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#1 timbu007

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:36 AM

Hello everybody,
First of all thanks everybody for providing feedback on H1b stamping in Canada. My 2 cents about the H1b stamping. I had to go to Canada for company work so I did not have any choice but to get the stamping done in Canada despite hearing horror stories about some people. I sincerely wish them good luck and pray for them
I flew in to Toronto late at night around 10 pm. I found out that my checked in luggage wasn't there at the airport as it had not been transferred by the airline in Houston and would be able to receive it only in the afternoon the next day. I was left with no option but just the same pair of jeans and polo t-shirt for the interview and sport shoes.
I had an appointment on March 12th, 2012 at 9:45am. As usual with the mentality I thought I would go ahead of time. I reached at 8 am , went to a Starbucks close to the consulate had tea and sat there for an hour. At 9 am went and stood in the line at the consulate only to be told to be there if your appointment is in the next 15 minutes . So sat on the railing of the parking lot for the next half an hour.
At 9:30 the lady started checking the documents. Showed her the docs and then she allowed me in. The security scanner scanned for any metals, phones, electronics etc. Although I did see people getting their cell phones in the consulate, I personally recommend not bringing any electronics with you.
After security check in there is a person who would ask for your passport and DS-160 confirmation receipt. He would put some sticker and hand over the documents back to you. Few steps ahead there was another person who took those documents and put it in the blue folder and verified my name and my DHL delivery address. He asked me to go through the glass door. As I entered through the door, there was a line which lead to counters 1 to 4. Gave the lady on the counter 1 my file. She gave me a token and asked me to wait in the waiting area. After some time my number appeared on the screen and went to counter 9 to provide my finger prints. After that the wait began. Finally at around 11am my number was called.
VO: Good morning, How are you?
me: Good morning to you too, I am good how are you?
VO: Good. Which company do you work for?
me: XXXXX
VO: How did you get this job?
me: XXXXXX
VO: Where is this company and where do you stay?
me: told her
VO: What does this company deal in?
me: gave a 2 line answer
VO: What do you do?
me: told her about my responsibilities in 2 lines again
VO: Whom do you report to?
me: told my boss's name
VO: Same location?
me: I said yes
VO: Where did you get your US degree from?
me: told her
VO: Did you start working immediately after your OPT?
me: I said Yes
VO: May I see your petition letter?
me: I showed it to her.
By this time I was starting to get a bit nervous.
VO: I am approving your visa and you should be getting your passport in the next 3-5 business days.
Thanked her and came out of the consulate.
Guys and girls- Be cool, calm and relaxed. And if you have all the documents with you need not worry about anything. Answer questions confidently and look straight up in the eyes.
You do not have to worry when you know you are not doing anything wrong.
I do agree dressing is important but not as important as having all the documents. I have learnt this from my experience. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Tejas

#2 parkerjohn03

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

Tejas

Many Congrats!

I am going to Toronto in April as of this is the nearest on from Chicago IL. Need you email contact. Mine is parkerjohn03@yahoo.com

#3 cooltoo8190

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:10 PM

Did your company send you to Canada on Canadian Work Permit? How many days did you work from Canada? Were you still getting paid in USD while you were working in Canada or you were paid in CAD?

#4 parkerjohn03

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

@timbu:

Would you please share the website where we can schedule for visa stamping appointment in toronto ?

Thanks in advance.

#5 timbu007

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:16 AM

@timbu:

Would you please share the website where we can schedule for visa stamping appointment in toronto ?

Thanks in advance.


Please find the link below for scheduling your appointment.
http://usvisa-info.c...country_welcome

You would have to fill in the DS-160 prior to scheduling your appointment.

