Thanks to our guest author Pattam Onnu for taking time to write this article and share his experiences. You can share yours here
1) Missing the deadline for the H1B Lottery : Usually, USCIS starts accepting new H1b visa petitions starting in April, and USCIS in theory continues the accept petitions until the cap is reached. However, in the last few years the cap is reached very quickly and USCIS resorts to computer generated random selection aka H1B Lottery. So, if your employer’s H1B petition doesn’t reach USCIS by appropriate time you will be left out of the lottery. Hence, it’s of paramount importance to send the H1B visa petition package to USCIS right on time. Also, applying for a new petition needs a few weeks of lead time to prepare the case, file LCA etc. So, followup with your employer and keep in touch with the HR/Immigration teams through out the process. This is especially true if the sponsoring employer is not used to filing new H1B visas. Bigger companies who apply temporary work visas for many employees, may easily miss an individual. So either ways you need to be on top of the process. Of course, be courteous!
2) Applying multiple H1B petitions through the Employer and it’s affiliated companies : As stated above with lottery becoming the norm in the past few years, some people try to increase their chances by applying more than one petition. USCIS in general doesn’t prevent multiple petitions. However, there are caveats. If the same employer applies multiple petitions for you, both will be rejected and USCIS also doesn’t like if an employer and it’s affiliates both file for the same candidate. So, if you are thinking of increasing your chances by getting multiple employers file for you be careful to get into this sticky situation.
3) Applying multiple H1B visa petitions for the same end client project through different employers : This is another special case of filing multiple H1B Visa petitions, especially with the so called “EVC” ( Employer – Vendor – Client ) aka IT consulting model. If totally different employers file the petition for the same individual and for the same end client role then expect more scrutiny and rejection from USCIS.
4) Paying the H1B Fees yourself : Your employer is the one who should pay your H1B application fees. But if your sponsoring employer insists that you do, then you may want to stay away from such employers. If USCIS finds out that the fee came from your pocket then you will be in trouble. However, if you want to upgrade your petition to premium processing, it’s OK for the employee to pay the premium fee.
5) Employer’s failure to Meet General Requirements : This is one of the common reasons for H1B Petition rejection. Your employer should have legitimate business, tax filings and the ability to pay you etc. They should be able to prove it fair and square when USCIS asks to. Do a thorough analysis of your employer’s past H1b success/failure rates etc. Check H1B Sponsors for an employers past H1B visa filing history. But remember, not all employers who have never applied for H1b in the past are bad. There are many good small, medium scale companies and startups that never had to apply in the past. As long as they are a viable business with long term prospects you should be OK. However, you may have to be more actively involved with them throughout the H1B application process.
Overall, if you are new to the H1B process, educate yourself about the process to avoid unnecessary trouble. Any other things that can hurt your chances in H1B race ? Share your thoughts.
Also, you may read 5 myths about H1B Approvals and Premium Processing
————————————-About the Author————————————–
Pattam Onnu is a fellow immigrant and blogs about immigration, career and other personal experiences on https://frontsimple.com/