H1B Visa Stamping Documents Check List

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

In H1B Visa News 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. Anil

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got my H1 approved in feb 2012 after filing LCA for comp A, I haven’t joined in comp A as i have got better job in comp B (Note: I haven’t change my employer but i have only changed my client from A to B.
    Now, I am plannning to visit india oct 2012. Can you please suggest me if i have to apply for h1 amendment or any other formalities for getting H1 stamped in india,

    Thanks inadvance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anil,
      So the client changed from A to B, but your employer remained the same. In this case, a new LCA for B followed by H-1 amendment. If you don’t do that, then there is a possibility of 221g being issued during stamping.

  2. amit

    Hi Saurabh,
    need small help here:
    Suppose I got h1b approval (got stamping on passport) on 25th Sept 2012. and My offer letter joining date in US company is 20th october and same is on DS-160 form. But i am not joining on this date.
    Company agree for new date i.e. 20th Nov and giving me new joining letter.
    So do i need to worry on this.? how this thing work and wht i need to take care?

    big concern if the joining date change after the stamping?

    Amit

  3. Advice seeker

    I have a B1 visa issued from my previous company at that time i applied with the below experience:
    1. Company3 & Company 2 (both consultancies) as previous employers for 2 years experience one in each (now thy are closed and no one to contact)
    2. Company1 being the current employer

    I got the B1 visa and traveled to US twice in the old company
    ———————————————————-
    Then i joined in another company with only my “Company1” experience, as the other two were closed. after joining in the current company, i traveled to US using the old B1 visa.

    Now my current company is trying to file an L1 visa for me. so will there be an issue if i do not mention my initial “Company1 & Company2” experience while filing the L1 visa now.
    I cannot include those companies now as i did not mentioned about them as experience in my current company while joining and they were closed and no one to contact with out any proper documents to support.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Advice seeker,
      I don’t think it’s a serious issue, but is a tricky one. Your B-1 has the old company name stamped, right? So the consulate and also your old employer would know that you did work for them even though it is not mentioned in the resume. If they suspect that it was hidden in resume for wrong reasons, then it could cause delay. However, if they agree to your argument that it will skipped b/c the companies are closed and no one to contact, then it would be ok. Can you have an open discussion w/ your legal team?

      1. Advice seeker

        Thanks for the quick reply.
        I don’t understand one thing in your reply, if my old employer know tht my initial 2 companies are not there will there be any issue now? will the consulate check with my previous employer regarding this. And my old company name is not displayed on the B1 but might be on the USCIS database to which company this B1 is issued.

        Now i have more than 5 years exp and in the L1 resume now i will keep my current company(2 years) and my old employer(3.5 years) skipping the 2 consultancies which were closed but mentioned during the B1 visa. And also as i did not mentioned abt the 2 consultancies while joining my current company i cannot have an open discussion with my legal team.

        Please clarify the below questions:
        1.What are the chances of L1 getting rejected
        2.Can my current company get to know abt the 2 closed consultancies that i did not mentioned in my resume while joining them.(will it anyway affect me)
        3.Wht are the chances of my B1 being cancelled if i go for L1 stamping in this case
        4.Will the L1 petition gets rejected based on this or only my visa might get rejected.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Advice Seeker,
          If the employer is already aware of the issue related to old companies, then it should be fine from their perspective.

          Also, consulate usually doesn’t do background check on old employers when going for L-1 visa. They are more interested in your current role and employer. L-1 is for employer specific skills and this is something learned at sponsoring employer and not previous employer.

          I would suggest talking to your immigration team whether to include or exclude those employers. DS form asks for last 5 year of employment and so the old companies are already excluded in the form. The only thing left is resume and you can add maybe a line or two about them.

  4. Kapil

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got my location change amendment for H1B approved. While going for the interview, do I need to carry all of these – the original petition, original approval notice, amendment and amendment approval notice?

    Regards,
    Kapil

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kapil,
      I would suggest carrying them. My rule of thumb is when in doubt always carry the document. It is better to carry more documents than less.

  5. atul sharma

    Hello Saurabh,

    a) Can you tell me if it is possible to change the visa consulate at the last moment? (i.e go to a different one other than the one mentioned in the I-129). will it have any impact on the visa interview?

    b) if the visa is rejected for any reason, does USCIS refund the money? will the reason for rejection be sent to the consulting company?

    thanks
    ats

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Atul Sharma,
      1. Yes, one can do that. You should call VFS and confirm
      2. No money is refunded by USCIS in case of denial. Yes, rejection reason is sent to the employer.

      1. atul sharma

        Hi Saurubh,

        small question. currently in india, new approved H1 petition, visa interview two weeks from now. was doing H1 transfer last year. details below

        a) work with client begins — May 5 2011 ( same in LCA applied and employment contract signed).
        b) lawyer delays sending of I129. — INS receives it on May 11- 2011. (as per FEDEX receipt).
        c) but INS sends the receipt notice as May 18 – 2011 received.
        d) returned to india even before an RFE was answered.
        d) had a valid I-94 until Dec 2013 with previous company.

        can u pls shed some light on my situation and how to deal with this.

        ats

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Atul Sharma,
          I don’t think it will cause an issue. As your timelines have been delayed, it is better to take an updated letter from the client mentioning the new date. You can then carry this to the consulate for the visa interview. Also carry rest of the documents required for stamping.

