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Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Old Apr 7th 2021, 9:07 pm
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Default Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Hi All,

Hope all are well and in good health.

I have been fortunate enough to be granted a H1B visa and am now trying to plan for the move over to the US. First and foremost is scheduling the visa appointment. I am currently located in Vancouver (Canada), and they are only taking emergency appointments here, as they seem to be across the whole of Canada, although the Ottawa wait time for a H1B related appointment is 300 days.

I need to relocate as soon as possible. Is anybody able to offer guidance or a suggestion as to how best to approach this situation please, be it within Canada or otherwise?

Furthermore, and although nothing can be done about this now, could I have booked an appointment at the time I was approved for a visa through the lottery process last year, or, have bookings only been permissible since the recent expiration of the ban on March 31st 2021?

Thank you in advance and as always for your answers and guidance, greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 7th 2021, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Are you Canadian?
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Old Apr 7th 2021, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Thank you for offering assistance Mr. Folinsky.

Not Canadian. I am a UK citizen here in Canada as a PR.
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Old Apr 7th 2021, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Hi All,

Hope all are well and in good health.

I have been fortunate enough to be granted a H1B visa and am now trying to plan for the move over to the US. First and foremost is scheduling the visa appointment. I am currently located in Vancouver (Canada), and they are only taking emergency appointments here, as they seem to be across the whole of Canada, although the Ottawa wait time for a H1B related appointment is 300 days.

I need to relocate as soon as possible. Is anybody able to offer guidance or a suggestion as to how best to approach this situation please, be it within Canada or otherwise?

Furthermore, and although nothing can be done about this now, could I have booked an appointment at the time I was approved for a visa through the lottery process last year, or, have bookings only been permissible since the recent expiration of the ban on March 31st 2021?

Thank you in advance and as always for your answers and guidance, greatly appreciated.
Conrats on getting a H1B in the lottery! I'm not sure about the lottery last year but my wife had her H1b (cap exempt) petition approved in May (I think) 2020. The earliest appointment they offered us at London was August 2021. I imagine that since then the backlog of people requiring appointments has only grown. It's not just H1b either as all non immigrant appointments were suspended. (We also had an approved O1 petition, but were told that wouldn't have been any quicker).

I don't see there being much of a way around it as you could request to have the appointment in Canada where you live or London/Belfast as your 'home' embassy - but we were told over a year for an appointment at London and I don't think that has improved?

We did end up getting an appointment - but it ended up being in Germany (long story).

I hope someone else may be able to offer more hopeful suggestions, sorry!
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Old Apr 7th 2021, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Thanks for your insight Irish_Girl, very helpful.

When did you enquire about your appointment when they offered you a slot in August 2021? Was it possible to book appointments during the ban for dates post the ban's expiration?

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Old Apr 7th 2021, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Thanks for your insight Irish_Girl, very helpful.

When did you enquire about your appointment when they offered you a slot in August 2021? Was it possible to book appointments during the ban for dates post the ban's expiration?
Yes, once the petition was approved and we had submitted the DS-160 you have to go through the appointment setting website, this shows the available appointments. All it showed for us was August 2021. We tried our best to get an expedited appointment but had no luck. We even had the senators office from our state speak with London to see if they could expedite, but no dice.

They did advise us to check regularly because sometimes slots become available if there is a cancellation - not sure if this was happening during this time though.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Thanks again Irish_Girl, your input is extremely helpful!

I need to be very clear on a particular point with your help please as I am about to lose it with the company lawyer who filed on my behalf. The ban recently expired on March 31st, however, did you book your appointment while the ban was in effect? I am trying to understand whether or not it was possible to book an appointment during the period while the ban was in effect, to have the visa appointment booked and in place for after the visa ban expiration, or that bookings were only possible to make post the ban expiration on March 31st?

Should it be the case that you were able to book appointments from when the H1B was unofficially granted up until the visa ban, say a consulate has a 300 day wait for a visa appointment, was it always going to be a 300 day wait from the moment the visa ban expired? Or from the moment an appointment was booked while the ban was in place?

Last edited by Rainmaker; Apr 8th 2021 at 1:22 am. Reason: Clarification on question.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

I need to relocate as soon as possible.
H1B applications are in March/April for an October 1st start.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
H1B applications are in March/April for an October 1st start.
I think this was October last year.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Thanks for your input.

