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Steps after H1B Visa Approval – Visa Stamping, COS ?

Many of the lucky ones, selected in H1B Visa Lottery and have approved H1B Visa petition notice, might be wondering what are the next steps.. Our previous article covered the typical Steps After H1B Visa Lottery. Now the next questions are like what to do with the H1B approval notice, when can I apply for visa stamping, when can I work in the US, etc. We will look at the typical steps after the H1B petition is approved by USCIS.

Background : H1B Registration, Petition Filing, Approval

Typically, once the H1B registration was selected in the H1B registration lottery process, most of the applicants would file the H1B petition with USCIS. After they file the H1B petition with USCIS, they would receive the petition receipt number along with the receipt notice from their employer either email copy or scan copy of the physical receipt notice from USCIS. You would have used that receipt number to check the status on the USCIS website and got to know that your H1B petition was approved by USCIS. 

Now, once you see that approval status, as described in H1B Case Status info and meaning on USCIS site, it tells you that they will send the approval notice copy to the petitioner or employer/ attorney.  Once the employer receives the approval notice, they would typically send the actual copy of the approval notice from USCIS to the applicant. Let’s look at the next steps.

Next Steps after H1B Approval from USCIS

The steps after receiving H1B Approval notice fall into two scenarios based on the H1B petition filing, either Consular Processing or Change of Status(COS). Let’s look at each of these in detail

Steps for H1B Petition filed as Change of Status (COS)

If the H1B petition was filed as a Change of Status(COS), it means that the applicant is already in the US and trying to move from one status to another status. It could be situations like someone on an H4 visa, F1 Visa, or any other visa type trying to move to H1B status. Below are the typical steps

Step 1 – Verify COS Approval & I-94 : The H1B applicant needs to verify if the change of status was approved or not along with the H1B petition approval. If the COS was approved, the H1B approval notice comes with I-94 attached to it. The validity date on the I-94 arrival-departure portion of the approval notice would also be same as the H1B approval notice.

Sometimes, the H1B approval does not come with Change of Status approval. It could be for reasons like not maintaining proper status in the US in the past. In such cases, the COS portion of the H1B would not be approved. If COS was not approved, there would not be an I-94 attached with the H1B approval notice. In such cases, the applicant would have to leave the country and get H1B visa stamping at a US consulate to work on H1B.

Step 2: Wait for October 1st to Start working: If your H1B was approved with COS approved, there is nothing you need to do. All you need to do is wait for October 1st and then join the company that you plan to work on H1B. If you are already working for that company on F1 OPT or something else, you can inform them to switch your status to H1B for their tracking and update I-9 form accordingly.

One important thing to note is that you do not need apply for H1B visa stamping as you are already in the US and maintaining proper status.

Now, let’s look at the steps for second scenario, where H1B was applied as Consualr Processing.

Steps for H1B Petition filed in Consular Processing

If the H1B petition was filed in Consular processing, it usually means that you need to get H1B Visa stamping done in order to start working. Usually, most of the applicants, who apply for Consular processing are based outside of the US, when they applied for H1B visa petition. Below are the steps

Step 1 : Gather all Documents for US Visa Application : If you are applying for H1B visa stamping, you will need a lot more documents in addition to your H1B visa approval notice. You need to have all documents and information related to your passport, your family personal information, your education certificates info, your US travel itinerary, your recent passport photo, etc.

Step 2: Complete DS-160 Form, Pay Visa Fee, Schedule Biometrics, Interview Appointments : After you have all documents, you need to first complete DS-160 Form that is nothing but US Visa Online Application form. You will use all the details from the previous step to fill the form.

Once you complete the DS-160 form, you need to pay the required US Visa fee of $190 USD either online or at a bank. Using that, you need to book appointments for giving Biometrics and In-person visa interview. You can check the Step by Step Guide to apply for US Visa to know more

Step 3: Attend Biometrics, in-person Visa Interview: You need to carry all relevant documents required for Biometrics appointment and in-person H1B Visa interview. Below are key documents that you need to carry :

  • Passport
  • H1B Approval notice ( I-797A Notice of Action )
  • Employment Offer Letter
  • H1B LCA Copy
  • Education Certificates – Bachelors, Masters degree ( as applicable)
  • Pay stubs ( if already working for the company)

You can check H1B Visa Stamping Document Checklist for complete details on the documents.

