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Visa Renewal Process Related Questions

Visa renewal is an important process to retain your legal status in the U.S. The need for renewal depends on the type of visa, current circumstances, policy changes, and so on. Your stay and actions in the U.S. during the validity of your visa can affect your renewal. For example, committing a felony or being arrested can influence your renewal. To know more about your particular situation, below are common questions answered by Experts about visa renewal.

My husband was arrested but later discharged. Will this incident affect his visa renewal? Will this information be available to the U.S. customs if his visa is approved? Is he liable to confirm the arrest and would they require the police reports to verify?

A negative incident such as an arrest can influence visa renewal. The authorities may view the offender as a potential troublemaker in the U.S. Since no one has a right to a visa, he may be denied. However a dismissal or discharge after the arrest is the best possible outcome to increase the chances of his visa renewal. Hiring a lawyer can also help present a strong case for renewal.

Most likely the U.S. customs would have records of his arrest on their systems and they will cross check. Your husband should be truthful since the information is accessible to the authorities. Certified copies of the police report and court disposition may be submitted to prove dismissal. It should be noted that the arrest will remain a permanent record in your husband’s file which cannot be erased.

My fiancé is on an tourist visa and has applied for the renewal of Form I-94. Can she travel within the U.S. while waiting for her I-94?

She should be allowed to stay or travel in the U.S. because her application for extension is pending. This falls in the category of stay authorized by the attorney general. She will be required to carry the fee receipt of Form I-797 as a proof of legal status.

My H-1B was valid for three years and I am continuing with the same job and employer. I need to renew my H-1B for three additional years. How do I renew a H-1B visa?

You need to file the same documents as submitted for the original H-1B visa along with Form I-129 marking the tab “extension of status”. You also need to prove you have maintained status by producing evidence of salary and bank statements. The renewal could take between three to six months. If you want to extend it would be sensible to apply for it at the earliest because your status is legal while the visa extension is pending. To extend beyond six years, a labor certification or Form I-140 needs to be filed at the beginning of the sixth year.

My H-1B visa petition was approved in the U.S. and I had my visa renewal interview in the U.S. consulate in my home country. But my visa was not issued, stating administrative processing under section 221(g). What could be the reason for my file to be pending and the reason for the delay? Can this process be expedited?

Usually in the event of an application coming under the purview of section 221(g) it is most likely due to the embassy or consulate being skeptical or concerned regarding a particular aspect in your application but not having the authority to deny the visa. Hence they could have recommended denial and sought the counsel of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review the application.

One of the ways to hasten the process could be by applying for premium processing. This could cost up to $1225.

How can I extend my E-2 visa without renewing it? My business currently does not qualify for a renewal and I require time to improve the condition of my business. Will it be considered illegal stay while renewal is under process? If the renewal is denied, would it negatively influence my chances of a new E-2 visa in the future?

There is really no significant difference between visa renewal and visa extension. As per normal procedure you are required to file for renewal before the expiry date using Form I-129. The immigration authorities could ask for a Request for Evidence (RFE) in the form of financial documents and may take time to process the visa renewal, possibly a few months. If this happens, you could use this time to improve your business.

During the time visa is being renewed, the applicant is still considered to be under authorized stay. If the visa is denied, you could appeal within thirty days of denial. You are legally allowed in the U.S. while the appeal is pending. If the appeal is denied it is wise to leave the U.S. immediately to avoid any negative effects on future visa applications.

Visa renewal is a subjective matter. Sometimes your visa renewal may be denied and other times a new application could be approved. The assessment, review, and discretion of the immigration officer and USCIS policies play an important role in visa renewal. Timely action for renewal, co-operating with the authorities and following the procedures can help avoid complications.
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