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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- OPT Card: If the Beneficiary has ever obtained an OPT card, a copy of the card is required.
- 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.
- 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.
- License: Copy of license/certificate is required if the occupation requires a license to perform the duties of the position.
- Prior approval/denial notices: Copies of all prior approvals and/or denial notices filed with the USCIS or at the U.S. Consulate abroad.
- 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