Virginia, US
Article image
| Fragomen

Away from home? Not a Problem in APAC

“Country of residence” has become harder to define with people now living and working in countries other than where they were born or hold a passport. This creates challenges for employers and governments, whose policies are often unable to keep up with a business need to quickly move employees to other countries as work demands. The good news for employers is that lawfully present third country nationals are welcomed at US Consulates across Asia Pacific for non immigrant visa processing, including those looking to obtain their first professional H-1B visa or senior managers renewing an L-1A.
 
Comparatively, some consular posts closer to the US, including those in Canada , Mexico and several Caribbean islands have had to limit these third country nationals from applying for all or certain types of non-immigrant visas, forcing applicants to apply for temporary visas in their home country or outside of North/South America. 
 
Temporary residents on assignment and residing in a particular consular district, as well as international business travellers, have always faced a dilemma: go to the expense and time of travelling to their country of nationality to apply for a US visa, or apply from their temporary country of residence and expose their application to administrative delays and, in some cases, refusal. 
 
US Consulates in Asia-Pacific currently accept these third country nationals.  Of course, it is important to keep in mind that there are variances from country to country and to always check with your Fragomen team prior to submitting a visa application at a third country post.  
For example, all H-1B applicants in China are now required to provide extensive additional documents with their applications including 1 year of payslips, every US tax filing including W-2s for every year the applicant has worked in the US, the contact detail for prior and current employers and a copy of his/her resume.  Compare that to Thailand, where APEC cardholders can go to the US Consulate in Bangkok without an appointment on weekday mornings from 7:30–10:00 AM (some exceptions apply) and file a non-immigrant visa application. No email request or prior appointment is necessary and spouses and minor children of APEC cardholders can also interview with them on a non-appointment basis. 
 
Fragomen’s US Consular Practice team in Sydney, Australia is experienced with the requirements of US Consular posts across Asia Pacific. We regularly assist third country nationals and their employers in the APAC region with movements to the United States.