How to Apply for H1B Visa Petition for 2011 Quota? Step by Step Process.

by Kumar · 298 comments

How to Apply for H1B visa in USAMany people that I know ask me this question, “How to apply for H1B visa through consulting companies ?”.In recent articles, I have written few topics related to H1B visa application for 2011 quota. I will try to put the pieces together and give you a roadmap for applying for H1B visa. If you work for a big outsourcing company like TCS, Infosys, Accenture, IBM, etc. you will need to only worry about the documents section of this article and need not worry about anything else.
Sample Schedule/ Timeline to Apply H1B visa Petition for 2011 : Before I go into all the details, here is the sample schedule that works well if you plan to apply for H1B visa for 2011 quota. This has the time line along with respective activity you are supposed to complete. Read the article: “Timeline/Schedule to apply for H1B visa 2011 quota in 2010. When to do what ?”

Steps for Applying H1B Visa :

Getting Started : Some background Information

Check the Latest News :

1. Find H1B visa Sponsor : You should first find a good genuine employer who can sponsor you visa. You should make sure the company. These articles should help you

2. Questions to ask your H1B visa Sponsor : Choosing a good employer is very important. Once you decide on employer, you have to make sure everything is clear. You have to make sure they do green card, pay hikes, insurance, etc. Read this article “What should you ask the H1B sponsor employer before you decide to join them

3. Negotiate Salary and Benefits with H1B sponsor : Salary negotiation is key. It can stay for a while without changing. You should make a good deal better before you join than regretting your entire work career. I did suffer the pain of working for less because I did not negotiate upfront. Check this article on “How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits with Consulting Companies

4. List of Documents for applying H1B visa & Cost: Hopefully, you made a good deal by negotiating with the consulting company. Your Job is to now to supply the necessary documents for application of H1B visa petition.  Check this article “Documents needed to apply for H1B visa. How much does it cost? What should you NOT give employers

5. Submit documents on time : Your goal should be to submit the documents on time. The later you submit, the more hurry the attorney is in and there are chances of mistakes in filing which may lead to query and other stuff. “Nip in the bud”, than making visa filing process complex. Follow the sample timeline I have put together for applying for H1B visa for 2011 quota

Check for H1B visa News Updates : One of the steps involved is to monitor the H1B visas news updates. This is just an information update to keep yourself informed with the visa and other immigration laws of USA. USCIS may release any information related to H1B visas. Check the H1B Visa News Updates as they are posted on the blog. Also, if you can, keep an eye on the USCIS website for any news updates or read blogs that post information related to H1B visas.

These are the very fundamental steps involved. The biggest challenge is to find a good employer and validate their details before you join. Follow the timeline suggested for filing visa petition. Make sure you know someone in the management level in the company you plan to join. You will need their full support for H1B visa stamping and your future growth in the company including green card and other benefits. Do NOT be fooled by people who try to refer you to a consulting company just for the sake of $1000 or $1500 bonus. No one says it openly; you have to trust the person who refers the company and give honest opinion about the company. Do NOT join a company get H1B sponsorship from them because someone in online communities like Orkut, Facebook or in any FORUM suggested a consulting company. Take recommendations from people you only know or through proper referral. It will be hard to recover the monetary loss or switch employers quickly once you get H1B approved and you end up coming  to US through that company. You will have to stick to them for at least 3 to 6 months or more who knows ! Be careful and make a wise choice !

H1B Filing Process 2011

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1 2

Thomas June 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hi Saurabh ,
I was checking with one of the company’s to file H1B for my spouse as you know the quota for the current year is over but still the employer is telling that he has filled 1 quotas for his company and still will be able to file for my spouse on 1 st week of July.

I am not given any kind of document to the employer. He is telling start we can process in july 1 st week as we already filed the quota

Are you aware this kind of process? Is there co operate H1B? Can we file any quota without employee information?

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sanket June 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I don’t think so
Once the H1B cap is done no employee can file H1B visa
USCIS website has already mentioned that in its updates

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Thomas June 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Thanks sanket.But Employer is telling they filed already one quota for company.So they can use that

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Thomas June 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Please reply this .Is this possible

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Saurabh June 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Thomas,
Agree w/ Sanket. The cap is done for the fiscal year. The petition is filed for a specific employee and cannot be filed for anonymous employee. Is the employer asking for filing fees? If yes, they might be wanting to make some quick bucks.

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Thomas June 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Thanks Saurabh…They are not asking any cash from me….They are telling like we done all the formalities from US.So they have to start documentation from ofshore on July 1st onwards.He has company in US as well as India too…Any true in this ?

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Saurabh June 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thomas,
It is not true. They cannot book a slot for an employee for some future filing. They have to mention employee details in the filed I-129 and it cannot be changed once it has been filed.

