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PriyaViswam

221G Blue form issued

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Recent experience in Chennai US Consulate: FELT FRUSTRATING LIKE DON'T WANT TO GO TO US VISA STAMPING ANYTIME IN INDIA!

Had H1B visa renewal interview in Chennai. Been in US for few years and came for stamping after 4 years.
Visa Officer asked few basic questions and took all my documents and asked me to wait in the lobby.
After 3 hours, they called me back to the counter and gave my passport and all documents back and gave the 221g blue slip and checked only the 'Need to do additional administrative processing before final decision can be made'. Visa Officer said this could take few weeks. They did not give any answer to my questions like 'Do I need to submit any documents?' and 'what is the time frame it could take as I have made travel plans already?'

They just do not want to give any answer.

I am on E-C model. I had all employer documents and client letters. They asked many questions even on intercom for which I answered after which officer came and gave the 221G form. Not sure what raised questions with them on my application.

I heard that Chennai consulate is giving lot of 221G blue forms nowadays. Don't know about other consulates in India.

I feel very unsafe to come to India for a vacation even after long time in US. How can people not come to home country when they have to come for any emergency situation? We need to wait for 3+ hours for this sake in their office, still they are not convinced and give such slips, which destroys the whole vacation.

Please let me know if anyone else had a similar experience and result.

 

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I was given a 221g blue form with additional administrative processing in 2011 from the same chennai consulate. I was stuck there for 3 months. They contacted my client manager with a questionnaire. Luckily my client answered and sent that back.

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Seem to be the same everywhere. There are a few of us in Canada with the same issue. Consolation for you is that at least you are at home and can wait it out

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Don't know how long need to wait on this...

Is there anyone who is having similar issues in other consulates in India/abroad?

Also is it something which follows from previous stamping? i.e., if you had got 221G for first time but waited to get stamping before, and the next time, when you go for stamping, they give 221G again?

Do they respond over the email?

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Sorry you have to go through this. If its any consolation, a lot of people are in the same state, including me. 

Blue 221g seems to be the flavor of the season at Chennai consulate. I went there for H1+H4 and was supposed to join this startup in CA, product company, no client, no third party or EC/EVC. They didnt understand and kept asking for project details, client etc and issued a blue 221g asking for technical details on the project. Been 2+weeks since the attorney submitted the documents. 

As somebody pointed out, atleast you are stuck home. 221g is a black hole with no concept of time. People just wait endlessly, messes up your life pretty bad. 

Maybe there are some genuine concerns, maybe its due to US elections, no indian seems to know :)

I had visited UAE (Dubai) a couple of years back and mentioned that in the DS160. Would this matter...? I'm just trying to find a method to this madness. 

Do update the post if you hear back, will help other people. 

To ease the pain, buy a "Bleed Blue" shirt (for a blue221g) , wear it everyday and stay hydrated by drinking lots of beer :D

Good Luck!

DSan

 

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 6:20 AM, PriyaViswam said:

Recent experience in Chennai US Consulate: FELT FRUSTRATING LIKE DON'T WANT TO GO TO US VISA STAMPING ANYTIME IN INDIA!

Had H1B visa renewal interview in Chennai. Been in US for few years and came for stamping after 4 years.
Visa Officer asked few basic questions and took all my documents and asked me to wait in the lobby.
After 3 hours, they called me back to the counter and gave my passport and all documents back and gave the 221g blue slip and checked only the 'Need to do additional administrative processing before final decision can be made'. Visa Officer said this could take few weeks. They did not give any answer to my questions like 'Do I need to submit any documents?' and 'what is the time frame it could take as I have made travel plans already?'

They just do not want to give any answer.

I am on E-C model. I had all employer documents and client letters. They asked many questions even on intercom for which I answered after which officer came and gave the 221G form. Not sure what raised questions with them on my application.

I heard that Chennai consulate is giving lot of 221G blue forms nowadays. Don't know about other consulates in India.

I feel very unsafe to come to India for a vacation even after long time in US. How can people not come to home country when they have to come for any emergency situation? We need to wait for 3+ hours for this sake in their office, still they are not convinced and give such slips, which destroys the whole vacation.

Please let me know if anyone else had a similar experience and result.

 

Priya, I know this sucks and unfortunately there is nothing much anyone can do. This has been going on for more than 10 years now, and just that more and more people are becoming aware of it through forums. A lot of people have been in the US for 10+ years with approved I-140, and still get stuck. This isn't even the first time for many of us and in past the processing used to be even slower with 9+ weeks for some. Good news is that it has become < 1 month for most folks (interview to passport in hand). I hope that the new government fixes the green card delays, that would have a trickle down effect on lot of these H1B issues as well.

Anyway, I encourage you to post your information here, probably start a new post just like we have one for Vancouver or Ottawa etc.

What I can say so far is that the color of the slip may or may not mean much. I know there are a lot of posts where people have described its significance, but I think it really boils down to the consulate. For me, I believe it was printed, and the same consulate gave a yellow one to another person, albeit for a very similar situation. I have put another post for TAL vs non-TAL, take a look. Hopefully you are not in TAL, and that should make it go faster.

I can empathize with you on the situation and if it makes you feel any better, you are not alone and there are several of us. In majority of the cases, it is just a time wastage for everyone and you get your approval in a few weeks. In Canada at least, the E-C model goes faster, but what would help is if you can share your area/education. Did they ask for anything like resume and questions on your education etc. If not, then when did your petition get approved? Is your employer a small/new company or H1B dependent? It is possible that they just want to verify with the employer/client. Yes you had the paperwork, but based on some other cases, they want to directly hear from the client/employer and get an official email. If you have not done this already, contact your employer/client and make them aware. Such cases have been resolved in less than a week in Canada at least. The 2-3 timeframe is a standard response for pretty much every case.

