This is going to be a long post but I'm hoping to answer some questions I personally had before the interview and some others that I saw on this forum.
Originally had the appointment scheduled for April 21st (Biometrics) and 22nd (Interview). On the morning of the 21st I received an email that all visa appointments were canceled starting April 22nd. I was extremely disappointed since I had already flown into Chennai and had waited months for the previous Presidential Ban to end. I went for the Biometrics appointment anyway and completed that.
Looked for appointments in the few days and was able to get an appointment for May 25th. However, that also got cancelled eventually. Rescheduled again for August. Since then I've been checking the website at least 1-2 times a day to see if any earlier appointments open up. Got lucky last week and saw an appointment for July 12th morning. Booked the appointment and immediately emailed my employer and attorney to prepare an NIE support letter.
At the Appointment:
My appointment was at 9.30 and I probably got there are 9.20. The 9.30 line had already started forming but we eventually still waited for approximately 45min/1 hr before going in. As everyone else has mentioned here there is no point getting there early. There are tons of student interviews happening and the lines are really long. Unfortunately until you get inside there is no separate line for other visa categories, though I did see security pulling out families and sending them directly in.
Once you are inside, the the staff member will ask L1 applicants to sort their documents in the order 3 sets of I129, I797 and your passport and staple them. You will then be sent to the next building for payment of Fraud detection fee and the interview. In the next building, you will be sent to window 32 for fee payment. Once that is complete, another staff member will either ask you to wait for the next available window. Again, most of the interviews happening around were student. I wanted to avoid listening to other interviews but it's almost impossible. There were two L1B blanket interviews just before me and they both were approved.
VO: Good morning
Me: Good morning
VO: So you are here for a L1A blanket interview
VO: What will be your pay
Me: 1XX,000 + Bonus + Stock Options
VO: How many years have you worked with your employer
Me: Close to 7 yrs
VO: How many years have you worked in the US
Me: 6 years (I was previously on H1) (I was also on F1+ F1 OPT before that but the VO did not ask anything about that)
VO: So essentially you've been in India for about 1.5 years now
VO: What will be your title?
Me: Director of XYZ (This was a really long title specific to my group in the company and the VO was confused)
VO: Sorry, can you say that again
Me: Repeated slowly. Said it is similar to Director of ABC
VO: Why do you need to be in the US?
Me: I need to work with my clients for XYZ reasons (not an end client relationship) and also lead a team that is all based in the US
VO: How many direct reports do you have
Me: 4, and their titles
VO: Any indirect reports?
VO: When do you plan to travel
Me: End of the month (I did not have any tickets booked). At this point I felt he the visa officer was about to approve my application if he was asking about my travel dates
VO: Were you born in India
VO: Do you work with data that cannot be accessed outside of US
Me: No, while I do work with some PII data I'm not restricted from accessing it outside of the US
After this the VO took a what seemed like a long time to type something. I thought that the last question would make the VO deny my visa or NIE.
After a min, the VO said your visa is approved and handed me 2 stamped copies of the I129.
I told him that I had a support letter from my organization for NIE. He said that he already applied for my NIE but the decision wasn't his. But he was fairly confident given my application that it would be approved.
I just got my passport today through BlueDart (less than 48 hours after my interview) with the Stamped visa and it has an annotation : 'NIE under all PPS for novel Coronavirus'. There was also a slip that mentioned the NIE is valid for 12 months and allows multiple entries.
In the view of travel restrictions, has anyone tried to take National Interest Exception on L1? if yes, can you please share your experience? what is the process? How should we prepare for NIE? what happens if NIE denied?
My wife had a L1 visa appointment scheduled for August 9 in Vancouver. She was planning to travel to Canada (from India) this weekend but we just went back into the visa appointment portal and the appointment was gone. She didnt even receive an email. We called the Vancouver embassy this morning and they said they've cancelled all regular appointments for August.
We are so lost and dont know what to do.
Has anyone had a similar experience and know of any options we might have?
I need the experts thoughts here . My 7 years Max out date is next month (including out of US dates ) , however my passport is struck with the Canada embassy and not sure if i will receive it by then .
So can i extend the US stay to 15 to 20 days until my passport is back from Canada embassy
My i94 and Visa is valid until next year , as i got converted from L1b to L1a and they have provided 5 year Visa again , therefore its even crossing 7 years total term .
What options i have
should i apply for extension ? I-539 , or i can afford to say upto 60 days or so .
Any other solution ?
thanks again folks ! and good luck to your Visa and Immigration, whatever you are doing :-)
Need help,I have L1 visa and I am planning to travel in August but my husband is yet to get his L2 visa and since embassy is closed it does not look like he will get his visa stamped by August.
