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New H1B / L1 visa stamping documents checklist by US Consulate Office

Some of you may have got H1B visa petitions approved and thinking of going to visa stamping sometime soon. We H1B Visa Stamping Documents Check Liststart to ask people on what documents to carry for H1B visa stamping and try to get the checklist of documents.  With New H1B visa rules of 2011, seems the document list has expanded and consular officer is looking for more information/ documents than usual for granting visa at the visa interview. Recently, US Consulate General of Hyderabad in India released the check list of documents for H1B or L visa stamping interview. I will share these details below:

List of documents to be carried for H1B/L1 visa stamping

Typically for interview one used to carry just these documents :

  • Original Passport
  • Photo
  • Visa Application forms
  • Visa approval Notice and other supporting documents

Now, from employer or the H1B/L1 Sponsor/Petitioner, you are suggested to carry these documents, It does not say mandatory, but says suggested. (Substitute L1 wherever you see H1B for L1 visa holders)

  • H1B visa Petition and Supporting docs filed with USCIS
  • Employment contract letter signed by you and the H1B visa sponsor
  • Your H1B Sponsor’s Income tax returns of last two years and Financial statements
  • Notarized list of all the H1B Sponsor’s employees at the listed job site with specified information about each employee.
  • H1B sponsor’s  State unemployment  wage reports for wages paid to employees within the state
  • Letter from Client company regarding project and copy of contract between H1B sponsor and client with all the details of time of project, agreement, etc
  • Copy of contract between H1B sponsor and the job site ( the location where you will work)
  • Letter from job site that there is a vacancy for you to work there
  • A detail report on the project that you will work on at client including the technical details, time line, current status, employees assigned, etc

You will have to carry these personal documents as applicable

  • Your personal license to practice your profession in America
  • Original documents of all Academics credentials like degree certificates
  • Work experience documents from previous jobs, etc
  • Old passport (if any)
  • If you were in US, evidence of extension of stay
  • If you worked in US before, W2 forms and other tax filings for all those years

In all honesty, the list of the documents that the US consular office suggests to carry to  visa stamping interview is really hard to get.  We do not know the implications of this list of documents posted on their site and how it may impact the visa stamping; they say that it is suggested to carry these documents. We will have to find out and see how things go. Do NOT be scared by looking at the list, talk to your employer and see what they think about it and carry as much as you can.

If you have gone to H1B/L1 visa stamping recently please send me an email with your experience, I will share it with our readers.

Reference :


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  1. Hi Saurabh,

    My employer now has refused to give me original I-797. She just gave me the original I-94 attached to it. When I asked her about the original I-797, she said the second para of I-797 says “The petitioner should keep the upper portion of this notice. The lower portion should be given to the worker.” She wants me to quote the same words to VO if he/she asks me about original I-797. I am not sure if this would be fine with the VO. Is there anything I can do about it.


    • Usually VOs ask for original 797. But I think the copy would work as well. I checked on the US consulate site (Hyderabad), and list copy of 797 as required document. So it might work out.

  2. company is processing L1 (Blanket). So, many people saying that there would be no back ground verification for education. Please let me know will they do any back ground verification for education certificates or not?

    Please let me know..Thanks in advance..

  3. Hi,
    I have an approved H1b from a consulting company here in US. Visa starts from Oct’11 and I am planning to go to Nepal for stamping on November 2011. I came to US in F1 visa in 2008 and have not returned since then. I am working as a contractor in a client site. Given this background,
    1)Can you please list me the documents that i need to prepare for visa stamping.
    2)Do I need a letter from client site that talks about my role and position?
    3)Do I need to present bank balance certificate for stamping?

    Please let me know soon.

    • 1. Payslips, W2 (if any), employer-employee relationship document, employer docs, resume, 797, I-129, client information etc
      2. Yes, it should be a contract b/w employer and the client stating the dates, roles, responsibilities etc
      3. Payslips should be sufficient. But if you want you can carry bank statements as well for last 2 months.

  4. hello sir,
    This is satish from INDIA,I got offer letter from PANA Community hospitals,Illinois,
    USA, they offered me $12200 per month and one more thing they don’t providing visa to me they mentioned a mediator how to conform it is fake or real,
    and how to get h1b visa with that offer letter . plz reply me sir


    • Search for the employer(s) online and see what results you get. Also, go to FLC datacenter and look for past H-1s filed by them. Are they asking for any money for filing? If yes, then that’s the first red flag.

  5. Hi,

    My company is planning to apply L1 for me. I saw your checklist. I currently have only the Original Masters degree and Marksheets in my hand. this i did through distance mode. My friend told that i need to submit and take only the highest degree certificate with me and accordingly i can show or mention only about the masters whererever required in the forms. I would be thankful if you could please clarify that if that is sufficient.


  6. Iam preparing for my H1b stamping.Could you please answer the below questions..

    1) Is a job requirement letter from client required or just an agreement letter between client and my employer enough ?

    2) Currently I have a client letter stating they have verified and found my profile required for completion of project but not the explicit position ? However the Employer – Client agreement letter does contain the open position.Is this fine.

    3) Also the my profile submitted initially to USCIS along with the petition shows only projects that I worked where in Java.The project that I would be going is for a .Net.
    Is that fine ? I have hands on .Net exposure also but its not mentioned in the initally submitted profile. Will my 4 year graduation project certificate in .Net be enough in case i might be required to explain this ? But this is some 4 years back …

    4) Can you please confirm the original documents that I need to carry.
    Only the I-797 and my certificate require original ?…I just have copies for all other documents..

