Step-by-step guide for the H1B visa Application Process from India
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Step-by-step guide for the H1B visa Application Process from India

Moumita Basu

Table of Contents

The H1B visa is one of the most in-demand visas in the United States Federal administration grants to foreign workers in the US. The H1B visa lets employers employ highly-specialized foreign workers in their organizations. The H1B visa also gives foreign citizens temporary access to the US but doesn't grant them citizenship. USCIS (The US Citizenship and Immigration Services) has managed H1B visas since 1990. The USCIS issues approximately 65,000 employment-based H1B visas, with 20,000. As winners of the H1B visa are selected through a lottery, it isn't guaranteed to anyone.

People working in architecture, mathematics, engineering, social sciences, physical sciences, accounting, medicine, education, health, etc., submit their application for the H1B visa.

What eligibility criteria apply for an H1B visa from India?

To be eligible to apply for an H1B visa, you must:

  • Show 12 years of work experience, which can be a mix of higher education and work experience
  • Hold a bachelor's degree
  • It is crucial that your employer file a labor condition with the Department of Labor that details all the terms and conditions of your employment contract
  • You must prove that you can work in the specialty occupation
  • It is compulsory that you should be willing to come to the US to work, and not because you want to pursue a hobby or to do any humanitarian service under the H1B visa

What documents do you need to furnish for your H1B visa?

The documents that you need to furnish to apply for an H1B visa from India are:

  • Passport
  • Labour Certificate Approval
  • Appointment letter from your employer
  • Tax return papers of the company
  • Copy of the letter sent to the department of Justice and the Consular General of the Indian Consulate
  • Copy of our official degrees
  • Post Graduation certificate (if any)
  • Appointment and relieving letter from all your previous employers
  • Prior dates of stay in the US before the H1B visa
  • Copy of the current US or temporary license
  • Copy of resume with certificates
  • Two demand drafts, one for $45 as a processing fee and another $100 for the issuance fee
  • 2-3 passport-sized photographs
  • If you have applied for an H-4 visa, then you must submit your children's birth certificate and marriage certificate

What documents does your employer need to show when applying for an H1B visa while you are in the US?

In case you are applying for an H1B status and are already in the US, you need to submit:

  • Copy of your passport and current visa pages
  • Current US address
  • Foreign address
  • Day and evening phone numbers
  • Email address
  • 1-94 copy
  • Previous H1B approval notices copy
  • Dates of the previous stay in the US under an H1B visa
  • Current employment status and resume
  • Copy of your credential evaluation
  • Your position in the current sponsoring US company
  • SSN
  • Latest W2 copy
  • A recent copy of the payslip

What are the photo requirements for the H1B visa?

You must furnish your digital photo if you apply for an H1B visa. Some of the rules you need to follow for submitting your photograph are:

  • The picture has to be taken using a digital camera
  • The pixel dimension of your photograph has to be 600x600 minimum
  • The file format must be JPEG, and the size should be 240kb or less

How to book an appointment for an H1B visa?

To book an appointment for the H1B visa, you need to follow the following steps:

  • This visa interview is open for all people who want their visas in the US
  • The interview can also be taken online by the US visa appointment system
  • Don't wait till the last moment to book your interview appointment
  • Figure out which Consulate you have to apply to before you set up an appointment
  • Don't forget to go through the list provided for the US consulates in India
  • Get an appointment as soon as possible
  • Check for the waiting period for the H1B visa at all the US consulates

Can individuals apply for an H1B visa?

You cannot apply for an H1B visa on your own. Your employer has to do that for you. The filing period for the H1B visa application from India starts on 1st April, and the filing period will continue till the quota is met. There is one thing you also need to remember H1B employers change every year, so keep an eye out for that. Another thing you need to remember is that the H1B visas are dual intent visas, as you can get your permanent residency in the US with the help of it.

What is the duration of the H1B visa application from India?

Typically, an H1B visa is valid for three years, but you have the option of extending it to six years. For example, some special category workers may even get an extension of ten years.

Additionally, if an employer dismisses someone working on an H1B visa, the employee has an extension of 60 days to find a new job. Otherwise, the worker can also apply for a green card. If the employer isn't eligible for a green card or doesn't get a new job, they must leave the US. If that happens, the employer will bear all the cost of return transportation; unless the worker has left the organization voluntarily.

What is the process for an H1B visa application from India?

To apply for an H1B visa from India, there are specific steps that you need to follow. To avoid any confusion, we are listing them out a step-by-step method to apply for an H1B visa:

  • Firstly, check if you are qualified for an H1B visa. You can do that by finding the latest qualification details here
  • You can apply for a job opening to find the petitioner
  • Request the employer to initiate the petition
  • After that, you must locate the nearest US Embassy or Consulate in your country and submit the H1B visa application. While doing this, you will also need to fill out the DS-160 form and pay the visa fees before appearing for the visa interview

With the H1B visa 2023 lottery starting from 2023, employers must file for the electronic registration process and submit essential information for each worker. The approved H1B visa cap beneficiaries may start working in the US under the H1B visa status on October 1, 2022.

What are the ways employers petition for an H1B visa?

The employers' petition for the H1B visa in two ways:

  • Form ETA-9035: Your employer can get this form off the ICERT website, where the Labor Condition Attestation needs to be done. Once the employer assures them that they will provide the employee with a fair salary and equal benefits like a US citizen, further processes can take place.
  • Form I-129 is the petition for non-immigrant workers and is filed along H supplement. After that, it is submitted to the LCA, along with supporting documents, and it is filed in the USCIS Regional Service Centre, which has jurisdiction over the city of planned employment. Once your employer approves Form I-797, a copy is forwarded to the American Consulate.

What are the benefits of the H1B visa?

The benefits of the H1B visa are:

  • There is no set bracket on the number of H1B visas an individual can hold
  • H1B visa holders can also apply for Green Card or Lawful Permanent Residency for themselves and their families after the duration of their visa is over
  • If your employer is terminating your H1B visa before the due date, the employer has to pay for transportation costs to the visa holder
  • If someone on the H1B visa is changing jobs, a new visa application has to be made. But it doesn't mean one will also last for another six years. But the people who are converting their H4 visa to H1B will be approved for a 6-year permit from the day the changing status starts reflecting

What are some of the limitations of the H1B visa?

Some of the limitations of the H1B visa are:

  • Your stay duration is temporary, and if your petition to seek lawful residency in the US is denied, then the visa holder has to go back to their country of residence
  • Only 65,000 H1B visas are issued each year

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