#6 smrt1

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

Hello everybody,
First of all thanks everybody for providing feedback on H1b stamping in Canada. My 2 cents about the H1b stamping. I had to go to Canada for company work so I did not have any choice but to get the stamping done in Canada despite hearing horror stories about some people. I sincerely wish them good luck and pray for them
I flew in to Toronto late at night around 10 pm. I found out that my checked in luggage wasn't there at the airport as it had not been transferred by the airline in Houston and would be able to receive it only in the afternoon the next day. I was left with no option but just the same pair of jeans and polo t-shirt for the interview and sport shoes.
I had an appointment on March 12th, 2012 at 9:45am. As usual with the mentality I thought I would go ahead of time. I reached at 8 am , went to a Starbucks close to the consulate had tea and sat there for an hour. At 9 am went and stood in the line at the consulate only to be told to be there if your appointment is in the next 15 minutes . So sat on the railing of the parking lot for the next half an hour.
At 9:30 the lady started checking the documents. Showed her the docs and then she allowed me in. The security scanner scanned for any metals, phones, electronics etc. Although I did see people getting their cell phones in the consulate, I personally recommend not bringing any electronics with you.
After security check in there is a person who would ask for your passport and DS-160 confirmation receipt. He would put some sticker and hand over the documents back to you. Few steps ahead there was another person who took those documents and put it in the blue folder and verified my name and my DHL delivery address. He asked me to go through the glass door. As I entered through the door, there was a line which lead to counters 1 to 4. Gave the lady on the counter 1 my file. She gave me a token and asked me to wait in the waiting area. After some time my number appeared on the screen and went to counter 9 to provide my finger prints. After that the wait began. Finally at around 11am my number was called.
VO: Good morning, How are you?
me: Good morning to you too, I am good how are you?
VO: Good. Which company do you work for?
me: XXXXX
VO: How did you get this job?
me: XXXXXX
VO: Where is this company and where do you stay?
me: told her
VO: What does this company deal in?
me: gave a 2 line answer
VO: What do you do?
me: told her about my responsibilities in 2 lines again
VO: Whom do you report to?
me: told my boss's name
VO: Same location?
me: I said yes
VO: Where did you get your US degree from?
me: told her
VO: Did you start working immediately after your OPT?
me: I said Yes
VO: May I see your petition letter?
me: I showed it to her.
By this time I was starting to get a bit nervous.
VO: I am approving your visa and you should be getting your passport in the next 3-5 business days.
Thanked her and came out of the consulate.
Guys and girls- Be cool, calm and relaxed. And if you have all the documents with you need not worry about anything. Answer questions confidently and look straight up in the eyes.
You do not have to worry when you know you are not doing anything wrong.
I do agree dressing is important but not as important as having all the documents. I have learnt this from my experience. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Tejas

i scheduled my appointment online and there is an option to upload documents. Do we need to upload documents through online or take it with us?

#7 timbu007

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

i scheduled my appointment online and there is an option to upload documents. Do we need to upload documents through online or take it with us?


As far as I know only the DS-160 is submitted online. Rest all the documents should be taken with you personally. I had the following documents with me:
1. Visa interview confirmation
2. Copy of DS-160
3. Passport
4. I-797 Approval notice
5. Petition letter
6. Copy of the LCA
7. Original offer letter, Review letter, and a current employment verification letter stating that I am employed as a full time employee.
8. W-2’s from last 3 years and tax returns for the same.
9. All Pay stubs till date
10. Master’s degree diploma, Official transcripts, Bachelor’s as well
11. EAD card
12. I-20’s

#8 timbu007

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:53 AM

Tejas

Many Congrats!

I am going to Toronto in April as of this is the nearest on from Chicago IL. Need you email contact. Mine is parkerjohn03@yahoo.com


Thanks! You could contact me on replytotejas@gmail.com.
Good luck.

#9 Cran1982

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

Hi Tejas, How long did it take for you to get your passport back? Did VO returned your I797 to you after interview or returned it with stamped passport?

#10 Cran1982

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

My Toronto H1B Visa Stamping Experience.. I hope this helps.
Background: MS in US, FTE, H1B Renewal, non-IT/software engineer working for a US based comapny

My visa interview was on 23rd April at US consulate in Toronto.

