Applying for an H-1B visa could be a very daunting and time-consuming process, hence it is good to be organized. If you are an F1 student on OPT applying for H-1B, you will require an additional set of documents from your University. So, we have put together a checklist for you. You can use this checklist to prepare in advance for the upcoming registration period.
Registration Vs. Actual Filing
- USCIS changed their H-1B petition filing process from FY 2021 as they introduced the H-1B Registration Process
- In order to submit an H-1B registration, you must first create a USCIS online account
- Both the client and attorney will need a USCIS online account for the H-1B electronic registration process
- If your attorney and already have an existing legal representative account, it will work with the H-1B electronic registration process
- Your attorney does not need to create a new legal representative account unless they do not have one
- You will need to create an H-1B registrant account to review and approve the G-28 and H-1B registrations as part of the electronic registration process
- Representatives can create an account at any time before the end of the registration period because they will use the same kind of account already available to representatives
- Registrants and representatives are required to pay the $10 non-refundable H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary before being eligible to submit a registration for that beneficiary
- Registrations that are determined to be duplicates will be invalid
- A registrant who submits duplicate registrations will not be able to appeal the invalidation
What Will Be My Status of Registration After Submission?
A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the four following statuses for each registration:
1. Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed
- “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will be Selected, Not Selected, or Denied
2. Selected: Selected to file an FY 2022 H-1B cap-subject petition.
3. Not Selected: Not selected for this fiscal year
- Registration will not reflect a status of Not Selected until the conclusion of the fiscal year
- In the event that USCIS determines that it needs to increase the number of registrations projected to meet the H-1B regular cap or the advanced degree exemption allocation, USCIS will select from registrations held in reserve to meet the H-1B regular cap or advanced degree exemption allocation
4. Denied: The same registrant or representative submitted more than one registration on the beneficiary’s behalf for the same fiscal year
- All registrations the registrant or representative submitted on behalf of the same beneficiary for the same fiscal year are invalid
Hence for the Registration Process, your employer will only need the following information:
- Legal Name of the H1B applicant – First, Middle, and Family Name
- Gender of the applicant
- Option to select, if the applicant is eligible for US Masters H-1B Quota
- Date of Birth
- Country of Birth
- Country of Citizenship
- Passport Number
Checklist for H-1B Petition
Employer will have to file an actual H1B petition with USCIS after you are selected in the registration process
This checklist is much longer and might take a little more time to gather
- Copy of all educational certificates of your Bachelors (also Masters if applicable) degree including transcript equivalent from your country(mark sheet)
- Copy of Degree award certificates
- Copy of Passport- all pages
- If a degree from US, Transcript, and a degree award certificate.
- If a degree from the US, a Copy of I-20
- If you are in the US, a copy of I-94 ( electronic or physical copy)
- Copy of latest Resume.
- Work experience certificates (if any )
- If you already have an H1-B approval, copy of previous H1B approval notice, I-797 form.
- If you are transferring H1B, a copy of recent 3 months pay stubs from your previous employer
- If you have any evaluation reports from work, copy of them too
- If you have lived in the US and paid taxes, a copy of previous W2 tax forms
- If you have lived in the US, a copy of your driving license or state ID
- If you have lived in the US and have SSN, a copy of your Social Security Card
- If you have done an education evaluation, copy of the education evaluations too
Additional Documents Required, if you are changing your status from OPT
If you are an F1 Student in the US working on OPT or STEM OPT you will need to submit additional documents:
- OPT Card Copy
- STEM OPT Card Copy ( if applicable)
- Copy of the latest I-20 from your DSO that shows OPT authorization.
- Copy of the I-94 ( electronic stating your student status)
- Pay stubs related to your work on OPT
- I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students
What is the Cost of the H-1B Process?
Your employer is responsible for all of the visa fees, except one
Here is a list of Fees your employer will have to pay:
- Standard (Basic) Filing Fee
- ACWIA (Training Fee)
- Fraud Prevention/Detection Fee
- Public Law 114-113 Fee
- Premium Processing Fee
- Attorney Fee
However, the Visa fee in the consulate is your responsibility.
What Are My Options for Payments?
- Your payment options for visa fees are relatively limited
- According to the I-129 form, the applicable payments must be submitted with the petition in the form of money orders or checks
- Each individual fee requires its own separate money order or check
- Hence, being mindful about the details in important to avoid an automatic rejection of your petition and a loss of the fees
- If you are applying through a small contracting company, avoid handing over your original documents such as a degree certificate, birth certificate, or passport to anyone
- You will need to carry those to the Visa stamping interview. USCIS rarely ask for original documents for filing an H-1B petition
- Ask your H1B filing employer to show you exactly what they got from USCIS and then only submit if needed
With the H-1B lottery, you only get one chance at filing your registration. If your registration is denied, you will likely miss your chance and have to wait until next year to file. To avoid unnecessary and expensive delays, it’s always best to consult a reliable immigration attorney to ensure that you have the best chances of approval.
If You have questions about the H-1B registration timelines and process please schedule a consultation with us: