H4 Visa Experience Interview Questions and Answers Jobs

Here is what happens at the consulate. You have to report 15 minutes prior to your appointment is what they say. But be a little early and not too early. If your appointment is at 9.30 they won’t let you enter inside before 8.30 or 8.45. My appointment was at 9.30. So I got there at around 8.30 and stood in the queue. There is a counter outside the consulate to check your appointment letter. I reached that counter at around 8.45. There was an old couple standing in front of me in the queue. Their appointment was at 10. They were not let inside. Sad part was they were asked to go back and stand in the queue which was pretty long by then.
Inside you have to undergo a security check. No electronic equipments are allowed inside(cell phone, ipod,etc) and cds. These are strictly prohibited. Next section where there will be a lot of counters , you will be called based on your time slot. Now there are some documents that needed to be submitted to the interviewer, the officials in these counters will arrange the documents in the right order as would be needed by the interviewers and give it to you. Its all Indians who do this part. After this you might have to wait for a little while before you take up your interview. I had seen people heading to a different block for taking their interview. But when I was getting my documents arranged a lady came and took up one of the counters there and I was sent there to take up the interview. All interviewers are Americans.

Its a one to one interview, they know we are not fluent with their accent , so they will make sure that we can catch every word they say. If you don’t get something you can tell them pardon. If your interviewer is very jovial you can be that way too, but if he/she is cordial try to be pleasant throughout. For dependent visa , the aim of the interview is only to understand if you are married to your spouse. So most of the questions will pertain to your marriage and spouse. My interviewer was shooting out questions very rapidly, just to check if I was really confident. If I was not really married and I had just learned my spouse’s and wedding details ,then I would have faltered at some point.

My interview went like this

When I got to the counter she said a hai and asked for the documents, I gave the whole set as they had arranged it. She just checked everything quickly and started the questions

Q. Is this your first H4?
A. Yes
Q. When did you get married?
A. May 16 (my interview was on May 24th)
Q.Can i see your marriage certificate and wedding album?
A. Sure Mam (and handed it)
Q. How long have you known your husband?
A. Four months.
Q. Can I see your husband’s employment letter?
A. Yes mam (Hand it over).
Q. How did you meet your husband?
A. Ours was an arranged marriage, so our parents arranged for us to meet.
Q. How was the wedding arranged? (Her question was how did the whole thing start, who initiated it and how was it finally confirmed, I actually got her wrong first. I thought it was merely the wedding day arrangements, so she repeated the question stressing on each word. When she knew I didn’t understand she gave me a hint like how did it start)
A. I gave a brief description about it.
Q. How many people were present at the wedding?
A. Around 300
Q. Have you finished your studies?
A. Yes, I finished my under graduation.

She said Your visa will be issued and forwarded to the address you have given. I said thanks a lot mam with a big smile and left.

Some extra questions
Q.Where is your husband staying?
A. Give the city name . You need not know the house address by heart, if they ask for it, show the address in utilities bill.
Q. Where is his office located?
A. Give the city name.
Q.Who are his clients?
Q. Where is the company head quarters located?
Q. What is he?
Q. What is his birth date? (answer the date with year)
Q. When did he get his stamping?
Q.When are you planning to fly back?
Q. Are you going back together?
Q. Are you planning to work in the US?
A. Should be no. They don’t appreciate you working.
Q.Are you planning to study in the US
A. they don’t mind that. So go ahead with your answer… y/n.
Q. What is your husband’s annual income?
Q. What did you study?
Be patient when answering, be precise, because, as you know many people are waiting to take up the interview behind you, so they don’t have time to listen to extra details. Try to answer only what is asked. Your H4 Visa is valid till your spouse’s H1B visa is valid.
You can’t work in US with H4 Visa.It is possible to change your H4 Visa to H1B Visa to work in the US, either you can take a degree in the US and then apply for a job, or if you have good work experience you can try for jobs here;and ask the company to apply your H1B. They will do that only if you prove to them that you will be an asset to them. At present, under Obama administration getting H1B visa is really tough. Also, there was a recent update about a bill under consideration, which would allow dependents of H1B visa holders to work, while their Green card process has started, which is Before Receiving EAD. ūüôā Great, right?


H4 Visa Documents Requirements Complete List

This post is sort of a sequel to my post “H4 Spouse US Visa Procedure explained” . Here I want to write about the documents which are required for attaining the H4 dependent US visa .
Checklist For H4 Visa 2010 Interview:

1. Printout of the confirmation page
This is the form with your confirmation number. Your photograph in the printout should be clear enough.