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Tarun May 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hello Kumar/Saurabh
Very informative.
It seems like If you have a job in a IT company (TCS, Infosys etc..) in India, it’s much easier to get H1B as finding a sponsor from India is very difficult at your own. I have a question.
How to find out before joining IT company in India (TCS or any other) that they will apply for H1b? Suppose If they are willing to apply, when will they sponsor for H1B (or L1 and then COS to H1B)?

Should One ask them before joining if and when they sponsor their employees for H1?
Is there any limit or rule that one should have to work for 1 year or so and then the company will sponsor their employee for H1?
Do all the IT companies in India (of course good companies like TCS, WIPRO etc.. ) sponsor their employees for H1B? If yes then when do they sponsor? after working for a couple of years or immediately?

Congrats for the Q and A section you are going to start. I am really looking forward to it.
Please advise.
Best Regards,
Tarun

Reply

Saurabh May 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Tarun,
Each company has a different policy on H-1 filing and I don’t know the specific policies. This is something you will have to talk to the company at the time of recruitment. Some may honor years spent at the firm when deciding who all would get H-1, while others can do it on the basis of skillset requirement.

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Tarun May 31, 2012 at 12:43 am

Hello Saurabh,
Thank you for the reply. I understand your point.
I couldn’t understand the last two lines of your post. “Some may honor years spent at the firm when deciding who all would get H-1, while others can do it on the basis of skillset requirement.”
You meant to say that some companies see that how efficient and for how long one has been working for the company and on the basis of that hard working and efficiency they file H1 for them? Please correct me If I got this wrong.

Others can do it on the basis of skillset.— What do you mean by this I didn’t get this.
Could you please make it more clear? I apologize If it’s a lame question.

Thank you,

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Saurabh May 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Tarun,
What I meant to say was some companies give importance to seniority while others give importance to skillset. For example, there is a client opening requiring skill set XYZ. The employer can either pick a candidate who is not proficient in XYZ skillset but has spent enough years in the firm and so is the first in queue; or they can pick a candidate who just joined the firm and has good XYZ skillset.

Does that explain?

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Tarun June 1, 2012 at 12:47 am

Hello Saurabh,
Thank you so much. Yes, It explained pretty well. I got your point. So it depends on the company what they prefer.
Hmm.. so If I have that skillset which is required by the client, I can get the visa, even If I just joined the company.

I read on the website of USCIS that one should have worked for at least one year prior to being granted L-1 status though.
I guess it would be L1-B visa as L1-A is for executives and managers (for MBA etc.. graduates I guess)

Thank you so much. I appreciate.

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Saurabh June 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

Tarun,
For both L-1A and L-1B, the person should have worked for the employer for at least 1 year prior to L-1 sponsorship. However, there is no such requirement in case of H-1B.

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Tarun June 2, 2012 at 12:31 am

Thank you so much Saurabh.
Appreciate it.

Anup June 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Tarun,
I work with one of the top notch MNC’s and here is how it goes generally for visa’s
H1B
1. You need to spend atlest 1 year for you to be applicable to apply for H1B.
2. Your manager and Delivery head needs to approve your request along.
3. Provide all documents and relax.

The thing is that most companies file for around few hundred of visas a year so that whenever there is a requirement they can just send those resources quick and they don’t have to go through the entire process of filing, documentation approval and consulate formalities. So of the hundreds of visa’s to be applied by the company, from among lakhs of people you should get selected for it and that would be very tough as you possibly might need to have some contacts but that not always the case though. Hence its luck.
Rejection ratio is almost nil.

The cost our here is very high and hence they chose people who cannot be rejected. Also based on experience, track record etc.

In short: Tough to get but once applied no worries on its way.

Other L1 and etc
1. Based on the requirement from the client they can send you ASAP within even 1 month of joining the company.
2. Rejection ratio is very high here.

The cost our here is less and hence they chose anyone but there is no guarantee they get cleared by the consulate as rejection ratio is too high

In short: Easy to get once applied but no assurance of getting it till the last moment.

Hope this answers all your questions.

-Anup

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Tarun June 18, 2012 at 4:51 am

Yeah It answered all my questions Appreciate it.
thanks
Warm Regards,
Tarun

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Saurabh June 18, 2012 at 7:37 am

Anup,
L-1 cannot be applied within 1 month of joining the company. One of the L-1 requirement is that the employee should have worked for the employer for at least 1 year outside of US in the past 3 years to be eligible for L-1. So they cannot successfully file for L-1 within 1 month of joining.

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Nishant Chury March 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I have a query, i am on L1A valid till July 2014, I got an offer from a different company to join them, however I don’t have an H1. if the new company is ready to file H1, what is the earliest date by which I can start the new Job?

Can’t I start the new job before Oct 1, 2012 irrespective of the fact that H1 can be filed under PP, or can i do a COS in July/August once the H1 petition is approved?

