H-1B Visa Interview – PIMS Update Overview

We have received quite a few emails, requesting to write on what PIMS (Petition Information Management Service) exactly is and how it would affect a candidate appearing for a visa interview at the U.S. consulate. This post gives you details on what is PIMS and what steps your petitioner needs to follow to get your petition updated in the PIMS.

My Visa process delayed due to PIMS Update!

PIMS not updated and visa delayed!

Yes. The above scenarios are very commonly heard. In case your petition is not updated in the PIMS, it would delay your visa process and take additional time for the U.S. Consulate to verify and approve your visa.


There are visa applicants often writing to the U.S. Consulates, requesting to verify PIMS before their visa interviews. Few of the U.S. Consulates write back mentioning the PIMS verification is not done before the candidate appears for the interview and few Consulates write back mentioning the PIMS has been updated with your petition. This has been changing and the responses are differing from case to case. Few candidates who went for visa interview to one of the U.S. Embassy’s got their PIMS update verified successfully before the interview and few could not.

What is PIMS?

PIMS (Petition Information Management Service) is a database management system which manages information about all the petitions filed with the USCIS. The Department Of Labor PIMS System comes into picture for those applying for one  of the following:

  • Change of status
  • Extension of stay, or
  • Petition amendment in the United States.

Purpose of PIMS

According to the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), PIMS is a method for consular officers to rapidly confirm that individuals requesting an H, L, O, P, Q, or R nonimmigrant visa were, in fact, the beneficiary of a corresponding petition approved by USCIS.  PIMS allows consular officers to access and confirm USCIS petition approval data and supporting documents online. This would allow the visa officers to confirm and verify the petition approval by the USCIS and approve visa to the candidate.

Petition entry into the PIMS Database

According to the USCIS:

  • The petitioner submits 2 copies of the updated petition.
  • The copies must contain original signatures on all forms sent to USCIS.
  • When submitting the copies of the updated petition, one of them could be covered with a brightly colored cover sheet with the notation “Please send this copy to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) upon approval”.
  • Once approved to be forwarded to KCC, USCIS will then forward the marked copy of the updated petition to KCC for scanning and entry into the PIMS database, which is where the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be able to access the updated petition.

I would suggest you to check with your petitioner or the company’s attorney who filed your petition, and make sure the above steps were followed to update your petition in the PIMS database before you would attend the visa interview at the U.S. consulate.

Sample Cannot Verify PIMS Email Response from U.S. Consulate:

Below is a sample reply letter received to a visa applicant when he wrote to the U.S. Consulate asking for update on the PIMS for his visa petition:

Dear Sir,

 This is in response to your inquiry. Regret our inability to assist you. PIMS will be verified only when you come in for the interview and not before that.


 Visa Information Unit
 American Consulate General
 220, Anna Salai
 Chennai 600 006,

Check the Recommendations specified by Department of Homeland Security on PIMS.

 H1BWiki research proves that U.S. Consulates in Mexico and Canada did verify PIMS for few cases, but the response purely changed from case to case. Few received positive responses on the PIMS update and few instead received an email mentioning the PIMS can only be verified at the time of the visa interview or later. It is any time important the steps are followed to update petition in the PIMS database.

1 Comment on "H-1B Visa Interview – PIMS Update Overview"

  1. Should we worry about PIMS system to be updated with current employer or from all previous employers?

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