It will be stressful, but you just have to wait it out. If possible, spend this time with family and do your best to maintain sanity. It is hard, but that's all you can do. It will come through and you will be back soon.

Check page 2 of this one for more info -

 

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 4:00 PM, PriyaViswam said:

Don't know how long need to wait on this...

Is there anyone who is having similar issues in other consulates in India/abroad?

Also is it something which follows from previous stamping? i.e., if you had got 221G for first time but waited to get stamping before, and the next time, when you go for stamping, they give 221G again?

Do they respond over the email?

I responded to your other post, so take a look. I have not done much research on Chennai but look at Vancouver and Ottawa posts, there is more information on timeline estimation for the current processing times. I would add 1 week for India, just to account for any delays, time difference etc. If you are up to it, post your details, look at other posts, and come up with an estimation model.

In short, this is nothing new, has been going on but just that it has become more prevalent for E-C models now. Earlier it was more common for TAL issues.

As per my attorney and experience, if you have been stuck once, high chance of being stuck again. However, I believe it depends on the nature of 221g. There are several flavors of 221g and it is not the same for each individual. If you were stuck for something silly, like your I140 was not available, you were in E-C/EVVC etc model, and got stuck, then next time you may or may not get stuck. If you have now switched to a full time employee, I do not believe the old reasons hold. On the other hand, you have a name hit or TAL related case, then nothing changes for you, even if you change profession etc, because those changes do not address the original problem. You will still need clearance.

Response over email is usually a boiler plate response, and depends from consulate to consulate. But typically the answer is "we understand it is frustrating...... your case is pending ...... we are working on it .... we don't know how long ... you will hear from us when it is done ... emailing us will not speed it up <polite way to say don't bug us more>". It really is the law that they are going by, and cannot do a lot in most cases.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 6:12 AM, dsan said:

Sorry you have to go through this. If its any consolation, a lot of people are in the same state, including me. 

Blue 221g seems to be the flavor of the season at Chennai consulate. I went there for H1+H4 and was supposed to join this startup in CA, product company, no client, no third party or EC/EVC. They didnt understand and kept asking for project details, client etc and issued a blue 221g asking for technical details on the project. Been 2+weeks since the attorney submitted the documents. 

As somebody pointed out, atleast you are stuck home. 221g is a black hole with no concept of time. People just wait endlessly, messes up your life pretty bad. 

Maybe there are some genuine concerns, maybe its due to US elections, no indian seems to know :)

I had visited UAE (Dubai) a couple of years back and mentioned that in the DS160. Would this matter...? I'm just trying to find a method to this madness. 

Do update the post if you hear back, will help other people. 

To ease the pain, buy a "Bleed Blue" shirt (for a blue221g) , wear it everyday and stay hydrated by drinking lots of beer :D

Good Luck!

DSan

 

Hi Dsan, While it is possible, but I highly doubt that you had issues due to Dubai. Also, this is nothing new, so I doubt US elections have to anything with it either. My opinion is that if it were due to your Dubai trip, they would not ask too much about your employment and will simply say you will hear in 2-3 weeks and will give you a 221g with further processing required. You would then just need a background (security) check.

IMO, you work for a startup, and that raises few concerns for the VO - How old is the startup and is this legitimate employment (I am not doubting it but put on the VOs hat). They would just do some validation there. They may want to know what the company does? If they do not understand much, but sounds like a new technology area, they would be concerned about knowledge flow from US to outside world, a genuine concern for US and hence 221g. If there has been any issue with the startup in past, that could have been flagged as well.

Once they validate everything, you will be on your merry way. As per some of the memos and information from govt agencies, the delays are caused by the coordination across difference agencies, such as DOS, DHS, USCIS etc.

Since your attorney responded quickly, I guess you should be getting your approval soon.

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Thanks for the reply RoSogolla_221g. In my case, I got 221G before my first stamping to do H1B amendment, it was done and the stamping was approved eventually but after more than 3 months wait which was so painful!

But one other friend said, it may not be a reason as the documents which we submit is only considered for providing stamping. Whatever it is, I really can't understand the whole stamping process. This is the main reason, many people who I know are in US for more than 10+ years without travelling to India. But what will happen to people, when they want to travel for emergency purposes?

dsan, when did you attend interview at US consulate? Did they ask any documents in 221G? Did they update anything on your case?

 

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Hi all,

I went for H1b stamping at Chennai Consulate.

I received 221G blue color document. My Consular Officer asked me to submit the Client Project technical Description document should describe about the project, stating start date and end date etc.

There is a Prime Vendor between my Employer and the Client.

Client will not provide the document. Is that okay if my Employer provides the Project technical description document? Or should I have to get it from Prime Vendor?

Any suggestions please.

Thanks

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Same problem here. I'm not going to work for a client. I'm a full time employee at a company. I clearly told that during the interview in the first week of September 2016, but was issued a 221G. No documents asked. Passport was with the consulate for 3ish weeks. It was returned to me with a second 221G asking for a technical description of the client's project. Employer wrote up one and sent it. Didn't receive an automated response for a couple of weeks. They sent the documents again, and this time the automated response was received. It's been over 2 months now. I've tried contacting them in every way possible. I only get an automated response saying something like - "We understand that you wish to know the status of your application. It is under administrative processing. Most administrative processing will be resolved within 60 days from the date of interview or from the day the documents were submitted, whichever is later". When I check the status of my case on ceac.state.gov, it says that it was last updated on September 21, 2016.

So, yeah, it's a lot of fun. All I need is a yes/no answer. I've also contacted the National Visa Center in the United States. No help there either.

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