What is the Process of H1B Visa Stamping?

The United States is a magnet for talented professionals seeking exciting opportunities.  If you have the advanced training, education, and skills employers are looking for, an H-1B visa could be your ticket to working in the US for up to six years.

Here at Berd & Klauss, LLC, we have extensive experience helping professionals, and their prospective employers secure an H1B visa. It’s a great option if you want to work in the US for a specific period to gain international experience or earn more than you could in your home country. Although a lawyer from an immigration firm in NY can help, you still need the backing of an employer based in the US. This is because your employer is responsible for petitioning the US government to gain permission to hire you, a foreign worker.

Whether you’re a professional or an employer looking to hire foreign workers, our lawyer can answer immigration questions in NY and guide you in completing the requirements for an H1B visa. Another advantage of getting this visa is that it can jumpstart your path to an American Green Card. Likewise, our immigration attorneys can provide information and assistance on getting one after you qualify for an H1B visa.

Procedure for the H1B visaFirst,your employer needs to secure a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor, verifying that they've offered the position at a fair wage and explored hiring US workers first.

Then, USCIS approves your employer's petition (Form I-129), demonstrating your qualifications and the specialty nature of the role.

Once these approvals are in place, you can officially apply for the H-1B visa. Complete Form DS-160 with your details, schedule an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in your home country and attend the interview.  Following the interview, the Embassy or Consulate will deliver the final verdict on your H-1B visa application.

If they approve your visa, the next step is to apply for H1B visa stamping. We'll discuss this process in this blog to ensure a smoother process. Should you encounter any problem, a lawyer from our immigration firm in NY can support you.

Why is H1B visa stamping important?

H1B visa stamping is the final stage to determine your ability to go to the US with your H1B visa. When you arrive in the US, the local immigration will conduct security clearance by doing the following:

  • Review your documents: Having an H1B visa does not automatically guarantee your entry to the US. This is why US immigration thoroughly checks all documents to verify that you have completed all the requirements.
  • Ask questions: US Immigration wants to know what you’ll be doing in the country, so be prepared to answer their questions honestly. If they suspect you are untruthful or hiding something, they may deny your entry and send you back or subject you to a more thorough interview.
  • Check your things: All your belongings will be scanned by officers to ensure you did not bring any illegal objects or substances into the US. Anything illegal will be confiscated and inspected by the same authorities. A lawyerfrom our immigration firm in NY can provide you with an up-to-date list of what you can and cannot bring to avoid any trouble.

If you pass these steps, the immigration officers will let you in and provide Form I-94, which indicates your dates of entry and visa expiration. While reviewing your documents, they will see if your passport has a US stamp.

The visa stamp signifies that the US Embassy/Consulate, USCIS, and Department of Labor have all reviewed your petition and authorized your entry to work in the US.  Without a valid visa stamp, immigration officers cannot proceed with further checks and will likely deny your entry, assuming you're attempting to enter illegally.

When is H1B visa stamping necessary?

The H-1B visa stamp is crucial for entering the US and working on your approved visa. However, applying too early or too late can cause delays or even visa rejection.

Generally, you should aim to apply for your H-1B visa stamp around 90 days before your start date in the US. This timeframe provides enough time for processing while ensuring your application remains valid upon arrival.

Your US employer will typically provide a document outlining your employment start date. Use this as a reference point to determine your ideal visa stamping window.

Given the complexities of H-1B visa stamping procedures and processing times, consulting with a lawyer from our immigration firm in NY is recommended. An attorney can analyze your specific situation and advise on the optimal timeframe for your visa stamp application.

What’s required?

You will qualify for H1B visa stamping if you have a:

  • Valid passport: Make sure it’s valid for 6 months after the H1B visa’s expiration date. If it expires earlier, apply for a new one before applying for an H1B visa.
  • Successful medical examination: Before stamping, you must complete a medical examination with a licensed doctor to prove you’re in good health and in good condition to work.

Additionally, be sure to submit these documents before getting the stamp:

  • A completed and signed DS-156 Form
  • A photograph from the last 6 months
  • A completed DS-157 Form
  • USCIS approval through Form I-797
  • The LCA from the Department of Labor
  • The original visa petition via Form I-129
  • Letter from the US employer with details of your job position, description, and salary
  • Company information about the US employer, with brochures, address, annual report, prospectus, and photographs
  • Your academic qualifications (certificates and diplomas)
  • Letters from previous employers proving your work experience
  • Your CV or resume
  • Bank statements for the past 3 months
  • Address of your current residence in your home country
  • Receipts to prove you have paid every applicable fee
  • Your social security number, if you have it already

Do you have other questions?

lawyer from an immigration firm in NY can address other concerns about H1B visa stamping. Here at Berd & Klauss, LLC, we’ll help you navigate immigration matters and create opportunities to improve your chances of working in the US. Call 212-461-7152 to book a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

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