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Everything posted by ramkashyap

  1. ramkashyap

    Succesful H1-B stamping @ Hyderabad

    Congrats. Are you a direct FTE or on EVC model?
  2. Once submitted you cannot change it. However, I recommend starting the DS 160, get the application ID (starts with A) and use that to book your visa appointment. 10 days before your appointment submit the DS 160. That way you do not have to go through the hassle of modifying things numerous times.
  3. ramkashyap

    H-4 EADs

    Today’s topic is about the H4 EAD Rule. The USCIS Director, Deputy Director, Public Relations specialist and other have attended the call. Following is a list of Q&A from participants. I thought I would share with all of you. Feel free to pass along PS: The questions and mainly the responses are jotted down here under based on my understanding during the course of the conversation. I am not responsible for any forthcoming or understanding you infer from below. Some of the responses were not very straight forward as there were defeating responses at different times, when the same question was posed. Q: How long is the H4 EAD Valid for? A: Currently till the H4 Validity. Deferred to a later date. Q: What happens during travelling on EAD? A: You should travel on H4. You cannot use the card to travel. You need the Visa. Q: Is this a onetime opportunity? A: NO. This will be a permanent change. Applicants can submit any time after May 26th as long as reqs are met. Q: Job Portability – What happens to H4 EAD? A: Deferred to a later date. Q: With EAD, do you need H4 Stamping for travelling? A: Yes. EAD does not give travel privileges. Q: Got 140 from Employer A. Moved to employer B. Can my H4 apply for EAD? A: As long as the 140 is not withdrawn or revoked by Employer A, YES H4 will be eligible for EAD. Q: 6 years of H1B completed. Perm applied in the 6th Year. What happens to H4 EAD? A: H1B should have been extended under AC 21 106 (A)(B) or 140 should be in good standing at the time of H4 EAD Application. If not, no go. Q: Got 140 from Employer A. Then moved to Employer B. Employer A has revoked my 140. Can H4 apply EAD? A: NO. (Extension of the above Q, but different case) Q: Got 140 from Employer A. Applied H4 EAD, got approved. Then moved to Employer B. Then Employer A revoked 140. What happens to the already approved H4 EAD? A: Deferred to a later date. Q: Will premium processing be available for H4 EAD? A: NO Q: Should the H4 EAD be in the US at the time of submitting the 765 appl? A: Deferred to a later date. But based on responses provided later for similar questions, it may be understood as YES. But not confident at this moment. Q: Validity period of EAD? A: Matches that of H4. Q: When will the updated 765 form be published? A: Close to May 26th. Q: I539(COS) and I765 (EAD), can they be filed together? A: YES. Q: Employer changed, 140 not revoked. What happens to H4 EAD? A: Remains active. Q: 140 Approved. H1 Extended on 140. Moved employer. What happens to H4 EAD? A: Deferred to a later date. Q: Can you file COS(539)/EAD(765)/H4 Extension, together? A: Yes, all 3 can be filed concurrently. Q: Can F1 on OPT move to H4 to get EAD? A: YES Q: Can you start business on this EAD? A: Seek counsel. Not answered here. Q: H1B extended on 140. Now 140 Revoked. Can my H4 apply? A: NO. Q: If the H4 EAD Application- I765 is rejected, should I wait for a defined duration before applying again? A: NO. You can re-apply in case of rejection. In case of denial you cannot apply again. Please observe the difference between denial and rejection. Q: Is there a count off for H4 EAD applications, like the 65K for H1B? A: NO. The 179K number is only an estimate. Q: Had EAD from L2 Visa before. Now on H4. Can I apply for H4 EAD now? A: Yes. As long as the principal H1B applicant met the 140/extension criterion. Q: Is there any restriction on area of practice for job on H4 EAD? A: NO. With the EAD you can engage in any kind of legal job. Good luck for everyone.
  4. Lately I am seeing some increased activity/interest in visiting Kingston Jamaica consulate for H1B stamping in this forum. I would like to share my experience hoping that helps. Background: Consulate: Kingston, Jamaica Date: Sep 9, 2013 – 9:00 AM Appointment Visa: H1B Renewal Previous Stamping: H1B - Ottawa Canada, March 2012 Employment: EVC Model. Employer, Vendor and Client Letters available. Education: MS from US University. I would like to break this post into multiple parts: Interview, Travelling, Staying, Consulate, Passport Pickup and Conclusion This could get long; grab a bite if you want to. J Interview: Greetings Exchanged VO: Who do you work for? Me: XXX LLC. <Employer name> My friend from the same company appeared for a 7:00 AM appointment. We happened to go to the same officer unknowingly. His Visa was issued as well. VO: The other guy who came from your company! Do you know him? Me: Yes. We came together VO: Why are you here? Me: For my H1B Renewal interview. VO: I am asking why Jamaica! (With a very friendly expression) Me: To get my Visa renewal completed and to see around Jamaica. VO: (After typing in the system for few minutes) I know you want go get out of here once you get your Visa. Somehow Indians started liking this consulate (with a witty smile). Please keep this red stub careful and collect your Visa on Wednesday afternoon 2 PM at the same place. They kept the passport and the 797 as well. Me: Thank you very much. Should I assume my Visa is approved? VO: No assumptions needed. Your