H1B Checklist for Application

Apply H1B Visa Documents CheckList ? Cost ? What NOT to give ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 620 Comments

Applying for H1B visa could be a very lengthy process and could be very tricky. There are many employers, especially from bodyshop kind of companies, back in India that can ask you for stuff you do not need to  lock them with you. I will try to explain documents needed, exact cost and what you should not do in this article.

Very important. What you should NOT give to H1B sponsoring company?

Consultancies aka IT Body Shop companies sometimes trick you if you do not know the process. They ask you for original certificates, passport and all other originals. You should NEVER give original documents of mark sheets, passport or any other documents to anyone.  You will need to carry the originals when you go for visa stamping, but not for applying.  USCIS will not ask for originals. There are always some exceptions and if they ask, please ask your H1B filing employer to show you exactly what they got from USCIS and then only submit if needed.   If you give the originals, you are stuck with the employer who filed. DO NOT give any originals.

Checklist of documents required for applying H1B :

This is a very high level checklist for applying for H1B. There may be some exceptions, but for the most part, here is what you need :

  • Copy of all educational certificates of your Bachelors (also Masters if applicable) degree including mark sheets.
  • Copy of Degree award certificates
  • Copy of Passport- all pages
  • If degree from US, Transcript and degree award certificate.
  • If degree from US, Copy of I-20
  • If you are in US, copy of I-94
  • Copy of latest Resume.
  • Work experience certificates (if any )
  • If you already have a H1B approval, copy of previous H1B approval notice, I-797 form.
  • If you are transferring H1B, copy of recent 3 months paystubs from your previous employer
  • If you have any evaluation reports from work, copy of them too.
  • If you have lived in US and paid taxes, copy of previous W2 tax forms.
  • If you have lived in US, copy of your driving license or state ID
  • If you have lived in US and have SSN, copy of your Social Security Card.
  • If you have done education evaluation, copy of the education evaluations too.

How much does filing H1B really Cost?

The H1B fee varies by the size of the company..As of FY 2020 season, it can range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee. On December 23, 2016 , USCIS increased the H1B fee component of base filing fees to $460 USD, which was $325. There are various fees components that make up this number range, for full details check H1B Visa Filing Fee Details – Summary 

You should check USCIS website for correct H1B filing fee, as they revise fee every year or so.

Who pays for the H1B Visa petition filing Cost or Fee ?

As an employee you should not pay any fee for H1B petition, majority of it is your prospective employer’s or H1B Sponsor’s expense and their responsibility to pay for all the expenses regarding H1B filing… Overall, do NOT be tricked by your H1B filing employer/ IT body shop company. Think, ask and then act accordingly!

Understand H1B Visa Holder Rights – US Department of Labor Assistant

If you a new H1B seekers or an existing H1B employee, it is important for you to understand the rights of H1B worker. US Department of Labor has put up a nice assistant for you to give guidance on various aspects like Immigration Fee, Bench Pay,  Wages, etc. Read H1B Holder Rights Assistant by US Dept of Labor

What has been your experience ? What is the check list ?


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Comments ( 620 )

  1. aru

    Hello i am going to apply H1 b visa i have all the documents except my bachelors original degree but i have provisonal certificate and all the transcripts and i have masters degree with original degree and all transcripts .will it be a problem?

  2. Ravi

    For H1B do we need to provide an educational certificate for 10 to Master degree?
    If my high school and B.SCmarksheets are in Hindi then do I need to translate in English notarized for applying H1B?

    While applying H1B my passport has current passport no but my PP is in renewal state so can I update the passport no after getting new passport no in H1b petition?

    1. administrator

      Yes, you need to translate to English and also get them evaluated by an agency. Check with your attorney, they will guide you with the process. Yes, you submit whatever passport you have not, you can use your new passport once you get the new one, it should be fine.

  3. Aruna B N

    My name is Arun
    I awaiting the BSC final year results 1) can I apply the H-1B vissa for working in USA in hotel,
    2)The company CEO mail for me you should bear the $450 u s dollars and I will give you passport and visa for 2 years and the $450 u s dollars give back to you after joining you.but I doubt about this mail can you give me a solution about this.thease conversation in only a mail no direct meeting with us

    1. administrator

      1. Well, probably not.
      2. No, this is fraud. Beware of Fraud. Do NOT pay anyone or send anything. You should never pay anyone.

      1. vishwanath kanchibhotla

        Hey Kumar can you help me with this

        i’ve got a new job in one of the reputed company recently. I graduated 2017 but didnt work the whole 2018 year. i got job in feb 2019. so can i apply for h-1 visa this year. Heard that to apply H-1 visa atleast 3 minimum pay slips should run. Is it true?

