H1B Consular Process – Third Country Nationals (TCNs) Should Use Caution When Processing Non-Immigrant Visa Applications in Canada

As many readers know, H1B status holders in the US, may apply for visa stamp in Canada. This way avoiding a costly trip the country of origin. Such applicants are called Third Country Nationals.

The US Consulate General in Cananda ACCEPTS the following types of NIV applications from Third Country National (TCN) applicants:
Applicants seeking to renew their C1/D, D, E , F, H (except H-2), I, J, L, M, O, P and R visas, regardless of where the original visa was issued. Certain visa applicants may be subject to additional administrative processing.

With increasing regularity, U.S. consular posts in Canada are refusing visas under INA § 221(g) to TCNs with foreign degrees who have not been previously issued H-1B visas from their home
posts, and are referring them to their home countries for visa processing. AILA believe that the Canadian posts’ distrust of degrees that are not from the U.S. or Canada stems from past discoveries of fraudulent degrees from certain parts of the world.

While Mission Canada does not publish this as official policy, it does warn on its website that this situation may happen (http://www.consular.canada.usembassy.gov/usa_visa.asp) where it
says under the H-1B section, “Evidence of qualifications must be original or certified copy. Consular officers in Canada may refuse to issue a visa to H-1B applicants if their education
and/or work experience is solely or predominantly from a country other than the U.S. or
Canada.” Third Country Nationals Applying for Visas in Canada Who Last Entered the U.S. as Visitors Mission Canada also generally discourages TCNs from applying at Canadian posts if they last entered the U.S. in visitor status as indicated by the following note in the NVARS On-line Appointment System:

The Visa Appointment Reservation System is intended for use by persons in the
U.S. and Canada. Persons physically present in the U.S. or Canada may obtain an
appointment and apply for a nonimmigrant visa at one of the U.S. consular posts in
Canada. Please be aware that it is generally more difficult for applicants to obtain visas
when they apply outside their home country. Consular officers in Canada may be unable
to properly assess the circumstances of and/or evaluate foreign documents presented by
applicants who are visitors in Canada. In such cases, the consular officer may deny the
visa application and recommend that the applicant return to his/her country of normal
residence. For this reason, persons applying for F, M, J, H, or L visas, who are presently in the United States on a B (tourist or business) visa or on a visa waiver, are strongly
advised to apply for their new visas in the country of their permanent residence.

This update is provided by AILA.