Visa Stamping Process


This is a question related to the visa stamping process. I understand that when I am in the USA and my visa extension petition is approved I need to travel to the origin country to get my visa stamped. This includes the hassles like DS-160, booking appointment dates, etc. I am trying to understand why this process exists in the first place! In no other countries in the world has this kind of illogical process. When my visa extension petition is approved, why can’t I ship my passport to USCIS and get it stamped?

Consider a scenario when someone needs to visit the origin country for emergency. The person cannot travel back unless s/he goes through the DS 160, appointment booking, etc.

Can we file petition to change this process or there’s no legal option in this case?

This is not true unless your extension of status is approved with consular processing ( no I-94 attached to the I-797 approval notice) or your visa has expired and you will travel outside of the US then you need a valid visa to enter back, unless you are traveling to bordering countries like Canada or Mexico where you can use automatic visa revalidation (AVR) that allows you to reenter the US with expired visa.

It is not really a ‘visa’ extension rather it is called extension of your non-immigrant status like H1B. Visa is just a travel document required to enter the US. Your status in the US is governed by the I-94 document which generally is attached to the extension of status I-797 approval notice. Lot of people are confused between visa and I-94 so hope the above clears your confusion.

USCIS do not have authority to grant visa. Visa is always issued by consulates and consulates are never in-country. So visa for a given country can only is issued at a consulate abroad. This holds true for all the countries in the world!

Yes, this holds true for any non-immigrant present in any foriegn country, not just US. Unfortunately this is how the immigration system works world over unless you are a citizen of a country that do not need visa to enter the US , for e.g. Canadian or Singapore or UK.

Sure you can , its a democracy in US after all :slight_smile:

Thanks Kalpesh for your detailed response. Really appreciate your time.