In today’s immigration climate of heightened scrutiny by USCIS, it is essential to provide adequate and sufficient supporting documents with your H-1B application. Supporting documentation should come from both the beneficiary (foreign national) and the petitioner (hiring employer or company) for an H-1b visa application.
For the beneficiary, the supporting documentation is useful in proving that he/she otherwise meets the H-1b visa eligibility criteria. For a petitioner, the supporting documentation is useful in proving that the company or employer is a legit company/employer and that the beneficiary is going to work in the capacity as stated in the H-1b visa application. Of course, every H-1B application must be accompanied by the required USCIS forms and a Labor Condition Application (LCA).
Some typical items of supporting documentation that should be provided by the beneficiary for an H-1b visa application are as follows:
– educational information, such as post-secondary degrees and transcripts;
– resume and work history;
– work experience letters, if necessary;
– educational and/or work experience evaluations, if necessary;
– copies of any U.S. immigration related documentation, such as an I-94, I-20, EAD card, visa, etc.;
– biographical information, such as a copy of the applicant’s passport;
– copies of any relevant licenses, certifications, memberships, etc., if necessary;
– and documentation in connection with current H-1B status, if applicable.
This information is necessary from the beneficiary of an H-1B application because it is information that typically proves to USCIS that the beneficiary meets the H-1B visa requirements and the requirements for the position stated in the H-1B application. Some of the information may not be necessary, such as a license, certification, or membership, if such item is not necessary to perform the occupation.
Also, if the beneficiary is not using work experience to meet the H-1B educational equivalency requirements, work experience letters may not be necessary. If the beneficiary is currently in the U.S. it is important for him/her to provide documentation proving that he/she has been maintaining status. Such documentation may consist of his/her I-94, paystubs, Forms I-20, etc.
It can be just as important for the employer to provide supporting documents in connection with an H-1B visa application as it can be for the beneficiary. Some common supporting documents that should be provided by the employer in connection with an H-1B visa application are as follows:
– copy of the first page of the employer’s most recent federal tax return;
– employer’s articles of incorporation, if relevant;
– employer’s annual report; any marketing material used by the employer; the employer’s corporate brochure, if applicable;
– printouts from the employer’s website;
– printouts of any online references that may discuss the employer and/or the employer’s projects/work;
– and any documentation that may be relevant in connection with the beneficiary’s proposed role for the employer.
Such documentation can be useful in proving to USCIS that the employer is a legit operation and that it is the type of operation that requires someone of the beneficiary’s caliber to work in the occupation as stated on the application.
As previously mentioned, the current immigration climate is that of a heightened level of scrutiny by USCIS, especially in connection with H-1b visa applications. This heightened level of scrutiny has resulted in increased requests for evidence (RFE), notices of intent to deny (NOID), and flat-out application denials. The at the US Consulate interviews increased cases of 221(g) Administrative Processing.
In fact, it has become apparent that in some cases even the strongest or most well-prepared application cannot escape an extensive RFE from USCIS. However, we believe that by thoroughly preparing our clients and providing relevant supporting documentation, we can decrease the odds of receiving an RFE.