        Thank you

  4. Vikas

    My petition is filled by attorney through my employer, I was curious to understand following:

    1. If petition is filed by attorney who physical signs the form?
    2. I did not understand mode of petition filling. The petition is filled online or it is done offline? Do we get application id or any other reference number to track the application?
    3. I saw on USCIS website regarding sending package of documents, when exactly the package/documents are sent to USCIS?
    4. During month of May, USCIS published that data entry is done for all the selected applications, what exactly happens during data entry ? Dont they take online details from petitioner?

    Could you please help me with these questions for my knowledge.

    1. administrator

      1. Both will have their respective places and they will sign. Usually HR and attorney.
      2. It is offline. Only LCA is online. If you get selected in lottery, then you get a case number to track.
      3. During first week of April.
      4. It means that they entered all selected petitions in the online system and you can expect case receipts for those petitions. Once your employer/ attorney gets petition case receipt , you can check details on USCIS site for the same.

      1. Vikas

        Thanks for your reply.
        I wonder how USCIS manages such a huge number of offline applications. Not sure how the lottery happens? Do they assign some number before lottery?

        1. administrator

          That’s why they take forever to process them 🙂 Yes, they give a sequence number only for lottery, but that is not the case number. After lottery, the selected ones get a case number.

  5. Sai

    I travelled out of US in January, hence got new i20 and additional stamps in passport, however my attorney did not include these in the H1b petition and now he says it does not affect the approvability , is that true? If yes, then why do we usually submit all pages of passport ?

    1. administrator

      Yes, it should not matter. It is usually to track the other visas given to you by other countries, etc.

  6. Yon19

    ok hello, i hope i will get an answer soon. 
    i am yon am from Ethiopia. recently I’ve received a job Offer from this huge company in the US. i sent my resume and cover letter and they get back to me and asking me many questions online, i answered truthfully and on the next 2,3 days they get back to me again saying i got the job offer with many legal issues, salary fee, working hours and stuff like that and i have to scan and send them my passport, passport Number and other documents for them to apply in the US Embassy. honestly i thought it was a joke but i did and its more realistic now. my point is what do i do now. wait them to get back to me or try to know how it is going? i didn’t even know about USCIS, LCA, DOL or Even what H1B means before 2weeks. so any advice you please? thank you!

    1. administrator

      You just wait for them to come back. You can keep in close contact with them and ask for the H1B receipt notice details once they have it so that you can track your case too.

  7. Ravi

    Hi, Can i change the passport no (change the place of birth in new passport) after my name will come in lottery and before visa stamping?

    1. administrator

      You can change your passport anytime, if some of the details are wrong. As long as you carry both passports, you are fine.

  8. J

    Hi, my name is J,

    I had a question about passport copies required. I am currently on F-1 and I am in the process of supplying documents to sponsoring company’s immigration team for a new H-1B petition. I was asked to supply photocopies of all pages of current and expired passports.
    I got the part that says all pages, but I didn’t understand why all expired passports? In my case I had a recent renewal so I am still carrying the last expired passport with US visa on it so I definitely need to photocopy that one but other than that I couldn’t see relation to go back to expired passports.
    I am comparing this to the time I was applying for F-1 visa, I was asked to provide countries visited last 10 years, but was not asked to provide passport photocopies.
    I am trying to understand requirement because there is no mention of this on USCIS page, or instructions of forms associated with the petition (e.g. I-129) for new petitions, so why was I asked to provide that? it would really help if there is an official reference I can read.


    1. administrator

      I guess they are asking to avoid RFEs in future. To avoid issues, the attorneys usually submit all the copies of old passports as well. Not all documents would be listed on USCIS website and you may not find official reference.
      You can risk RFE, by not providing it, but what do you lose by submitting old passport copies. My personal experience, I had submitted copies of all my expired passports to visa processing for Australia Embassy and other countries too…

  9. Anil

    Hi Saurabh,

    This year my employer going to apply H1B for me. I have all education certificates and marksheets( 10+ 2 + diploma + BE).Issue is I was failed
    In first attempt of 12 standard but passed in second attempt.I don’t have fail year marks .Please let me know it’s mandatory to submit during applying H1B.

  10. rega

    Hi ,

    I am going for H1B . I had backlogs in first and fourth sem which i cleared in subsequent sem. Now i have marksheets of the re-attempts when i passed the exam but not of the failed attempts. Do i need marksheets of failed attempt also for H1B. Will it be ok if i only get the transcript from university.

