the fingerprint scanner/reader. Then, asked to place left hand 4 fingers (except thumb) in the fingerprint scanner/reader. At last, asked to place 2 thumbs together. Make sure you give enough pressure while placing your fingers. Meanwhile, she placed my i20 and SEVIS in a folder and asked to proceed to the interview queue.
Step 6: Visa Interview
The real pressure starts here. Stay cool and take it easy. Be confident. Let’s put the smile on that face. Keep a natural smile on your face which will give them a pleasant look; it’s just my suggestion. The first impression is important. There were three counters, 1 and 2 with male officers and the third one with the female officer. My turn came, I was sent to counter number 2. The officer looked so cool and the below is the conversation with the visa officer.
Me: Good Morning officer!
VO: Good Morning, How are you doing?
Me: I’m fine. Thank you. How about yourself?
VO: Good. Thanks. Can I have the folder? (I20 and SEVIS I-901 Payment receipt)
Me: Sure. Here you go.
VO: Looked into my I20 and asked, is this your first F1 or F1 renewal?
Me: This is my first F1 visa.
VO: Okay. Have you already started to take this course?
Me: Yes sir.
VO: When did you start taking this course?
Me: Oct 2018.
VO: How much course do you got left out?
Me: I’m in my 4th semester and I do have one more semester left out.
VO: You do have a valid H4 visa till you complete your course and why do you want an F1 visa?
Me: My spouse’s H1B 6 year’s validity is expiring and has to return to my home country. I would like to complete my course successfully and walk the graduation ceremony stage. I’m so excited about it.
VO: Good. Where does your spouse work?
Me: *** and the client is ***.
VO: Who is sponsoring your education?
Me: My spouse. We do have enough funds in our bank account sir. That’s one good reason I wanted to complete my master’s degree successfully and payback.
VO: Good. What’s your capstone project?
Me: I do have an ITM capstone course next semester. I’m yet to decide.
VO: Okay. You are yet to decide on that. What’s your plan after your master’s degree?
Me: I would like to return to Canada and look for an opportunity that best suits my specialization in my master’s degree.
VO: When did you come to Canada?
Me: I received my COPR in DEC 2019 and first landed on Jan 2020.
VO: So you are a permanent resident of Canada?
Me: Yes sir.
VO: Do you work here in Canada?
Me: No sir. I wanted to complete my master’s degree successfully, which will open new doors for my career. There are a lot of opportunities in Canada and many companies are coming forward to invest in Canada.
VO: *** Here come the magic words *** your visa is approved.
Me: Thank you so much.
VO: This is a little different than how you enter into the US with your H4 visa. This time is your change of status. While entering into the US, make sure you carry your I20 and SEVIS with you. Good luck.
Me: Sure. Thank you. Have a great day!
I came out of the US consulate. Started to head back to my place and thanked God, spouse, parents, friends and all the well-wishers. It hardly took less than half-hour since I entered the US consulate, complete all the process and head out.
19 Feb 2020 (Wednesday) – Visa interview is done.
20 Feb 2020 (Thursday) – Checked the status of my DS-160 application and the status changed to Issued. https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx
21 Feb 2020 (Friday) – Morning around 08:30 received an email with the tracking number for my passport shipment in which it mentioned, it’ll take up to 1 business day to track the package since we receive this email.
24 Feb 2020 (Monday) – Morning around 11:20 received an email stating passport is ready for pickup.

Hope this helps. Stay positive! Stay strong! Good luck to everyone.

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Visprocess1     03/28/2020 13:12 PM

I had my interview on 3rd March. The counselor issued a green 221g with no documents to submit. Just said need more time for admin processing. It’s over three weeks now and I have not heard anything. No email, no update in the case status check online portal. I was wondering if anyone during the same or similar timeframe is in the same situation? I would appreciate if anyone has any of their experience to share.
Thanks all!

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h1b2015     03/24/2020 16:54 PM

I had my H4 Visa appointment in Vancouver on 03/03/2020 @07:45 AM. Drove from Seattle the day before and stayed in an Airbnb.

On 03/03/2020 (Tuesday) (Reached 15mins early)
(not very crowded, may be coz of the early morning slot)

-Security check
-Documents (spouses i797, passport and photo) verified
-Finger Prints
Waited for 20 mins for the interview

Greeted and handed over the Passport.

VO (lady) : Is it H4 renewal?
Me: No, first time.

VO: How long are you married?
Me:Its been 2 years

VO: What is your status?
Me: H1B

VO: Do you no longer wish to work?
Me: No

Asked my spouse i797 document and passport copy, I handed over the original i797 and passport copy.

VO: I see that your husband got stamped in Sept, 2017, why did you not get stamped at that time?
Me: I was not married to him at that point, and I was on my own status, F1-OPT then.

VO: What is your residence address?
Me: Answered

VO: When did you come to Vancouver?
Me: Yesterday

VO: Where is your spouse now?
Me: In Vancouver

VO put a white paper in front of me. (221g)

VO: Since it's a conversion of status, we need to further verify. Can i keep your passport and your spouse i797?
Me: Yes.

