H1b visa is the most crucial employment visa for foreign workers who want to work in the United States. As an h1b applicant, you have to be pretty sure that all things get right in the first take.
In the whole process, the H 1b documents are essential to get your visa approved without any trouble. This article will provide you the list of mandatory documents that you might need for an H1b visa:
Overview of H1b Visa
To properly understand the different documents required for an H1b visa, we like you to have an overview of what an H1b visa is all about and what does United States Citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) expects in your visa application.
The H1b visa is a nonimmigrant visa that was launched in 1990 to support US employers to get skilled labor for their business. Foreign nationals can work in the US on this visa if they possess relevant skills and have a US sponsor.
Primarily, the USCIS expects the applicant to satisfy the following three conditions if they are applying for an H 1b visa.
- The applicant holds a job offer from a US employer who is ready to sponsor the applicant’s H1b visa petition.
- The relationship between the employer and the employee is bonafide. This means that the employer is sponsoring the employee to fulfill the labor requirement and not to help the H 1b beneficiary to enter the US.
- The job position for which the applicant has applied falls under the ambit of an H 1b visa. To say, H 1b visa is for jobs in a specialty occupation, and you cannot just apply for any kind of job.
USCIS will require supporting documents from you to see whether you have met the above criteria or not.
In this article, we will provide you with a checklist of the documents required for getting your H 1b visa approved. You can refer to the checklist to get ready with all the documents.
USCIS has put an annual cap on the number of H 1b visas it will approve each year. There are certain H 1b visas that are exempted from the annual cap, such as H 1b visas sponsored by US universities, nonprofit or governmental research organizations.
So, you can expect to submit additional documents to prove your H 1b cap exemption if you are applying in that category.
Documents required for H1b visa
The USCIS may require a different set of documents for different stages of H 1b visa approval. We will categorize each stage separately.
Documents required for filing H1b petition
The following documents are required at the time of filing the H 1b petition.
- I – 129 Petition – Generally filed by a US sponsor. You could do self-sponsorship if you meet the requirements.
- Approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor
- A copy of the job offer made to you by the US employer
- Documents showing the terms and conditions of employment
- Job description
- Your bachelor’s or a higher degree that shows your eligibility for the H 1b category.
- A copy of your resume
- Copy of your passport
Other Supplementary Documents
- You can show evidence of your prior employment, if any, to complement your eligibility for the job. Though it is not a mandatory requirement, your visa will still be approved if you do not have any past job experience.
- Have recognition of your educational qualification in the specialty occupation—for example, a letter from the registrar certifying that you have completed your education.
- A copy of your original transcript.
- Documents that prove your additional qualifications in the area of employment. For example – other educational or technical degrees.
You must submit all the documents along with the I – 129 petition in a timely manner. Make sure to cautiously fill all the required details in your I – 129 petition. You can take the help of one of the immigration attorneys at Herman Legal Group to get your petition double-checked by an expert.
Fees applicable while filing H 1b visa
You can expect different fees while filing your H 1b visa petition. Not every fee is applicable to each I – 129 visa petition and may vary from case to case. The following visa fees are there:
- The basic fee for filing an I-129 visa is $460.
- American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fees – $750 when the number of employees is less than 25 and $1500 when the employer has a workforce of more than 25 employees. (If applicable)
- Anti-fraud fee to prevent or detect H 1b fraud – $500 (if applicable)
- Public Law 114-113 fee of $4,000 (if applicable)
- Premium Processing Service fee of $2,500 (if the applicant or the employer decides to get a fast decision on their case)
In addition, a $10 registration fee has to be paid for each individual beneficiary to register electronically with the USCIS. While paying with a cheque or money order, they must be signed and made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security.
You should be careful while filling in the number of fees payable. USCIS will deem your petition as improperly filed and reject it if you submit your petition with the wrong filing fee.
