H1-B Stamping Tips


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Hi All, I just became a member here and replied on a few threads immediately. I am now on an H1-B approved visa but haven't gotten it stamped yet. I graduated with an MS in Fall 2010 and started working soon after. I work directly for a company [medium sized, 200 employee company] and I don't think I'm in the EVCC/EVC model since I don't work for a middle-man/vendor/client etc. Am I right in assuming so? Just an FYI, I'm the only non-US citizen in the company.

My H1-B was applied as soon as I started working (Jan 2011) and was approved within the normal application approval time. I have not traveled outside the US since summer 2009. All my documents & my situation seems to be pretty straightforward and everything in order.

I'm looking to visit India in June and therefore, want to get my visa stamped before returning. Since that time is the main rush period for students coming in for Fall 2012, I want to avoid that and go to Vancouver in the next couple of weeks, preferably within April 20th. Am I correct in this line of thinking? Also, I've been reading threads that talk about experiences in the Vancouver consulate. How bad is it and how good/bad would it be for me? Thanks! Any help/tips would be appreciated.

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If you're a direct and full-time employee with your documents in order, no problem. Contact your immigration law firm (and if possible, the consulate) ahead of time to confirm the PIMS status for your application - this avoids delays. IMO, anywhere in canada is better than stamping in india. Go forth with confidence for the interview - you should be fine.

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  1. This is a link to my stamping experience in Vancouver - http://forum.murthy.com/index.php?/topic/33601-successful-h1b-stamping-vancouver-feb
  2. Can you confirm - when your company applied for your H1-B, did they use your Master's degree as your highest form of education? If they did, then that makes things much easier for you to apply for a visa in Canada/Mexico( since your degree is from the US). It doesn't mean that you still can't apply from Canada/Mexico if your degree is not from the US.
  3. I don't know the stamping experience in Tijuana, Mexico but if you live in California, it might be cheaper going to Mexico than Vancouver. For example a colleague of mine did his stamping in Tijuana. He drove to San Diego, parked his car and crossed the border. He then stayed in a hotel for the 2 days it took him to get his visa and then crossed back into the US then drove back. I on the other hand had to fly to Vancouver and the ticket wasn't cheap. But then I hear I could flown to Seattle, then driven from Seattle to Vancouver which would have made it cheaper but the trip would have been much longer.
  4. People talking about confirming PIMS status with consulate. I've done stamping twice and I never did. I've also read from threads in this forum that you don't get a reply when you send such emails.

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Thanks everyone! I feel much better now having read your replies, obviously, I can't feel completely at ease & confident either!

H1BNIV2008: What's PIMS? Is this the verification that you need to get done before entering the consulate but is optional?

immigrationseeker: I was only thinking abou the psyche of the VOs. They'd be seeing a lot of students coming in and handing out 221Gs or rejects would be almost second nature during that period. When I went to the Chennai consulate for my F-1 in 2007, 8 people in front of me consecutively got rejects (evident from their dejected looks)... May be it's my own psychological thing but I'm not looking forward to going through that again :) And by FTE, I assume you mean Full-Time Employee?

deedee: Thanks for posting your experience, seems wonderful enough :) Anyway, I did choose Richmond as the delivery location while partly filling out the DS-160 form yesterday. You have any tips about staying in Vancouver etc? I've heard it's too risky to go to Tijuana now. I'm also looking at Vancouver for a week's worth of holidaying, assuming everything goes well with the visa :) Driving across would be good but I don't want to pay extra car rental charges if I don't get the passport back soon; that'll just shoot the trip cost high up.

To your point, my company applied in Jan 2011 and I got the approval soon after, don't remember the exact date. I believe they put me in the Master's quota coz it wasn't filled up yet for 2010-2011 (or for that respective) year. I'll have to talk to the attorneys to get my facts in order though.

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Hi, I just finished my DS-160 whose confirmation number I needed to check available appointments in the consulates. Unfortunately, Vancouver has an appointment in 97 days which is way more than I can wait. However, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto & Calgary have appointments in 3 days (Ottawa, I believe, has in 9 days). Which do you guys think would be my best bet?

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