Frequently Asked Questions - Visa

Administrative Processing

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply.

Interview Protocol

The State Department says that on the Immigrant Visa side, the petitioner may accompany the beneficiary if the petitioner is in the Consulate city at the time of the interview.  The interviewing officer will speak to the petitioner only if he/she determines it is

Request Number in the visa appointment site - Explanation from State Department

When a visa applicant sets up a user account in the appointment system, an 8-digit identifying number is assigned to the applicant. When logged into the appointment system, this "Request Number" appears in white against a red background in the upper right hand corner of the screen in parentheses after the applicant's e-mail address:

AOS applicants applying for H-1 visa

We would highly recommend not applying for an H visa if it can be avoided. In the past few weeks, I have provided consultations to various employers on H-1 visa refusals. The refusals were ridiculous, illegal and would be overturned if there were an adequate mechanism for reversal. So, I see no point in applying for an H-1 visa. Even if you enter on AP and continue working for the original H-1 employer, you ARE considered to still be on H-1. All other matters are more or less ancillary.

H-1 visa denial and investigation

1. This means that the consulate sent the case back to USCIS for review, revocation (and may be investigation of the employer). Usually, you should not have any issue with it. But from what I recall, if the case is revoked, you will be subject to the H-1 quota in future.

2. I do not see any implications for the individual unless the revocation was based upon some problem with the individual's qualifications.

Status, authorized period of stay and unlawful presence

Status, authorized period of stay and unlawful presence are three VERY important concepts in US immigration laws with far reaching implications. The nuances in these concepts are so intricate that they can trip up even my fellow-lawyers. I see issues in this all the time.

Here is a brief primier to enable you to understand the basics. This is by no means an exhaustive analysis.

Status

H-1 holder aplying for H-4 visa

The cardinal rule in visas is that consulates can ask for pretty much anything. If they do ask for proof of H-1 employment or pay stubs and you do not have it, the H-4 still cannot be denied. The fact that one has been out of status is no bar to the grant of an H-4 visa.

When is an H visa stamping required?

1. My story begins like this: I was working for company A, got stamping in May2007(in canada). Came back to US, changed to company B. Got laid off on Feb 27th, 09. In order to have a valid status I got married on Feb 15th and got my H4 legally on March 20th, 09. Two weeks back a miracle happened, got a job through company C and applied for PP H1b, received it last Thursday. Now, I am planning to go to India for a week in June, 09. Tough having a valid H1b stamping prior to the H4-H1, do I still need another H1b stamping?

PS: I do not have H4 stamping.

Consequences of not using an H-1 visa

It looks like your visa was not canceled, you just did not use it. Note two things. First, non-use of an earlier issued visa should not create any problems in the future. But second and much more important, you HAVE to tell the hospital that you had an H-1 earlier. As far as I know, there is a question on the H-1 forms that specifically asks that question. Not answering the questions on the forms truthfully can get you into trouble. Check the forms, if there is no question that asks about any earlier H-1, you are fine.

L-2 to L-1 COS or Visa?

You can apply for COS. Even if L-1 is rejected, you can still maintain your L-2. In case of a visa rejection, you should be able to come back on L-2 visa or reapply for L-2 visa on the spot.

Using B visa with F-1

My assumption is that you are still on F-1 and in USA. If this is correct, you cannot use your B visa within USA.

While in USA, your stay and status is controlled exclusively by your I-94.

You can, however, try to reenter USA on B visa but after having stayed here for so long, a reentry is likely to be denied.

If, you are outside USA and have been out for a while (like a year or more), I think you can still use that B visa and try to enter USA.

Filling DS 156

I am trying to take an appointment for my wife to renew her H-4 visa since the dates are available right now. She came here on H4, switched in between to F-1 (change of status) but did not leave US, then got the new approval for change of status to H4 (after we filed for green card) and wants to get it stamped now. There is a bit of confusion on the DS-156 form that I have to fill out.

Immigration Consequences of a Denial of Entry at the Airport
Exemption from H-1 Quota and Visa Stamping
Is it legal to do business in home country while working in USA on a visa?
English Language Exemption for VisaScreen for Nurses

For VisaScreen --

Applicants educated in specific countries where English is both the native language and the language of classroom and textbook instruction (see below) are exempt from having to take an English language proficiency examination. For you to be exempt, you must meet BOTH of the following criteria:

1. your country of entry-level education was in United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland), Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), New Zealand, Ireland or the United States, and

Visa Is In An Expired Passport

If your Visa is in a passport that has expired or will expire within 6 months of the end of your U.S. visit, you will need to get a new passport. However, you do not need to apply for a new visa. Just bring both your NEW and  passport with the valid visa to present to the CBP Officer when you arrive in the U.S. 

*Note:  Your ESTA is not a U.S. Visa.  If you obtain a new passport, you are required to apply for a brand new ESTA.  To re-apply visit esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

Birth certificate late registration and secondary evidence

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://youtu.be/1QbgUmUUJvc?t=1405

In which country must I apply for a US visa?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://youtu.be/3Heaadpk1Ik?t=396

FAQ Transcript:

H-1B Visa stamping in general and in third countries like Canada
Visa Status (Void when out of status)

That is covered by section 222(g) of INA. See this link: 

Visa Expiration Date
The visa expiration date is shown on the visa along with the visa issuance date. The time between visa issuance and expiration date is called your visa validity. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States.
 
Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.