Thursday, July 30, 2009


Thank you for your terrific response on my first blog!!! Here you go with a second helpful knowledge share for YOU. This may prove useful for those who are going for a Business Visa through their employer. The process given below is based on my as well as my colleagues’ experience and hence many minute details have been quoted.
  • Application for Business Visa - Many companies, especially located in non-metro forward your application for Business Visa through authorized service provider of United States of America consulate, called – “VFS Global Services” (visit or helpline 022 66547600) No documents need to be supported since it is an online application.
  • Be extremely careful while providing information on any of item in the application form. You always get Interview Date and time after successful submission of Application Form and deposit of visa fees. I assume that these administrative activities will be taken care of by your HR or Admin Department.
  • Interview Day -
    A detailed process flow of interview day. Read carefully…trust me at least 95% of the process will be exactly as below.
    1. VFS Global Services Mahalaxmi Office – Reach at least 45 minutes before scheduled interview time. (Exactly opposite to Mahalaxmi Temple)
    2. Car Parking (in case you are carrying your own car)– No Parking in front of VFS office. I recommend you to park your car near Mahalaxmi Race Course. 10% chance that you may get place to park (Mumbai-style cut-to-cut) near an adjacent lane near (government colony). Extremely less chance that you get parking place on/near Pader Road.
    3. Do – Carry 1) your Original Passport, 2) Visa Fees Paid receipt (HDFC), 3) Invitation Letter from your customer/parent office 4) Interview Confirmation Letter 5) Sponsorship letter of your office 6) Income Tax returns for 3 years 7) Latest offer letter/increment letter and salary slip as your income proof 8) Rs.200 (change) for snacks coupon to be purchased. 9) Another 200 bucks for emergency expenses. 10) Only a carry bag or folder containing these papers.
    4. Do not – carry 1) Mobile Phones 2) Money Coins 3) Any electronic devise 4) Any bag or pouch or wallet. This will help you to pass all security check-posts quickly.
    5. Dress Code- Wear only formals. Tie/Blazer not necessary. If possible, wear a trouser without Belt. (since you are required to remove belt at a security check-post at consulate.
    6. Even if you see a long queue outside VFS office, show your interview confirmation letter to Security officer, they will let you in. Then, join the queue inside.
    7. Purchase (compulsory) coupon of Rs. 200 which will be used for VFS services and snacks – (1 Coffee and 1 sandwich). For any reason, if you are carrying ‘Don’t carry’ item mentioned in 3 above, join the Locker Queue next to toilet. It is a free service, but always busy and time consuming.
    8. Seat in the waiting room. Enjoy Coffee Day’s coffee and 1 sandwich. Preferably seat in the first row inside the room. VFS officers are friendly. They will call out ‘Interview Time’ about 20 minutes before the scheduled time.
    9. Join the queue again which will take you to the main door again where you can easily see a bus. Seat in the Bus. VFS officer will ask you to take out Passport and Interview Letter (only) without Fees Paid receipt and keep the same in your hand.
    10. Bus will take you to US Consulate. Once you reach consulate, you will see the crowd.
    11. VFS officer will connect you to the main queue. Note – no help/questions are entertained by security officer or any other officer from here. Go inside.
    12. Security Check here – Since you are not carrying mobile phones, electronic devices etc., security officers will quickly let you in. Wear the belt.
    13. Once you enter in Your Right - Consulate officer (lady) will check your passport and interview letter. She will then take out a ready envelop (green color) and will ask you to go to counter 1 (your left from door), corner – You need to give impression of your all fingers. They will take your passport and interview letter and will give you a token.
    14. Carry token (usually pink color) and wait for your token number call out. Do not go to washroom since sometimes your token may be called out immediately. Consulate does not have electronic display board. There are about 14 cabins. Interviews for Business Visa usually scheduled at Counter 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8. The interview officers announce token number. Be careful and attentive. Sometimes we may not follow US English accent.
    15. Once you get into interview room, be confident. Answer all questions asked considering a normal human conversation.
    16. Strong Tip here- The interviewing officer will ask you questions based on the information written on YOUR APPLICATION FORM. Trust me…. This is applicable for any interview in this world. Hence, YOU are the best person to answer any question.
    17. Example questions – What is your current income? Why are you travelling to US? How many days will you stay in US? Which part – Chicago, San Francisco etc. ? What is your educational qualification? Give information about your Company or your customer …… All these questions, YOU can answer after reading Visa Application Form.

    Guru-Mantra: In my opinion and experience, if we meticulously study our Visa Application form, we should be able answer all questions.

    Request - Please add your experience in the list by email me at
    All the best.

    ~Ambarish Vaidya
    Chartered Accountant

    Disclaimer- The information contained in this blog is meant to help reader. This blog does not guarantee success to get any visa for United States of America. Reader of the blog may apply his own judgment while preparing for Visa Interview and writer of this blog is in no way responsible for any action taken and also cannot guarantee correctness of any statement written here above. Issuing Visa for United States of America is solely at the discretion of USA Consulate in India, Foreign Affairs Ministry of USA and/or any other competent authority on this behalf authorized by Government of USA. This blog should not be read as Expert Opinion or Guidelines to get visa for USA or any other country for that purpose.
  • Monday, July 20, 2009