          1. atul sharma

            Hello Saurbh,

            thanks for the reply. if i take a new letter from my employer, then there will be a an additional gap of two weeks between old employment end date and new employment begin date (cos there is initially a 3 week gap between them) totalling to 5 weeks.

            can you pls tell me how it affects the visa interview

            thanks
            ats

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Atul Sharma,
            I re-read your previous comment and realized that your employer filed for H-1 transfer while you were in US. Did your H-1 transfer petition reached USCIS before you left the old employer or after you left the old employer? From your post it seems like there was a few weeks gap b/w your last day of employment at old employer and first day of employment w/ new one.

            If true, this can cause an issue during stamping. You may be asked for payslips for the last few weeks which you will not have. Talk to your attorney on how to address the questions regarding the gap.

          3. atul sharma

            Hello Saurubh,

            Thanks for ur response.
            My Dates.
            old emp last date — April -10 -2011. ( H1 cancelled in June).
            new emp begin date — May-18-2011.
            (5 weeks gap)

            Paychecks available.
            old emp —- April 15, April 30.
            new emp —- May 31, June 30.

            pls let me know if there will be issues

            thanks
            ats

  6. HP

    Hi,
    How important is an experience letter in H1B stamping?

    After graduating with a MS in May 2010, I have worked 3 different jobs on OPT, all fulltime(no consultancies involved)

    I had quit my last employer in a rage, am sure I wont get an experience letter from him. Will this impact my stamping later next year? My H1B has been approved starting October 2012.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      HP,
      It may be asked depending upon your case and VO’s discretion. If you can take a letter from your manager or ex-colleague that might help as well. Otherwise carry other documents like payslips to show that you were employed for the firm for that period.

  7. sampath kumar

    Hi saurubh,

    I am in india right now. came from US for visa stamping bcos i did not get an I-94 card with my approved H1 petition.
    my question is,
    in my resume which my consulting company submitted to USCIS, 4 my H1 petition i accidentally put some dates of employment with a previous client incorrectly, while updating my resume. now for the visa will it be ok if i take the same resume which i submitted to the USCIS or should i put the exact dates? will the consulate have access to the resume that i submitted to the USCIS for my H1 petition.

    pls advice.
    sampath

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      sampath kumar,
      I would suggest using the correct dates in the DS form and new resume. They might have access to the submitted resume, and in case they question you can let the VO know about the mistake.

      1. atul sharma

        Hi Saurubh,

        thanks for earlier reply. Just to be clear, there is an inconsistency with the clients dates in my resume, Not the employers. would it still matter.

        Also in DS-160 form we are supposed to mention only the employers info and not the clients
        am i right ?

        thanks
        sampath

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          atul sharma,
          If it’s client dates, then it should not matter. Yes, those dates are not required in the DS form.

  8. Sai

    Hi,
    I am working for reputed company and my H1-b petition has been filed against my current client .
    Depending on the requirement i may travel for current client or any other client .
    So , i don’t have any client letter issued . What are other supporting documents i can carry during my visa interview ?

    Really appreciate your effort in posting valuable comments for queries .

  9. Harish

    Hi Saurabh,

    My current L1-B is valid till Oct 2012. I am travelling to Canada for a new L1-B stamping and my wife is also travelling with me but is not appearing for Consulate Interview. Her L2 is also valid till Oct 2012.

    My question is:

    1) If my new L1-B is stamped in Canada, will she be able to re-enter US in her existing L2 ?
    2) Is it also true that if my new visa gets rejected, will my current L1-B be also cancelled and will I not be able to reenter US ?

    Please do let me know. We are travelling next week and are very apprehensive

    Thanks,
    Harish

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Harish,
      1. She can enter on her existing L-2 visa stamp as long as it is valid at that time. So if she returns prior to Oct 2012, then she should be fine
      2. It will be VO’s discretion. Usually they would not cancel the existing L-1 visa stamp in case the new visa is refused/rejected, but nothing stops them from doing so.

      Why do you want to go for L-1 visa stamping when your current visa is still valid till Oct 2012?

    2. raj

      Hi Harish,

      I Am in same situation as yours…i have the H1B Stamping which expires on Sept 30th 2012..i got my H1b Extension apporved…so wanted to go for H1b Extension stamping?

      I Have the same question as you had…can you please provide me the info what you found form your research?

      “Is it also true that if my new visa gets rejected, will my current L1-B be also cancelled and will I not be able to reenter US ?”

  10. alpana

    Hello Saurabh.

    I am planning to go to Ottawa for H1 B stamping, currently I am on H1 B visa, Full time employee and I am single. (parents are in US – greencard). I came to US in 2008 on H1 then I joined UNVA for MBA and converted visa to F1, once my studies got completed I transferred visa to H1B and now a full time employee after changing the employer.

    I am planning to go for marriage in India, before that would like to get the H1 stamped from Canada.

    Please let me know if this is good move? Also, what are the chances of getting 221g provided I take all the mandatory and good to carry docs. Please suggest.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Alpana,
      As you have done Masters in US, it is ok to go to CA. However, you should still have contingency plans in case things don’t turn out like planned. Regarding documents, carry the ones related to you (degrees, marksheets, resume, experience letters etc), H-1 related documents (copy of LCA, copy of I-129, 797, employer’s letter to USCIS), employer related documents (if it’s a small company) and client related documents (if applicable).

