H-1 B visa Application Process
When companies in the US want to employ workers from other countries who have qualifications and experience for specialty occupation, the workers are required to obtain H-1 B visa which is a non-immigrant visa issued by the US government. The employers who offer temporary jobs or short-time assignments to eligible and technically qualified professionals in specialized fields like IT, engineering, medicine, science, accounting, etc. have to apply for H-1 B visa with the immigration department in the US. H-1 B visa is a stamping on the passport of the foreign worker and he can use it as the work permit to work in US under the employer who filed the H-1 B petition. H-1 B visa will be issued only for specialty occupations and the worker for whom the visa is sought should have obtained at least a Bachelors Degree in the respective discipline and should have specialized knowledge in the field – theoretically as well as practically. Those who apply for H-1 B visa have to appear for the H-1visa interview in the nearest consulate of the US or in the US embassy, once the petition is approved. Once the H-1 visa interview is completed successfully, the H-1 stamping will be provided on the passport of the worker.
Those who want to apply for H-1 B visa have to meet the following requirements while making their applications:
A digital photograph in square shape is required for applying for H-1 B visa. The dimensions of the photograph must be within the range 600 pixels by 600 pixels – 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels. The image must be in color and also should be in JPEG format. The image file size should not exceed 240 kilobytes.
Form DS 160
One has to fill up the Form DS 160 in order to apply for H-1 B visa. The Form DS 160 can be accessed and filled up at the Dept of State website. The confirmation with a 10-digit bar code will be issued to those who have successfully made the application. The applicants are advised to keep a print out of the confirmation page which will be required for finalizing the visa interview appointment.
The H-1 B visa application fee can be paid by way of bank transfer or electronically or by cash at designated bank branches. The appointment for visa interview must be taken within a year from the date of payment of application fee.
Appointment for visa interview
Those who have applied for H-1 B visa have to schedule two appointments for the visa interview. While one of the appointments is with the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) for presenting biometric information including photograph and fingerprint the second appointment is for the personal visa interview at the Embassy or the Consulate.
Visa interview at the designated US consulate
Those who apply for H-1 B visa should ensure to be present at the consulate on the date and time of the appointment for interview. The following original documents are to be carried while going for the interview:
- Passport including old passports, if any
- Confirmation page of Form DS 160 stamped at the VAC
- Application fee receipts
- Visa appointment letter
- Petition related documents
- Supporting documents pertaining to the kind of visa applied for