My OPT Visa is Ending and I Have No H1B Approval – What Do I Do?
F1 to H1B Visas
When a student’s OPT is expected to end in the upcoming weeks or month, they should begin thinking about their options once the training ends. At this point, students will have two choices: return to their home country once their F1 visa expires after the OPT, or apply for an H1B visa after receiving a US job offer.
Required F1 to H1B Visa Documents
When transitioning from an F1 to an H1B visa, you must present the following documents in your application
Official Job Offer
This document should be an official job offer from a US-based company that shows that they will be sponsoring your H1B visa. When receiving your job offer, you should ask the employer to provide written documentation for your H1B visa application.
Your application must include a detailed description of the responsibilities and duties of the job you plan to take. This document can go along with the official job offer.
Copy of your Resume
A copy of your resume is used to demonstrate your proficiency in the responsibilities required by the job you plan to take. H1B visa applicants are required to have an advanced degree or specialized knowledge within their field, so the resume should demonstrate that.
In order to immigrate, you must have a valid passport issued by your home country.
Copy of Degree
A college degree is required for most H1B visa applicants, so as part of the documentation, you need to provide proof of your education.
College transcripts and course certificated
This is used to further show proof of your education history
Experience letters with name, title, and dates of employment
H1B applicants are required to have their skills and education verified which is often done through an experience letter from a former employer. Within this letter, the employer verifies the length of time and duties the H1b applicant performed while employed by them.
Awards or Prizes
Since H1B visas are for specialty workers with experience within their field, any awards related to their skills and occupation can help show their extensive knowledge within their work.
Biographic information including full name, DOB, POB, Nationality, Permanent Address, Marital Status
Marriage certificates, birth certificates, naturalization papers, and other forms of ID can all be used to provide biographic information about the applicant.
Copies of I-20s
The I-20 is the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. This form verifies that the student has a valid F1 visa in the US.
Copy of current I-94 Card
The I-94 is a travel record of the individual which is used to verify immigration status or employment authorization.
Copy of EAD Card (if applicable)
If you have an employment authorization document, you need to provide that as documentation of having a valid work permit.
F1 to H1B Visa Sponsor and Sponsorship Job
Since F1 students often have work experience in the US through their OPT, many times their previous employer will be willing to sponsor their H1B visa in order to allow the individual to continue working for the company. In this case, the employer will need to ensure that the aspects of the job qualify for an H1B sponsorship job.
If you have not yet received a job offer from a US based company, doing so will be crucial in order to stay in the US. Remember that once your OPT ends and you are finished with your degree program, your student visa will expire and you will no longer be able to stay in the US.