As reported on the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, India website – The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai will no longer process Immigrant Visa petitions as of January 1, 2012. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and U.S. Consulate in Mumbai will become the only acceptance centers in India for Immigrant Visas. The Immigrant Visa allows an individual to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, as well as provides the immigrant the opportunity to work towards U.S. citizenship.
Examples of Immigrant Visa based petitions are those that work toward family reunification of parents, children and siblings. These petitions also include Fiancée and the unique employer category, where one’s employer can petition for the individual and their dependents to immigrate to the United States.
This change affects only the locations for processing of Immigrant Visas; it does not change the law or policy for visa processing.
*The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) contacted the Consulate regarding the change in procedure, please see the questions AILA asked and the answers received, provided below:
Why the change?
This change is in order to streamline the immigrant visa (IV) issuance process and is part of the U.S. Government’s ongoing effort to provide efficient visa services throughout India. It does not affect any other category of visa, including non-immigrant visas for work, study, or tourism. The change brings India in line with other large countries, including Mexico and China, where IV processing is administered in a more central fashion within the Mission.
When will IV interviews stop in Chennai?
The last day for IV interviews at U.S. Consulate General Chennai was on December 30, 2011.
I have a pending application. Where should I send my follow up documentation?
If you have a pending application and were requested to provide additional documents, please contact the U.S. Consulate General Chennai via e-mail at ChennaiIVU@state.gov
Pending applications will be processed in Chennai through March 30, 2012. If an applicant has not completed his/her application process by March 30, 2012, the case will be transferred to Mumbai. The IV unit in Chennai has been working aggressively since October 2011 to bring closure to pending cases.
Source of Information: AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12011064 (posted Jan. 10, 2012)