H1B Visa Stamping Documents Check List

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

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 501 Comments

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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Comments ( 501 )

  1. Gokul

    Hi,
    I have 4 years of overall experience and valid employment certificates only for 2 years. Will US Embassy agree if i tell them that i dont ve certificates for 1st two year and ve remaining all

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They might ask for it if they want to review your experience and confirm your qualification for the offered job. They don’t ask for those documents from everyone, and it’s not possible to know the pattern.

  2. Nancy

    Saurabh,
    About Me – Working for a Indian based Service company for 1.8 year total and for same client, Now my employer want me to apply for L1B visa. But my education is Non IT, (B.E Chemical Engineering), totally I have around 5 year of experience in IT, worked with Major MNC & Clients.
    As there are lot of rejection for L1B visa in my team itself in last 4 months,
    My question are
    1. I am eligible for L1B visa? (As my education and exp in current cmp is less)
    2. I am eligible for L1 – Individual Visa?
    In discussion with my manager to look for H1B or L1-Individual Visa.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You are eligible based on your education. Most of the L-1 rejections are b/c the work didn’t qualify for L-1. L-1 can be applied only if the work requires use of employer proprietary skills/tools/applications/technology in US. If you want to work on more commonly available technologies like Java/.NET etc then L-1 is not the right visa. In this case, you should go for H-1 visa. Can you elaborate more on your job responsibilities when you will be in US?

  3. Arun

    Hi Saurabh,

    Last week i was denied L1b-blanket from VO and got 221-g with the reason “Your blanket L-1 application is not clearly approvable under section 8 CFR 214.2 (I)(ii)(D) and INA 101(a)(15)(L)” – with the reason saying not having specialized skill.

    1. Now my question is what is the next step ?
    2. Can my company retry with premium processing ?
    3. How long i need to wait as a cooling period ?
    4. what are the chances ?
    5. If yes, do i need to fill new DS-160 ?
    6. FPF fee can be refundable ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Seems like you are ineligible for L-1 based on your skills. You should try for H-1.
      2. Unless they can address the rejection reasons (i.e. missing specialized skills), they should not retry L-1 as it would also get denied. Instead they should evaluate H-1 visa.
      3. There is no cooling period.
      4. Read (2)
      5. The entire process needs to happen again. But before that, you and employer need to sit down and evaluate if you really qualify for L-1 or not
      6. No fees is refundable.

  4. Joydeep S

    My company filed an L1B individual visa petition with USCIS which got approved and the I-797 is on its way via FedEx. Looks like I have to schedule a visa interview in the coming week for L1B individual.

    Any clue if I have an approved L1B petition from USCIS, whether there is a chance of visa denial at the Chennai consulate?

    Any response will be highly appreciated!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Approval of petition doesn’t guarantee successful stamping. There is always a chance that visa may be denied during stamping or 221g would be issued.

      1. Joydeep S

        Thanks Saurabh for the prompt reply. Is the chance very high for such denials/221g? My attorney from US said that it is extremely rare case but they may not be updated about the current high visa denial rate in US consulate in India.

        Thanks!

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Chances of denial are high in L-1B b/c of misuse. If you will be really working on employer proprietary tools/technology/application, then it should get approved; else there is a strong chance of rejection.

          1. Joydeep S

            Thanks again for the clarification! Yes I will be working on internal tools and techniques primarily design patterns that is established by my company. Let’s see how it goes. I hope the visa interview is a little lenient compared to my previous L1B blanket visa interview where they gave me a 221g hence the individual petition.

  5. Bob

    Hi Saurabh,

    I recently got my L-1B to H-1B transfer(in december). I am not planning to go to India for stamping in the immediate future . But my wife wants to visit India in 2-3 months, in which case she needs to go for H4 Stamping(she is on L2 now). I am slightly concerned if there would be a chance of H4 rejection. What do you suggest?

    Thanks
    Bob

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      She may be asked to submit employment documents related to your H-1 job. If you are working for a consulting company (EC or EVC model) then chances are that they would issue 221g. BTW, was your H-1 approved w/ COS? If yes, then was her also approved to H-4? Have you started working and getting paid on H-1?

      1. Bob

        Thanks Saurabh. No worries.

        I started working with in a week of my H-1B petition approval. Not sure what 221g means, but it seems like there are chances of her H4 stamping getting delayed, if not rejected. If that is the case, I would have to drop her travel plans for now. Please advice.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If you are working for a consulting company, then there is always a chance of 221g. Unless it is really important to travel, its best to avoid it. If she has to travel, then make some contingency plans as well.

          You can read about 221g here.

  6. Ajay

    Hi

    I have filed fora L1 indiviual and got a rfe asking for

    1.proof of 1 year offshore
    2.specialized knowledge in India
    3.Specialized knowledge in US
    4.Client Letter

    I have provided 12 month India pay slip for the first, gave detailed specialized knowledge write up for 2 & 3 questions and a client letter.

    Should I provide any other documents that would better my chances,I was told client letter has a lot of weightage?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Those should be fine. IMO, the document holding maximum weightage is the specialized knowledge and how you plan to use it in US. Client letter is the most important document for H-1, but not L-1.