Step 4 : Wait for Decision, Collect Passport – Approve Visa : After the visa interview, you need to wait for the decision from the US consualte. If everything went well, your H1B Visa stamping would be completed and you get your Passport with H1B Visa foil glued in the passport. Sometimes, there may be additional processing required and consulate may issue 221g form for Administrative processing.

Step 5 : Travel to US Port of Entry, Enter US, Start Working : After you get your visa approved, your next step is to travel to US. Getting US visa stamping does not guarantee entry to US. The H1B applicant need to go through US Port of Entry Procedures and convince the CBP officer. Usually CBP officer would ask questions related to entry, do a quick security check, take fingerprints and let the H1B applicant into US, if no issues. Once you clear CBP at Port of entry, you are all set to start working at your company in the US office location.

Those are the steps after getting H1B Approval notice. Now, let’s now look at some common questions and situations.

H1B Sponsor Not giving the Approval Notice to Applicant

Sometimes, some employers from IT bodyshop consulting companies, withhold the actual copy of approval notice for some time so that they can send the same when they need the candidate to travel to US or have the leverage to bargain or terms, etc…again, it depends… Important thing to know is that, it is employer’s petition approval and you cannot really get it from anywhere else, only your employer can share that. They are not obligated to share that approval notice with you.

When can you apply for H1B Visa Stamping ? How many days Before ?

As per the US Dept. of State Consular processing website, for H1B work visa, you can apply for US Visa Stamping up to 90 days before the petition start date. If you went through H1B registration lottery, we can assume you are new cap-subject petition and your start date would be October 1st. So, if your start date is Oct 1, then you can plan and apply for H1B Visa Stamping anytime on or after July 1st

As background on why October 1st is the start date for new H1Bs, you need to know that as per rule, one cannot file for an H1B petition before 6 months from the requested start date to work in US. So, as the new Fiscal Year starts from October 1st of that year, you can only file on or after April 1st, which is when USCIS accepts petitions after H1B registration.

Now, the visa slots at US consulates can be tricky with demand, I suggest you plan early and apply for your H1B visa stamping at US consulates as early as you can to avoid last-minute delays.  Also, not all H1B stamping appointments result in successful stamping, some may get 221(g) query from the Visa Consular officer (blue, white, yellow) asking to submit documents, so plan accordingly, so that you get time to submit these documents and are ready to start working from October 1st. We have put up these steps in the below chart for your reference.

When can you enter US on H1B after Visa Stamping ?

As per US Department of State, You can enter US on H1B only 10 days prior to your H1B start date on your approval notice (I-797 form).  Technically, what it means is that, if your H1B start date is October 1st, then you can enter America on or after September 20th on H1B Visa.  These 10 days rule to enter US and 90 days rule for applying for H1B stamping has been same for the past few years, you can check our previous article indicating the H1B stamping details and US entering criteria to get some perspective.

It is always good to put it in a picture to understand easily. Below are the steps as a flow chart.

After H1B Approval Notice – Process Next Steps

Pre-departure checklist for H1B Visa holders

If you are flying to America for the first time on H1B visa, there are quite a few things that you can do in your home country to make your life easy in USA and maybe save some money too…We have written an article covering booking tickets, health checkup, driving license, list of things to carry, etc. You should read the article Pre-departure checklist and Things to do before you enter US on H1B

What are your experiences ? Add your thoughts in comments below

Reference : US Dept of State official – US Travel Docs H1B Stamping FAQs 


Other Articles


  1. I have been tracking a set of 100 reciept number’s. And what I am realising is that, the number of RFE’s this year is very high. I read various blogs, and they say that the number of RFE’s is generally 25%. whreas out of 100 that I am tracking 56 are RFE, 35 approved and 9 are still waiting for any status update. Mine is one of the 9. After 31-July there hasn’t been a single approval(among the 100 that I am tracking). All the status’s that got updated were RFE’s and few were about RFE response recieved. Almost mentally prepared for an RFE now…

        • So you are saying there is still a chance for those who are still waiting for there lottery status? My employer says although USCIS has started sending rejected petitions, my case is still pending for decision….(not sure what they mean by this)

        • Just saw my case status updated and it is RFE. 🙁
          Didn’t Receive any mail.
          Do you guys have any idea in how many days do i receive RFE notice??

          • Mine came after two weeks. But I started talking to my employer and asking them questions to make sure everything was complete from my side. But there is only so much that we can control. All the best!

