The most frequently asked questions about the 2017-2018 H1B Visa process answered!
1. Can a foreign national file more than one petition to get H1B Visa this year?
If you have more than one H1B sponsor or intend to perform work for multiple employers, they each need to file a petition. Conversely, USCIS will deny or revoke multiple petitions filed on behalf a foreign worker by the same employer and is not responsible for refunding those duplicate filing fees.
2. Can I work anywhere in the country with an approved H1B Visa?
Yes, though there are some stipulations. The USCIS takes into consideration a number of factors including your geographic location when issuing an H1B approval. They’ll check that your employer complies with the prevailing wage in the location noted on the petition so technically the approval is specific to that location (not the entire country). Throughout the course of your work, if the location changes, you’ll need to submit an amendment with the new location indicated.
3. How do I locate a sponsor to get H1B Visa the coming fiscal year?
There are a number of ways to get sponsored by a company for an H1B visa. Some of these options include searching through sponsoring company databases, starting with an internship and progressing to visa sponsorship and channels through American-based universities. Here’s an extra H1B filing tip: A list of H1B sponsors is published quarterly on behalf of the Labor Department. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators
Another option at your disposal is to search through employment sites. There, you can conduct a more specific search with your personal information. An unofficial list of H1B sponsors from recent years can be found here. [Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for inaccuracies of unofficial data sources.]
4. How many filing checks do I need to submit to get an H1B Visa this season?
According to the I-129, checks should be made out to the “Department of Homeland Security” for each filing fee (fraud fee, premium processing, I-129, ACWIA training fee). Employers may submit one check or money order to cover both the base filing fee and ACWIA training fee. However, the fraud and premium processing fees should be separate. As mentioned in the top ten H1B filing tips, double check the address before mailing.
If your employer qualifies for the Public Law 114-113 fee, then that check must be made out separately to the Department of Homeland Security.
5. What fees are my employer specifically responsible for in the H1B Visa process?
By law, the employer is supposed to pay the training fee (if applicable) and the fraud fee. If the employer tells you that you are responsible for all USCIS fees, be aware that this is prohibited and you should not enter into a reimbursement agreement with them.
6. In what way would a maternity leave or sick leave impact my status?
Sick leave, vacation time, or maternity leave do not typically impact your H1B status.
7. Am I able to get six additional years on H1B status if I was previously on H1B then switched to F-1?
You do not get an additional six-year “reset” unless you first leave the country for a minimum of a year. Otherwise, the time that you were previously accruing on H1B will be applied to your current six-year limit.
8. Why do some H1B petitions take longer than others?
If two H1B petitions are filed at the same time during the H1B visa process, there’s no guarantee that they will be approved within the same time frame. This is because each USCIS service center has a different workload so it’s hard to predict when the paperwork will be addressed. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit here
9. Can I change my status to H4 if my spouse and I are both H1B visa holders?
You are permitted to do this and the process begins by filing a change of status application with USCIS to H4. You need to demonstrate that both you and your spouse are keeping current legal status in the country. Until the application gets approved, it’s usually best for the spouse seeking H4 to continue working (until an approval is solidified). There are other options to conduct a change of status but it’s best to discuss these with an immigration attorney.
10. Where should the petition be filed?
Consult the direct filing addresses located on the I-129 Form.