H-1B Visa and Visa Bulletin Updates
U.S. consular posts accepting H-1B visa applications with October 1, 2014 start date
The Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual instructs posts to begin processing H-1B visa applications up to 90 days in advance of the petition’s start date. Accordingly, as of July 3, 2014, U.S. consular posts are now authorized to accept visa applications for beneficiaries of H-1B petitions with an October 1, 2014 start date.
Individuals who need to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. may wish to start processing their visa application early, as some visa applicants are subject to security checks that can lead to delays. Security checks are generally resolved in a matter of weeks, but in some instances take several months or longer to complete.
Once the H-1B visa is issued, individuals utilizing this procedure cannot seek admission until 10 days prior to the petition’s start date, regardless of whether they receive their visa earlier. The visa should be annotated to reflect this restriction. CAVEAT: Be aware that while entry can be made 10 days in advance of the petition’s start date, employment is not authorized until the start date on the petition.
Please note that individuals seeking an extension of their H-1B status do not have the above restrictions. Generally, they may continue to work throughout the extension process and seek visa renewal upon USCIS approval.
Forward movement for China and India in August 2014 Visa Bulletin
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for August 2014 shows continued forward movement for China and India in the EB-2 classification, while China made its first forward progress in the EB-3 classification since the substantial retrogression in June 2014. These recent changes to the visa bulletin are summarized in the chart below.
If you have any questions about obtaining your H-1B visa at a U.S. consulate or your priority date, please contact our office.