H1B Visa Process: Step-by-Step Explanation on How to Get an H1B Visa

H1B Visa Process

The H1B is a powerful visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the United States in “specialty occupations.” This guide will provide you with more information about the H1B visa process.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. My team and I are happy to provide any information. Additionally, my team and I would be happy to assist you through this process.

 

Overview

 

1. H1B Visa Overview

 

2. Registration Process

 

3. Labor certification

 

4. Petition

 

5. Consular Processing

 

6. Admission to the USA

 

7. Conclusion

 

1. H1B Visa Overview

 

The H1B is a powerful visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the United States in “specialty occupations.” There are 65,000 H1B visas allocated per year, plus 20,000 additional visas for those with advanced US degrees (US masters and up). You can stay in the US for up to 6 years, with an initial 3-year validity period and 3-year extension.

 

To be eligible for an H1B visa, you must have a job offer from a US employer willing to sponsor you, the job offer must be for a “specialty occupation”, and you must meet all qualifications for the job (e.g., education and licensure). A “specialty occupation” is defined as a job requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher (or the foreign equivalent).

 

If you are eligible for the H1B visa, there are many benefits to the visa. One big benefit to the H1B visa is that it is a dual intent visa. This means you can simultaneously seek permanent residence while on the H1B visa. Another advantage is its portability. This means you can transfer US employers while on the H1B visa.

 

There are five main steps in the H1B application process.

 

● H1B Registration

 

● Labor Condition Application (LCA)

 

● I-129 Petition

 

● Consular processing or Change of Status

 

● Admission to the USA

 

Each of these steps will be discussed in more depth below. Additionally, my team and I would be happy to answer any questions. It is also recommended that you have an immigration lawyer assist you with this application process. My team and I are experienced with H1B visas and would be happy to help you.

 

2. Registration Process

 

The first step to apply for an H1B is the registration process. This is a new process as of 2020. The registration is done by the employer. As previously mentioned, there is a cap on available H1B visas. Presently, there are more qualified applicants than available visas. For this reason, a lottery system is used.

 

Applicants must register with USCIS between the first three weeks of March (approximately). You can begin setting up your account on February 24th. You will sign up for registration by clicking here. You will have to submit some basic information about the petitioner and the beneficiary. It will cost $10 to complete this registration process. You are encouraged to seek an immigration lawyer to assist you with this process. My team and I would be happy to help you register.

 

On March 31st, USCIS will announce which applicants were chosen in the lottery system. If you qualify, you will be able to submit a petition beginning April 1st. If you are not chosen, you will not be able to continue with the H1B visa application process.

 

The purpose of this registration period is to minimize the cost and time spent for people not chosen in the lottery system. In the past, you would have to complete the entire petition to be eligible for the lottery. With the registration process, you only have to provide some basic information. This creates a more streamlined, efficient process.

 

The registration process is random and we cannot guarantee you will be chosen. Nonetheless, my team and I are committed to giving you the best chance of being chosen possible. More information about the registration process can be found by clicking here or here.

 

3. Labor Condition Application

 

The second step in the H1B visa application process is to submit a labor condition application. This is also done by the employer. You are encouraged to work with an immigration lawyer to complete the application. You will complete Form ETA-9035 and send it electronically to the Department of Labor.

 

This can be done before or during the registration process, but many choose to wait in case they are not chosen in the lottery system. My team and I would be happy to assist you through this process and help you determine the best time to submit your LCA.

 

Form ETA-9035 will request information regarding the visa, the employer, the beneficiary, the attorney, and the job. It requests information about the job duties, the wages, and the work conditions. This is done to ensure that the foreign beneficiary will be treated fairly and to ensure that the American labor market is not hurt by hiring the foreign beneficiary.

 

In particular, it is important to note that the DOL will not approve your application if there are any labor disputes or strikes at the worksite. Additionally, employers with 50+ employees, and 50% or more of whom have H1B, L-1A, or L-1B status must note this on their labor certification application. They will be subject to an additional fee. More information about this can be found by clicking here.