    5) H1B application was made in 2010 and the dates in vacancy letter and notarsied employee list are all 2010 used at the time of submission of petition. Is that fine when I go for interview now ? My petition actually got approved only in Aug this year…

    • 1. Agreement b/w employer and client is enough as long as it mentions your name
      2. Yes it is fine. You can carry both of them.
      3. It would be good to highlight in your resume how you fit the position
      4. That is correct – only 797 is required in original
      5. It’s good to carry more recent documents as lot might have changed in last 1 year.

  7. Hi Saurabh
    I am working in MNC since last 4 years. I have experience letter of previous employer but for my previous to previous employer, it was a small firm,not having website of company, has been closed since long. I worked in this firm,but do not have contact information of colleagues right now. Also, in experience letter,there is no website mentioned and owner’s personal email id is mentioned as there was no online process. Apart from experience letter,I don’t have any proof/documents.Yes, some web links/blogs are available which can shows existence of that firm. So, I want your input here,If I can try with showing experience of this closed firm or I can skip, and show only current and previous employer experience. Also, I guess in case of background check,owner of company may not be co operate for it if he is contacted.
    I am eligible for L1 Visa application even if I skip this firm’s experience;

    • A lot of companies get closed over course of time, and I think visa officers take that into consideration. If the experience from that company is not relevant, then you can skip it. Otherwise you can put it in there and if asked let VO know that it no longer exists.

      For L-1, the VO is more interested in your current skill set (specialized knowledge of employer’s tools/applications/technologies) than your past experiences.

      • Saurabh

        Thanks for your quick reply. I got your point but If I skip this experience then
        there will be gap in my graduation year and my previous company joining date.
        So if this is fine, I can skip that closed firm’s experience. Please advise.

        • Then go ahead and mention it. Like I said, that’s not the biggest point of concern for visa officer when evaluating you for L-1 visa. If I were you I will not skip it as that additional experience may come in handy in future (for example when filing GC).

          • Hi Saurabh

            I got your point here. As I told you I worked in that small firm which is closed, and I have only exp certificate and not any other evidance.Even I don’t have pay slips for that firm as I was paid with cash and no PF was deducted. As I said,my current MNC’s experience is 4 yrs and previous company’s all evidance I have ..This is in regard of previous to previous company’s point.In case, If I am questioned for more docs,I will simply tell them that this firm is closed and I have only exp certificate. In worst case, I think if they don’t consider this as relevant exp then I will apply again with skipping this firm’s exp. Pls advise.

  8. I am leaving for my H1B stamping to India next month, my question are

    1. Do we need an original experience letter from the previous employer or would a scanned copy be enough? i have just a scanned copy and my previous employer is not comfortable in providing the original letter to me.. is that an issue?

    2. I have (copies) of my 1-29 and LCA and letter my company sent to USCIS while applying for the petition. is that enough or do i need original LCA and original letter from my company to USCIS?

    3. Also it will be great if you can let me know the list of letters that i need to get from my company before appearing for stamping.

    BTW this would be my first H1B stamping..

    Thanks for you help!!

    • 1. Should be fine. If questioned, you can let them know the reason. Carry contact information of employer in case USCIS decides to do a b/g check.
      2. Copies are fine.
      3. If you are going to work for a consulting company, then carry project/client information as well. Also, carry letter from the employer stating their intent to hire you and what your major responsibilities will be.

      • Thanks saurabh! I was filling my DS 160 form and i have some question
        1. have you made specific travel plans yes/no?
        they are asking for date of arrival and departure from us.. at this point i only know the date of arrival in US.. how do i handle this question?

        2. I was denied my F1 visa the first time but got approved the 2nd time. do i need to mention this as well?

        3. have you even been ten printed? i am not sure what to answer fro this as well cos i do not remember.

        4. Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services?(This is my first H1b filed for me by a company) should i answer yes or no?

        Thanks again!

        • 1. Give the departure date as end date of your 797 petition.
          2. I think there is a question asking about past refusals. You need to mention about this in that question.
          3. I don’t what the right answer would be, but if you want to err on the side of caution, then mention no.
          4. No. H-1 is not an immigrant petition by itself.

  9. Hi,

    I am currently working for a MNC in India and associated with this company from last 6yrs. I joined here by keeping 3yrs of fake experience from another MNC.
    I am having business visa and travelled US 5times on business visa. Please let me know if there are any problems applying for H1B through my company, with with H1b will be filed by my company with the experience of 6yrs(current)+3yrs(fake).

    • Personally, I do not support any person applying H-1 w/ fake resume/experience. It not only hampers once own chance of getting H-1, it gives USCIS another reason to tighten the screw around the system and make genuine candidates suffer.

      You have enough years of experience; why mention the fake experience when applying for H-1?

  10. Hi, Urgent help required!!!

    This is kumar, last week i got a H1b petition from my employer. unfortunatly my current employment details populated wrongly in only one place of petitioner letter , instead of july it is shown as March. Will it affected when i go for interview? How can i correct it before go for visa interview? Help me.

    • I didn’t understand what you mean by petitioner letter. Are you referring to a letter that your employer has written to the consulate or DS form?

  11. Hii,

    I am a director in my company and hold a 10 % stake. I have just completed my BSC-IT through distance education and have approx 5 year experience.
    now I am applying for L1A visa. could you please let me know my educational background would not create any problem.

  12. Hi Saurabh,

    I am supposed to be going for my H1B Stamping but my employer is not ready to provide me the tax returns and notarized list of all the employees. I am unable to find the documents required for H1B listed in the USCIS Link. When I told him about the forums, he was not convinced.
    I am the first H1B with him, he doesnt seem to be comfortable getting me these docs.
    What can be done in this regard.


