Whether you are outside or inside the U.S., the process of applying for an H-1B visa is the same.
First, the employer must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) from the Department of Labor. The LCA sets the “prevailing wage” for the position, which is the minimum wage rate the employer can offer to the foreign national.
Next, you will fill out Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, plus its supplements, and obtain the required supporting documentation. You can also file Form I-907 for premium processing, for an additional fee, so USCIS guarantees communication with you within 15 days of filing your application. Note: “communication” does not mean approval. It could mean approval, but it could also mean a request for additional information or a denial.
The supporting documentation needed for the application includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Copy of the Registration Selection Notice
- Certified LCA
- Letter from the US employer
- Evidence of the employer’s business and ability to pay the prevailing wage
- Detailed job description
- Documents showing the terms and conditions of employment
- Copy of the beneficiary’s degree(s), with translations, if applicable
- If the degree is foreign, an evaluation stating that it is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher
- Copy of the beneficiary’s resume
- Copy of the beneficiary’s passport
- Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) if the beneficiary is in the United States
- If already in the U.S., evidence of lawful status
What are the fees for filing an H-1B petition?
You can expect different fees while filing your H-1B petition. The fees will vary depending on the U.S. employer. The visa fees are as follows:
- The basic fee for filing Form I-129 is $460.
- American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fees: either $750 (when the number of employees is 25 or less) or $1500 (when the number of employees is 26 or more).
- Anti-fraud fee to prevent or detect H-1B fraud is $500 (if applicable)
- Public Law 114-113 fee of $4,000 (if applicable)
- Optional: Form I-907 for premium processing is $2,500.
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