Many people working in USA are applying for Australia PR and are thinking of moving soon. The primary question that comes to mind is: Can I get H1B visa stamping in Sydney or Melbourne with Indian passport?
The answer is yes, you can apply for H1B visa stamp with Indian passport at any Australian US embassy including the visa stamp for H4 dependents visa in your family
Australia has US consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.
You can apply for H1B visa interview at any of the embassy closest to your location except Canberra. The U.S. Embassy in Canberra does not process visa applications.
Also, Immigrant visas like I-130 family sponsored applications are only processed by Sydney.
H1B Visa Stamp While Validating Australia PR
If you are going to Australia for PR validation, you can apply for H1B visa for your return to US.
If you are visiting Melbourne for tourism or family, you can get your H1B visa renewal and re-enter US.
There is no explicit information about visa scheduling for third country nationals on US embassy website for Australia. So, we assume that there are no stringent residency requirements.
Many people on multiple immigration forums have reported earlier that they were able to get H1B, L work visa or B1/B1 Visitor Visa easily.
Citizen of India currently in USA on a H1B visa has changed employer with approved H1B transfer. You can get visa stamp on your visit to Australia using approved I797.
Chances of H1B approval in Australia?
The chances of H1B approval are same as in India or Canada or Mexico. You may receive a form 221g if embassy needs more information on your case.
You should plan for at-least 3 weeks time to cater to any un-expected situation with admin processing.
H1B Interview Questions
You can expect the questions about your H1B job in USA along with your education degree from visa officer in Australia US embassy. You should be ready to answer if asked “Have you worked in US before?“.
Another common question is: Have you received a H1B visa before for the employer you apply visa for?
Visa officer may ask the reason for your Australia visit as it is not common for Third country nationals to apply for H1B there. If you are visiting to validate your Australia PR, you can clearly tell the same.
Australia 189 or 190 PR holders are expected to prove that they will go back to US for work and not just stay in Australia and work remotely. If you intend to work while staying in Australia to maintain your PR, you do not need H1B visa as per US immigration laws.
So, be careful about what you say there.
You are allowed to travel between Australia and US if your majority of stay is in US.
It is important that you carry your original marriage and child birth certificates if H4 dependents are also with you.
H1B Stamping in Australia FAQs
You can apply for US H1B visa stamp in US embassy in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, Australia
You can apply for US H1B visa stamp in Australia if you are visiting only for Australia 189/190 PR validation.
The chances of H1B visa approval in Australia are same as your home country, Canada or Mexico.
Visa Processing Time
You can get your US visa stamped passport in 4-5 days if there is no form 221g admin processing required.
US University Degree
The chances are very high for H1B approval without any form 221g for people who have done their bachelor or Masters degree from US based university.
The general guidance from USCIS is that you should apply for H1B visa stamp in your home country. US embassy at your home country has good knowledge about the education degrees and the university status. This makes it easier for the visa officer to analyze and take an informed decision on your case.
If you are eligible for H1B stamping in India using Dropbox, you may still have to appear for visa interview if you opt for Australia.
In some cases, you are eligible for dropbox in Australia even when your last stamping was in India, Mexico or Canada.
Appointment Wait Time
H1B visa interview appointment wait time in Australia is shorter than India.
Visa Fees Payment
The good thing is that Australia US embassy accepts payment by Credit/Debit card and Cash. If you use your credit or debit card, you can book your interview appointment immediately after payment.
Process for H1B Stamping in Australia
#1 Fill DS160 visa application form
Start with filling DS 160 online.
DS-160 now requires your social media account usernames like Facebook, Twitter IDs as per new requirement.
#2 Create an account on USATravelDocs website
If you are applying for a U.S. Visa in Australia for the first time, you have to create a new account.
The USATravelDocs Indian website is different than Australian version.
It is possible that usatraveldocs website does not let you choose Australia as the option if you have created your account on Indian usatraveldocs website.
As shared by our guest Sachin in the comments, he was able to contact both Indian and Australian usatraveldocs support and they explicitly move your details to Australian website. This helps you to book an appointment in Australia.
Each USATravelDocs account is attached to a primary passport number. If the Indian USATravelDocs website has your own passport number, then you can use your wife’s passport number to create an ID on Australian website.
#3 Pay Visa Fees
You have to pay visa fees for the type of visa you selected. You can pay by your US credit/debit card.
You should use the card that does not charge a foreign transaction fees to save on extra charges. Discover and Synchrony bank credit cards (like Sams Club card) do not charge foreign transaction fees.
#4 Schedule Appointment
Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu to schedule your appointment.
You will need:
- Your passport number
- Visa fees payment “Unique Sequence No” from Australia Post receipt or the “Receipt No” if you paid by credit card.
- The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
#5 Attend visa interview.
Carry print out of your appointment letter, DS-160 confirmation page, one recent photograph (2×2 inch), your current and all old passports, and the original visa fee payment receipt.
Use H1B visa stamping documents checklist to make sure nothing is missing.
#6 Passport Sent by Mail – Australian Address Required
US embassy in Australia has no option to drop off or collect passport from VFS location or embassy. Hence, you should have an Australian local address ready to receive your stamped passport.
UsaTravelDocs uses Toll courier for sending your passport.
US Embassy Jurisdictions
Sydney takes care of residents in Australian Capital territory, New South Wales (NSW), Norfolk Island and Queensland.
US embassy in Melbourne has jurisdiction over Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
Perth US consulate take care of whole Western Australia.
Reference: US Embassy Australia