    • Lot of employers don’t like to share that information w/ employees. Talk to him if he would be willing to give those documents (either to you or sent directly to consulate) if the same are asked during interview.

  13. Hi
    My name was spelled incorrectly on my old passport (will be expiring in Dec 11). My L1B visa also had the same incorrect name (L1B expired in July). Now I am applying for a new passport with name corrected. Will I have a problem in getting a new L1B as my previous L1B was issued with an incorrect spelling.

  14. Hi All,

    I appeared for visa interview on 9th Sep 2011 in Mumbai for my first H1B. They handover me 221g blue slip asking me for below docs for process :
    Requested for Income tax returns of employer, Wage report, Contract doc etc

    – I want to know that how much time it’s take , once I submit all the required docs ?
    – If I submit all the required doc than how much chances are there to things are done ?(I am asking this because some of the docs are very critical to get from employer like tax return, un-employment status kind…)

    I am really very help full if anyone share his experience related with 221g or provide me any good link of any good blog for recent cases.


  15. Hi,

    One of the US employer is processing my H1B for direct employment . I have completed Degree in computer science and have close to 5 years of experience. The company strength is 20 in US, My petition is approved, What is the chance of my getting Stamping done.

      • Hey Sourabh,
        Atleast can i get any info on the possible questions which might come for me in the interview.
        Little more info on my employer
        My employer is a german company with 20 employes in US.
        I have already worked with them earlier in my career.

        • Possible questions are (not the entire list though):
          – how did you hear about the employer, interview process etc
          – questions related to employer (size, employees etc)
          – questions related to project/job (client, duration, role, responsibilities)
          – questions about reporting structure (who would you report to, timesheet approvals etc)
          – questions related to your profile (experience etc)

      • Hi Saurabh,

        I appeared the interview today. It got an blue slip 221g to submit project details for the company. Mine is a product based company which provides customised solution to customers. They have sufficient work but until i have joining date, they cant plan anything for me.

        Could you please suggest me what kind of letter , i can provide them. and how long it will take to get update from Consulate once i submit documents.
        what is the possibility of me getting the VISA in my case

        • Your employer should provide information on their product, their market response and any plans they have for the product. They can then state that you would help them in achieving their FY-12 and beyond targets.

          The process may take anywhere from few weeks to several months. They don’t have any set timeline.

          Good luck!

          • Hi Saurabh,
            The blue slip which i got from consulate have this point ticked,

            A detail and specific description of internal development project to which u will be assigned,include a complete technical description of the project,employer,timeline,currentstatus,number of employess assigned,worksite location,marketing analysis for the final product.

            But only this point is underlined
            A detail and specific description of internal development project to which u will be assigned,include a complete technical description of the project.

            is it enough if i provide these details?

          • I would say just submit the underlined document, but I am not sure about it. You can call VFS and ask if only the underlined document needs to be submitted.

  16. Hi

    I had got my L1B stamped in Aug 2008, I went to US on that visa and was there for 3 months. My visa expired in July. I will be applying again, since there have been a lot of rejections going on just wanted to know if having a previous L1B visa is a plus point, and does it reduces your chances of your L1B getting rejected.


    • Most rejections are related to proposed job and the employer. L-1 job is specific to particular client. So VO will evaluate your L-1 application in totality and then approve/reject it. If you did maintain valid legal status during your last visit, then you don’t get any negative points; else that could be another reason to deny visa.

  17. Hi
    I am applying for L1 Premium. I have a query that do USCIS do an employment background check? I am working in MNC currently since last 4 years. I do have experience certificate of last company but my first company is no more exists in is closed. I have experience certificate of this closed firm also but have no contact details as it has been spend long time I left this firm. Please let me know if this would create any issue in visa processing ? Also, Let me know if I apply for L1 Blanket then it won’t create any issue as in this case petition is not processed by USCIS?

    • You should be fine. Companies usually get closed over period of time. This is for L-1 for which you would be using employer specific tools/technologies/applications for a specific client. So your current experience more relevant than the past experience, as those specific items cannot be learned w/ any other employer.

      • Saurabh, Thank you for your reply.

        Please clarify for below queries.
        1. Sometimes VO rejects L1 Blanket applications and suggests for processing L1 Individual. I believe it is because candidate does not qualify for specialized skill. Then L1 Individual is not for specialized skill ? As per my understanding, difference between L1 Individual[or Premium] and L1 Blanket is that USCIS does not process L1 Blanket petition and one can directly go for visa stamping with petition while L1 Individual petition is approved and processes by them.
        2. Is it mandatory to carry 3 years tax returns while going for visa Interview?

        • 1. When L-1 blanket is approved, it is not approved for specific employees. Once it has been approved, L-1 employer can file individual petitions for employees under that. L-1 individual is approved for specific individual and others cannot make use of it. It also requires specialized knowledge. For example, if an employer files blanket for 5 people, question can be raised are there really 5 specialized individuals in that company? They can ask the employer to file individual L1s for those 5 employees.
          2. No, it’s not mandatory but another good to have document.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        As you said, my current company skill is more important rather then previous experience ; But one more thing to clarify that in If I apply for L1 Premium processing, if they find my previous to previous firm’s certificate which had not any web site as it was small firm; So just want to confirm this should not create a problem ?

        • I think it should still be fine. Lot of companies especially old ones do not have an online presence or have been shut down since. So they know that it’s possible that online query would not give any results.

  18. Hi,
    I want info if someone recently visited mumbai VFS for h1b renewal stamping?
    I can’t see the mumbai dates on VFS site. Please please share your exp. if you visited mumbai VFS for h1b renewal recently.

