The Checklist For An H1-B Visa

The Checklist For An H1-B Visa

H1-B is a working visa for individuals applying to work in the US. It is valid up to 6 years. Wonder what all documents you need to prepare beforehand in order to get an H1-B visa? Well, whether you are already in the US or are planning to head out to it, we are here with the most exclusive checklist for an H1-B VISA. If you are a student on F-1 Visa, the process of transition from F-1 Visas to H-1B Visas is right here! But for now, let us have a look at the Checklist for an H1-B VISA:

Checklist for an H1-B VISA

Obligatory Documents:

  • Your current passport as well as any old passport you may have
  • Your most recent photograph x 1
  • Confirmation page of Form DS-160 with CEAC bar code that you submitted online.
  • VISA Fees (To be paid in advanced)
  • Original Appointment letter plus one photocopy
  • I – 129 Petition Receipt #, printed on the approved Form I-129 petition along with a copy of the approval of your I-797 Form.

Supporting Documents:

The supporting documents that will be required along with the mandatory documents are:

  • Original Form I-129 plus one copy
  • A letter from your employer which lists down your reason for hire and your anticipated duties.
  • Letters of work experience from your previous employers which state your work history, the degree of experience and skill set.
  • Original Degree certificates along with any mark sheet and/or transcript
  • Related diplomas and certifications you have done.
  • Photocopies of first, last and remarks page of your most recent passport
  • All previous passports even if they have not been used for travel
  • Any evidence of extension of legal status in the US
  • Payroll stubs from your current or last place of employment and any income tax returns

For Returning Employees:

If you have previously worked in the US, then you will be required to submit the following documents as a part of the checklist For An H1-B Visa:

  • Your IRS Form 1040 and W-2 Forms for all duration of employment in the US
  • Your pay slips as well as monthly bank statements of the last 12 months
  • A letter from petitioner, if applicable, stating reason for failure to pay approved wages in the specific duration
  • Your resume
  • The names, post and contact numbers of personnel managers at your current and previous places of employment

For First Time Applicants:

If you are a first-time applicant, then the following documents are also required:

  • Names and contact information of the personnel managers at your current and previous places of employment
  • Photographs of the inside as well as outside of the places of employment
  • Names and contact numbers of at least 2 co-workers from your current as well as past places of employment
  • A complete resume and cover letter describing the job description of the current place of employment
  • Personal bank records for the past 6 months
  • The photographs of the inside and outside of the company you are applying for in the US, as well as prospectus, brochures, and annual reports included
  • Your resume and CV.

The presence of all of these documents, photographs, and copies are necessary if you want to have a smooth process of application for H1B Visa. Following this Chceklist for an H1-B Visa, prepare your U.S. Immigration Application Today!

Good luck!


H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions

H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions

The H-1B visas allow the United States companies to hire foreign graduate workers.  It is a non-immigrant visa that brings in the talented personnel from all around the world to work in specialized fields in the United States companies. These specialized fields include IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine.

According to studies and statistics, every fiscal year has an annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas. Moreover, 20,000 petitions are filed annually for masters’ cap for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

On 20th July 2017, a teleconference was held in the Ombudsman office of the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. This was regarding the discussion of H-1B petition processing.

On 24th July 2017, USCIS announced that the processing will be resumed for some H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions. This was an announcement that had to be effective immediately. Previously USCIS announced that H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians, under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested government agency waivers, will head into the premium processing.

There are some conditions on which the premium processing will begin for H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions. These conditions are; petitioner should be a higher education institution, petitioner should be affiliated with an institute of higher education or it should be a governmental nonprofit research organization. Another condition on which the premium process could begin is whether the petitioner is employed at a qualifying cap-exempt organization. These are in a way conditions for eligibility of a beneficiary.

If the petitioners fulfill any of the above-mentioned conditions, then and only then must they file a request for Premium Processing Services via Form I-907 for the petition for a nonimmigrant worker, Form I-129. The H-1B petition can be filed along with the form I-907. Form 1-907 can also be filed again for a pending H-1B petition. Furthermore, other H-1B petitions will head into premium processing as permits for the workload.

