Checklist for Filing an H-1B Petition in 2017

Source: http://goo.gl/YtNLz3 This time of year, the most common question asked by those seeking to become H-1B visa holders is “What documents do I need to provide?” The answer will change depending on the applicant’s current immigration status. There are two parts to an H-1B petition: 1) the petition itself, which asks the immigration service […]

Source: http://goo.gl/YtNLz3

This time of year, the most common question asked by those seeking to become H-1B visa holders is “What documents do I need to provide?” The answer will change depending on the applicant’s current immigration status. There are two parts to an H-1B petition: 1) the petition itself, which asks the immigration service to determine whether the position being sponsored qualifies for the visa and whether the applicant qualifies for the position; and 2) the status of the applicant, which asks the immigration service to either change the status of the applicant from some other visa type to an H-1B visa holder or approve the petition for consular processing. The documents needed for part 1 will be basically the same for all applicants, but the documents needed for part 2 will vary depending upon which visa type you currently hold or if you are outside the country. Below you will find a list of documents needed for each type of applicant. Note that all documents require copies only, originals are not necessary.

If you are outside the U.S. or filing for consular processing you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport

If you are in F-1/OPT status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts (Note: if U.S. degree certificate won’t be issued by April 1st but all degree requirements have been met, you can get a letter from the registrar instead)
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp
I-94 card
I-20s
OPT card(s)
Last three pay statements, if you are working in a paid position. You may want to consider including additional documentation regarding your employment

If you are in F-1 status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts (Note: if U.S. degree certificate won’t be issued by April 1st but all degree requirements have been met, you can get a letter from the registrar instead)
Education Evaluation in some situations (such as holding a degree from an unaccredited or private and for-profit school, or degree requirements are not yet complete)
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp
I-94 card
I-20s
If you are in CPT, you may want to consider including documentation regarding your employment

If you are in L-1 status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp
I-94 card
Dates in and out of the country to determine amount of time available in H-1B status
Last three pay statements


If you are in L-2 status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp
I-94 card
EAD card, if any
Spouse’s last three pay statements

If you are in H-4 status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp
I-94 card
Spouse’s last three pay statements

If you are in TN status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp, if applicable
I-94 card
Last three pay statements


If you are in TD status you will need:

Degree certificates and transcripts
Education Evaluation if your degree is not from a U.S. school
Experience letters from previous employers, if available
Resume
Passport
Visa stamp, if applicable
I-94 card
Spouse’s last three pay statements

Note: If you are intending to work as a “consultant” at a client location other than the location of the employer sponsoring your H-1B visa, there are additional requirements that your employer should be aware of. These “third-party placement” situations require an employer to document that an employer-employee relationship will exist even though you will work offsite and that they have actual work for you at the end client. Please do not attempt to file an H-1B petition with an employer who will “find a project for you later.” That is speculative and is subject to denial.

Best of luck in this year’s lottery!

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