How to Apply for H1B Work Visa–10 Steps

One surefire way to go to USA is to apply for an H1B Work Visa. It is basically an employment-based visa that is granted to eligible workers. It requires a temporary employment contract from any US-based company, who is also responsible for filing the H1B visa petition. Once approved, you get a permit to work in the United State for that specific employer.

Basic requirements for an applicant is to have a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. He or she must possess related experience and knowledge to the work offered and must have the documents to prove so. Once the application is approved, you set-up an interview with the nearest US consulate or embassy in your country. Further processes are observed after this and will be explained in the following list.

  1. The first step is to have an employer. It can be an individual, partnership or corporation. The application should be job specific, so you need to discuss with the employer the final position you will have in the business. If for instance you lose your job with this employer, you need your new employer to file for another H1B petition to keep you working legally.


  1. The prevailing wage and actual wage rates are compared based on the offered position. The employer is obligated to pay the higher one of the two, so make sure you settle this properly with your employer.


  1. After finalizing the employment details, you need to file for a Labor Certification Application or LCA. It is a form that contains information on the sponsoring company, their capacity to hire and the benefits they are willing to give to you as their employee.


  1. Upon the approval of the LCA application, a copy will be sent to the sponsoring company. Successfully getting a copy concludes the fourth step.


  1. The sponsoring company will then be required to post two (2) notices at their place of business about the visa filing. In other words, they have to advertise that they are hiring. They can use the LCA form itself, but it’s up to the employer how to do this. It should last for 10 days in order to make sure that the other employees are aware.


  1. An H1B petition should then be assembled and filed at the appropriate USCIS office. The submission should completely include all the documents, filled-out forms, fees, the form I-129, supporting documents, training certificates, the employee’s resume, the employment contract and the letter of support. At this stage, you need to provide all the supporting documents you have to prove your expertise and work experience.


  1. The petition will then be processed for a certain period of time. This will be a waiting game. Some take weeks or months before getting a response from the processing office.


  1. Once the petition is processed, a copy of an official receipt will be sent to your sponsoring company. It will have a 9-digit reference number exclusively for your employment visa processing. They will have refer to information about the sponsoring company and the employee. This is a sign that the application is in the adjudicating queue.


  1. A notice will be sent out by your future employer to you about the receipt to notify you that the application process is proceeding. This notice should be detailed and must contain a notice that you should not make any major life changes until the approval of the application is officially announced by the office.


  1. The approval of the petition is the last step. Once this happens, an approval notice in the form of Form I-797 will be issued to the sponsoring company. It will have the date of validity or period in which you can work for them under an H1B status.

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