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Saurabh March 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Nishant Chury,
The earliest start date to work for new employer on H-1 is Oct 1, and that too when H-1 is approved w/ COS from L-1A to H-1. If COS is not applied/approved, then you will have to get H-1 visa stamped from a consulate and enter US on that stamped visa. This holds true even if H-1 gets approved prior to Oct 1 (USCIS will stamp effective start date as Oct 1 in this case).

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vivek February 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Dear sir please tell me anysponser or recruitmet agency for hospitality job in USA.
thanks

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Abhishek February 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Hi, i have a question, currently I am on L1B visa and both my visa and i-94 is valid till 17th Sept 2012. I would like to apply for H1B in April 12.

I heard new H1 visa applicants can only start working from Oct, what will happen in my case as my L1 visa is expiring in Sept? Please suggest

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Saurabh February 20, 2012 at 12:25 am

Abhishek,
Yes they cannot start to work prior to Oct 1 (assuming H-1 is approved w/ COS by that time for Oct 1 start date). Check w/ an attorney on how you can stay b/w Sep 17 and Oct 1. One option is filing for L-1 extension.

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Abhishek February 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

Thanks Saurabh,
But there will be a problem if i apply for extension. As far as i know, whichever visa we apply late, that will be applicable. For example, if i apply H1b in April and in June if i apply for L1 extension, i will have L1B valid only.

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Saurabh February 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

Abhishek,
Actually the rule is that the petition that gets ‘approved’ later determines the status. So even if L-1 is applied after H-1, but is withdrawn on Oct 1, 2012, your status would continue to remain H-1 from that date. However, if the petition is not withdrawn then your status would become L-1 once it gets approved.

I also remember another discussion I had w/ a member here, and there is another thing you need to remember. When your H-1 is applied w/ COS w/ start date of Oct 1, 2012, USCIS may want to see proof at the time of filing that you will be able to maintain status until Oct 1. As your L-1 is expiring on Sep 17, this may not be the case. Talk to your attorney about this as well when they are about to file your H-1.

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Archana February 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

Hi Saurabh,

I have a question. I am on L1 A visa and I-94 expires in 2 months. How many days will it take to renew I-94. And also I am looking forward to apply for H1B. Can I apply?

Thanks
Archna

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Saurabh February 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Archana,
Extension may take 2-6 months. Yes, H-1 can be applied but your I-94 needs to be valid at the time of filing for COS to get approved.

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vivek February 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

hi dear i want to work in USA.can you tell me real consultant in INDIA who can help me to get job in USA.i have done degree in hotel management from IHM PUSA DELHI. currently working in DUBAI as a waiter.
thanks

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Sonu January 29, 2012 at 5:57 am

Hi Saurabh,

Want to know about the processing time. The next h1b quota will open on April 2012 so is that means uscis will process all the h1b from last year h1b quota till April 2012?

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Saurabh January 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Here is an example, suppose quota remains opens until March 2011. Does that mean USCIS will adjudicate all those petitions within a month by April? No.

They will try to process as many as possible by April to reduce the load before next influx of petitions, but their is no such law that they have to.

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Sonu January 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Saurabh.

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tiz March 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

My company is filing h1 this april. I read it takes 2-5 months for processing the application. does that mean i will get my petition approved by august/september considering all my documents are perfect and in place….?

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Saurabh March 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Tiz,
Yes, it can get processed by Aug-Sep. However, it can be delayed if lots of petitions are filed and increases the work load at the center.

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tiz March 16, 2012 at 2:14 am

Thnx a ton Saurabh.. :)

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Kiran January 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Hi Saurabh,

What is the cost to revoke the H1B petition?

If I don’t join as consultant under H1B petition, Is it mandatory for the consultancy to revoke the petition?

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Saurabh January 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

There is no cost to revoke the petition. The employer can send the request to USCIS and they would revoke the petition. However, initial filing fees is not refunded.

It is not mandatory for them to revoke the petition. Lot of companies like to revoke the petition once an employee resigns or decides not to join them, so that there are less (and accurate) number of petitions filed under their name.

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Kiran January 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Thanks Saurabh.

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Raj January 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Dear Saurabh,
I am currently pursuing my MBA from India from one of the prestigious IIM. As part of our curriculum we have to do a 2 months summer internship in any organization. Talks are on for an internship opportunity in US in a MNC. In that case which visa do I need to apply for? Kindly help.
Thanks,
Abhinav

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Saurabh January 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I am not sure, but I think J-1 would be the right visa

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sachin k January 7, 2012 at 5:03 am

Dear Saurabh,

My B1/B2 visa got rejected 6 months back,can i try with same fee receipt that i had paid first time?

Thanks . i ll be helpful to get answer for this.

Thanks
Sachin

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Saurabh January 7, 2012 at 6:51 am

You cannot reuse the same receipt for your next interview.

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Anil January 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hi Saurabh,
I have approved H1 petition with company A, if company B files a transfer and in the meantime if i want to stay back with company A, will that be possible to not move for Comapany B and still stay with company A legally?

