The US Embassy-India has begun a program where H-1B renewal applicants in India no longer need to attend a visa interview for their H-1B visa extension. This waiver of the interview process is a welcome relief for Indian nationals who increasingly have had difficulty extending US H-1B visas.
Applicants for this visa interview waiver programs may apply on the US Embassy – New Delhi website.
Applicants must meet these criteria:
If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you qualify for the Interview Waiver Program “Dropbox” at one of the 11 service centers.
· I received my visa after November 1, 2008
· I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew
· My previous visa was issued in India
· My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
· I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
· If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, F, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months
· If I am applying for an H or L (individual) visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months. Note: L (Blanket) visa does not qualify.
· My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received”
· My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen
The webpage contains this Note: Using the interview waiver or drop box service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, you may be required to appear for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, for example, if you submit an incomplete and/or inaccurate application. Submit your application well in advance of your planned travel to allow for the possibility that a visa interview will be necessary.
Other visa categories may also apply for the waiver of an interview:
· Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
· Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
· Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) - including C1/D.
· Children applying before their 7th birthday traveling on any visa class
· Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class
· Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
· Students returning to attend the same school and same program
· Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas