We know it can be stressful when you’re chasing your dreams of working in the United States and doing everything you need to get there. There’s plenty of information and misinformation online, which can add to your confusion. To help you expertly navigate these waters, we’ve compiled this list of steps to increase your odds of securing the H-1B visa.
If you’re looking for companies in the US that sponsor the H-1B visa, you can check out our free resource here. This helpful tool not only lets you narrow down your search but also provides helpful information like recruiter names. If you need help in getting your career going, get in touch with us at HiCounselor to launch your dream career!
1. Be Ready to File the Petition ASAP
Since working in the US is a pretty popular goal, the H-1B application window is open only for a short period each year. USCIS gets a humongous number of petitions filed each year, so the lottery window is usually open only for the first 5 days of filing. That’s why it’s a good idea to file your submission as soon as the window opens.
2. Submit Proof of Employer Being Reliable
One common reason for H1-B visa rejection is having an unreliable employer. Your employer should be able to prove necessary proof or reliability, like filing all relevant tax returns and bank statements showing they have the funds to pay you the prevailing wage. You can see if they’ve been successful with previous H-1B applications to understand your chance of success.
3. Don’t Pay Your Own Fee
Don’t file for an H-1B visa with an employer that expects you to pay the fee. The USCIS can take stern steps if they find out that an employer didn’t pay the responsible fees, which includes revoking the visa. What you can pay for are options like premium processing, which benefits the employee as it speeds up the decision-making process.
4. File With Multiple Employers
This is more of a tricky step since it is well known that USCIS rejects any duplicate petitions filed for one employee, even if the applications are from two different but affiliated companies. However, if you have offers from different employers or even a part-time work offer, you can submit multiple petitions in order to increase your chance of getting a visa approval.
5. Find an H-1B Cap-exempt Job
A cap-exempt job doesn’t depend on the lottery selection system and its time constraints, which means your odds of being selected aren’t as arbitrary. There are some employers who are cap-exempt, such as high education institutes, a non-profit organization associated with high education institutions, or a governmental research center.
6. Match Your Qualification to Your Job
Sometimes people can get the H-1B visa despite their jobs not matching their educational qualifications, but it’s usually best to find a position that corresponds with your degrees. Often, you’ll have to submit Requests for Evidence when your qualifications don’t relate to the speciality job for which you’re filing the H-1B visa petition, which is an unnecessary hurdle on your path.
7. Double Check All Information
This one is a no-brainer yet it’s worth mentioning because sometimes when we’re under pressure, we ignore the obvious details. Make sure you fill all the relevant parts of the petition and make sure all the information provided (including signatures and addresses) are accurate. Omitting sections or having inaccurate information is grounds for an automatic rejection.
8. Invest in an Attorney
This will be subject to each individual and their situation, but it can be very helpful to have a knowledgeable and experienced professional guiding you through the H-1B visa process. They make sure everything is on the up and up so your odds of success are significantly higher. They’re also ready to address any Requests for Evidence in case the need arises.
9. Stay Informed About Changes
As with any other process, the H-1B visa requirements are subject to changes. That means you can’t go ahead with only the information provided to you by your friend who got the visa two years ago. Things might have changed since then! Make sure you understand all your options and what each step in the process involves so you don’t inadvertently make any mistakes.
We hope you’ll find this information useful in getting an H-1B visa! To find companies that help procure the H-1B visa, check out our free search tool here. For help in jump-starting your career, get in touch with us at HiCounselor to see what we can do for you!