After USCIS begins accepting premium processing for the petitions, it will give out specified details and announce more regarding the H-1B visas. For the time being, the premium processing has been suspended on a temporary basis.

Here are some precautions that one must take when filing forms for premium processing; Wait until the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services begin accepting the petitions. If sent before that, the forms will be rejected. Do not submit a single combined check for the fees of Forms I-907 and I-129 as such forms will be rejected immediately.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit

USCIS Shuts Down H-1B Premium Processing

USCIS Shuts Down H-1B Premium Processing

Eight months is the current processing time for an H-1B visa application.  Time is money.  As a result the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sold “premium processing” for H-1B visa applications, and many other visa applications.  Premium processing means that your application will be adjudicated in 15 business days.  It cost $1,225 dollars, but two weeks is much faster than 8 months.

On March 3, 2017, USCIS informed the public that it no longer will accept premium processing for the 2018 H-1B visa applications that will be mailed to them as of April 3rd (typically the date is April 1st, but that falls on a Saturday in 2017).  USCIS suspends the premium processing program for up to six months while it processes the backlog of applications, some nearing their 240 day mark.

H-1B visas term begins with the start of the United States’ fiscal year, which is October 1st.  This date is six months from the date when the flood of H-1B visa applications rains down on USCIS.  The day is just like tax day, but for immigration.  Last April 1st, 236,000 H-1B visa applications arrived at USCIS.  Many of them with an extra $1,225 dollars in revenue for the government.  The government will not accept premium processing payments during the suspension.  As a result, some H-1B recipients have to wait until after October 1st to begin their employment.

The H-1B visa applications with premium processing not only arrive quicker, but by e-mail.  Winners of the lottery that do not pay premium processing receive notice of their application in the mail.  It takes days longer to find out if you won the lottery or not.  Even after the lucky ones know if they have gotten an H-1B visa, their application takes months to process and for their visa to issue.

The suspension applies to all H-1B applications.  This includes cap-exempt H-1B applications that do not have to play the lottery.  Universities and their affiliated research non-profits get unlimited H-1B visas because the cap of 85,000 per year only applies to corporations.

This move, the first by the Trump administration, foreshadows future restrictions.  It also raised a question regarding the “expedited” processing.  An employer can request expedited processing if their employee fulfills the expedited processing criteria.  Will this be how the Trump administration becomes an “American first” H-1B policy?  Perhaps because of the wide discretion afforded to USCIS in picking what H-1Bs will be expedited and what ones have to wait the approximately eight months to process.


H-1B Changes and Optimal Stopping Algorithms

H-1B Changes and Optimal Stopping Algorithms

What do Optimal Stopping Algorithms have to do with the current H-1B landscape?  Nothing.  But what if Trump changed the method used in awarding H-1B visas from a lottery system to one where the highest pay gets filled?  Then, it has everything to do with Optimal Stopping Algorithms.

As you know, I’m an attorney that likes to develop software.  When I discovered the H-1B visa, I saw a chance to code something that blends my ability to practice law with my love of development. Work Visas was born.  Then Donald Trump got elected.  As of yet, he has not shaken up the H-1B process.  I do not anticipate that he will do so this year because it is very close to the April 1st window to get your application into the lottery.

One thing Trump could change is the current regulation (not a law passed by Congress) that has been in use since 2004.  This is the lottery that determines the H-1B visas subject to the annual cap of 85,000.  Currently, only 8 companies scoop up 60% of these visas.  Their average pay is $70,000 per H-1B, whereas Amazon pays $113,000!!!!!

What if Trump said that the applications will be arranged in the order of their salaries.   What will the Indian IT firms do?  They will very quickly be taking about 60% of the H-1Bs again if they want.  First, they must apply  Optimal Stopping Algorithms to fix the salary for all of their new H-1B applications.  To determine what one works best, the data set of the 236,000 applications needs to be accessed to see what the average price of the H-1B visa is for various subsections.

The H-1B cap exempt visas have to be excluded, except for the 20,000 for masters or higher education. These exempt applications have their own lottery system.  The 65,000 subject to the cap are all for bachelor’s degrees, so that pool may pay less.  The average salary of these two pools will give a rough estimate what how much you should never go below, or could just be garbage output based on faulty inputs.

