My fiancé is in the U.S. on a B1/B2 visa. He applied for a green card in 2009. How long does the green card process take and can he visit India in the interim for 20 days?

Ruhi

If your fiance has filed an application in the U.S. to adjust his status to a permanent resident (i.e., green card holder), he cannot leave the U.S. until the application has been finalised and unless he has prior authorisation from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for processing the applications for adjustment of status. The green card process can take up to several years, depending on the category of immigrant visa. For more information please see: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis and click on ‘Adjustment of Status’ under ‘Green Card Process and Procedures.’

I received my F1 visa for fall 2012 but was unable to go. Currently, I am waiting to hear from other universities for Spring 2013. Can I change my university using SEVIS transfer or do I have to apply for a new visa?

Shreya

Students are required to apply for a new visa whenever the SEVIS number, program or university (as shown on your existing visa) has changed on the I-20 form. Students who do not travel to the U.S. on their visa may choose later to apply for a new visa with the same or a different program.

Having a prior visa will not necessarily have a positive or negative effect on a student’s ability to get a new visa; they still must demonstrate that they are genuine students and that their primary purpose of travel is to study. They should be prepared to discuss their reasons for failing to use a prior student visa.

My B1/B2 visa, issued in Sept 2002, expired recently. When I checked www.vfs-usa.co.in, I found out that I am eligible to renew my visa under the interview waiver program but as per www.ustraveldocs.com, it seems I am not eligible. Can you please clarify?

T.N. Srikantan

The Interview Waiver Program qualifications remain unchanged even with our new appointment system. Please follow the checklist at: www.ustraveldocs.com/in to renew a visa without appearing for an interview. If you qualify, please follow the instructions to schedule an appointment at our fingerprinting facility and submit your visa application at a drop box location.

I am planning to take my GRE and TOEFL again as I did not get high scores in my first attempt. Will taking exams again be a problem when I come for my interview?

Dhumale Mani

A consular officer evaluates the totality of a student’s academic credibility. Students should expect to be asked questions about all aspects of their academic history, including marks, backlogs, test scores, gaps in their studies, and future plans.

I plan to travel to the U.S in April 2013 and stay up to August 2013 but my visa expires in June 2013. Can I renew my visa before departure or can I renew it during my stay in the U. S.?

N. Anantha Ramaiah

As long as your U.S. visa is valid on the day you reach the country you may use the current visa for travel. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP) officers at the Port of Entry have the right to deny entry or to limit the time allowed in the U.S. Should you choose to renew your visa prior to travel, please follow the checklist at www.ustraveldocs.com/in to renew your visa without appearing for an interview, and if you think you qualify, please follow the instructions to proceed without a consular interview.

My parents would like to travel for my brother’s convocation. What documents are required for the visa interview?

Pradeep Vempati

You can visit the website www.ustraveldocs.com/in to see how to apply for a visa and schedule an appointment. Also visit hyderabad.usconsulate.gov for more information on documents required for the visa interview.

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