Our earlier post gave a complete guide to the 2018 H1B visa application process, and if you are new to non-immigrant work visa rules you should review the necessary steps in the guide. While the process is fairly straightforward, all applicants should be aware of common mistakes that could lead to a denial of your petition. These are easily avoided, but continue to trip up many applicants each visa season.
Some of these items are the responsibility of the employer, but the petition should be a joint effort between the US sponsor and foreign worker. Regular communication with your sponsor and following up to their requests is essential, and you should not assume they have it ‘taken care of’ for you.
Providing Incomplete or False Documentation of Education and Professional Experience
The H1B visa petition requires that the workers educational degree and professional experience be documented with supporting transcripts, resumes and other proof that the qualifications are met. This is a core requirement of the H1B visa, and should be taken seriously.
Some foreign workers wrongly believe that the USCIS or even border immigration officials will not check to verify the accuracy of these documents. Some successful H1B applicants will even go so far as to arrive at the border with false or different resumes stored on their mobile devices, only to be barred entry to the US.
The Job Description in the Petition Does Not Match the Foreign Workers Declared “Specialty Occupation.”
Just because you have education and work experience does not mean it will match the position description. Make sure the employer lists the job exactly as it will match your degree and profession, and even slight deviations could result in a denial.
Providing A Start Date That is Too Early
If you are applying for a position subject to the annual cap, and your petition is selected in the lottery, then your earliest start date is October 1, 2017. Listing an earlier start date will lead to rejection of your petition, requiring an amended petition with a valid date after October 1st. Likewise, beginning work prior to October 1st, is violation of immigration rules and could lead to you being ‘out of status’ even if you have an H1B visa in your passport.
Not Preparing for the Required Consulate Interview
When applying for an H1B visa from your home country, you are required to go to the US consulate for an interview. Some foreign workers take this for granted, but it is not a formality. You will be asked many specific questions about your background, the employer and position, so preparing is essential.
The consulate officer has the discretion to reject your petition if your answers do not match, or if you give insufficient or vague responses. These are red flags that the position is bogus or the employer is contracting out the worker to other firms.
Not Filing in Time and Missing the April 1, 2017 Deadline for the Lottery
This seems obvious, but many applicants will simply fail to meet the deadline due to a late start or unmet requests for information from USCIS. We urge you to start the process now and anticipate any delays so you can enter this year’s lottery. If you become pressed for time, you can always avail the Premium Processing route, but this costs an additional $1200 and is one fee the sponsor can ask you to pay.
If you are still looking for a US sponsor for an H1B visa, please contact us soon so that you have a chance to obtaining your permission to work for next year.
- January 17th, 2018