  19. Hi,

    I have a question regarding the re-stamping of my H1-B. I am in my 7th year and got a 3 year visa extension based on an approved I-140. After my 140 approval I changed jobs to work for a multinational bank((RBS) in the USA. My stamping expires in Sep 2011 however I have an approval for visa extension till Jun 2014. Now I have to travel to UK for business in Oct and am considering options for where to get my visa stamping done. I am thinking about travelling to India to get my stamping however am worried about all the green slips about which I read in various forums. I am also wondering if I need to provide the employer documents. It would be very difficult for me to get them for a large site where I work.I have been living in the US for over 6 years however have done all my education in India. I work in the finance sector.
    Can you guys please advice if it is worth the risk to travel to India for stamping


    • Employer documents are really required when filing through small employers as VO doesn’t have information about them. But w/ large publicly traded employers, that’s not the case. VO shouldn’t ask for tax documents or employee information of your employer as lot of that information is available online. However, you can still run into other delays like security/background check, PIMS etc.

  20. Hi Saurabh,
    I got a green slip from delhi embassy in which they asked me to submit company 2 years tax returns forms and w2 of all last year employee but company said no that they cant provide all the sensitive document. So what should i do.

    • Ask employer if they can send the documents in a sealed envelope directly to VFS. Also check w/ VFS if the employer can send the documents directly to them for your case as they are company sensitive documents. I have read about cases in the past where employers have done that.

      • Saurabh,
        But my company is not ready to provide me the documents. They are giving me a letter saying that we cant provide the documents.
        So please let me know what should i do.


        • In that case there is nothing you can do. Most likely your company has information it wants to hide, and that’s why it is not willing to give that information at all.

          You can file H-1 through another employer.

          • But i am currently in india and my passport shows administration processing. So i cant travel back. Also I have valid H4 stamp so in that case can i again travel back on H4 or before that i have to contact embassy to revoke my H1b and than travel on H4 what are the other options i have.

            Also is this possible to back on H4 and again file change of status to USCIS to back on h1b.


          • Where does your passport show administration processing? What happens typically is when consulate officer is not satisfied w/ the response he would deny the visa stamp and send the petition back to USCIS for review. If USCIS agrees w/ the officer, they would revoke the petition.

            I think you can still travel on H-4 and once in US file COS to H-1. However, the employer has already shown his inability to submit the documents. If USCIS questions those documents, there is very low probability that he would submit it again. It might be the right time to move to a better employer.

            I am also not sure if you need to withdraw your H-1 stamping request or not, before leaving for US on H-4. Check w/ an attorney on that.

    • Hi,

      I am planning to go for H1B visa interview and want to know that in case of 221g, How much chances are there to get the visa approves ?

      – How much doc related with 221g I shd carry at time on interview ? like Tax return or anything which are there in slip?

      – Is there any time frame to know the status of 221g ?

      I am hoping for best to clear the interview but just want to know yr Experience as now a day there are lot many cases I have seen got the 221g


      • Depends upon your employer profile and the proposed job. Small consulting companies working in EVC or EV…VC model are hitting lot of 221g questions these days.

        You can carry as much document as you want, but if the officer feels he needs more time to go through those documents, he would issue 221g. Basically they have only limited time in which they need to complete the interview and move on to the next one. Issuing 221g gives them more time to verify the documents.

        No time frame.

        Did anyone from your company went for stamping recently? Their experience may be more relevant to you.

  21. Hi,

    I am going to apply for L1 Individual visa. I want to know few things from your side. My first company was a firm – partnership firm. It was an unregistered firm. I worked there for 5 years. Right now the company is closed.

    Now during documentation for L1 Individual visa, do I need to mention that this company is now closed? If yes then what all documentation or additional information they might ask for? In what fashion I should mention this to avoid rejection or any bad consequences.


    • You can mention it is closed. If you experience letter or relieving letter from that firm you can submit that or you can carry a letter from an ex-colleague who can vouch for you (including his contact information).

      They may ask for documents only if they do a background check. Such letters or contact information may come in handy at that point.

      • Hi,

        Yes I do have the experience certificate from that firm. But what will happen during back ground verification when they will check the validity of the experience certificate I submitted. Who will support my claim? I am not in touch with any colleague now. What I should say then? The firm was typically old fashioned firm in Kolkata. They did not have any web presence. It was a group of 7 people who used to work with the sole proprietor. It was a unregistered firm. They used to give salary in cash , not even a cheque or bank transfer. Please advise.

        I have another question for you. While joining this present IT firm, they did a back ground verification of last two employment of mine. Result was satisfactory. This firm was my first firm and was not covered during the back ground verification as it does not fall in last two employment list. Now during issuing L1 Individual visa will they conduct another round of back ground verification covering all the employment?

        • They would do background check only if they have doubts about your experience and want to validate it. You can mention that the company is closed. As this is for L-1 where one goes to US to work on employer specific technology/applications at the client site, VO may not want to dig into employment history. I think you should be fine.

  22. Hi,
    My company is planning to file a L1 Blanket visa, they requested to submit the degree certificate and marksheets, but I have the original Degree certificate but lost the four years of marksheet, is this a problem in processing the visa ?

    • Education evaluation is a certificate submitted by attorney , attorney have third party or in-house education agencies, who take care to prepare the education evaluation doc. This document along with the degree certificates state that you are eligible for a degree equivalent to degree issued by US universities. CIS needs it, as mandatory doc for filing H1B .

      It would take 1-2 weeks to prepare the document. As the respective university has to reply back stating that it has assured the respective candidate has completed his/her degree in the university.

