H1B Stamping experience Montreal (Canada) – Jan 2019

I was on H1B residing in residing in New York from 2015. I changed two employers and decided to go for stamping with extended I797 A petition approved till 2019 in Jan 2019. First of all I filled DS 160 by going to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ link. One can start the new application, retrieve the application and upload the application by selecting he location and putting in the security code.

 

 

Once you application is submitted you will get the confirmation email and confirmation number.

Please make sure to review the application before submit

 

 

Once you get the confirmation number you need to take appointment sing the specific confirmation numbers.

Appointment can be taken at below link by adding the Confirmation number. Any changes to Ds160 will result in new confirmation number and one need to reschedule appointment to edit new conformation number.

https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ca/niv/users/sign_in

One you paid you can schedule appointment for 2 times without any additional cost.

You need to prepare your documentation for interview date. Most important of them are mentioned below.

 

  • Current Passport valid for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements.)
  • Passport containing the most recently issued U.S. Visa (if applicable).
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Confirmation and Instructions page printed from this website
  • One 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches) color photo taken within the last 6 months. Further details regarding Department of State photo guidelines can be found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html.
  • Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present a marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certificate (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
  • Copy of proof of your legal status in Canada
  • Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker Form I-129 or Notice of Action Form I-797 from USCIS (does not apply to H1B1 visa applicants).
  • Job offer from United States employer and a Certified Department of Labor approved application (applies to H1B1 visa applicants only.

 

Travel Plan:

For Montreal one need to very vigilant about weather. As my interview date was on Jan 10 2019 it was freezing cold. All 3 days I stayed there was intermittently snowing. The challenge with such weather is that you need to be adding buffer 30 mins in everything you plan.

I booked Air Canada for Montreal for Jan 9 and it took me 1.20 Hr to reach Montreal. I stayed in Vandreuil Dorion which is about 55 mins away from where I need to travel. It is not at all recommended to stay that far if you are not residing with someone you know in Canada. I was residing with one of my college friend.

Appointment Day:

My appointment was at 12.30 pm and I started early morning as weather was dicey. I with my friend took train from Vandreuil station towards McGill station. It took me exact 1 hr to reach McGill eaton center above train station. I make my self conformable by getting some coffee from Tim Hortons. Then here come my first mistake I planned to reach embassy by 11.30 am. Its really unfortunate that Montreal embassy you need to stand out in Queue in any case (snow or sunshine). Initially I have been told by security officer to go back and came at around 12.25 pm. So in case you are going to Montreal for stamping always reach on time and if you are with family be prepared to stand in queue.

 

I went to Burger king and spent 45 mins by eating veggie burger as slow as I can. It took me about 20 mins to enter into the embassy. The first step was to verify you appointment and passport. Then you need to pass through security check. There was rumor which I heard that you can’t take Mobile or wallet to embassy but there is a counter after security check where you can place your Mobile, earphone and wallet.

But please dont carry any bags they are strictly not allowed. After security check they will tell you to go to some floor using lift where rest of the process will be executed. After reaching to the respective floor you will be sent to window for document verification. After verification check you will be sent to finger print counter and then you will be told to wait. After sometime in batch of 10 you will be sent inside the interview room where they will be 3 windows. I went in and there were two officers calling people one by one for interview.

There were people in every category for B1/B2, E1 and H1B etc. I have been called and asked following questions.

VO – Please share your passport

I – Given

VO – Please share your petition

I – Shared

After 3 to 4 mins she asked.

VO – Who is your employer?

I – told.

VO – What your employer do?

I – Told.

After 6 to 7 mins she told you visa is approved and she asked “When you are planning to fly back to US? ”

 

I told her during weekend. She smiled and pass me the tag which I need to carry back on which dates were mentioned and i have been told to pick passport next day. I was surprised as everyone was saying that it take 3 to 5 days to get it back. But in Montreal I think queue is less.

I was happy and went back to eaton center to take lunch.

 

Next Day I went to same place to pick my passport and same process is followed to enter in. I have been asked to pick passport from window 1 and it was around 3.00 pm next day.

I enjoyed Montreal visit for next 2 days with my friend and flew back to US in weekend.

 

Challenges:

Major challenge for someone who can only deal in English was to understand French as in Montreal from ordering food to travel you need to somehow understand French or need some to translate so be prepared for the same.

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