Negative Stamping Experience in Cairo


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I am of Indian origin but my parents have been settled in Cairo, Egypt since 2000. I went to the US on an F1 in 2006 and then COS to H1b after finding a job there. Anyway, I came to Cairo for my first H1b stamping this December.


Monday December 8th - Interview

  •     - It was a strange interview, the VO asked a range of questions. He was mostly concerned about the 400 some page document the immigration specialist had sent me with. It was the whole I-140/129 petition packet. 
  •    - Anyway, after a while he asked me to give my finger prints etc. in lieu of approving the visa. Towards the end, something popped up on his screen that he wasn't sure of. He started asking around and I kept hearing the "warning" has something to do with "adverse information found in PIMS". I overheard more stuff about "how to override a PIMS warning". 
  •      - Following all this, I gathered that the VO had never seen this before and he was going to check with others. He said that he will keep my passport and I-797 along with the company letter; They will contact me if they need anything else, otherwise I "should be good". 


Obviously after this, I was nervous about what "adverse information" they would find on PIMS. My company is a leading consulting firm in the US and I haven't ever violated my immigration status in the US. The only thing that might trigger that warning might have been the fact that my current company acquired the company I joined right after college, and along with it took over all the immigration responsibility. 


Anyway.. after the interview started the gruelling wait for any updates. All kind of thoughts running through my head. 


December 14th- CEAC updated with 'Administrative Processing' 


Well.. ****.. I thought.. More panicking and trying to figure out alternatives for my life.


December 17th- CEAC updated with Visa 'ISSUED'


Maybe the 'Administrative Processing' was not the feared administrative processing and just the normal checks they do in all cases- like many other forum posts.


December 18th- US Travel Docs Updated with- "Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery"



Well.. I was excited on Dec 18th since I had planned to travel back on the 23rd Dec...I'll make it back in time, or so i thought.


December 23rd came and went and the passport has still not been transferred to the courier company to date, December 29th. 


Now, my legal stay of 30 days in Cairo is about to come to an end and there is no news of my passport. There is no process of collecting the passport from the Consulate in Cairo... the US Travel Docs helpdesk folks are useless and provide conflicting information.


I can't travel or amend my permitted stay in Cairo without my Passport. I've e-mailed the consulate twice about my situation and they have not responded. One would wonder, how long would it take them to transfer the passport to the courier company if the passport is done with the Consular section. 


So, here I am folks... stuck in Cairo, Egypt without a passport after having canceled my flights.

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Well.. turns out the reason for all of this was the classic incompetency of the Courier service and the US Travel Docs Website. Turns out the passport has been sitting at the courier office since 18th DEC and they did not notify me and kept denying that they had the passport when I called.


I somehow got the issue escalated with the Embassy and they finally gave me an Airway bill number, following which i received the coveted SMS that the passport is waiting..something I should have received on the 18th.


Oh.. BTW.,.. the US Travel Docs website still says that the passport is being processed for delivery.

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  • 5 months later...


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