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Today's Date: December 10, 2013

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FAQ: Cap-subject H-1Bs with the start date of October 1, 2013 or later with Consular processing

Sep 18 2013

1.      What is the earliest start date
of a Cap-subject H-1B?

Answer(A): The earliest start
date for Cap-subject H-1B for fiscal year 2014 will be October 1, 2013 but the
employment could start later. The U.S. federal government’s fiscal year begins
on 1 October of the previous calendar year and ends on 30 September of the year
with which it is numbered.

Steps you need to take if your H-1B is approved and you are
outside the U.S.?

a.       How soon one can apply for an H-1B visa?

A: After USCIS approves the
Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), you can apply for an H-1B visa
90 days in advance at a U.S. Consulate.

Since it is September already,
now one would be able to apply for the H-1B visa at the appropriate U.S.
Consulate if an H-1B petition was approved for him.

Wait times for visa interview
appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply
for your visa early. (Review the interview wait time for the location where
you will apply)

b.      Which
U.S. Consulate should I apply for the visa ?

A: When the H-1B petition was
filed on your behalf you made a choice about the U.S. Consulate you will go to
for your visa. Therefore you would have to apply for the visa at that Consulate
and schedule for a visa interview there.

The Department of State has
developed the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) to provide a
method for consular officers to rapidly confirm that individuals requesting an
H, L, O, P, Q, or R nonimmigrant visa were, in fact, the beneficiary of a
corresponding petition approved by USCIS. PIMS allows consular officers to
access and confirm USCIS petition approval data and supporting documents
online; thereby speeding up the issuance of nonimmigrant visas while reducing
costs and heightening security.

Prior to arriving at the consulate,
call ahead to schedule an appointment and inquire as to whether the case
information is located in PIMS. U.S. Consulate contacts are available at

However you would check each Consulate
about scheduling the visa appointment, for example for India, one can schedule
interview online at or
may call their number.

In case you would not be able to
schedule a visa interview at your pre-selected Consulate, then you can schedule
an appointment at any U.S. Consulate since the information in PIMS will be
available electronically to all consulates and embassies.

c.       What
are the steps for applying for an H-1B visa?

Following are some of the steps
you would need to take:

Complete The Online Visa
Application, Form DS-160

You must: 1) complete the online
visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring
to your interview.


You will upload your photo while
completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained
in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

You would need to schedule an
appointment for your visa interview. You will need to provide the receipt
number that is printed on your approved Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker,
Form I-129 to schedule an interview.

Prepare for your Interview

Fees – Pay the non-refundable
visa application fee. (See, Current visa fees for Department of State government
services select Fees)

When your visa is approved, you
may also pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable to your

Gather Required

Gather and prepare the following
required documents before your visa interview:

– Passport valid for travel
to the U. S. – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your
period of stay in the U. S. (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If
more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa
must submit a separate application.

– Nonimmigrant Visa
Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page

– Application fee payment
receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview

– Photo – You will upload your
photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you
must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph

– Receipt Number/Notice for your
approved H-1B petition.

Attend your Visa Interview

During your visa interview, a
consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa.

After your visa interview, your
application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed
by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your

When the visa is approved, you
may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be
informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa
processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be
ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.

Spouse and Children

Your spouse, and unmarried and
minor children may also apply for the derivative visa category to accompany or
join you. U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that
are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that they will adjudicate
applications for opposite gender spouses.

Please reference the specific
guidance on the visa category for which you are applying for more details on
documentation required for derivative spouses. You must be able to show that
you will be able to financially support your family in the United States. 

Visa Denial and

Review Visa Denials for detailed
information about visa ineligibilities and denials and contact  your employer
about the issues.

I was refused a visa, may I

Yes, but first contact your

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by
the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the
permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.

2.      What you need to know regarding the immigration
processing at the U.S. – Port of Entry?

A.     Once
your visa is approved you would be able to travel to the U.S. 10 days prior to
your  H-1B employment so long as an H-1B visa was approved with the
earlier start date than your H-1B start date at the discretion of Consular

At the port of entry, a Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) officer will stamp your passport. This admission
stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that
the traveler’s class of admission expires. You will also receive on arrival a
flyer alerting you to go to to check your admission record
information. At this time make sure that your classification (either H-1B or
H-4) and the end-date is correct.

Once your enter the U.S., you should print out I-94 entry
 through the CBP website in multiple copies. You would
need this I-94 copy for driver’s license, social security card, and for I-9
verification. For more info, please
visit the websit


3.      How late can I start my H-1B

A: If the employee is simply changing from some other status
to H-1B employment with the company while already present in the U.S.,
employment must begin within 60 days of approval of the H-1B.

Before you start your job you would need a U.S. Social Security
Number, otherwise you would have to apply for a Social Security Number and it
might take two weeks or more to receive the actual Social Security Card.more to
receive the actual Social Security Card.

4.      What do you need to do on first
day of employment?

A.     Your employer will provide you a copy
of the approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) if they have not done so

In addition to giving you the LCA copy, your employer will give
you a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is used for
verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for
employment in the United States. On the form, you will complete first part,
Section 1, and attest to your employment authorization. You must present your
employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment

5.      How to maintain H-1B status?

A: You will remain in H-IB status for the duration of the H-IB
period granted on your     I-94, or on the approval notice if a
change of status was granted, provided that you at all times during this period
are “performing services for an authorized H-lB employer”.

6.      When does an amended petition
have to be filed?

A.     Any changes in job locations, job title or
substantial changes in job duties and/or responsibilities
 and reduction of salary and benefits from
prior H-1B will require a LCA and H-1B petition to amend the employment

7.      What are the consequences of out
of visa status?

A: You will be considered “out of H-1B status” if you stop
performing services for  your employer, regardless of the period noted in
the H-1B approval notice or I-94.

If you are considered out of status, so will all of your
derivative family members, regardless of the expiration date of their H-4 approval
notices or I-94s.

Once on “out of status” you
should not remain “out of status” in the United States for more than 10 days
grace period to leave the U.S. You will be subjected to the unlawful presence
rule if you remain out of status for more than 180 days and will be excluded
from the United States for a period of three years or more.   


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