      1. Alpana

        Thank You Saurabh for your response……. I have a question that…

        1. If I get 221g how long should I expect to stay in Canada until it is resolved ( I do know it depends on case basis ) just would like to know approximate time…

        2. If I have to wait longer then 4 months suppose , should I plan to go back to India or can I stay in Canada until I get 221g / visa approved?

        3. What are the chances of visa refusal, last worst case ….provided I have all legal documents and able to provide all the document….

        Appreciate all your help…. thank you….

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Alpana,
          1. You can stay in CA, or go back to home country. However, if the passport is submitted w/ the consulate then you would have to ask the consulate to return the passport in case you decide to go back to home country. There is no set processing time and can take few weeks to several months.
          2. Refer (1)
          3. It varies from case to case, and so it is not possible to give chances of refusal.

          1. Alpana

            Please suggest if I am considered out of status any time, if I plan to go for stamping. Point 3 below is what I am worried about.

            My Chronology is as below:
            ========
            • 24 Oct 2008 – Came to USA on H1B (NJ). I-94 got stamped with validity until 12 Dec 2009 while travel to USA. I-797 valid until 18 Sept 2011.
            • After 21 days searching for job, I started job at my 1st Employer in USA (I have paystub and W2 from 15th Nov to 15th Feb). Company got closed and I had to look for new job.
            • 141 days I had no paystub / no job. Decided to go for Masters.
            • 14 April 2009 – COS – H1 to F1. Got F1 approved. I-94 valid from 06 July 2009.
            • Gratudated from UNVA
            • CPT (2nd Employer)
            • 1 Sept 2011 – COS from F1 to H1 (3rd Employer) I-94 valid from 29 Nov 2011 to 28 May 2012
            • 9 April 2012 – – H1 Transfer (4th Employer) I-94 valid from 17 April 2012 to 04 Aug 2014 (Current).

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Alpana,
            You were out of status when you were on H-1 but not getting paid. However, since then lot of COS petitions have been approved, and so it may no longer matter. It may still impact you during GC processing when the entire immigration history is looked upon.

          3. Arpita

            Thank You so much for your help…

            I am planning to get the Canada Tourist Visa this month, but for the same I have to send the latest paystub along with application. I recently changed the employer so I do not have paystub from new employer yet. Is it okey to send the application to get the canada tourist visa without latest paystub from new employer? I can send I-797 from new employer.

            Please let me know.
            Appreciate all your help.

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arpita,
            Yes, you can do that. Send the last payslip you have from old employer and 797 from new one. Also attach a cover letter explaining why the new stub is not being sent. In addition, attach an employment verification letter from current employer stating your role, salary, hiring date etc.

          5. Alpana

            Thanks Saurabh, after getting your advice I have mailed all the documents to canada embassy in DC for canada visitor visa. Now I am getting my DS160 ready while I have to wait 1 month for getting visitor visa.
            Meanwhile, I had a que- Should I marry my fiance before going to stamping so that if I do not get h1 stamped I can atleast plan to come back on H4 visa? He is on H1 in USA. We both are planning to go for stamping one by one in Canada before going to India for marriage.

            So, if we get married here in US, can I still come back on H4 if H1 is not approved even after resolving 221G.

            Just do not want to get stuck in India. Thinking for a way to return somehow.

            Also, if we show marriage here in US then is that still valid in India to get H4. Also, H1 stamping wont be affected right if we get marry now. Please suggest your thoughts on this situation.

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Alpana,
            I think you can get married in US and use H-4 as a back-up in case your stamping runs into issues. Usually they ask for proof of marriage which can be shown through wedding card, wedding album and/or marriage certificate.

            Yes, the marriage certificate should work in India as well. And it will not have any impact on your H-1 petition; although if 221g is issued then it can have impact on your H-1.

          7. Alpana

            As you said in previous post
            “:Yes, the marriage certificate should work in India as well. And it will not have any impact on your H-1 petition; although if 221g is issued then it can have impact on your H-1.”

            Which 221g are you talking about here for h1?

            I am thinking if we marry do we need to get the middle name changed in passport and licence before going to visa? As Last name is same for both of us.

            Please advice. Appreciate all your help.

          8. administrator
            Saurabh

            Alpana,
            It is not required to change the middle name. What I meant to say was that if 221g is issued for your H-1 stamping, then your H-4 stamping may also run into issues. At times they put H-4 stamping on hold when there is a pending H-1 stamping (it is VO’s discretion).

          9. Alpana

            Thank You Saurabh for your help.

            I changed the employer in May2012 and my previous employer is not withdrawing the H1 petition (normal process) he filed for H1 Extension.
            Is it okey if he do not withdraw? Will it affect me during my future H1 Stamping or GreenCard processing?

            Please let me know if its required to withdraw the pending H1 petition from previous employer ..

            Should I send the mail to USCIS by myself?

            Thank You

          10. administrator
            Saurabh

            Alpana,
            It is ok to not withdraw the petition. It shouldn’t impact your future immigration plans.

  11. Parinita

    Hi Saurabh,

    Me and my husband are currently in U.S. I travelled to US on 2009 with L1 visa for a client at Minnesota. My husband also travelled with his L1 visa for New York during 2009.

    Since we wanted the same location i relocated from Minnesota to New York and changed my client, employer is still the same.

    My visa got expired and i also extended it twice and my extensions got approved. Then my company applied for L1 to H1B conversion so that i can stay a year extra and i got my H1-B also approved.

