Third country nationals (TCN) – a person seeking immigrant status in one country but actually intends to reside in another country – may begin applying for their first H-1B visas at the United States Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The announcement comes from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Associations Department of State Liaison Committee. It should ease immigration efforts for an unknown number of people moving through Canada to the United States.
Several other U.S. Consulates in Canada are also participating in the largely unprecedented TCN H-1B visa program, including Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax. Three sites in Mexico – Tijuana, Matamoros, and Ciudad Juarez – are also reportedly planning on accepting immigrants using the same program.
TCN H-1B visa applicants can apply to the Consulates, regardless of where they obtained their specialist or educational certifications. For example, an individual could obtain licensing equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Japan, move to Vancouver, apply for H-1B visa status there, and ultimately come to the United States to find gainful and specialized employment.
H-1B applicants need to provide proof of their ability to work in a specialized field, as backed by professional or educational certificates. This requirement and all others needed in a typical H-1B visa applications are still necessary for third country nationals.
In addition, they must provide proof of their legal and current immigration status in Canada or Mexico, depending on the U.S. Consulate they have contacted. In previous years, TCN applicants were discouraged from using such H-1B visa application processes but this has changed for reasons unknown at this time.
Appointments are Limited – Act Quickly
It is important to note that appointments for TCN H-1B visa applications are extremely limited and will be released several months in advance. Anyone applying should take extra notice of the appointment system and monitor it daily to secure a time-date appointment that works for them. It is expected that appointment slots will fill up rapidly upon becoming available.
If you require legal assistance in order to successfully file for an H-1B visa as a third country national, Akula & Associates, P.C. can be your guides.