[authors: Eleanor Pelta, Eric S. Bord, A. James Vázquez-Azpiri, Lance Director Nagel, and Lisa Stephanian Burton]
L visas may be issued for a maximum period of 60 months; new interview waiver program and new visa processing procedures at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan.
DOS Final Rule to Allow Issuance of L Visas for Full Reciprocity Periods a
As we indicated in a previous Immigration Alert on January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a Final Rule amending its regulations to require that L intracompany transferee visas be issued for the full validity period allowed by the relevant visa reciprocity schedule. On March 13, 2012, we obtained updated information issued by the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada, that, based on an official DOS cable, L visas will be granted through the validity of the reciprocity schedule beginning March 15, 2012, unless the applicant requires a waiver of ineligibility, in which case the visa will be limited to the duration of the approved waiver. The maximum reciprocity period for an L visa for Japanese nationals is 60 months; therefore, individual L-1 and blanket L-1 visa applicants may receive visas valid for 60 months, although their approval notices are valid only for up to 36 months (the maximum time allowed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
Interview Waiver Pilot Program
Qualified Japanese citizens who are repeat visitors to the United States and who have been interviewed and fingerprinted in conjunction with a prior visa application may be eligible to renew their visas without undergoing another interview. Please see the following U.S. Embassy website for details: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/visa/tvisa-niv-renewal.html.
Change of Nonimmigrant Visa Application Procedures in Japan
Effective March 23, 2012, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan will implement new visa procedures. Applicants who apply for nonimmigrant visas will be required to pay the application fee before they make interview appointments.