Applying for an L-1 Visa in India

This information has been prepared for the general information of clients of The Law Offices of Jay I. Solomon.  It is accurate as of January, 2005.  Please verify information provided by checking the internal links provided.

Where to apply

You must apply in the consular district where you live.  There is an exception for individuals who are in the Chennai district who have never had a visa refused by a U.S. consul, who speak English fluently, and who can demonstrate a business reason why they need to travel before Chenai can schedule an appointment.  In that case, Delhi and Calcutta will consider their applications.  The waiting time may be less than Chennai.

.The information below should  be verified here to assure it is current..

CHENNAI: The consular district includes the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep islands and Pondicherry.

American Consulate General
No. 220 Anna Salai, Chennai 600006
Tel: 91-044-2811-2000
FAX: 91-044-2811-2020
Home page address:

The New Delhi consular district includes the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and the Union Territory of Delhi. American citizens in the New Delhi consular district who need assistance, have specific questions, or who wish to register as U.S. citizens, should contact:

Consular Section
American Embassy
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021 India

Embassy Tel: 011-2419-8000, x8562, 4249
FAX: 011-24198407
Home page address:

MUMBAI: The consular district includes the states of Mahrashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

American Consulate General Mumbai
Lincoln House, 78 Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai 400026
Tel: 91-022-2363-3611 to 3618
FAX: 91-022-2363-0350
Home page address:

CALCUTTA: The consular district includes the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

American Consulate General
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Calcutta 700071
Tel: 91-033-2282-3611 to 3615
FAX: 91-033-2282-2335
Home page address:

Paying Fees

There is a nonrefundable fee paid to file a visa application, and there is a fee which is collected to issue a visa.  There is also a fee for the required courier service.   As of  this writing, these fees are as follows:

Visa fees are as follows for Indian nationals:
Non-immigrant visa application
fee (non-refundable) *
RS. 4600
Non-immigrant visa issuance fee
(paid only upon issuance)**
RS. 2300
Courier fee  - Chennai Rs. 441
Logistics Fee Mumbai & New Delhi Rs. 400

The fees (and the exchange rate!) are subject to change.  Check the consular web site for current information.

The Visa Application

The application for an L visa is made using forms DS156 and - for men between 16 and 45, DS157.  While these forms are available online, if you contact our office, we will send you a questionnaire which will help us review your information and complete these applications. One recent (within the past six months) passport size photograph, 50mm X 50mm with a white or off-white background is also required.

Supporting Documents

The L visa requires that a petition first be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service ("CIS").  This will either be an individual petition filed by your employer for you, or a blanket petition approved for your employer in advance.  The approval of the petition is documented by a Notice of Action, Form I-797 issued by the CIS.

You must have the original approval in the case of an individual L, or a copy of the approval in the case of a blanket L. (You will have multiple copies of the latter).  You may also have a copy of the L application made on your behalf.

In addition, you will need to document that you are employed as an executive, a manager, or an employee wtih "specialized knowledge."   Your employer will supply you with documentation wtih your cooperation.  

The L visa is based on your having been employed by the same company outside the U.S.- or its parent, subsidiary or affiliate - as will employ you in the U.S.  You should have documentation as to the length of your current employment - which may include pay slips and tax records.

The following is the list of documents currently required - check the consular web sites for updates:

  • The originals of your university diplomas, mark sheets and any certificates you may have. (Secondary school information is not required)
  • Letter from petitioning employer confirming employer's intent to hire the applicant
  • Your work experience letters from your previous employers
  • A letter from your employer stating how long you have worked for the company

    First time applicants may consider submitting the following documents:

  • Pay slips from current or most recent place of employment
  • Names and current phone numbers of the personnel managers at the applicant's present and past jobs
  • Photographs of the inside and outside of current or most recent employer's place of business
  • Names and contact information of two co-workers from your current or most recent place of employment
  • Names and contact information of two co-workers from past jobs
  • A complete resume/bio-data and cover letter describing current job duties in detail
  • Personal bank records for the last six months
  • US company information: photographs of the inside and outside of the company's offices, prospectus, brochures, and annual report
  • If you are the beneficiary of a Blanket L petition, you must submit 3 additional copies of the I-797 and the I-129S forms with your application.
  • Blanket L petition applicants will also have to pay the $500 security fee


The visa appointment

Most visa applicants must now have an appointment and apply in person.  Plan well in advance if possible as there may be a long wait for an appointment.  Security clearances are completed before any visa is issued - and such clearances may be subject to delays for reasons beyond your control - and beyond the control of your employer or your attorney.

For an appointment in Chennai, Calcutta or Delhi, check here.

For an appointment in Mumbai, check here.


Copyright 2005, Jay I. Solomon