I drove to Toronto on 22nd evening and entered Canada through Buffalo. Entry to Canada was without any issue. Surrendered my I94 at the POE to Canada. There is no US CBP personnel so you have to surrender your I94 at the Canadian POE on Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Also Canadian customs officer will not ask you to surrender I94 eventhough my current US stamp was expired. So make sure you surrender your I94 when leave US.

At the Canadian POE..
Where do you leave in US?
Why are you visiting Canada? So I answered that I have an appointment at US consulate in Toronto and getting new US visa stamped.
How long are you planning to be in Canada? 4 Days.

Got Canadin entry stamp on my passport. Toronto is about 1.5 hours from Buffalo border.

I stayed at Holiday Inn on Carlton St-Younge St intersection. US Consulate it about 15 mins/ couple of km from the hotel.

23rd April, 2012. Appointment Day.
My appointment was at 9:15 AM. It took 15 minutes from hotel to consulate via subway. Reached consulate about 8:30 AM. Took a walk on the street since you are not allowed to be in the queue before 20 mins of your scheduled appointment time. About 9:00 AM got my documents (appointment letter, I797, passport) checked by security outside. Next step to go through another security check. If you have carried your cellphone/car keys they can hold it in the small locker over there. But no bagpacks are allowed. I kept everything at the hotel room so did not have anything to submit for the locker room.

On the walkway a person checks the document again. And usual questions on what basis you are in Canada and checked appointment letter. Checked the picture. In my DS160 I had old picture but I was also carrying once recent picture which was used for the visa stamping. If your picture is not acceptable there is a picture booth inside but I don't know about the cost or other aspects.

Then you move to the desk and another person gives you an envelope that has your passport, I797 and lets you inside the consulate.
Window 1 to 4 takes the envelope from you and issues the number which is used for finger prints and visa interview. Submitted document and the person on the window checks for your PIMS also. Next step you have to wait till they call your number for fingerprints. Once fingerprints are done you have to wait till your name is being called by VO.

About 9:45 i was called by VO. Questions were..

VO: So you work for XXX?
Me: Yes.

VO: (Note/; She looked at my old stamp first) So your visa is expired. It was valid only till last year.
Me: Yes. But I was staying in country with my H1B extension and I surrendered my I94 yesterday while I was entering into Canada. (Note/; Then she looked at the I797 and verified the date)

VO: What do you do?
Me: I work as XXX and work on XXX product used in XXX application.

VO: So you work on XXX for XXX application?
Me: Yes.

VO: Has your company filed for your permanent residency or not? Because you can not stay more than 6 years in US.
Me: Yes. They filed for PERM and is in process. (Note/; I have also specified the same thing in DS160).

VO: So you work on XXX for XXX application. Good. Your visa is approved and you can follow instructions for your passport tracking as mentioned here. (Gave me the white paper that has information about where to track your passport)
Me: Thank you. Do you know how long will it take for me to get my passport back:

VO: It can take 2 to 5 business days.
Me: Thanks

Walked out of the consulate and back to the hotel. At that time I did not realize that my I797 was with VO. In the past i was given my I797 after interview and received just passport via mail. But checked in on the forums on the evening and found out that people are receiving back their I 797 with passport.

On 25th about 8:45 PM i received an email from Loomis that my passport has been picked by consulate and it can take upto 48 hours before it is available for pick up. Based on feedback from other people you might not receive the email so I was constantly checking my page on visa info website as well as on email.

Could not sleep much that night so checked the status again about 3:00 AM on 25th night and it said passport is available for pick up at Brampton Loomis location. BTW Brampton is very close to the airport so if someone is flying to toronto I would recommend to select that location.

On 26th picked up passport at about 8:30 AM and left for US.

Entered US again through Lewiston–Queenston Bridge.


