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Old 24th March 2015, 16:42   #241
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And all successfully done with. Thanks for the inputs and help guys. Didn't have to show any documents. All smoothly done.

Had requested for the passport to be delivered to Bangalore. And though interview was yesterday morning, it shows that "Passport is ready for pickup". I haven't received any SMS either. Could it really have been delivered all that quick?
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Old 24th March 2015, 16:50   #242
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......Could it really have been delivered all that quick?
They're pretty quick on turnaround. My B1 stamped PP came back in 1.5 days too, delivered in a tamper-proof sealed pouch. Neat.

P.S. They even had a courier option then, I got my PP delivered to my workplace. The current option is pick-up from their local office only, I believe.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 24th March 2015 at 16:52.
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Old 24th March 2015, 16:56   #243
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They're pretty quick on turnaround. My B1 stamped PP came back in 1.5 days too, delivered in a tamper-proof sealed pouch. Neat.

P.S. They even had a courier option then, I got my PP delivered to my workplace. The current option is pick-up from their local office only, I believe.
Yes, there is only an option to pick it up from their office.
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Old 24th March 2015, 17:07   #244
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And though interview was yesterday morning, it shows that "Passport is ready for pickup".
I was there for interview yesterday morning
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Old 9th April 2015, 10:02   #245
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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
They're pretty quick on turnaround. My B1 stamped PP came back in 1.5 days too, delivered in a tamper-proof sealed pouch. Neat.

P.S. They even had a courier option then, I got my PP delivered to my workplace. The current option is pick-up from their local office only, I believe.
My B1 was ready for evening pick up on the same day. Pick up is from VFS office at Cenotaph Road or at OMR depending on the option we chose. If not picked up within 10 days, will be returned to the Consulate.

As told by some body, no documents or proof asked though this was a non-immigrant visa! I carried all documents to prove that I would come back to India but to my surprise none was required at the end!
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Old 16th July 2015, 02:19   #246
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I will be travelling to the US in a month, for my graduate studies (been planning for years, too lazy to give it serious push until now). My F1 Student visa was approved a few days ago.

I found the visa application process quite easy and completed the online form in an hour. Making the visa fee payment was a bit tricky because my bank (SBI) created some silly roadblock of not allowing NEFT from a non-home branch (resolved after a confrontation). They (visa outsourcing agency) updated the fee payment status promptly and the biometric / photo appointment was easily scheduled for a day later. Sadly due to some worldwide problem in the visa servers, the visa interview could only be scheduled for the second week of July (19 days later in my case). A minor inconsistency was in my being asked to bring a US-spec passport photo to the visa interview despite being photographed -- it was not required (waste of Rs 150). I was surprised by the number of people in queue for the visa interview who rushed around at the last moment on the security reminding that mobiles, bags and electronic car keys were not permitted.

The interview was about a minute, perhaps less. No documents were asked for except the student I20 issued by the university. I got the perception that the consular officer had done some research on the info I had supplied and largely made up his mind in advance. I saw an applicant get a refusal after stumbling for 4-5 minutes on replies so self-confidence matters. Having said that I did observe a slight air of condescension on the part of the officers (the gent ahead of me was 'complimented' on appearing 'honest'. This is the reason I had earlier found ways to escape out of potential trips to the US on work meetings - I did not care to go through this process unless it was really important for me.

It was a little embarrassing to see (visa-approved) people with huge grins and smiles and bubbling over with joy as they went back to their relatives / friends / parents waiting outside the consulate. Maybe one day getting a US visa will not mean such a lot to our countrymen.

The passport was ready for pickup the next day from the outsourcing agency. Now the challenge lies in readjusting to a classroom after over a decade in the profession.

Last edited by Kumar R : 16th July 2015 at 02:47.
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Old 16th July 2015, 08:15   #247
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Now the challenge lies in readjusting to a classroom after over a decade in the profession.
Congrats on your success in getting the Visa. So, which State is that going to be? All the very best for your higher studies!
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Old 16th July 2015, 12:21   #248
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The passport was ready for pickup the next day from the outsourcing agency. Now the challenge lies in readjusting to a classroom after over a decade in the profession.
Hello,

Can you share some details on what course that you had selected and why? and how the university was short listed.
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Old 16th July 2015, 21:02   #249
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Congrats on your success in getting the Visa. So, which State is that going to be? All the very best for your higher studies!
Thank you Gokrish. I will be in New York.

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Hello,

Can you share some details on what course that you had selected and why? and how the university was short listed.
Yes, of course, I'll write you a PM else it will be a long and boring read for everyone
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Old 16th July 2015, 21:18   #250
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Yes, of course, I'll write you a PM else it will be a long and boring read for everyone
You know what- it'll be most interesting if you write a public post w.r.t selection of Universities.

