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    I am sharing this valuable information with every one in the H1,H4 Community.

    There will be potential rejections on new H4 visas if you fail to show your past 24 month earnings & work status at the US Consulates in the your countries.
    In Summary :

    1) US Consulate in your home country will expect you to have a good working history ( 24 months ).
    2) Which means, you are expected to produce 2 years W2's of spouse.

    In Detail .. the below is the mail from my Company Immigration Co-ordinator, which he receives form BCIS regularly.



    Transfer to DHS: As of November 1, 2003 the visa issuing authority will be
    transferred to DHS. Previously this was a function of the State Dept. A
    Memorandum of Understanding has yet to be published which will delineate
    responsibilities and the method of visa processing under DHS. Needless to
    say the upcoming months and years are likely to see numerous changes and a
    person will need to prepare months in advance any travel with regard to
    obtaining new visas.

    As advised by the State Department the visa processing process for all
    intents and purposes should remain the same. However, it is likely to be
    overseen by DHS Enforcement Officers. DHS Enforcement Officers are already
    in place in Saudi Arabia and at present there is no projected plan as to
    when and how they will expand operations to other countries. One can only
    expect that the List of 7 and 26 Countries are likely to see this expansion
    prior to others. This is likely to be controlled by security concerns.

    As these changes unfold and are implemented will we become aware of the
    practical impact on visa processing.

    Current Policies Abroad: Currently, all Consulates are reviewing each
    application on a case by case basis. H-1B and H-4 petitions/applications
    are receiving higher scrutiny due to current economic conditions. H-4
    spouses normally tend to go to India/overseas for a few months and were
    routinely obtaining visa stamping.

    However, and recently, Consulates are issuing lengthy RFE's requesting proof
    that the primary beneficiary - the H-1B spouse - has maintained lawful
    status for the 2 previous years. Essentially - this query addresses whether
    the H-1B continued to work and be paid for the entire period. Consulates
    are requesting pay-stubs and W-2's for the last 2 years, among other very
    detailed documentary evidence. This is especially problematic for those
    candidates whose work is project based and who have had gaps in work between
    the end of one project and the start of another - if an employer did not
    properly pay the employee while on the bench. H-4's are likely to get
    denied if the H-1B holder cannot document viability of the employer, current
    and existing need of the H-1B employee, beyond speculation, and proof of
    maintaining status for past periods.

    Therefore, we urge all applicants to review their past history and opt for
    Visa Revalidation in the U.S. for themselves and their dependants even if it
    entails change and delay in travel plans.

    Visa Interview Waiver: Consular officers are required to interview each
    applicant in person barring certain limited circumstances where they have
    discretion to waive interviews. If a person holds a particular
    classification and is seeking a new visa in the same classification which
    expired less than 12 months prior to the same request/application, the
    Officer may waive the personal interview requirement. As a result most
    Consulates are experiencing delays in visa validations and processing -
    approx. 4-6 weeks in scheduling appointments. Because of the delay,
    interview dates which may not be available at one Consulate, can be
    undertaken at other Consulates within a country. Check with your local
    Consulate to see if this procedure exists.

    Note: Most H-1B/H-4 should still be able to continue to use drop boxes.
    However, review your history for 2 years before you leave the U.S. Remember
    the Consular Officer retains the discretion to call the applicant in for an
    interview even if the above criteria apply. This may result in extended
    stays abroad. Therefore, one must prepare in advance prior to leaving the

    New Biometric Requirements: As of October 2003 DHS is introducing a new
    Biometric requirement for visa applicants. This Biometric requirement
    consists of fingerprints. The Ottawa Consulate in Canada will be the first
    location to implement this change by mid October 2003. By October 2004 DHS
    intends for all Consulates to have this procedure in place. Practical
    Impact: expect delays in obtaining visas since each applicant will need to
    be fingerprinted. As of now DHS has not published how, when and where these
    fingerprints are to be conducted

    Fingerprinting of each visa applicant is likely to increase processing times
    along with the work load of the Consular Officers. Currently, the U.S. has
    only 843 Consular Officers worldwide who process approx. 8 million visa
    applications per year. DHS may increase this number by another 110 Officers
    in the 2004 fiscal year. Furthermore, DHS has not authorized any overtime
    for Consular Officers to handle the increased workload.

    Ramifications of the upcoming changes are likely to be delays in visa
    processing. People should plan/expect visa applications to take anywhere
    from 2-6 weeks once Fingerprint Biometrics are introduced. Another
    important change likely to occur is that the option to renew visas in the
    U.S. may no longer exist. Once again we are awaiting publication of the
    policy and will keep you posted.

    We recommend that all applicants obtain valid visas now in the U.S. if
    possible. If travel abroad is necessary then applicants must review
    documentation 2 months prior to departure and make contingency plans for
    extended stay abroad if necessary.

  • #2
    Thanks for the information Anand

    Hey I am working here from past one and half year ... there is no gap... i have my last years W-2 and IRS 1040 forms...
    for this year i can submit all my pay stubs...and proof of continuation of my employment thru my employer (BearingPoint formly KPMG Consulting)...

    My question is : Is there any rule that for H4 , H1B holder must be 2 years minimum ...
    Please help me in this.. which will help me a lot..



    • #3
      Reply .. to Satish

      Hi Satish,

      You don't have to worry about 2yrs. This is only a maximum period consulate expects. As you are working since past 1&1/2 yrs.. you just need to be ready with all these 18month history.. which you are.

      You won't be having any problems.



      • #4
        Re: Reply .. to Satish

        Thanks a lot Anand...
        I have my last years W2 and IRS forms and pay stubs from march to till date