How to File Your H-1B Visa Petition: Starting the Process

January 22, 2018 Chelsea Iversen


Looking for some guidance on how to file your H-1B visa petition for the upcoming cap season? Here are some tips to help get you started on the H-1B cap season journey:

Notify your attorney first

To get started on the H-1B visa petition process, get in touch with your immigration services provider. With your provider, you’ll be able to discuss a detailed timeline and begin to set notifications for important deadlines and establish communication between all parties involved, including HR, your sponsored employee and your attorney.

Make sure position and candidate both meet requirements

file your h-1b visa petition - Make sure position and candidate meet requirements

There are specific requirements that the foreign national employee must meet. If your candidate or employee does not possess a U.S. degree, he or she will need an education evaluation to state that their degree is the equivalent to a U.S. degree.

There are also requirements for the available position that employers must meet, including educational standards and a salary offer that meets or exceeds the prevailing wage requirements determined by the Department of Labor (DOL). Read more details about these requirements in our H-1B cap season survival guide.

Gather necessary documentation

file your H-1B visa petition - gather documentation

There are a number of required documents that are part of the process to file a H-1B visa petition for your foreign national employee. The sponsoring company has to provide documentation such as marketing collateral, a clear and concise job description, and, in some situations, end-client documentation such as a statement of work.

The H-1B beneficiary must provide documents proving the legitimacy of their education as well as other travel and immigration documentation.

Prepare your LCA

Once the documentation has been collected, it’s time to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the worksite where the H-1B employee will be working. This helps establish standards in salary and workplace conditions with the Department of Labor before you are permitted to file an H-1B visa petition.

How to file your H-1B visa petition

Once the LCA Certification is received, it’s time for you to file the H-1B visa petition. H-1B visa cap season begins at the beginning of April, and for the past five years, the cap was reached within five days. With that in mind, it’s best for you and your immigration services provider to have your petition ready to go before the start of April so you don’t run the risk of missing the cap.

For a thorough cap season timeline and details on required H-1B documentation, download our H-1B Visa Cap Season Survival Guide.


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