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Want to study/ work in the US?

June 23, 2006

You aspire for an MBA from an American university. Or want to head to the States for a plum job.

In which case, you can't escape the US visa application process.

We got US visa regulations expert Dr Arun Vakil to chat with Get Ahead readers on June 19 to answer their US visa-related queries. If you missed the chat, here is the transcript.

Part I:
US visa info -- surf these web sites

raghuprasanna asked, Hi Arun What is J1 Visa

Arun Vakil answers, 
It is a visa for those who participate in exchange programmes for training in certain fields, on the invitation by an institute for a specified period of time.

bhupesh asked, Hi Dr Arun, My immigrant visa has been approved , i have given the interveiw , but after that they are demanding diffrent documents from my employer and myself , can they cancel my visa or how much time it will take more for me to geta visa

Arun Vakil answers, 
The visa officer may have some doubts about your case and therefore asked for more data. I cannot say how much time it will take.

bipul asked, hello sir i 'm bipul doing my ist yr. eng. in india, & i want yo pursue my graduation in US thru SAT i or SAT II (including toefle ) with a new acadmic yr from aug. sept. 2007 when its a right time to apply for US visa i have planed outto give my sat subject test in jan i will be needing ur further holistic guide in my successfull aproval of visa and othe formalities bipul

Arun Vakil answers, 
Read my book Gateway To America, chapter II. It will answer all your queries.

maharaja asked, is there any procedure to do PhD in USA without GRE ,GMAT,TOEFEL etc.

Arun Vakil answers, 
Not really. But the university concerned may decide to waive some of the requirements if you have exceptional qualifications.

India asked, HI Arun this is for H1B visa. My petion is mentioning to go to Mumbai consulate for stamping but i m residing in Bangalore from last 3 years so according to rule i need to go to chennai. So where shall i go for stamping in this case??If I go to Mumbai Visa Office will create any Objection?? Thanks in advance

Arun Vakil answers, 
You could apply at Chennai and, if not refused visa before, you can also go to Delhi. 

viral asked, Hello Sir, Im unmarried son(age 27) of Parents who got there green card in 2003 and they have filed I-130 for me, is there any other visa that i can get in short time??

Arun Vakil answers, 
No other visa possible. Wait for your time.

sreeram asked, Hello sir,I have got 4 +yrs of IT experience.I have filed for HI Visa though an American company last month. Just want to know when will be my visa interview?How many days it will take for the interview?what are my chances

Arun Vakil answers, 
When your papers come to India, you will be called. There is no fixed time schedule as such. 

ASN asked, Dear Arun, I have 3 F1 rejections and 1 B1 rejection. What are my chances of getting a F1 or a B1 visa again? Second question:- A company has filed my H1 this year, what are my chances getting H1B?

Arun Vakil answers, 
Try for the H1, which is a better option for you.

Rajendra asked, I am B Com graduate with 10+ year software experience and was applied for H1 visa in the year 1998 which was rejected without giving any proper staement should I eligible for once again

Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes, you can reapply with another company.

Kiran asked, Hi Arun, I have got admission in a University and My total expenditure for fees and leaving is US $ 31000, then how much fund do I need to show(Aprox)?? Please answer this, as I have to go for Visa Interview on 3rd Of July!!!Please

Arun Vakil answers, 
You should have liquid funds to take care of your first year and access to funds for the subsequent years. There is no fixed sum that one can predict.

rohitn asked, Hi Arun, My company has filed a H1B petition for 2006 Quota for me. The name that appears in my Passport and that of my educational certificates differ. I have dropped one of the alphebats. Does this matter anyways in the granting of my Visa/approval from USCIS?

Arun Vakil answers, 
No. But take evidence to show that the person referred to in the two names is the same person. 

sathish asked, i was told that the H1-B visa applications are stopped for this year. is it true?

Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes. The quota is over. The next quota opens on October 1, 2007, and filing starts on April 1, 2007.

lukektm asked, can a pharmacist get H1 B visa without completing the licensure exam . he can complete the exam once he reach USA .

Arun Vakil answers, 
You better get through the licensure exam. 

manchi asked, Hell Mr there a way to get a quicker appoitment for my L1 Visa with the consulate?

Arun Vakil answers, 

manne asked,  You asked, i'm holding L1 visa from a company as the project didnt materialised and i dint travelled to US now i changed the will the L1 visa is valid can i travel on that.or can this be converted as h1b ,if so whats the procedure? Arun Vakil answers, You may have to change from L1 to H1 with legal help Do i need to file for the visa again or any employer who recruits me can do this whts the procedure please help me out

Arun Vakil answers, 
I would have to study your case to answer further.

Wharton asked, Dr. Arun, Is it easy to get a student visa if one gets into a top US B-School although the finances for the studies are arranged by a loan.

