Category Archives: Employers

Best practices and news for employment-based immigration.

Expanded US Visa Interview Waiver Program in India

As of November 19, 2012 American Consulates throughout India have expanded the Interview Waiver Program to include H-1B and L-1 renewals. Under the Interview Waiver Program for India, certain applicants for visa renewal may submit their applications for consideration for streamlined processing, including waiver of a personal interview.

 

Here are the visa categories eligible for the Interview Waiver Program for India

  • Temporary workers on H1-B visas
    • Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas
    • Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
    • Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
    • Students returning to attend the same school and same program
    • Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) – including C1/D.
    • Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
    • Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class

 

Some additional notes on the Interview Waiver Program for India

 

  • The applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of India
  • The visa applicant must be renewing a visa that is still valid or that expired within the past 48 months
  • The renewal application must be for the same visa classification as the previous visa.
  • The previous visa must not carry the annotation “clearance received”
  • Even if the applicant meets all the above criteria, a US consular officer may still require an interview for any visa applicant in any category.
  • The applicant may still need to make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) collection
  • All applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form

 

For more details about procedures for submitting a renewal application, please contact our office or see

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

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H-1B Visas: 3 Facts Employers MUST Know

As October dawns upon us, many employers will be faced with the complexities of the H-1B visa process. In order to alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with this procedure, Visawolf brings you our “H-1B Visas: 3 Facts Employers MUST Know”.

1. What is the earliest an H-1B worker can apply for the new H-1B visa at the US consulate?

The US State Department Foreign Affairs Manual, states that (9 FAM 41.53 N8.4(b)) consular officers are authorized to accept H-B visa petitions and issue visas to qualified applicants up to 90 days in advance of the start date indicated on the approval notice. The officer must inform the visa applicant verbally and in writing that he or she may only use the visa to apply for entry to the United States no more than ten days prior to the H-1B status period indicated on the approval notice. Such visas will be annotated, “Not valid until (ten days prior to the petition validity date.)”

2. Is there a deadline by which an H-1B worker must apply for the visa? Is it ever too late?

No, the H-1B worker can apply for the visa at any time during the validity period of the H-1B approval notice.

However, it will be advantageous to apply for the visa as early as possible. This is because the documentation provided with the H-1B petition will still be fresh at the time the visa applicant goes to the consulate.

If the information in the H-1B petition is not fresh at the time the H-1B candidate goes to the consulate, there is a higher chance that the consulate will ask questions about the job offer and whether the same opportunity exists today as it did when the H-1B petition was filed. More documentation may be required and a lot more time in the visa application process could result.

3. At what point after the H-1B worker enters the United States is the employer required to add him or her to the payroll?

Pursuant to US Department of Labor regulations at 20 CFR § 655.731(c)(6), if the H-1B worker is brought from outside of the U.S., he must be put on the payroll at the time he presents himself for employment or 30 days after arrival in the U.S., whichever comes earlier.

If the foreign national is in the U.S. and a change of status has been applied for, the employment relationship may not commence until the effective date of the change of status. From that date, the employment must commence on the date that the employee presents herself as ready for employment or 60 days after the effective date of the change of status to H-1B, whichever comes earlier.

If the candidate is already in H-1B status with another employer, employment with Sparta can commence as soon as the H-1B petition is filed. Sparta also has the option to delay commencement of employment of the H-1B until the effective date of the H-1B approval notice, or up to 60 days later.

We hope this segment has cleared up any confusion regarding the H-1B visa process. For further inquiries, please respond to this post or contact us directly via email: social@visawolf.com

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