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H1B Visa Process After Approval: How Things Progress
graphic displaying approved H1B USA visa on a wavy USA flag background

This blog explains all the details about:

If you are a foreigner who wants to work in the US, you need an H1B visa, apart from fulfilling the basic qualifications such as:

  • Having a bachelor's degree
  • Finding a US-based employer who will sponsor your visa
  • Meeting the specialty job requirements that your employer could not fulfill with a US-based employee.

Both you and your employer must adhere to USCIS conditions and regulations to be eligible for the H1B Visa. As part of the H1B visa requirements, employers and foreign professionals must comply with Department of Labour standards.

As a foreign employer, your foremost dream will be to get an H1B visa approval because it is the primary step in kickstarting a colorful career with the desired US employer. Once the approval notice arrives, most candidates are overwhelmed with what to do next. Our article provides you with all the details you have to move forward once you receive your H1B approval notice.

What to Expect After H1B Approval Status?

When you get your H1B petition approved, the USCIS will update this information on USCIS Online Case Status Website. Here are the steps that follow after you receive the approval:

  • I-797 Approval Notice is mailed to your attorney through USPS slow mail.
  • Your attorney sends your documents and approval notice to you or your employer.
  • You will schedule your H1B visa interview at the nearest U.S Embassy in your country.
  • Enter the United States AFTER getting the H1B visa stamp in your passport.

What happens after the H1B petition approved notice is sent?

To understand the process that follows H1B approval, you need to comprehend the H1B Visa concept and the Change of Status. The Change of Status depends largely on where you are located- whether within the US or in another country during the H1B petition.

You may qualify for any one of these categories based on your current visa status:

1. H1B Approved With Change of Status (COS) for applicants living in the USA.

You can start working on or after your H1B visa start date mentioned in your approval notice, provided your H1B petition is approved along with the COS. This category applies for an F-1 visa to H-1B, H4 to H1B, L-1 to H-1B, and L-2 to H-1B.
Often, October 1st would be the start date for your visa if your application submission was done during April.

2. H1B petition Approved without Change of Status

This is not a typical scenario. However, in case your H-1B visa is approved without COS, and if you reside in the U.S., you must travel to your home country and get your H-1B stamped at the US consulate. You may then enter the country ten days before your Date of Approval.

3. H1B approved, and you are not living in the United States

People who have applied for an H-1B, but are not residing in the U.S, will usually find themselves in this situation. If the H-1B is approved, you will need to obtain an H1B stamp from the US Consulate before entering the country. Each Consulate works with varied rules. Hence, you should always confirm with the US Consulate about the earliest date and time for your H1B stamping interview.

When should you apply for visa stamping after H1B visa approval?

You usually need to get H1B Visa stamping done before starting work if the H1B petition was filed in consular processing. In most cases, applicants applying for Consular processing are based outside the United States when they apply for an H1B visa petition.

As soon as you receive your approval notice, you will need to schedule an interview for an H-1B visa. You may visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the visa stamp on your passport. There is a time limit of 90 days before the petition start date for applying for a visa stamping.

In case you are applying for visa stamping, you cannot do so without informing the employer and getting all the supporting documents. Please cross-check with our detailed documents list required for visa stamping interview process.

Also Read : H1B Interview- Understanding the Process

Steps to Follow After US H1B Visa Stamping Interview

After your US visa stamping interview, all you have to do is wait for the US Consulate's decision on your visa. If everything goes well, your H1B visa stamping will be complete. You will receive your passport with the H1B Visa foil glued to it. There are circumstances where it may require additional processing. If so, the Consulate will issue a 221g form for Administrative Processing. Check here to learn more about tracking your passport status.

Now comes the question: How will I travel after H1B approval?

Once you get your H1B petition approved, all you have to do is board a flight and head to the USA. However, there is a contingency put forward by the US Department of State: You will be allowed to enter the US only ten days before your H1B start date mentioned on your approval notice or Form I- 797. Hence, you have to check the date, keep it in mind and plan your trip accordingly. You can always check our quick guide to prepare for your H1B travel.

How TechFetch H1B can Help You With H1B Visa Approval

The road to H1B visa approval and processing is not an easy one. One wrong slip and your visa could be denied, and your petition could be rejected. Visit Techfetch H1B for more information on obtaining your H1B visa.

**Disclaimer: All H1B visa process information is subject to change. Please log on to the USCIS official website to know the latest updates.**

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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