    My husband got his second extension for his L1 visa approved two weeks back.

    Now since 2009 we both didnt travel to india. So now we are planning for a vacation my husband has to get his L1 stamped and i have to get H1 stamped.

    We are planning for the vacation in the month of June or July. My friends says that June or July is a busy month and there are chances of rejection they also mention that August till October US embassy will get lot of new H1 visas thus rejection ratio is high and they are advising me to travel year end.

    1) Is there anything like that rejections related to the busy months?If so what is the preffered period to get extensions stamped?

    2) My second question is that since i changed from Minnesota to NewYork my client is different now will this have any impact because deputation letter
    will still carry my old client?

    3)What are the frequently asked questions for L1 to H1 conversion do they ask why your employer converted your Visa?

    Thanks,
    Parinita

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Parinita,
      1. I don’t think there is any such logic
      2. You should carry a new letter in that case mentioning the NY client
      3. They usually ask for employer and client related questions. They can also ask about employer-employee relationship. I haven’t seen any visa stamping experiences where the consulate asked about the reason for L-1 to H-1 conversion

  12. Harish

    Hi Saurabh,

    I recently got married and could not travel back as I got a RFE on my H1 visa extension which finally got approved 2 weeks ago. Now, me and my wife are planning to appear for visa stamping. My wife had quit her job before marriage and joined a new company last month since my visa was uncertain at that time.

    Now, her new employer is not willing to provide her relieving/leave letter since she is still on probation. Is this going to be a problem (carrying a leave/relieving letter) while she is appearing for H4 stamping? She has relieving letter from her previous employer. We are planning to appear for stamping together in Chennai. Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Harish

  13. Sandhya

    Hi Saurabh,

    My father took HDFC receipt number for H4 instead of B2, is that ok? .The fee is less for B2 than H4. He got confused visitor visa with dependant visa.
    And receipt says ” only for petition based cases(H,L,O,P and R visas) /
    What do i do next?

    Thankyou.

  14. Suj

    Hi Saurabh

    I have got 221 g blue form from the consulate. My company has submitted the documents to the consulate.
    When the consulate asks for the passport will it be stamped in front on me the day i submit my passport or do I have to submit the passport and after stamping the consulate will mail it to me

    Thanks
    Suj

  15. Goyal

    Hi,
    a. Is it NOT advised to carry any photocopy of the document to be carried at the time of interview for H1B Visa?
    b. Can they take some of my documents?
    c. I dont have my Form 16 for the previous years and have got a duplicate copy issued from my employer with the word DUPLICATE written on it…can this have any adverse effect?
    d. Will I get to know of approval/denial there itself?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Goyal,
      1. For some documents photocopies is allowed – like LCA, I-129, client related documents etc. However, your own documents like degrees, marksheets etc should be carried in original
      2. Yes, they can keep some documents for original processing
      3. Not mandatory to have for H-1 stamping
      4. It will either be approved or 221g will be issued. Once 221g processing is complete, they will either approve it or deny it.

  16. Surgeon

    I have a valid L1-B and expires on Sep 2012, can I apply a new L1-B through the same company. Wether it is possible to apply a new L1-B before it expires.

    Thanks in advance,
    Surgeon

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Surgeon,
      Yes, technically you can do that. But why do you want to do that when your current visa stamp is still valid?

  17. Aashu

    Hi,

    My husband is expecting to get his H1B visa soon. We both are working here and i am also earning handsome salary, but my company does not have onsite policy, so most probably i would be travelling with him on H4 visa. I have 6 years of experience in IT industry.

    I love my job very much, dont want to leave it and get out of touch.

    I am thinking how to keep myself engaged. Right now i am considering two options:

    1. Higher studies ( MS in US). What is the procedure to get into higher studies? How much does it cost and can we do it on H4 visa? is it possible to get enrolled for masters without GRE/TOEFL?
    2. Go at H4 visa and once there contact some consultancy to get H1B visa. Is it possible? How much will it cost?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Aashu,
      1. You can study on H-4. The fees will depend upon your school, course and whether you qualify for in-state tuition or not.
      2. Yes, this is also possible. However, you will have to be very careful w/ the company you decide upon as not all petitions result in approval. The H-1 fees need to be paid by the employer and it can be b/w 2000-4000 depending upon employer size and number of employees on H-1 and L-1.

      1. Aashu

        Thanks Saurabh,

        As i heard that quota for 2013 has already started. So if suppose we travel to US in next 2-3 months, is it still possible to get the H1B visa in 2013?

        Also my husband’s petition got approved at Feb 26th but still he has not received his petition. As i know usually it comes within 3-4 weeks. does it take so much time?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Aashu,
          Yes, H-1 can still be done assuming quota is still open. You will have to follow the weekly counts to know what’s the filing pace.

          It should have reached the employer/attorney by now. Did he follow-up w/ them to know about the status? If they haven’t received it, then they can call USCIS and follow-up (your husband cannot follow-up directly w/ USCIS).

          1. Aashu

            Thanks Saurabh. Yes he inquired the company visa department but they are saying they have not received it yet.

            I am not sure if visa department has called up USCIS. But other people who got RFE for petition status has already received the petition.

  18. amit

    Hi Saurabh………need urgent info:
    Hi…for my h1b stamping i received all the docs from my US employer. But i found 2 mistakes in the docs.
    1. in the I-129 form, my citizenship mentioned in philipines not india.
    2. I my offer letter and LCA the position name is different.
    how much this can effect me…..?

