If you are planning to apply for a US Visa at a US Consulate, you need first to complete the DS-160, then create an account on US Visa Appointment booking websites such as USTravelDocs, USVisaScheduling.com or AIS.USVisa-info websites. As part of that process for H1B, H4, L1, and L2 Visa holders, you would get questions that ask for the petitioner’s name, request number, start date, and expiration date.
If you are new to the process, it can be confusing. In this article, we will review what those details are and how to fill the same as part of the DS-160 or appointment booking websites such as USTravelDocs, USVisaScheduling.com, or AIS.USVisa-info.
Before we get into the details, let’s look into the details of what the USCIS Petition is and how it works.
USCIS Petition Approval Information
In general, before you go for US Visa Stamping for any employment-based visas or their dependent visas, you need to get an approval from USCIS. As part of the US work visa process, the company sponsoring your visa or your spouse’s visa would file a work visa petition (Form I-129) for the principal applicant and need to get approval. You can read the Step by Step guide to H1B Visa process to know more. It is the same process for L1 visa as well.
The work visa (H1B or L1) approval notice from USCIS would contain all information you need to fill out in the DS-160 form or on the appointment booking website.
If you look at a Sample H1B Visa Approval Notice, you will see fields such as listed below and what they mean. You would need this information to complete info during the DS-160 form filling or the US visa appointment booking website.
- Receipt Number: This is the H1B or L1 Visa petition receipt number related to the petition that was filed with USCIS. The same receipt number is on the H1B or L1 Visa receipt notice. This is the same number that is used to track the H1B or L1 Visa petition status on USCIS website.
- Received Date: This is the date USCIS received the H1B or L1 Visa petition package from the employer at the USCIS facility.
- Notice Date: This is the date when the USCIS system generated the H1B or L1 visa approval Notice.
- Petitioner: This is the name of the H1B or L1 Visa Sponsoring Company. It will be the employer’s name filing the H1B or L1 petition on behalf of the applicant or beneficiary.
- Beneficiary: This field would have the name of the H1B or L1 Visa applicant to whom the H1B or L1 visa approval notice is related.
- Valid From and To: The valid from and to dates indicate the starting and ending dates of the H1B or L1 petition approval. Usually, it is up to 3 years or less. Usually, the duration of approval is reflected on the H1B Visa LCA filed for the H1B petition. For L1, there is no LCA, so you would not have that info.
Below is a sample screenshot of an H1B work visa approval notice from USCIS and the relevant fields as explained above. This looks exactly the same for the L1 visa approval notice as well, just that the Class would show as L1.
Now that we understand USCIS work visa petition info let’s look at the questions on DS-160 and then go to the US Visa Appointment Booking website.
What is the Application Receipt/ Petition Number on DS-160?
When you complete DS-160, you will get a question that reads “Application Receipt/ Petition Number” after you select the purpose of the trip to the US as “Temporary Worker(H)” or “Temporary Worker(L)”. It looks like in the screenshot below for various visa types such as H1B, H4, L1, and L2.
You will find the Application Receipt / Petition Number on the H1B or L1 Visa Approval notice under the label “Receipt Number.” The USCIS receipt number on the approval notice is a 13 digit alphanumeric number, that starts with a 3 alphabets like EAC, WAC, IOE, etc. The Approval Notice is nothing but the form that says “I-797 Notice of Action.” .
Application Receipt / Petition Number = Receipt Number on H1B/ L1 Approval Notice
The Application Receipt/ Petition Number for H4 or L2 visa dependents is nothing but the “Receipt Number” on the H1B or L1 Approval notice of the primary applicant (spouse). See the below, where we have highlighted the same on an H1B approval notice (I-797 Notice of Action.
Usually, your employer/ company would share a copy of the approval notice with you. If not, you can ask them the same, and they will provide you with the same.
Petitioner Details in H1B Visa Appointment Booking
As part of the US Visa Appointment booking, you must create an account on websites such as USVisaScheduling.com for India, USTravelDocs, or AIS USVisa-info websites for appointment booking outside of India. You will be asked to fill out the information below as part of that process. It will be the same for H1B, L1, H4, or L2 visa holders.
On the USVisaScheduling.com website for India appointments, you will see the below fields:
- Petitioner Name
- Petition Request Number
- Petition Start Date
- Petition Expiration Date
On the Portal.USTravelDocs.com website for outside India appointments, you will see the below fields:
- Petitioner’s Name
- Start Date
- Receipt Number
- Expiration Date
The screenshot below shows how the petition information capture screen looks on the USVisaScheduling.com website and Portal.USTravelDocs.com.
The above fields can be filled based on the information on the H1B or L1 Approval Notice(I-797 Notice of Action) from USCIS. You can check the above section to learn more about the USCIS approval notice.
Below is what you need to fill in for Petition Information on USVisaScheduling.com for appointment booking in India based on H1B or L1 Approval notice:
- Petitioner Name = Petitioner (name listed under Petitioner on approval notice)
- Petition Request Number = Receipt Number (13-digit Number under receipt number)
- Petition Start Date = Valid From Date (Date listed after Valid From). The time can be 12 AM.
- Petition Expiration Date = Valid To date ( Date listed after ‘to’). The time can be 12 AM.
Note: You can select any time on the petition start date or expiration date. Ideally, if you want to be precise, you can select 12 AM for bothPetition Start Date and Expiration Date.
The screenshot below shows the Petitioner’s details corresponding to a particular field on the H1B or L1 Approval Notice.
Below is what you need to fill for Petition Information on Portal.USTravelDocs.com for appointment booking outside India based on H1B or L1 Approval Notice
- Petitioner’s Name = Petitioner (name listed under Petitioner on approval notice)
- Start Date = Valid From Date ( Date listed after Valid From).
- Receipt Number = Receipt Number (13 digit Number under receipt number)
- Expiration Date = Valid To date ( Date listed after ‘to’).
The screenshot above shows where these fields are mapped on the H1B or L1 approval notice.
You should ask your employer or company who sponsored your H1B or L1 Visa. They will share you the approval notice.
Yes, the petitioner information for H4 dependent applicant is same as the H1B primary applicant. The approval notice for H1B applicant has the details of the same.
There is no way you can get the petitioner information without looking at the approval notice. Only your employer or company can share that information.
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