He has B1/B2 visa,can he travel on B1/B2 visa with me and from USA can he apply for L2 hoping embassies will be open there.
Please suggest the feasibility and procedure to get this conversion of Visa in USA.
Hi all - first I would like to thank this forum. I used it quite a lot to prepare for my interview.
So now I come back with my experience. hope it would be helpful to you
My original appt was postponed for 2 days by the embassy back in May, without a reason give. In hindsight it was probably due to the Biden visit to Brussels
Brussels embassy Jun 2021. Appt at 9:30 - my description will be quite long since I couldn't find many posts about the brussels embassy
Arrived at the embassy gate around 9:12 and was asked if I have laptop with me (seems to not be allowed). I was asked to wait for a few minutes and they waved me in around 9:15 after checking my passport to match my name on the schedule. mobile phone is allowed. I personally brought a small hand bag for headphone, wallet, and keys, also a large envelope for all my documents. the security looked into my hand bag and my envelope to do a check. I have seen other people came in with backpack, so that seems to be ok as well
Once I am in the embassy ground, I lined up for security check. this line is outside. Another security personnel is checking passport against schedule before letting people into the security check area. all my items were run through xray. they kept my handbag and gave me a blue ticket. I was allowed to bring my mobile phone in without turning it off
After security check I was let into the waiting area. Water fountain is available here with paper cups. I did not see a restroom.
First line is to the document check counter. The person asked for my passport, photo, DS160 first page, three copies of I129S and I797. My sponsor bound everything into one large dossier and I was asked to unbind and separate the documents there. That took some time. I also was asked to remove the NIE letter and G28. The person then sorted the documents he asked for, put them into a transparent envelope and asked me to bring it to the interview officer. He then scanned my photo. There is an auto photo kiosk if he found the photo not to be up to the required standard. I then provided my finger prints too (4 left, 4 right, 2 thumbs). He asked me to go to the next line
I now am waiting in the second line to be interviewed. there were about 9 people waiting already; two counters were open. one can hear clearly the questions asked and answered. after about 20 min wait (or shorter?) it was finally my turn.
The officer waved me over and I handed him the envelope organized by the document check person. the interview commenced:
(O - interview office; M - Me)
O: (made a noise when I handed him the envelope)
M: (joked) is this a heavy package?
O: yes, must be an L application
M: you got it
O: (started typing)
O: We need to verify your finger print of right hand
M: (put my hand on the scanner)
O: you work for xxx?
M: yes xxx.
O: How long have you worked for your employer?
O: What is your title?
M: (I was not clear what he meant so I asked back) do you mean my current title or the one in U.S.?
O: sorry the one in U.S.
O: (a lot of typing)
O: do you have a specialized skill or are you applying as manager?
O: how many people will report into you?
O: what will you be doing in your role?
O: (gave me a red slip) Please pay fee at fee counter and come back. you do not need to wait in line again when you come back; just come straight up to this counter
M: (went to pay fee, bancontact is not accepted here FYI)
M: (went back and gave him the receipt)
O: (stamp and endorsed three copies of I129S and gave me two back with the fee receipt, and the passport pickup slip)
O: there is a national interest -------- (I could not hear what he said here), when do you plan to travel?
M: end of June / early July. I have a NIE letter from the company, would you like to see it?
O: no need. NIE let you travel within 30 days. I think your role clearly fit into the requirement. Your travel plan is within the 30 days from now so it's also ok.
M: ok thanks byeeeeee
Passport pickup is one week from the interview day, only available from 11 to 11:30.
I then went back to pick up my handbag and left the embassy grounds.
Hi, I had my L1A interview in Chennai on 15th June. The officer approved my visa gave me the stamped I129S, kept my passport for stamping. Also applied NIE approval for me and gave the 221g for NIE approval as my case is eligible for NIE as I am planning to travel in next 30 days. now I have both the L1A approval and 221g as NIE approval. did anyone had same situation?
My L1B initial petition expiring by this Aug. I am unable to stamp it due to lockdown and embassy closures. my employer said need to file extension for it. is it normal extension or it is another category. what is the chance of approval. Please give me info on this case.
University admission is on hold because of not having valid visa and L2 expedite request also denied on this ground
Our visa expired on 12/14/2020. We applied for an extension a couple of months prior - in September. My husband’s L1 visa was approved on March, 2021 and my son and I are still waiting for our L2. My son just got his high school diploma from here and the university he wanted to go to are denying admission since he has no valid visa. We tried to request for an expedite for that reason, but that has also been denied since “it doesn’t match the criteria for expedition”. At this point, we are unsure what we can do for his college admission in this scenario. Please help.
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