Visa Issuance at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy

Nonimmigrant visas may only be obtained at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Our firm recommends that individuals apply for their nonimmigrant visas at the appropriate U.S. consulate/embassy in their home country. If, however, an individual chooses to apply for his/her visa elsewhere, s/he must obtain the appropriate visa to enter that country.

Individuals should also be aware that the U.S. consulate, in its discretion, may delay processing or decline to adjudicate such a "Third Country National" application. If the consulate declines to adjudicate an application, the individual will need to apply for and obtain a U.S. visa at the U.S. consulate/embassy in his/her home country prior to being readmitted to the U.S.

The United States Department of State has advised all Embassies and Consulates around the world that "nonimmigrant intent" (the desire to come to the U.S. only temporarily, as opposed to permanently) should no longer be an issue in connection with H-1B and L-1 visa issuance. However, if the individual intends to leave the U.S. at the end of his/her authorized stay, unless in the event to justify an extension or other change in status after arrival in the U.S., visa issuance may be denied.

If an individual does not have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp in his/her passport or the one s/he does have has expired or is about to expire and s/he needs to leave the U.S., s/he will need to apply for and obtain a U.S. visa stamp at a U.S. consulate in order to reenter the U.S.

Each U.S. consulate/embassy around the world has its own requirements and processing times for issuing nonimmigrant visas. An individual may research his/her U.S. consulate's website by logging on to http://usembassy.state.gov/. This website will link to all consulates/embassies around the world.

Applying for a U.S. visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy in Canada or Mexico

An individual may schedule an appointment in Canada by logging on to www.nvars.com. Please note that if for any reason, an individual is denied a U.S. visa at a Consulate in Canada or Mexico, s/he must return to his/her home country to obtain the visa at the U.S. Consulate there before reentering the U.S.

*Please also note that individuals from certain countries are required to have a Mexican or Canadian visa to enter Mexico or Canada. It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain a visa to enter Canada or Mexico, if needed.