 

More information about the labor condition application process can be found by clicking here. My team and I would also be happy to answer any questions you may have about it.

 

4. Petition

 

Those chosen in the registration process may submit an H1B petition. This is also completed by the employer. This will require compiling several documents and mailing them to USCIS. The appropriate USCIS Service Center will vary depending on your employment location. An immigration lawyer can assist you with the petition process.

 

The first requirement for the petition is Form I-129. This form requests additional information about the petitioner, the beneficiary, and the position. More information about Form I-129 can be found by clicking here. Please note you will also need to complete Supplement H of Form I-129.

 

The second requirement for the petition is the exhibit packet. This should include a copy of the biographic page of the beneficiary’s passport, a copy of the approved labor condition application, a support statement from the US company sponsoring the beneficiary, and a cover letter from your attorney. Other documents may also be appropriate to include in this section. This could include evidence of lawful status, resumes, transcripts, evidence of awards, or statements from other professional associations. An immigration lawyer can help you determine what is appropriate to include in your individual application.

 

USCIS can approve, reject your application, or request additional information. You can also pay for premium processing. Assuming USCIS does not submit a Request for Evidence, you will hear a response within 15 days. You must include Form I-907 in your exhibit packet if you choose to do this. If you do not pay for premium processing, you will hear a response in approximately 4-6 months.

 

5. Consular Processing and Change of Status

 

If your petition is approved, you will receive Form I-797. At this point, the beneficiary should schedule an appointment at their local US consulate. If they are already inside the US and filed as a “Change of Status” – your status will automatically change to H1B. To get an H1B visa stamp, it will require submitting Form DS-160. Please note the visa stamping appointment must be no more than 90 days before you will begin working in the United States.

 

When your interview date arrives, you will go to an interview with a US consular officer. You should bring Form I-797. You should also bring evidence of your qualifications. This may include transcripts, resumes, and evidence of qualifications. Different US consulates will have different requirements. Your own individual situation may also affect what documents will be appropriate. You can find more information by going to the website for your local US embassy. My team and I would also be happy to help you prepare for your interview.

 

If approved by a US consular officer, you will have H1B visa status.

 

Please note that some people with previous lawful status in the United States may request a change of status rather than going through the consular processing process. This is especially common for people with F-1 student visas, but it may affect people with a variety of visas. If this applies to you, my team and I would be happy to provide you with more information.

 

6. Admission to the United States

 

Once you have been approved, you are eligible to come to the United States and begin work. The start date for the job must be no earlier than October 1st. You should bring your passport, H1B visa, and Form I-797 Approval Notice with you. Upon arrival in the United States, you will receive an electronic I-94 card. You should confirm that the dates on your I-94 card match your H1B visa. Your H1B status should be valid for up to 3 years.

 

7. Conclusion

 

You should now have a better sense of the H1B visa application process. Please note that this is only a general outlining of the process. Individuals are encouraged to work with an immigration lawyer to ensure their application is successful. My team and I have extensive experience with H1B visas and would be happy to assist you. It is valuable to begin preparation for the H1B visa as early as possible.

 

If you have any questions about any of the information discussed in this post or about the H1B visa in general, feel free to contact me directly. I can be reached at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I am very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.

 

Resources:

 

Temporary Workers - H1B Specialty Occupations and Fashion Models - H1B Electronic Registration Process

 

I-129

 

H1B Specialty Occupations DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers and Fashion Models