  23. sir,
    i need the detailed information abt the requirement of documents which are needed for h1b employment visa.
    and for this i have got at present my degree,certificates of computer courses in accounts,basics of computers,windows etc…….
    are these documents enough for h1b work visa.
    please waiting for ur reply.thanking u sir.

    mohammed yaseen.

    • High level list of documents (from your side):
      – Degrees and marksheets
      – Resume
      – Experience letters, certifications (if any)

      High level list of documents (from employer side):
      – Employer details
      – Wage reports
      – Project/client details
      – Tax returns

      You need to have at least 4 years of college degree (equivalent to US Bachelor degree) and the proposed job should be specialized enough to qualify for H-1.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        I have a question, i dont have the Wage reports and Tax returns from my employer. He has provided me standard set of documents, i asked him on other documents but he mentioned this is the standard set we used to provide for visa stamping.

        Is it mandatory to have Wage reports and Tax returns, i’m little nervous about it. Should i go, with the standard set? is it enough ?

        Please reply, waiting for your reply.

        • It’s not mandatory, but good to have. I read about a case when a person carried tax returns and gave it to the VO. The VO questioned back saying isn’t it strange that a company gave all their financial data to you.

          So if one can arrange for it, it’s good. But if the company doesn’t want to share it w/ you, it can still be submitting during 221g processing.

          • Thanks saurabh. Yeah even i had the same thinking. Anyway, my employer told if required they would help, but i think he would submit it directly or in sealed envelope.

  24. hi saurabh

    i have a doubt regarding L1/B1 visa.i have been married recently and joind new company.i didnt change my surname in passport neither my husband added my name in his passport..now if my company wants to send me either on L1/B1 do i need to submit my marriage certificate?

    • I am not sure what you meant to ask here. Are you asking if you go for L-1 visa and your husband goes for L-2, will there be any issue during stamping?

      There won’t be any issue. Just carry the marriage certificate, wedding album/card during stamping and you should be fine. It will also not be an issue after entering US.

  25. Hi

    I have been in the US since July2006 and have recently come to India on vacation. My petition expires in Oct 2011 and I have also got the approved extended petition until July2012. However when I went for stamping, the VO served me with 221g green slip and asked only for my experience documents. Initially he asked me to submit at VFS but later changed his mind and accepted the original documents alongwith the passport over the counter and said that the consulate would get back to me. I know its hard to answer, but am trying to understand the timeframe that the consulate would take and also whether this is a serious issue. I have all my experience letters in order.


  26. Hi,

    My employer is applying for my H1B visa. On the documentation part, I have got all the documents except the job letter for my work from 2005 to 2007, I only have my resignation letter. Will this impact my application? What should I do?


  27. Hi Sourabh,

    My employer has sent me the sealed packet of I-129 and other docs. I have opened the packet and checked the docs. Later he told the packet should be open by only the counslate people as he mentioned on the back of the packet. Let me know if it will be an issue for my H1B stamping interview..I am waiting for your reply


    • It shouldn’t be. Lot of people take those documents outside any sealed package. If you want to avoid unnecessary questions, they just carry the documents and not the package (which mentions that it is sealed and supposed to be used by the officer). Also, keep your employer in loop.

      • Hi Sourabh,

        Thanks for the reply. I have a query which I mentioned below

        I have appeared in the chennai for the H1B interview on 1th july 2011 and they have given the 221g gree slip and in the back of the form they asked for the copy or orignal DS160 form. I have already submitted the D160form at the time of interview and I dont have the copy of that DS160 form. Please let me know what I have to do now. I will ask the remaining document from my employer.

        Should I fill up the new DS160 form? or I have to use the back up of the old DS160 form or I should use that one only but I dont know there might not be all the info.

        Any idea how much time it will take to get the visa in case of 221g gree slip if I submit the docs as soon as possible.


        • You should call VFS and ask them that you have submitted the original DS form and do not have a copy. You should also consult your lawyer, as I am not sure what’s the right thing to do here.

          There is not set SLA on how when consulate will adjudicate your visa request. At times, it happens within one month, at times it may take several months.

          • Hi Sourabh,

            Thanks for the reply. I have saved the .dat file which we get when we fill the DS-160 form. I have filled that form using the existing .dat file again. Please let me know if I can submit that DS-160 form as the date is same on that DS160 form as well as information which I have filled in the orignal form. One more thing when I will submit the docs it is advisable to sumbit the passport also or I will have to submit the passport later?

          • It’s best to call VFS and ask them, rather than me making an uneducated guess.

            Regarding the passport, you should submit it only if it has been asked in the 221g list. Otherwise they will ask for it separately later.

  28. Hi,

    My company is planning to send me the us in l1 visa. what all are the documents and information required by our parteners at USA about me for filing petition.
    What all are the documentys i have to make ready before going for visa process.

    • Your company/lawyer should be able to provide you the list. In case of L-1, major documents required are:
      – what employer proprietary knowledge of tools, applications etc you have that you plan to use at the client site
      – client information including project details and specific job duties (relevance to above knowledge of tools etc).
      – duration
      – resume, educational documents
      – etc

  29. hi i m in USA my h1 visa is just approved through premium processing i got approval on 26 my husband is in pakistan so whether i have to wait for october for pay slips aur tax return etc or he will apply for h4 visa without my pay slips PLZ REPLY

    • He can apply for H-4 visa even before 1st Oct.

      I don’t know what your current status is in US and what your new job profile is, but he will have to carry
      – copy of your approved 797
      – information about your lawyer
      – documents related to your current US status to show that you are maintaining legal status in US
      – if new job is w/ a consulting company, then information about project/client etc
      – usual H4 documents etc.

