H-1B visa stamping refers to the part of the immigration activity where your visa is endorsed.
If you are a professional with a college degree due to your advanced education and training, you can make a request and qualify for a nonimmigrant visa issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
You would have to make a request and go through the entire H-1B application process meeting all the specifications to get your visa stamped.
However, having a stamped H-1B visa doesn’t mean you now possess automatic entry into the United States. You will still have to get to the port of entry and undergo a security clearance before you are granted permission to enter the country.
This article explains the importance of H1B visa stamping, its entire process, and why it is one of the important requirements for valid authorization to work in the United States.
When Can an H-1B Visa Be Stamped for Visa Applicants?
There are specific periods when you can apply for the H-1B visa stamp. If you apply much later or too early, you are at risk of not getting the stamp on time or never.
Using immigration attorneys is one of the best ways to complete this procedure, as they know the exact timing of these processes. After getting hired by a U.S. employer, you are provided with a document that shows your job start date.
This data helps you determine the exact period you should apply for your H-1B visa stamping. You must apply within three months before your work start date in the U.S.
For instance, if your employment start date is September 1st, you can begin the visa application at the beginning of June. You should start your application as soon as your eligibility period kicks in.
Also, since processing periods differ from country to country, the U.S. consulate may not get your H-1B visa stamped on time.
Can I Go to a Consular Officer for H-1B Stamping Now?
Yes and No. Here’s why you have to be within the eligibility period to apply for H-1B visa stamping. However, that time is determined after you obtain your work start date.
Also, for visa stamping, you must have a required list of documentation usually provided to the consular officer. This list of documentation is necessary for in-person interview requirements.
What Documents Are Needed When Going for H-1B Visa Stamping?
You would need to bring copies of the following documents as the principal holder and submit them to the appropriate department of the embassy;
- A copy of the labor condition application.
- Your original form I-797 approval notice.
- A copy of the signed I-129 petition which you are to obtain from USCIS.
- A valid passport must not expire until six months after your H-1B visa expiration.
- Medical examination documents.
Without these documents and the prescribed payment, an applicant cannot go for H-1B stamping at the chosen department. Hence you must meet these documentation requirements and have a current job start date before visa stamping.
Is H-1B Stamping Open in the United States for Every Visa Applicant?
During the H-1B stamping process, you must complete your application payments then have scheduled appointments after providing the required documents which state your job offer, previous work done and time spent in other countries, reasons why you want to re-enter the country, and external links.
All of these are provided to the US consulate who now determines what the wait times for all applications should be based on your travel plans.
How Many Appointments Will You Have for Work Visa Stamping?
Generally, you will have two appointments with the embassy and one with the offsite application center of the state department.
You will have to have an appointment with the visa application center before the scheduled interview with your embassy. A change can be made to the timing if there is an extraordinary ability or disability that makes for so.
How Soon Will H-1B Visas Get Stamped After Application?
It is advised that you go to the consulate or any other appointment center with the visas you want stamped. You should always note stay updated for any important notice regarding visas that may cause a shift on a temporary basis.
However, H-1B stamping is not open in the United States. You would have to go to the state department of your country or apply for stamping in Canada or Mexico and provide proof of your passport that would last 30 days.
Is There a Requirement to Go to My Home Country for H1B Stamping?
The short answer is no. You wouldn’t have to go to your country to get your H-1B visa stamping process completed provided you can locate the consular officers in the region you are.
However, there is a mandatory in-person interview requirement that must be fulfilled by all. The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is typically good for about three years, at which point you may become eligible for a three-year extension.
When your H-1B nonimmigrant visa expiration date is near, you need to be prepared to renew your visa and re-stamp it.
But first, a new I-129 petition with applicable fees and required documents showing employment must be filed by your employer. After the petition’s approval, you can then schedule a visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy.
Visa Appointment Wait Times in the U.S. Embassy & Its Consulates
Work visa applicants usually wait for an interview period after visa processing. The expected duration to receive an interview appointment at a U.S. consulate may vary due to incoming workload and staffing activities.
However, U.S. embassies can speed up your interview date if unforeseen or urgent situations such as a medical emergency, an early school resumption date, or a funeral.
You can check the instructions on your embassy’s website at the visa section for more accurate information on interview dates. Also, you have to submit your online visa application form and pay the fee before receiving a visa interview appointment.
Lastly, there is also time for administrative processing after your visa interview. This is different from your interview waiting period.
H1B Visa Stamping Questions
The H-1B visa stamping questions are common questions visa applicants ask upon getting their visas stamped.
Potential applicants usually want to know the maximum duration they can stay in the United States with their H-1B visa. In addition, they usually want to know when they can enter the U.S. with their stamped visa.
Your H-1B visa is typically valid for six years. It is primarily issued for three years, depending on employer contracts. If there is still available work and a demand for such positions, an extra three-year extension can be granted.
As for the second question, you are only allowed to enter the United States with your H-1B visa ten days before you start working.
Travel & U.S. Re-entry in H-1B
On re-entry into the United States with an H-1B visa, you would have to present the following documents to U.S Customs and Border Protection, its official internet sites, other internet sites that are prescribed, or any other department that may be approved.
- A valid passport
- A valid H-1B visa classification
- A form I-797A Action Notice
You will have your passports stamped with a date and returned to you at the port of entry. You will also get your electronic I-94 form review and the expiration date. However, U.S. customs officials can often add a ten-day grace period upon your H-1B expiration.
How Can We Come In to Help You?
The visa appointment and stamping process is one you would not want to do alone. You will need to get all the help you need to ensure you are in compliance with immigration law.
You must also be well-prepared for an in person interview for foreign nationals and workers alike. All of these and more are why you need a professional immigration lawyer such as Richard Herman. If you want your H-1B visa petition approved and want to speed up the stamping process, then don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can contact us via WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom on how to schedule appointment with us. You can call our direct line on +1-800-808-4013 for questions relating to visa requirements, application fee, premium processing, or the best way to go about certain circumstances. To schedule an expedited appointment you can fill this online form and meet with Richard Herman.
After the successful payment of the application fee and processing of visa stamping, it is typically good for up to three years. Please note that you can be eligible for another three-year H-1B visa extension.
If you have nearly served the first three years, you should be prepared to renew your visa when the expiration date approaches. You should have no problem getting your nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas stamped and working in the U.S with the information above.
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