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Want to migrate to the US?

December 28, 2005

Do you want to migrate to the US? Are you wondering how to do it?

Dr Arun Vakil, an expert on US visas, who chatted with Get Ahead readers on December 21, suggests two routes. Migration by finding employment in the US or through family contacts.

Dr Arun Vakil has an MBA from the University of California, USA, and a PhD from the University of Wyoming, USA. He is an expert on US visa regulations. He was associated with the US consulate in Mumbai as an economist from 1974 to 1977.

He conducts orientation courses for students going to the US; these courses are organised by the United States Education Foundation in India and the Indo-American Society. He also lectures on US visas and immigration laws. He authored the book Gateway To America in 1984.

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

Part I:
Applying for a US visa? Some useful tips

Hi : My husband and I want to migrate to the US. Will it be necessary for us to get jobs there before we apply for migration?

Dr. Arun Vakil : 
Migration is done through employment or through family. If you do not have any blood relations in the US who can file for your migration, then you have to look for jobs. If one of you gets a job, the other can go as a dependent.

Scorpion : Hi Dr Arun, I have a valid H1B visa (Valid until sept 2007) But i have not travelled on it yet.I have left the organization which applied the Visa for me I have 2 questions 1.Can i travel to the USA on this H1B visa. 2.Can I transfer this visa to another employer without any paystubs or the consent of my previous employer.

Dr. Arun Vakil : 
You could start afresh with a new employer and new paper work. If you have not used the valid visa for all this time then it is not advisable to use it any more, more so since you have left the organisation.

Nandakumar : Hello Dr.Vakil, I've applied for visa in the last year quota and I attended the interview at Kolkatta consulate on 17th Feb.2005 and got redirected to Chennai Consulate based 221(g). I attended the interview at Chennai Consulate on 11th Mar.2005 and my case is taken to Administration Process. Till date there is no status of my visa from consulate except my passport and degree certificate were returned on May 20, 2005 and stating that my case is further referred to fraudulent prevent case. Please guide me how I can get back my other papers (Original Exp. certificate) and get the visa.Thanks in Advance.Regards.

Dr. Arun Vakil : It seems the visa officer sees some fraud in your case. It is anybody's guess as to how long will it take. Suggest you drop this case and start afresh with a new employer. I believe you are seeking H-1B visa.

Swapnil : Sir, I am a CA and have a financial consulting firm . If we want to open a branch office or form a financial consulting firm in USA. What kind of visa should I apply for?

Dr. Arun Vakil : 
L-1 visa is your best option. Consult a professional for advice.

sridhar : How much does it cost for the H1-B visa now?

Dr. Arun Vakil : It is $ 2,190 plus $1,000 for fast track (premium processing).

Vinoth : hi there, i am an admin guy from a software company and our company has been working with a US client for the past 3 years and now one of our clients have an unforeseen emergency and they want 3 of our technical consultants to come to the US immediately. Is there an emergency quota for this as the next nearer appointment schedule is only in April 2006 till which our client cannot wait. If there is an emergency quota, what kind of invitation letters are required from our clients ? They are going to sponsor our trip fully and our stay would be there for around 60 days. This is a temporary business visit.

Dr. Arun Vakil : Emergency quota exists with each consulate but the definition of emergency is limited to life and death. Not the type you mention. You can however e-mail the consulate explaining your case and see if you can get any positive response. But looks doubtful.

kram : I had overstayed  by seven months, the last time I visited. It's been 4 years since. It was not my fault, but the company that had filed the H1 extension shut down. I have papers to prove that I had applied for an extension. Will there be a problem if I apply for an H1 now.

Dr. Arun Vakil : You are subject to a three-year bar since you exceeded 180 days of overstay even if it was not your fault. You could make fresh approach and convince the visa officer that you will not do this again. If he is convinced, then only you may get the visa.

rajr : Hello sir, Will it possible to change the employer if am a L1 visa holder?

Dr. Arun Vakil : No, you cannot change employer. You have to file for a fresh L-1.

Nayan : I have got an approval for H1B & got appoinment date in March '06. I would like to know whether clients' detail & documents are required at the time of interview? I am in the IT field & my employer owns a consulting firm

Dr. Arun Vakil : 
The visa officer would want to know as to for whom you are going to work and see their details like sales turnover, product/service profile etc. with photos. You need to carry this info.

shiv_261 : Hello Sir, I am going to the US in another two months and I plan to take my wife with me on an H4. My wife is also a software engineer. Is there any chance she can work in the US with H4?

Dr. Arun Vakil : One cannot work with an H-4 but she can find a job and convert her H-4 to an H-1.

nlr : Hello. I'm a H4 visa holder and my husband currently works for company A. My visa which was processed by company A is valid until June 2006. My husband is taking up a job with company B soon. If I join him within the next month or so, how do I extend my visa validity by another 2-3 years? Else, should I apply here in India for a fresh visa after my husband's new petition is filed? Please advise.

Dr. Arun Vakil : You could travel on your valid H-4 visa even if your employers have changed. But once you reach there, have the necessary changes done in your existing visa which would be extended in accordance with the H-1 of your spouse.

abkulka : Hello Dr. Vakil, I have multiple entry B1/B2 visa valid for next few years, it's businees visa. On same visa can I visit as a tourist on vacation? Thanks in Advance.

Dr. Arun Vakil : B-1 is for Business and B-2 for tourism. Both are given together and you can use this visa for both the purposes.

smitha : I am married to guy who is a Sri Lankan citizen. I am in Chennai with his parents. He just got a green card two months back. My business visa was rejected in March 2005.I  want to go & stay with my husband. Can u guide me? How do i approch about the whole issue to go to USA?

Dr. Arun Vakil : Tell your husband to file immediately for you for a Green Card. It would take 5-6 years to get it through. In the mean time, you could try to go to the US as a student or as a business person. Need more info on your background. Contact a professional for assistance.

dchat : Hi, i had three arrears (ATKT) in civil engg... my visa app was rejected thrice :( can you please help me... is it just because of my arrears (now i have passed engg 70 % and also have admission in the us...only visa is problem.

Dr. Arun Vakil : Your paper work requires special preparation. Get in touch with me for details through

salin : hello I have been offered a postdoc in an medical inst affliated with univesity. they have offered me an h1b visa and have petitioned last week also they informed me that they dont come under the cap system since its a non profit and its scientific medical research. can i know how long will it take for my visa to be readythanks

Dr. Arun Vakil : 
Processing of H-1B visa not subject to quota should be much faster. But the exact time cannot be told from here. It all depends on how many similar petitions are waiting for processed at the given visa processing center.

Dr. Arun Vakil : Love to answer many more questions but my time is up. Till we meet again, I hope all of you get your visas.

Part I: Applying for a US visa? Some useful tips


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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: visa migration

hello sir , my fience has filed for H1 visa and yet to know in this october. we r getting married in feb.if he get ...

Posted by mounika

Sub: Tourist Visa

Hi Dr Arun, I have got immigrant Visa for Canada. I will be moving there in next 2 months. I want to apply for US ...

Posted by Narinder

Sub: tourist visa

Sir, I want to go us in this 2006 for max. 1 month. How can i apply for this?

Posted by Nawaraj Maraseni

Sub: Work legal in USA

Goodday! I just want to know what to do in my case. I've been engage to a Greencardholder from South Africa. I am also from ...

Posted by Christiaan

Sub: Tranfer of H1B

If a company wants to hire me and willing to answer for the cost of transfer of my H1B visa, do I need a consent ...

Posted by Joe


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