2. US Visa size photograph
As far as I know they don’t ask for the photograph anywhere in the consulate. But keep a picture for safer side. From 2010 , the photograph is passed to the Consulate through uploading in the DS-160 form in VFS website application.

3. HDFC Bank receipts
Take both the receipts (Blue and Pink) with you. The blue receipt will be taken at the consulate and the pink one can be kept with you.

4. Printout of the Appointment Letter
Get a printout of the page that has the confirmed appointment date and time. Report atleast 15 minutes before the interview.

5. Your Passport
I am sure you won’t forget that. Of course, if your interview was successful the passport will be taken by them, visa will be issued in the passport and sent you back through blue dart courier service.

6. Principal Applicant’s Passport copies (photo copies of all pages)
In the H4 visa case the principal applicant is your spouse. So you need to carry his photocopies of all pages in the passport. No page should be missing. You might be asked to submit this.

7. Employer Letter
This should be issued by your spouse’s employer to prove that your spouse is working under that company,to prove that he has a job .

8. Original Marriage Certificate
Original marriage certificate should be produced to the interviewer if asked. Be careful that the name and address in the passport and marriage certificates match. It will be given back after verification.

9. Wedding Invite
Sometimes they might ask for a wedding invite, sometimes both, sometimes they don’t ask at all.

10. Wedding album
You don’t have to take the entire huge wedding album. That might not even go through the glass counter, there is only a small counter through which you can pass your documents to the interviewer. When I went for my interview there was a lady who got the entire album. Just get a small album, keep all the pictures that shows the important wedding pictures like putting the sindhoor, going around the agni, tying the sacred chain/thaali/mangalsutra.

11. Tax and Pay Stubs
This is the tax return statements or the W-2. If any of these are asked you have to produce your spouse’s W-2 and pay stubs.
W-2 form shows the tax returned to your spouse . In US the tax system is different, the government takes the tax amount straight from your salary and the rest is given to you. Generally they take more money than actually needed
and after settling they return the remaining amount as tax return. Pay stub shows your spouse’s salary. With that they can be sure that the salary is enough to take care of your needs too.

12. I 129,I 797A, LCA
These are the most important documents to your spouse, he/she can’t live without these in the US. Get the original and a copy.The copy will be taken by your interviewer.

13. Bank Statement
This statement shows your spouse’s bank balance . This might/might not be asked.

14. Utilities
You can keep 2 or 3 of your spouse’s utility bill like gas or electric bill or cable. This is for address proof .


My Kerala Style Wedding at Guruvayur

Every state in India has different wedding customs, and within each state, a different custom for different religions. Each wedding custom has a very beautiful meaning. I would like to share a few of my wedding pics here and explain the step by step procedure that happens in our weddings.

We give a lot of importance to horoscope compatibility. There is a minimum compatibility range needed for a couple to get married. Well,I don’t have much idea about this astrology stuff. Our parents knew it clearly. So they checked everything well. Few days before the wedding the bride’s and groom’s horoscopes should be tied up together after all the elders pray and bless the horoscopes.In olden days the maternal uncles should do the tying, but these days the bride and groom’s father can also do it.

In the pic on the left my brother is about to sprinkle rice on our horoscopes and bless us,in the right my grandmother is praying for us and in the back ground my dad is handing over the horoscopes to his dad. In the past this was supposed to be the engagement, rather than ring exchange.After this the horoscopes should be kept like that forever, it can be untied only when the astrologer is checking it.

According to our custom after the wedding the bride has to stay in the groom’s house. Though not leaving forever its like formally leaving the house. So before we leave the house to the wedding place all elders will bless me for a great future. This happens generally on the wedding day morning if the place where the wedding is to be held is nearby;or the previous day (in my case, because the temple was nearly 7 hours journey from my house).

My dad and mom are blessing me. All the near and dear elder relatives will bless me too.

We usually wear pattu saari for wedding. This saari will be bought by the groom’s relatives. I went with Ratish’s parents to select the saari. Thank God that is allowed these days. The day before the wedding his sister should come and give me the saari. If he doesn’t have a sister then priority goes to his sister-in-law or cousin.

Thats Ratish’s sister-in-law Swetha Madhavan handing me the.

The wedding day adorning and makeup and whatever for the bride should be done by the groom’s relatives, it was so for my mom’s wedding. But now a days a beautician is hired.

