H1B Visa Help in London
July 20, 2004 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for London-based legal firms who can, for a fee, quickly turn around a US H1B visa app. next time I'm in London. I have a UK passport. [more]

I'll have the H1-B paperwork, photos, etc., with me. I'd like to drop it all off with a legal firm and go back say 2 or 3 days later and pick up my passport with the new visa in it. I don't mind paying for their trouble, and would appreciate recommendations/anecdotes from anyone else who's done this. I did this four years ago, but have lost the name of the firm I used, although they were on the third floor of a building somewhere near Covent Garden.

Also any details re: name of firm, telephone #, turn-around time, and fees, would be much appreciated.
posted by carter to Law & Government (6 answers total)
 
Benmar's the firm you're thinking of.

If it's an extension it's worth remembering that you could fedex all your stuff over there, and hope for the best and they'll send it back. Last time I went I got stuck for a while. Summer's a bad time, and the embassy was shut for Sept. 11. :-(.Feburary was quick, but that's probably not much help.

Good luck. This stuff's a lot of work.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 10:54 AM on July 20, 2004


do you already have an approved petition? If so, and if it's for FY2005, I don't think the US will allow you entry until Sep.22--ten days before FY2005 begins. You can get your visa now, but can't go in yet.

If you don't have an approved petition, and want to apply for one--be prepared to wait. I just recently went through this, and post-9/11 immigration is a whole different ballgame. It'll be a minumum of a week to approve, and that's if everything's in order and you pay the $1000.00 premium processing fee. Otherwise, it's a few months.

If none of this applies--sorry for the interruption!
posted by plexiwatt at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2004


Thanks, Flat Feet Pete, Benmar's sounds familar. I'll give them a ring.

plexiwatt: no, nothing has been set in motion yet; but my employers want me to start September 1st and will pay the expedited fee. So, your comment re. September 22 is, uhm, interesting. Do you have any info on the '10 day rule' and FY2005 handy? (I'm also googling as we speak ...).
posted by carter at 11:32 AM on July 20, 2004


BTW I'll be with an educational institution, so H1-B quotas do not apply (I think) ...
posted by carter at 11:38 AM on July 20, 2004


as long as the limit on H1-Bs doesn't apply to you (which I'm really not sure of, although I do remember reading that about educational institutions), you should be able to apply for FY2004 still, in which case you can enter even before Sep.22.

You may as well just contact a lawyer right now--since you're not footing the bill, it's in your best interest to act quickly. Try AILA for good links to attorneys specializing in immigration law. You can ship or fax them your documents, and they will act on your behalf, put together the package (which itself may take weeks or months), and ship it back to you to sign and ship back to them, whereupon they'll file with Dirty Uncle Sam.

Here's the great lawyer my girlfriend and I used: Danielle Homant, Esq.

Getting a lawyer in your home country would still work, but I don't have much experience there.
posted by plexiwatt at 1:17 PM on July 20, 2004


as long as the limit on H1-Bs doesn't apply to you (which I'm really not sure of, although I do remember reading that about educational institutions), you should be able to apply for FY2004 still, in which case you can enter even before Sep.22.

Yeah, I thought so; I've just been e-mailing back and forth with their HR person responsible for visa apps, and it seems as if there is no problem there. I think I'll probably still go for Benmar's in London, as I have to get the visa stamp itself in London; I *think* that I've used them before, and it's the same deal, you take all your docs in, cut them a check, and go and pick it all up 4 or 5 days later. Acquiring previous visas from the US Embassy in London involved a lot of running around, and I'm now quite happy to pay someone to do it.

Anyway, thanks, both; very useful!
posted by carter at 2:17 PM on July 20, 2004


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