  11. Hafiz Ali Raza

    I have done Becholers in Banking and Finance and im looking for H1b visa sponsor but i never get any employer till now.
    so please guid me in this regards.
    H.Ali Raza

  12. jatin

    Hi Jatin,

    Actually, I got my Master Degree(Computer Science) in the USA and My college is not eligible for master quota H1B. One of my friends got RFE on this college and said that degree is not valid. So, can I file my H1b on my India Bachelor degree (B.pharm) as a regular quota.
    Please help me.


  13. Rishab Mahajan

    I am Rishab can i apply for h1b visa with a bachelors degree in business administration from india (3 years ) and a associate degree in interior designing (2 years )from USA

  14. Shubh

    My H1B Petition was approved last year in 2016 with my old Passport number. I have my new passport starting this year. Now when I am going for Stamping ; should I book my appointment based on my new valid passport? (My old passport number is mentioned in my petition).


    1. administrator

      You should use your current passport that is valid. Yes, old passport number will be referenced, so it should be fine.

  15. Ebenezer

    My name is Ogundele Ebenezer, am planning to apply for H1b visa but I don’t have your bachelor’s degree can I qualify without bachelor degree. But i have Higher National Diploma.

    Am I eligible for H1B visa.


    1. administrator


      You should get your education evaluated by an education equivalency agency in US. Once you know what the US equivalent of your education is, you would know whether you qualify or not. To qualify, you need at least 16 years of US equivalent education. If not, then you need at least 3 years of relevant work experience for each missing year of education.

  16. Roy

    My name is Roy. I rencntly did my bachelor. My cgpa is good but i have 5 f grade on my mark sheet and certificates. I am worry about aplly h1b. Is there any problem in 5fail course. Please answer.

  17. PRO_jai

    I am on a H1b visa and transferring to an another company. When the attorney’s filed a transfer, USCIS have asked for more documents(RFE) related to education and the occupation I am going to do. Here is the question.
    I have an UG in Mechatronics engineering and am doing a masters in Data science(yet to be completed), but when the attorneys submitted the education document they did not provided anything about my masters and even after RFE they are refusing to provide the transcripts saying that they will do evaluation and submit a supporting case. should I push them to submit my masters transcripts or just let them take care of it

          1. administrator


            As the RFE has to be responded by the attorney, you can only hope that they have your best interest in mind and know what they are doing.

  18. Suchi


    My H1 is approved last year but stamping is still not done. I recently traveled to India to get stamping done. But while went for stamping they told still pending with some docs from employer. When contacted employer they are not responding properly and saying still in progress. Is new rules causing employer to delay this?

  19. Spia


    I am a recent graduate and i have started working with a company on full time basis. They are sponsoring my H1-B this year. USPS has lost my original EAD while delivering, so i have applied for a new one. But it still has not been received. I am working with the company on basis of my Receipt. Will this cause a problem ?

    1. administrator


      I assume you mean applied for duplicate copy and not a new one. I think it should be ok as you are really approved for the EAD. Although you wouldn’t know what the expiration date is as the online status would just show it as approved. What did your employer do for I-9 verification?

  20. Anindita Roy

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for the info you provide here!! Question for you.. I have a high GPA for my graduate (masters) degree, but my undergrad degree really suffered from a few F’s in my first two 2 years of undergrad (I did graduate though, and did much better after changing programs!!). Will they actually read through my undergrad transcript?? Should I be afraid that my application will be denied because of my bad grades from more than 10 years ago? (Also, I work for a big tech company, and it’s never come up there thankfully!).

    Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated… thanks!

    1. administrator

      As you are not a fresh college grad, your grades should not matter. You are offered a role because you have the experience, that’s the logical way to look at it…Dont worry too much on this.

  21. Sonu

    I don’t have my UG degree certificate rather I have provision certificate. I have joined the new company with the PG certificates alone. But now, when company applies for H1B, they are asking for UG certificate. Can you please let me know what will happen in this scenario?

    1. administrator

      It is required document for applying for H1B. I guess, you will have to go and get your UG Certificate from the University, where you studied from…

  22. Kyle

    Hello Saurabh,

    Is submission of social security absolutely necessary for the H1B application? What does immigration typically do with social security? Do they run applicants’ social to search for identification, criminal or employment history?


  23. Gangula

    Hello Everyone,

    This is Gangula, I’m on F1 visa status did my masters in a for-profit university, I have seen issues with public and for-profit university very lately I regret my decision. So right now I’m on my OPT and planning to work in my uncle’s hospital as a data analyst and he is willing to apply for my H1 and all other stuff. As per the rule my masters degree doesn’t belong in master’s cap, can I file my H1 in general quota and I did my bachelors in electrical and electronics engineering and I have 1 yr experience in a company as data analyst and did my masters in IT. Will there be a problem if work for a hospital as data analyst.