We generally have to keep a lot of jasmine flower on our head and that was really heavy, I could hardly lift my head or turn. I never thought it would be this heavy.
Our wedding was held at the Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple ,a very famous temple in South India.The most important thing in our wedding custom is “Thaali Kettu”, tying the sacred chain around my neck, this is a gold chain with a locket and the locket is the Thaali . That happened in the temple. We can’t finish all the customs at the temple because generally there are a lot of weddings happening each day there, and it will keep the others waiting. So we arranged to have the rest of the ceremony at a hall/auditorium.

This was the welcoming ceremony for us at the auditorium.

We had two garlanding ceremony, one at the temple and the other at the auditorium. But since it was “Akshaya Trithiya” that day, a very auspicious day at the temple there was a huge crowd visiting and also a really long queue of people waiting to tie the nuptial knot. So unfortunately our photographer was not able to click much pictures at the temple.

The green garland we already have was what we exchanged at the temple. Those are made of Thulasi leaves, Lord Krishna,the diety at the temple, is very fond of Thulasi.

The rest of the marriage function happened in the auditorium. In the collage below the first picture he is giving me two saaris, one for my dad’s sister and the other for my maternal uncle’s wife. This custom is called “puda muri”. The second picture, he is putting sindhoor/kumkum(saffron) on my forehead,every married woman is supposed to put that always, though not followed these days. In the third picture my dad is taking my hand and placing it in his hand, this indicates ” I am giving my angel to you, do take care of her for the rest of your life”. Next we go around The mandap(the elevated stage) ,holding hands ,thrice, to take the oath that we live together for the rest of our lives with love,care, trust and understanding.

All Hindu weddings are “Agni Saakshi” , Agni= fire and Saakshi= witness, so fire is the witness for our marriage. We generally keep 2 or 3 lighted ” kuthu vilakku”
on the mandap for the agni.


H4 Spouse US Visa Procedure explained

Once I finished my H4 visa interview successfully I thought I should be sharing this information with someone, before I forget the step by step procedure. Though to everyone else getting a US dependent visa looks like a lethargic process, is it so to the newly married couples or the about to be wed love birds? No………. Its really a pain, because if rejected your partner is not flying to anywhere close by leaving you here. I had thought the visa interview was a formality sake custom, just walk in there with your marriage certificate, and we get our visa. But then I got to know, it might not be all that easy, they might ask a lot of questions if they don’t get the answers they expect from you,clear and precise, no over talking,no swallowing of details. I thought I could attend the interview with my husband, but since he had got his re-stamping four months back even that was impossible. So now this became a bad dream . But the most important thing needed there is confidence. So I tried practicing to keep my cool, and i thought all the documents required for attending the interview were really complex, but once I went through it I knew it was really simple.
So Lesson 1:
Be really confident when answering them. They screw you up with questions only when you make them dubious about your intent.
For a dependent visa interview the main aim of the interviewer is to find out if the relationship status you claim to have with your spouse/H1B visa holder is true. They generally don’t appreciate you(H4 visa holders) working in US.

Lesson 2:
You should have your surname and given name entered correctly in passport. We would have given no importance to that so far when in India. But if you are coming to US for any purpose other than visit, you can’t survive here without surname. Any documentation here will ask for that, including the visa. So if you don’t have that right , renew your passport with the correct names. I had to get my passport renewed because of this mistake. So given name is your first name and surname is your family name/father’s name/initials expanded.
Check out the above mentioned issue detailed here –¬†no surname/no first name

Lesson 3:
Next step is to pay the fee at HDFC bank and get the fee receipts. This should be payed at approved HDFC banks depending on the US counsalate where you will be taking up the interview. The location of the US counsulate will be determined by your STATE OF RESIDENCE . Be careful with your name entry again. If its wrong, you will have to change this by paying the full amount again for a new receipt. A confusion in this might be an unnecessary risk factor. Be careful not to irritate your interviewer with carelessness. The HDFC bank will issue two receipts – one pink and the other blue,of which one will be taken by your interviewer.

Next is filling your DS-160 form . All the questions are simple, and can be answered easily. Be sure to enter all the details correct.
Lesson 4: You will be asked to upload a photo for the form. The US visa picture has some criteria to be met, and that are very necessary. There are some photographers who claim to know how to take the US visa picture, but give the passport size photo. The size of the photo should be 2 inch by 2 inch is the basic criteria apart from the other technical details of the photograph. If that itself is not met then do give him a knock on his head. Once you have filled the DS-160 and submitted you will get a confirmation code number .

