221G during H1B Extension - Dropbox at Bengaluru


sithlord

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I was eligible for dropbox this time and followed the process for getting the H1B stamped. I submitted the doc+passport on 14November. Got the status updated to Ready to Collect on 18th November. I was traveling and collected the passport on 23rd November. Did not open the packet there, not being aware of 221G and blindly expecting the stamp to be there. I reach home and opened the packet to see how they scanned the photo for my stamp and what I see is a blue slip along with my passport. I half thought it was some instructions about the stamp and stuffs. But it said I have to appear for the interview with all documents from petitioner section.

What I notice was most of the checkboxes are for consultancy related. I work for a product (SaaS) based startup and we sell our product to customers. Not sure what model it follows but it is not a consultancy company.  Thats what the attorney says too.. 

Searching across forums, I notice that 221G can get scary. 

Seems like a roller coaster ride - the feeling you get in the stomach when the roller coaster dives down. Seems like many others are in the same boat. 

I believe there are others in this forum who are a FT employee for product based startup - any progress/comments? 

Edited by sithlord
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Hello!!I had the exact same experience...

 

Monday November 7: DropBox Chennai VFS

Dropped off Passport with copies of 797 approval notices

 

Wednesday November 16: Case Updated on Passportdocs

Visa Status still processing but passport updated to Delivered to Post (not ready for pickup)

Went to Sholinganalur Blue-dart pickup location and collected passport at 12:20 PM

Passport was NOT stamped with visa and there was a 221g blue slip

The slip was checked for several documents (PFA copy) and asked me to come in for a formal personal interview (not just email the requested documents)

Went to Chennai US Consulate at 2:00 PM with all documents for interview

Was asked to come back the next day @ 8 AM for walk-in interview

Printed out several Client project documents and emails.

 

Thursday November 17: US Consulate, Chennai

Printed out i140 Approval Notice at 7:30 AM (Paid INR 300 for this!! :))

Went to Embassy @ 8:30 AM

Security check (was asked to not wear the Fitbit so walked back out and handed it over to mom- glad she was right outside)

Document verification of Passport/ DS160/ 221g blue slip done here

Was asked to not cover my FedEx box (with a ton of documents)

Waited in the line for around 20 minutes (over 200 people in front of me)

Line progressed to a building and waited around 30 minutes in the building where a new line was formed (families, elders and disabled people were given a straight entry and didn’t have to wait)

Asked to go into counter #16 where I was finger printed after DS160 was verified with passport

Asked to enter a general queue (this serviced H1, F1 and B1 visas). Waited here for around 20 minutes.

When my turn came, was asked to go to counter #26

Reached the counter and there was an Indian family (parents and 2 kids) giving their interview to a Caucasian VO.

They got the visa approved and she seemed in a good mood.

My turn came and I stepped close to the glass doors

KK: Good Moring

VO: Good Morning sir, can I see your passport

KK: Gave her the 2 passports

VO: Can I see your i129?

KK: Handed over i129 Approval Notice

VO: Who do you work for?

KK: Employer is S2 IT Group LLC

VO: Typing on her computer as she speaks... Where is this employer?

KK: Based in Atlanta GA and provide services all across the USA

VO: Typing on her computer as she speaks...Do you work for a client?

KK: Yes, Manheim Auctions

VO: Is there a vendor, if so who?

KK: Spartan Resources is the direct vendor.

VO: Typing on her computer as she speaks...What does the client do?

KK: They are the world’s largest car re-marketing company and are a fully owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.

VO: What do you do for them?

KK: In my current role, I am the QA lead for a new Oracle ERP Implementation project. 

VO: Typing on her computer as she speaks...How lone have you worked at this client?

KK: The last 5.5 years.

VO: How long have you worked for your employer?

KK: Around the same time, 5.5 years.

VO: Typing on her computer as she speaks...Do you have a client letter?

KK: Handed over Client and direct vendor letters.

VO: Do you have any project details?

KK: Handed over a printed out email from the Project Release Manger (client) with project status on what has been deployed and what work is pending to be completed in 2017. Also handed over a couple of project technical documents. Also handed out a client project organizational chart (with my name highlighted on it). Also handed out a news article by Autonews.com with a report on G2G and its impact on Auction industry.

VO: Thank you, I see you come prepared and smiled. She reviewed this for good minute or 2.

Told her, I have more documents related to project timelines and technical details if she was interested to review them as well.

VO: No, thank you and said I will be right back. She closed the glass door with blinds and stepped out from her desk. She was away for a good minute or 2 and then got back. Gave me a yellow slip that read " Please be waited....." and asked me to sit down for some time while the documents are being reviewed. I was escorted to a separate waiting area and waited there for around 5 minutes.

 

 

Security officer came and asked for Kaushik Kumar to appear at counter #22. No officer present and after I got there, within a minute or 2 an Indian officer (female) showed up.

VO2: Good Morning, can I see your LCA?

KK: Gave the i 797 approval notice.

VO2: LCA is the document that the employer filed before the H1B

KK: Apologized and gave her the LCA from the big document file provided to me by my employer.

VO2: No problem let me check this and get back to you.

I went back to the same waiting area and waited there for around 5 minutes.

 

Security officer came and asked for Kaushik Kumar to appear at counter #22. No officer present and after I got there, within a minute or 2 an Indian officer (male) showed up.

VO3: Hello, Can I see your paystubs?

KK: Gave last 6 months paystubs

VO3: Can I see your end client contract document?

KK: Sir, I can give you the contract between my employer and direct vendor.

VO3: That should be alright

KK: Gave the contract with a few recent POs.

VO3: Thank you sir, you may sit down and we will call you when we have finished reviewing this.

I went back to the same waiting area and waited there for around 5 minutes.

 

Security officer came and asked for Kaushik Kumar to appear at counter #26 ( same as the first one). The 1st VO was sitting there and again greeted me with a smile. She said after reviewing your documents, we are unable to make a decision and so your application with be in Administrative Processing and handed me a new 221g blue slip along with my earlier blue slip ( I got 2 now!)

KK: Maam, is there anything you need from me? I have several more documents that I haven't provided to you yet.

VO: No sir, I see that. But this will be handled internally by our administrative team and they will get to you after they have made a decision. Here you go and handed me all the documents I gave earlier- I noticed the staples had been taken out when they reviewed. She mentioned that they have scanned all the documents that they need.

KK: My wife is in Atlanta. Is there a tentative timeline that I can give her and to my employer on when they can expect me to be back home? Would I be able to get back home for Christmas?

VO: I am afraid I can’t give you that. It can take a few weeks to several months. She gave me back the 2 passports and the blue slips. 

KK: Can I also have my approval notice please?

VO: They are in that lot (the set of documents she just returned). 

KK: After review I said yes thank you.

VO: Hope you have a good day.

KK: I don’t know about that but thank you and same to you. Happy thanksgiving to you.

Walked to exit and all the way out of the consulate. Parents were waiting anxiously outside at the same spot where there were like 3 hours back. The disappointment on my face gave the story.....

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  • 1 year later...

Update: I received my stamped passport after the 221g was cleared. It took a total of 3 months and 2 and half weeks. USCIS and DOS did a full background check on my employer, my client and my work history. Just remembered to update this thread after several emails from folks reading my post.

P.S.: This is a frustrating time. I suggest you to contact the local senator if this happens to you and they could work for you in getting you updates. But that's the most they can do. This would still progress in the normal course. 

Regards,

Kaushik

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