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Old 7th December 2012, 23:47   #121
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

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Thanks for the advice guys. But I wonder if I do this, even at the risk of the passport having the wrong credentials?! I don't have a surname, the second part of my name is my father's name The way I understand it, I would face problems later when I land up there, but not during the visa filling/process right?
Having the right name in your passport is very important. I made the same mistake when I applied for passport 20 years back. In the 60s and 70s, lot of south Indians stopped giving surnames to their kids, to avoid discrimination on the basis of caste and state origin. I was one of those kids. Throughout my schooling, I had no surname, just two initials. When I first applied for passport, I didn't know which initial was middle name and which was last name. One of the initial was S, and I didn't know whether it referred to dad's given name or surname, both started with S. With no one to guide me, I interpreted S as dad's given name, and used it as my last name. Next year when I entered USA, I realised I had become Mr.Shankar, everywhere I went. Some Americans wanted to know whether I am related to musician Ravi Shankar. Then I realised that once I get married my wife will be Mrs.Shankar, that is not funny at all. Therefore, when I came back after two years, I corrected my last name right away to match my dad's last name.

When you go abroad they will call you by your dad's name if you don't have proper last name. If you don't have one right now, use something appropriate. I had a friend who is settled in US, he used his native village as his last name. He is known as Mr.Chamundibetta, that hill near Mysore. I have also met Mr.Bangalore or Mr.Mysore during my stay in US. Not that they were bodybuilders.

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To top it, not to ignore the trouble I have to go through again (just got my passport renewed less than a year back) to get the name changed (not sure how long is that process)
Name changing just involves one visit to the court, followed by a newspaper notice. Talk to a civil lawyer.
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Old 8th December 2012, 00:36   #122
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

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Having the right name in your passport is very important.
Thanks for that bit of info.

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When you go abroad they will call you by your dad's name if you don't have proper last name.
Oh, I don't need to go abroad for that. My father's name is Prabhakar. I have been working in Maharashtra for the past decade. Get the drift?

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IHe is known as Mr.Chamundibetta, that hill near Mysore. I have also met Mr.Bangalore or Mr.Mysore during my stay in US.
ROTFL! Awesome surnames! Maybe I should take up Mr.Pune, wonder if you have met anyone with that one! lol

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Name changing just involves one visit to the court, followed by a newspaper notice. Talk to a civil lawyer.
Ho hum. Will have to get busy on that.
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Old 8th December 2012, 00:53   #123
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

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Oh, I don't need to go abroad for that. My father's name is Prabhakar. I have been working in Maharashtra for the past decade. Get the drift?
Actually, No. Not familiar with MH that much.
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Old 8th December 2012, 01:09   #124
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

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Actually, No. Not familiar with MH that much.
lol. Nothing specific to do with MH actually. But -
Tendulkar, Manjrekar, Gavaskar, Prabhakar and so on.
Generally one of the first few Qs folks ask me (on hearing my full name) - are you Maharashtrian?

OT: My first name is never used. Friends call me Ninja. The rest call me by my father's name. I think I will be completely at home abroad
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Old 8th December 2012, 11:29   #125
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Question Re: Two appointments for visa?

Has anyone been for H1 stamping recently? I heard of a new rule wherein we are supposed to make two appointments at the consulate. One for biometrics and another for the visa interview. Pl. share your experience.
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Old 8th December 2012, 17:24   #126
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Originally Posted by Samurai
Having the right name in your passport is very important. When you go abroad they will call you by your dad's name if you don't have proper last name. If you don't have one right now, use something appropriate. I had a friend who is settled in US, he used his native village as his last name. He is known as Mr.Chamundibetta, that hill near Mysore. I have also met Mr.Bangalore or Mr.Mysore during my stay in US.

Name changing just involves one visit to the court, followed by a newspaper notice. Talk to a civil lawyer.
Actually, this is something that can easily be finessed. My first passport had my surname blank and my first name and father's name in the given name column. But I decided to turn my father's name into a surname and simply started filling all documents on that basis. I had no problem when I filled my father's name as surname the next time I applied for a passport or in visa documents. So if you are ok with your family being referred to in perpetuity by your father's first name, no name change may be needed. Not sure if that has changed in the last 15 years though - my original passport was the old hand written type.

Using a village name is ok if it is something that people can pronounce but some of our South Indian villages can be really tongue twisters - I would pick a Prabhakar or Shankar over a Chamundibetta or Thatthamangalam any day. Btw, the MH Gavaskar or Tendulkars are based on village names as well - so perhaps it's time we had some Punekars as well.
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Old 10th December 2012, 16:52   #127
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Default Re: Two appointments for visa?