Lesson 5:
Fixing an appointment,you need your passport number ,HDFC bank receipt number and confirmation code to fix an appointment with the VFS. You can choose the date apt for you, but the time will be automatically assigned by them. Supposed to be the easiest part,but I had a bad time.It is said that the appointment for a particular date will be opened only exactly 14 days before. But in May when I booked mine it was a real disaster like I wrote in my previous post ” Life or Death Fight For a US Visa Appointment” . The dates were opening and closing in a cyclic pattern. I don’t know if that was how it was; or there were openings because of cancellations. But it was happening in a cycle and sometimes it was only open for 5-10 minutes. I couldn’t understand if that date was getting filled so quickly. Don’t know the exact reason behind it, VFS customer care maintained a constant reply that “its all happening the normal way. Such reopenings are not there. Keep trying”. It was a busy period for sure. So be cautious and be prepared , sometimes this can eat you also up. I completed and confirmed my appointment, in the third attempt after i saw my favourable date opened.

Wish you all the best for the H4 interview


Life Or Death Fight For US Visa Appointment

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It was after engagement I heard from my fiance then Ratish,my husband now ,about the procedure for getting the H4 dependent visa issued. First one was making an appointment with VFS. ¬†We wanted my interview date to be on 24th May. Wedding was on 16th May and we were occupied with some post-wedding ¬†programs till 21st. And then it was a weekend , 24th or 25th would be fine . But if it went beyond that we would be in trouble because the return tickets were booked for 29th May,we wouldn’t get my visa issued passport on time. We were very confident about getting the appointment on 24th(not knowing about the terrific days that was to come). ¬†I went into the site to check which dates were available. It was open only until the 13 th of May. I used to check each day and it came upto ¬†21st May. So Ratish told me to be ready with the ¬†documents ans details necessary for filing an appointment,the next day. So the next day i followed my recently formed new routine of checking the VFS site once after breakfast. Instead of finding 24th in the available dates page, there was a busy message. It said something like ” this is a busy season, lot of people are trying to make an appointment with vfs, so please come back again after 24 hours, we are trying to fix an appointment for as many people as possible”. So very obediently, I went back again in exactly 24 hours. It was still the same. This went on for two three days. Each day my obedience level was deteriorating, Iwas checking more frequently. One day i checked once after breakfast, lunch and dinner. The next day after tea also. The third day was every time after I went to pee. And after this I started becoming panicky and i was checking every 15 minutes. When my fiancee called up instead of saying Hey/hai /sweetheart , i would start off, the site is still not ” ooopeeen”. Do you think we will be able to fix up an appointment? Will I be able to come to US with you or will we be still talking over the phone for the next how many ever months. I just cant imagine staying away from you again. All this in one breath. He was equally worried too , but he would say everything will be fine. Once in a while i will miraculously be cool and then; perfectly; he will ask me, what if we have to stay apart for another few months? and thats it, I will start off with my dialogs and groans and moans. One fine morning, guess on 11th, I was really bent on fixing an appointment. So i set up an alarm and a snooze time for 5 minutes and started checking. And there came my lucky angel with 24th and 25th open. I didn’t know which one to choose that i wanted to pray and eliminate one out. Then I started filling the form, there are some three pages before you reach the date confirmation and by the time I got to that page 24th was filled and gone. With trembling hands i selected 25th and confirmed it. It started processing and there came the message, sorry 27 is the only available date now. God!!! That was really so depressing. But isn’t this what they say Try,try again and again and again. I did that too,tried again and again, all the time. That was the only thing I did for 2 or 3 days apart from my routine, eat take bath, check, sleep. I even kept alarm and got up at midnight and early in the morning thinking traffic would be very less at that time . My parents ¬†got so worried and they were like,” what the heck if you can’t go now, you will look like a zombie for the wedding”. I got so tired of sitting in front of the computer. It was just three days before the wedding , and I was having no fun and that was really insane, I was not enjoying at all. So I decided this was completely fate play. Time was fixed for everything, so when time comes for me to get the visa, the appointment also will come with it. On 13th I had to go online for something and I just went into the site just like that and there was my 24th. I calmly went and got my documents and came and filled it, confirmed it and there I got my appointment fixed.
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And that second I was thinking , why couldn’t have I ¬†trusted in fate before and waited patiently for it to come rather than making it so complicated. Might be what happened was fate too , that I had to worry so much before I got my visa appointment, a life / death fight.
Moral: Wait till Fate takes your Bait.