      • I am not an expert.. but they all are related to Form I-129, and they all have the recieved date of April 13, the lottery date. So I believe they are all H1B applications, and all are fresh ones and not H1B extensions. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong..

    • Good analysis,

      I am also done the samething and found 14/100 cases are in received state and 59/100 cases were approved around my case number EAC1514353***. So still hoping to get atleast RFE by end of AUG.

    • Hi,
      @H1b first timer, What does your analysis indicate to us? Does it mean that all those who still awaiting their petition approval need to make up their mind to receive RFE? It is totally disappointing to read through your update 🙁 however, shall we still expect something good to happen for all of us? After reading your comment, i’ve become so curious to know the reality behind this H1B approval process, as this is first time even for me.. How does this process happen? As people say, the petition selection to process is really happening randomly or will there be any priority (apart from premium processing) based on the organization/consulting companies/attorney who files/center which processes petition/amount paid for petition processing?

      Is there a deadline for USCIS to process all the petition and communicate the update to petitioner?

      @Kumar and team , If H1B first timer’s analysis is true, why is it happening like so? What could be the reason for the lessen number of approval rate on the petition after July 31st?

      Will USCIS simply make all the remaining petition to RFE, just in case if the already approved number reaches to a fixed threshold?

      • Sai, it is hard to say. It is very likely that the petitions that got RFE are waiting for response from their employer, so you can ignore that count and just look at others. I do not think USCIS would just issue RFE, if they reached approved petitions count. I believe that, With the lottery situation, there is so much chance for consulting firms to submit false information just to create an extra application in lottery, USCIS is probably trying to validate information from the petitioners.

        • Hi Kumar,
          Thanks for your response, meanwhile is there a deadline for USCIS to process all the petition and communicate the update to petitioner?

        • Yes, even I am thinking the same. The only point I am trying to make is that, maybe USCIS is more stringent with the direct approvals this year, considering the high volume(233K) of petitions filed.

  2. Hi all,

    I am expecting to get my H1B stamped on 1st week on Sept 2015.
    But due to some personal commitments, may not be able to travel immediately in Oct 2015. I will be able to travel only in Jan end /Feb start of 2016 .
    Here are my queries
    #)Is there any clause , within certain time period one should travel after stamping ? Any validity sort of thing exists ?
    #)Is Jan/Feb , good time to find jobs (for contractual consultant positions,esp in hourly terms) ?
    #)Can u share expected median hourly pay for 10 yrs exp Java lead profiles ?

    Note: My processing employer is not consulted yet. but I may not be able to travel in this Oct .

    Kindly provide your inputs , folks.

    first timer

      • So how was your interview and where did you take it ?
        You can travel at any point of time after getting a Visa approval but if your client changes,I think you will have to apply for a fresh LCA.
        salary is very dependent on your job locations so do share more details

  3. Hi Kumar,

    I have received an RFE and USCIS has asked for a detailed client letter. The original client letter that was submitted by my employer during H1B filing did not have details such as Right to Control and detailed job responsibilities. Client is not willing to provide the detailed client letter as they have a client letter template for contractors and issues the letter as per the client template. Will it lead to denial if I submit the same letter as RFE response. Will it help if I provide a BRM document along with client letter.

    • Well, it is hard to tell. Your immigration attorney is the best person to advise as he would know the best way to position your case.

  4. Does it make any significant impact for my H1B processing ? do we need any amendment for this ?

    1.I noticed that there was a small correction in beneficiary name on I797 form.
    Instead of “xxxxxxxxx RAO” it is printed as “xxxxxxxx”. Rao is misssing

    2.LCA has been Utilized for the following individuals (thro Company ) as mentioned .
    Instead of FULL NAME it is printed as “first name + last name”. missing middle name
    i’m also one of individual in the LCA.

  5. Hi , Kumar recently the H1b application status of my wife got changed to the below one “Correspondence was received and USCIS is reviewing it”.

    Can you suggest why does this mean?


  6. Hi,

    please guide, I received an rfe with mentioned that have to submit required docs before Sept.15. However i have submitted the document 13th of August. Can anyone tell, when can i expect an update. Usually how long will they take to look into my petition.

    • after submitting the RFE response, usually it takes 45 to 60 days to get the decision if its Normal processing.

      U will get the results with in 15days if its PP

      • Hi,

        My response to RFE was received by USCIS on July1st. Haven’t seen a status change after that. Do we have anyone who got their RFE responded with a decision?