Thank you,
Anil

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Saurabh January 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Yes. Even after H-1 transfer is approved, one can decide to continue working for old employer on the basis of old approved unexpired petition. However, B would be spending some 2000-4000 USD on the transfer and may get really annoyed w/ you if you don’t join them.

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Anil December 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Hi Saurabh,
I am on H1 till 2013 May, i will be completing 6years by then, can you please guide ,before when i need to apply for Green card for applying H1 extension?

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Saurabh December 21, 2011 at 2:54 am

Your LCA or I-140 should have been pending for 365 days or your I-140 should be approved in order for you to avail 7th year extension.

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Anil December 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Saurabh, you have been so helpful.
I have just 1yr 5months remaining, can you please let me know how soon i should get started, how long LCA will take to complete in EB2 or EB3?

Thanks again.
Anil

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Saurabh December 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

PERM can take 2 months (unaudited) or up to a year (audited).

I would suggest get the ball rolling ASAP so that you can file for 7th year extension in a timely manner.

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Anil January 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hi Surabh,
Thanks for valuable information.
can i stay on L2 through my wife and get EAD even after completing 6 years, will i be eligible to work that time.
please help.

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Saurabh January 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I don’t think time spent on L-2 is counted towards 6 year limit. So you can make use of that option. Please check w/ someone else as well.

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Anil January 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hi Saurabh,
If i get I140 approved in GC processing, can i move to other company after i get extension after 6yrs completion?, will the extension be valid after i move out to a different company and continue my GC processing further?
kindly help.

Thanks a lot.

Saurabh January 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

I think so. But check w/ an attorney on that as well.

abc December 7, 2011 at 5:00 am

Hi Surabh,

Presentlly i am in India working for s/w company.My husband is in US,working for a big company in US

I have filed h1 for this year,when i go stamping do i need to take any letter from my husbad employer that he is in US and working thier??and My GC is in pending status whn i left the country, still it’s in the same status,so do i need to tell any thing abt GC during my interview?

Thanks
Uma

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Saurabh December 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

You don’t need any letter from husband’s employer. There are few questions in DS form that you need to fill appropriately
1. Question related to relatives in US (your husband information needs to be mentioned here)
2. Has anyone filed immigration petition on your behalf. If your I-140 has been filed, then this answer should be Yes along w/ other related information

H-1 is a dual intent visa, so it’s ok to have GC in process. It is more of a concern when going for B-1/2 and F-1/2 visas.

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kumar December 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hi, This is kumar, looking for H1B sponsor.
I have 5 years of Exp in java, j2ee, spring, hibernate , struts and flex and app servers.
Please let me know if know any sponsor. I shall be greatful to you

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Vishal December 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Hi, I have H1B Visa processed in premium processing. As per the exit process in our company, H1B will be cancelled. I have confusion if company will be able to cancel my H1B after my resignation as my H1B Visa was processed under premium processing. If this cannot be cancelled, it will help me in transferring on some other company’s name. Please advise.

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Saurabh December 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm

IMO, you can use it to file cap-exempt petition even after the employer has canceled the petition. In case they get the visa stamp canceled in your passport, then you will have to go for H-1 stamping in future through new employer.

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Vishal December 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

Thanks Saurabh..:)

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Rocky November 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi,
I am working in an MNC in Bangalore.Recently I was offered a job in US by another MNC and my H1B VISA application was also started.But somehow the cap count got finished and my application was not processed.
1)Is there any way by which I can join the job in the US company?
2)I hold a B1/B2 Visa for 10 years.Can it be used by the time I apply for H1B for the next year.
3)Are there any other Visa options that can be used for a period before applying H1B for next year.

Thanks for the answers.

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Saurabh November 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

1. There is no way to join them immediately. That company can apply H-1 for you in FY-13
2. Having B-1/2 doesn’t help in filing H-1. It needs to be filed just like others (who may not have that visa stamp in their passport)
3. Depends upon the kind of work you plan to do in US for that company. Usually H-1 is the only option. L-1 can be applied but only by your Indian employer (provided you have worked for them outside US for at least 1 year and the job qualifies for L-1).

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Rocky December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

2)For this point, I was wondering whether I can work in US with B1 by the time my H1B is filed.I also heard that for some condition it is possible to get B1 visa “in lieu” of an H1-B for some cases, in case I join the subsidery of same company in Bangalore.

Please suggest.

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Saurabh December 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

It is really tough to get B-1 in lieu of H-1 these days because of excessive misuse. You will have to check w/ the company if they are willing to file it or not.

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Anil November 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hi Suarabh,
I was on L1 till September,I got my H1 approved on sep 30th, i am planning to transfer my H1 to other company.
can you please guide me how long i need to wait with the current company before moving to the other one?

