The U.S. State Department has announced that effective 12/1/2011 the U.S. consulate in Chennai, India will become the only consulate in India authorized to process blanket L-1 visa applications. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and U.S. Consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad will no longer accept or process applications for this visa category. The blanket L category includes specialized knowledge professionals, executives and managers. The other consulates in India will continue to process L-2 applications and individual L-1A and L-1B petitions. Applicants who have applied for L-1 status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and have an approval notice in their name will continue to be able to process their visa application at other consulates in India.

Companies should be aware of processing times in Chennai in determining anticipated start times for blanket L transfers.? Visa appointment wait times in Chennai are relatively short right now, around 3 days.? However, with this consolidation and during summer travel months and holidays, there is potential for a significant increase in wait times. If you have any questions please contact your attorney at Graham Adair for further information.