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Donnie Ramlal
1677009911
The entire team at Ashoori law has done a fantastic job of securing our E2 status here in USA . Every step of the process was very transparent and professional. They have treated us like family at the same time and have helped us secure an... opportunity to live the American dream . Special thanks to Michael , Ehsan , Rebecca , Patricia and others who have worked on our case .If you are looking for a law firm to attend to all your immigration needs , no matter what your situation is , look no more . Rest assured Michael Ashoori law have your best interests at heart . It’s a one stop shop , they handle everything for you 💯 %read more
uanderson duarte
1677000716
Well experienced , reliable and fast team , Ashoori Law team guided me efficiently in getting me and my family E2 Visa.
Vlado Kolistrkoski
1676563057
My experience with Ashoori Law started when my younger son had an issue with his green card and it was solved really very professionally so my son recommended me Ashoori Law. So when I found the love of my life Ashoori Law was the firm help me out... with all the advice and finally resolved the issue with getting the green card for my now new wife and because of that I am very satisfied and recommend Ashoori Law as a great professional and friendly firm providing excellent service.Best regardsVlado Kolistrkoski.read more
saha kabgani
1676487618
So happy to have worked with this law firm, We obtained them for my E2 Visa. They are for responsive, helpful and my entire process went very smooth considering I was very afraid not having the knowledge of how to proceed. I definitely recommend... them as I have also dealt with a few different lawyers regarding similar matter and unfortunately I did not have as great result as I did with them.read more
KAY QIAO
1676013472
Probably the most efficient and professional attorney I've worked with. They answered my emails fast and in detail, so I always could get the answer that I was asking for. Highly recommend to anyone who need true support and professionalism.Thank... you so much.:)read more
Felix Evans
1675895179
Ashoori Law, is the best and most professional Legal firm I have done business with. They provide support, responds to queries promptly and most of all provide excellent service dealing with the issues. Excellent Immigration Legal Firm
Leila Rafiei
1675888317
Ashoori Law gave us the guidance and expertise we were looking for our E2 visa. Always supportive, extremely knowledgeable and very thorough. Ashoori team is the success factor that resulted in an approved visa!
Michelle M Kang
1675473942
I was very pleased with the work Ashoori Law did for me and am excited to take the next step moving forward in my journey to immigration to the U.S. My decision to work with Ashoori was one of the greatest things I have ever done in my entire life.... During the several months working with the firm, I learned a lot about the firm in addition to my first impression from the initial consultation. Ashoori Law is young, driven, positive, and passionate about helping others achieve their goals and dreams in their lives. They have a keen eye for finding out what you have whether big or small and have the knowledge and skills that turn it into a success. If your chances of success in your immigration journey are 10%, they won’t give up and lead you somewhere you are fully qualified and successful. Of course, you have to be cooperative to make that happen. For example, your honesty, sincerity, determination, professional attitude, communication, etc. will matter all the way to your success. I believe that Ashoori Law has great potential to continue to grow and serve diverse clients from around the world.read more
Adeel ad
1675369694
I recommend this law firm to anyone looking for US immigration lawyer. The attorneys has tons of knowledge and they know what they are doing. The information or advice they give you is 100% correct. Very professional staff. Our attorney Matthew and... Business professional team were outstanding. Matthew and Kimberly also worked during the weekend or after hours to answer all our questions. I’ll definitely come back for future immigration requirements .read more
Ani Mikirdichian
1675115376
Ashoori Law has been a great partner throughout our immigration process. They have made this whole experience very easy and have answered all of our questions along the way. We highly recommend Ashoori Law and can not thank them enough!!
Ruth Ngakae
1675111500
