15 Jun 2022

My H1B cap case was approved in 2014. After getting my H1B visa stamped, however, the company ran into financial problems. I ended up not ever coming to the U.S. in H1B status. I now have found a different company in the U.S. willing to hire me. Do I have to wait for next year’s lottery, or can the H1B be filed now?

AnswerThe USCIS technically considers a foreign national counted against the numerical H1B cap if he is granted a change of status to H1B, or if he is issued an H1B visa from a U.S. consulate abroad. Since you were issued an H1B visa, it should...

02 Jun 2022

My H1B extension was approved recently, but my wife’s H-4 extension is still pending. She now needs to travel to India. Can she apply for an H-4 visa now? Or does she need to wait for the USCIS to approve the H-4 extension?

Answer Normally, there is no need to wait for an I-539 to be approved in order to apply for an H-4 visa at a consulate. If the applicant can show that the principal spouse is in valid H1B status, the consulate typically has the authority to...

19 May 2022

Can I file my I-485 from India?

Answer In order submit an I-485 application, one needs to physically be in the United States at the time of filing. If you wish to apply for a green card from India, the application normally would be submitted for consular processing (i.e., applying for an immigrant...

19 May 2022

I was issued a 221(g) by the consulate and asked to submit a few additional documents. What is the processing time for 221(g) cases?

Answer On average, it takes the consulate about four-to-eight weeks to process a 221(g) case. Note that some dropbox applicants are being asked to schedule follow-up 221g interviews. (18.May.2022)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online...

12 May 2022

My wife and I both need to apply for new visa stamps, and we are both eligible for dropbox appointments. I was able to schedule my appointment in the near future, but there were no slots available for my wife for several months. Do we each need separate dropbox appointment slots, or can she just apply with me during my slot?

Answer Each spouse needs to apply based on his or her individual appointment slot. After the appointments are scheduled, the consulate has discretion to then grant an expedite appointment to the spouse with the later appointment date. There is no guarantee that this will be granted,...

28 Apr 2022

My employer forgot to sign the I-129 form on my H1B extension, and the petition was rejected by USCIS. By the time my petition was refiled, my I-94 had already expired, and I accumulated about 2 weeks of unlawful presence. I have a Canadian visa, so I left for Canada. The H1B extension has since been approved. Is it true I have to fly back to my home country (India) to apply for the new H1B visa stamp?

Answer Under 222(g), if a person accumulates any unlawful presence and then departs the U.S., the existing visa becomes void. Further, the individual generally is required to apply for a new nonimmigrant visa in the country of nationality. If the foreign national applies in a country...

17 Mar 2022

I have a friend in Ukraine who recently fled to a neighboring country. Are there any special visa options she may have to come stay with me for a time in the U.S.?

Answer There are no special visas available specifically based on the invasion of Ukraine. However, depending on the circumstances, there may be options to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.One option may be to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa. One hurdle with this option is that the...

17 Feb 2022

I have been in H1B status, and my family has been in H-4 status, for the past five years. We have not traveled outside the U.S. in all that time, so the visa stamps in our passports have expired. If my wife travels abroad and I stay in the U.S., will she be able to get an H-4 visa, or do I need to get an H1B stamp first?

Answer Ordinarily, there is no need for the principal spouse to have a valid H1B visa "stamp" in order for a consulate to issue an H-4 visa to the dependent spouse or child. (17.Feb.2022)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For...

27 Jan 2022

I am trying to schedule a visa appointment, but the next available time is months away. If I wish to request an expedited appointment, should I book an appointment first, and then request an earlier date? Or, should I first submit an expedite request?

Answer In order to request an expedite appointment, one should check the consulate's website to determine the process for that specific post, but the general requirement is that the visa applicant first must submit the online visa application form (DS-160), pay the application fee, and schedule...