  7. anyone interested to keep up-to date updates lets start having whatsapp group.anyone interested E-mail :rajeshw61+red@gmail.com

  8. Hi All,

    A small Query. My petition was posted under PP (Cap exempt) and got receipt notice mail. In that it says receipt date was 04th Aug. However when i check my case status online it says on AUG 5th we received your case. So basically when is the start date. 4th or 5th.
    Also today when i checked my case ID EAC152185* it is still in received status. However when i checked some cases after my case id i see few were approved already. Is it normal? I mean how USCIC process cases.

    • if you have proper documents there is no question of rejecting u r application, Please dnt think -ve. Please positive

  9. I got selected in the lottery but have received no updates online after that other than “April 13th… my case was received…” Is this normal as most people on the tracker seem to have some sort of update or the other. Should I be worried as October gets closer? Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.

    • I already thought, I was the only one left behind with an received date on April 13th (EAC15144*****). I know that we can only wait. But it’s driving me mad to check every day when I know deep down that I will see that “case was received” message again.
      Well, seems I’m not the only one still waiting though. So I just send some friendly waves at all my fellow sufferers.

        • You could. But that doesn’t make you get the desired visa faster. And I think you get the feeling something is wrong without updates for such a long time anyway, which in the end makes you check online again.

  10. Hi ,

    Any updates on stamping as i am planing to go for stamping in next week .

    Is it right time or shd i wait some more time ?

    Please advice.

    • so, when is your client start date? we need to plan based on the client joining date right? or can we go for stamping at any time?? thanks V

  11. As oct 1st would be starting day @ usa,till when PR cases would be in case received status?As we already in mid of aug but still my case is showing ‘My Case Was Received ‘.


  12. Hi,
    I received my approval notice but it shows that Hyderabad consulate office was intimated but, I presently work in Germany and want Munich office to be intimated. What should I do?

  13. Hi Kumar,

    My H1B petition has been approved and I’ll be attending visa interview next month.
    My previous employer raised H1B petition at 2013, my case went to RFE and then got rejected.
    While attending interview next month, will I be questioned about my previous H1B petition rejection? If so, what should I answer. My previous employer is not ready to share the reason for my H1B rejection.
    Please suggest..

    • Hi ,
      In visa interview they might ask only about the previous Visa Rejection if any.They won’t consider the past H1 Rejection moreover there can be ‘n’ of reasons for H1 rejection.
      You just stay cool and confident,everthing willbe fine.

      Good luck ….

  14. To all helpful people out there. I saw my Visa approval notice though my employer has’nt received hard copies yet. My petition was filed at Vermont and is in 146 series.

    Dear Kumar,
    Do we have a dedicated thread for Visa stamping experiences. Also, it may be a good idea of to put down “To Do” before leaving for US which can cover care about related to Financial aspects.

  15. Finally case approved….!!!! first of all thanks to GOD…!

    To all my friends who are waiting same like me and let me share with you.

    My case approved on 7th Aug. Its EAC15146***.
    Its RR/Non-AD.

  16. Hi ,

    My Employer filed my H1 petition for ClientA based in Texas and it was selected and approved as well. The Project from ClientA is not active now and Employer would do the processing for Stamping for Other ClientB.

    What is the process to change my Application from ClientA to ClientB?
    Would my application go through another Approval process for ClientB?

    • With the already approved copy, just need to file H1 – transfer of memorandum has to be filed for customer change. Normally it will take 2 weeks of time.

  17. Hi Kumar,

    Basically I am from Andhra Pradesh and working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1.5 years. I got approval for my H1 B petition. But in my approval notice they have mentioned consulate as Hyderabad. Does it mean I have to attend stamping interview at HYD consulate ? Since I am working in Kuala Lumpur can I attend stamping interview at Kuala Lumpur consulate. Please advice me.

    Thanks In Advance

    • I am in similar situation, I did appear for stamping in KL and got my visa stamped without any issues. The officer did ask me why I am getting it stamped in Malaysia and I said I am working here so it is easy for me else I would have to make special trip to India to get it stamped. There were no questions on this topic after that. My visa was stamped in 5 minutes. Although it is recommended to go to the home country I called the consulate in KL and confirmed that I am eligible to get it stamped in Malaysia. Good luck.