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Saurabh November 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

There is no minimum wait period. One can transfer H-1 to new employer as long as one is maintaining legal status in US. If your H-1 was approved w/ COS, then you need to have payslips from H-1 employer for the transfer. If it was approved w/o COS, then you need to submit L-1 payslips.

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Manju November 22, 2011 at 4:53 am

Hi,

My H1B petition was filed by a consultant during October.
How do I know if it has got approved?

Thanks in advance

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Saurabh November 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

Your employer/attorney would have received the number for the petition. You can use that number to track the status online on USCIS website. Usually it takes 2-6 months for USCIS to review the petition (if filed under regular processing).

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Kiran November 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Hi Saurabh,

Got the approval today. Have below questions.

[1] Do they send copy by email as well to the petitioner.

[2] How long does it take by mail to reach the petitioner? In my case petitioner and service center are in same location.

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Saurabh November 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

1. In case of PP, I think they send an email to the petitioner. In case of regular processing, no email is sent out.
2. It might take up to 1 week for the employer/attorney to receive the petition. It is also possible to receive it earlier.

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Kiran November 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hi Saurabh,

I have below situation please help with the query. Consultancy have applied for H1B visa via premium processing. Its under progress.

[1] Once I get the form I-797 can I use it for H1B transfer with Company A? [I haven't gone for H1B stamping and also haven't worked for consultancy yet.] Is it valid?

[2] For H1B transfer can I submit the copy of I-797 [or] Original is needed?

[3] Is the previous petition LCA and form I-129 needed for filing H1B transfer?

Thanks,
Kiran

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Saurabh November 16, 2011 at 1:30 am

1. Once you have 797A or 797B (i.e. approved petition and not 797C which is just a receipt notice), A can file a cap-exempt H-1 petition for you. It is not necessary to have H-1 stamped in passport at that time.
2. Copy or approved petition can be submitted. No need to submit original (and you should not do that).
3. A needs to file a new LCA and I-129 for the H-1 petition. They cannot use a LCA or I-129 filed by another employer (even if it was for you).

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Kiran November 16, 2011 at 3:22 am

Thanks Saurabh. For [3] Am aware that company must apply with fresh LCA and I-129 during H1B transfer. My question was do they require my old LCA and I-129 for verification [or] its not needed? Sorry for not being clear.

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Saurabh November 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

No, they don’t need those documents. They would only need petition copy to show that you have already been counted in the quota and are now cap-exempt.

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Kiran November 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

Thanks Saurabh. That clarifies!

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VIJAY November 15, 2011 at 5:13 am

Hi All

I am presently in UK. I have filed for H1 and My application has been approved. Could anyone tell me what are the steps I need to follow now?
I guess that will be booking a visa interview appointment ?

If so what is the procedure to book visa interview in UK?

Thanks a lot in advance.

VIJAY

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Saurabh November 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Go to the website for US consulate in London (or your current city). They would have detailed the process over there. As the process may vary from country to country, it’s best to refer the consulate website in your current country.

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lces2 October 28, 2011 at 7:24 am

Hi Sourabh.
My employer would be filing h1b for me and i think it may take 15-20 days to complete the documentation part. my question is, when filing, if the cap is open and then it reaches 65K b4 mine one getting approved, will it be considered? or i need to apply again next year?

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Saurabh October 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Your petition will be counted if it reaches USCIS before 65K number is reached. Once your petition has been received and receipt number generated, you are considered to have made through the quota.

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jay November 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

This is really useful information at this point of time Saurabh. I think many of them who are gonna file/still in the process of filing, this will be informative.
Thanks a lot for all your answers.

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sumon October 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

hi,
i found your website is really helpful.
well, i was in the US from sept 2006 till march 2008 and my visa status was J1.
from april 2008 till sept 2010 i was in the UK as a student. i back home in 2010 and still unemployed .
what do you think_ i would not be eligible for H1 B visa?
many thanks
sumon

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Basha October 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hi,
My employer is saying that he will file a H1b for me now. I have 2 questions:

1) If it is normal H1B, how much time (months) will it take?
2) If it is premium, how many months?

can I travel immediately as soon as I get the Visa or do I need to wait till some time?

thanks.

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Basha October 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm

also, please let me know abt this OCTOBER logic. I am unaware of this. If my employer files H1B after OCT 2011, can’t I travel before OCT 2012?

thanks,
Noor.

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Saurabh October 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

If petition is filed b/w April and Oct, then one cannot work/travel to US until 1st Oct. However, if petition is filed after 1st Oct, then one can travel from the date mentioned in the approval notice (one doesn’t need to wait for next Oct month).

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Saurabh October 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm

1. 2-6 months. If RFE is issued, it can take even longer.
2. 15 calendar days. If RFE is issued, USCIS would wait for the response to be submitted. Once response is received, they would adjudicate it within another 15 calendar days.

You can travel to US at most 10 days prior to H-1 start date (mentioned in 797). If this date is in the past, then you can travel soon after you get your H-1 stamped.