  7. pankaj

    hi,

    My company is planning for my L1-b visa. on my passport, my photo is not clear. i wants to know that will it create any issue in visa process.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Is it damaged? Can it be used to identify you? If it’s not damaged, and can be used to identify you, it should be fine.

      However, they are very critical about the photographs submitted during the stamping, and want it to be as clear as possible.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It would be better to have it replaced then, as it will be used at PoE etc as well. So it’s better to have a more identifiable photo.

  8. Chitra

    Hello…

    My employer is planning to apply for for L1b visa. i tried for H1b with some consultant for 2012 quota and unfortunately my H1B petition was not approved by USCIS (please dont misunderstand petition denial with visa denial). I have copy of the denial letter.
    Since the petition was denied, do i need to mention/provide anything about H1b visa details when I apply for L1 visa?

    Please Help

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It would be good if the employer knows about the rejection as that will avoid any surprises. However, if you don’t want to let the current employer know (as it was filed through a different employer), it should still be fine.

  9. Varsha Sehgal

    Hi

    I am going to apply for L1 Individual. However, the documentation is taking time. My employer has suggested applying for L1 Blanket in the meantime.

    My question is that if the L1 Blanket gets rejected, would I still be able to apply for L1 Individual immediately or would there be a cooling period for the same.
    Further, would the rejection of the L1 Blanket have a adverse impact on the L1 Individual application (provided the individual petition is approved).

    Thanks a lot in advance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, Individual can be filed soon after Blanket petition gets denied. These days denial rate of Blanket petitions is pretty high. The denial will not adversely impact your Individual petition as long as it wasn’t related to false document submitted by you or the employer.

  10. Viswam

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have been working for a leading MNC in India. I filed L1B during 2011 Aug and it was rejected. Can I apply for a fresh H1B during this period as my company official says I can apply only feb 2012. Please reply

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 can only be applied when the next fiscal year filings open. So it can be filed on or after April 2012, w/ start date of Oct 2012 or later.

  11. Vishal Patil

    Hi Saurabh

    My Friend is studying in Engineering college in 4h Sem (Mechanical Engineering).
    He wants to participate in the competition (Aero. Design) organized by NASA and want to apply for Visa. Duration of stay is only 1 week in US. Please guide here what type of Visa he should process and what is the visa processing time approximately.

  12. Alam

    Hi…

    My company is going to process L1A for me. All my documents are ready except for my 12th Marksheet. I have lost the original but have the photocopy.
    My company did not ask for this Marksheet when they collected the other documents. Will i be asked in the Consulate interview?

    Also if later after 5-6 yrs when i process for Green card or change Visa to H1b will it be required?

    Thanks in Advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I doubt if they will ask for 12th mark sheet during L-1A interview or during GC process. They are more interested in subsequent degrees and mark sheets.

      1. Alam

        Hi Saurabh

        Thanks for ur immediate response… To get the original marksheet the DPE,chennai says it will take more than a yr.. thats why i was worried…

  13. Kat

    Hi Saurabh,
    my l1b blanket has been approved last week.I am working for XYZ in India from past 6 years.
    My company XYZ has head quarters in USA.In I-129 ,Client ABC is mentioned.Now that project is almost scrapped,Can I travel to another client PQR in USA with the same visa ? (I am still with XYZ).Will there be any problem in port of entry?
    Thanks in advance.
    Kat

    1. Dave

      we had the similar situations in our company, you would need to get new petition approved for your new client. Our company is not letting travel anyone if person has L1B approved for ABC client but not traveled to ABC. If you traveled to ABC at least once then you may use the same petition for XYZ client.

      Hope this helps…. ( you may please double check with your travel/immigration team)

  14. Sridharan

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am 27 and I have over 7.6 years of experience and my company has filed L1A visa for me and waiting for appointment. But there are few in my company who says that these days VO issues visa only if you are bit older and have more than 10 years of expereince. Is it true. How can I present my case. My designation is Team Leader? Also tell me what is this PRD everyone is talking abount? Appreciate your reply

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      L-1A is for executives and managerial positions. L-1A and that too blanket may be little difficult. Check w/ your immigration team. L-1A individual still has better chances.

      Just my 2 cents.

  15. Dave

    Hi,
    Currently i am working for company ABC on L1B visa, since i will be completing 5yrs on L1B so ABC is filing L1A for me.
    I also got an offer from XYZ company and they will be filing H1B in april.

    Filing time for both the visas seems to be at the same time April2012:
    1) will that be a problem to file L1A(from ABC) and H1B(from XYZ) at the same time?
    2) if both get approved, may i start working on H1B since 01-Oct-2012?
    3) I hope my H1 does not get rejected bcoz of L1A filing?

    Thanks in advance for your reply

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. It will generate race scenario, and approval of one will trump the other. So if your L-1A gets approved followed by H-1 (w/ COS), then your eventual status would be H-1. In reverse scenario it would become L-1A
      2. Yes, provided it gets approved after L-1A and also w/ COS
      3. It shouldn’t. However, if you have both L-1A and H-1 filed in parallel, USCIS may compare your profile for both visas to see if there are any discrepancies.