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Originally Posted by JMaruru View Post
Has anyone been for H1 stamping recently? I heard of a new rule wherein we are supposed to make two appointments at the consulate. One for biometrics and another for the visa interview. Pl. share your experience.
Yes it is correct. The day before your actual appointment is due, you will have to visit their Biometrics office called as OFC. In Chennai, it is located in TPL house, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet. You will have to take your Passport and Appointment Letter.

At the OFC center, they will take a new Photograph of yours which will appear on your Visa if approved. They will also take Finger Prints (all Fingers) and put a Bar Code sticker on your appointment letter copy along with signature.

The next day, you visit the Consulate along with the same Appointment letter, Passport and supporting docs for direct Visa Interview. At entry, your finger prints, appointment time and Finger prints are revalidated.
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Old 10th December 2012, 20:09   #128
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Question Re: Two appointments for visa?

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Originally Posted by Ananthang View Post
Yes it is correct. The day before your actual appointment is due, you will have to visit their Biometrics office called as OFC. In Chennai, it is located in TPL house, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet. You will have to take your Passport and Appointment Letter.

At the OFC center, they will take a new Photograph of yours which will appear on your Visa if approved. They will also take Finger Prints (all Fingers) and put a Bar Code sticker on your appointment letter copy along with signature.

The next day, you visit the Consulate along with the same Appointment letter, Passport and supporting docs for direct Visa Interview. At entry, your finger prints, appointment time and Finger prints are revalidated.
Is this for first time US visa stamping? Does this apply for renewal of a work visa?

BTW, could find this article in indian express. An excerpt from the same.

Once the finger prints are given, processing of visa application will be completed within 30-40 minutes the next day, he said, asserting that taking of finger-prints will be once in a lifetime process.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us...tments/1010408

Last edited by JMaruru : 10th December 2012 at 20:32.
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Old 11th December 2012, 17:10   #129
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Default Re: Two appointments for visa?

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Originally Posted by JMaruru View Post
Is this for first time US visa stamping? Does this apply for renewal of a work visa?

BTW, could find this article in indian express. An excerpt from the same.

Once the finger prints are given, processing of visa application will be completed within 30-40 minutes the next day, he said, asserting that taking of finger-prints will be once in a lifetime process.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us...tments/1010408
JMaruru - Not sure on this. Some where I too read that Biometrics is not required if we give it once.

That was my first experience for US H1b visa and as you said it took me exactly 40 minutes for the process. I had a 11.00 AM appointment and I reached gate at 10.30 AM. By the time, I went past security it was 10.45 AM and by 11.10 AM, I was out of the consulate.
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Old 28th June 2013, 10:47   #130
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

So, finally some news on H1B visa
http://www.myvisajobs.com/Blog/post/...tion-bill.aspx

HIGH-SKILLED WORKERS

—The cap on the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers would be immediately raised from 65,000 a year to 110,000 a year, with 25,000 more set aside for people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. school. The cap could go as high as 180,000 a year depending on demand.

—New protections would crack down on companies that use H-1B visas to train workers in the U.S. only to ship them back overseas.

—Immigrants with certain extraordinary abilities, such as professors, researchers, multinational executives and athletes, would be exempted from existing green-card limits. So would graduates of U.S. universities with job offers and degrees in science, technology, engineering or math.

—A startup visa would be made available to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to come to the U.S. to start a company.

—A new merit visa, for a maximum of 250,000 people a year, would award points to prospective immigrants based on their education, employment, length of residence in the U.S. and other considerations. Those with the most points would earn the visas.

—The bill would eliminate the government's Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which randomly awards 55,000 visas to immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States, so that more visas can be awarded for employment and merit ties.
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Old 28th June 2013, 11:12   #131
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

The bill is just passed by the senate. For a bill to become a law, there are a number of other steps to be followed. In all likelihood, a watered down immigration bill would become a law. Already there are talks of decouple immigration and work visas. Let's see if the lobby works its way.

http://www.coons.senate.gov/learn/bills/
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Old 29th October 2013, 12:29   #132
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Infosys faces record fine in US - $35 million

Infosys is accused of putting workers on visitor visas rather than work visas. The former are much easier and cheaper to obtain than the latter.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/t...w/24858021.cms
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Old 31st October 2013, 15:47   #133
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

The above article sparked an offline discussion among few members and I decided to put down my views here.

Many claim that Infosys is not alone in this visa abuse scam, and that it is unavoidable. While I agree with the first part, I have to disagree with the second part. While I am no expert, I do have exposure to the system. I was part of the initial wave of H1b workers, in the early 90s. I worked in USA for 9 years in total, under H1B and L1. Then I came back to India in 2004 and started a software company using offshore development model, which is about to complete a decade soon. Now that I established my background, letís look at the common excuses to commit visa fraud. H1 and L1 are tough to get and often takes a long time. Agreed, but does that mean one has to misuse B1?