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      #2 may not be a big issue as long as the difference in positions is not drastic and offered salary is more than that mentioned in the LCA. As for #1, you should talk to your attorney to get it corrected.

  19. Varsha

    Hi,

    My husband is on J1 visa and I am on J2 working on basis of EAD. We both have valid status up to Feb 2013. His visa stamp expired on Jan 2012 and mine in Nov 2009. Now I am planning to travel India in june 2012 alone.
    Will it affect to me that my principal visa holder has an expired visa. Also can I join a job on the same EAD which says ‘not valid for re entry’

    Thanks for your any help.

  20. Goyal

    Hi,
    I applied for Visa for US under H1B category, which got approved and now I am preparing for the Visa interview. The problem to this however is per my client’s ploicy I wont get any end-client letter issued. However I can get the SOW and MSA of the project plus an invitation from the American counterpart of my organization. But I would be required to work at Client’s office and thus have mentioned Client’s address under ‘the place I will be working in USA’.
    What are the chances that I would be asked for my client’s letter during interview.
    Would the MSA, SOW and invitation letter from American counterpart of my company suffice in place of end-client letter. If not, what can I take along (anything which is not client’s letter head).

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Goyal,
      You can carry those documents and then argue that client has a policy to not issue client letter but have sent those documents in lieu of it. It will be then up to the visa officer to remain hooked to client letter or accept the remaining documents. If your employer is a reputed one, then chances are that they will accept the alternate documents.

  21. amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    If i got stamping from Embassy on my passport for h1b visa. and the joining date mentioned on the offer latter is 2nd may 2012. but i m unable to go to US on that date and delayed by 2 weeks. thn is there any impact from thta….do i need to get new offer letter from client and show again to embassy.?…thanks to you.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      To be on a safe side you should get an updated letter from the client/employer. Once you get your visa stamped and the date changes, nothing needs to be done – you can just show the updated letter at PoE. However, if you haven’t gone for stamping yet, then it’s better to carry the updated letter to the consulate.

  22. amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I want to go for H1b stamping in Delhi. so do i need to submit any documents before that in delhi US embassy?

    Can i get hdfc recipt from hyd for the same. ? Wht all docs i need to carry to get the hdfc recipt?

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      When going to Embassy in Delhi, there is no pre-submission necessary. To get the HDFC receipt one needs to carry passport.

  23. Vishwanath

    Saurabh
    I am applying for L1 extension, meanwhile i have got an employer who is ready to do H1B. Will that create a problem for me in anyway.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vishwanath,
      Two things you need to watch out for:
      1. H-1 may not be approved w/ COS unless you show L-1 I-94 valid until Oct 1
      2. It starts a race scenario and the petition which gets approved later determines your eventual status.

  24. amit

    Hi Saurabh…Need help on processing my h1b stamping…Got approval from USCIS in june 2011. Now i have to go for stamping..looking for some consultants to help me on that in hyderabad.
    Pls email me garg02 at gmail dot com

    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      Consultants to help you out? Are you referring to agents who help in preparing the H-1 visa stamping documents? If yes, then I don’t know any.

  25. sandeep

    Hi Saurabh:
    I am working in India since 2008 in a multinational company. I was to join a new company in USA in May2012 & that employer filed a I129 petition and got the approval notice by getting I797C- Notice of action on 18th Oct 2011. He has sent that document to me in Nov2011, so that i can apply for H1 B visa. Till date i have not applied for this, as i do not intend to join them if my L1 from the current employer gets thru.
    Now my existing company where i am working for last 3.5 years, wants me to take over the senior position for their office in USA. Hence they will be applying for my L1 visa.
    Do let me know if my approved I797C from the new employer for H1B (whom i have not joined till date & do not intend to join) will have an effect on my L1 visa application from the current employer.
    Would appreciate your quick comments to clarify this

  26. amit

    Hi…Need help on processing my h1b stamping…Got approval from USCIS in june 2011. Now i have to go for stamping..looking for some consultants to help me on that in hyderabad.
    Pls email me garg02 at gmail dot com

    Amit

  27. Chandra

    Hi Saurabh,

    Is this list (the one you have put up) still valid or should we go by the official link, posted below?

    http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov/advance_doc_submission2.html

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chandra,
      The documents mentioned on consulate website are for advance submission, and you should follow that list. The documents mentioned on the page above are what one needs to carry in-person. So they are different lists.

  28. Sujan

    Hi Saurabh

    I have been issued 221g Blue slip. My company has submitted the documents to the USA consulate.
    When the Consulate asks for the passport do they say I have to submit the passport within particular days or on one particular date

    Thanks
    Sujan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sujan,
      You can submit it as per your convenience. The more you delay, the more they will delay in the final issuance of visa.

  29. Uma

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am on L1B visa currently which expires in August 2012. However I have I-94 valid till Jan 2015. Can I stay and work legally for the same employer even after my visa expiration with valid I-94? I have been in US for 1.5 years. I see mixed comments everywhere.
    Thanks, Uma

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Uma,
      Are you on blanket visa? If yes, then you can continue to stay and work until your I-94 expiration date. BTW, when you say L-1B visa is expiring, are you referring to the visa stamp in the passport? If yes, then the expiration date of that stamp doesn’t matter as long as you are in US.