Visa is issued and we do not see any procrastination unless something drastic happens. My interview lasted for 2 minutes at the most and I did not have to open my file honestly! Travelling to Jamaica, Outside the Consulate, Collecting Visa : Dos, Donts,and my thoughts. Travelling to Kingston, Jamaica: When flying to Kingston, purchase both way tickets. Keep in mind to buy separate one ways and buy a refundable return fare. I bought just one way as I did last time to Canada. In Canada, I was not asked where the return ticket is. In Kingston, I was stopped in the customs and my friend as well, asking for the return ticket. They made me purchase a return fare to the US. My friend did not have a valid Visa and he was forced to purchase a return ticket to India. This turned out to be more nuisance than you think. Buy a full-refundable fare return ticket 3 days from your Visa appointment date in Kingston. These tickets could be pricey but you should not be worried at all. After your interview (or even after getting into Jamaica), you can cancel these without losing a penny and buy the actual tickets. Staying in Kingston, Jamaica: If you want to stay in a hotel, stay in New Kingston only. Room rates could be pricey for this city, around 120 USD per night. I do not have firsthand information on hotel rooms here. Last time when I went to Canada, I had to stay 8 nights and that burnt a hole in my wallet. This time, anticipating the same, I tried to play as less-fancy as possible. I stayed at a BnB place in the Beverly Hills area which worked out so well for me and my friends as well. The place was super affordable and not at all hotel like. If you need more info, PM me from my profile. The property owner recommended a driver and I hired him throughout the trip. Kingston by itself is not fancy by any means. Do not expect any Caribbean or touristy experience in Kingston. The place is a dead rubber after 9 PM, at least the areas which may interest you. J The Consulate: The lines outside the consulate could be very very very long. Appear at the consulate ONLY 20-30 minutes prior to your appointment. You can stand in the long line, and mention to the security that you have an appointment in 30 minutes. They will take you to the front. All people in the queue come too early hoping that they will be let inside. Typical! One of the staff members will look for the following for a H1B interview: Passport. Appointment confirmation letter, NOT DS 160 Confirmation. Recent Photograph (even though the DS 160 has one). I-797 They will arrange them, staple and direct you to the security entrance. Once screened, you will be directed to the next building which is like 200 feet away. I felt like the Chennai consulate which I went more than 5 years ago. Here comes the actual part! You will be asked to sit and someone will be moving the waiting people forward. When your turn comes (which took 45 minutes for me), you will enter the actual building, stand in line again and get a token after the desk staff verify your name and information in the system. Your passport will be affixed with a bar code for the Jamaica consulate at the rear, your 797 will be stapled to the passport, and a token number will be stapled to the appointment confirmation print out. Go inside, get seated, wait for 40 minutes again and then you will be called for finger prints. After the finger prints are done you will come out of the building and wait in the opposite row of chairs outside the actual building in the corridor (kinda) and wait again. When your turn comes, you enter the building again and stand in the line waiting to be called for an interview. That is when the interview happened, FINALLY. Passport Pick up: I appeared for the interview on a Monday and I was asked to pick up my passport on the Wednesday (Sep 11, 2013 – Hope the souls RIP for what has happened 12 years ago). Went to the consulate again at 2 PM, and saw no line, sighs! Went through the security and entered the building. You will go to the open window where they are giving passports. Gave the red stub, the VO gave me and my passport was returned. Thank You!!! Since I cancelled my full fare ticket I bought tickets for the following day and came back to Boston. Conclusion: My explanation looks exhaustive, but the experience was more exhaustive and tiresome. On the interview day, I stepped out of the Taxi at 8:30 AM and walked out of the last gate at 12:15 PM. That is almost a 4 hour window you will have to keep moving, waiting, waiting and then go to the interview. The life saver part is they have a refreshment stand in the waiting area inside the consulate where you can get some drinks and food. Comparing my experience to the previous one in Ottawa, Canada: Ottawa consulate is very small compared to the Kingston consulate. The wait times are less, number of people attending is less, and you will be in and out fast. Why did not I go there again? My Canada visa expired and did not want to apply when I have an option to go to Jamaica without a Visa and my employer encouraged me in all aspects as well. End of the day, listen to your gut. The intent of this post to present my experience as much as I could but by no means to bias anyone’s decision in choosing a consulate of interest at the time of your interview. On a personal front, I still hold to the same argument I mentioned a year ago, whether you should go for an interview or not, in this post: http://bit.ly/10P2kx4 I wish everyone the very best and good luck in your endeavors. Cheers!
  5. ramkashyap

