What to Do After Your H-1B Visa is Approved
Posted by Rohit Mittal
If you are lucky enough to have your H1B application approved, you may be wondering what you need to do next. This short guide will answer some of the most asked questions from people who have been in the same situation.
Table of Contents
What happens next?
Once your application has been selected in the lottery process, the USCIS will send a notice of its approval of your employer or attorney, in turn they should pass this information to you, along with your unique tracking number, which you will then be able to use to check the progress of your application on the USCIS website. You will need to get the original copy of this notice from your employee or attorney to take to the consulate for visa stamping, along with other.
In some cases, employers may decide to withhold the original copy of this notice until such a time they need the candidate to travel to the U.S.A. or as a bargaining tool to renegotiate terms of employment. If the application was made in the U.S.A. your approval notice will also include an I-94 update which will indicate your change of status.
When do I apply to have my H1B visa stamped?
You can officially apply to have your H1B visa stamped ninety days before your employment is due to commence. This will obviously vary from application to application but, working on the assumption that your application was sent on the 1 April with a view to starting work on the 1 October, you can have your visa stamped anytime after 1 July. Consulates will be very busy this time of year due to the influx of people looking to have their visas stamped so we recommend you plan well in advance and avoid making any last minute plans.
If you do not have all of the relevant H1B documentation with you when you go for stamping you will be asked to return so it is important you know exactly what you need and you are prepared with as much time to spare as possible.
When can I travel to America?
According to the USCIS, you may only enter America ten days before you are due to start work. So, working on the same example as earlier, if your employment commences on 1 October, you may only enter America on, or after, 20 September.
Have you had any other issues after getting approval on your H1B visa? Do you have any advice that you think other people may find helpful? Why not let us know here.