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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I had a successfull interview in the Mumbai consulate.
As every body else mentioned it was a breeze. Let
me describe the details.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Disclaimer: Please note that the experiences presented are submitted by visitors to our website. Individuals’ experiences may vary, and you should interpret each individual’s experience at your own risk. Do not make a decision solely based on an experience posted here. We do not endorse any individuals’ experiences, and we are not liable or responsible for consequences stemming from your use of the information presented within any individual’s experience.