      1. Dave

        L1A is for managerial role(for company ABC) and H1B is for technical lead role(for company XYZ) as they are from different company so there may be some differences in PRD, though my resume will still be same.
        I will try to get L1A approved before H1B. I hope everything goes well.
        Anything else to keep in mind to avoid rejection/RFE?
        Thanks for your suggestion.

  16. Vishnu

    Hi Saurabh,
    Thanks for providing so much technical support to helpless people with such a keen interest.

    I have an issue. i am a partner in an LPO company in India. we have one office in london and just opened another office in USA. my partner went to usa and opened that office. we dont have anybody taking care of the office. i want to go there and setup the complete office and hire staff that will work under me.
    my problem is i studied in usa for 3 years on F1 visa, later i worked over there for 6 years on H1B in computers field, my last h1b renewal was rejected as i withdrew my petition on dec 2010. since then i have joined the new company in india. last year i tried to go to usa on business/visitor visa but it got rejected twice. please suggest me how i can enter usa to handle my company. someone suggested that i should go for L1A visa.
    should i get l1a or bisiness visa again?
    thanks
    vish

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Check for L-1A requirements on USCIS website and see if you qualify. In addition, see if the company is eligible to sponsor L-1 visa for it’s employees.

      Do you know the reasons for rejection for B-1 visa?

      1. Vishnu

        we already have an office in usa though it is not running. plus we have an office in london which i visited last year. shouldnt that make us qualify for L1A?

        my first B1 was rejected because i wanted to go back to wind up my stuff from my apt and sell my car but VO didnt think it was a good enough reason.
        second time the VO said she didnt want to overturn the first VO’s decision so she didnt get convinced.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          There are conditions around size and revenue of the firm as well. Did you look them up on USCIS website?

          As this will be first filing of your company, it would be better to do it through an experienced lawyer.

          1. Vishnu

            saurabh,
            is there a requirement for the size and revenue of the company? uscis website doesnt say anything about it.

            also can you please tell me how long usually does it take to get a L1A visa if i start the process today.
            also can you tell me if there is any processing fees for it?
            your help is much appreciated
            vish

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, I see there is no mention of revenue and size, so that might not be a requirement.

            Processing may take 2-6 months, while premium processing would be done in 15 calendar days. In case RFE is issued, it can take longer.

            I don’t remember the exact fees, but it’s something in the range of 4-6K USD.

  17. Arun

    Hi Saurabh,

    My employer is trying for L1b for me. ~4 years back i tried for H1b with some consultant and the same didnt pass through lottery system at that time. Now i dont have any documents for that .
    I am into the process of filling the DS-160 Form now. Do i need to mention anything about H1b ?

    Please Help..

    Thanks

  18. Remya

    Hey Saurabh,
    Would really appreciate your help in response to my query !
    Am currently on a L2 EAD working in the US. My employed had applied for H1 b visa(change of status), and its been approved. Am going to India in May,2012 and would like to get the H1 visa stamped.

    1) Whats the procedure for this? Do i need to go through the entire interview process again?
    2) I had my L2 visa stamped from chennai consulate. Would it matter if i get the H1 stamped from Hyderabad?
    3)what are the documents i will need to produce?
    4) is there any chance of it getting rejected inspite of me having a approved visa petition?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Yes, this time for H-1 though
      2. It is ok as you will be returning from US
      3. You can go through the list of documents on Hyd consulate website. Usually the documents include:
      – yours (resume, degrees, mark sheets etc)
      – employer (wage reports, tax returns etc for small employers)
      – H-1 (LCA, I-129, 797)
      – job (project, client details etc)
      4. Yes, one should not take stamping lightly. These days there is more chances of getting rejected during stamping than during petition approval process.

      1. Remya

        Hey Saurabh,
        Thank you for the reply. That helped. HAd another query.
        Currently am on a L2 visa, if in case the visa is rejected when i go for the stamping, will my L2 still be valid? Will i be able to come back on that?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          The VO may decide to cancel your L-2 visa when you go for stamping. If your visa is rejected, then you can request the VO not to cancel your L-2 as you would like to use it for travel and join your husband on L-1.

          1. Remya

            ok, so there is such a possbility. Thank u Saurabh. Is there any other fee i will need to pay apart from $150 ( which my employer has mentioned) ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Not necessarily. It is up to your arrangement w/ employer whether they want to pay you or not, while you are outside US. If you are working for them remotely, then they should pay you.

        1. sujan

          no I am not owrking remotely. But I have got paid. No sure whether it is by mistake or I have to be paid
          Should I ask my employer if it is by mistake

          Regards
          Sujan

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            It’s up to the employer whether to pay you or not. It’s better to check w/ them b/c if it’s by mistake they may want to deduct that from your salary.

  19. Mahesh

    Hello Saurabh, How are you doing? I am Venkat working for a MNC as Sr. Consultant. My company has applied L1B in Jan-2011, however it got refused due to some reasons. Now my company has initiated the H1B and the petition got approved. Now my stamping date on 13-Jan-2012 for both H1B & H4.

