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vijayrajp     09/17/2019 17:33 PM

This forum has been of immense help to me in preparing for my Visa interview, so it is only fair that I share my experience at the Ottawa consulate for L1A Blanket interview, for the benefit of everyone else inline.

Background: Already on L1A for 5 years; Instead of extension, applied for a fresh L1A Blanket

Interview Date: Sep 11, 2019, 0745 AM
Interview Date booked: July 2019

Arrived at 0715, gates opened at 0730. DS160 verified at the gate before entry. Usual security screening and was asked to go to Counter 1.

Counter 1: Document Verification, Fee payment; 2 sets of document requested along with PP, returned in a pouch.

Counter 4: Biometrics

Interview Counter: Expected to open by 0830, but was open by 0800. 5-10 minutes, 8-10 questions, Was told Approved and would get PP in 3-4 working days

Subject Matter: Are you with 'XYZ' employer, How long have you been with them, What is your role, Do you manage people directly, How many.
To Spouse: Are you working in US, do you plan to.
To Kids: Name and did I pronounce them correctly. Which grade.
Rhetorical: Where are you from (place in US), How do you find weather in Chicago and Ottawa, What places would you like to see in Canada.

Note of Caution:
1. Early morning appointments gets done faster. Mine was third and was in and out before 0900. Was told later ones went longer.
2. Hotel reservations. Quebec hotels would show up in search and would be deceptively named as Ottawa. Ottawa Embassy is on the border of Ontario and Quebec, just a bridge away. Quebec has NOT yet approved Rideshare companies (Lyft and Uber) and would have to rely on Taxis. Families with kids needing child seat beware, Taxi companies do not offer them. I rebooked myself into a Ottawa hotel just to make sure my 6 and 11 year olds can make it for appointment without worrying about child seat logistics.
3. Status didnt change on the website for Wednesday and Thursday, but received email on Thursday evening that the PP were going to be dispatched. Friday morning 10, received email confirming PPs available for pickup. Collect it from Ottawa B Post office in downtown.
4. I drove from Chicago with a 4 member family, crossed over in Detroit-Windsor tunnel, rode along to Ottawa, with stops in Niagara and Toronto. Return, was asked NOT to take Detroit CBP post, so crossed over through Rainbow Bridge in Niagara. Expect to get out of car and wait in the CBP building where you would be called by Agent to review PP/Visa and issue your Paper i94. Payment required which can also be done online prior.

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Orion540     09/17/2019 14:46 PM

I have my H1B visa interview scheduled at the Vancouver consulate next week. This is my 2nd visa interview in Canada. I am curious to know if anyone had an experience where the VO asked for documents other than client letter/I-129/LCA/I-797? I typically carry my whole life history (W2, pay stubs, education certifications, complete H1 visa application, experience letters etc), but am wondering if it will be okay to not carry all of these. I worry about losing the documents while traveling. Any advise is very much appreciated.

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ashu11     09/17/2019 10:24 AM

i have interview scheduled on Oct - 7th.. Is Montreal safe? also anyone going around this date?

also, originally planned for Ottawa so filled DS160 for Ottawa. Do i need to change for Montreal?


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acexx     09/16/2019 22:42 PM

Hi I am planing to go to canada vancouver for stamping. once stamping is done how many days it takes for passport processing and collection. just an estimate so i can book hotel/airbnb. Also if anyone having stamping around oct 15 with families let me know we can connect.

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acexx     09/16/2019 01:59 AM

Hi is it easy driving from Seattle to Vancouver by road? Did anyone do that?

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priyeshwadhwa     09/15/2019 07:21 AM

I am planning to go to Canada for COS from L1 to H1b. This is my first time getting H1b.

I have read it can be denied if most of the education is done in India.

I have my masters from India, and have been working in US for last 4 years.

Does anybody have any experience.

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mjtf     09/14/2019 08:43 AM

Hi everyone!

I have rescheduled my visa appointment in Vancouver twice now (original appointment, then two reschedules). Do you know what's the limit of reschedules? I'm trying to get earlier dates but don't know if I can anymore since I have rescheduled twice already. The reschedule button still appears though. I googled it and answers weren't consistent.


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randomstranger     09/13/2019 15:40 PM

H1B stamping in Calgary, Canada

I found this forum quite useful in gathering data, and now its my time to contribute back.

My spouse and I went to India for our first H1B stamping (changing status from F1) and this was our second H1B term for which we chose Canada.

When I first tried to book an appointment in Canada (in mid-Aug), I found dates available only for Feb 2020 or later. I then called the US consulate in Canada and they asked me to select ‘No’ for the following question, since we were Canadian PRs - this allowed us to get dates much earlier.

“Are you traveling from another country to apply for a US Visa in Canada?”

According to the help (?) section by this question, it says only Canadian citizens should select ‘No’ for the above question, but I checked with the consulate and they confirmed that PRs can choose this option as well.

Appointment date: 12-Sep, 8AM
Appointment location: Calgary, Canada

We stayed near downtown and hence, walked to the consulate with no cellphones, backpack or any other electronics. The security allowed us inside after checking our appointment confirmation. We were asked to share our Passports, PR cards and I797s. One of the ladies verified them real quick, bundled our passports and PR cards, and gave it back to us.

Next, we went through security. We were asked to remove our jackets for screening but they allowed us to keep it right after. We accidentally carried one of our smart watches and they took it to retain in a locker along with one of our IDs (US driver’s license) - and asked us to collect it back from security after the appointment.

Thereafter, they took us to a different floor where we had 3 counters. First counter again verified all our documents and said our photo seemed old (although the photo was taken less than 6 months ago). She stuck a yellow circular sticker to both our passports and gave us a slip that said “Admin Processing - Photo”. She asked us not to worry and submit a new photo before 12 noon the same day or mail it later. We were worried as we had planned for a return flight back to US a week later.

Second counter, took our fingerprints and asked basic questions - did we ever change our names, etc.

Third counter, was the place where the final call was made. They asked us which companies we worked for (both me and my souse work for the same company but different entities. Popular tech company in Bay Area). We were both asked the following questions -
1. What is your role?
2. How long have you worked here?
3. Can you briefly explain what your duties are?

The officer said our visa was approved, and asked us to submit our photos for them to process.

We came back to the lobby and asked the security guard if there were photographers nearby. Thankfully he pointed us to a store right next door. She took our photos in less than 10 minutes and we came back to submit the form they had given us, along with our pictures (Form: Admin Processing - Photo). We were asked to write our full names with DOBs behind the picture. We also collected our Driver's license and smart watch from the locker.

Since we had a morning appointment (8AM), we were able to go to the photographer next door by 9:50 AM and submitted our docs right after.

Status on the day of appointment (12-Sep): Administrative Processing
Status on 13-Sep, 12 noon: Issued

All the best to others seeking US visa!

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yellowf     09/13/2019 15:02 PM

Hello all,

Can anyone help me how I can schedule an appointment for biometrics? I am in Dallas, TX and cant figure out how to schedule one. I walked into my local ASC and they said they have stopped taking walkins
i called Canadian embassy in LA and NY but they cant help me schedule anything
I called the USCIS ASC and they couldnt help either

Please help!!!!!

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yellowf     09/13/2019 03:08 AM

hello everyone
please let me know if there is any available slot for h1b interview anywhere in Canada. I need something late Sept to Oct. Thanks!

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