  30. Hi,
    I have done my BCA from open University, since I was not passed in 12th.
    Presently I am USA on L2 and doing job legally. My employer is ready to file H1B for me.
    Can anyone tell me, chances of getting H1B visa without submitting my Inter (11th, 12th) certificates?
    Thank you

    • 11th and 12th certificates are usually not required for H-1. Your college degrees and marksheets are more important.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        If do not have the My Inter(1th and 12th). Can i apply Australia work permit.

        Reason of asking: I am applying for new Job in india and there is a chance of going Australia.

        So do ineed 11th and 12th for Australia Visa processing

  31. Hi have my H1 approved and now i need to go for stamping. But I have lost my orignal B.tech Degree. I have my all original Marksheet and other original certificate and copy of B.tech Degree.
    Only original degree is missing.
    Will that cause a problem?

    • How is easy or difficult is to get duplicate issued from your university?

      The VO may or may not ask for the degree depending upon how he evaluates your profile. There is no one size fits all answer for this.

  32. my name is “uday kiran reddy” which is there in my passport but in my GRE exam appointment I kept it as first name:uday middle name:kiran last name:reddy but it gave as “uday reddy”,will it be a problem for me at the exam time?

    • Well Uday, I am not sure how your name is split up in passport.. make sure your Surname or Last name in Passport matches the Last name you gave in GRE and same case with First name or given name.

  33. I am planning to go from full time job to a contracting job. The contracting company will do my H1b.

    My question is what are the documents my wife should carry for her H4 stamping interview when she visits India this summer ? Are those documents the same as H1 list ? Does the consulate scrutinize the spouse the same way they do H1b holder ?

    • There was a document published by a legal firm recently that they have noticed additional scrutiny of H-4 visa interviewees. To be on a safer side, your wife should carry your recent payslips, your employment letter, marriage certificate, wedding album/invitation, copy of your 797, W-2 (if any) etc.

  34. Hi Sourabh,

    My wife’s name added in my passport has a correction from the actual name. One letter for the middle name (her surname) is missing. Will that cause an issue if she apply for an L1B dependant visa. Please advice.


    • It shouldn’t be a big deal. If possible, carry other supporting documents as well – like marriage certificate, wedding album, wedding card etc.

  35. Hi…my L1b blanket visa was approved last week for a client(the client name is mentioned in the petition)…however the project for which i was supposed to go US has been scrapped and there is no chance of it being revived again …..my question here is can i work for some other client in the US using the same L1b visa.

    The original client’s name is mentioned in the petition…will it pose any problem at the port of entry if i say that now i will work for some other client?. Please let me know….Thanks

    • L-1 is specific to client. If the company wants to send you to another client, then they need to file another L-1 petition and cannot use the existing one.

      • Thanks Saurabh for the reply. Filing a new petition means that i will have to go to US embassy again for re-stamping of visa or just the petition will change with new client name and the current visa will remain valid? I have a valid L1-b visa stamped (the petition used was for old client)

        • I am not 100% sure about it. You have to check w/ your lawyer if they need to file a brand new petition, or can they file some sort of amendment.

          Regarding the visa, I think it’s ok to have the old stamp but as you have never travelled to US on this visa stamp, you may be asked questions at PoE which may cause confusion. Check w/ your lawyer on this.

      • Incorrect. L1 visa is skill-dependent and not client-specific. I have seen many of your responses in the same line. This is misleading. In fact, L1 is for intra-company transfer and not to work directly for a client. Because L1 visa holders usually are skilled in knowledge of their employers’ products, processes, quality systems etc, they can effectively exceed their employer’s interests. That’s how they qualify to provide services for a client. Otherwise, they need to file for H1 visa.

        See this USCIS link. Nowhere in the guideline it ever mentions client.


  36. Hi,
    I used to work for a consulting compnay, now im working for a government agency.
    I came to US in 2000 on a visitor visa, switched to F1, then to H1, and did H1 transfer to the government agency.
    never left the US since ive been here.
    Im trying to go back home (Jordan for couple of weeks) this summer.
    but I have few concerns:
    1) I was arrested 3 times during my stay in the united states. ALL CHARGES WERE DISMMISED. (1: driving while driver Lic is revoked, 2: tresppasing and resisting arrest, 3: disturbing the peace) as I mentioned all charges were dropped.

    Q1: should I go to canda for stammping ?? (first time stammping), or back home jordan ??? my education was done in the united states.
    Q2: would my visa stammping get denied cause of the arrests ???
    thank you

    • 1. You should call the US consulate in Canada and ask them if you can attend the interview there as TCN (third country national). Usually, people who have done Masters in US, go to Canada for first stamping.

      2. I can’t say w/ surety, but I think you should be fine as long as your truthful about those arrests (both in documentation and during conversation).

  37. I write this to seek your help in obtaining my H1-B visa appointment for month of March 2011. I am resident of Hyderabad. I would be travelling Chennai for a week on my office work. Could i be able to take up H1-B visa interview appointment in Chennai consulate? If so, is it ok if i pay my H1B visa application fee in HDFC, Hyderabad? or do i need to pay at only HDFC, Chennai branches? Please help me in this regard.

    • A person is supposed to attend the interview at the consulate closest to his/her residence. In your case, you should attend the interview in Hyderabad and not Chennai. However, payment can be made at any participating HDFC branch (doesn’t need to be in same consular region)

      • Thanks for your quick response. But i have read in your previous replies below that, “US Ambassador to India recently announced that applicants can now schedule interview at any of the consulate irrespective of their residing state. So you should be able to schedule interview at any consulate now.” Is this not for the first time H1B stamping? I heard now the options on this were refined, starting form this year(2011). Can you please breif me on this.