    Will there be any impact of the L1 over H1B while my presence with VO? Do I need to take care of anything? Appreciated your help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You may be asked about the rejection reason, and you can ask the same from your employer. Usually if the rejection was b/c the job and skillset didn’t qualify for L-1 then it will not impact H-1 stamping. However, if the rejection was because false information was submitted then it can impact the stamping. So it would be good to know the reason.

      1. Mahesh

        Thanks for the prompt response Saurabh. It wasn’t about the false information. It was about skillset only. Anyway, I will get some inputs from my MNC as well as you mentioned.

        Really appreciated your help. Hope the best.

          1. Deepak

            Current Sitution
            —————–

            Total IT exp : 7.9 yrs ( in Indian IT cmny)
            Total Exp in Usa : 4 yrs ( 2 +2 there is break of 1 yr in india between these two)
            Education : B.E in computersc (4 yrs )
            Visa Status : L1 B
            Marital staus : Married ( wife is in H1 from another cmny )

            I am looking for a company who can file my H1 and at the same time can file my GC under EB2.

            Problem
            ——-
            I want to follow the proper separation process in my current Company . So that I can get my experience letter from them .
            But my problem is eI need to either go back India or give huge penalty . So confused should I ignore the experience letter.
            If I ignore it ,in future when I go back to India could it be a problem to get any Job ?

            Need your suggestion

          2. Deepak

            Hi Saurabh/kumar ,
            I need your valuable suggestion regarding the above post .

            Appreciate your help in advance.

            Regards
            Deepak

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Experience letters may be required during GC process to show that you have the required skillset. At the time of GC filing, your attorney will send you a set format and ask you to get those letters from the past employers mentioning the skillset. Usually it is preferred to get the same from HR of the employer, but your attorney may be ready to accept (and make it work) letters from supervisors, colleagues etc. It is up to the attorney (and USCIS) whether to accept them or not. The experience letters firms usually give out at the time of exit process, doesn’t contain skill set information and is not acceptable during GC filing.

    2. Subba

      Hi Mahesh,

      Can you pls tell us when did you submitted docs to USCIS and regular or premium processing. Because I got my receipt number in sep-29 still says “Initial Review”.

      Thanks,
      Subba.

  20. Sushma

    Hi,

    I have been in US since 2007 on F1 visa. My employer applied H1B in April 2010.
    But it was approved for only 1 year starting October 2011 to September 2012.
    Also, my company is a very small company and recently it was bought by another company located in another state. And, since it is in-house employment I do not have any client letter or project contract.

    I have to travel to India as my father is unwell, but I am not sure about my stamping

    Sushma

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Are you currently getting paid? USCIS can question you around the details you submit during visa stamping. If you mention in-house project, then they can ask about the product/marketing details to see if the product is sustainable enough to generate revenue stream for the company and make them resourceful to pay your salary. If you mention out-house project, then they can ask about the client/project details.

      1. Sushma Chitrala

        Hi Saurabh,

        I sincerely appreciate your quick response. Yes, I am getting paid.
        As you suggested, the product/marketing details would help to prove my company’s sustainability to USCIS. With regards to that, I came up with the following list of documents. Please suggest me if these will work and please add any more documents which you think will help.

        Employer Documents:
        1. Employer Financial Statement & Tax Returns of last 2 years
        2. Company’s Employee Roster
        3. Company website, product details, any product reviews
        4. Company cost analysis, marketing analysis reports

        Thank you again for your help.
        Sushma

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          That looks sufficient enough. Does the employer have an attorney on roll? If yes, get it reviewed by them as well.

  21. Biplab

    Hello Team,

    I am on L1 Blanket VISA in US from April 2o11. Now my company was taken over by a new company and HR team filed the Amendment which got rejected. Now my employer is saying to go back to India and come back again after 2 weeks and they can be able to file the amendment once again. Does this makes sense? Can I be able to enter back to US if I go out with the rejected L1B amendment. My I-94 is valid till 2014.

    Regards,
    Biplab

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Do you know why the amendment was filed? If it was filed b/c your previous L-1 is no longer valid based on the acquisition, then you should not use it to re-enter US. If the old L-1 petition can still be used for employment, then you can go that route.

      1. Biplab

        Hi Saurabh,

        L1 amendment was filed, as my company is taken over by a new company. Old VISA is still valid. HR says to go back, coz they have submitted my I-94 along with the amendment and I need to come back after 2 weeks so that they can file a fresh amendment with my new I-94. I only hope immigration guys at the entry do not track the amendment rejections etc. I have my old VISA, old offer letter, new offer letter from the new company, acquisition documents and my old I-797

  22. Anil Kumar Tiwari

    Hi Saurabh,
    Above so many documents mentioned . I spoke to my employer and many of docs they are saying cant give because of confidentiality . So What are the must document that must be carried when you go for visa interview .

    Thanks,
    Anil

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You can gather whatever documents you can get hold off. Then talk to employer that in case the consulate asks for remaining documents, whether they would be ready to issue those documents and send them directly to VFS.

