US embassies in India to accept applications for certain visa categories


United States embassies in India will accept drop box applications for certain visa categories, including renewals for H-1B and L-1 visas that fall under the immigration ban announced by President Donald Trump in June.

As per a notification, H-1B and L-1 employees who are applying for the same role in the same organization as earlier would be eligible to apply under the revised guidelines. Other applicants who meet a criterion would also qualify to apply.

On June 22, Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation temporarily suspending the issue of new non-immigrant work permits till the end of the year in a bid to protect American jobs. US embassies will also accept renewal applications for F, M and J visa renewals.

However, the priority will remain processing student visa applications, embassies started accepting in mid-August. Routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing are still not available.

Canada too has issued updated guidelines for students scheduled to study in the country this year. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said international students can now study online from outside the country till April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.

Students enrolled in a Canadian program that is between 8-12 months, with a start date between May-September 2020, can complete their entire program online and still be eligible for a work permit.

Study permit applications would have to be submitted by September 15 to be eligible for these updated measures.

Meanwhile, US lawyers said they expect a verdict in the immigration ban lawsuit early next week. A group of lawyers have led a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging the ban on the issuance of certain green card and non immigrant visas till the end of this year