H-1B FAQs

What happens when section 221(g) is issued?

The consulate will issue a slip with a case number to the immigrant. If more documents are required, the consulate will request the paperwork that is needed. Once all of the documents are submitted, the immigrant must wait for the final decision. It is a good sign if the consulate requests the individual’s passport. Once a visa is approved, the consulate must stamp it into the passport.

 

Can the suspension process be expedited?

No. It is not possible to expedite a 221(g). The consulate works on cases based on criticality. If it takes a while for a decision to be made it could mean that the case required extra investigation or that it was not high on the list to be reviewed.

 

Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?

It is possible for an individual to try to apply for a visa in another category. An individual can also apply for the same visa again, but with a different employer. Applying for a different visa might allow an individual to receive earlier approval, but it is not guaranteed.

 

What happens if my visa petition is rejected?

The consulate officer will give you a form that must be filled out. The form will determine what information is missing from your petition and how to proceed. You will need to gather all of the required information in order to continue the application process.

 

Do I have any other options after the petition is rejected?

Once you provide the missing information, the consulate will send your petition back to the USCIS for reconsideration. The consulate will also include their comments about your case. The USCIS will review the case within 30 to 60 days. If the USCIS decides to reinstate the application, they will send all of your documentation back to the consulate to continue to process of the case. If your case is reinstated, you will be notified by the consulate.

 

Is there a waiting period to reapply for a visa?

No. There is not a waiting period for reapplying for a visa. However, if your circumstances have not changed or you have not acquired the necessary documentation, you would likely be denied again.

 

Why did I get denied after I supplied all of the documents?

Although submitting all of the documentation is required to apply for a visa, it does not qualify you for the visa. In addition to the documents, the visa application interview is also very important. The consulate officer determines whether you qualify for the visa based on the information provided during the interview.

 

What does it mean when my petition is under “administrative processing”?

When a visa petition requires additional investigation, the consulate officer can place the case under “administrative processing.” This means that the case is under further review. Administrative processing usually takes about 60 days. The consulate will contact you when the processing is complete.

 

Can I appeal the denial of my visa?

No. All visa decisions are final. You cannot appeal the decision, but you can reapply for the visa.

 

Why can I not get a refund after my petition was denied?

Applying for a visa requires you to pay the application fee, which is not refundable. If you reapply for the visa you will have to pay the application fee again.

 

What document do I have to show to leave the U.S. once my visa expires?

When your visa expires, there are not any specific documents that have to be supplied to your home country. You can show documentation of your financial ties to your country such as proof of investments or property. If you have a letter from an employer in your home country that guarantees employment once you return from abroad you can present it as well.

 

Is it possible to come to the U.S. without a visa?

Some countries are eligible for a visa waiver program. If you are a citizen of an eligible country, you must also have a passport and be travelling for less than 90 days. You have to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). There is a $14(US) registration fee for ESTA that must be paid by credit card. If your ESTA is denied, you will be refunded $10.

 

How do I renew my visa if it is going to expire?

You will have to go back to your country to get your visa stamped.

 

What do I do if my passport expires?

You will need to apply for a new passport. However, you will need to keep your old passport that has the visa stamp in it. From that point forward you will travel with two passports.

 

Can I extend my visa while I am still in the U.S.?

No. You will have to go back to your country and apply for another visa.

 

Can I stay in the U.S. after my visa expires?

After your visa expires you will be allowed to stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time. The time period authorized by the Department of Homeland Security is noted on your I-94 admissions card. Once the time has expired, you will need to leave the U.S. and return to your country.