  30. Vipul

    Hi Saurabh,

    My spouse’s company is processing H1 visa for her. I am planning to apply for H4. Just wanted to check if I am on H4 status and want to apply for H1 in future, will it affect my application?

  31. Rajesh

    Hi,

    I am from andhra. I am looking to goto Chennai consulate for vusa instead of Hyderabad, would that matter? will they question me why i am not attending at hyd?

    Also , Should i carry W2s from last year ?

    thanks
    Rajesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajesh,
      Are you currently in US or out of US? If you are in US and going to India for stamping, then you can go to any consulate for stamping. If you are in India, then also I think you can go to Chennai (there was a note from consulate couple of years ago), but I am not sure if it’s still the case or not.

      1. Rajesh

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your reply, I am currently in US. So assumin that there shouldnt be a problem. And do i need to carry W2s?

  32. Bob

    Hi Saurabh,

    My friend bought HDFC US Visa fee receipt in Mumbai for my spouse’s H4 interview. I just realized he entered a wrong year of birth on it. Would that matter?

    Thanks
    Bob

  33. Mylsamy

    I want to apply for H1 B visa from my current company. pls find details below.
    My first Company1 is closed(worked in 2005) ,but i have offer letter and experience letter. currently i am working in Company4. Please let me know whether can i show the Company1 details.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mylsamy,
      IMO, you should still add that employer in your work experience. It may help in the long run and I don’t think you will be penalized for the company closing down. Lot of companies close down over a period of time.

  34. venkat

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have total 5.1 yrs of work Experience(4 IT +1.1 Non IT)..out of which the 1st 1Yr 20days i have worked for a consulting firm in India on NON IT on CAD/CAM design which does outsourcing and the Bond was for 2 years.

    i was about to get offer for the same as a permanent emp and was about be on the comp’s payroll,But in the meantime I quit without informing them and joined the IT company through a Employee (Mgr) refernce (Based on the course i did ).

    Now i am in US from last 2 yrs thru the Company Which got me H1B considering my previous experience (Non IT) while filing H1B,but for the same i don’t have any experience letters nor the bank stmts as i was paid the salary in cash for 1 year as i was on contract(Luckily i was not asked abt that during visa interview).

    During the recession time,the consulting firm shut the office and now i don’t have anyone’s contact .

    Now i am planning to switch the job i have excluded the work exp of the first year and have mentioned only 4 yr of work exp.

    Now i planning to get My H1B transfer for some other comp.So want to know whether the work exp of first 1 year is gonna be a matter of concern.Please need some advice/suggestion on this asap..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Venkat,
      It may not be an issue. As long as you qualify for the new position based on the work experience you are showing you should be fine. It is normal for lot of companies to close down over the course of time, and also to keep updating the resume to show only the relevant work experience. I am assuming the new position is related to IT, and so non-IT work experience is not important to have and show.

  35. Venkat

    Saurabh,

    I applied for L1B. I have a clarification on the usage of Alias names. My Passport and employment details have my name as in passport(Without Alias – Vengadesan Karthick). My educational qualification (Degree) and Marriage certificate has my names as Vengadesan alias Varadan. Wanted to know if an alias name will create any issues during my interview process.I have not attended a visa interview till now.Kindly assist.

  36. Sagar

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have around 7 years of work experience and I do not have experience certificates for all 7 years. But I do have appointment letters and salary slips for entire tenure. Do you think this is OK or I need to have work experience certificate? I can’t go back to my previous employer as I had left the without serving notice period so per company policy they do not issue realiving or experience letters.

    Please help!!!!

    Thank you in advance.
    Sagar

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sagar,
      It’s best to get the experience letters. If not, you can get letters from ex-colleagues stating that you did work w/ them. You can also submit contact details of ex-colleagues who can be contacted in case of any reference checks. However, it’s not a guarantee that this would work.

      1. Sandy

        Hi Saurabh,

        I also have a question on the same topic. I am in USA on L1A. I am a CA, CFA, FRM with 10 years of experience and out of which last six years are in the revelant field (Hedge Funds). However, I am missing two experience certificates from previous employers (though that experience is not related to hedge funds). Do you forsee any issue with my H1B applicaiton?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sandy,
          I don’t think it will be a big issue, but you can also try to get reference letters from ex-managers and ex-colleagues, if possible.

  37. Bob

    Hi – Quick question. I am planning to purchase HDFC US Visa fee receipt in Mumbai, But we intend to choose Hyderabad US consulate for the interview(H4). Would the location of purchase matter?

  38. sharad

    Hi Saurabh,
    i m currently in a mnc. 5 yrs back i was working under a free lancer(proprietership) company. now the person under whom i was working separeted his business from his business partner and continued his business with new name. i have the experience letter with name of old company.the old address and number mentioned in document is stiil active. if i mention that business divided and provide number of newly formed company also,will it be ok for H1? as both persons r having my employment records.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sharad,
      You can submit information like company XXX (formerly known as YYY). This way you will be submitting the latest information and will also show it is linked to your experience letters.

  39. Akshay

    Hi Sourabh,

    My Company is going to file L1 Visa. Below are my details.

    Work Exp : 6 Years
    Education : Master of Computer Management
    Current Company for 2+ Years … but previous companies already closed. Will my petition will be valid?

