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-   -   Visa Interview over Christmas (https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-immigration-citizenship-visas-34/visa-interview-over-christmas-775622/)

princessconsuela Oct 24th 2012 3:31 pm

Visa Interview over Christmas
 
Hello!

My I-797 has just come through for my H-1B extension and I'm trying to get the visa portion of it sorted out!

I know I'm alright staying in the country without the visa in my passport until I leave the country. But that makes me nervous in case I need to leave the US on short notice. I'm doomed to a trip to the embassy at some point and would rather get it out of the way. And see my family for Christmas while I'm at it!!

My worry is that I'm not going to have enough time between the interview and the passport being returned to me. Weekends and holidays are not counted in their average of 5 days processing time. I also just found out that 48hrs for the courier isn't factored in either. I got an interview for 18 Dec and now need to book flights but don't have much holiday time from work.

Has anyone done their interview at the embassy over the Christmas period and can say how long it took to get their passport back after the interview?

Thanks!

lisa67 Oct 24th 2012 3:42 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 

Originally Posted by princessconsuela (Post 10347624)
Hello!

My I-797 has just come through for my H-1B extension and I'm trying to get the visa portion of it sorted out!

I know I'm alright staying in the country without the visa in my passport until I leave the country. But that makes me nervous in case I need to leave the US on short notice. I'm doomed to a trip to the embassy at some point and would rather get it out of the way. And see my family for Christmas while I'm at it!!

My worry is that I'm not going to have enough time between the interview and the passport being returned to me. Weekends and holidays are not counted in their average of 5 days processing time. I also just found out that 48hrs for the courier isn't factored in either. I got an interview for 18 Dec and now need to book flights but don't have much holiday time from work.

Has anyone done their interview at the embassy over the Christmas period and can say how long it took to get their passport back after the interview?

Thanks!

Are you going to the UK?
You could go to Canada, they're not obliged to do it but many people have gone there for renewals, including myself several times. Might be cheaper?

princessconsuela Oct 24th 2012 3:47 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 
I thought about that but I still really do want to spend the Christmas in the UK with my family so I would rather do visa at the same time. Time and money spent in Canada would be time and money away from quality my family and friends in the UK was my reasoning. Thanks for the suggestion though!

ian-mstm Oct 24th 2012 5:43 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 

Originally Posted by princessconsuela (Post 10347652)
I still really do want to spend the Christmas in the UK with my family so I would rather do visa at the same time.

Why do you need to wait until Christmas to go to Canada? Go now.

Ian

princessconsuela Oct 24th 2012 6:14 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 
I tried looking on their website but couldn't see how long it takes them in Canada to process and return the passport... My thoughts were that if I had an appointment on, for example, a Monday in Canada and it took 5 (guess) working days to get it back to me then I would still end up taking a week off work to spend in Canada alone. Or I could use those 5 days holiday time with my family and friends later in the month and also get my visa sorted. I would still have to pay for a hotel (probably $100+ a night) and transportation.

Plus I have already spent $210 to get an appointment in London which means the decision is made!

I think I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed just like with most visa related things!

Fred16 Oct 24th 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 
Last year London
Appointment Thursday Dec15
Passports were ready for return Wednesday Dec21

princessconsuela Oct 25th 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 

Originally Posted by Fred16 (Post 10348261)
Last year London
Appointment Thursday Dec15
Passports were ready for return Wednesday Dec21

Thanks! That is quite reassuring! I hope they're similarly speedy with me!:)

gavin85 Oct 31st 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 
I'm in a very similar situation but would prefer to go to Canada.

I am switching from an H2b to a P1. I've been on the P1 since the summer but don't have the stamp.

I'm looking at going to Montreal. I've checked their website and it doesn't seem like they do interviews the way they do in London so would appreciate any feedback and advice on this process particularly in regards to processing times.

cheers

princessconsuela Jul 10th 2013 6:33 pm

Re: Visa Interview over Christmas
 
To update people on what happened here (in case they end up in the same situation).

I had my interview the morning I landed Tuesday 18 Dec. Paid the medium amount of postage (I think there were 3 options ranging from fast and very expensive and slow and cheap) and then it was delivered on the Saturday. And I had a Merry Christmas indeed!


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