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 2018 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, 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 6 months.
As an employee you should not pay any fee for H1B petition it is your prospective employers 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!
What has been your experience ? What is the check list ?