The United States Consulate General in Hyderabad answers queries from The Hindu readers on issues of visas in this fortnightly column.
Questions: I applied for a B1 visa on April 24 to attend a cardiology conference in Denver from May 8-12, 2013. I also submitted the required documents via email. Your website shows that my case is currently undergoing “adm-inistrative processing” and has not been updated since April 30. Please update me. Dr. Mohammed Rashid.
Q: I appeared for a visa inter-view on May 9 (case number AA002V3F3F). My current status is still “administrative processing.” Could you tell me how long it will take before I can my visa issued? Jammula Sruti
Q: My mom applied for a B1/B2 visa on September 6, 2012 but to date, her status is shown as “administrative processing.” Please explain why it is taking so long for my mother to get a visa? Syed Naveed.
Q: I applied for a visitor’s visa on May 2, 2012 and was given a 221G. When I tracked my passport, I got the message “your passp-ort is under process at U.S. Embassy.” When I called the helpline, I was asked to email, the response being the same. I’ve been in contact with the VFS support team for almost a year. However, the status of my passport is still the same. Naseer
Answer: We are required to conduct administrative processing in many cases. Unfortunately, we cannot give a specific time frame for the same, as each case is different and may require different processing than another case that may appear similar. While we recognise how frustrating this can be, please be assured we process each case as quickly as possible. Please continue to check your status online.
Q: My wife and I obtained US visas valid for 10 years in Chennai in February 2003, but they expired in February 2013. We are planning to visit again in June-July. Could you please advise us on the procedure and supporting documents needed to apply for US visas? GV Subba Rao
A: Please visit our website http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in in order to learn how to apply for a visa renewal.
Q: My daughter was planning to accompany me to the U.S. during my visit to the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago from May 31 to June 4, but was refused under section 214(b). She is a bonafide student at BITS Pilani, has a good bank balance and carried proof of her family assets as well as a round-trip airline ticket to the interview. The officer interviewing her did not ask for any of these. How can a college-goer show anything else to show that her stay in the U.S. will be temporary? Please reconsider. Dr. SVSS Prasad
A: Consular officers look at a variety of factors to determine if an applicant meets the legal criteria for the visa category they are seeking. Individuals whose non-immigrant visa applications were refused are eligible to re-apply. However, we do not recommend that applicants re-apply unless they are able to present signi-ficant new evidence that addresses the previous grounds for refusal.
Q: My family does not use our surname and the surname space in our passports is blank. Is a surname mandatory when applying for a U.S. visa?
A: U.S. immigration law requires that a non-immigrant visa be printed with the applicant’s surname. If an applicant does not have a surname field on their passport, the applicant’s entire given name is printed in the place of surname on the visa. The term “FNU” (First Name Unknown) is then printed on the visa in the place of the given name. Please keep this in mind when completing your DS-160 form for your visa application.
Q: My daughter is a U.S. citizen. She will be travelling to India to get married to an Indian citizen in June 2013 and would like to sponsor him for a green card immediately. Can she apply for her spouse’s green card while in India? How long is the proc-ess? Where should I send the application if her local address is Hyderabad, AP? Mohammed Jamaluddin
A: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not have an office at the U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad. The immigrant visa process begins with a petition (I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) that must be filed in the U.S. after the marriage. Please visit the USCIS website for more information on the process (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis) or contact the USCIS unit at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: My wife and I plan to travel to the U.S. on B1/B2 visitor's visas that have validity beyond December 2013. We plan to return by December 7, 2013. However, my wife’s passport is only valid till January 4, 2014 and it seems there is a stipulation that her passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months beyond our intended stay in the U.S. Can we travel on our current passports or will my wife need a new passport? Uppuluri Satyanarayana
A: Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the US. If not, we recommend renewing your passport. As long as your visa is valid, you do not need to apply for another; just be sure to carry both passports (including the one with your valid U.S. visa) when you travel.
Please write to email@example.com, or call our call center numbers at 0120-660 2222 or 022-6720-9400 for further assistance.