Last H1 visa expired 2015 but had my i797s so was legal till now. Further had changed employer in between.
- Fill DS-160 with the hopeful consulate location. These are a few locations in Canada- Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Quebec City, Montreal. Generally, there is a HUGE wait time for Toronto and Vancouver (around 3-4 months) given they are top places
- Then go to the following site. Create an account and fill in the details and then schedule an appointment.
- Valid unexpired passport – Passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the expiration date of your intended status.
- Older passport containing the visa category stamp. If you are renewing H1B then take the passport that has the H1B stamp
- DS-160 confirmation page ONLY
- Visa application fees receipt. One can get it from this. (Top right-hand side click continue and the last option- View payment receipt)
- Visa instructions- refer to the picture below
- Original Non-immigrant Visa Petition Approval Notice (Form I-797) (or something similar).
- Original degrees
- Recent Paystubs from your company
- Valid driver's license
- Credit card
- Photograph (within the last 6 months)
- I started my DS 160 towards the end of October.
- Took an appointment towards the end of January since that was the only available date at that time
- Asked for an expedited visa, please refer to the picture below. Phrase it as to why should they expedite your visa
- My interview was scheduled for 8 am, reached there around 720am, given was super anxious and thought why not go and get the lay of the land prior to the interview. However, the elevator was not working and they were delayed. At around 815 the started letting people in beginning with 715 730 and so forth. I finally entered approx 9ish (did not have a watch/phone so not sure of the exact time).
- Once the prelim guard clears you, you enter inside, go to the left and climb 1 floor and then go through security (TSA style)
- From here go to Window 1- Someone checks your documents and photographs. [If you are renewing please take the passport that had the last stamped visa]. Also, my photograph was not reading for some weird reason, so I took another snap there (C$10 for 6). Frankly, the new one looked weirder than my previous one but I did not argue and they let me continue. Also, as I mentioned earlier, my chosen consulate was Toronto but I got Vancouver in the end. So they had to transfer the same to Vancouver (took about ~15-20 mins for that- I am not sure given no watch)
- From there you are sent to window 2- This is where they 10 print (take your fingerprints). Left 4 followed by right 4 followed by thumbprints and they give you a number here
- From here you are then taken to the 20th floor (around 5-6 ppl at a time)
- One is made to stand in line again and then wait for a VO to open up.
- Where are you working?
- What are you working as?
- Where did you graduate from?
- Can you show me your previous passport which had the H1B stamp?
- Here are your rights, the visa is approved.
- Collect in 3-5 business days. Gave a green sheet with instructions.
- You can take your cell phone for the Vancouver embassy. I did not take mine, as I was staying close by. (Airbnb)
- The consulate is close to a Starbucks and it is in a side location, easy to miss. Use google maps and key in the address. Also, there will be a huge crowd of people looking clueless which should tip you in the right direction.
- One can request for an expedited appointment ONLY once you have scheduled an appt. I was lucky in the sense my request got approved though in another consulate (Vancouver)
- The VO will take your 797 and you will get it when you collect your passport.
- The picture that explains couple of the above stuff is this
- For some weird reason when I click on my check DS 160 state after the interview the page keeps crashing. But when you open the same in internet explorer does not crash as often.