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Old Apr 20th 2010, 2:09 pm   #1
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Default possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

While going for a H-1B visa renewal interview what are the likely questions I might be asked and what documents will I require?

1. I believe questions might be the standard ones like name of employer, type of work, skills used for that, salary, length of employment and my educational background.

2. For documents, will I need anything for the visa interview other than I-797, entire application packet used for my H-1B renewal, passport, my degree certificates, tax stubs, pay stubs, DS 160, bank receipt for visa fees, employment letter?

Our college's in house personnel(who are are not immigration attorneys, but people who are trained to file petitions) did my H-1B. They answered the above documents and questions are needed.

Are there some other questions I need to be prepared for or documents I need to take?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Apr 20th 2010, 5:55 pm   #2
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

For us, we needed nothing other than the requirements listed on the interview letter i.e. original I-797, visa application (DS-156/7 as was then), proof of payment. No harm in having everything else to hand, though.

So far as questions, it was even more trivial than the original application i.e. Hi, how's it going, so what does <<my company do>>, oh that sounds interesting, ok fingerprints. My wife didn't even get a single question.

Your mileage may vary, depending on the embassy and nature of your company. With H visas, there's been a history of people using consulting companies as way of turning the H visa into a "come and live in the US and try to find some work" visa. If your company looks like that, you might receive more scrutiny...
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Old Apr 20th 2010, 7:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

My husband renewed his H1 several times with me and kids in tow (H4s) the renewal process was always very straight forward. He was asked the last time he went for pay stubs, which we didn't have (never been asked perviously for these, although I think they're on the list) but the officer didn't seem to mind that he didn't have them. I was never asked anything
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Old Apr 20th 2010, 8:04 pm   #4
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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For us, we needed nothing other than the requirements listed on the interview letter i.e. original I-797, visa application (DS-156/7 as was then), proof of payment. No harm in having everything else to hand, though.
With H visas, there's been a history of people using consulting companies as way of turning the H visa into a "come and live in the US and try to find some work" visa. If your company looks like that, you might receive more scrutiny...
Thanks for the reply. BTW, my H visa is not through a company, but a college(actually a university is more proper term).

Last edited by f_t; Apr 20th 2010 at 8:07 pm.
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Old Apr 20th 2010, 8:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Originally Posted by lisa67 View Post
My husband renewed his H1 several times with me and kids in tow (H4s) the renewal process was always very straight forward. He was asked the last time he went for pay stubs, which we didn't have (never been asked perviously for these, although I think they're on the list) but the officer didn't seem to mind that he didn't have them. I was never asked anything
Thanks for the response. I read some stories on the Web(though their cases were lot different), where people were grilled a lot and was worried that they might have made the renewal process more stringent.

Also, I wanted to ensure I did not miss any document.
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Old Apr 20th 2010, 9:08 pm   #6
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

Please report back and let us know how it goes.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 12:03 am   #7
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Please report back and let us know how it goes.
Sure, but it is many months away. I have to yet book a appointment date when I travel to my home country.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 1:44 am   #8
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

Don't forget the Digital Photo and an updated, approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from your Employer!!

I think if your institution is a well-established one, and you can describe you job duties fairly well, then it shouldn't be a grilling visa interview process.

BTW, is your H1-B VISA stamp expiring? The reason I'm asking is although the H1-B status has to be renewed 3 years at a time, you can do that within the U.S., unless your Visa stamp will be expiring and you anticipate travel outside of the U.S. after the expiration date. The duration the consulate gives for the visa stamp depends partly on the reciprocity with your country of citizenship. Some countries' citizens are given stamps valid for 60 months at a time.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 1:11 pm   #9
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Don't forget the Digital Photo and an updated, approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from your Employer!!
Yes, the application packet of H-1b should contain the LCA. The digital photo is something I need to find where I can get it according to the specifications. I don't know if CVS/ Walgreens process photos of that size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lifehouse51 View Post
BTW, is your H1-B VISA stamp expiring? The reason I'm asking is although the H1-B status has to be renewed 3 years at a time, you can do that within the U.S., unless your Visa stamp will be expiring and you anticipate travel outside of the U.S. after the expiration date.
Yes, the stamp is expiring in less than two months and I will be traveling outside the US after it expires which is why need the stamp to return.
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The duration the consulate gives for the visa stamp depends partly on the reciprocity with your country of citizenship. Some countries' citizens are given stamps valid for 60 months at a time.
The duration of the stamp generally depends on the type of visa. If your H visa was filed for three years, you get a stamp for that long. If less, then your stamp duration is also less. Yes, for some visa like student visas it is given for five years though the study program may be only for two years and if your home country has amicable relations with US.

