US Revises H1-B Visa Selection Criteria

Story Highlights
  • US withdraws in-person interview for temporary visas.
  • Visa renewal criteria for applications 48 months prior expiry revised.
  • The Senate aims to efficiently take in applicants through stringent screening.

Washington DC: Citing the surge in the coronavirus cases fuelled by the Omicron variant, the US authorities on Thursday announced to temporarily halt the in-person interviews for work category visa- H-1B, L-1 and O-1.

The announcement read- The State Department is temporarily dropping an in-person interview requirement for some work-visa categories in 2022 to ease visa issuances, as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into the third year.

The consular officers have been temporarily authorized from December 31st to waive-off personal interviews for certain individuals based on their category of Visa. Other non-immigrant visas for categories- Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas) have also been included. Further Secretary of State Blinken, also approved to waive-off in-person visa for applicants renewing visa in the same class 48 months prior to invalidation has been extended indefinitely.

As global tour rebounds, the Department of Homeland Security is taking temporary measures to step up safe and efficient visa formalities.

The H1-B program allows companies and other employers in the US to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized bachelors degree or any specific speciality equivalent.

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