Work (H1B, L-1)
Important Announcement: Blanket L Visa Processing
All Blanket L Visas are processed at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai is the sole acceptance center in India for all applications for intra-company transfers under the blanket L category as of December 1, 2011. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and U.S. Consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad no longer accept or process applications for this visa category. The blanket L category includes specialized knowledge professionals, executives and managers.
All other visa processing procedures remain unchanged.
Please note that spouse and children visas (L2) and individual L visas (L1B and L1A individuals) may be processed at all posts in India-Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Please note that this is strictly an administrative change. It is not a change in the law or policy of visas for Indian companies.
H and L visas require approved petitions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before a visa interview can be scheduled.
Specialized Workers (H1-B, H-4)
H visas are designed for skilled temporary workers in a specialty occupation to fill vacancies in the United States. Applicants must possess a relevant four-year college degree or equivalent work experience to qualify. Spouses and children on H-4 visas may not work in the U.S.
Intra-Company Transfers (L-1, L-2)
L visas are for intra-company transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S.
Workers can be petitioned individually or under a blanket petition, and must qualify as either a specialized knowledge professional or an executive/manager.
L-2 visa holders may work in the U.S. but must have employment authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.
How to Apply
H and L applicants follow the nonimmigrant visa application process.
Blanket L applicants bring 3 copies of the I-129 for stamping. I-129S forms signed on or after January 7, 2011 need to be completed using the new updated version. Applicants need to bring the original and two copies with them to the interview.
Apply Early! Although the vast majority of visas are delivered in a week or less, some applications require administrative processing. Please do not make travel arrangements until you have received your visa.
Science and technology applicants may require administrative processing. In some cases, administrative processing can take up to 5 or 6 weeks, although it is often faster.
Complete fee information is available here. Please note: Blanket L-1 applicants must pay an additional Fraud Prevention and Detection fee. This fee is payable by a demand draft, and applicants should submit the demand draft at the Consulate on the day of the visa interview.