Successful H1B Stamping in Ottawa on January 17th 2012


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My Background:

My first 3 year H1B extension had expired and needed my H1B renewed with a valid I797 approval.

Here was my experience

I had my appointment at 8:30 AM and reached the embassy at around 8:00 AM(Any earlier and you are asked to come back half hour prior to your appointment. A lot of people were asked for their appointment confirmation letter with the date and time shown on it. I am not sure why I was not asked for one.).

After the usual security check,

(One thing to remember is that please do not bring your backpack or anything other electronic devices. My car keys with remote and my chap-stick tube were taken from me in exchange for a clothesline hanging wooden clip with a number on it.

Just try bringing a file folder. I saw a few with just a plastic bag. I saw several people scampering for a cab to go back to their hotels after they were refused entry into the embassy with their backpacks.)

went inside the embassy and there was a gentleman standing, who asked for my passport, H1B approval notice and DS 160 confirmation page.

He then routed me to window # 7. At window # 7, I was asked for my, status is Canada (visitor) and my employer letter(employment verification letter). I was specifically asked if I had vendors in between. To which I said no as I am directly employed.

(I did notice about 10 people from ******** working with vendors and the gentleman at the window # 7 asked for letters of employment from the vendors as well as their clients they had projects with.)

I was then given 2 laminated cards. One had my number on it (used to call you to the next few windows) and then other card had some instructions on it. Basically saying that you are speaking truthfully to the best of your knowledge.

Once my number was called, I went to window # 4 and was asked to provide my finger prints.

After the finger prints, I waited for about 20 minutes, for my number to be announced again and then was directed to window # 3.

This is the exact conversation I had with the visa officer (VO)

VO: How are you?

Me: Doing Great, and You?

VO: What do you for your company?

Me: I work as a XXX with XXX (my company).

VO then started typing something.....

VO: How long have you been working for XXX (my company)

Me: X yrs

VO: Where did you work before?

Me: X company for x years

VO: Where did you graduate from?

Me: X University

VO then started typing something......

VO: Your visa is approved and this piece of paper has instructions on how to collect your passport.

I am now waiting for my passport.

Super smooth process. Was in and out in under 50 minutes with my belongings after returning my clip for their clothesline.

FYI, there was no PIMS verification done in my case.

Do let me know if you guys have any questions. Will be more than happy to help you.

A few tips....

Be courteous and polite. Dress business casual but don't go overboard. Deodorant helps as I overheard a few people working at the embassy make fun of some people who did not wear them.

A smile is always helpful and just keep calm. I know its a nerve wrecking time but you have nothing to worry about if you have not done anything wrong.

Good Luck to everyone, who is planning to attend their interview.

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Yet another update. It seems that my passport is ready to be picked up according to the waybill number but the CSC Visa Information website does not reflect anything. I drove to the location only to find that their business hours are from 8:00 AM to 6:00PM.

Will try again tomorrow and keep you guys updated.


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It seems that my passport was ready last evening.

I went and picked it up this morning.

So I had my Appointment on the 17th of January and I got my Passport back on the 19th January morning. I could have picked it up on the 18th.

2 days is pretty impressive turnaround time for the US embassy in my opinion. Probably because it was a pretty straight forward case.

Hope this helps.

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  • 1 month later...


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