Thanks for your advice and time.

BTW, looking at your timeline in your signature of F-1 visa for 11 years, you could be in the EB-1 category as if you have spent 11 years in colllege, you might have a Ph.D which helps a lot for the EB-1. Though, EB-2 is also quicker for people from Australia except it needs labor certification(which is a bit difficult in this market and takes about a year and half typically) and employer sponsorship. You may want to look if you can move to the EB-1 category if you have a Ph.D and the other required credentials.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 1:19 pm   #10
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Originally Posted by f_t View Post
The duration of the stamp generally depends on the type of visa. If your H visa was filed for three years, you get a stamp for that long. If less, then your stamp duration is also less. Yes, for some visa like student visas it is given for five years though the study program may be only for two years and if your home country has amicable relations with US.
I haven't got a H1-B visa before, but looking at the reciprocity table for Australia, for example, a max of 60 months can be issued. I just checked and it's indeed true that the visa stamp will only be issued for either the 60 months or the period on the LCA, whichever is less. From what I understand, all H1-B status are only valid for a max of 3 years, so why even bother having a max of 60 months??

Quote:
BTW, looking at your timeline in your signature of F-1 visa for 11 years, you could be in the EB-1 category as if you have spent 11 years in colllege, you might have a Ph.D which helps a lot for the EB-1. Though, EB-2 is also quicker for people from Australia except it needs labor certification(which is a bit difficult in this market and takes about a year and half typically) and employer sponsorship. You may want to look if you can move to the EB-1 category if you have a Ph.D and the other required credentials.
Actually I doubt that I'll qualify for EB-1, mostly because I don't fall into one of the 3 categories (Outstanding researchers, international award winners, etc.). I finished my M.D. a few years ago and will be entering a residency training program. After that, it's possible I can get an academic position with potential for EB sponsorship.
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Last edited by lifehouse51; Apr 21st 2010 at 1:22 pm.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 1:58 pm   #11
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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The digital photo is something I need to find where I can get it according to the specifications. I don't know if CVS/ Walgreens process photos of that size.
Digital camera, inkjet printer, photo paper... what else do you need?

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Old Apr 21st 2010, 2:03 pm   #12
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Yes, the application packet of H-1b should contain the LCA. The digital photo is something I need to find where I can get it according to the specifications. I don't know if CVS/ Walgreens process photos of that size.
It's probably the same/similar format as the Passport photo required for U.S. Passport application, so you shouldn't have problem getting it. It has to be:
1. In White Background
2. 2 Inches X 2 Inches
3. From Top of Hair to Bottom of Chin: 25-35mm
4. From Eye Level to Bottom of Photo: 28-35mm

When scanned, the photo has to be in a square format, minimum 600 X 600 pixels, scanned at at least 300dpi, and file size <240kb
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 6:39 pm   #13
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Originally Posted by lifehouse51 View Post
Actually I doubt that I'll qualify for EB-1, mostly because I don't fall into one of the 3 categories (Outstanding researchers, international award winners, etc.). I finished my M.D. a few years ago and will be entering a residency training program. After that, it's possible I can get an academic position with potential for EB sponsorship.
Ok, I thought you had a Ph.D if you were a student(F-1 visa) for 11 years which made me think you can go for the EB-1(extra ordinary case). But, if you can get an academic position as a faculty you(or actually the university which hires you) can still try for a EB-1(outstanding researcher) petition for you. You may want to look into it, when you get hired as a faculty. After three years most people with a Ph.D try this EB-1(outstanding researcher) through their employer when they have sufficient publications and get it too.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 6:42 pm   #14
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Digital camera, inkjet printer, photo paper... what else do you need?

Ian
Thanks for the advice.

What I meant was if there was a photo processing shop(CVS/Walgreens) which can get me a photo according to those specifications which as some one below commented should be possible as it is standard format for a US passport.
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Old Apr 21st 2010, 6:44 pm   #15
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Default Re: possible questions for a H-1B visa renewal interview

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Originally Posted by lifehouse51 View Post
It's probably the same/similar format as the Passport photo required for U.S. Passport application, so you shouldn't have problem getting it. It has to be:
1. In White Background
2. 2 Inches X 2 Inches
3. From Top of Hair to Bottom of Chin: 25-35mm
4. From Eye Level to Bottom of Photo: 28-35mm

When scanned, the photo has to be in a square format, minimum 600 X 600 pixels, scanned at at least 300dpi, and file size <240kb
Thanks for the detailed measurements. I did not inquire about it, but now as they are same standards as a US passport application photo, I guess I can get it easily
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