Arun Vakil answers, 
The F1 visa decision depends on many factors such as the academic history of the applicant, type of university and course selected, entrance score obtained, future action plan in India, etc. If you take a loan, you have to prove that you will be able to repay it on your return and will not stay in the US, get a job and then repay. 

Sheetal asked, Hello Mr vakil, am software professional and will be married soon and going on H4 as of now, have 2 questions : 1) How easy is it to get H1 after going on H4? 2) I havent taken visa date for H4 yest, as mu fiance's H1 is not stamped yet, can I get earlier visa interview date than what they show on earlieset pssoible dates online?

Arun Vakil answers, 
You can apply for the H4 only after your spouse's H1 visa is stamped. If you are qualified and an employer is interested, you can get the H1 when the quota is available.

skumbar asked, Hi Respectable Arun vakil chat, I have H1B Visa stamped thru some X company.Now i changed the company.I would like to know will H1B visa still be valid. After Processing of H1B i never gone to US on that Visa.Please let me know will that visa still holds valid or not.

Arun Vakil answers, 
Visit the US consulate and inform them about the change of employer. They may issue you a fresh visa if applicable and available.

ghorpade asked, i am working as an assistant executive housekeeper one of the best 5 star holte and before that i worked as executive houseekeeper in hilto in uae what are my chance of getting h1b visa

Arun Vakil answers, 
H1B is meant for highly skilled workers. You may not qualify.  

a asked, Do u see nay icrea in h1b seats this year

Arun Vakil answers, 
Debates are going on in America for increase in quota. It looks uncertain at the moment.  

sad asked, Sir If i have my VISA with Annotations with COMPANY A then is it true that i cannot go with the same Visa thru COMPANY PLEASE CALRIFY

Arun Vakil answers, 
You cannot.  

chetan24 asked, Hi Arun, If my H1B is stamped and due to some reason I could not go to US for a year , but job offer and Visa is valid , can I still go after a year

Arun Vakil answers, 
You have to get evidence/ letters from the employer that the job is still available to you and then you can go.  

chandu asked, I have got I-20 for a 1 year diploma in mechanical eng., And Iam scheduled for apponitment on 29th of this month. Is it possible to let me know what are my chances of getting visa for this kind of a course?

Arun Vakil answers, 
Depends on your background, objectives, university, etc. Usually applicants for academic degrees are preferred.

nithin asked, My L1B was denied once. What are my Chances of geting US Visa in future

Arun Vakil answers, 
No problem. Try with better preparation.

kummi asked, Hello Sir, I applied for H1 and my application got approved last week. But my attorney says that the original receipts have not been received yet. Let me know how much time will it take for them to receive them.

Arun Vakil answers, 
Ask your attorney since he is involved.

NAVJOT asked, My dsughter is doing Engineering in Computer science. Is she eligible for student visa?

Arun Vakil answers, 
Yes, if she gets admission to a US university.  

Vin asked, hey Dr. Vakil, I have done my undergrad at Boston University and have been back in India since 2004. I had also travelled to the US on a tourist visa before my education, but that has long since expired. Now i need to visit the US again, how do i go about getting my visa since the drop-box service has been discontinued?

Arun Vakil answers, 
Go for the personal interview. Read my book Gateway to America and visit  for details.

yash asked, sir, i am enterin my third year engg and wud like to know the problems involved in securing a us visa

Arun Vakil answers, 
There is no problem if you prepare well.

arun asked,  i was rejected for not showing liquid funds for three years(I showed only for 2 years) VO checked only my bank statement and said I wont be able to pay my fee for all three years(insufficient funds) is it a good option to go for cheaper univ where the course is for two years

Arun Vakil answers, 
You can but try to show funds from other sources or sponsorship from the US.  

asif asked, My L1 Blanket visa was kept pending under 221(g) because as per the counslar my Name was hitting with someone else's in the system. My case was refered to washington and it has been almost 45 days now. What are the chances of this getting through and what's the approximate wait time.

Arun Vakil answers, 
Several weeks to a year.

sandeep asked, Dear sir, I am having H1B Visa , is it possible to apply Visa for my Fianc�e , i am getting married after 5 months , Pls suggest any way to resuce Process Time to get H4 Depadent visa

Arun Vakil answers, 
You can get your spouse only after marriage. No fianc�e visa for H1B candidates.  

raja asked, Sir My F1 visa interview slot is on aug 4th and my reporting date to the university is aug 13th . As only few days left between ,whether it will have any negative impact on my interview?

Arun Vakil answers, 

Arun Vakil says, Time is up. It was wonderful chatting with you. If you have further queries, write to Only short questions will be answered. Good-bye and good luck

Part I: US visa info -- surf these web sites


Dr Arun C Vakil is an expert on visa regulations for the US. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and Ph D from the University of Wyoming, Laramie. He is the author of Gateway To America, and conducts orientation courses for students going to the US. He is based in Mumbai.

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