      • Wow that’s great help thanks for responding… And can you share interview experience(what kind of questions). Highly appreciatable 🙂 thanks

          • I am just listing some questions here. Not in the exact order they were asked:
            – How long have you been in Malaysia? My response: X months
            – What are you doing here? My response: Working for ……. company
            – What is your job role here? My response: Described my job duties
            – Are you married? My response: Yes
            – Does your spouse have visa? My response: Yes, H1B
            – Why did you apply in Malaysia when consulate says India? My response: Because I am working here, easier for me to apply else I would have to make special trip to India. I called consulate to confirm before making appointment.
            – How many years have you been married?
            – What school did you go to in US?
            – What is your degree in?
            – Does it qualify for your job description? My response: Yes, can confirm from the I797 approval packet. Listed required qualification on there.
            – How long do you intend to stay in the US? My response: Until the visa eligibility period.
            – Did you read the pamphlet which you given to you at the beginning of interview? My response: Yes
            – Please summarize what is mentioned in the pamphlet. My response: It is regarding the employment rights of an individual.. bla bla bla… Read the pamphlet carefully.
            – Okay, Visa approved. Your passport will be sent to the address mentioned.

            I received my passport in 3 days with the stamp.

  18. Hi Kumar,

    I have got selected in lottery however the Embassy approval email is not yet received, how long it would take to get it

  19. Hello,

    I think from what the RFE states – They want a proof from the Dean of the institution (the one that you got your evaluation done from) that the evaluating official has the authority to grant college-level credits. In addition, they need the Dean to include information about any programs that the institution has for granting credits to students based on their work or experience.

    I would get in touch with the Institution that did the credential evaluation and ask their head to provide a letter with all the details asked for.

    Hope this helps. All the best!

  20. How soon I can get the extension . my current status is

    Case Was Received

    On July 8, 2015, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

  21. Hi Kumar,

    My husbad got RFE for specialty Ocupation. Its that something to worry about? What is the chance to get aproved after this rfe?

    Thank you.


  22. @waiting….waiting and others, thx for the info.. pls let us know once you guys get to know any update on the petition status..
    I have a generic doubt, Is USCIS processing the petition sequentially based on the numbers allotted (ie) WAC15147/148/149 like so?
    Also, I hope USCIS process the petition from different centres (WAC,EAC, etc) simultaneously.

    • Sai,

      I don’t think that it is the case since a lot of people before and after my case number were approved while I was still waiting to hear on my case. So, I don’t think USCIS processes the applications sequentially by numbers.

  23. Hi All,
    My petition has been received by USCIS On April 13, 2015 but so far there is no progress in the state of my petition, status shows “Case Was Received”.
    It is on regular processing, anyone whose petition has been received by USCIS on the same date and awaiting approval or approved?

      • In the same page yet..mime is also WAC1514****…series and recieved on 13th april..still waiting for approval..no RFE….

        • Mine is 151405*******. I got an RFE on July 27th. Still waiting to hear back from the employer about when they actually get the notice. Haven’t received any information yet!

          • Directly approval, no RFE nothing.
            The series is wac1514 but it means nothing. After 1 month in April 10+/10- than my number were all approved…

            Practically yesterday (while I was in a meeting) I received the email of change of status online with approval

          • Hi Rob,
            congrats! is your online approval date and the received alert mail both are sync? i mean do we get the mail on the same day of approval?
            Would you mind sharing the sample mail!!! please ignore if you are not willing to!!!!

          • No they are not.
            The online alert shows the change of status in your application and inform that the notice of approval has been sent.
            It goes to attorney and employer (not to me), and I sorry I cannot share that document.

  24. Hello Kumar,
    I have worked with a company for 3 years and my visa was expired in june 30th, However My company have applied for 3 more years and i got 3 years H1B visa. Do I have to wait till October 1st to enter the USA or can i enter the USA whenever i want?

      • Hello Kumar,

        I got an RFE for my H1B petition…Seeking guidance
        I am regular NON AD Vermont
        Anybody knows what am I supposed to do?
        I am B.Tech from NIT and already submitted ECE U.S. education equivalence evaluation report to USCIS.
        RFE says as follows:
        “Credential evaluation Submitted with the petition was an evaluation of the beneficiary’s education however the official did not include with this evaluation a letter from the dean or provost of the official’s affiliated educational institution, stating that the evaluating official has the authority to grant college-level credit for training and/or experience. The dean or provost must also state in the letter whether the affiliated educational institution has a program for granting credit based on an individual’s training and/or work experience.”

