How to Apply For H1B Visa, Extension, Transfer, and Everything you need to know. (Updated 2021)
H1B is a job position in a professional field in the United States, allowing foreigners to work in the United States. Generally, a bachelor’s degree or above is required, and the major is in the field of STEM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, etc. Of course, majors in computer, biology, finance, accounting, art, and other fields can apply for H-1B visas. Consult an immigration lawyer for details.
Tips: H1B cannot apply independently, it needs to be applied by the work entity，to prove that hiring you as a foreigner, will not affect the job opportunities of US citizens or permanent residents, you need to submit ETA Form 9035 & 9035E, (Labor Condition Application, LCA) to the US Department of Labor. This form is mainly to approve the minimum wage income, the standard of the area where H1B works. H-1B work must meet the minimum wage requirements.
H1B jobs can be full-time or part-time. There is no stipulation that how many hours of work per week, depends only on the business needs of the company. Therefore, in practice, H1B with 30 hours or less working hours per week exists. Apply for H-1B, a work permit for up to 3 years at a time. After 3 years, an extension can be requested. The extension can also require a work permit for up to 3 years. H1B has a work permit for up to 6 years. After 6 years, if the I-140 occupational immigration application has been approved, or the labor certification application has been submitted for more than 365 days, you can apply for an extension. Otherwise, you should leave the United States, and have actually lived outside the United States, for more than one year before you can reapply for the H-1B, and you need to participate in the H-1B lottery again.
For foreign employees with H-1B status, if they have a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21, the spouse and child can obtain H4 status. H4 status cannot work unless the spouse in H1B status has obtained I-140 occupational immigration approval. A child can legally reside and attend school in the United States, with H4 status until they are 21 years old, and enjoy local student tuition.
H1B is divided into H-1b with CAP-SUBJECT and CAP-EXEMPT.
There is H1B with CAP-SUBJECT and has 85,000 positions per year (6,800 positions are dedicated to Singapore and Chile), among which 20,000 positions are allocated to graduate students, with a master’s degree or above, and 65,000 positions are allocated for undergraduate degrees. If the number of applicants exceeds this position, start with a lottery of 20,000 positions from a master’s degree or above, and then put those who do not have a master’s degree in the lottery into those with a bachelor’s degree, and re-lottery 65,000 positions. Last year, 200,000 people participated in the lottery.
One person can simultaneously apply for H-1B jobs, in multiple companies that have no affiliate relationship. Once the lottery is selected, and the H-1B application is approved, after the employee gets the first pay stub to work as H-1B, the employee can transfer to another company, without re-entering the lottery, but changing the work entity also requires the approval of the USCIS, application documents and The first application for H1B is similar. Foreign employees with H1B status, if they resign for any reason, must change to a new work entity within 60 days. As long as the USCIS receives the receipt, they can work in the new work entity and be paid. Of course, they can also not work. Legal status.
Tips: H1B without position (CAP-EXEMPT), the employer can only be a university or its related non-profit scientific research institution. Moreover, if you switch jobs from a university, or other scientific research institution to a non-university scientific research institution, such as a company, you must participate in a lottery with the position. H1B, unless the employee has ever had an H1B occupying the position, and the 6-year H1B work permit has not been exhausted.
If a foreign employee applies in the United States, submit an I-129 to the USCIS, if the applicant is outside the United States. Submit the consulate visa DS-260. Regardless of whether the foreign employee is in the United States, or overseas, this step and documents for H1B application at the USCIS are basically the same. H1B applies in the United States.
After the USCIS approves the application, the status can be directly transferred to H-1B,(provided that the legal status is maintained, when the application is submitted, and the U.S. has not been left after submission), so that you can directly start jobs with H-1B status after October 1st. H1B applies outside the United States. After the USCIS approved the application, you need to go to the US local consulate, to apply for an H1B visa before you can enter the United States, and start working in an H-1B status (you can enter the United States with an H1B visa as early as September 21).
The first time to apply for H-1B immigration application steps:
- Find a work entity that is willing to help you apply for a work visa;
- Complete the online registration of the H1B electronic lottery system. Under normal circumstances, the USCIS opens online registration for the H-1B electronic lottery system around March 5th each year, and the registration deadline is generally around the 25th. When registering online, the employer should provide the company’s basic information (company name, address, federal tax number, contact person, and phone number) and the basic information of the H1B employee to be applied for (employee name, birthday, nationality) and pay a registration fee of $10.
