Wednesday, November 28, 2012

U.S. Consulates in India Expand Waiver of Nonimmigrant Visa Interviews

From, 11/27/2012

Qualifying H-1B, individual L-1, F and J visa holders are now eligible for a waiver of the nonimmigrant visa interview if applying to renew their visa at a U.S. consulate in India. Applicants selected for the interview waiver will benefit from streamlined visa renewal procedures, though will still be required to appear for a biometrics appointment. 

Previously, interview waivers in India were available only to foreign nationals applying to renew a B-1/B-2, H-4 or L-2 visa at the discretion of a consular officer. 

Who Qualifies for an NIV Interview Waiver? 

The interview waiver is available to foreign nationals applying to renew a B-1/B-2, C1/D, F, H, J or individual L visa, as long as the renewal is in the same classification as the applicant’s most recent visa and that visa was issued in India. Applicants for L-1 visas under an employer’s blanket petition are not eligible for the waiver.

The applicant’s most recent visa must have been issued after August 1, 2004 (or after November 1, 2008 for drop-box application services). The prior visa cannot have been annotated “clearance received” or have been lost or stolen. The applicant must have had no visa refusals in any category since his or her most recent visa issuance. 

If applying for an H or L renewal, the applicant’s most recent visa must still be valid or have expired within the previous 12 months. If applying for a B-1/B-2, C1/D, F, or J visa renewal, the applicant’s most recent visa must still be valid or have expired within the previous 48 months. 

Children under 14 are eligible for the interview waiver if their current visa is in the same category as that of a parent applying for renewal. Applicants age 80 or older are also eligible.

Applying for the Waiver

To obtain the waiver, the visa renewal applicant must pay all relevant visa application and reciprocity fees according to the consulate’s payment procedures. Next, the applicant must complete Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application, and print the filing confirmation page.

Once the application is filed, the applicant must create an account at, the U.S. consulates’ visa application website, and follow the steps to schedule an interview. The applicant will be asked a series of questions to determine whether he or she is eligible for an interview waiver and drop-box application services. Note that consular officers have the discretion to require an interview even if the applicant is otherwise eligible for a waiver.

If the applicant meets the waiver requirements, he or she must schedule a biometrics appointment at an Offsite Facilitation Center. The applicant must bring a valid passport, most recent visa, and supporting documentation to the appointment. Children under 14 must also bring a photocopy of their parents’ visas. Applicants who qualify for drop-box service must submit these materials to a drop-off location, along with a drop-box confirmation letter and a recent passport-size photograph. If the consulate needs additional documents or information, the applicant will be notified by email.

If the visa application is approved, the passport and new visa will be delivered for pickup at a Document Collection center selected by the applicant.

In the early stages of the expanded waiver program, several processing issues have been identified that could cause delays or other problems for applicants. The consulates have indicated that they are working on addressing these issues. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

December 2012 Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin for December 2012 has been published. Immigrant visas for all nationalities in the EB-1 category are current. Immigrant visas in the EB-2 category are current forall nationalities except China and India.

December 2012 Visa Bulletin, Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

See the entire bulletin here: 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Department of Driver Services (DDS) Posts Average Wait Times Online

From Georgia Department of Driver Services, 11/09/2012

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) announced today a new website enhancement aimed at saving customers valuable time before obtaining driver licensing services. Now customers can check average wait time data at  before visiting any of the 64 statewide customer service licensing centers (cscs). 

To access the Wait Times for each CSC customers should visit the DDS’ website at and enter a zip code or click the map in the “locations box” at the top right corner of the homepage.  Wait Times may be accessed under the street address of each CSC location or directly at .

Friday, November 2, 2012

EB-2 Special Handling Processing

Permanent teaching faculty are eligible for an EB-2 Special Handling Immigrant Petition based on employment with Georgia Tech. The EB-2 petition must be submitted within 18 months of the job offer (per the offer letter).  The petition requires various steps to be completed at specific times.

EB-2 Timeline

Explore an EB-2 processing timeline here: Global Human Resources EB-2 Timeline. This hypothetical timeline is assumes that the employee is offered a job today and illustrates the various steps involved in the EB-2 process.

Please note this is for informational purposes only and does not account for unforeseen circumstances which may delay a petition.