        • Your attorney is the best person to guide on these kind of complexities. Maybe you would have to get a letter from the University. It seems, with so many universities in India, USCIS is asking more questions to verify the credibility of the institution.

  25. 1. Your petition valid from oct 1, so u can fix appointment for stamping from July 1.
    2. Starts from day of entry to US but not sure..
    3.You can change the employer once ur VISA is stamped,bcoz ur current employer may withdraw ur case in case if u try to resign.so wait till stamping.

  26. Hi,

    I applied H1B through US consultancy from India. Got picked up in lottery and got approved on July 13. I am trying to reach my consultancy but they are not responding to calls / Mails.

    Is there something fishy with consultancy?

    Please help me what are the options available for me now in case consultancy people try to cheat.


  27. sorry to spam, but want to share IRS spam info. Interestingly the guy on other side was desi who want to fraud.
    where to send the story.

  28. Hi,

    My case was approved on 2nd July, I didn;t receive hard copy of the approved petition yet. My consultancy says, neither they have received it from USCIS. What could be the reason except postal delay?

  29. Hi!

    My application is in RFE. Basically, it was related to education. I have BSC Computer Science, and that may be the query from that as it comes as a 15 years of education only. As I have professional experience of 10 years, hope this will not be an issue as heard that, each 3 years of experience will be calculated as 1 year of education.
    Please advise if all goes good after consultancy provides my experience information


      • Did you apply through company or consultancy.Also,did you submitted education evaluation along with your petition.

        • Submitted through consultancy, hope they have taken all necessary steps, they are saying that, will take care of RFE

          • consultancy name guys …?
            My consultancy told not worry about RFE (received on 13th July) and Attorney will take care of it but no status update since then?
            Expected attorney would have responded to RFE by now…

      • Can you tell us the date when you received RFE, which date did you resubmit documents and which date you got your approval??

        • I too have received RFE related to my education and i had to show them a progressive experience to equate the 1 year missing education with 3 years of work experience in progressive responsible role. My company applied for me and now it is cleared.

          I hope you will get it… I know how frustrating the situation could be. Dont loose faith.

          • Same case with me, i got RE on July 21 stating i have 15 yrs of education. They wanted some evaluation and now consultancy is asking to get different format of exp letters from my previous companies. I hold 7.5 years of exp with B.Sc as my highest degree, please shed some light if some one gone through same or related scenario.

          • Not just the Experience letters. You need to show them the progressive experience on how you are given progressive responsible job and also you gained experience working on challenging technology where your colleagues or supervisor is more than BS with 16 years of education. Your missing one year is equivalent to 3 years of progressive experience.

            Please note that this is not just a experience letter… it is to show the adjudicator that you have sufficient knowledge gained via working 3 years in a progressive responsible role… you must list out all the work so these experience letter will be valuated by a college professor who can grant the credits and confirm your missing one year is equivalent to 3 years of progressive experience.

            Most times you need to show your whole experience is in progressively responsible role…

            I have gone through this phase and i know how painful it is after the 1:4 lottery selection.

          • Arvind.. what is the procedure to get the progressive exp letters? I have applied my h1 from US based consultancy. Am in Qatar now.. my previous employers are top 3 MNCs..am not sure if they gonna issue me those details. Please advise me or leave me your contact number. if not please whats app me on +97450294087

  30. Enyone from accenture got approval??…pls reply eager to here as mine name was accepted in lottery on 13th may..still awaiting…

  31. Hi,
    Is that mandatory to carry Original Marks Memo’s
    (X, XII and Graduation)?
    I have all the experience/relieving letters. And photo copies of Marks memo’s.


  32. Hi KUMAR

    I have a question, my wife is moving with me if everything going well with the process of getting the h1b visa, it is required to specify that she is a dependant of me in the i-129 form or just will need my h1b approved and d160 form?


    • No need to worry, once you have the H1B approved, you can book the visa appointment for you and your wife and attend visa interview together. Check out the visa experiences section to get an idea of interview of H4 and H1B, including docs required.

  33. Hi Kumar,
    My case got approved and I would like to know more info about the below point from your article.
    “Having said that, some employers or consulting companies, withhold the actual copy of approval notice for some time so that they can send the same when they need the candidate to travel to US or have leverage to bargain or terms, etc…again, it depends…”

    Q: For how long they can withhold the approval notice ?
    Q: If employer do not have any requirement for next 1 year ?
    Q: Can we attend interview any time for now even next year ?

