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Change of job in US = change of visa?
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December 29, 2006

You might wonder -- if US visa appointments have been made relatively easier to get, how come you are getting no interview dates!


You might wonder -- if you change your job, will you have to get a fresh visa?


Frederick Brust and Amanda Zafian, consular officers at the American consulate in Mumbai, India, answered these and other queries during a chat wth Get Ahead readers on December 28.

Frederick Brust has served in the Consular Section since February 2005; Amanda Zafian is the coordinator of the Business Executive Programme at the American consulate. Both joined the foreign service after pursuing careers in other areas: Fred was a documentary producer and writer and Amanda was a freelance journalist and communications consultant.


For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.


Part I: Worried about your US visa?



ap asked, I have an approved H1b with me , I need to attend for visa in Feb or March 2007, but when I checked to fix my appointment online ,it shows no interview dates.I came to know that now a days getting appointment become easier.What should I do for this ?

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Sir, we consistently update the visa appointment calendar. New appointments for interviews will become available for the months of February and March as we get closer to those dates. I recommend that you keep checking the VFS website on a regular basis for when those dates do open up. You will then be able to make an appointment.



andy asked, UNDER BEP PROGRAM. I was supposed to travel to US under B1/B2 was rejected under the pretext that I need to stay with my company for some more time before I am granted a visa. A set of people who applied with me, got their B1/2 visas the same day at the same counter. The weirdiest thing being the joined the company with me. I have travelled before and was in UK for 3 months earlier this year. Why would an officer reject the visa on these grouds when, other people with the same appointment date and almost equal qualification were granted visas? All the applications were made under the BEP program

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, If a company is a member of the BEP program, it does not mean that all employees from that company will be granted visas. Every applicant -- regardless of what company they work for -- must always qualify for a visa on his or her own merits. In order to qualify for a B1/B2 visa, one must be able to prove the strength of one's ties to India, as well as one's purpose of travel. The decision is not based on any one factor, but on a variety of issues including employment history, family ties, travel history, and more.



TAJAY asked, Hello Amanda, Happy New Year!!! Belated Merry Christmas. I have B1 Visa, but in annotation section of Visa page my current company name is printed. My question is , if i left current company and join another company then whether i can travel to US on existing B1 Visa or i have to go for fresh visa? Thanks in advance.

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, For a B1 visa, the annotation of the old company name does not matter. We recognise that many people change jobs during the period of their tourist visas. For H and L visas, however, you must have the visa annotated with the company by which you are currently employed.



viveksaxena asked, Hi Fred/Amanda, I will apply for H1B visa this year. If my application is retained for "Additional Processing", and Since H1B has a limited quota and gets filled up quickly and additional processing takes a lot of time to complete, will there be any possibility of myself getting visa this year ? What would be the possible implications/Scenarios ? thanks Vivek

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, The quota is for the number of approved petitions, which is issued prior to the visa. Delays in the issuance of the visa will not affect whether your case is included in the quota.



asharma asked, My two sons aged 15 and 9 wish to visit their cousins in USA during school break in July'07. I am applying for their visa on 14th Jan'07. Please let me know whether I would be allowed to accompany them for the interview they being minors and the visa if granted in Jan'07 would be valid for travel in July.

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Asharma, we do let a parent accompany minor children to their visa interviews. You should therefore be able to come with your children, even if you are not seeking a visa itself on the same day. If your children receive visas in January of 2007, they still should be valid in July. We typically issue visas that are five years long, for children.



vk asked, does a sister or brother staying in us effect the h1 process

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, This does not affect the visa process. The interviewing officer will want to be certain that having relatives in the US will not adversely affect your intention to return to India.



Shrikar1 asked, Sir, If my company sends me to the US on L1, Can i transfer the L1 Visa to H1B Visa and start working there without coming back to India?

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, If you go to the United States on an L1 visa, you can adjust to H1B status if another employer hires you and successfully files a H1B petition on your behalf. If you have an approved H1B petition, you do not need to return to India for a new visa when changing jobs -- you can just begin working. If you ever leave the US, however, you must apply for a H1B visa when you are out of the country in order to get back into the United States.