    Lots of thanks,
    Akshay

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Akshay,
      In case of L-1, more emphasis is given to your current skill set. If you are working on employer proprietary tools/skills/technology/application which is not known commonly outside the employer, then chances of L-1 approval are more. If you are working on more common specialized technologies like Java, .NET etc then L-1 has a greater chance of rejection (H-1 is the right visa in this case).

  40. Vipul

    Hi Saurabh,

    My company is processing my L1B Visa. I already have a B1 visa and had travelled to US for 1 month in Jan last year.

    I have heard from few of my colleagues whose L1 was recently rejected that the counsulate officer also cancelled their approved B1 visa. So wanted to check whether there are any specific criteria where you valid B1 will also get cancelled in case your L1 is rejected?

    Have you heard about any such incidents?

    Thanks
    Vipul

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vipul,
      It’s the VO’s discretion. Usually they cancel the B-1 w/o prejudice at the time of approving a dual intent visa like L-1/2 or H-1/4. However, if they want they can cancel the B-1 visa in case of L-1 rejection, and I remember reading about couple of such cases online.

  41. kartik

    thanks saurabh,
    i talked with the university officials. they told that they will correct my name in degree certificate after affidevite and issue the duplicates.

    i have to submitt only the corrected document (behalf of old document) or affidavite is also needed along with those corrected document? will they accept the duplicate documents issued by university after name change?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kartik,
      I would suggest submitting the corrected documents along w/ a letter explaining what was corrected. You can check w/ an attorney as well.

  42. Soncha

    Hi Saurabh,
    i would be applying for H1b this year through my company. However, i just wanted to check if our passport needs to have our current address? My passport contains my previous address, which was a rented house. Should I apply for a re-issue of passport? Does it matter?

  43. Sujan

    Hi Saurabh

    I have been given 221G blue slip. I am still waiting for the company documents as the company lawyer is working on it.
    My Passport is expiring on Feb 2013. Since I am in India I am thinking of getting it renewed.
    If I get my passport renewed should I send both my current passport along ith the new passport for stamping.
    If I dont get my passport renewed will I need to get my new passport stamped as well ( When I get my new passport after Feb 2013).

    Thanks and Regards
    Sujan

  44. Sujan

    Hi Saurabh

    I have been given 221G blue slip. I am still waiting for the company documents as the company lawyer is working on it.
    My Passport is expiring on Feb 2013. Since I am in India I am thinking of getting it renewed.
    If I get my passport renewed should I send both my current passport along ith the new passport for stamping.
    If I dont get my passport renewed will I need to get my new passport stamped as well ( When I get my new passport after Feb 2013)

    Thanks and Regards
    Sujan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sujan,
      Do you have your passport w/ you? If yes, then you get for passport renewal. I think the old passport needs to be submitted for renewal. Thing to watch out for is the processing time for passport renewal. If your passport is pending for renewal and consulate asks you to submit passport, then it would cause the stamping to get delayed. BTW, has consulate asked you to submit passport along w/ other documents?

      If the timing works out, I think you can submit both old and new passport along w/ explanation that you have got it renewed while you waited for the 221g processing to complete. You can discuss w/ your attorney as well.

      1. Sujan

        Saurabh

        If I get my current passport stamped and get new passport next year. Will I need to get the new passport stamped as well as it wont have the stamp

        Thanks
        Devesh

  45. Neha

    Hi Sourabh ,
    I was in touch with you few days back as i work for a small company as a direct employee.My company has a office in Lodz Poland .Is it a safe bet to go to Poland and get my H1 visa stamped ?
    Neha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Neha,
      Usually it preferred to go to home country for visa stamping especially when one hasn’t completed their education in US. However, if you have to travel to Poland for official purpose, then you can go to US consulate in Poland for visa stamping in order to return to US. You should contact the US consulate in Poland and ask them about their policy on TCN (third country national). As always, visa stamping in any country carries risk of getting rejected or 221g being issued. So have contingency plans like working from Poland office in case your visa gets stuck in 221g etc.

  46. Vijay

    Hi Sourabh,

    My company is going to file my L1-B VISA for US. I have done MCM (Master of Computer management). I have all the marksheets and degree certificate for PG and Graduation. But I have some carry showed in my PG semester marksheets (Subjects which are not cleared). So should I give the same marksheets ? will they approve my petition.
    Please suggest ASAP.
    Thanks a lot.
    Vijay

  47. Sunny

    Hi Saurabh,

    A query on DS-160. What if my previous employer ( one where I worked 5 years ago) has changed its name and moved also from the plase where I worked? Shall I mention the employer’s contact details as present in the Offer/Relieving letter or shall i mention the contact details as mentioned on their website?

    Kindly suggest!!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sunny,
      You should mention their current contact details. If the VO questions, you can tell them about the change in name and location etc.

  48. kartik

    saurabh as per my 10th(CBSE) certificate ,passport and pan card my name is “kartik singh”. but as i did my HSSC to PG education in maharastra board/university , so in further document(12th to PG) my name is “kartik Harishkumar singh” as in maharastra educatin putting fathers name as middle name is mandatory. willl it create any trouble durinng H1/L1 visa processing . please suggest.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kartik,
      It shouldn’t be. Make sure all your document now contain the name same as your passport. Name in the passport is what will eventually get stamped in petition and visa stamp, so try to be as consistent w/ that name. You can also get an affidavit stating that both names belong to you, so that it can address any concerns which USCIS or consulate may have about the discrepancy.

