Below is the case history you had wanted me to send you, Sorry about the delay… I want to mail you after I got my passport, which I got only on Monday.
I came to the US about 3 years back on Student Visa (F1) and after finishing my studies I applied for a Professional Working visa (H1B) this year. After my 2 year studies I had an OPT period of one year, where I will be allowed to work legally in the area of my study.
During my OPT period I had a personal emergency and had to travel to India. I was not aware that during this period if I leave the country, I will not be given the “Change of Status” automatically (from F1 to H1B). Without obtaining the new status, I won’t be eligible to work.
In addition, to get the H1B status I will have to go to my home country immediately after my OPT expiry, get the H1B stamping and then come back into US.
To make matters worse, my employer had forgotten that I had travelled too.
About 3 weeks back my employer received the H1 documents and this issue came to light. I was asked to go to India immediately for my H1 stamping. The situation now is such that if anyone goes to India for their stamping they are held back there for about a minimum of 2-3 months, as they have very strict rules in place now. Some of my friends who left this year beginning have still not returned back.
The only option for me was to try and go to a neighbouring country. But, the catch was since this is my first H1 stamping I will have to go to my home country.
The second concern is that there is no guarantee that the consulate I go to for my interview will have my information available in their system. In that case, if I turn up for my interview and my details don’t exist in their database I will have to stay in that country till my information reflects in their system (for about 10-15 days).
Or the worse situation will be I will be asked to go to my home country for my stamping. I didn’t have a choice but to risk it all and give it a try.
I immediately got in touch with Naran S Balakumar and he asked me to chant “GORSE WILD ROSE SCLERANTHUS MIMULUS”.
Last week, I left the US for my visa stamping. The day I was leaving the US I got in touch with Naran again. I told him about the uncertainty I was facing. He asked me to chant “WATER VIOLET ROCK WATER LARCH GENTIAN WILD ROSE”. In addition, I have to call upon the animal spirit “WOLF”, request Wolf to interview me and ensure my details be available in the consulate’s system.
Fortunately, I had one of the best experiences ever, as my friend’s father is a Diplomat in the Indian Embassy. Due to which, I got a “Red Carpet” greeting during my visit. I stayed at my friend’s parent’s house for about a week. On the day of my interview to my astonishment I was asked only 2 questions – one about my employment and the other about why I had come there for stamping rather than going to my home country. That’s it! No more questions! My Visa was approved!!!
What made the whole experience pleasant and memorable is that I was in a foreign land where I had a place to stay. I was taken care of very well. And everything was taken care off for me!!!
I am very grateful to Naran S Balakumar for all his help during this difficult time.
GORSE: when you feel hopeless about a situation
WILDROSE: not to become apathetic if visa application is rejected
SCLERANTHUS: for the confusion, whether to go back to India or not
MIMULUS: fear of getting Visa application rejected
WATER VIOLET, ROCK WATER, LARCH, GENTIAN and WILDROSE: a good combination to get your visa or get our done in the Indian government offices.
WOLF: the animal spirit can be called upon for any kind of help