  23. Harish

    Hello Saurabh,
    I am in the US on H1B and my visa stamp on the PP is valid till Sept. 30 2012. My company changed its name today and notified everyone that there will not be any change to the immigation status. I am travelling to India next week, and will be coming back after 4 weeks. Will the visa stamped with the old company name be an issue for me when I enter?. Do I have to carry any other document?. Appreciate your early response.

    thanks
    -Harish

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It should be fine. Carry any documents related to your employer’s name change. You can then explain the same at PoE (if asked).

    2. Maria

      Here is my experience of L1 visa stamping interview 2 days ago at Belfast embassy…………
      I was the first person to arrive at 8.30am but I was the last person to leave. All other people arriving later than me had their interviews and everyone had smiles as their visas were approved.
      The officer was not very pleasant to me and asked me for original I-129 petition and all supporting documents. Also asked for tax returns. I did not have these with me.
      Officer kept my passport and credit card details and said I should email these documents to be examined and IF all are good, a decision would be made after 2 days of looking at eveything.
      I am very confused. I do not know what this all means. Is my visa denied at this time? Officer did not say it was denied but did not say it would be approved.
      Is it a good or bad sign I did not get my passport given back to me?

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        They kept the passport w/ themselves which is a good sign. However, it’s not all clear yet, and so until the consulate gives the final decision it is tough to say what will happen.

  24. Nilesh

    Dear Sir,
    Help me if you can please.

    I am alien resident in US. I got H1 petition approved along with I-94 valid from October 2011 through End of September 2012. At the time of approval I was outside US and returned on October 16, 2011 through L1 Visa.
    can you help to understand which I94 is valid for me. and what is my legal status?

    Thanks,
    Nilesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When was your H-1 approved? If your H-1 was approved while you were outside US and you then entered US on L-1 visa stamp, then your current visa status is L-1.

      1. Nilesh

        Saurabh, thank you for insight. I understand now that I am on L1 status and I must reenter before H1 petition expire and L1 I94.

        Thanks,
        Nilesh

  25. Sriv

    Presently I am working on H1B with an Employer. I would like to start my EB2 Green Card processing. I have few questions as follows:
    1. If I would like to change from Employer A to a different Employer B, at what stage of GC I can do so(Is it after labor or I-140 or I-485)?
    2. After joining new Employer B, can I continue for GC remaining process from where it stopped with previous Employer A?
    3. When I am with Employer B If the previous Employer A cancels my labor, is there any risk to my GC processing with Employer B?
    4. Is it really possible to cancel the labor without any bad impact for the Employer A? In what circumstances the Employer A should be able to cancel the labor? What are the options for me to avoid any risk to my GC processing while working with Employer B?
    5. What if the Employer A closes his company, can my GC processing will continue with Employer B without any issues? If any issues are expected then what are those?

    I want a better clarity on these questions, please someone could answer them more elaborately.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. You can change employer anytime during your 6 year H-1 term.
      2. Once you resign from A, they would have no interest left in continuing your application. B would need to file a new PERM and I-140. However, under certain circumstances you will be able to port your priority date from A. Check w/ an attorney on when it can be ported.
      3. There is no risk w/ B’s GC if A cancels their PERM.
      4. They can withdraw the petition, and I don’t think it negatively impacts the company.
      5. Same as (2)

  26. Vipul

    My company is planning to file L1 visa for me under Blanket L1. However recently most of the visa applications from our company were rejected and consulate asked them to file L1 individual or H1. Not sure why the consulate is emphasizing to file L1 individual or H1 and rejecting all Blanket L1?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      There are few extra requirements for L-1 blanket visa. Do you know if your employer qualifies for those?

      L-1 is one of the most misused visa in last few years. Since then it has become highly restricted. USCIS now prefers employers to file individual visa so that they can control each petition separately, instead of filing blanket visa.

      Will you be working on tools/applications/technology specific to your employer and not known commonly outside your employer?

      1. Vipul

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the update.

        Yes, my company qualifies for the L1 Blanket application. I wont be working on technology which is specific to my employer and not known commonly outside your employer.

        Dont want to sound pessimistic but it seems the chances for getting L1 blanket approved are very slim.

  27. amal

    Hi,
    I was working in USA on L1B visa and came to India on 01/14/2011. My H1B got approved on 11/23/2011. Will I get 6 full years, if my date of entry to USA would be on 01/15/2012 ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      A person can spend at most 6 years of H-1 and L-1 in US. So you will get a H-1 term for 6 years minus the time spent in US on L-1. You may be able to file 7th year extension (and beyond) based on your GC processing.

        1. Gotya

          Saurabh if i am not wrong , as Amal is completed 1 year stay in India his H1 B petition will be consider as fresh and irrespective of his past L1 stay in USA, he can stay in USA for 6 year again.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Now that I read the question again, you are right. The person would have stayed 1 year outside US by the time he enters US on H-1 and will become eligible for 6 years. The initial authorized stay would be determined by 797 expiration date, but employer can continue to request extensions until 6 year term is reached. Ensure that you keep your travel related documents to show that you did stay outside US for 1 year.

            Sorry for the previous wrong info.

