H1B Visa Stamping: H1B Visa Interview Documents and More
Posted by Rohit Mittal
During your H1B visa application process, several documents will be needed from you along the way. Once your H1B visa petition is approved, you are allowed to schedule your H1B Visa stamping interview. When you are approved for the H1B visa stamping interview, several documents will be needed from you.
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H1B Visa Stamping: Documents Required for H1B Stamping
In this article, we outline all the documents you will need for your visa stamping so that you are prepared for your interview. This list is for your reference and refers to the list of the official U.S. embassy website for documents and procedures specific to your country for the H1B Visa.
What you need before the H1B Stamping Interview
Before you apply for your interview, you need to have a completed DS-160 Visa Application Form. Once you have that form filled out, you will be ready to apply for your H1B stamping interview. When applying for your interview they usually ask you to give your complete fingerprints, but that depends on the country. The last step is to pay the visa Interview fees.
H1B Visa Interview Documents
Before going to get your H1B visa processed, you want to know which documents are needed for H1B visa stamping and them ready to go. Read on to find out which documents are needed for H1B stamping.
General H1B Visa Documents Checklist
This list represents the bare minimum, essential documents you will need to produc to have your H1B visa stamped.
- DS-160 Barcode Confirmation
- The letter of the appointment schedule
- Original H1B Visa approval notice (I-797 Form)
- The petition for nonimmigrant worker (I-129)
- H classification supplement to form I-129
- H-1B data collection and filing fee exemption supplement
- Labor condition application for H1B & H1B1 nonimmigrants
- H-1B Visa petition letter, which your employer provides for you
- Employment verification letter
- Pay stubs for at least last 3 months (if you were working on H1B)
- Monthly bank statements (last 3 months), Bank of America provides immigration letter
Supporting Documents for H1B Visa
While not absolutely required, these are a good idea to bring with you in case it comes up:
- A letter from your current employer, offering you a job extension
- Copy of your CV
- Company description, as well as documents of company projects
- H1B approval notice from your previous employer (only if applicable)
- I-797 A, B or C
When you’re applying via education, bring the following documents to your H1B visa interview:
- Official transcripts from your undergraduate and/or graduate universities
- Official transcripts from any other certificates you might have received
- Degree or official diploma certificates, or both
- Original I-20s forms, in case you have a degree from the US
- If applicable, OPT or EAD card
US Government Documents
Depending on how long you’ve been in the US and your current status, bring the following documents to the best of your ability:
- W2 Tax forms for at least from the last 2 years
- 1040s tax returns
- Social security card
- Driver’s license
- Client letter
Which Personal Documents Are Needed for H1B Stamping?
If you already live in the United States make sure to bring copies of your utility bills and your rental agreement. If you are not sure which documents you should bring, please make sure to contact an immigration attorney or any other immigration professional. It is really important that you have all the relevant documents with you since this interview is a very important one for your successful entry into the US. The personal documents you need depends on your case – some applicants need more and some need less – this depends on each independent case.
You might have problems when a company that has less than 25 employees employs you. If that is the case, be prepared to answer several additional questions. They are much more skeptical about these cases because most H-1B frauds are done by people employed by smaller companies.
For Spouse and Dependent Children, the following documents are needed
- The original notice of action form I-797 of the main applicant
- Form I-129 (if Form I-797 is a blanket permit, a copy of Form I-797 and I-129) of the main applicant
- Photocopy of the main applicant’s valid visa, if you are applying separately
- Original marriage certificate along with your entire wedding photo album
- Original birth certificate for each child
Finally done! There are tons of documents required during the visa application process, but once you are done with it, nothing else should stand in your way. Make sure to inform yourself at your specific U.S. consulate about which documents are needed, as the list might have small deviations in each individual country. When you go to your meeting, be prepared for security clearance checks before entering the consulate. We wish you the best of luck in your interview! Make sure you are prepared and that you bring all relevant documents with you -this is a crucial part of completing your interview successfully!
H1B Visa Stamping FAQ
Below are some of the most common questions immigrants to the U.S. have about H1B visa stamping. Read on to see if your questions are answered.
What is the maximum amount of time I can stay in the U.S. with an H1B visa?
In most cases, someone on an H1B visa can stay up to 6 years on that visa. The initial visa is valid for 3 years and may be extended for another 3 years after that.
It is possible, however, to extend the length of your visa after 6 years with an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, but how long an extension will be granted is dependent on a number of factors.
I was previously an H4 visa dependent. Does the time spent on the H4 transfer to the time allotted on the new H-1B visa?
No, time spent on the H4 transfer to your H1B visa. These are two different visa types and their allowances and restrictions are completely independent of one another.
I had an H-1B petition approved in the past but did not get my visa stamped. Is my H-1B still legitimate?
Most likely not. The validity of your H1B petition is dependant on whether your I-797 form and job offer are still current. If the I-797 or the job offer has expired, your H1B petition will have been discontinued.
My employer is laying me off. Is there a grace period for me?
Yes, there is a grace period if you are laid off. Previously, no grace period existed, which resulted in H1B visa holders having to leave the U.S. and go through the whole H1B visa stamping process all over again.
Now, a 60-day grace period exists so that you will have time to find new employment and transfer your status to your new employer before or make arrangements to leave the country.
Is it better to change status or use consular processing for H-1B visa stamping?
It depends. One the one hand, it is cheaper and simpler to have your status adjusted if you are in the U.S. with a different nonimmigrant status. On the other hand, if you are living outside of the U.S. currently, you will have to go through your country’s embassy or consulate to obtain your H1B visa.
Can premium processing help my case?
Premium processing relates to how fast the USCIS will process your I-129 petition. It will not increase your chances for H1B selection or speed up your H1B visa stamping.