  24. tarun

    I have applied fr H1B through consultancy.on they say That ur visa application has been final only stamping remains.now they are demanding me 5000 USD as basic travelling allowance.I want to know that is it mandatory to have traveller cheque of 5000 USD.

    Please its my request to guide me immediately as I have flight at 17 SEP2016

    1. administrator


      That is SHADY. Don’t give them any money. Are you sure your petition has been approved? Have you seen your approval notice?

      They claim that stamping is still left and you have flight on Sep 17. Do you have a visa stamping date prior to that?

      Something doesn’t look correct over here.

  25. Ritu

    please solve my problem, my daughter has a different birthday date in 10th marksheet & passport.Passport is original one. Will this create any problems in future coz school is not cooperating in changing the date. I m too too much tensed. She is in 12th now

    1. administrator

      Dont worry too much. You can always go to the local municipality office and get a birth certificate with the correct info in it. That will be a backup for anything. Also, in general, Passport is the base document that anyone will look at for date of birth.

    2. administrator


      From H-1 or H-4 perspective, it doesn’t matter what her 10th certificate says. They would rely on the passport date. Do you have the birth certificate for her? What’s the date mentioned there?

  26. Shrikant

    Hi Saurabh,

    Please ignore earlier post: A few corrctions..

    I got selected in lottery this year and just realized that I messed up sending the passport copy. I did send the copy of all passport pages. But while checking the docs yesterday I realized I sent the copy scanned in Jan 2015. After that i had travelled to dubai in March 2015. I had completely forgotten about my travel so I did not scan the passport again.

    Now the sent passport does not have this stamp and am very worried.

    Can you please let me know what happens in such scenarios?

    1. administrator


      No worries. Dubai is not a high alert country for them. So even if omitted, it is not a big deal. When appearing for visa interview, you will have to include all countries visited recently.

  27. Shrikany

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got selected in lottery this year and just realized that I messed up sending the passport copy. I did send the copy of all passport pages. But while checking the docs yesterday I sent the copy scanned in Jan 2015. After that i had travelled to dubai in March 2016. I had completely forgotten about my travel so I did not scan the passport again.

    Now the sent passport does not have this stamp and am very worried.

    Can you please let me know what happens in such scenarios?

  28. Kyle

    Hello Saurabh,

    Is it an absolute must to provide all W2 tax forms for the H1B application? I might not have all my W2 tax forms.



    1. administrator


      Not mandatory at all. These are good to have documents to show that you have maintained legal status. If USCIS officer has doubts then they may ask for W-2s but it is ok to submit some/none during initial submission.

  29. RP

    Hi Saurabh,

    I sent only first and last pages of my current passport and forgot to send all pages of my current passport and previous passport.

    Will it be problem during approval process or USCIS will issue RFE?

    I’m happy for my lottery and sad about missing documents to submit

    Please clarify my doubt.

    1. administrator


      Not a big deal. They may not ask for remaining pages, but even if they do it would be a simple RFE which you can address.

  30. vishal

    HI All, My name is vishal and I am on F1 visa right now, which going to be expire in May 2018. I am in school right now i can finish my study this year or either next year and My question is if i will finish my school by April 2017 and I will file H1 in April 2018 does they consider that my visa is going to be expire in next month after filling my H1. so does they effect on my H1 file or not?
    really need help

    1. administrator


      Visa stamp in passport is just for entry to US and doesn’t impact H-1 processing. What would matter is when you are graduating and when your OPT is expiring. This will control the SEVIS record. What are your OPT plans and does it qualify for STEM?

  31. Shreyas

    A consultancy firm called – Wireclass has asked me to pay $1100 for Training and then they will interview me with the Client. Only when I clear the interview and get theh offer letter, will Wireclass file my H1b.

    Is Wireclass a trustworthy company to go with?

    1. Sameer

      Hi Shreyas,

      My name is Sameer and I have plans of joining wireclass. My email ID is pandit.samee yahoo com. I would love to hear your personal experience, reviews and advise on wireclass. Please see if you could send me an email regarding this.

  32. Richard

    Right now I am on J1 internship visa, which will expire in the middle of July 2016. I am still a senior student ( in the 4th year of study ). My major is Software Engineering and I am doing an internship in the same field.

    My company where I do internship would like to apply for H1B visa that I could work for them after my internship.

    I won’t have a diploma on April 1st, but I’ve read on quora “… you’ve completed all your work and exams for Spring semester but don’t have your degree because your college doesn’t hold graduation exercises until later in the year, you may be able to apply before graduation”.

    Am I eligible for H1B and is it enough to have a proof from the university that ‘Estimated date of graduation is June 30, 2016″? I have all credits which I need for graduation, just need to defend bachelor thesis.


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