Sucessful Visa stamping in Calgary 03/12/13


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I got my H-1 B stamping approved at Calgary on Tuesday March 12 2013 along with 6 other people. Visa approved for everyone.

Thanks to Murthy forum.

Below is my visa interview experience.

On the first floor there is a line for security check and they take your passport, I-797 and DS-160 and they give you a small piece of paper which has your token number on it.

They will check the photos and if they are not happy with them they will ask for additional photos and if still they are not satisfied then they will ask you to go and take new ones at the photo booth which is beside the security check room.

Then a group of 5 are taken to 10 th floor where the fingerprints are taken and interview is conducted.

Your token number will be displayed infront of you. They will check your passport, I-797 and DS-160 and photos. Once done you will be asked to wait and your token number will be displayed again for fingerprints. you have to wait some more time and then then your token number will be displayed for interview.

There were counter3 and 4 where the interviews are getting conducted.

VO was a male at counter 4.

me: Good morning. How are you?

VO: Good. Thanks. How are you?

me: Good.

VO: Have you been hospitalized and stayed over night in the hospital ?

me: I was sick and been to hospital but never stayed over night.

VO: Did you call your manager and informed that you will be taking a day off because you are sick ?

me: No.

VO: So you never took a day off to go to hospital?

me: No. I took permission with my manager for 1 or 2 hours.

VO: How long you have been working with your employer?

me: xx years.

VO: Who is your client?

me: yyy company.

VO: Where are they located ?

me: ZZZ location.

VO: How lone your have been working with them ?

me: aaa years.

VO: Your visa is approved. Please collect your passport in 3-5 business days.

4 people went to counter 4 and they had atleast one question that you might not be expecting.

The above process may change as I see difference from the earlier experiences. Be prepared for anything.

5 of us received passports on Thursday and one on Monday.

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i had my interview on mach 12 tuesday....

ds 160 status can be checked at https://ceac.state.g...YzCYubaSQI+RA==

before interview it is application pending...

on the day of interview it wud be administrative processing after u attend interview

on march 13, it was updated to issued around afternoon...

on march 13 night around an email from loomis that they have my passport...but not available for pick up...

on march 14, around 9:30am...went to loomis for collecting my passport....flew back to USA

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questions asked me in interview:

1. employer name? what do u do for your employer?

2. why is ur employer name like that...who named it..?? (fun question)

3. did u study in US?

4. you graduated right?

5. what did u do after MS?

6. how long have u been working with current employer?

thats it..

im in EVC model and no questions or any documents asked regarding client or vendor or paystubs or anything..???

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i suggest only 3 points for anyone who ever is attending interview..

1. fill ds160 correctly and truthful as far as you know and remember that

2. have alll documentation supporting ds160 and other document checklist given by many people before

3. confidence

thats it....

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the reason VO asks many questions regarding ..did u go to hospital or did u take vacation is to prove that ur a fte employee of your employer and ur paid salary wise..

he wants to extract that u report to your employer only....he gives u paid vacation....he gives salary on time and as promised....

thats it...

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Here's another detailed experience i posted in the other thread. I have attended calgary on march 12th with others in this thread..

I reached Calgary around midnight on March 10th. I was able to get in touch with few other people who had stamping on March 12th, the same day I had interview. We booked a hotel rooms at Days inn Calgary south and rented a car. On Tuesday morning, the day of the interview we took a cab and went to the consulate. Please note that you are not allowed to carry cellphones or car keys or any other electronics into the consulate. I suggest you leave them back in the hotel room.

Upon entering the consulate we’re asked to line up and keep the passport and DS-160 confirmation outside. After this there is a security check point. All the files/folders will be thoroughly checked including your coats/jackets. Once the security check point is passed we’ll form another line to enter the name in register. The lady at the registration desk will ask for I-797 (original) as well. She’ll check the photo on DS-160 confirmation. Please take a color printout of this confirmation page. If the photo is not clear, she’ll ask you if you have other passports pics with you. If not, there is a shop as we enter the building that takes passports pics. A common things we observed was photos taken at Walgreens are not accepted for some reason. I had mine taken at CVS. A friend mentioned he had taken at Walgreens and he was asked for different pics. Please carry additional pics if you can.

Once the registration is complete we’ll be asked to wait until a security guard comes along and escorts us in groups of 8 to the elevator to the 10th floor where the consulate is. Once out of the elevator there is another security check point. You are required to remove belts and shoes here. Upon completion, we’ll be given two tokens with the same number and asked to wait in a room (this is where the counters are present for visa interview). We’ll wait in the seating area and monitor the boards till our number is displayed. At first we enter the counter displayed and hand over the DS160 confirmation, Passport and I797 (which are put together using a rubber band at the registration desk). The lady will take all these documents and ask a couple of questions like “are you here in Canada on vistor’s visa? And “are you here for your H1b Visa” etc.. You don’t have to worry about anything here. One of the two tokens will be taken here. Then we’re asked to wait for finger prints. Once again after our token number is displayed we give finger prints in a small booth (all finger prints are in the same room. There is only one booth for everyone unlike visa counters). After finger printing is over, we wait for the actual interview. Once again when our token number is displayed we go to the counter and present ourselves for the interview.