        • Thanks for the correction. Sorry, I forgot about that announcement. Yes, you can schedule interview at Chennai consulate. Here is the press release:

  38. hi,
    I am working in indian company. they have initiated my H1B. I have to go for visa stamping in few days. I donot have Experience letter and Relieving letter from my second previous company. But I do have pay slip and offer letter. Is it mandatory to have the experience letter for Visa interview? Please suggest.

    • Experience letters are required only if the officer wants to confirm your experience. Depending upon how much years of experience you have, and how old those missing experience letters are, it may not impact your stamping.

      If the officer still asks for it, you can tell them the truth and provide alternate documentation as proof of your work experience.

  39. Hi

    My wife name in the passport mentioned as “Prasanna Lakshmi Parkala”.
    But her all eduction doucments its written as “P Lakshmi Parkala”. Even in the marriage certificate also it is “P Lakshmi “. When applying passport, passport officer told that we have to give complete name with out no intials so she mentioned as he said. Now the question is when the visa process comes for dependent will this is to be a problem? Can visa officer question with why the passport and marriage certificate, all edu docs are different or will he agree with the reason mention that in these all docs it’s written in shorter form but her name is “Prasanna Lakshmi Parkala”.

    • You should be fine. If asked, you can let the officer know about the reason. BTW, is this for H-1 or H-4 visa stamping? Make sure, all her US related documents have same name or else it may become complicated in future.

  40. Hi, I came from India last August by leaving my job in an MNC with my husband with H4. Could you please tell me how can i change the Visa stage to work permit and associated approximate fee too.
    Thanks & Regards,

    • You need to find an employer who is willing to file H-1 for you. Once you have found that employer, they will collect the documents from you, and file H-1 for you w/ or w/o COS (depending upon whether you want to start working immediately based on H-1 approval or want to get H-1 stamped first).

      Most of the H-1 cost needs to be paid by the employer, and any money demanded from H-1 employee is illegal. The actual cost to the employer could be anything b/w 2000 USD to 5000 USD depending upon employer size, organization structure and attorney costs. Kumar has an article on the actual fees.

      The most important thing is to find the right employer because there are more sharks than dolphins in the water.

  41. Hi.. I have applied for H1B visa in 2008 and got rejected due to 221 (g)… Now i want to file H1B for 2011.Can this previous rejection afftect the my H1B petition? What are the possible questions which they can ask during Personnal Appearance?

    • It shouldn’t impact if the rejection reasons were not false documentation on your part. If it was rejected because of employer profile and prospective job offer, then it wouldn’t impact your current processing.

      You need to be truthful about the rejection, and if you don’t know the exact reason for rejection you can let the VO know the same. I think there is a question in the visa interview form where they ask about past rejections – you need to be truthful there as well.

      • The earlier rejection is not due to my documents.The Reason is some thing like this
        “We are not able to issue the H1B visa because:
        Your Petiotiner does not appear to be either able or willing to provide qualified employment in the US in accordance with the appopriate laws and regulations.”

        This is the Reason which came for all most all the people who appeared for personnal appearance on the day which i have attended.

  42. Hi,
    Currently i am working as a software engineer in MNC. I have more than 3 years of experience. My spouse possess H1b visa , so most likely i will be resigning my job here and will be travelling with my spouse in H4 visa. Since H4 visa doesnt have work permit I cant work there and have to sit idle. I am willing to search for a job over there. Is there any options of looking for any consultancies who can help me out and provide H1b visa? Please provide some suggestions for me to keep me employed and to posses H1b visa.
    Thanks in advance


    • Yes, there are consulting companies that file H-1s for candidates on H-4 visa. But you need to do good background search to ensure you are filing through a reputed company. Lot of companies in this business don’t have employee success in their vision. It also helps to get in touch w/ your network and see if someone who is already working for such a company can refer it to you.

  43. Hi ,
    I was in US for 8 months on h1 b. I had not filed any taxes as i was not on any project. Now i am going for L1 Stamping. Will this affect me?

    • You didn’t get paid implies you didn’t maintain legal status in US and don’t have payslips for your H-1 period. Yes, this may impact your L-1 processing.

        • You can sue your H-1 employer for back wages if it has been less than a year since you weren’t paid. But I don’t know if that would help you in successful stamping or not.

          Talk to an immigration lawyer, or discuss w/ your company attorney.

          • Looking at how long ago this happened, I cannot say for sure if it will impact your processing or not. Best is to let your lawyer know about it and get his/her opinion.

  44. Hi,

    I am planning to attend for visa stamping from mumbai.

    Can you please let me know if there is any additional documents they need compared to other consulates in india.

  45. Hi,







    • Is your employer a consulting company? If yes, then it’s better to carry documents showing that the employer has funds/resources to pay you. This includes wage reports, employer tax returns and client/project information. At times, employer don’t share the same with the employee. In case you don’t have these or any other document and the officer asks for it, s/he would issue 221g and you and your employer would then have to submit those documents.

      As for passport delivery, you would have to check that at embassy in Madrid. Rules and processing times vary from consulate to consulate.

      • Hi I got my H1b visa stamped positively on my passport in USA Embassy , Madrid. I have Spanish Passport.

        My wife and 2 children both below 18 also have the same.

        Have Marriage certificate of India as well as of Spain too.

        What is the process of applying their H4 Visa.

        Right now they are in India, Can they get H4 stamped on their passport from India. What documents will they require to get the needfull done.

        Please advise, suggest ????

