Table of Contents

26 October 2023

US Visa Backlog Clears for Indian Applicants

Recently, Visa Waiting periods have been reduced significantly for Indian applicants, and there has been a reduction in Visa rejections, with now 95% of visa applications getting cleared. In addition, Applicants have options available to re-schedule Appointments. Applications for Student visas are considered high priority and are most rapidly cleared. In addition, with the visa backlog now cleared, many Indian citizens are applying for US Visitor visas, and receiving 10 year Visitor visas, stamped on their passports. The Indian travel industry are very pleased with the backlog clearance, and consequently many opportunities will arise for Indian travelers to visit the US during the vacation season.

20 September 2023

EB-5 Visa - Migration Agents must Register with USCIS

USCIS now requires that all Migration Agents or EB-5 Promoter Consultants advising and assisting clients with an EB-5 Investor Visa Project must register their information, and complete a Form I-956K -'Registration for Direct and Third Party Promoters'. In addition, the Promoter Agent must specify the full details of the EB-5 Project, which they are promoting, and include a signed printed copy of their Finders Agreement with the Regional Center. Also, the Promoter Agent must include copies of their Identification, such as certified Passport biodata page and certified Drivers License. There is no Filing fee and the I-956K application must be sent by Courier to the USCIS office, in Lewisville, Texas, US.

19 September 2023

Revived Semiconductor Manufacturing in the US

The United States Government has implemented a law in 2022 to revive the Semiconductor manufacturing industry in the US. The new 2022 Law is The Creating Helpful Incentives to produce Semiconductors (CHIPS), which channels billions of USD into bringing back the manufacturing of semicnductors to the US, which has been outsourced overseas over the past three decades. To enable this manufacturing endeavour, the United States would need a massive skilled talent pool of Engineers and Techincians, at all levels. Unfortunately, now there is a dearth of sufficient skilled talent in the US. This is eveidenced by the fact that the United States currently manufactures only 12% of the world's chips, which is a decline from 37% in 1990.

13 September 2023

Indians are Fourth biggest Source market for Overseas Visitor to the US

Indians were the 4th largest source of foreign inbound Visitors to the US, after Canada, Mexico and the UK, during the June peak summer travel month, despite high airfares and visa backlogs. Anil Kalsi, VP of Travel Agents’ Federation of India, said: "The demand for travel to the US is tremendous because of a number of factors like visiting friends and relatives (VFR), students, parents going to visit children and business". After making a payment for a Visitor visa, Applicants have 365 days from the date of payment to schedule an appointment before the payment expires.

28 August 2023

EB-1 Indian Visa Applicants Now Face 10 Year Processing Time

The EB-1 'Einstein' Visa is for Applicants with Exceptional Talent or Academic Achievments for a US Green card (Permanent residence). However, according to the Department of State's latest Bulletin, in August 2023, there is now a 10 Year Retrogression for Indian EB-1 Applicants, which moves the final action date back to 1 January 2012 from 1 February 2022. Possible reasons for Retrogression in the EB-1 Visa category include huge demand, which cause a shortage in available visas for the current fiscal year. Nevertheless, the good news is that the Department of State foresees that Indian EB-1 cut-off dates may revert back to August 2023 levels in October 2023.

9 August 2023

Decrease in Student Numbers due to Visa Refusals

There has been a 15% decrease in numbers of International students attending US Universities recently, due to Visa refusals and uncompetitive immigration policies, in a comparison between the 2016/17 and the 2020/21 academic years. However, during the same period, there has been a corresponding rise in enrolments in Canadian Colleges and Universities, with an increase of 46% of International students. It appears that Indian students have been a major reason for the increase in International students in Canada, with an increase of 324% or 135,294 between 2016/17 and 2020/21 academic years. Indian students prefer the more liberalized immigration policies in Canada than in the US, and easier transition from University to temporary work status and then permanent residence, whereas in the US, most H-1B Visas are refused due to low annual limits.

3 August 2023

Proposed Changes to the E-3 Visa for Australians

The E-3 Visa is exclusively for Australians, with a total of 10,500 reserved for Australians each year, but the quota never gets completely filled. By comparison, the H-1B Work Visa is dramtically oversubscribed, with a total of 65,000 issued each year worldwide. However, there is no mutually equivalent E-3 type Work visa for Americans who wish to work in Australia, apart from the Work and Holiday visa for 18 to 30 year olds. In 2020, there are nearly 30,000 Australians living and working in New York and 25,000 Australians in California. Even if the E-3 Visa is granted, it does not mean that the Australian applicant will get a Job Offer in the US. In addition, there is a proposal to open up the E-3 Visa to Irish citizens.