Hyderabad: People, whose H1B visa is about to expire and wish to have an extended stay in the US, will have to apply for a new visa while they are in India. The extension will be renewed for another three years.
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require technical expertise. It is issued for three years to employers to hire a foreign worker.
The employer can request for an extension of the visa for employees, whose three-year visa got over. Often such applicants come to India on a holiday and get it done and the success rate of such extensions are very high.
Hyderabad-based techie Sai Kumar, who is currently stationed in the US, said: “My H1B visa needs to be renewed in the next couple of months. If my employer and client approve my extension, I will be visiting India to renew the visa and stamping. If not approved, I will be back. But I am hopeful of getting an extension for another three years”.
However, on the other hand, H-1B visa holders who have begun the Green card process can often renew their work visas indefinitely.
Subhakar Alapati, an immigration consultant, said: “H1B visa extension is turning into a challenging process while doing it outside the US. A person has to get it done at his own country. Many people come back to India for a break. There is no limit on the extensions. Around five lakh people stay at any point of time with H1B visa status”.
He added that the success rate of visa extensions is very high. How-ever, rejection also cannot be ruled out. Unless an employer approves the extension, H1B visa cannot be renewed.
The US, meanwhile, tightened the scrutiny of H1B visa extensions by seeking more documentation related to work during the first three years.
Experts opine that most of the H1B visa applicants from India are never on the bench as a lot of cost is incurred to send them to the US. So the scrutiny will impact only a small number of applicants.
“At least 99 per cent visa applicants won’t be on the bench as a lot of cost is incurred to send them to the United States and one person is selected out of a bunch. Sometimes when the H1B visa documentation is not clear, the application can be put under review. How-ever, review doesn’t necessarily mean it is rejected. The applicant needs to give detailed information,” the immigration consultant explained.