Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on September 25, 2022 1. Can H1B in-person first interview at the US embassy in the home country be waived off? 2. Can a misdemeanor charge be withdrawn?

1. Can H1B in-person first interview at the US embassy in the home country be waived off? New USCIS news came up in December 2021?

I am from India. I was never refused any visa till now. I have an i797A receipt of H1B. This is my first H1B so, technically, an interview is required for the first stamping. But, a new USCIS circular has come up saying that the first stamping folk on H1B can do a dropbox instead of an in-person interview. Is this true? I am not from a visa-exempt country. I am from India. This is my first work visa H1B approved last year in 2021.

Mr. Lee answers,
The Department of State has expanded the lock box program to allow discretionary waivers for even first-time applicants who have had a petition approved by USCIS, who are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence, who were previously issued any type of visa, and have never been refused a visa unless the visa refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility. Please note, however, that the waiver of in person interview is discretionary and that the consular post may still request an interview. Otherwise, good luck.

2. Can a misdemeanor charge be withdrawn?

In May 2019, my daughter was charged with a misdemeanor for elder abuse…I am the victim. At the time I made a decision to go ahead and press charges on the advice of others and to hopefully get her help with managing her emotions. I now regret that decision after seeing all the trouble it has caused with regards to probation, employment, housing , etc. She is not a criminal, just a difficult time in her life. My question: can I get the charges dropped?

Mr. Lee answers:
While I am not a criminal lawyer, it would appear that you are too late to have the charges dropped as probation means that a final judgment has already been made on your daughter’s case. You may wish to consult with a criminal attorney to see if anything can be done at this time.