U.S. Consulates in Canada and Mexico have a long history of processing Third Country National (TCN) visa applications for H-1B, L-1, O-1 and other employment-related visa categories. This has provided certain foreign nationals from distant countries such as India, Japan and Australia the ability to process a new visa without requiring a long trip back to their home country.

The U.S. Consular Mission in Mexico recently announced new requirements for TCN applicants. The new requirements commonly restrict TCN applications to persons who have previously held a visa in the same classification (e.g., H-1B) that was issued in his/her home country. For more information on the new requirements and information regarding scheduling visa appointments in Mexico, visit the U.S. Consulate’s website.

U.S. Consulates in Montreal and Vancouver recently made a procedural change and now will require all nonimmigrant (e.g., H-1B, L-1) visa applicants to submit the new DS-160 visa application form online. Montreal and Vancouver join the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey, Mexico in requiring the new visa form. The online DS-160 form replaces the DS-156 form at these consulates.

All foreign nationals presently residing in the United States and traveling abroad are encouraged to check their documents well in advance of such travel. Should a new visa be required, travelers are encouraged to check the Department of State website of their respective consulate before making any travel plans to ensure visa processing can be accomplished timely and that they possess all required information and documentation before departing.