POE CBP officer asked..
what is your citizenship?
What were you doing in Canada and I answered was there to get my new visa stamp.
How long you were in Canada?
Are you carrying anything other than your personnel stuff? No.

Asked me to pull in the parking lot and go inside the building. It is a normal process but did not know as it was first time I entered in country via land.

Went inside the building and CBP officer calls you by your name. It is first in first out sequence.

Called by CBP. Questions..

CBP: So why are you coming to US?
Me: To work for XXX.

CBP: So you will be commuting everyday from Canada?
Me: No. I have been living in US.

CBP: Oh OK. So this is new stamp. Are you married? Have any kids? Where are they and do they already have new visa?
Me: Yes. It is new visa. My family is in US. Wife has her on H1B and kids are US citizen.

CBP: You should have your company applied for permanent residency so you don't have to go through this. How many I94 you have been through in the past.
Me: Yes. my company has filed for PR but it is a long shot. I have travelled out of country 6-7 times. So quite familiar with I94.

CBP: Ok. Here is your new I94 and you can stay upto XX date in US. If you want to continue your stay in US you have to get your H1B renewed. Have a safe drive.
Me: Thanks.

Note: CBP officer at the POE was very friendly and all above conversation was very casual. Also whenever you enter through land you have to pay $6 at POE for CBP processing.

Came Home in the evening.

Good luck to all who are waiting for their passport and other background checks.

#11 bidsrk1977

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:58 PM

My Toronto H1B Visa Stamping Experience.. I hope this helps.
Background: MS in US, FTE, H1B Renewal, non-IT/software engineer working for a US based comapny

My visa interview was on 23rd April at US consulate in Toronto.

I drove to Toronto on 22nd evening and entered Canada through Buffalo. Entry to Canada was without any issue. Surrendered my I94 at the POE to Canada. There is no US CBP personnel so you have to surrender your I94 at the Canadian POE on Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Also Canadian customs officer will not ask you to surrender I94 eventhough my current US stamp was expired. So make sure you surrender your I94 when leave US.

At the Canadian POE..
Where do you leave in US?
Why are you visiting Canada? So I answered that I have an appointment at US consulate in Toronto and getting new US visa stamped.
How long are you planning to be in Canada? 4 Days.

Got Canadin entry stamp on my passport. Toronto is about 1.5 hours from Buffalo border.

I stayed at Holiday Inn on Carlton St-Younge St intersection. US Consulate it about 15 mins/ couple of km from the hotel.

23rd April, 2012. Appointment Day.
My appointment was at 9:15 AM. It took 15 minutes from hotel to consulate via subway. Reached consulate about 8:30 AM. Took a walk on the street since you are not allowed to be in the queue before 20 mins of your scheduled appointment time. About 9:00 AM got my documents (appointment letter, I797, passport) checked by security outside. Next step to go through another security check. If you have carried your cellphone/car keys they can hold it in the small locker over there. But no bagpacks are allowed. I kept everything at the hotel room so did not have anything to submit for the locker room.

On the walkway a person checks the document again. And usual questions on what basis you are in Canada and checked appointment letter. Checked the picture. In my DS160 I had old picture but I was also carrying once recent picture which was used for the visa stamping. If your picture is not acceptable there is a picture booth inside but I don't know about the cost or other aspects.

Then you move to the desk and another person gives you an envelope that has your passport, I797 and lets you inside the consulate.
Window 1 to 4 takes the envelope from you and issues the number which is used for finger prints and visa interview. Submitted document and the person on the window checks for your PIMS also. Next step you have to wait till they call your number for fingerprints. Once fingerprints are done you have to wait till your name is being called by VO.

About 9:45 i was called by VO. Questions were..

VO: So you work for XXX?
Me: Yes.

VO: (Note/; She looked at my old stamp first) So your visa is expired. It was valid only till last year.
Me: Yes. But I was staying in country with my H1B extension and I surrendered my I94 yesterday while I was entering into Canada. (Note/; Then she looked at the I797 and verified the date)

VO: What do you do?
Me: I work as XXX and work on XXX product used in XXX application.