    Salary difference

    You shouldn't worry at all. As others said it should be at least the lca amount but can be more than as well.
  6. I honestly have no idea on what the consular process is and your case. Sorry I cannot be of help.
  7. ramkashyap

    H1b Stamping before the Current Visa Expires

    1. I am not sure how early you can go before the current Visa expires. But you can go without the existing stamp being expired. (I did that for myself but I appeared to the interview 35 days before my existing stamp expired). As jairichi said above please confirm the allowed window. 2. ABSOLUTE NO!!!
  8. ramkashyap

    H1B Visa revoked after 2 yrs

    Sorry about what has happened. I personally never heard a case like this. IMO, you should speak to your employer and your attorney about this soon. Also there were certain situations in the past where people were making phone calls to the non immigrants and cooking up a story to squeeze money by making them go to a pharmacy store or gas station and transfer money in one form or the other. You may think I am deviating the context, but I wanted to throw my 2cents, anticipating if this could be one of those cases. Please reply here updating your findings which could be useful for many of us. Good luck to you.
  9. ramkashyap

    Successful stamping at Toronto (March 25, 2014)

    Congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
  10. ramkashyap

    H1 stamping in Cape Town(South Africa): 221 g

    You said "Its more than a year now since this H1 process started and still i dont know whether i will get it or not." But your interview was on the 13th (14 days ago). What do you mean by 1 year? I assume you are in South Africa still.
  11. Any update on your case status?
  12. ramkashyap