    Please answer

    • 1. Well, it is your employer’s choice. Technically, they filed it and you have no right, it is up to them.
      2. Again, it is employer’s wish.
      3. Yes, you can attend anytime. It is important to carry all relevant documentation that employer sends for the stamping.

  34. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for writing these, it is very informative and I completely depend on this site.

    I lost my passport with B1 Visa, I applied H1b using old passport.
    my H1b is now in approved status but did not get papers from the employer, my current employer in India ( not filled H1b) wanted me to get B1 visa as i need to travel USA in September for month. I have below questions
    1) Can I go for B1 VISA in August? is it recommended to go for it?
    2) Is there any problem attending B1 and H1b visa interviews in a month time?
    3) Is it OK to travel in September in B1 visa?
    3) Is there any thing I need to do with respect to passport for H1b?

    Can you please guide me on this situation, what will be the best option for me?

    Thank you.

    • 1. Yes, you can.
      2. In general, both are totally different visas. So, it should not be an issue.
      3. Yes, you can. You have to indicate at the port of entry the visa you are entering with so that the officer at entry is aware of your visa that you are entering with.
      4. Well, I suggest you work with your employer’s attorney and take their advice.

  35. Hi,
    Does I-797 mentions anything about the no. of years that H1B is granted or we get to know about this only after VISA stamping?

    Also, can someone shed light on I-797 approval notice.

  36. Hello Kumar,

    I’ve got picked on May 2015. Got a Case number. But since then… No news… Online Status is : Case Was Received.

    I don’t know if the case was approved, if I’m rejected… We’re end of July. Waiting that long to get news is something usual ? It’s just killing me…

    Thanks in advance for your time !

    • It is pretty usual, nothing to worry ! If you want quicker decision, you can always upgrade to Premium processing to be adjudicated in 15 days. yes, the wait is long and painful, I an empathize, but there is no choice 🙁

  37. Some questions:

    1. After filling DS-160 form, and scheduling an interview, anything else should be made?
    2. Beside the papers USCIS sent back (approval notice) what else should i bring to the interview?
    3. If i have a tourist visa B1/2 – does the embassy cancel it? can i keep both visas?
    4. what are the limits of going outside the US during the H1-B visa? can i go in/out as much as i want during the 3 years?
    5. What is the process of getting a SSN? Can it be done before entering the US? How?


    • 1. Attend the interview 🙂
      2. Check the Visa experiences section, there are quite a few articles with checklist.
      3. You can hold both. Usually, it should not be cancelled by visa office, but again, it is up to the discretion of the Visa officer.
      4. No limits
      5. No, you need to be in US. SSA.gov has quite a bit of info, but let me write an article on this.

  38. Hi Kumar,
    I am done with my H1B visa stamping, yesterday I have received my passport.
    Under annotation section for H1b we generally find a comment like “Valid only after 22nd September 2016 “, but in my passport this comment is not there. Will this create any issues.
    Rest everything is printed correctly..like petitioner name, receipt number etc…
    I already had H4 stamping which is valid till dec 2016. Is this the reason for not printing that comment under annotation.
    Please give me ur comment…
    Thank You…

      • HI,
        Following is my experience…..
        – Exchanged greetings..
        – Who is your petitioner
        – How many people are working there
        – what is your annual salary
        – Who is your client
        – What is your clients specialization
        – What are your job responsibility
        Answered them confidently and my visa got approved…
        Just a small suggestion to guys who are going for stamping…When you are answering just provide exact answers…Give NO MORE NO LESS information….and do not volunteer information…these are the golden rules you should follow…even a single additional word might give u negative results…so be-careful and be confident…
        All the very best to all u guys/gals….

    • No, it is not necessarily true you will have to get it with annotation. In my experience, very few get with annotation…and it does not matter As long as everything else is fine, nothing to worry. You can only enter 10 days prior to your start date…

  39. Thanks kumar for the write up. being first time for H1b,i have a doubt
    What is this 90 days concept? from when this 90 days count starts?

    can you please be kind in explaining the same,…

    • 90 days before the start date printed on your H1B approval notice. Read the article again, I have explained it with example in it 🙂

  40. Thanks a lot for the info, Kumar.
    Can you also write or mention about the steps for Dependent visa.
    How and when to apply for dependent visa etc.


  41. Hi,
    can some one help me with the information about online diploma course courses offered by any college near Texas
    Thanks in Advance .


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