29 Dec 2021

Based on the rule change, I believe I am now eligible to use the drop box option. However, I still cannot secure an interview waiver appointment at the consulate in Chennai. Any chance appointments will open up in the near future?

Answer Trying to secure an appointment at a consulate has been an issue throughout the pandemic. The recent change to allow many more visa applicants to be eligible for an interview waiver (i.e., drop box) is a big step in the right direction, but it will...

09 Dec 2021

I am in the U.S. in H1B status. I recently received an eMail from the U.S. consulate that issued my visa stamp, informing me that my visa had been revoked. Does this mean I have to leave the U.S.?

Answer The visa "stamp" is an entry document. If the consulate has revoked the visa, it means it generally can no longer be used for purposes of requesting admission to the U.S. However, it ordinarily has no direct impact on one's valid status in the United...

18 Nov 2021

I am a U.S. citizen and I sponsored my mother for a green card. Due to backlogs, the earliest date I could get for her appointment at the consulate is about 6 months from now. In the meantime, can she visit me on her tourist visa?

Answer Immigration officers at the U.S. ports of entry generally have discretion to admit a person on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa while that individual has a green card case pending. However, to be admitted on a B-1/B-2 visa, the foreign national typically must demonstrate a lack...

18 Nov 2021

My I-140 is approved, but I am working overseas. How can I tell if my priority date is current? Do I use the dates for filing chart, or the final action chart?

Answer For I-140 petitions filed for consular processing, the dates for filing (DF) chart indicates when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. The immigrant visa cannot be issued by the consulate until one's priority date...

11 Nov 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine that I received is not included on the CDC list of acceptable vaccines. However, a few months ago, I was granted a national interest exception (NIE) to travel to the U.S. Can I still enter based on my NIE?

Answer No, it does not appear that admission will be granted based on an NIE issued during the COVID travel ban. The executive order does not specifically address this question, but a number of consulates have confirmed that the NIE program has been rescinded and replaced...

28 Oct 2021

An employer in the U.S. filed an H1B cap case for me several months ago. At the time it was filed, I was living in India, and the employer asked for the consulate in Hyderabad to be notified if the petition is approved. Now, the petition has been approved, but I am working in Singapore. Can I get my H1B visa stamping done at the U.S. embassy in Singapore?

Answer Generally speaking, if the local consulate allows for third country nationals to apply, it is possible to apply for a visa at a consulate different from the one listed on the initial petition. (28.Oct.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law....

21 Oct 2021

Several months ago, I applied for an H1B visa stamp in India. I was issued a 221(g) notice, informing me that my application would remain under administrative processing until the travel ban was lifted. Now that the ban is being lifted, how long will it take for my visa to be issued? Do I need to provide the consulate with proof that I am fully vaccinated?

Answer It is not yet clear how the consulates will handle these pending visa applications, or how long the process might take. It seems unlikely that the proof of being vaccinated will need to be sent to the consulate. However, we are waiting for the U.S....