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Posts Tagged ‘india

Re-Entry Visa Requirement for India has been lifted

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Travelers on Tourist visa to India were required to have a gap of at least 2 months between two separate visits to India. This requirement caused a lot of confusion and havoc among travelers to India. The restriction has been lifted days ago with immediate effect except for nationals of China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origin and stateless persons.

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Written by MithrasLaw

December 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B Cap Count Update (updated April 17, 2012)

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As of April 13, 2012, approximately 20,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 9,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

USCIS Continues to accept FY 2013 H-1B petitions and our office is continuing to help clients file H-1B petitions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or help in filing an H-1B.

Cap Eligible Petitions: This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied. Petition Target: This is the number of petitions that USCIS projects it will need for the cap to be met. Cap Amounts: The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

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

H-1B Cap for FY 2011 has been reached

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  USCIS is notifying the public that yesterday, Jan. 26, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2011.

The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough capsubject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000. Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2011 that arrive after Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will use this process to select petitions needed to meet the cap.  USCIS will reject all remaining cap-subject petitions not randomly selected and will return the accompanying fee.

On Dec. 22, 2010, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionallymandated FY2011 H-1B cap.  Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

• extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;

• change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

• allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

• allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

OCI and PIO cards will be Merged

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recently announced that the Indian government has decided to merge the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card and the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards into a single facility in order to encourage active participation of the Indian diaspora in India as well as to sort out the problems that implementation of two different card schemes has given rise to.

Merging the two cards means that PIO card holders will now be entitled to life-long visa for India rather than the visa-free entry being limited to 15 years. This merging also means that PIO cardholders will be exempt from registration with local police in India for a stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit and they will also be entitled to the rights of residency just as OCI cardholders have at present. While OCI cardholders get a specific right to become an Indian citizen, the PIO cardholders do not have this option, but now merging the two into a single facility will bring PIO cardholders at par with OCI cardholders.

It should also be noted that at the time of writing this post the Embassy of India in D.C., and the other Consulate Generals of India in the United States are still issuing both PIO and OCI and the process for merging and the length of time it will take is unclear. Although, PIO cardholders can “upgrade” to an OCI card and have been and are allowed to do provided they fulfill the eligibility requirement but such applicants should take into consideration that currently the PIO card is typically cancelled by the Embassy/ Indian Consulate at the time the OCI documents are collected which is before acquisition of OCI.

 

Written by MithrasLaw

January 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Travelling to India this Holiday Season – Know the Tourist Visa Rules and Restrictions

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If you are planning a trip to India this holiday season or in the near future, it is important to keep in the mind the recent rules and restrictions imposed by the Indian Government on Indian tourist visa holders.

Indian tourist visas are granted for the purposes of visiting India to sight-see or to meet with relatives and friends and visitors on a tourist visa are not allowed to study, work, or set up a business in India or for that matter, convert the visa into another type of visa.

The recent change in rules has been imposed by the Indian government with a view to curb abuse and misuse of the tourist visa. The recent regulations require foreign nationals, including US passport holders, with multiple entry visas, to leave a gap of at least two months between each visit to India.  If for whatever reason, a visitor needs to visit India again within a period of 2 months from the last departure, a special permission from the Mission or Post is required before entry into India will be allowed.  The gap of two months applies between two visits to all tourist visa holders.

This visa regulation particularly affects foreign nationals when families are traveling to India for holidays and avail the opportunity to visit other neighboring counties for tourism to popular destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.  and then they re-enter India within less than 2 months from the last departure.  These foreign nationals, after initial entry into India, may be permitted two or three entries provided they have obtained prior permission by the Indian Mission/Post before departure from their home country. If they are already in India and then make plans to travel outside of India then in some circumstances permission can be sought within India. Moreover, the Indian government has clarified that even if a traveler’s passport is not stamped at port of entry and the traveler tries to re-enter within two months the same restrictions are applicable and the traveler will not be allowed to enter India.

The good news is that this re-entry restriction is not applicable to PIO/OCI card holders or to those foreign nationals holding business, employment and other such categories of visas. For those US passport holders that have been contemplating getting a PIO or OCI card,  it is advisable to get the PIO or an OCI card as it can facilitate travel to India.

As India’s immigration laws are constantly changing and while this information is accurate at that the time of writing, readers are advised to check the most up to date rules and regulations before traveling.

Written by MithrasLaw

December 8, 2010 at 10:39 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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