1) Cost: Hiring US citizens is expensive compared to deputing people from India fraudulently on B1. This is like saying buying is expensive compared to stealing. Duh! Doing it legally may be expensive, but fraud should not be even an option. Especially so when you are riding the values and morals high horse for decades.

2) Shareholder: Shareholders expect higher returns, this is another excuse for visa fraud. Shareholders are like Valmikiís family.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
The Uttara Khanda tells the story of Valmiki's early life, as an unnamed highway robber who used to rob people after killing them. Once, the robber tried to rob the divine sage Narada for the benefit of his family. Narada asked him if his family would share the sin he was incurring due to the robbery. The robber replied positively, but Narada told him to confirm this with his family. The robber asked his family, but none agreed to bear the burden of sin. Dejected, the robber finally understood the truth of life and asked for Narada's forgiveness.
Shareholders are not demanding you must commit visa fraud to improve the bottomline. They will enjoy the high returns when the company commits fraud, but they want no part of the sin. They will act shocked when the company gets caught in scam. Therefore the management should not commit fraud to appease the shareholders. Draw the line there.

3) Hiring locals: The next excuse is there are not enough US citizens to take on onsite roles. Even those who join, leave quickly since company doesnít have brand recognition. One can fix this by replacing the onsite HR person with somebody who can sing a different tune. I have been playing the HR role myself for over a decade and I know how company and culture is built and nurtured. It takes creativity and ability to inspire people and develop loyalty. Also, Americans IT workers donít care that much about brand. It is much easier to hire for small companies in USA, compared to India. I worked in a tiny company in USA for 6 years, so I know about this one too. If the company is incapable of hiring and retaining locals, the problem is with the company culture. Having spent 3 years in USA with TCS, I know that is very much the case. Only the employees from India will put up with the nonsense that goes on there. Hiring US citizens for onsite role has many advantages. I donít have to explain that.

4) Onsite carrot: B1 fraud enables the company to dangle the onsite carrot in front of employees. They can send employees overseas for short duration easily via B1. This is one more case of mindless HR myths. Here the company is admitting that they canít retain employees without dangling the onsite carrot. Time to replace the offsite HR too. Get a HR head who can retain people by inspiring, rather than offering onsite carrot. I never had to offer onsite carrot. Yet, in the first 8 years of the company, I didnít lose a single employee to a competitor, instead I lost them to weddings and higher studies and terminations. I am quite proud of that record.

Ultimately, it comes down to ethical & hiring practices of the company. If you hire people in India based on the lure of high salaries and onsite assignments, then you get exactly such people. That is the culture you develop across the company. If you take the same HR policies to USA, it is unusable. You are not ready to pay even prevailing salaries in USA and there is no onsite carrot. If you want to claim ethical high ground, you should pay prevailing salaries in USA and you will be able to hire as much you want.

If you must send people to USA for work, stick to H1. Abusing B1 visa is a nothing but fraud. Calling it reality doesnít change that fact. Offshore model can work without abusing B1 visa, that is the reality people should wake up to.

PS: People can be motivated other things than money and onsite carrots. I realised it long back and applied it to my hiring practices. There is a video that explains that:
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Old 31st October 2013, 16:04   #134
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

I agree that flouting visa norms can not be justified. Whether it can be fixed purely by replacing HR folks would probably vary from company to company. More often than not, it is the owners of those companies that are the driving force behind such practices.

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PS: People can be motivated other things than money and onsite carrots. I realised it long back and applied it to my hiring practices. There is a video that explains that:
Oh yeah i remember this video. Our senior management was proudly showing this video around until i pointed out what the narrator says at 5:01. "Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table". Whatever comes in the video after that assumes that the quoted part is taken care of. Now, the issue of money is never off the table. THAT is always on the table. Anywhere around the world. That makes the rest of the video more theoretical than practical.
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Old 31st October 2013, 16:55   #135
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Default Re: H1B visa -Your Experience

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I agree that flouting visa norms can not be justified. Whether it can be fixed purely by replacing HR folks would probably vary from company to company. More often than not, it is the owners of those companies that are the driving force behind such practices.
But in this case owners of the company are of the highest ethical standards. So it must be the HR guy.

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Now, the issue of money is never off the table. THAT is always on the table. Anywhere around the world. That makes the rest of the video more theoretical than practical.
Answered here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post3281315 (IT industry salary survey)
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