After you get your H1B Visa petition approved by USCIS, your next step would be to go for the H1B visa stamping if you live outside of the US. To apply for the US Visa stamping, you would need to collect and carry a large set of documents for your Visa Interview. In this article, we will look at all of these documents required, including optional documents.
H1B Visa Stamping – High-Level Process
If your H1B Visa petition was applied with USCIS as Consular Processing, you need to get visa stamping done at a US Consular or US Embassy. The process to apply for H1B Visa stamping is pretty much the same as general non-immigrant visa stamping. You can read complete details on these in the article How to apply for US Visa Stamping.
Below are the high-level process steps for H1B Visa Stamping:
- Complete DS-160 form – Online Non-Immigrant Visa application form
- Pay the US Visa Application Fee of $190 USD online or at a Bank
- Book US Visa appointments for Biometrics and in-Peron interview
- Attend Biometrics and Visa Interview
- Wait for the Consulate’s Decision on your visa stamping status
- Collect your Passport with H1B Visa Stamped (if approved)
You need to carry all relevant documents for the in-person interview and some documents for the biometrics appointment. Let’s look at each of these below.
H1B Visa Interview Documents Checklist
Below are the various documents that you would need to carry for the H1B Visa interview. We have divided the documents into sections for easy review.
Required H1B Visa Documents
Below is the mandatory list of documents that you need to carry for an H1B Visa interview
- Valid Passport (If you have any old passports, carry them as well)
- Online US Visa Application Confirmation (DS-160 Form Submission confirmation).
- US Visa Appointment Confirmation with date, time, and location on it.
- H1B Visa Approval Notice (I-797 Form)
- Copy of H1B LCA
- Employment Offer letter from your H1B Sponsor
- Client letter (if you are going to work at a client location)
- If you have middle vendors, you should also carry agreements between them and any letter supporting them.
- You could also carry SOWs, MSAs, etc.
- Latest Resume
- Original Educational Certificates for Bachelor’s degree. If you have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. you should carry those degrees’ award documents as well.
If you are working for the H1B Company already, you need the below mandatory documents
- Employment Verification Letter from your Company that indicates that you are currently working with them. This is also called an employment confirmation letter or position confirmation letter.
- Most recent 3 months’ paystubs/pay slips. It does not hurt to carry 6 months’ pay slips
- W-2 Tax Forms related to the company.
If you were living in the US before going for Stamping, you need to carry the below documents
- Documentation related to your previous US visa status like a copy of your visa, a copy of your previous approval notices related to your status.
- If you were a student on F1 Visa, copy of I-20, OPT EAD Card, Tax forms
Supporting Documents for H1B Visa Stamping
The documents below are not mandatory but are more supporting evidence and information if the Consular officer requests any information.
- Copy of I-129 Form that was submitted by your H1B Sponsoring Company
- Experience letter from your current company
- If you work on an in-house project, copy the project details, and what you do in it.
- Last 6 months’ bank statement to indicate that you were working for them.
- If it is a small company, company-related tax details, photos, etc.
- Official Transcripts in a sealed envelope from your Undergraduate or Master Degree’s at the University
- Copy of all your I-20s, if you studied in the US (if you studied in the US)
- Social Security Card with your SSN Number on it.
- Your Drivers license from the US ( if you have it)
- Your State ID from the US (if you have it)
- Your US Residence Proof Documents like Utility Bills (if you lived in US)
While many of the above are not really asked, it does not hurt to carry them if you have them. You should always check with your immigration attorney and carry relevant documents.
Small Companies, Startups – H1B Stamping Documents
If you work for very small companies or startups with less than 25 people, the US Consular officers may or may not be able to verify all the documents about the company. In such cases, you can check with your attorney and company and carry some of the supporting documents as listed below.
- Comapny’s previous tax filings in Sealed envelope
- Company’s Photos with work location
- Company’s registration documents and other info in sealed envelope.
H1B Visa Documents Checklist as per Dropbox Appointment Letter
Below are the documents that the consulate typically expects and what they collect from users during H1B Dropbox Stamping submission. It is understood that they expect the same from you during the interview. So, you can carry the below list as in the screenshots below from an actual dropbox appointment letter.
H1B Visa Documents for OFC/ VAC/ Biometrics
Below are the documents that you would need for the Biometrics appointment at an Offsite Facilitation Center(OFC) or Visa Application Center (VAC).
- US Visa Appointment Confirmation Letter with OFC or Biometrics Appointment info on it.
- Latest Passport (original)
- DS-160 Confirmation page.
- (optional) if you expired passport, good to carry the most recent expired passport for additional verification.
No need to carry any other certificates or documents. They will verify the name on the passport and compare it with the DS-160 info. If any discrepancies, they will ask you to create a new DS-160 form.
Once verification is complete, they will take fingerprints and take your photo as part of capturing biometrics.
Documents for H1B Stamping with Spouse, Children applying H4
If the H1B applicant is married and has dependents, most of the time, spouse and children attend their H4 visa stamping as well along with the H1B applicant. Below is the list of documents that the dependents need to carry for the H4 visa stamping.
- Copy of H1B visa Approval Notice (from their spouse)
- Original Marriage Certificate
- Original Birth Certificate ( for child)
- Photos of the wedding (for newly married )
- Any other documents that have spouse’s name on them.
- Spouse’s Employment Letter
It is always good to carry more documents as you never know what the consular officer may ask and there is no need to scramble at the last minute. You should always check the US Consulate Website in your visiting country if there is any specific checklist that is given by them.
It is always recommended to carry client letter if you are working at a third-party worksite. If you do not have it for a specific reason such as the client does not give such a letter, have some email copy or some proof that tells that they do not issue client letters. US Consular officers want to validate that you are really employed properly, so it is best to carry all. Not having the client letter will not necessarily result in rejection, but it may lead to administrative processing if the Visa officer is not convinced.
No. The documents listed under supporting documents are really meant as supporting documents and not mandatory. You are fine if you do not have them or are not able to get them on time. Do not worry. It is good to carry them if you can plan and get them on time.
Usually, the H1B Visa stamp validity in the passport would be given according to the validity of the H1B Visa approval notice (I-797 A form). But, there is no mandatory rule that tells that the Consular officer has to give it for the entire duration. It is totally up to them.
Well, most of the time, H1B applicants get multiple entries for visa stamping. But, in certain countries, they may give only a single entry. So, it all depends.
No, usually the H1B visa stamping is not rejected right away unless it is tied to fraud or misrepresentation. The consular officer usually gives a 221g Administrative Processing form with details on what the applicant needs to submit.
No. The documents are required as part of the visa interview. Carrying all documents does not guarantee approval of your H1B Visa stamping. It makes you be prepared for the stamping to answer all the questions.