Hurry Burry Wedding

It was really a tiring,exciting and what not experience to get married in May 2010. This year with a very long and hot summer was really exhausting. And the thought of getting married in May, the supposed to be wedding month in Kerala,(April and May has a lot of weddings, because its vacation time or whatever, am really not very sure) was really scary. We didnt have a better time to keep our marriage because that was the time when almost all our relatives could join us. Our wedding was held at the Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple a very famous temple in Kerala. A lot of weddings are held in this temple these days. Our wedding was held on May 16th, it was “Akshaya Trithiya” that day , a very auspicious day for the Hindus. So we were sure there would be a lot of weddings happening that day. There was a malayalam movie based on a real incident that happened in Guruvayur on a very crowded day like this. The bride and groom got exchanged. So a lot of people were wishing us good luck for such misfortunes shouldn’t strike us and that too from right after our engagement in December. Would these wishes have alleviated or aggravated our tension?Two weeks before the wedding we got the news that there were around 250-300 weddings on that day at the temple.¬† Did we have to hear anything more for our B.P to shoot up? May 1st week had a very unpredictable climate, it was raining suddenly, and immediately after that the scorching sun was out, to set out a fire. Both were pretty bad for a wedding. Either ways we would be dripping wet; we get wet at the temple or we sweat at the auditorium under the summer heat combined with the camera lights. It was so crowded, close your eye for a split second and you are lost. We didn’t want any switching happen there , so we held our hands tight till we got to the mandapam (an elevated platform where the wedding takes place). It was shocking to see the number of brides and grooms waiting to get married. All I could see were brides and grooms , all dressed up; and fighting in that crowd to get onto the mandapam. The kerala bride is adorned with such a lot of things that its really difficult to manage. On my wedding day after i got dressed up someone had to nudge me and i would lose my balance. I really dont know how those brides managed. God really blessed us, that we could go up on really soon. The rest happened in a trance. It was really a din there. The sound was so deafening that we could hardly here what the thanthri was asking us to do. He was screaming at the top of his voice so that we could hear something, he has to guide us to complete the wedding ritual. Only our parents and siblings and a very few lucky relatives saw the “Thaali Kettu”, tying the sacred chain around my neck. Most of the people didn’t even realise the wedding was over. It was a two minute wedding. We came down and the first thing we told to everyone was, no exchange we got the right person. It was really hot that day, and since Ratish had come down from US after a long winter he really had a tough time, drenched in sweat through out. I was sweating too, but i was totally distracted with the weight i was carrying, looots of jasmine on my hair, my jewellery the saari, two garlands. I nearly sprained my back and neck. Ooh! Once in a lifetime. But that was really an experience. Colourful, elated, blissful, nervous, tension filled, tiring. A real once in a lifetime experience.


The Life Ahead

During the past one month there was a series of changes in my life. I got married on May 16th 2010 to Ratish Naroor, software engineer in US and a very passionate photographer. On May 16th I moved out of my house to my husband’s house and before even two weeks I have reached here in Utah state, USA. Every thing was happening so fast, ¬†that i didnt even have the time to sense it. Those two weeks we had to travel a lot. Five days out of the two week sped off with the various wedding ceremonies and reception. And then visiting all my relatives in just one day, and his relatives the next day was really tiring. But with all of them so eager to feed us at each house, with hardly a gap of five minutes was supposed to be energising, but the fact was we were too tired of eating all varieties of food at a stretch. The next place we had to visit was Chennai for my visa interview. that was a days stay there and headed off to trivandrum, kerala. Thats where his dad is working currently, we had to meet a few family friends.Also we celebrated a short honeymoon at a resort there. The next day back to his native to pack up everything from there, a night’s stay there and off to my house to stay for a day with my parents and brother before we flew to US. Everything was spoiled by a hartal (I hate you BJP and CPI – They are political parties in India who loved calling hartals and halt the state for silly reasons ) announced to be on the day we had to leave, at Mahi which was was on the way to the airport. ¬†We were forced to start a day before to avoid unnecessary tension and that totally ruined the stay at my house. Everything was happening so fast that i didnt even realize what was happening, i felt so numb when telling a bye to everyone, to my parents who were with me each day, without even knowing when i would be meeting them next. Our days there were not bland, it was all colourful and in full spree, but we were really tired with all this and the three flight we had to take to reach Utah from India really exhausted us. Am just two weeks and two days old in Utah today. There are a lot of things happening here around me as a fresher here. So here I am to blog about the formalities I had to complete to get here to US ; those that i will have to do to live here in Utah , mainly ;my experiences and about my life ahead here.