Fiscal Year 2014 H-1B Cap Reached
On April 5, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received more than the congressionally-mandated limit of 65,000 non-exempt H-1B petitions, along with over 20,000 advanced degree exempt H-1B petitions. As a result, USCIS is no longer accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions otherwise exempt from the cap. For more information on the FY 2014 cap, please see H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Cap Season.
DHS launches the Study in the States initiative
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the Study in the States initiative which includes a focus on streamlining the student visa process, enhancing coordination among government agencies and keeping international students better informed about student visa rules and regulations. Study in the States site serves as an innovative information hub for the international student community by bringing together the various federal agencies that play a role in implementing our student visa and exchange visitor programs, including the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The site offers the latest information and resources for international students and school officials through blog posts, news articles, interactive guides, and videos.
USCIS Begins Transition to Centralized Policy Manual
USCIS began the agency’s transition toward an online, centralized manual of immigration policies by releasing the first volume of the new USCIS Policy Manual, effective Jan 22, 2013. An unprecedented, agency-wide review of USCIS policies incorporates feedback from thousands of agency employees, customers and stakeholders. Read the Press ReleaseU.S.-Canada Sign Visa and Immigration Information-Sharing Agreement
On December 13, 2012, the United States and Canada signed the U.S.-Canada Visa and Immigration Information-Sharing Agreement. The agreement will enable Canada and the United States to share information from third-country nationals who apply for a visa or permit to travel to either country. Read more...
DHS Announces Visa Waiver Program Expansion to Include Taiwan
On October 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Eligible Taiwan passport holders can travel on the VWP beginning November 1, 2012. See DHS’s press release announcing the designation, and learn more about visa-free travel on the Visa Waiver Program.
Visa Pilot Program
Pursuant to President Obama’s initiative to improve and speed up the visa process for certain categories of travelers, the Department of State (DOS) has implemented the Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program. This Pilot Program, which will be conducted between January 19, 2012 and January 19, 2014, will allow certain foreign visitors who were interviewed in conjunction with a prior visa application to renew their visas without undergoing another interview. Read more ...
Article on Understanding the U.S. Visa System
This article, written by David Donahue, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services at the Department of State, provides answers to questions such as: "When should I apply for a visa?", "Why are visas granted or denied?", "How should I prepare for the visa interview?", and more. Read the article...
Are you a scientist traveling to the U.S.? Has your visa case been delayed more than 60 days?
If you are willing to share this information, please report your pending visa case via our online visa questionnaire.
The IVO questionnaire
collects information regarding visa-related issues from the scientific community. Data will be used for the purpose of tracking trends and to assist visa applicants whenever possible.
Are you organizing a meeting in the
Statement on Visa Delays
The presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine joined other scientific and educational organizations in issuing a statement urging federal agencies to streamline visa processing for scholars and scientists visiting the United States. Read the statement issued June 10, 2009.