Furthermore, try to send different cheques if you are paying different fees. This is because if you send a single cheque with cumulative fees and later if USCIS figures out that a certain fee is not applicable to your case, it will reject your petition as improperly filed.
Applying from outside the US
If you are outside the US while applying for an H1b visa, and you are not under any other nonimmigrant visa status, you have to go through the process called consular processing.
That is, you have to attend a visa interview before entering the US. You can schedule a visa interview at a US embassy or consulate where the consular officer will take your interview.
H1b Visa Stamping Documents
After your H 1b visa petition is approved by the USCIS, the next step is to schedule your H 1b visa stamping interview.
Your H-1B visa approval is not a guarantee that you will be granted automatic entrance into the United States. When you arrive at the port of entry (POE), you will be subjected to security screening before being permitted to enter the country.
One of the prerequisites to establish that you have legitimate authorization to travel to the United States is your visa stamp.
Before applying for the visa stamping interview, you have to complete DS 160 Online nonimmigrant visa application form.
The DS 160 form is submitted electronically to the Department of State. After completing the form, you are ready to schedule your H1b visa stamping interview.
At the interview, you require a different set of documents that you have to carry at the venue of the interview. These are:
- DS 160 bar code confirmation
- Visa interview appointment letter
- I-797 Form – Original H1B Visa approval notice
- I-129 Form – The petition for a nonimmigrant worker
- H classification supplement to form I-129
- The letter of H1B visa application that is provided by your employer
- Department of Labor certification on Labor Condition Application (LCA)
- Last 3 month’s bank statement
- If you were working on an H1B visa, pay stubs for at least the last 3 months
- H-1B data collection and filing fee exemption supplement
- The verification letter of your employment.
Other Supplementary Documents
The supplementary documents make your application stronger. They are not mandatory documents; however, you can carry them just in case:
- Copy of your resume
- A brief description of your sponsoring employer
- Form I-797 A, B, or C
- If you work for any previous US employer on H 1b visa, you can carry H 1b approval notice from your previous employer
- A letter from your current employer offering you a job extension (if applicable)
You can carry the following supporting documents to prove your educational qualifications. One of the things USCIS is interested in knowing is whether you are qualified for h 1b visa specialty occupation, which can be proved by your educational documents.
- Copy of your transcript
- If applicable, OPT or EAD card
- If you have a US degree – Original I-20 forms
- Any other educational or technical degrees, diplomas, or certificates apart from your bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Required H1b visa documents for dependents of H 1b beneficiary
If you also like to bring dependents, you may be required to bring the following documents:
- Original I-797 – Notice of action form
- Form I-129 -the original form of H 1b applicant
- If the main applicant is applying separately, photocopy the valid visa.
- If the dependent is spouse – proof of the relationship between you and the dependent such as original marriage certificate
- If the dependent is a child – proof of relationship between you and dependent such as birth certificate
It is really important that you know all the h1b visa documents that you may require in the process. We hope that Herman Legal Group has provided you with some insight into supporting documents for the h1b visa.
You should take all the vital documents to the visa interview as it is crucial for the successful approval of your h1b nonimmigrant visa.
The documents may vary from case to case; some applicants may require fewer h1b visa documents while others need to bring more. You can enquire in the US consulate office about the required documents as they may also vary from country to country.
Advice from Herman Legal Group
To have the most chances of approval of your H1b petition, you should follow the following guidelines from us.
- Sign all the forms for your H1b visa in blank ink.
- Submit all the H1b visa documents to the correct address stated by the USCIS.
- If you are paying fees by money order or cheque, make sure to fill in the correct amount.
- Take expert advice while filing Form I-129. Do not skip any part intentionally.
- Submit your documents on time.
How can Herman Legal Group help you?
Herman Legal Group has been providing immigration services for a number of years. You can consult our immigration attorney to take his expert advice for your H1b visa case.
We also provide online consultations so that you can connect with us from any part of the world. Whether it is preparing you for your visa interview or double-checking all the required documents, you can take advice from our experts.
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