  28. Sujan

    Hi Saurabh

    I had an appoinment tuday in Mumbai Consulate .
    I have been issued 221g blue slip. I am a direct employee.I had submitted all the required documents to the mumbai consulate in advance.
    Now they are again asking for copy of the petition with all the supporting documents which I had already submitted.
    They are also asking for the Petitioners income tax returns for the past 2 years and financial statements. Notorized list of all the petitioners employes. I will be contacting my employee today.
    I will be notifing the employee about this.
    Should I tell the employee to submit the documents directly to the VFS or should I tell them to mail it to me. They have told me that once I sumbit the documents I will get an email after which I have to submit the passport.

    Please let me know if you have any approximate idea how much time it takes to get the h1b stamped based on the previous cases

    Thanks
    Sujan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      At times, the required documents contain sensitive information (like financial statements) and employers prefer to send it directly to the consulate. Ask your employer what their preference is and based on that you can decide how to send the documents to VFS. Unfortunately, it can take anywhere from few weeks to months to process 221g cases.

      1. Sujan

        Saurabh

        Some of the documents mentioned in the Checklist in the blue slip I am already having.
        In that case if my employer is going to submit Financial statements and income tax returns to the VFS should I submit the documents I have seperately or should I tell my employer to sent it together to the VFS

        Thanks
        Sujan

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It would be nice to send all documents in one package. So you can send your documents to employer, so that he can put all of them in his package or do the vice-versa.

  29. Anil

    My L1B is getting rejected and they are asking to file the Individual. I have below question:

    1) If I am from the Computer background BE(COMP), can I apply for the Individual.

    2) If yes, Can i apply the same ASAP or i need to wait for some time

    3) Can i shift to the H1

    4) Recently lots of L1B are getting rejetced.If i apply for the individual, is there any imapct for the Previous L1 rejetcion.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Yes
      2. You can do it anytime now
      3. Yes, that is also an option
      4. Depends upon why L-1 was rejected. If it was rejected due to the fact that it was blanket, then it will not impact individual’s processing.

  30. khushnoor

    Dear saurabh,
    my name is mohammad khushnoor from Mumbai. kindly let me know how to get H1 VISA.I am graduate and working in Mumbai as IT executive in 4 years experience. kindly let me know for H1 VISA procedure.I will be really appreciate to you.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You need to find an employer willing to sponsor your H-1 for a specialized job requiring your skill set. They will then submit the petition and USCIS will process it. Once it is approved, you can go for H-1 stamping and then travel to US and work for the employer on H-1.

  31. shyamkant

    Hi Saurabh,
    I’m working for MNC and have around 4 years of IT experience. In my company L1 Blanket visa processing is applicable for high level associates only(as there is a high rate of rejections for L1 Blanket visa they are not processing it for employees above certain grade). My company is processing L1 Individual for me; I have following queries regarding this,
    1) Diff between L1 Ind and L1 Blanket visa.
    2) Is there any time diff between L1 Ind visa and L1 Blanket visa processing? Which one is faster?
    3) Time required for L1 Ind visa processing?
    4) L1 Ind visa is valid for how many years?
    5) Any criteria for dependent visa for L1 Ind visa processing?
    6) Any diff in fees?
    7) What to answer to VO during visa interview if they ask me why i’m applying for L1 Ind visa instead of L1 Blanket visa.
    Thanks in advance. Please reply asap, if possible.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. L-1 individual is filed for a particular individual. Blanket is a more generic visa for multiple people, and the employer can then send employees through it as and when required.
      2. Don’t know, but premium processing services are available
      3. Usual time frame should be 2-6 months. Under premium processing, it should be adjudicated within 15 calendar days
      4. Maximum term that can be approved each time is 3 years, but it can be lesser depending upon what your employer requests and what USCIS seems appropriate in your case
      5. Dependent needs to have their L-2 visa processed
      6. Blanket visa is way more expensive
      7. Company policy

  32. Arjun

    Hi,
    I am currently working in US on L1B visa which got expired along with i94. In b/w my company filed for L1B extension and H1 on premium at the same time, later sometime I got RFE on L1B but my H1B was approved, as of now I have an approval for H1 and have sent a response for RFE to USCIS as well, just to buy out some time, Company wants response to RFE since I was working on some critical project and client doesn’t wanted me to travel back, but Client OK travelling Jan 2012 for H1 Visa stamping.

    My comp has already prepared RFE response, last date to receive RFE by USCIS is Dec 15 2011. Hopefully my RFE will reach USCIS on or before that.

    Now, I am planning to travel back 1Jan2012 and get the visa stamping same week (all formalities done expect booking Appt), once I have visa granted, will file a withdrawal on L1 Ext.

    Does above all sound alright to you?
    I am just trying to avoid any rejection, does L1 Ext rejection has any impact on H1 Visa stamping?
    or if I go back to India extension is automatically rejected?

    Hope I am able to explain you.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Before I respond, can you let me know if your H-1 approved w/ COS (change of status) or w/o COS? Is there an I-94 attached to the bottom of H-1 approval notice? If yes, what’s the date mentioned in that I-94?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, in case you get your H-1 visa stamped, employer can withdraw the L-1 extension. L-1 denial will not impact H-1 stamping unless rejection is related to you not maintaining status etc.

