I have been working in the immigration department for a few years in the USA. In my experience, I understood that millions of people across the world dream of getting a job in the 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. The H1-B visa is applicable not only to IT but also to various sectors. Although there are different types of visas depending on whether you want to work or study in the USA, H1-B stands as the numero uno among all of these.
What is an H1-B visa?
An 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. If you are interested in a green card, check out the process to get a USA Green Card.
Process for applying for H1-B Visa
• Search for H1B Sponsors that meet your criteria
• Apply for jobs with these companies that can sponsor you a work visa.
• Have the petition filed for the 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 the 1st business day of April followed by 5 business days.
• Employer will update the petition and documents and send them to USCIS to enter the lottery process.
• Once the petition is picked up in the lottery process, the Beneficiary will 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
When a Beneficiary applies for H1-B Visa for the First time.
When a Beneficiary already has the H1-B Visa and it is about to expire, Beneficiary can then apply for an Extension.
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.
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.
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 and new passports
Note: Documents will remain the same For All types of H1-B Visa Petition.
Post your questions in the below comments section. I will answer them.