What are the steps for filing an H-1B Visa Petition?

H-1B visa is a type of visa in the United States, which allows US employers to hire nonimmigrant workers into specialty occupations.

H1B Visa

Steps for filing an H-1B petition

 The first step for filing the petition is preparing Labor Condition Application (LCA). Notice for 10 business days should be posted at the employee’s work location and the Form ETA9035E with the DOL should be submitted.

The employer must attest to the following four items:

  1. The employer will pay the appropriate wage.
  2. The employer will provide similar working conditions to H-1B employees as it does non-H-1B employees.
  3. The employer affirms there is presently no strike or lockout in that work location.
  4. The employer has provided notice of the employer’s intent to hire an H-1B worker in that work location to all employees.

The LCA filing should be done electronically through the following website: www.flag.dol.gov.

The certified LCA should be printed and signed by the employer’s representative for submitting with the H-1B Petition and Public Access File.

The second step is preparing and filing Form I-129, i.e., Petition for Non-immigrant Worker with attached H Supplement.

The petition should be submitted along with the following supporting documents:

  1. DOL-certified LCA.
  2. Form I-129W, A worker training fee of $1,500, and a fraud protection fee of $500 are required to be submitted with the petition.
  3. Employer’s letter in support of the Petition.
  4. Documents to prove the qualification of the foreign national – Copy of degree and transcripts, resume and letters of experience, etc. Should be submitted.
  5. Copy of passport, I-94 (if the foreign national is in the U.S.), evidence of the foreign national’s current, valid status within the United States (if applicable).
  6. Financial information and background information of the Petitioner. 

H1B Visa Process

How to get Petition Approval from the USCIS? 

USCIS thoroughly validates and examines all the H-1B Petitions before approving and issuing the I-797 approval notice. The H-1B petition approval process involves reviewing the job description, wage information, source of work, job offer, type of position, and candidate qualifications.

Background checks of the candidate and petitioning employer will also be performed during this process. If any discrepancies are found during the adjudication, USCIS will submit a Request for Evidence (RFE) for additional evidence to address any concerns.

Employers should that all details supporting the H-1B petition are in place and in order prior to filing to ensure accuracy and compliance will all guidance, regulations, and requirements.

It is critical to have an immigration attorney to support the organization to ensure the required H-1B standards are met during the petition submission and processing and to handle the issues that might arise in the H-1B filing. 

What is Premium Processing Service for H-1B Petition Filing 

The usual processing time for H-1B Petitions filed with the USCIS is currently (July 2022) 4 to 8 months – but can still vary significantly based on USCIS processing times and current caseload.

There is a premium processing provision for filing an H-1B petition. Using this provision, the processing will be completed within 15 days. The employer should pay an additional USCIS filing fee of $2,500 and file Form I-907.

The 15-day time clock is stopped if USCIS issues an RFE. A fresh 15-day time clock resumes when USCIS receives the response to the RFE. If USCIS is unable to complete the adjudication within 15 days, they are required to refund the premium processing fee.

A premium processing facility is a valuable tool for employers, which helps the employee as well as the organization to conduct a faster onboarding.