      1. kartik

        THANKS SAURABH,
        so if i did affidabit there will be no problem?
        actually till now i never faced any problem due to this. but as i never went for visa processing so i was not aware of it.
        apart from this my 1st and 3rd companies r closed uut of my 3 ex-company. will they do any verification as they becomes suspicious due to name mis match in degree? i m scared a lot to proceed. plz sugges…..

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Kartik,
          It should be fine, and having the affidavit would make it even safer. It is ok if the old companies are closed as lot of companies get closed over period of time.

  49. Ajay

    Hi Saurabh,

    My company filed RFE response to USCIS and the latter received it on Feb 1st 10:00 am by UPS. My case was filed under premium processing earlier. The status still shows as RFE Sent on that earlier date. Please let me know your thoughts.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ajay,
      At times the online status is not the most correct ones, and there have been instances when the status is misleading especially in case of PP petitions. If the petition doesn’t get processed within 15 calendar days of USCIS receiving RFE response, your employer/attorney should call USCIS and follow-up. As it’s a PP case, they can even email the case officer.

      1. Ajay

        Thanks Saurabh,

        How is 15 calendar days calculated, for instance my rfe response was received by USCIS on Feb 1st 10:00 am, so they should respond by 15th Feb right? so will they count 15 days after taking the case and not postal receive date?

          1. Ajay

            Thanks Saurabh,

            I read in one of the immigration website, that USCIS can take upto one week to enter a case in their system and 15 days is calculated from then..is that True?

            Also is there any correlation between the time taken to adjudicate and approval, as most approvals I have seen thus far , has been approved within a week..

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ajay,
            I would expect it to be done within a day, and in worst case scenario may be a week.

            There is no co-relation and it varies from case to case and from adjudicator to adjudicator. Once it has been received and entered in system, it should be processed within 15 calendar days. Whether it gets approved on the 1st day or 15th day, there is no way to guess that.

          3. Ajay

            Hi Saurabh,

            My case still shows as RFE, no decision taken yet, are you aware of similar cases before..its close to three weeks now..My employer is saying it my take more than a month may be!!

            Thanks,
            Saurabh

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ajay,
            Do you know if USCIS has received the response through mail tracking etc? If yes, and if it has been more than 15 calendar days since that date, then your employer should call/email USCIS and ask for follow-up. If you are paying for a premium service, they better adjudicate it within 15 calendar days or else return that money.

          5. Ajay

            Yes Saurabh, I tracked UPS and the status shows that they have delivered it to CSC on 1st Feb 10:00 am. I spoke to my visa team and they say, USCIS has not responded for some premium RFE cases that were filed in late December yet. Are you aware of any delays in current scenario at CSC. They seem to see this as a common case. Please advice.

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ajay,
            I don’t know of any delays, but it is possible that they may have missed your petition b/c of heavy work load. So its better for employer to talk to USCIS (they can contact the officer over email as well as it’s a PP case) and bring it to their notice.

          7. Ajay

            My Employer is saying that this is usual and they have not heard from USCIS for premium cases that were sent in Late Dec.. Ca I call the USCIS directly for updates?

          8. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ajay,
            Isn’t your employer worried about the PP fees they have paid. They should be on top of this to know why petition isn’t getting processed within 15 calendar days. You cannot call USCIS. And if employer is not willing to follow-up, there is not much one can do.

          9. Ajay

            Hi Saurabh,

            my l1b individual petition got denied , coz USCIS felt the position did not qualify for specialized knowledge. Last year my H1 got denied coz USCIS wanted client letter, and it was not a direct questions and we could not figure it out, denail was something about control of me by my client.

            I have to apply for H1 again this year. Will the previous denials adversaly affect my new H1 petition? Can I try, my role requries me to work from Onsite.

          10. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ajay,
            Sorry to hear about your denial. Your next H-1 filing will not be impacted by the previous denials. Those denials were b/c of you not working on employer proprietary knowledge (L-1) and employer-employe relationship control (H-1). However, the new petition will be subject to its own requirements and USCIS will look into whether it satisfies all those H-1 requirements. Based on that, they would approve or deny the petition.

  50. Manish Gupta

    Hi Saurabh
    I want to apply for H1 B visa from my current company. pls find details below.
    let me know if i can show only experience of company 2 and company 3 or all experience i can show them. after my graduation i started mba but could not complete it so there is some gap.

    B Tech (Computer science) : 2003
    May 2005 to March 2007 – company 1 [exp certificate available, company is closed now and no wage reports available , it was very small firm and not online system so]
    Apr 2007 to Oct 2007 – company 2 [exp certificate available]
    Nov 2007 to till date – MNC company 3

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You seem to have the necessary education and experience that qualifies you for the position. But it will also depend upon the offered position.

      If I were you, I will show all the experience as it will remove any discrepancies that might arise in future.

      1. Manish Gupta

        Hi Saurabh
        Thanks for your prompt reply. I am not clear what you meant by ” it will remove any discrepancies that might arise in future.” I was thinking that on company 1 exp certificate it is personal id written of owner and when UScis approves petition and in case of background check ,i may not be able to proove i have worked as that firm is closed.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          What I am saying is that if you do not include company1’s experience, then you cannot use it in future as well, or else it may give rise to discrepancies. For example, when applying for GC etc.

          Lot of companies shut down over period of time, so it’s not a big thing that they are closed. Besides, they would do a background check only if they are suspicious of your education/experience and how it matches w/ the offered position.

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