Currently the H-1B visas are awarded on a randomized lottery, at least the 85,000 cap subject ones are.  The bids for the H-1Bs may not accurately reflect the average salary.  The average salary could be higher or lower.  To figure this, you can take a sample of years of data to average the randomized lottery to get a more precise idea of the average H-B pay.  You you could get all the LCAs and rank them in order.

Optimal Stopping Algorithms need data

In fact, several websites do just this.  They pull LCA data from the Department of Labor and push it into tables for you to review.  Here’s the highest paid employers.  They also provide the list of the pay for various professions and states with the most LCAs.  This is somewhat misleading because an LCA is not an H-1B job.  But, we’d know what level to bid for an employee to increase your chance of getting a job.

We need the data of the actual applications, which are not published from as far as I can tell. However, we can take the LCA data and cleave it in half, then add $100.00 to be safe.  Of course, this fails because of the sample size.  There were 236,000 applications.  You cannot just cut it in half and add a bit of money.  You need to get the top 85,000 salaries and add money to that.

The algorithm needs to find the salary for the 85,000th highest H-1B application, and add ten bucks or so to it.  Then, you’d start bidding up the price as the year goes on.  But at least you would know where to begin your application to ensure a visa.  That is, you would, IF  Donald Trump changes the ways H-1Bs are awarded from randomized to based upon salary.


What to Do if You Do Not Win the H-1B Lottery

What to Do if You Do Not Win the H-1B Lottery

Every year on the 1st of April the USA holds a lottery.   Over 200,000 hopeful immigrants apply for an H-1B visa.  These people have exceptional skills that the economy needs.  Why for every 1 H-1B in the STEM fields, 2.6 other jobs are created.  The downside to this that only 85,000 of these people actually win an H-1B visa.

What do you do if you do not win the H-1B lottery?

  • Stop crying

No really, it’s okay.  So what if you didn’t win, is going home so bad?  You may be able to qualify for an L-1 visa if you work back at home and they want to expand into America later on.  The hard reality is that your H-1B application was tied to a specific job that you could only get if you were lucky enough to win, but you did not win, so you do not get the job.  That sucks, but it’s the rules.  In 2016 there were 236,000 applications for only 85,000 slots.  So take solace in knowing that many other people feel your pain.

  • Should you have even been playing the lottery??

Not all H-1B applications are created equal.  Some are not subject to the cap at all and so do not have to play the lottery.  Typically, non-profits and colleges are exempt from the cap.  If you’re being sponsored by a college, then your application is not subject to the cap.  The non-profits exemptions are murkier because they must also be related to the higher education or research.  For example, many med-schools may have a separate non-profit that does research. This is an affiliated non-profit and as a result any H-1B applications it sponsors would probably be exempt.

  • Play the lottery better next time

If you’re on OPT, time is running out.  But the STEM OPTs have 3 years instead of one, that means the lottery will come around a couple more times.  One thing that you can do is apply more than once to the lottery, but make sure that you do it the right way.  For example, if Google is offering you a job and they apply for 3 H-1B visa for you in that job, well that’s dishonest.  But what if Google offered you 3 jobs?  And they applied for an H-1B visa for you in each of them.  That’s better, but pushes a line because your H-1B visa must be in the filed in which you work.  Some fields may have more than 1 relevant job, but it pushes the boundaries.  Now, what if three different companies offer to sponsor you at the same job?  The job is perfectly aligned with your H-1B specialty training.  Odds are you will only win one of them.

That’s what we’re building at Work Visas Solutions.  We want to bring the same tools that only big corporations used to have to Main Street businesses.  By matching employers with talented employees, we allow for maximum results.  Employees are assigned ranks to their particular job applications.  Employers have their first choice, second choice, and third choice of respective employees.  Employees also have their first, second and third choices.  These rankings allow for priority inheritance for any potential conflicts that may arise from double or triple wins.  Granted, there is only a 10% chance two employees would both win the lottery for the same job, and a 1% chance for the one below that, but the unlikely can happen with a large enough data set.


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