H1-B Visa : Everything You Need to Know – Process, Lottery and Denials (2018)
I have been working in the immigration department from few years in USA. In my experience, I understood that millions of people across the world dream to get a job in USA, the land of opportunities and the land of immigrants. The dream is even bigger for the IT people. In fact, hundreds of thousands choose an IT job to fulfill their USA dream. H1-B visa is applicable not only to the IT but also to various sectors. Although there are different types of visas depending on whether you want to work or study in USA, H1-B stands as the numero uno among all of these.
☞ What is H1-B visa?
H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US- based companies to employ foreign workers, typically for 3 to 6 years, in various sectors that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Below are the details and terminology that every H1-B or any other USA visa aspirant should know.
☞ Process for applying H1-B Visa
• Search for H1B Sponsors that meets your criteria
• Apply for jobs with these companies that can sponsor you a work visa.
• Have the petition filed for upcoming H1-B Visa Lottery.
• Beneficiary can apply for H1-B Visa only once a year USCIS opens the window for 5 business days to accept H1-B CAP Petitions which starts from 1st business day of April followed for 5 business days.
• Employer will update the petition, Documents and send it to USCIS to enter in lottery process.
• Once the petition is picked up in lottery process, Beneficiary would receive a receipt notice, now the 1st step is cleared.
• Most of them think once the petition is picked up in the lottery, they have got their Visa, which is not true.
• Then comes the second and very important step, Approval of your petition. it takes about a month or 2 to get the decision from USCIS, There are possibilities your petition may get denied too.
• If the petition is denied you will have to wait for a year more to reapply.
• If the petition is approved, you can start working on H1-B Visa from 1st Business day of October.
☞ Types of petitions that can be filed for H1-B Visa
• Cap Petition
• Extension Petition
• Amendment Petition
• Transfer Petition
• Cap-Exempt Petition
☞ Cap Petition
When a Beneficiary applies for H1-B Visa for the First time.
☞ Extension Petition
When a Beneficiary already has the H1-B Visa and it is about to expire, Beneficiary can then apply for an Extension.
☞ Amendment Petition
When a Beneficiary already has the H1-B Visa and if there are any changes in work location, Wages, Job Title or Project it is mandatory to apply for an Amendment before Beneficiary do any changes.
☞ Transfer Petition
When a Beneficiary already has the H1-B Visa and wants to change the employer or Job, Beneficiary can file Transfer Petition before joining the New Job.
☞ Cap-Exempt Petition
When a Beneficiary already has the H1-B Visa, He/ She had travelled back to their home country for longer period and if the Visa has expired, they can file a Cap-Exempt petition from any employer who is ready to sponsor the H1-B Visa and then they can travel back to USA once the petition is approved with Visa Stamping on their passport.
☞ Reasons for H1-B Denials
• Errors in Form I-129, If you use Expired Forms. “This will lead into direct denials”
• In sufficient personal Documents or project documents.
• LCA is a key document, Employer may have to be very careful while choosing SOC codes in LCA, as there are few codes that don’t qualify for Specialty Occupation…
• Important points to prove whether the Beneficiary qualifies for Specialty Occupation.
• Computer Science Education Background is a plus
• Beneficiary’s degree has to be evaluated by an regionally accredited college or university in the United States. (This can be ignored if you have US Master’s Degree).
• It is good to have Job Title in generic terms related to relevant work but not specific. (Job titles which can be avoided are Computer Programmer, Systems Engineer, Systems Analyst) as these titles are not consider to be Specialty Occupation.
• Beneficiary’s Job Roles, which are very important to prove that you qualify for H1-B Visa Specialty Occupation.
• List of job roles should be complex however in lame term.
• Job Posting for Beneficiary’s role before joining will be a plus.
May end up in “RFE” (Request for Evidence) before denial for any of the above reasons.
Employer should be responding to “RFE” with all the required documents, You may have your case Approved or denial based on the RFE response.
☞ List of Important Documents to file H1-B Visa Petition:
• Form I-907 (Only for Premium Processing)
• Form I-129
• LCA (Labor Condition Application)
• Supporting Document from the Employer
• Itinerary (Will be a plus)
• Organization Chart
• Project Documents
• Company Tax Documents
• Academic Evaluation (If Applicable)
• Education Documents
• All prior work Experience Letters
• Pay Stubs
• I-94 (If Applicable)
• All Non-Blank pages of Old & New passports
Note: Documents will remain same For All types of H1-B Visa Petition.
Post your questions in the below comments section. I will answer them.