    Top 10 Tea Spots in Pune

    Welcome to blog series from THE Ambarish !!! The first blog is dedicated to all "Tea Lovers". The blog page lists down Top 10 Tea Spots in Pune with its specialties, exact locations.
    Here you go --- starts with Rank Number 10 .........
    10. Bharat Natya Mandir Canteen - Decent taste, you may enjoy the tea with home-made wafers. Tea is served in old amrut-tulya style cups, but nice taste.
    09. Priyadarshani Tapri - Old spot for BMCCians on BMCC road. It is unfortunate that I am rating Priyadarshani Tapri (also known as PD) on 9th spot since I drunk probably 1000 cups of tea on this spot.
    08. Vahuman Cafe- Iranian Hotel. Always busy place. You may rarely see girls here, but good girl only. I guess these nice girls stay somewhere near Boat Club road. Good quality bun butter can be enjoyed with tea... can be used as stop over. The owner is old Irani baba-always keep on squeezing his say thank you to him after paying the bill, he will say "God bless you my dear son !!!". Located next to Jahangir Hospital. I dont loose chance to visit this cafe if I am travelling on road to Bund Garden.
    07. Amba Bhuvan Amruta-tulya - One of my favorite tea spot. Located on Kumthekar Road --> inside a building opposite to New Sweet Home. Let your wife go to Tulshibaug for shopping and you can enjoy cups of tea here. Radio with frequency FM 101 is always turned on here. Small Amrita-tulya, but a great space for gossiping. I regularly visited this spot for about 3 years. Extra sugar in tea :(
    06. Goodluck Cafe - Nice Tea, Bun Bread, Bread-omelets....try out anything here. A great spot to drink & eat. Popular since past 75 years. The cafe has three section- outside section (tables with white marble) is used only for TEA and snacks. No lunch/dinner served here. The room behind Cash Counter is used for both tea as well as lunch/dinner. The third section which is outside the hotel building, is used for lunch/snacks. You may go for Veg or Non-veg Samosa with Tea.
    05. Tilak - Located on Tilak Road, next to Tilak Smarak Mandir. A popular tea spot for Behere Classes students and SPians. A good quality tea. Ample variety of cigarettes. You may go for Sabudana Vada with Tea. You can easily understand taste & quality of tea with its color. Nothing less than a perfect tea color.
    04. Hotel Ashok - Unfortunate !!!!!!!!! This was Rank 1 for many years !! Since past 4 months, Hotel Ashok reduced ginger quantity in tea and also the boiling time, to cope up with increased popularity & rush. But still nice taste. This is a very old spot on Pune-Mumbai old Highway, located exactly opposite to Fugewadi Jakat Naka. Batata Vada-sambar (famous dish here) followed with Tea helps you to get fresh quickly. Sabudana Chiwda with Tea is also a great combo. If you have throat infection, do go for this spot. Ginger effect helps your throat to relax. Always go for 2 cups of tea. Slightly extra sugar.
    03. Heaven Snacks - Superb tea. Same quantity, same quality, same taste, same 'kadak', same interior since past 15 years. All traffic duty vehicles stop their tempo under No Parking Board here and entire team along with Traffic Hawaldar enjoys tea free of cost. I dont suggest to go for snacks here as you may not find it hygienic. Located near More Vidyalaya/Paud Road Post Office (corner).
    02. Mayurashwar Amruta-tulya: Top Top Top Top Class Tea !!! Fantastic Amrut-tulya. Just PERFECT Taste. You cant getter better tea than this. Clean...good space for collegians. Located exactly opposite to Garware College. Extremely popular among Garwareians. You will also get "EK NUMBER" quality and yummy 'cream rolls'.
    01. SUNIL TEA : And Rank One goes to most popular "Sunil Tea Stall' - Next to Kamla Nehru Park. A perfect colored Tea, appropriately boiled, always fresh are some of the features. Park your car or bike near Datta Mandir, walk for 50 meters to enjoy tea without any burden. Another specialty here is "HALAD DUDH"....superb taste...good for your throat.

    Summary -
    I suggest to try out all above spots since this is my personal ranking. Amruta-tulya tea have consistency in taste over the years and everywhere. But some people don’t like it due to extra sugar in tea. Some of the well known Amruta-tulyas & Tea Spots in Pune are -
    1. Amba Bhuvan - Kumthekar Road 2. Tilak Road- opp. Tilak Smarak Mandir (good one) 3. Amruta tulya next to Hotel Lajjat, Sadashiv Peth 4. Amruta tulya opposite Poona Hospital (hide behind some fruit stall). 5. Special Amruta tulya located near Kunte Chauk, Lakshmi Road 6.Central Cafe - Next to Panchali Hotel, J. M. Road and 7. Garden Cafe- Off Moledina Road
    I can also consult you on purchasing tea powders of non-packaged tea. Few popular shops in Pune are -
    1. Maharashtra Tea Depot - Best BEST BEST, Mandai and Paud Road (near Sai Driving School) 2. Tea Emporium - Near Tulshibaug-Mandai Road (next to Anokha), Kothrud- HDFC Bank ATM
    3. Mumbai Tea Depot - Next to Datta Mandir on Dagdusheth Ganpati Mandir Road
    4. National Tea Depot, Mandai

    Please do not hesitate to connect me if you need any assistance to locate any of the place above.
    Cheers! ~Ambarish Vaidya

    Disclaimer - Any information contained in the blog is written to the best of writer's knowledge and expertise. It does not necessarily mean an expert comment and meant only for reader's benefits/information. Any action performed based on the information contained in the blog is reader's own responsibility and writer of the blog shall in no case be held responsible or accountable for any outcome.