February 26, 2013

H-1B quotas will open on April 1st for all first time applicants. We are estimating a very short lifespan for the quota this year (Last year the quota exhausted in 9 weeks. This year it may exhaust within weeks or days of April 1st.) In this article, we want to discuss the minimum required documents for H-1B visa filings in order to assist the first time applicants in the approaching quota season.


The article will also mention what is required for H-1B extension or renewal applications. The applicants have to prepare the following documents:

  1. Resume: The resume has to display education level and detailed work experience. A well-prepared resume should include the names of the past/present employers, dates of employment, positions held, job duties/responsibilities in a very professional and detailed manner.
  2. Diploma and Transcript Copies: All diplomas, certificates and transcripts (even if the school is incomplete) as well as their notarized English translations. Translation is not required if the original documents are issued in English.
  3. I-94 and Passport: If the applicant is in the U.S. and applying for a change of status, a copy of the Form I-94 along with a copy of the passport is required. The passport must be valid at the time of the filing. A copy of the previous/cancelled passport may also be required if it has U.S. entry-exit stamps.
  4. I-20: If the applicant is in F-1 student status, copies of all Forms I-20 issued are required. A letter from the school proving enrollment is beneficial.
  5. OPT Card: If the Beneficiary has ever obtained an OPT card, a copy of the card is required.
  6. Satisfaction of Two Year Foreign Residence Rule for J-1 Visa Holders: If the applicant was ever present in the U.S. in J-1 status and was subject to the two year foreign residence rule, proof that the requirement was satisfied or proof that the applicant obtained a waiver is required before the applicant can attain H-1B status. There may be different methods of filing if the two year rule has not been satisfied, or if the waiver has not yet been obtained.
  7. Applicant’s Dependents in the U.S.: If the applicant wants to include his/her dependents (spouse, children) in the application, copies of marriage license (with English translation) as well as dependents’ I-94 cards and passport copies are required. The passports must to be valid in the time of the filing.
  8. License: Copy of license/certificate is required if the occupation requires a license to perform the duties of the position.
  9. Prior approval/denial notices: Copies of all prior approvals and/or denial notices filed with the USCIS or at the U.S. Consulate abroad.
  10. Last Three Pay-Stubs: If the persons are applying for H-1B visa extension or renewal, copies of three most recent pay stubs are required. Submission of pay-stubs is required to prove that the Beneficiary is still under H-1B status and has been employed based on the terms and conditions of the previously filed H-1B application. (Copies of pay-stubs are not required for first time H-1B applicants).

If USCIS needs more information after the review of the initial submission, USCIS will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) notice. The RFE may request more documents from the petitioner or the beneficiary. 

Av. Remzi Guvenc Kulen
Kulen Law Firm PC