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prad October 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

hi

My employer filed H1B on June 2011.It got approved on August.Got soft copy of my approval on Sept . But, in the USCIS its still showing as “Initial Review” . My concern now is, I dint receive any hard copy of my documents from USCIS. Its been more than 40 days from approval. Without Hard copy i cannot proceed to stamping.
Any body has idea regarding that ..pls comment..

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Saurabh October 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

What do you mean by “soft copy”? Did you receive a scanned copy of approved 797 from your employer? The hard copy is sent to the employer/attorney who can then share it w/ you. If you received a scanned copy from employer, then that means they have received the hard copy.

The online status is not 100% reliable and at times remains in old status even though petition processing has moved on to the next stage.

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prad October 13, 2011 at 11:15 am

Thanks Saurabh for immd reply. Yes, I meant scanned copy. But my employer still says hard copy not received. Let me check with him.

Tx agn!!

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Saurabh October 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I am wondering how he received the scanned copy. I don’t think they send out scanned copy of 797 even in case of petitions w/ premium processing.

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prad October 20, 2011 at 3:58 am

Finally received my hard copy too. You are right. The delay is with my employer. Now another problem. During the filing process, My employer filed H1 for one client. Now my client got changed, my employer gonna file new LCA for the new location since new client location is different. Will this affect during my stamping. Since my client and location in I 129 is different when approved and now new client.

Please let me know whether this will be issue during stamping.

Thanks for your responses..

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Saurabh October 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

You should go for stamping only once you the new LCA and amended I-129. H-1 amendment needs to be filed if the client has changed. I read about a few recent cases where 221g was issued because of client mismatch.

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prad October 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Thanks Saurabh… My employer says.. h1 depends on location not client.. so amendment not required. LCA has been filed. I don’t have any other option now .. can you pls tell me.. is there a chance of rejection ?

Saurabh October 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

If the employer is not ready to file the amendment, then there is nothing you can do; except to go for stamping and hope it doesn’t cause any issue.

Talk to your employer and ask him if he would be willing to file the amendment w/ Premium Processing in case the consulate issues 221g regarding mismatch of LCA and I-129. This would allow you to quickly respond to any possible 221g related to this mismatch.

prad October 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Got my LCA updated Saurabh. Even I too read issues with client change. What if, I still say the client what has been mentioned in the petition and use the Old LCA with that particular location during my stamping. since LCA is not related to the Individual nor does it contain Client info.. I see little risk in that. wht is ur opinion .?

Thanks for all the replies so far…

Saurabh October 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Are you sure that VO will not have access to new LCA when he looks you up in his system? If he becomes aware that a new LCA has been filed but the I-129 is still the old one, he can raise the question. Otherwise, what you mentioned can work out.

prad November 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

hi saurabh

I have appointment fixed with VFS, but i want to change the DS 160 form I submitted for ‘US Residence address’, which is going to be different. Can I create a New ds 160 and get the updated one for interview? Will this cause doubt with VO? How they track DS 160 in particular as system that allows multiple DS 160 for one user.

Thanks in Advance.

Saurabh November 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

If you want to complete a new DS form, then you need to cancel and schedule a new appointment. You cannot take the new DS form to an appointment set w/ an old DS form.

Dino October 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Hi Prad, USCIS does not update the status in the website sometimes. In my case, even after 2 years of approval, my case status was showing Initial Review. So don’t worry, as you got the soft copy you can go ahead with stamping. Your employer must have received the hard copies already. Check with them.

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prad October 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

Thx Dino.. Yes. I will check with them.
Really appreciate your response.

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abhi shah October 1, 2011 at 11:53 pm

am currently working for a company in India and have filed for H1B visa through the same company under premium process. It also includes H4 application for my spouse.

Currently I am in the US on B1 visa and my spouse is in India.

While I check the status on USCIS site, it shows only 4 stages; viz. Acceptance, initial review, decision and post decision activity. After 9 days of application, status has gone from acceptance to decision stage stating that the petition has been approved.

As it seems, the interview stage appears to be waived. Does this mean that we won’t be appearing for any interview? Is it ok for the interview to be waived off? If so, as per my understanding, we will need to go to the local visa office and get our respective visas stamped once I return to India.

Kindly confirm my understanding and please advise on what documents will be needed while we go for the stamping. Thanks in advance.

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Saurabh October 2, 2011 at 1:10 am

Do you know if your H-1 was approved w/ COS? Your interview is waived (for now i.e.) only if H-1 has been approved w/ COS. If COS was not filed or approved, then you will have to go for H-1 stamping and then enter US on that visa stamp to be on H-1.

Does that answer your question?

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abhi shah October 2, 2011 at 1:18 am

I am applying for New H1 Visa in premium (My current status is on B1 with I 940 valid till Jan 2012). My Plan is as H1 visa get approved (which is currently in decision status ) go back to India get it stamp and return with my wife.