03/04/2020 (Wed): Admin Processing
03/05/2020 (Thu): Admin Processing
03/06/2020 (Fri) : Issued (around 12ish)
Waited for the tracking number on Friday. But, did not receive.
Sat & Sun --> PO close
So, had to wait until Monday.
03/09/2020 (Mon): Received a mail to pick up around 11.45 AM.
We drove back to Seattle the same day.

Tip: Be prepared for an extra 2 or 3 days of stay.

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h1bstamptoronto     03/21/2020 23:16 PM

This was my first experience for stamping in Toronto. I had a stamp 3 years ago in my home country.

Was trying to get the date for 3 months. Something opened up a week before 3/13. Took that date and drove to Toronto on 3/12 from DE. At the Canada border told the officer I was here for visa stamping in US Consulate.

3/13 Got in line for 30 mins before for an 8:15 am appointment.

VO: Where do you work?
Me: Company Name.

VO: What do you do?
Me: Job responsibilities short description

VO: Did you do your Masters in US?
Me: Yes! Uni name and Major

VO: Typed something for 45 seconds and said “you are done sir”. Took the passport and returned the I-797.
Me: Thanks you!

I assumed the visa is approved as he did not give me any slip. Left the building.

Online my visa status changed to “Administrative Processing”. On 3/16 at 11 am it changed to issues. On 3/17 I collected the passport from 26 Hale Rd, Brampton ON Canada Post location. I think the passport reaches all the locations at the same time, doesn't matter what you pick. Make sure your ID has the same address what you have in the application. Mine was different so I had to show a bank statement with the current address.

On my drive back at the US border, I was asked to park the car and get my I-94 updated and get an entry stamp on my passport at the DHS office next door. The Officer from the booth took my passport and walked me in the building. He gave me a white slip which had my car license plate number and the word “Document Control” circled on it.

He asked me to go to 2nd floor and take a seat. Another officer called my last name. At the window he asked few question. In particular he wanted to know when do I plan to go back to my home country. I said when my visa expires. He stamped the passport and said I am good to go. I was lucky to get back in time before the US/Canada border was closed due to corona virus.

Thanks to the people in this forum my trip was very smooth and informed. I knew what to expect. I hope more people post their experience so it is beneficial to everyone.

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Calgary-H1B     03/20/2020 19:21 PM


Does anyone had a status change from refused to administrative processing?

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Unknown us     03/19/2020 16:05 PM

I had my H1 stamping on 3/13 at the Vancouver location.
3/16 administrative processing
3/17 Visa issued

Its been 3 days there is no change in the status, have not received any update on passport pick up.

Is anyone else facing the same issue?

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toronto221freakingG     03/19/2020 14:29 PM


Toronto Feb 13 interview> 221G yellow for chemical engineering probably
19 March> email to submit passport for visa issuance
19 March> submitted

lets see...

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marsh     03/19/2020 02:29 AM

This was my second H1b stamping, and first one outside of India.

Pre Interview:

Drove to Canada (first visit ever) from Seattle on Thur 3/12, stayed at an airbnb. Standard questions asked at Canada border. Interview was next morning at 8:15.

Interview Day:

Reached at 7:45 in the building. Parked opposite the consulate at Bentall center parking center ($15). Outside the consulate building. they do a quick document check. Things to carry: documents folder, keys, phone, wallet. Phone/wallet will need to stored with the security. DO NOT CARRY - bag packs or pretty much any other item, people had to scramble outside the premises to store bags and such. Next you go to the 2nd floor - security, documents scanning, finger printing and bathroom (use it here if needed, no option after this). The Visa Officers are all on the 20th floor. There were 2 VOs working that day, had 11 windows in total. 5 people ahead of me, I believe all were approved. I was asked standard questions, which was not a surprise since I work in big-tech and have MS from a top-50 school. I could hear one candidate who had a vendor/client type situation, and his interview was slightly longer than others. It too was approved.

VO: Which company?
VO: What do you do for them? (I explained in 2-3 sentences, he didn't ask for more)
VO: Salary?
VO: University?
VO: Approved. You will get your passport in 3-5 business days.
Left the building at 9 am.

Post Interview:

Fri 3/13 11 am status "Administrative Processing" (standard message what others have described)
Mon 3/16 9 am "Issued" on CEAC portal
Tue 3/17 10 am: Got tracking number in email
Wed 3/18 9:30 am: Got "Ready for pickup" email. Picked it up from Canada Post (2405 Pine St).

Drove back immediately to Seattle since the US Canada border was announced to be shut down due to the corona virus. Thankfully border was still open, no lines, and only 2-3 basic questions asked at Immigration.

Thanks to all the posts here that gave me a lot of valuable info. Hope my experience info helps others!

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newenglandindian     03/18/2020 09:56 AM

Those planning to travel to Canada for stamping how would you manage this out?

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