Knowledge shared helps all.
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Old 17th July 2015, 02:47   #251
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You know what- it'll be most interesting if you write a public post w.r.t selection of Universities.
Note to Mods: This is hopelessly off topic, please move it to a thread you consider appropriate

I wanted to study abroad as far back as my final undergrad years. At that time it was a warm, fuzzy, feel-good sentiment that prompted me to do so. I neither knew the first thing about potential universities or what I would want to focus on or why I wanted to do it. Money was, of course, another big factor (my father gave me Rs 2000 in cash when I left for Bombay to start my first job and it was implied that I could not count on him for more financial support) and the hopelessness of financing even a few lakhs was enough to make me defer that plan indefinitely.

Over the years I always kept that plan as a T+2 / T+3 objective, T being the point in time when I had sufficient savings to sponsor 80-90% of the cost if need be. That point came to pass in 2009/10 but I was enjoying my job too much then to consider leaving for graduate studies. Four years later I got around to teaching and started liking it immensely; simultaneously I crystallized my thoughts on what practice areas I had a real interest in (as opposed to CV-building or peer-pressure driven interest). It also helped me to organise my post-graduate objectives - would I return to teaching? go back to practice full time? etc. By 2013 December I decided to seek admission the next year for the 2015 graduate programmes. The next thing to do was selection of a university.

Selection was a complicated process initially but vastly simplified when I applied my mind on the factors that were important to me. Those were,
- location (country, city);
- prestige and brand of the university;
- synergy between university focus areas / faculty and my own;
- gain exposure to a new culture / way of life
- potential for a job (in the unlikely event I wanted to try working outside India);

Using the above factors I decided that it was either the US or the UK for me, with the US leading as I have been to the UK and we are, anyway, very familiar with British customs and history due to our heritage.
One factor I did not worry too much about was realistic chance of acceptance, largely on account of my satisfactory academic and professional qualifications.

Since I would potentially be spending 50-60 lakhs I wanted to settle only for the very best and narrowed my choice to four universities - Harvard, Columbia, Chicago and Yale - each of which have excellent reputation, faculty and prestige. I read extensively, spoke to dozens of friends and colleagues and relatives, spent days on their web sites and familiarized myself with every aspect of their courses and faculty. Chicago and Yale have smaller graduate class sizes which was a mixed bag (smaller classes versus smaller alumni network). Only Columbia and Chicago are located in large cities with business districts. The faculty at each of these places is equally good and very very distinguished so that was not something to be concerned with. On the flip side housing and living costs in bigger cities tend to be higher and the charm of a intimate university town is missing.

Application processes were tedious and took up a lot of time with the paperwork and overhead costs. All except Yale granted me a waiver from the TOEFL language test (Yale apparently does not grant waivers to Indian applicants) and I therefore dropped it from my shortlist and applied to the other three. The risk of this approach was a potential block on future applications to these institutions should I get declined by all (US universities are usually reluctant to accept someone they have previously declined). In the end I was accepted by Columbia, waitlisted by the rest with a reasonable chance of securing one, perhaps both admissions. This served my purpose (in a way, saved me from a dilemma) and I immediately enrolled there and withdrew from the others.

I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to question me further if you need more information.
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Old 25th September 2015, 19:25   #252
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Quick question on Children's passport. When they stamp L Visas, are they for the validity of the passport or full validity of the principal applicant who in this case is me? My kids passports expire in 2018 as they have 5 year validity only.

Also how much time typically does a Schengen Visa thru France take? I submitted on Sep 23. Can I expect by Oct 5-6?

Last edited by mail4ajo : 25th September 2015 at 19:30.
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Old 25th September 2015, 19:33   #253
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Quick question on Children's passport. When they stamp L Visas, are they for the validity of the passport or full validity of the principal applicant who in this case is me? My kids passports expire in 2018 as they have 5 year validity only.

Also how much time typically does a Schengen Visa thru France take? I submitted on Sep 23. Can I expect by Oct 5-6?
In my last 2 experiences through the Delhi office: 5 working days the first time and 8 the second time. So you should be on the safer side.

Though I hate the 90 day multiple entry visa with a max stay of 30 days combined.
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Old 25th September 2015, 19:44   #254
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My kids passports expire in 2018 as they have 5 year validity only.
Visa valdity is dependent on you, the primary applicant.

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Also how much time typically does a Schengen Visa thru France take? I submitted on Sep 23. Can I expect by Oct 5-6?
I hope you meant business/visitor visas. If you submitted directly to VFS, you should get the passport either today or Monday at the latest. If agent, add a day or 2 more. Turn around times are pretty fast, usually same day the consulate receives or next day at the most.

Usually the status is updated on the VFS site for your tracking number end of the day. If the passport isn't sent, it is usually a query raised against your application or calling you for an interview et al.
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Old 25th September 2015, 21:21   #255
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Just wanted to post a new experience and hope that it might be beneficial to others on the forum.

We had to get our visas stamped and our son was not in a position to accompany as his mid term exams are happening, the whole process was a breeze and minors below 14 years need not appear in person. We took his original passport and recent photograph and that was sufficient for the getting the visa.

The officer did ask the reason and was satisfied with the response and stamped the visa. Managing kids during these processes can be tedious to say the least and for us atleast the process was easy.
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