VO: So you work on XXX for XXX application?
Me: Yes.

VO: Has your company filed for your permanent residency or not? Because you can not stay more than 6 years in US.
Me: Yes. They filed for PERM and is in process. (Note/; I have also specified the same thing in DS160).

VO: So you work on XXX for XXX application. Good. Your visa is approved and you can follow instructions for your passport tracking as mentioned here. (Gave me the white paper that has information about where to track your passport)
Me: Thank you. Do you know how long will it take for me to get my passport back:

VO: It can take 2 to 5 business days.
Me: Thanks

Walked out of the consulate and back to the hotel. At that time I did not realize that my I797 was with VO. In the past i was given my I797 after interview and received just passport via mail. But checked in on the forums on the evening and found out that people are receiving back their I 797 with passport.

On 25th about 8:45 PM i received an email from Loomis that my passport has been picked by consulate and it can take upto 48 hours before it is available for pick up. Based on feedback from other people you might not receive the email so I was constantly checking my page on visa info website as well as on email.

Could not sleep much that night so checked the status again about 3:00 AM on 25th night and it said passport is available for pick up at Brampton Loomis location. BTW Brampton is very close to the airport so if someone is flying to toronto I would recommend to select that location.

On 26th picked up passport at about 8:30 AM and left for US.

Entered US again through Lewiston–Queenston Bridge.


POE CBP officer asked..
what is your citizenship?
What were you doing in Canada and I answered was there to get my new visa stamp.
How long you were in Canada?
Are you carrying anything other than your personnel stuff? No.

Asked me to pull in the parking lot and go inside the building. It is a normal process but did not know as it was first time I entered in country via land.

Went inside the building and CBP officer calls you by your name. It is first in first out sequence.

Called by CBP. Questions..

CBP: So why are you coming to US?
Me: To work for XXX.

CBP: So you will be commuting everyday from Canada?
Me: No. I have been living in US.

CBP: Oh OK. So this is new stamp. Are you married? Have any kids? Where are they and do they already have new visa?
Me: Yes. It is new visa. My family is in US. Wife has her on H1B and kids are US citizen.

CBP: You should have your company applied for permanent residency so you don't have to go through this. How many I94 you have been through in the past.
Me: Yes. my company has filed for PR but it is a long shot. I have travelled out of country 6-7 times. So quite familiar with I94.

CBP: Ok. Here is your new I94 and you can stay upto XX date in US. If you want to continue your stay in US you have to get your H1B renewed. Have a safe drive.
Me: Thanks.

Note: CBP officer at the POE was very friendly and all above conversation was very casual. Also whenever you enter through land you have to pay $6 at POE for CBP processing.

Came Home in the evening.

Good luck to all who are waiting for their passport and other background checks.


Thanks for your experience

I had mine today.

Everything went similar to the one mentioned above. However I have one question. I have opted for direct collection of passport from the Brampton loomis location. How do you I check the passport status online?
Please post the website link on the forum so that I can do the needful.

#12 vishnu386

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:51 PM

bidsrk1977

Can u pls details ur experience. Thank You.

#13 svaraj

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:31 PM

My Toronto L1A stamping experience.

Interview and Visa approval on Jul 3 rd, 2012
Provided Brampton Loomis branch for pick up.

Still awaiting email for Visa pickup, since Jul 4 was holiday.
Going by other emails in this chain it takes 2 business days, in which case I should receive an email conf tonight, Jul 05.
Stuck in Toronto hotel until then.

The Visa appointment page does not have any info as to the staus of my visa.
According to the info site https://usvisa-info....ier_information I should see atleast the status "No Package Available for Pickup" but unfortunately I do not see any status yet.

Wish they had handed out visa at the consulate like a few years back.

Will update once I receive my Visa, hopefully tomorrow.


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