Monday, November 26, 2012

INDIAN NATIONALS MAY AVOID VISA INTERVIEW


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.

The new program allows repeat travelers who are extending their H-1Bs to avoid the visa interview if the prior visa is in the same classification with the same petitioner and is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.

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

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