I want to know that while getting it stamp any interview is required? is there any chances of rejection while stamping if yes then how to minimize them.?

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Saurabh October 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

Yes stamping is a must if you travel outside of US. There is always chance of rejection or process getting delayed due to administrative processing (221g). If your H-1 was filed by a consulting company then there is a high chance of above as the officer issues 221g to get more time to go through submitted client/project details. You can carry as many document as you can related to the employer and proposed job/client, but VO may just issue 221g and ask you to submit all documents. It’s his/her discretion.

Was your H-1 filed w/ COS or w/o COS?

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abhi shah October 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

My H-1 is filed by my parent company and its one of the top 30 India`s IT company.

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Saurabh October 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Do you know if your H-1 was filed w/ COS or w/o COS (change of status)?

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kiran September 24, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi,
Thanks much for your info it was helpful. I have below Query. I have an offer from a company in US and they dont do H1 directly as per policy.
So I have been adviced to do H1 petition through a consultancy and US company will do a H1 transfer through which I can go for Visa interview/stamping.
My question is When I go for H1 transfer with US company documents do I have any problem as my H1 petition was filed by a consultancy? Please help.
Also please help with H1B normal fees and premium fees I might need to pay currently.

Thanks,
Kiran.

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Saurabh September 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

There shouldn’t be any issues during H-1 transfer. If you have already traveled to US for the consulting company on H-1 by the time transfer is filed, then you would need to show that you have been maintaining status in US (by submitting payslips). If you haven’t traveled to US on consulting company’s H-1, then there is no such requirement.

H-1 fees is b/w 2000-4500 USD depending upon employer size and his reliance on H-1 employees in the workforce. You can get the exact number from USCIS website or Kumar has written an article on it in this blog. Remember, legally the bulk of the fees needs to be paid by the sponsoring employer and not you.

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kiran September 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thanks much for your reply.

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Anil September 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Hi Suarabh,
Need to your input, i am on L1 and it is expiring this Novermber 2011, my same employer started filing H1 in Normal processing this week, not sure whether i would get the approval before November,.
can you please tell me if i can stay after my L1 visa expiration as i applied for H1 with the same employer or do you think i better apply for H1 with some other employer.
appreciate your response.

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Saurabh September 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

If your I-129S is expiring then you cannot stay in US as you will not be eligible to work. There are less chances of it getting processed by November. You always have the option to upgrade it to premium processing in order to receive faster adjudication.

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Anil September 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hi Saurabh,
Thanks for your response, let me just confirm with you what i understand,
even if i have a H1 applied receipt/petetion number, i should not stay after my
L1 expiration date.
please confirm.
thanks a lot for your help.

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Saurabh September 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

That is correct. Your L-1 would have expired, and you wouldn’t be able to maintain your L-1 status. H-1 won’t start until it gets approved w/ COS.

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Lee August 30, 2011 at 8:26 am

Hi Saurabh,

Does USCIS conduct previous employment verification of all employer or only current previous employer at the time of approving H1b Petition?

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Saurabh August 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Unless they have reasons to believe that your work experience is not correct, they don’t do thorough employment background check. There is no yes/no answer, but it’s subjective and may vary from case to case.

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Kalyani Subra August 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Is there any way to know the receipt number by employees and employers name? I want to check if the receipt number provided to me is for my application and want to check the submitted date. The employer only provided me the receipt number and not a copy the receipt.

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Saurabh August 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

No. The online system doesn’t show any information. More information can be gathered from the hard copy of the receipt notice (797C).

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Raj August 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Kumar,

I am an independent IT consultant working through a self incorporated ‘S’ Corp company with a 2010 gross revenue of around 350K. I have a friend who is also a co-worker at my client working through a big company on H1B. His project is ending and he’s asked me to sponsor his H1B, since he would like to continue working in USA. I don’t have any other employees except myself and have never sponsored a H1B. Am I a good/viable sponsor ? Is there still quota left for 2011 ? How much would it cost (Attorney’s fees etc) besides the official H1B fees ?

Thanks in Advance
Raj

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Saurabh August 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

As you are not a big company, USCIS may want to ensure you have enough funds to pay him while on H-1. For small companies this often ends up into showing you have a project ready for the employee. As this is the first time your company will be filing a H-1 and the fact that it’s a small company, you may have to submit lot of information about your company and proposed job.

The attorney fees varies from 1000 USD to 4000 USD.

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Atul August 4, 2011 at 1:59 am

Hi Kumar,

First of all thanks for starting an such a wonderful thing…

Well, my case is, i was in USA in 2007-2008 on H1b, in the month of April 2008 i had to come back to India for some family reason. And since then i am in India.
My H1B got expired in the month of Sept 2009.
Now while working in india my current employer wants to send me to USA.
Q1. What is the procedure for filing a new H1B?
Q2. Can i get H1B. (since i had come back in between)
Q3. Or should i have to go on B business visa, and then file for H1b?