Interview as it is was simple and straight forward for all of us. The main questions were

Where do you work?

What do you do?

Who is your employer?

Where is he located?

What do you work on?

What are your roles and responsibilities?

One of the persons who attended the interview was asked if he was ever admitted to a hospital overnight or has taken any time off due to sickness. He mentioned he took time off for couple of hrs from work to go to a doctor. He was then asked if he’ll be paid for those 2 hrs. This guy said no but then he realized that he was supposed to say he gets paid. So he said he’ll work over the weekend or some other time and make up for those 2 hrs. You are required to be paid since you are a full time employee with your employer. So please make sure you are clear and confident about what you speak.

After the interview was over, the status on site will be update to “ISSUED” the next day (probably in the evening). Once the statyus changes, you’ll receive an email with from an id that starts with “” with a waybill number and a tracking link. Once you receive this email, you can go to the loomis office next day and pick up the passport. This email usually comes at around 10 in the night (local time). Another important thing to note is the status on the remains “Administrative Processing” until the passport has been sent to loomis. This is no cause of concern. This does not mean that your visa is under admin processing unless you’re told so my the consular officer. Another important this is the email from loomis will sometimes go to spam. Please keep checking spam mail also for this email.

You should be able to see a status update on the day after the interview and get an email from loomis a few hours after the status update. However, in some cases like mine, I did not receive a status update or email. I went back to consulate on Friday morning and requested the security personnel to allow me to talk to someone regarding my case. I mentioned that my visa has been approved but haven’t got a status update. They didn’t care nd simply said there is nothing they can do and I’d have to wait for email from loomis. However, in Calgary, there is a lady security guard who has agreed to listen to my concern. I mentioned that everyone else got their status updates and passport on time but even though my visa was approved I didn’t even get a status update. She asked me to wait and called the lady at the registration desk and come and talk to me. She came and listened to me, took my name, passport number, DOB and my contact number (both mobile and hotel numbers). She said she’d call me in the afternoon and let me know of my status. I went back to hotel immediately and checked my status and to my surprised it said “ISSUED”. I wasn’t sure if me going to consulate helped in any way. Around noon time, I got a call from the lady at registration desk confirming tht my visa had been printed that morning (i.e Friday) and sent to loomis and that I’ll be able to pick it on Monday or worst case Tuesday since loomis is closed on sat and Sunday. I went to loomis on Monday morning 7:45 a.m (they open at 8) and got my passport immediately and flew back to US.

From my experience I can say that if you’re visa is approved it’s only a matter of time before you get status updates. If not you can go to consulate and request them to look into your case.

As for candian immigration upon arrival in Calgary, it took 10 seconds. The officers asked questions likes why are you here, when are you leaving back and what will you do. All of us mentioned we were there for H1B stamping. I was asked what I’ll do for 5 days (that’s what I mentioned on immigration form). I said I’ll go around visiting places. They didn’t even care to listen to my answers. They stamped the entry date on my passport and gave it back to me. However for some of us, a date 6 months from entry date into canda was written on the stamp meaning you have to go back before that date. I can assure you that as long as you have entry stamp you’re good even if there is no date manually written as most of us were not given that date. In some cases, you may be asked to go into a separate room for immigration if you mention you’re in Canada for H1b stamping. Again. You’ll be asked the same questions others were asked outside. This is no cause for concern.

Once you are ready for return and check in at the airport you have to enter US Immigration in the airport itself. Yes, US immigration will happen in Canada itself. There will be a big board at immigration entrance saying you’re not allowed into immigration if the departure time of your flight is more than 2 hrs. However, if it’s not crowded they’ll let you in anyway. The questions asked at US immigration are where do you work, what do you etc.. basic questions. There will be immigrations forms and forms for I-94 near the check-in counters at the airport. Please be sure to fill them out before you head to immigration to save yourselves time. I-94 card will be given at check-in counter as well. One or two of the people were asked for I-797 just as proof but were not questioned any further.

As for accommodation, we shared twin bed rooms to save some money. It comes with 2 beds so should be good. If you are unsure about where to stay, I suggest taking hotels south of Calgary on macleod trail as it is only 2 kms from consulate on one way and 2 kms from mall the other way. There are enough hotels on this street and having a car is advisable. There is a food court in the mall with a variety of options. Food elsewhere is ridiculously expensive. Hotels near the airport may be a tad cheaper but do not have many dining options.

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I was one of the 6 guys who visited Calgary on 03.12.13 for the H1 Stamping. On that day, there were two visa officers conducting the interviews. One was a bald guy probably around 35 - 40 age and interviews by him were quick but the questions were little out of box like the Hospital visit question. Other visa officer was an old lady, whose interviews were a little longer but the questions were orthodox. I was interviewed by the lady and she asked regular questions like how long have you been working for you employer, who is your client, whats my role, where did I do my Masters and specialization, questions of that sort. It was pretty straight forward.

The interviews were relatively cool, so be relaxed and confident. Just make sure you have all the supporting documents. One thing that we were told was the passport photos from Walgreens are NOT good enough. So better don't get the photos from there. Good Luck to all the guys who are getting their stamping done :)

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