Centralized L-1 Blanket Visa Processing in Chennai, India18 Nov 2011
The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India recently announced a change in L-1 visa application procedures within India. As of December 1, 2011, all L-1 visa applications filed under an approved L-1 blanket case must be submitted to the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, India. This is a procedural change, presumably intended to increase efficiency, but it is not clear if the goal is to track L-1 employers more closely. This is consistent with the greater scrutiny of L-1 petitions experienced in the last couple of years.
Blanket L Visa Processing in India
From December 1, 2011, the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai will be the only consulate in India that will be able to accept and process L-1 visas for individuals employed by companies with preapproved L-1 blanket petitions. All interviews for these applications will take place at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, India.
This is a change from the prior procedures, in which such cases were processed at all U.S. consulates in India. The stated purpose for the change is to streamline the blanket L visa application process. Recently, there have been significant problems and high rates of denials of L-1 visas requested under blanket petitions.
Dependents and Individual Applicants
Spouses and children of L-1 nonimmigrants, who wish to apply for L-2 dependent visas, are not limited to applying for the L-2 dependent visa in Chennai. These visa applicants may still apply for their visas at the consulate in India to which they are subject, given their jurisdiction and residency. The same is true of individuals seeking the L-1 visa based on an individual L-1 petition approval, rather than the L-1 blanket approval.
These changes appear to be connected to the ongoing issues and controversy regarding the standards utilized for L-1 blanket visa applications. The Murthy Law Firm is available to help employers with L-1 complications, as well as employees who may be applying for L-1 visas based on either an L-1 blanket or L-1 individual petition approval.
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