- On April 1, the USCIS announced the results of the H-1B lottery. If it is selected, the company needs to submit an H1B application before June 30 of the current year, otherwise, it will lose the eligibility to apply.
- Between April 1 and June 30, the company submits formal H1B application documents to the USCIS for the selected H1B employees.
- The Immigration officer reviews the H-1B application documents, and the final review result is approval or rejection.
First H1B visa application generally includes:
- I-129 application form;
- USCIS Application Fee, Check, or Money Order;
- Certified ETA Form 9035 & 9035E (Labor Condition Application, LCA);
- Employer Support Letter;
- Company operating documents (such as business license, company organization chart, lease contract, promotional materials, business introduction materials, etc.);
- H1B employee passport information page;
- Documents to prove that H1B employees maintain their legal status in the U.S. (if applying in the U.S.);
- H1B employees’ bachelor’s degree, or higher degree certificate and transcripts (if the non-US degree is required, diploma certification is required);
Tips: If you have J1 or J2 status, or have been J1 or J2 status, relevant supporting documents, as well as J exemption documents (if an exemption is required to be eligible to apply for H1B) or proof that the home country residence requirement has been met for 2 years
H-1B USCIS application fee details:
- I-129 filing fee (felling fee): $460
- Education and training expenses (ACWIA): employers with 25 or more full-time employees: $1,500; employers with less than 25 full-time employees: $750
Note: Non-profit organizations, government research institutions, educational institutions, etc. do not need to pay this part of the fee;
- Anti-fraud fee: $500
- Public Law 114-113 fee: If the employer employs 50, or more employees in the United States, and more than half of the employees are in H-1B, or L-1 status, they need to pay $4,000
Tips: If you want the USCIS to process the H1B application expeditiously, you need to pay an expedited processing fee of $2,500, and the USCIS will give the result of the review within 15 days after the application is received. The request for an expedited review can be made when the H1B application is first submitted, or at any time before the USCIS makes the final review result.
Apply for H-1B visas, outside the United States
1. Fill out the DS-160 form
2. Pay the H1B visa application fee, and make an appointment for an interview
3. prepare H1B visa interview documents, and go to the consulate for visa interview on the day of the interview, (the first H1B visa application must be conducted in the employee’s home country, or a country or region with permanent residency)
Tips: Obtain an H1B visa, and enter the United States with an H1B visa on September 21 at the earliest, and officially work as an H1B visa on October 1.
H-1B documents preparation:
Required documents for H-1B visa:
1.Passport (must be more than 6 months before the expiration date, and there are at least 2 blank pages in the passport book)
2.DS-160 confirmation page
3. Confirmation letter of successful appointment interview
4. I-797 H1-B USCIS original approval letter
Tips: If you used to have J1 or J2 status, relevant supporting documents, as well as J exemption documents (if an exemption is required to be eligible to apply for H1B), or proof that the home country residence requirement has been met for 2 years
Supporting documents for H-1B visa:
1) Copy of employer support letter
2) 1 photo, US passport format 2 Inch * 2 Inch
3) Proof of payment of visa fee
4) Degree certificate, graduation certificate, transcript
6) If you have ever studied, worked, or lived in the United States legally, relevant supporting documents
1. Who is eligible for an H1B visa? To qualify for the H-1B visa category, the prospective H-1B employee must hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree, or the equivalent foreign degree.
2.How long is an H1B visa good for? The H-1B visa and status is initially valid for up to three years, and can then be extended for another up to three years. At the expiration of the maximum period of stay (6 years), the foreign worker must leave the U.S. After being physically present outside the U.S., the foreigner worker is eligible to enroll the H1B lottery registration again, and apply for another 6-year maximum period of stay. In certain circumstances (like I-140 employment-based immigrant petition has been approved), the foreign worker can extend H1B.
3.What does H1B stand for? The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
4.How does an H1B visa work? When applying for an H-1B visa, the applicant is sponsored by the American company that has hired them. The employer pays the visa fees and submits the required paperwork on behalf of the applicant. The H-1B visa is a work permit that allows foreign workers to go to the United States, and work for American companies.
