Monday, November 26, 2012


The US Embassy-India has begun a program where H-1B renewal applicants in India no longer need to attend a visa interview for their H-1B visa extension.  This waiver of the interview process is a welcome relief for Indian nationals who increasingly have had difficulty extending US H-1B visas.

The new program allows repeat travelers who are extending their H-1Bs to avoid the visa interview if the prior visa is in the same classification with the same petitioner and is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.

Applicants for this visa interview waiver programs may apply on the US Embassy – New Delhi website.

Applicants must meet these criteria:

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you qualify for the Interview Waiver Program “Dropbox” at one of the 11 service centers.

·         I received my visa after November 1, 2008
·         I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew
·         My previous visa was issued in India
·         My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
·         I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
·         If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, F, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months
·         If I am applying for an H or L (individual) visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months. Note: L (Blanket) visa does not qualify.
·         My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received”
·         My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen

The webpage contains this Note: Using the interview waiver or drop box service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, you may be required to appear for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, for example, if you submit an incomplete and/or inaccurate application. Submit your application well in advance of your planned travel to allow for the possibility that a visa interview will be necessary.

Other visa categories may also apply for the waiver of an interview:

·         Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
·         Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
·         Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) - including C1/D.
·         Children applying before their 7th birthday traveling on any visa class
·         Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class
·         Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
·         Students returning to attend the same school and same program
·         Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas

Monday, May 14, 2012


The H-1B cap count has passed the halfway mark. 36,700 H-1B cap-subject petitions have been received as of May, 11, which is the most recent USCIS update. MU currently is projecting that the H-1B cap of 65,000 will be reached around June 10.

MU clients are encouraged to initiate their H-1B Petitions by May 25 in order to insure that their H-1B cap-subject petitions are received at the USCIS before the deadline.

Employees that need a "cap-subject" H-1B include:

* International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school

* International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case

* Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1

* H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization

* Prospective international employees currently living abroad

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue or if you would like to have any other member of your organization added to our email service, MU Visa Advisor.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The Fiscal Year 2013 (FY2013) H-1B cap season will begin on Monday April 2, 2012. For the last several years the H-1B cap season has averaged nine months before all 65,000 H-1B regular cap slots were used. Because of improvements in the US economy, MU Law expects that the 65,000 H-1B regular cap slots will be used by Summer 2012, perhaps as soon as May 2012.

MU lawyers have informally polled our clients and other AILA attorneys in an attempt to gauge the duration of this year’s H-1B season. Based on these conversations, MU Law's best estimate is that the H-1B visa quota will be exhausted in June/July of 2012, although some prognosticators think it could be reached in May 2012. We will make regular updates to our client base as the USCIS releases information about cap usage.

Additionally, MU Law expects that the 20,000 H-1B US Masters Cap will be used quicker than the H-1B regular cap. This is not a great concern because any US Masters Graduates who do not obtain a slot in the H-1B US Masters cap can apply for an H-1B regular cap slot.

Any cap-subject H-1B petition that is filed after April 1 allows the Beneficiary to begin working in H-1B status on October 1, 2012. Students who hold F-1 OPT student status can remain with valid work authorization through October 1, 2012, provided that their H-1B Petition is field and accepted by USCIS.

Because of the uncertainty in these estimates, MU Law urges all clients immediately to initiate H-1B cap-subject petitions. H-1B cap-subject petitions include:

· New overseas H-1B hires

· Beneficiaries on another nonimmigrant status, such as H-4, L-1, or F-1.

· H-1B workers who hold H-1B cap-exempt status by virtue of the filing of the H-1B with a University or research facility.