    H1B Stamping Jamaica or Canada

    Dear Fly2USA, Please do not go to a consulate based on someone's encouragement. You cannot be confident that way. I hope you do (or might have already did) enough research before going to that place. Also, when asking generic questions like this, it makes it very easy if you add more information like, educational background, job details, etc Wish you the very best.
  13. If the immigration officer asks for a return fare you will be made to wait in a waiting area and a separate officer will ask you tu buy the ticket. They will let you use a computer and book the ticket. There are flights from Kingston to Toronto, Canada (Air Canada), and then to India via Europe(Air Canada, Lufthansa etc). I assume you do not have to worry about transit visa thru EU in this context.
  14. Hi All, I had my interview at the Ottawa consulate today (March 27th) and all went fine. Before ramping up, I would like to thank everyone in the forum, and some of my friends. The initial logistics were the same as everyone explained: Security check no back packs plz. They do not allow those. Cell phones are OK. Document check ~ quite formal, not super serious. He pretty much asks to see Passport, Employment Letter, Vendor Letter, Client Letter (in the order). Proceed to Counter # 7 to get the token number. He took my passport, I 797, EVC letters and gave the token. I observed a pattern in the token numbers, odd numbers for EVC & EC models and even for FTs. Again, this is my assumption from my observation. When called, get the fingerprints done at Counter # 4. I could observe that the documents (passport, 797, evc letters etc) collected are observed/read by another person before they get to the VOs desk. My interview went like this: 1. Greetings, exchanged 2. So, which company do you work for? Employer name 3. Do you have a preferred vendor? Yes (followed by name) 4. VO Points at the client letter and said, “Do you work here?” Yes 5. What SW do you work on? Identity and Access Management (Oracle Security & Middleware) 6. Explain. I spoke for few seconds and he interrupted. 7. So, tell me is that Java or .Net. Java based product. 8. Are you a Java developer? I work on Java when I work on development………….. ( I was about to talk more) 9. We have a technical problem, but everything is absolutely fine with your Visa. Follow these instructions and handed over a piece of paper. My explanation might be long but the interview lasted for no longer than 90 -100 seconds. Keeping MY Interview aside, I would like to throw in something: I felt that jackets might not be allowed as it applies to back pack. You can wear a normal weather proof jacket and leave that in the cubby before the initial document check after the security. You will be coming back in the same way you went in. you can pick up then. Thanks to many mates in the forum about the cold weather and thanks to my stupidity about thinking that jackets could not be kept some where in the embassy and it may not look good on me at the time of the interview. I am stupid, need not be you. :) Better wear a blazer so that it protects you from the cold weather and makes you look good. Getting a car here (own/rent) could add more logistics in case of a denial. Be prepared for that. One-way drop off costs 600$ apart from the rental rate. Before you leave the US, please decide for yourself if the trip is worth or not. No one can answer this except YOU. Every one has a unique situation like marriage, personal work in India, having a stamping gives the luxury to travel whenever needed, current stamping scenario makes you confident, haven’t been home in a while, etc etc. A trip to Canada (either Ottawa or any other place) is going to involve some financial dilution. I took one-way flight from Boston and arrived Sunday morning when I had my interview on Tuesday since Monday flights were crazy expensive. This is my situation. Yours could be different. Prepare for 4-5 days of hotel room stay. Some of my friends got their passports the day after the interview and came back to work (in US) on the third day itself, but there were people who had to wait for 3 business days which made their trip span over 7 calendar days. Again case by case. One-way return tickets could burn your wallets. (As in my case now…. 700 to Boston, crazy). I am telling all this after looking at some posts in the forum where people are exhausted about the fact they got the Visa and the trip resulted in 1300$ expenditure. Then why did not they attend the interview in India? If I got a Visa stamped and started complaining about the money, what should my friends back home think about the fact that they are waiting for a decision (be it good or bad) to be made even though they had their interview almost 8 months prior to date. On a separate note, information in this forum is NOT an absolute reflection of the situation out there. Vancouver is good, Ottawa is bad, etc is not true. It does NOT mean that this is a place where incorrect information is posted. I would like to make it clear that information here is NOT complete. Not everyone reads, will come back and write. Look at the reply/view ratio on every post. There is no bible that states rules & steps to get a visa stamped. If you are on EVC and not having enough documentation and support from every layer DO NOT attempt leaving the country assuming something. Unless in emergency, this makes no sense to me. All the rest is same, as everyone has cautioned us (in case of a 221g): Accommodation for an extended period of time, work from home (if applies), money involved, mental strain, etc. In Ottawa, hotel rooms could range from 65-100$ per night. I am a car freak in US and did not get a rental car to try out for a couple of days. I am doing absolutely fine with the public transport since my stay is in the downtown area. Hotwire, 3 star, downtown area “Hot Price” gets you only one hotel: “Extended Stay.” I am a hotel junkie and this search will not yield anything else except this, as of today’s hotwire partners. To have a trend about the prices, follow betterbidding.com where people talk about priceline and hotwire rates. Wish you good luck and I hope everyone turns out GREEN. ~ Kashyap. K a s h y a p.c o m @ g m a i l . c o m I am always willing to help within my boundaries.
  15. Simple answer will be NO. When transiting through Germany, a transit visa is NOT required under the following circumstances: 1. If you hold a valid, unexpired US Visa (eg: If you have an unexpired F1 stamped in your Passport but switched your status to H1 that is fine) 2. If you return to your country of citizenship after a legal stay in the US.
  16. If at all you will have to return to India, it is better to leave from Montego Bay, Jamaica (Airport code: MBJ). Condor Airlines operates direct flights to Munich and Frankfurt. Transiting through Germany doesn't require a stamped Visa. Once you are in Germany, you know your way to India. :) Going to Montego Bay is easy from Kingston. There is a bus service from the New Kingston area to MBJ area everyday and the charge is approx 35$. My cab driver said he would charge 200$ when I asked. This is all good information to have it handy, but I really really hope none of us has to do this. Cheers!
  17. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.
  18. ramkashyap

    H1B Visa Stamping - LCA - Jamiaca

    Every employer should file for an LCA for every project even though you are with the same employer. If you are not on H1B some employers take it easy to file an LCA and I assume that is what might have happened in this case. If asked for proof of employment, W2s and Pay stubs should suffice in most cases. If LCA is requested, you can say something like "Employer took care of LCAs during the OPT period". That is what happens for everyone. For instance, a US Citizen will not be given the LCA even though the employer files for one. We are given the LCA that is used during the H1B filing only (new/amendment/renewal). I personally feel that there is not a lot to worry about in this situation but it is what it is. You cannot fix the past.
  19. My Bad. It is a FULL REFUNDABLE
  20. You MAY be asked to buy a ticket to India. AFAIK, for you to transit thru Canada or USA you do not need a transit Visa before hand. I could be totally wrong here. Someone should second me. My friend bought a non refundable one way ticket via Canada to India and the Jamaican immigration let him enter Jamaica after that.
  21. Check your email. Arun, it would be better to mask your email as per the terms before the mods mask it.
  22. ramkashyap

    Approved H1B Visa Stamping Jamaica on Nov 13

    Congratulations! "....At last he commented, Please post in your portals to ask everyone to come for a week atleast. We also need enough time to verify everything....." Thanks for sharing. Hope it helps a bunch.
  23. http://forum.murthy.com/index.php?/topic/64400-kingston-jamaica-h1b-interview-experience-complete-report/
  24. ramkashyap

    Anyone for Visa Stamping @kingston

    As abhigroups mentioned, you will have to forego the visa fee you have already paid for the other country.It is not a swap process. Cheers!