5.Does H1B employee change employers need to the lottery? If the H1B lottery has been occupied, and the 6-year H1B work permit has not been exhausted, there is no need for the lottery to change employers. Therefore, if H1B employees who have been working in universities, or related non-profit scientific research institutions at the beginning want to change jobs to ordinary companies, they must go through the H1B lottery process, because such H1B employees have not yet occupied the H1B positon.
6.H-1B changes jobs. Should the previous job and the post after the job change remain the same? The new job has less work than the original job. Does it matter?
H-1B job applications are generally referred to as H-1B transfers. When applying for an H-1B transfer, it can be in different positions, different company types, and different changes, but these will not affect the H-1B transfer application. One thing is, that applying for an H-1B position must also be the same as the major of your party or above. of.
7.Should I pay attention to Grace Period for H-1B job-hopping? Once you stop working during the H-1B period, you will enter the 60-day Grace Period. You need to find a new employer immediately and ask the new employer to submit an H-1B transfer application for you. As long as you can let the USCIS receive your H-1B Transfer application, before the expiration of the 60-day Grace Period, you do not need to leave the country. You can go to work at your new employer first after receiving the H-1B Transfer Receipt Notice. Generally, it takes 1-2 weeks from the time the documents are sent to the receipt of the Receipt Notice.
If the USCIS does not receive the H-1B transfer application within 60 days, you must leave the United States within 180 days from the day you stop working (the sooner you leave, the better). If you do not leave the United States, you will not be able to continue your H-1B work in the US, because you have lost your legal status. If you leave the United States for more than 180 days, you are likely to be sanctioned against entering the United States for 3 years, resulting in the inability to obtain an H-1B visa from the US consulate even if the H-1B transfer application is approved.
8.H-1B has not yet taken effect, can I apply for H-1B to change employers?
H-1B Transfer must wait until H-1B takes effect on October 1 before applying. When applying, you need to submit to the USCIS the salary slips and other supporting documents issued by your current H-1B employer to prove that you maintain your legal H-1B status.
9.Can H-1B change jobs be rejected? There is a risk of rejection of H-1B transfer. In fact, H-1B employees can regard this H-1B Transfer as a new H-1B application, but there is no need to the lottery. Therefore, it is best to find an employer in advance, then submit an H1B transfer application, and wait until the H1B is approved, and then propose to resign. You can consider paying an expedited processing fee of US$2,500 to allow the USCIS to expedite the processing of the application and get the result of the trial within 15 days.
10.If H1B Transfer is rejected, does it mean that I have no legal status? This depends on the specific status of the applicant. Generally speaking, if the applicant is already working in the new company and the H1B transfer is rejected, then, in this case, the applicant has no legal status and should arrange to leave the country as soon as possible. If the applicant still works in the original company and has not yet started working in the new company, the H1B transfer is rejected. In this case, the applicant still maintains the original H1B status, so the status is still legal.
11.How much is the H-1B transfer application fee?
The fee rules are the same as for the first H-1B application.
12.What application documents are required for H-1B transfer? The application materials are similar to the first H-1B application. The only difference is that to apply for an H-1B transfer, you need to submit the last two payslips issued by your current H-1B employer to prove that you maintain a legal H-1B status.
13. H1B will be expired after 3 years, do I need to lottery to apply for an extension (H1B Extension)?
14. H1B extension can be submitted a few months in advance at the earliest?
15. How much is the H1B extension application fee? It is basically the same as the fee rules for the first H1B application, the only difference is that there is no need to submit an anti-fraud fee of $500.
16. What application documents are required for the H-1B extension? The application materials are similar to the first H-1B application. The only difference is that to apply for the H-1B extension, you need to submit the last two payslips issued by your current H-1B employer to prove that you maintain a legal H-1B status.
17. how many years, can I apply for the H1B extension for a work permit?
Up to 3 years.
18. Can the H1B extension request the USCIS to process the application expeditiously?
Yes, an expedited processing fee of US$2,500 must be paid to the USCIS.
19. After the H1B extension application is submitted, the original H1B work permit expired, but the extension application has not been approved. Can I continue to work?
As long as the USCIS has received an extension application before the expiration of the existing H1B work permit, you can continue to work as an H1B for 240 days. Generally, most H1B extension applications can get the final result before the expiration of 240 days. In the unlikely event that there is still no result of the trial, it is recommended to pay an expedited trial fee of US$2,500 and request the USCIS to expeditiously process the application.