TAL 221g Administrative Processing Chennai - observations & tips


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This post pertains purely to additional Administrative Processing (AAP) due to TAL (related to work area/technology). It does NOT pertain to other causes of 221g (such as common muslim name or consulting job). DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice, purely personal experience.

A lot of folks working in several Technology areas (typically non-software) have been subject to extended administrative processing at US consulates during visa stamping (new or extension). I have been through it twice - 3 years ago when it took 105 days for approval, and last month when it took 4 weeks for approval. Just wanted to share my recent experience to provide some reassurance to folks stuck in the same boat.

1. Be ready for the worst - your work may have nothing sensitive about it, but you may still be picked for AAP. It's pretty random and at the discretion of the VO.

2. Prepare for an extended stay before you leave the US.

- Plan your visa interview for the day after you land in India so you can overlap most of the delay (if stuck) with your vacation.

- Processing time these days is 4-8 weeks, but most people seem to get approval in 4-6 weeks based on my observation.

- Plan your visa stamping when you expect your work to be not too busy/critical, so a couple of weeks in addition to your vacation doesn't cause too much disruption to your company.

- Speak to your boss about this. Reassure your employer by explaining why this happens. Explain to them in detail about the process and why it happens, and how there is typically no risk to your being able to return but it is just a matter of time - a few weeks of delay. By doing this, you win their trust and also can get approval to work from a site in India (if your company has an office there) to work remotely after your vacation ends, or request to work from home in India during the delay. Reassure your employer that you would even work on US work hours to ensure there is no impact to your communication with your boss/coworkers/others.

- Take your work laptop, badge and stuff with you so you can easily work from an India work site or home.

- Purchase some form of VOIP telephone service - such as MagicJack (unreliable though), Skype or such - so you can make calls to the US for work or other needs while you're stuck there.

- Pass on a spare US home/mailbox/car key to a close friend just in case there is a need for them to help you with something while you're stuck in India.

- Plan to pay all bills and taxes online or make arrangements in advance.

3. For your visa interview, take all documents needed. Typical documents include:

- HDFC receipt

- Interview appointment letter

- All passports

- H-1B approval notice

- H-1B petition full package – LCA, I-129 application, Letter of Support from the company, company financials, educational documents

- DS 160 (submitted online, but take a copy)

- Recent photo (submitted digitally online, but keep physical prints). Make sure photo was taken within past 6 months.

- Pay stubs past 3 months

- Performance reviews last 3 years

- Sheet with contact information of your supervisor and HR manager

- Employment verification letter

- Degree certificates and transcripts

- Passport photocopy

- All W2

- Past 3 years form 1040 (tax returns)

- Resume describing current and previous jobs. Typically current job description should match job description in the H-1B petition.

- A separate sheet answering the old 221g questionnaire. The Chennai consulate doesn't give this questionnaire with the pink slip these days, but it helped a lot to have all the answers printed. The lady at the second counter who takes the AAP related documents (resume and such) really appreciated that I had this ready. Google search for a copy of the old Chennai pink slip questionnaire.

And lastly, don't worry if this is the first time you're going through this. It's just a matter of a few extra weeks and you'll get the approval as long as everything is in order. NOTHING can be done to speed this up - no use calling DOS or your senator unless it has been pending more than 90 days. So be patient and try to enjoy your time in India.

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  • 4 months later...

Wonderful information. My fiance went through this dec 2011 and it took him less 3 weeks after he submitted the documents

Hi ,

My fiancee when for her H4 interview on april 24th and she has done MSC biotech and has worked on a biotech firm for last 2 years amd she is currnetly resigned.

Its been 3 weeks we send the documetns they requested mainly CV/Resume and some details more of them are irrelavent ..

Was your fiance scenario also the same ? any idea how muach time it will take .


sathish Kumar .T

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