Please help me Kumar…

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Saurabh August 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

1. Same process as that for your old H-1.
2. Yes, as long as the employer is reputable and resourceful, proposed job requires H-1 and you maintained legal status while you were in US.
3. Do not do that. That’s abuse of B visa.

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Anu July 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

Hi
I am on L2 Visa and have been working in US for the past 4 years.My Hus status will change from L1 to H1 starting Oct 2011. I have Masters in Biochemistry from India and currently I am working in a pharma company with more than 200 employees as a contractor. To apply for a sponsorship I need to be a permanent employee. But the company that I am working has some budget issues to hire me as a permanent employee. So I am looking for life science consultants who can file H1B for me this year as there are still 3 more months time for me.

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

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Skit June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hi, I have some concerns that I’m hoping you could help me with.

I already have an approved H1-b petition. But then I was informed by the company that they have currently stopped hiring and won’t be able to accommodate me anymore. I still haven’t scheduled an appointment with the US consulate. Given this, there is another employer who has offered to apply an H1-B visa for me. Is it OK to apply for a new H1-B petition? Would there be any problem if I apply for another H1-B? If ever I get two petitions approved, wouldn’t this pose a problem during interview and would this hurt my chances of ever getting my H1-B visa approved?

Please help and guide me with making the right decision and not lose any good opportunities.

Thank you very much in advance.

Regards,
Skit

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Saurabh June 22, 2011 at 10:13 pm

It should be ok. You should go for stamping by carrying the 2nd petition, as the 1st petition is no longer applicable (employer is not willing to hire you). If officer asks about your old petition, you can give the correct answer to him/her.

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jinadev June 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

wht is a state employee license???is B-tech certificete a license???

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Saurabh June 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Certain professions (like civil engineer, real estate agent etc) require license from the state. B-Tech certificate is definitely not a license. However, the exact definition and requirement would depend upon the profession.

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john May 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

Hi,The H1b petition applied for me by my employer has been approved. They told me to apply for H1b visa. is this another months processing and will still undergo 2011 cap quota or is this already for stamping? Im still confused. Please help

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Saurabh May 25, 2011 at 2:19 am

What your employer meant was that you have to go for H-1 stamping. You need to make an online appointment and go to the US consulate nearest to your current residence for the interview. The process may take 1 week to few months depending upon whether 221g is issued or not. H-1 stamping is not impacted by quota as your petition has already been counted in the quota.

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HARDIK May 11, 2011 at 4:30 am

Hi,
Currently i am working in the BPO of TOP MNC in india. Now i want to move to work in USA & want to settle down in USA. So please let me know what is the process. Please also let me know how to apply H1B visa?

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Saurabh May 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

That’s what Kumar has written in the above article? Did you care to read it before posting the question?

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Hardik May 12, 2011 at 4:18 am

yes i care to read the article that was written by kumar. But i am not expecting this kind of answer ” Did you care to read it before posting the question?”. No problem. Because the “redbus2us.com” is not only a website which give you information about US visa process. This is much much disappointing answer from your side. If you don’t want to give the answer on the query, then you don’t give it at all. There thousands of websites avaible for information.

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Saurabh May 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

If you did read the article then why did you ask that question? Were you expecting a link to the above article or the entire article copy-pasted in response? If your question would have been more specific asking about a particular step etc then it would have been a different thing. However, you asked about the entire process and that defeated the purpose of writing that article.

It is not my or Kumar’s day job to help others. Remember people are responding to queries and writing articles out of their goodwill. No one is getting paid for helping out others (lawyers are available for that). Is it too much to ask a reader to first read the article and then ask specific question and not ask the entire article again in a question?

Anyways, while we are it, here is a quick response:
1. Ensure you are H-1 eligible
2. Find a sponsoring H-1 employer
3. Send the documents to H-1 employer
4. Have them file the petition for you
5. Once approved, go for H-1 stamping
6. Once stamped, enter US and work on US for the sponsoring employer.
7. Maintain legal status all the time you are in US on H-1.

Good luck!

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sri August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

That’s good one….. :-)

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TJ November 9, 2011 at 3:19 am

Good one Saurabh.
@noHarddick : First you show ignorance then arrogance. Grow up!

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Purvi April 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

I am a Pharmacist in USA. I had previous H1B valid from Oct 2009 to sep 2012. But I never worked on that H1B. I was pregnant and then I had small baby. So i was on leave. I have all approved leave letters by employer. That employer was a american staffing agency. I came back on H4 in sep 2010 by getting stamped my H4 in India. So never worked on my previous h1B. Now I am getting one job through a direct employer who is ready to file my H1b. Do I come under regular quota or not?

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Saurabh April 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

You can be quota exempt. However, you may have to prove that you maintained valid legal status during your previous stay on H-1.

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