Hello everyone,I wish to testify that Ashoori law firm is the right place for all kind of immigration issues,I personally have the best experience of my life being one of their client.The Ashoori law firm took me all the way from the beginning of my... case till date,the lawyers are so kind and very respectful,patient and understanding,they respond to your calls and reply your emails giving you update of your case and all what is needed to be done,they filled all my paperwork,sent to me to check and sent back to them for any corrections and gave me that warm assurance,as I am talking to you right now, my case has been approved,I am so grateful to God and the Ashoori law firm who sacrificed their time for me till this very moment,I am based in Georgia and they are based in California so bear in mind that distance is not a barrier,please hurry up and call Michael Ashoori and colleagues in any immigration case you have been battling with and then tomorrow you will definitely come here and testify your victory as I am doing now,My sincere big thank you to God Almighty who linked me to Ashoori law firm who has put a beautiful smile on my face and my entire family,Long live Ashoori law firm and God bless y’all 👍🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏read more
Ever Zalazar
1675095317
Ashoori Law handled my working permit application professionally. Their staff is very professional. Since day one, I contacted them; I knew my process would have a positive outcome. During the whole process, I always received the support of the... team, any conference call to follow up was on time, and the information satisfied my questions. I'm delighted to have chosen Ashoori law.read more
Sahan Kaushal (Kawwa)
1675059855
I feel really happy that I have processed my Re-Entry Permit with Ashoori Law. They have been great, very responsive and professional. I would recommend 'Ashoori Law' to any one who is in need of anything related to immigration.I am highly... satisfied with their service. Thanks 'Ashoori Law'.read more
Shota Leladze
1674871442
The team is helpful! I've have the answers on all of my questions I've ever asked to them!
Leah H
1674833566
Our Texas based Endurance Horse Racing company was just approved for our E2 Visa along with our three essential employees yesterday at the Toronto Consulate. I wanted to thank Ashoori Law and their team for such excellent and professional care they... took for our family and business. We had a very unique case with an unusual business type, complicated investment, and three essential employees all being applied for at once. I have no regrets hiring their law firm to walk us through this process step by step ensuring that every t was crossed and I dotted along the way. We placed our lives in their hands, and they truly took care of us. I HIGHLY recommend their services to anyone looking to obtain an E2 status. A special thank you to their team member Christina who always replied promptly and thoroughly to all my questions, taking the time to really understand the uniqueness of our situation and having never met anyone on their team, really making us feel cared for and important.read more
Abdulakim Abrahim
1674829940
Please help me I am from Ethiopia thanks
AN
1674746245
I recommend this law firm to anyone looking for US immigration lawyer. The attorneys has tons of knowledge and they know what they are doing. The information or advice they give you is 100% correct. Very professional staff. Our attorney Rebecca and... Business professional Elaine were outstanding. Rebecca also worked during the weekend or after hours to answer all our questions. I’ll definitely come back for future immigration requirements and will let friends and family know as well.read more
Anne Summanen
1674700602
My family and I got a successful E2 Visa with the help of Ashoori Law. They are well organized and have a system that get things done. With the help of a portal, it made it easy for us to keep on track and to follow our progress. Every one was... extremely professional. Thank you so much! Highly recommended!read more
Pragadeesh Suresh Babu
1674687597
Had a great experience with Ashoori law after I was recommended to them by a colleague. They were very professional and answered all my questions in a timely manner. Definitely recommend!
Antoni Matte
1674652577
With the help of Ashoori law and their team, our application went smoothly and we were able to get our visa.
Brahim Bougrayne
1674620459
Im a citizen from Belgium and has applied voor a E2 visa and thanks too Ashoori Law i have been approved!!His team did a great job, they help you step by step and always can you reach them by phone, email or whatsup!!Thanks Ashoori Law
Adriana HERNANDEZ BERMUDEZ
1674529670
Hello,My name is Adriana, I am from Colombia. I married my husband Edward who is an American citizen in Bogota Colombia in 2013. My husband moved to Bogota in 2015 until we decided in late 2022 it was time for me to apply for my USA Residency.... We started searching for Immigration Lawyers and came accross Michael Ashoori through a referral from EIN Express where I received my ITIN number. We emailed Ashoori Law and quickly received a reply explaining that a phone interview was required. The interviewer was ontime and very efficient in answering all our questions and concerns. We then decided to use Ashoori Law. A list of documents which were needed were sent to us, keep in mind that if you do not provide these Documents in a timely manner Ashoori Law can not do their job to help you. We had one person ¨Zeser¨ from almost the very beginning to assist us with every concern or question until today he continues to answer questions. Ashoori Law office filed all the documents with USCIS in the first week of June, 2022 in January 2023 I received my United States Of America Employment Authorization Card. I sincerely recommend Ashoori Law not only for their excellent customer service but also for their efficient work.Thank You.Adriana Hernández Bermúdez.read more