I believe those dates are in relation to the H1B under normal circumstances, however, given the ban that was put in place, these dates did not apply.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Thanks again Irish_Girl, your input is extremely helpful!

I need to be very clear on a particular point with your help please as I am about to lose it with the company lawyer who filed on my behalf. The ban recently expired on March 31st, however, did you book your appointment while the ban was in effect? I am trying to understand whether or not it was possible to book an appointment during the period while the ban was in effect, to have the visa appointment booked and in place for after the visa ban expiration, or that bookings were only possible to make post the ban expiration on March 31st?

Should it be the case that you were able to book appointments from when the H1B was unofficially granted up until the visa ban, say a consulate has a 300 day wait for a visa appointment, was it always going to be a 300 day wait from the moment the visa ban expired? Or from the moment an appointment was booked while the ban was in place?
Just going back to a previous point, is anybody able to provide clarity on my question above?
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Just going back to a previous point, is anybody able to provide clarity on my question above?
When you say unofficially granted do you mean the petition was approved?

I have not done an H1b myself, only for employees, but when I went through the L1a, once the petition was approved, I was advised by the companies lawyer to complete the DS-160 and schedule the interview myself.

What are you going to loose in on the lawyers about? that you did not schedule your own interview?
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by tht View Post
When you say unofficially granted do you mean the petition was approved?

I have not done an H1b myself, only for employees, but when I went through the L1a, once the petition was approved, I was advised by the companies lawyer to complete the DS-160 and schedule the interview myself.

What are you going to loose in on the lawyers about? that you did not schedule your own interview?
Thanks for your input and question.

To clarify, the petition was approved, and I am now to schedule an interview. I usually handle all of my own, or my family filings, and this is the first time I have left it in the hands of a lawyer, our company lawyer, to handle proceedings. I appreciate circumstances are unusual given covid and issues related to the visa ban, however, what I am trying to establish is whether or not I was able to schedule an appointment at the point of the petition being approved for the period post the expiration of the ban. In essence, with a 300 day wait lets say, should the lawyer have advised me to book the appointment there an then to begin the 300 day countdown, or that I did not have a choice and was only able to attempt to book an appointment post the expiration of the ban from when the countdown would begin?

I am left in an awkward position with work as 300+ days for a move creates issues, and it is one thing if I were left in no choice but to be able to book an appointment post the ban, and it is another if the lawyer did not advise correctly as to the next steps.

Really appreciate your input in this regard.
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Thanks for your input and question.

To clarify, the petition was approved, and I am now to schedule an interview. I usually handle all of my own, or my family filings, and this is the first time I have left it in the hands of a lawyer, our company lawyer, to handle proceedings. I appreciate circumstances are unusual given covid and issues related to the visa ban, however, what I am trying to establish is whether or not I was able to schedule an appointment at the point of the petition being approved for the period post the expiration of the ban. In essence, with a 300 day wait lets say, should the lawyer have advised me to book the appointment there an then to begin the 300 day countdown, or that I did not have a choice and was only able to attempt to book an appointment post the expiration of the ban from when the countdown would begin?

I am left in an awkward position with work as 300+ days for a move creates issues, and it is one thing if I were left in no choice but to be able to book an appointment post the ban, and it is another if the lawyer did not advise correctly as to the next steps.

Really appreciate your input in this regard.
I understand your frustration, but not what you are asking? there is no special "my lawyer forget or gave me bad advice" so please expedite USCIS option I know about. You can't go back in time and do it differently so aside from suing your employers lawyer for damages (if something could have been done but was not, which is unlikely given CV19, and you could even prove a financial loss) I am not sure what you are even trying to do/achieve?

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Old Apr 9th 2021, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Visa Appointment Wait Times..... 300+ Days?? :s

Originally Posted by tht View Post
I understand your frustration, but not what you are asking? there is no special "my lawyer forget or gave me bad advice" so please expedite USCIS option I know about. You can't go back in time and do it differently so aside from suing your employers lawyer for damages (if something could have been done but was not, which is unlikely given CV19, and you could even prove a financial loss) I am not sure what you are even trying to do/achieve?
Thanks again for your input.

I totally appreciate that, and that is not my intention in this regard. I do however need to be clear on the facts here for when I sit down with my CEO to discuss my circumstances, and this will be a question that will be posed. It is not a matter of crying over spilled milk, but more so and quite simply to know the facts.
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