H1-B Extension beyond 6 year: Vancouver experience


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Sharing my recent experience in Vancouver.

We reached the consulate a few minutes after the appointment time (7:45 AM) but it wasn't a big deal. I found the arrangement at the consulate very inefficient - the number of queues you go through... first a documentation check (make sure you have the core documents ready - your passport, I-797, the DS-160 confirmation and latest photo, they ask you if it was recent, make sure to have one), then an initial security check, then stand in line for a elevator, then stand in line for another security check, then go for initial documentation scan, then another separate window for fingerprinting, and then stand in line to wait to be called for interview, then wait for another elevator, then stand in line for the interview :) Who the hell designed this process?!

Anyway, this was my 3rd H1-B interview, my last two were London and Toronto, and this one was probably the friendliest and easiest.

All I handed was my passport and I-797. Nothing else was asked. After the initial greetings, all he asked was for my position title. Then if I was with the same employer as my previous visa, I said no, and I work with XXX, and he said "oh, they have an office right here!" After that it was just friendly chit-chat, where do you live etc., and then he said your visa is approved. 

I saw a few others go through successfully as well, and some were really quick.

So, once again, if your documentation is in order, and your employer reputed, it should be a pain-free experience. Except those queues...



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  • 2 weeks later...

And while I'm at it my return US experience... 

Well, the return was even more uneventful - Calgary airport. The officer asked absolutely nothing except my I-797.  Officer Grumpy was having difficulties with the fingerprint reader, so I had to spend a few minutes rubbing my finger on my neck, this and that, until he got all the fingers. And then Officer Grumpy said 'good bye' and that was it.


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