  33. Lax

    got h1b aproved i entered wrong address while filling the Ds 160 i took with the CEAC number to book appointment. now i dont kno what to do do i need to coorect the addres and if yes how?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They usually allow the officer to make minor changes on the interview date. Contact the consulate and ask if the change can be made on the interview date.

  34. Chinna

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got H1B approval through premium processing. Waiting for Visa stamping. My h1b sponsor is a US product based company and my ex-company. They sent my only I-797B original. All remaining docs from my employer are scanned copies only. They have not given me wage reports and IT returns. I have all my original personal records like educational certificates, exp letters etc.

    Can I go ahead with my Visa appointment date?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, you can schedule the visa appointment date. Wage reports and IT returns are not important if the employer is not a small company. It’s more required when the employer is small company and the officer wants to see if the company is financially competent to pay you your H-1 salary.

  35. Amar

    Hi Sourab,

    I am a software engineer with close to 9 years experience. I got my H1B visa stamping done in October 2008, but due to some professional and personal reasons, i couldnt go to the USA. That visa got expired this year. My employer for whom i was working at that time in Hyderabad, India has filed for H1B Pemium for me last year and that got approved. But I shifted that company and joined an MNC in January 2011 and working there. Now my previous employer who has sponcered my H1b premium wants me to go for stamping and i have booked the slot at Chennai VFS office. I am providing all my original documents such as education, employement, experience documents.

    Can you please suggest me about the things which i need to take care while going for stamping and also what kind of questions may I get in the provided scenario.

    Thanks,
    Amar

  36. rahul

    Hi Saurabh,

    First of all thanks for your input on each doubts we are asking.
    I have masters degree from USA. Currently I am working with renouned company, who filed my H1 visa. Visa is approved and I am planning to go for visa stamping in december to mumbai.
    My first question is this bad time for taking an intrerview since i heard of few rejections but not sure of their reasons?
    Second question is i have done internship while studying. That internship was with desi consultant company. I have offer letter, experiance letter, pay stuffs, W2 form from them. Since this company and my current (direct who filed for H1) employer are different. Do i need to carry any other document from previous employer?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rejections depend upon lot of factor. If you working as a full-time employee of a renounced company, then it should be safe. It’s the consulting companies theat are facing lot of rejections.

      Carrying all those documents form old employer should be enough.

  37. Lokesh

    Hi

    My company is processing L1B Individual Premium Visa for me and on the other hand my company also have L1B Blanket approval. Now my question is if I go for the Visa Interview then interviewer might ask why your company is applying L1B Individual for you and not L1B blanket. What should be a logical answer for that.. please suggest …

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I think it should still be ok. I don’t think the VO will ask why your company has decided to go for individual and not use the blanket.

          1. Lokesh

            Thanks for the info Saurabh… i am also thinking in the same way… but just to be on a safer side if VO asks this questions what should be our answer.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Blankets are usually expensive option, so that could be one possible answer. Or you can say that employer doesn’t want to use the blanket numbers for you, and want to keep them for future. What’s your employer reason for not using the blanket?

          3. Lokesh

            Blanket aplications are getting rejected for 90% of the applicants and the reason for rejection statws that your company has filed incorrect visa please come agaon with L1 individual application or with H1 application. This is the reason thet are filing L1 individual.

  38. Rajesh Kumar

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am having 7 + years of working experience but don’t have Bachelor’s degree, but i am appearing through correspondence and it will be done by August 2012.

    One company wants to sponsor H1B for me but have not discussed the education part with me yet (its in initial process).

    What should i tell them, i have my HSC done.

    Will the experience count for education or i should ask them to wait till i complete my graduation and then file for H1B.

    Also for B1/B2 visa is graduation mandatoryes.

    Does the VO verifies the degree certificat

    Please reply.

    Thanks
    Rajesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      One needs to have at least 4 years of college degree to be eligible for H-1. In case of missing education, one needs to have at least 3 years of relevant work experience for each missing year of education. You should let your employer know about your education and get yourself evaluated by an education evaluation agency. They would let you know how many years of education is missing, and then you can figure out if you have necessary experience to make up for it or not.

  39. raj

    Surabh,

    I have a complicated situation here, i am on h1b status now and was planning to go to visa stamping to India and booked the appointment this month, but surprisingly my company is getting merged with another company and will be having a name change.. my lawyer has said it is very risky to travel at this time if they decide to do a background check.. there will be issues and i have also cancelled my flight tickets to India.. my question is after filing the H1b amendment i might go again for stamping next year. do i have to resubmit a new ds 160 with new company name or do i have to inform consulate that i will not show on that time and date? i am confused please advise.

      1. raj

        Thanks saurabh.. Since my company name will be a new one and i will get a new i-797 if i do an H1b amendment.. do i need to fill out a new ds 160 mean while because i cannot change the old one.. what will happen to the old ds 160 with the old info?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, the amendment will have the new employer name. I think it’s ok to leave old DS-160 as is, but I don’t know if you can fill in a new one w/ same HDFC receipt or not.

          Send an email to VFS regarding your situation and maybe they can provide more concrete answer.

