ABA India Conference 2023 “Law in the Age of Glocalisation: Covergence of India & the West”

Poorvi Chothani co-chaired the ABA India Conference “Law in the Age of Glocalisation: Covergence of India & the West” recently held in Delhi from March 3 – 5, 2023 at the Imperial Hotel. The three-day international conference was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court of India, who delivered the keynote address. Over the course of 26 sessions with 130+ thought leaders from around the world, the Conference served as an important platform to initiate dialogues on the future of the corporate legal profession, groundbreaking issues, important practice areas, recent developments, and current trends — across Europe, Asia, and North America. More information about this conference is available here

Poorvi Chothani with Lubna Shuja, President of the Law Society of England and Wales at the ABA India Conference 2023.

Poorvi Chothani delivered vote of thanks after a stellar line up of speakers including the Chief Justice of India, Honorable Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud

Poorvi Chothani gifting a tree planting certificate to Justice Michael D. Williams, the Supreme Court of Hawaii at the ABA India Conference 2023

LawQuest | US Immigration Alert | USCIS Announces Registration Dates for the H-1B CAP Season FY 2024

USCIS Announces Registration Dates for the H-1B CAP Season FY 2024

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on January 27, 2023 that the initial period for FY 2024 H-1B cap registration will open at 12 noon EST on March 1, 2023, and run through 12 noon EST on March 17, 2023. Employers seeking to engage foreign nationals on H-1B visas must complete registrations online.  In addition, it is important to note the following:

  • Petitioners or their representatives must submit registrations via a myUSCIS online account and pay a $10 filing fee for each registration.
  • Employers will not be able to submit registrations after the March 17 deadline. There is no advantage to filing the registrations at the beginning of the registration period but later the system might be overloaded with last-minute registrations.  So, it is best to be prepared to submit the registrations soon after it opens on March 1, 2023.
  • After the registration period, the USCIS will conduct a random lottery if there are more registrations than available visas. Annual H-1B caps continue to be set at 65,000 visas plus an additional quota of 20,000 for individuals with advanced U.S. degree holders.
  • Petitioners will be given a 90-day period beginning April 1, 2023, to file full H-1B petitions for candidates that were selected in the random, post-registration selection.

In the last fiscal year, the USCIS received 484,927 H-1B registrations, the highest in history. We expect that the demand for H-1B visas will continue to be high this cap season, despite the layoffs and signs of an economic slowdown in the U.S.

Please contact Manizeh Mistry at [email protected] or [email protected] if you have questions about the registration process or need assistance with your H-1B CAP selections and/or preparation.


LawQuest | US Immigration Alerts | Additional NI Visa Appointments for First Time Applicants, USCIS implementation of Prem Proc Final Stage & Adjudication of I-539 & I-765 applications together

The US Embassy and Consulates in India Introduce More Visa Appointments

There is finally some good news for visa applicants seeking a visa for the first time or those that do not qualify for Dropbox applications.   The United States Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad (collectively known as Mission India) will now be open for regular consular (including visa) operations on certain Saturdays to accommodate applicants who need in-person visa interviews.  These additional working days are likely to run through the next few months.

Additionally, to address the significant post-pandemic backlog in visa processing Mission India has also implemented the following and we are seeing reduced wait times as a result:

  • Remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with previous U.S. visas.
  • Temporary Consular Officers from Washington and other Embassies to arrive in India to increase processing capacity between January and March 2023.
  • Increasing the number of Consular Officers permanently assigned to the Embassy and Consulates in India.
  • Released more than 250,000 additional B1/B2 appointments and continue to open more slots in the coming few months.
  • U.S. Consulate, Mumbai also extended its weekday operating hours to manage additional appointments.

By this summer, the U.S. Mission in India is expected to be fully staffed and processing visas at levels from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will result in a huge relief for visa applicants who have been waiting for several months for visa appointments.  We continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.

USCIS Extends Premium Processing to Additional Categories

The USCIS extends premium processing for newly filed applications under EB-1 and EB-2 petitions. In the earlier phase, this service was only available to already filed I-140 petitions for managers and executives or for those filed for members of Professions holding an Advanced Degree or an Alien of Exceptional Ability. This new phase will come into effect on January 30, 2023.

Further, premium processing will shortly be extended to certain F-1 seeking OPT and STEM OPT extensions and for those applicants who file I-539 Application to Extend/Change their non-immigrant status. This will most likely go into effect in February 2023 after the USCIS makes its final announcement.

Adjudication of L-2 and H-4 Spouse/Dependent Applications Along with the Primary Beneficiary’s Petition

On Friday January 20, 2023, the U.S. government signed off on a settlement of a lawsuit, agreeing to again adjudicate I-539 (extension or change of status applications) and I-765 (work authorization) for H-4 and L-2 dependents, together with the primary beneficiary’s I-129 when these forms are filed together.  It is important to note that if the forms are not filed together, the USCIS is not required to adjudicate them together. This arrangement will take effect on January 25, 2023 and will greatly benefit new applicants, especially when the primary beneficiary’s I-129 petition is filed for premium processing.


LawQuest | Indian Immigration Alert | Indian e-Visas Reinstated for Canadian Nationals

Indian e-Visas Reinstated for Canadian Nationals!

After two weeks of resuming the electronic visa or e-Visa facility for UK Nationals, India has now reinstated this facility for Canadian nationals as well. Canada is now a part of the list of eligible countries on the e-Visa portal.

This was announced by the High Commission of India in Ottawa, and is effective from December 20, 2022, (See https://www.hciottawa.gov.in/newsevent?id=477).

The High Commission of India further announced that “All pending visa applications submitted through the BLS Centres in Canada will be processed on priority. Those applicants who wish to withdraw their respective visa applications may do so by visiting the website https://www.blsindia-canada.com/ and choosing the option for Application Withdrawal.”

It further added “Those who have booked appointments to apply for tourist, business, medical or conference visa at BLS Centres in Canada and would, now, like to apply for eVisa instead, are requested to vacate/cancel their appointment slots so that the same becomes available to others seeking visa/consular services.”

The reinstatement of the e-Visa facility will help clear the backlog for visa application appointments which has been a huge impediment for Canadian nationals, especially for those wishing to travel to India for tourism and/or business.

LawQuest | Indian Immigration Alert | e-Visa Services Finally Restored for British Nationals!!

e-Visa Services Finally Restored for British Nationals!!

On December 5, 2022, the High Commission of India in London announced that the e-Visa facility will be restored for the UK nationals travelling to India.  The Indian High Commissioner, Vikram K Doraiswami in his official announcement has confirmed this (see https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInUK/videos).

For the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, India has resumed the e-Visa facility for the UK nationals for whom the lack of e-Visas and the backlogged visa application appointments have been huge impediments.

The United Kingdom has been reinstated on the list on countries eligible for e-Visas on the India e-Visa portal at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html.

The reinstatement of e-Visas is a significant step forward in eliminating barriers for the UK nationals wishing to visit India for tourism and/or business. This in turn will also help strengthen the Indo-UK relationships and the tourism industry.


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