        • Congrats on successful visa stamping. For H-4 stamping they would require:
          – copy of your approved petition
          – information about your employer, job, work site etc
          – marriage certificate (Indian would do)

          As they have Spanish passports, I am not sure if they can get H-4 stamped in India. They would be considered as TCN (Third Country National) and the consulate may or may not entertain their petition. It’s better to call the consulate and confirm. Also note, visa stamping in India is typically more stringent than other countries (because of large number of applicants, chances of fraud are more and hence additional scrutiny). So a safer option would be to get it stamped from Madrid.

        • Hello Sunil,
          Congrats on your visa approval.
          I have a quick question. I am an India currently working in Madrid. I got h1b sponsored by a us based company and I will have to go for stamping.
          My question is, can I apply for h1b stamping at Madrid itself ? I hold an Indian passport( Just for your information, 4 years ago, I got my B1/B2 visa from US Embassy in Madrid on my Indian passport).
          Second, apart from the 4 documents that you have mentioned, I dont need to carry anything else? Like degree certificate, work experience certificate (present and past), etc etc?

          thanks a bunch,

          • Each consulate has their own policy regarding TCN (third country nationals). The best way to know if you can go for H-1 interview or not is to call the consulate in Madrid and ask them.

            It is always better to carry more documents than to carry less. If you can arrange for most of the documents from the list in Kumar’s post, then that’s what you should carry. During the interview, you can hand over only those documents to the officer which he/her asks for.

  46. hello,

    i have lost my schooling certificates i.e. 10 and 12. i am wrking with n mnc since last 3 yrs & my company want me to go 2 united states on l1 visa. is there ne problem in absense of these certificates. i hav my gradutation and post-graduation documents with me.

    someone told me schooling doc’s r not required. pl help.


    • Those certificates are really not important when it comes to adjudicating L-1 petition and visa. They are good to have, but not mandatory to have. Graduation and post-graduation documents are more important.

  47. Hi,

    I have been working as a contract employee in an IT company from past 2+ years. Recently i have got an opportunity to work with a US company, they said they are going to sponsor me for H1b. My prob is i don’t have necessary papers like IT returns& proper pay slips as i’m a contract employee. And one more thing is i have tried for f1 in 2009 n 2010 for 4 times. My visa got rejected for all the four times. My question is am i going to face the same problem again? Will they issue H1b if we have proper docs from US employer? Will the past refusals effects my chances? What they gonna ask me about those refusals and what i have to answer?

    Please let me know

    thanks and regards
    Sarat Chandra

    • For H-1, it’s really not necessary (but good to have) paychecks and IT-returns from Indian employer. Because you were a contractual employee, you can explain the same to visa officer (if that question is raised).

      Your past rejections will impact you only if they they were rejected for false documentation or forgery. If they were denied because the officer felt you are a potential immigrant, then that may not be a valid reason for H-1 (a dual intent visa).

      They may ask about the past rejections, and if they do then you have to truthful about them. Were you told about the rejection reasons?

      • Thnx for your reply Saurabh!

        My f1 got rejected for the same reason in all the 4 times. They checked my bank docs only once and they rejected it by saying “you dnt hv enough funds” and the other times they didnt say nything.

        i thought i should never apply for ny US visa in the future but my uncle ,who lives in US,arranged me an interview. That US company gonna sponsor me for h1(though v need to pay the visa fee).

        if i get rejected again v’ll lose a lot of money..

        • F-1 rejection reasons that you have mentioned are not applicable to H-1. However, you should remain truthful if they enquire about the F-1 rejections (they probably already have the reason in their system, but would like to quiz you on the moral grounds).

          Your ultimate approval or denial of petition and visa would depend upon your technical qualifications, employer’s credentials and prospective job offer including client/project information.

          Good luck!

  48. Hey,

    I am currently working in hyderabad for an MNC. My company applied for my H1B visa since one of our clients in the US wanted me to move ot US and work there. However, I got my H1B approval last week. (after an RFE). However, my question now is is it ok to go to a different consulate instead of hyderabad, since there are no dates in hyderabad. Also, a bit on my background, I was previously in US for my studies (F1, masters) and on B1 (business visa).


    • US Consulate stronly encourages the applicants to attend the interview at the consulate closest to their location. If you attend interview at another consulate, the consulate has the option of returning you back.

      If there is a dire business need where you need to travel to US ASAP, then it is ok to attend the interview at another consulate. You mentioned that you are working for a MNC. Ask them to follow-up with the consulate if it is ok to attend the interview at another consulate. And make sure to carry a letter mentioning the urgency.

    • Update to my earlier comment. US Ambassador to India recently announced that applicants can now schedule interview at any of the consulate irrespective of their residing state. So you should be able to schedule interview at any consulate now.

  49. Hi,

    I just got my new passport since my old passport expired. All my old visa’s are present in the old passport. Should i be carrying the old passport for the visa interview. Is it ok to pin the old passport along with the new passport when i give it to the visa officer.

    Please let me know


    • Hiii..Shankar..

      Ya you should have to carry the old passport as well.. When you fill up the form for visa application you also have to mention about your passport book number..So the consulate will be aware about your new passport book.. Sometime they asked for old one and sometime not asked..Better you go with both…Best of Luck for you visa interview…..


      • Mayur! What is passport book number. I am Indian passport holder and the new one is my second one. I checked in my passports and didn’t find the book number!!!
        Saurabh/Mayur/Anyone, What is it? or What do you mean by Passport Book Number for Indian passport holders?
        Thank you.

        • Passport book number is not applicable to Indian passport holder. In the DS form you should select “Does Not Apply” for this question.


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