  40. Sateesh

    Hi Saurabh

    Company was processed L1 and day after tomorrow my interview. Today Our HR has given 2 cheques ( one is worth of 1,12,500 and another one is 25,000). Why they have given 2 individual cheques instead of one and what they will do with those chequest, because one of my friend told me that one is for L1 fee and another one is for back ground verification. Please let me know

    Thanks
    Sateesh

  41. Vishwanath

    I dont have my UG and PG mark sheets with me, I missed due to some personal reason. I am going to apply for L1B to H1B Visa. Will this affect me. Clarification on this is appreciated

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          At the time of filing itself to demonstrate that you have necessary education and qualification for the H-1 visa category.

          1. Vishwanath

            I need to apply for duplicate, which is time consuming process. Will this affect my H1 approval. What is the alternate solution for it, please help me out

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            The alternative is that you apply now so that you can make through the quota. At the same time, you can initiate the request to issue duplicates. If USCIS feels the need to have them, they would issue the RFE and you can submit them at that point.

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            If you have degree certificates and education evaluation letter, then it may work out even w/o mark sheets.

          4. Vishwanath

            H1b quota got over, my new employer is saying that they are looking for other oppurtunities to on board me. Is there any idea what will it be. How can i work US for another employer.

  42. rahul

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have done my masters this year. I have 2 yrs of IT experiance back in india. Done internship here. Now i am working at another company. My current employer filed for H1B. It is approved.
    I have all documents. Except experience letter from indian company. But i have offer letter and pay stuffs from that company. Is that enough as proof? I can give my team leaders contact numbers also if they want it. How should i go with this situation.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      As you have minimum education required for H-1, you should be fine. Your employer can go ahead and submit the petition w/o experience letter. USCIS questions about experience letters only when they want to see if you are really qualified for the job or not. If you have done Masters in US, then it’s easy for them to see the relevance. If they really need the experience letter, then they would issue the RFE and at that point your attorney can frame the response by submitting colleague information and payslips.

  43. Anand

    Hi,

    My company is planning to apply L1 for me. I saw your checklist. I currently have only the Original Masters degree and its TC and Marksheets in my hand. this Masters i did through distance mode. I was told that i need to submit and show only the highest degree certificate (that is masters degree) . I would be thankful if you could please clarify that if that is sufficient.

    Thanks
    Anand

  44. rams

    Hi Surabh,

    Iam working for reputed company in india. My company is going to apply h1b visa.
    iam having 9 yrs experience , 7 yrs in the current company. 2 yrs back i have applied for h1b through consultant , then i showed only my current company experience ( 5 yrs ). my applicaton got picked in the lottery and due to some reasons ( i dono), employer didn’t process my application further. now iam going to apply h1b through my current comapny with my current company exp + old company experience. Will it create any problem for me? i want to remove old comapny exp, but i don’t hv a choice 🙁

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      There shouldn’t be any issues. I assume you have some sort of documentation to show that those 2 years of experience in genuine.

  45. Gaurang

    I did bachelors in india and came here and completed masters program .but then i wasn’t able to find the job so i wrote some (6months )fake experience as an intern and the fortunately i got the job .Now my current employer is filing my H1b visa ,so should i just the resume with that fake experience or should i remove it? would there be a problem in visa stamping when i go to india?
    Please advise

    Thanks

  46. Sujan

    Hi

    I work for a Telecommunication company. I have done my Masters in Telecommunication from University of Maryland, College Park , 2010 .

    Before working for the the company who filed my H1B I worked for another company. I am planning to go to stamping in Mumbai consulate. Will I need experience letter from my previous company.

    Also on the labor condition letter my employer has given me I dont have my signature and date on it. Does it need to be signed by me. And the questionaire I had filled during my H1B application regarding the job I do at company also required at the time of stamping. I dont think the company will give me tax returns information. I that case what should tell the VO.

    Also I have got my HDFC reciept. Can I fill my DS160 form before scheduling an appointment or should I fill it after scheduling the appointment
    I am planning to go to India first week of December.

    Incase I get 221 g how much time it generally takes. What happens if I lose my job during 221g process (does it generally happen).

    I had not issues during my F1 Visa and H1B approval

    Please Advise

    Sujan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      LCA doesn’t need to be signed by the employee. If the VO asks for documents which you don’t have, then they would issue 221g and your employer can then send the documents directly to the consulate. If USCIS issues 221g, then it is possible for your company to fire you if they can no longer wait for you to return back to US.

  47. Joydeep

    Hello Saurabh – Finally my H1 petition got approved. Need your advise before stamping. From client perspective I have the scanned client letter mentioning my role, position and nature of job at the client site. Taking a print out of the same, will that be okay along with other docs?

    Thanks,
    Joydeep

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      That should be fine. If VO asks for original you can let him/her know that employer kept it w/ himself and gave you this copy. You should also carry information showing how employer exerts control on your day to day tasks/activities.

  48. Deepak

    Indian passports DO NOT have passport book number. Old passports are required only when they contain valid visas. But, if you have them, it is always safe to carry them along with you. Stapling all the passports together is the usual practice but if not handled properly, someone could end up tearing the passport cover.

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