Mithras Law Group Immigration Blog

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Archive for the ‘Non-Immigrant Visas’ Category

Visa Interview Waiver Program for Non-immigrant Visas

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Most applicants require in-person interviews with a U.S. Consular Officer when applying for a visa.  However, certain applicants may not require in-person interviews for non-immigrant visas and may apply by using the drop box service. This is a result of the Executive Order signed by President Obama in January 2012 to significantly increase legitimate travel and tourism to the United States.

Under a new initiative, in select circumstances, qualified foreign visitors who were interviewed and thoroughly screened in conjunction with a prior visa application may be eligible to renew their visas without undergoing another interview.

This pilot program permits consular officers to waive interviews for qualified non-immigrant applicants worldwide who are renewing their B1/B2 visa within 47 months of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa.

Embassies and Consulates have begun implementing this pilot program immediately in Russia, Beijing, Mexico,  and now three days ago in Delhi.

This program does not entitle any applicant to a waiver of personal appearance. Consular officers will retain the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires a personal appearance.

MLG will continue to monitor developments in this area and update our readers as to new posts implementing this program.


Written by MithrasLaw

March 29, 2012 at 8:20 am

U.S Consulate in Mumbai is moving to a new location

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The U.S. consulate in Mumbai is moving in the Bandra Kurla Complex this week.  The current location is closed from November 15, 2011 onwards, and the consulate will reopen at the new location on November 21, 2011.  The new office will have more services and features forty-four consular interview windows. Unfortunately, there will be no visa services in Mumbai between the 15th and 21st.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

Additional 30 days for Japanese and Foreign nationals from Pacific stranded in US

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The USCIS has issued an advisory for Japanese and other foreign nationals from the Pacific stranded in the United States due to the earthquakes and tsunami devastation in the Pacific.  If you have exceeded or are about to exceed your authorized stay in the U.S. you may be permitted up to an additional 30 days to depart. Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP): If you are at an airport, contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the airport.  All others, please visit the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Visitors traveling under a non-immigrant visa: Visit the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.   Bring your passport, evidence that you are stranded (such as an itinerary for the cancelled flight), and your I-94 departure record.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

H-1B Update as of January 21, 2011

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As of January 21, 2011, approximately 62,800 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 20,000 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

USCIS to Propose Registration Requirement for H-1B Petitions Subject to Numerical Limits

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposes to establish a mandatory Internet-based electronic registration process for U.S. employers seeking to file H-1B petitions for alien workers subject to either the 65,000 or 20,000 caps. This registration process would allow U.S. employers to electronically register for consideration of available H-1B cap numbers. The mandatory proposed registration process is aimed to alleviate administrative burdens on USCIS service centers and eliminate the need for U.S. employers to prepare and file H-1B petitions without any certainty that an H-1B cap number will ultimately be allocated to the beneficiary named on that petition.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

Most Recent H-1B Count as of December 31, 2010

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As of December 31, 2010, approximately 57,300 of the 65,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 20,000 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

With the H-1B cap nearly reached, clients strongly are urged immediately to file any regular cap-subject H-1B cases.  The H-1B cap is estimated to reach its quota by the end of January 2011.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

U.S. Ambassador to India Announces more Lenient U.S. Visa Application Policy

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In an effort to make the visa application process more convenient for all Indians, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad now accept visa applications from across India at all visa facilities, regardless of the applicant’s home address or city of residence. This is part of Mission India’s ongoing effort to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States.

Following the opening of Consulate General Hyderabad in 2008, the U.S. Mission has looked for ways to best capture the dynamism of India’s growth across the nation.  Consular districts are reorganized as follows: Embassy Delhi: Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bhutan;Consulate Mumbai: Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Diu and Daman, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Consulate Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh, Orissa;Consulate Chennai: Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands;Consulate Kolkata: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland,Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal.

U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said, “With these changes, we believe our Consulates General and ourEmbassy in New Delhi will be even better positioned to support and serve Indian visa applicants, as well asAmerican citizens and businesses throughout India.”

Written by MithrasLaw

November 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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