Viju asked, Hi Fred, I am a doctor I need to go to US for USMLE(2 CS) exams which is the 3rd step as I am done with my required first two steps but now need to apply for the 3rd step which is USMLE(2 CS) exams. Kindly let me know the likelihood of getting the visa & documents that I need to present in order to support my reason. Thanks Dr.Viju.

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, We see many people going to the US for the USMLE exams. You will need to apply for a B1/ B2 visa and schedule a visa appointment. The majority of people who apply for all visa categories receive visas. The officer will want to be sure that you are a genuine medical student and do not intend to use this trip to immigrate illegally.



suhas asked,  Hi there, i have applied for H1B Visa and my interview happened on 07-Sep-2006 at 0930 hrs. After the interview the consulate informed me that i have got the visa. But on the same evening when i went to collect my passport, on the visa page "cancelled without prejudice" stamp was there and inside the same envelope i found a letter saying "your application is put in the "PENDING" list and somebody from the consulate will call you". It's been 4 months now and i have not yet got call from the consulate. Can you please let me know what should i do now and how much more time it will take. From the consulate letter it is clear that they are enquiring about my employer.. can u plz let me know if i can provide them the information about my employer.. and if yes where to provide such information and to whom

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, You can send an email to to see if any progress has been made with your case. Please be aware that because of the large volume of mail we receive, it sometimes takes a few days to respond to email queries.



Malhotra asked, Hello , Currently I am working in Europe, Can i apply for US Visa from the europeon country. If yes then how long the whole process takes..

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Sir, if you are a resident in another country, you can apply for a visa in that country. Depending on your situation, applying in your resident country may make more sense. In order to get a US visa, you must show strong ties to a home outside the United States. This makes it easier to show where you actually live. The wait time for visa appointments varies by location, so you should check with the consulate/ embassy where you live.



nwasan asked,  i have b1/b2 visa valid till 2010 what do i do for extension is it like a new application or just drop box case

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Sir, once your visa expires, you can re-apply for it as if you were applying for a new visa. All applicants must appear in person for a visa interview, whether they have ever had a US visa or not. There are no drop box cases.



Rams asked, Hello sir, I am a Doctrate in physics , got a Post doc position @ ohio state university. I have to join by April 1st 2007. I will get the approval papers by Feb 2007. Will i get appointment date either in feb or in march because i need to join the university on april 1st . Pls help

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, We make every effort to ensure that student visas are approved in time to allow them to start classes on time. You should be able to book an appointment through the VFS website after you receive your documents from the university.



kumarm asked, Hello Fred, How are you doing? My petition for non immigrant worker(I-129) got approved. My nationality is Indian. The approval letter is showing i have to appear for visa interview at chennai consulate,India. But right now Iam in germany working for a german company. I would like to is it possible for me to attend the visa interview by taking appointment in the US consulate at Germany? Please advise

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Sir, you can apply for your visa at the consulate/ embassy in Germany.



ricky asked, hi..i m ricky..i came to know that the number of h1 visa have been increased from 65000 to 1 lac 15 thousand for 2007 year .Is this information correct?

Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer answers, Dear Ricky, As of right now, the number of H1B visas remains at 65,000. In the fall of 2006, the US Congress considered raising the quota to 1,35,000 but this was not enacted into law and therefore remains unchanged. It is possible that the number will increase after Congress continues deliberating immigration issues this year.



HELPME asked, Hello Amanda/Fred, Happy New Year!!! Belated Merry Christmas... My Name is "amit kumar".I applied for US visa(B1) and now my application is retained for "Additional Processing".I have few friends whose name is also "Amit Kumar".After inteview all of us are in "Additional processing" and all of us was told that Us visa consulate will get back to us. Its almost 3 months now. Does name matters?? Is "amit kumar" blacklisted name?? Please through some light..

Fred Brust, Consular Officer answers, The US Government does not have lists of 'blacklisted names'. Obviously we do not wish to allow criminals or other dangerous people into the country, so if you have the same name as someone with this type of record, there may be a delay while we determine that you are not the dangerous person. But the important thing is the acts the person has committed, not his or her name.



Amanda Zafian, Consular Officer says, We have run out of time for today. We are sorry that we were not able to get to all of your questions. Detailed answers to many common visa questions can be found at the VFS website. If you have any other specific concerns, you can contact the embassy/ consulate in your residential district.



Part I: Worried about your US visa?



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