H1B Visa: Process, Check Status, Validity, Fee Charges

H1B Visa means, Foreign workers can come to the United States and work for American Companies with the H1B visa, which is a work permit. The United States permits employees to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations through the H-1B visa category of non-immigrant visas. In order to fill employment in specialized fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The H1B program aims to bring highly skilled foreign employees.

In order to qualify for an H1B visa, one must have a job offer from an American employer and must have either specialized knowledge or a bachelor’s degree or higher in a pertinent field. The U.S. normally permits the foreign worker to stay for up to three years on this visa and can extend it for a maximum of six years. Furthermore, it allows the holder to work legally in the nation for the employer that sponsored them and provides them with an opportunity for permanent residency if they meet certain criteria.

The article will explain the key aspects of the H1B visa process, status check online, validity, fee charges details, and requirements.

H1B Visa Process:

The process for getting an H1B visa in the United States involves various steps. The following is the general overview of the H1B visa process.

  • When a company in the United States hires a foreign worker for a position in a specialized field.
  • With the Labour Condition  Application (LCA), the employer certifies the H1B worker’s working conditions and salary with the Department of Labor.
  • The employer submits the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) petition (Form I-129), along with any necessary fee and supporting documentation.
  • The USCIS reviews the petition and may request additional information if needed.
  • If the number of petitions exceeds the annual limit, the authorities will conduct a random lottery to select which petition will be processed.
  • If the beneficiary is outside the U.S. they must submit the approved petition. And appear in person for an interview when applying for an H-1B visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
  • If the beneficiary is already in the U.S. on a different visa, they can apply to change their status to H1B without leaving the country.
  • The beneficiary can enter the U.S. or continue working if they had a change of status approved if the petition is approved and the visa is issued.

How To Check H1B Visa Status Online:

To check the status of an H1B visa application, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Go to the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at https://egov.uscis.gov/
  • The Case Status Online page will open, here enter your “Receipt Number” and click on the “Check Status” button.

  • Then the status of the H1B visa will appear on the screen.
  • Or you can also visit the official website of CEAC (Consular Electronic Application Center) at https://ceac.state.gov/ 
  • The home page will appear on the screen, here click on “Check My Visa Application Status” under the “NonImmgrant” section.

  • The visa status check page will open, here select the “Visa Application Type”, and “Location” from the drop-down menu.
  • Now, enter the “Application Id or Case Number” and “Captcha Code” and then click on the “Submit” button.

  • Then you can able to see the H1B visa status on the screen.
  • In this way, you can check the status of your H1B visa online.

H1B Visa Validity:

A number of variables, including the visa holder’s individual circumstances and the USCIS approval period, determine the validity of an H1B visa. Here are some important details about the H1B visa’s validity.

  • You can work in the United States for up to three years after your H1B visa is issued. This is the initial period of validity.
  • You can apply for an extension if you want to keep working in the United States after the initial three-year period. You can be eligible for up to three extra years with each extension. Your H1B visa can only be valid for a total f six years. 
  • If you were in H1B status when you applied for a green card (Permanent residency), you might be qualified for an extension longer than the six-year maximum. This depends on the progress of your green card application. 
  • Your H1B visa has an expiration date, which is printed there. This date indicates the last day you can use the visa to enter the U.S.
  •  The duration of your permitted stay and authorization to work in the United States is known as your authorized stay.  The I-94 Arrival/Departure  Record issued by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon entry. It’s possible that the authorized stay will not always coincide with the visa’s expiration date.
  • You typically have 60 days after the expiration of your H1B visa to plan to leave the United States country or to take steps to change to another non-immigrant status.

Fee Charges Details About H1B Visa:

  • The registration fee is $10 non-refundable.
  • The basic filing fee for Form I-129 is $460.
  • The Fraud Prevention and Detection (USCIS Anti-fraud) fee is $500.
  • The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA), for employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, the fee is $ 750. For employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees, the fee is $1500.
  • Premium processing (optional) $2500.
  • Public Law 114-113 the fee is $4000 for new H1B petitions and $4500 for certain H1B extension of stay petitions.

Requirements For H1B Visa:

  • A valid passport.
  • Your employer or someone on your behalf should fill out and sign the completed Form I-129, Petition for a non-immigrant Worker.
  • The certified Labour Condition Application (LCA) was obtained from the Department of Labour. 
  • Education documents, such as copies of educational degrees or diplomas, marks sheets, etc.
  • Work experience documents like employment letters or reference letters, Pay stubs, or tax documents.
  • A detailed resume of your educational background, work experience, and relevant skills.
  • Job offer letter from your employer offering you a position in the United States.
  • Supporting documents like proof of professional license or certification, copies of research papers, or other relevant work, proof of any awards or recognition in your field, etc.

The H1B visa program plays a vital role in attracting skilled employees to the United States, benefiting both employees and the economy as a whole. It offers opportunities for talented people to contribute their knowledge, drive innovation, and enrich the U.S. workforce. To solve issues and make sure the program remains a fair and efficient way for international talent to contribute to the development and success of the United States, it is crucial to continuously review and improve it.

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