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H1B issuance at London Embassy

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  • H1B issuance at London Embassy

    Just a quick update on the H1 visa issuance process experience at the London Embassy.

    I've had various visa's over the past few years and of all the visits to the London Embassy for a new visa, this was by far the quickest and the smoothest.

    I booked the appointment and paid the visa issuance fee back in late March and was able to pick the day I wanted the appointment at the embassy since I was calling about one month in advance.
    The fact that you can download the application documents online and you don't need to mess around finding a Barclay's Bank branch to prepay the issuance fee before the appointment is much simpler and easier. Now all you do is pay the fees online using a credit card, print out the email confirmation and fill out the 156 and 157 forms together with a photograph.

    My appointment was for 10am and I was out of the embassy by 12 noon which is somewhat of a record based on previous experiences. We waited outside until about 10:30/10:45 and after going through the airport style security scanner, we entered the embassy. Once inside, the first call came in about 5-10 minutes to hand in the completed paperwork and passport and my visa interview came about 20-30 minutes after that. When we entered the embassy, they'd already processed the majority of the 9:00 and 9:30am appiontments so there were only a handful of people in the waiting area.

    After the very brief interview, I waited another 10-15 minutes to organise the return mailing of the passport and was out much sooner than I expected. The appointment was on Monday and my passport showed up with the new visa on Wednesday morning.

    All I can say is well done to the USCIS and US Embassy in London for streamlining the issuance process so well. A very pleasant experience.