Escheyder Acosta
1674504347
My company chose Ashoori Law to help me out in getting my work VISA to be able to move to the USA.At first, they send you a welcome email with all contacts and assigned lawyer. I think this is a nice touch so I can get familiar with the people... within the firm I can contact.I felt a little bit lost at first. They have their own sharepoint to upload files and fill out forms. However, after I had my first meeting with Lorianne (my lawyer) everything was cleared out.There was so many information to be gathered for my type of VISA. Lorianne was very helpful in giving us advise on the strategy to follow to present my case. Whole process to gather information took around 3-months.In the end, after one last meeting, we were able to have everything ready to submit. VISA was approved right away without any questions from the immigration department.This firm was great help during my process. I have only worked with Lorianne. However, judging by her response time and customer service, I think overall, it is a great firm for the process they helped me with.read more
Yoonmo Sang
1674433283
I've worked with Ashoori Law's lawyers on multiple occasions and had great outcomes always. In addition, the staff are very helpful and friendly. I would definitely recommend Ashoori Law for anyone.
Akash Giri
1674155687
I recently applied for a green card using the services of Ashoori Law firm. The firm's team are knowledgeable, professional, and attentive to every detail of my case. They helped me every step of the way and were able to answer any questions I had.... The communication was clear and very fast, making me very well -informed every step of the way. They are experts in the field and truly care about the clients. Highly recommended!!!read more
Raja Zulqarnain Haider
1673727230
We just had an E-2 approval from the U.S. consulate Islamabad Pakistan.We found this firm on the internet. When I read on their web page that they specialized in E2 visas, I send an email to Attorney Michael Ashoori for initial consulting. After a... brief phone conversation I was satisfiedThere is quite a lot of paper work involved and documents to be supplied. Our Attorney was Lahaina. She and her whole team prepared our case very efficiently.The best thing about this firm is they have friendly and helpful paralegals. And they have online portal where you can check your status anytime. Plus the whole team is available 24/7!We would definitely recommend using Ashoori lawread more
Phongmanas S
1673551512
Thank you so much everyone for your help. My O1 visa approved because of all your help and guidance and carefully looking on my evidence to submit with USCIS.This is a very good news of my life. It's proved that all my past work has qualify the... ability of myself to work in US.Thank you to all of you and Ashoori law team from the first day that we have talked so far.Regards,Tanread more
Lords Child 777
1673482463
Ashoori Law is the ABSOLUTE best law firm I have dealt with concerning Immigration and much more. Daniel Tierney Atty, is the most professional, intelligent, and courteous etc., Attorney I have communicated with. He is one of the main reasons I have... chose this law firm. This law group uses state of the art telecommunicating program where you are literally so informed and advised before, during, and after your calls with them. Their administration is fabulous as well. A to Z these people are the BEST! Try them and see for yourself.read more
Siranush Vardanyan
1673366640
My husband and I used Ashoori Law Services for our E2 Visa Application. Our case was a challenging one from the beginning but having assigned Rebecca as our attorney, the process started to move forward very smoothly. Rebecca is a highly... professional lawyer, who pays attention to every detail and follow up with every request even during her weekends. We successfully got approval of our case thanks to Rebecca's professionalism and dedication. I have already recommended Ashoori Law firm to some of my friends, who are looking for a professional legal support. We intend to continue working with Ashoori Firm in future as well.read more
Samantha Jacobs
1673240791
Michael and his team are phenomenal, their set up regarding information is an easy step by step guide. We worked with a lady named Rebecca, she was always available when we needed her, answered all our questions when we weren't sure, and definitely... took the stress out of filling an application, this is the second time we have used Ashoori lawyers and will defiantly continue using them in the future.read more
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Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.