Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Nova Credit receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Nova Credit does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

What you need to do after your H-1B visa is approved

Share

Applying for an H-1B visa can take a significant amount of time, from obtaining a specialty occupation to having your petition selected in the H-1B lottery. Now that you’ve been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), what are your next steps?

What you need to do after your H-1B visa is approved

Applying for an H-1B visa can take a significant amount of time, from obtaining a specialty occupation to having your petition selected in the H-1B lottery. Now that you’ve been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), what are your next steps?

In this guide, we provide you with an overview of what happens and the steps you need to take after you’ve received an H-1B approval.

What happens after an H-1B is approved?

Usually, once USCIS has approved an H-1B petition, the USCIS Online Case Status website will be updated. Your new employer should send you a petition receipt notice, which has a petition receipt number printed on it.

To check the status of your case, visit the USCIS website and enter your receipt number. Because your H-1B petition was approved, you should receive a message that states your case approval, including your receipt number and the date your Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) was approved.

The message should also state that USCIS will mail your approval notice to the petitioner (your employer) or an immigration attorney if your employer used an attorney to file your case. Your employer or their attorney will send you a hard copy of the approval notice.

If your H-1B application was filed for a Change of Status, an updated I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) will be attached to the approval notice.

Step one: Schedule an H1B visa stamping interview

You will need to schedule an appointment for an H-1B visa interview once you have your approval notice. You may visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the visa stamp on your passport.

Applying for visa stamping is allowed up to 90 days before the start date of your petition. For example, if your H-1B visa is cap-subject and selected during the lottery, the start date will be October 1 (or the first day of the USCIS fiscal year). This means you can schedule your visa stamping interview on or after July 1. Obtaining an appointment for an H-1B visa stamp can be difficult, as time slots tend to fill up quickly; therefore, planning ahead and scheduling your appointment well in advance is highly recommended.

Note that there’s a chance you may not receive your visa stamp at your interview. The consular officer may issue you a 221(g), a temporary refusal notification issued to approved H-1B visa applicants.

A 221(g) is issued when a consular officer determines that additional information and processing is required before issuing the visa stamp. If you are issued a 221(g), the notification will indicate which additional documents need to be submitted and where to submit them; typically, additional documents can be submitted electronically or at a VFS drop box.

Since there is a chance that a 221(g) may be issued, it’s recommended that you schedule your visa stamping interview as early as possible, so that you can submit any additional documents, if necessary

After you’ve scheduled an appointment for your visa stamping, USCIS will issue you an appointment letter. Retain this letter, as you will need to bring it with you to your interview.

<cta-arrive>

Step two: Obtain a photograph

After scheduling your visa stamping interview, you must obtain a photograph of yourself for your H-1B visa. This photograph must comply with the following requirements:

  • It must be in color
  • It must be square
  • It must be a minimum of 600 pixels by 600 pixels and a maximum of 1,200 pixels by 1,200 pixels
  • It should be saved as a JPEG

The size of the saved photograph should be no larger than 240 kilobytes.

Step three: Complete Form DS-160

Next, gather the information necessary for completing Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application). This application can only be submitted electronically to the U.S. Department of State.

The information that you will need for your DS-160 application includes the following:

  • Your travel itinerary, including your flight information (if you’ve already made these arrangements)
  • Travel details from the past five years, including travel to the United States and other countries
  • The date(s) you most recently traveled to the U.S. (if applicable)
  • The address of the location where you intend on staying in the United States
  • Your contact person’s information, including name, phone number, email address and physical address. Typically, the contact person would be your U.S. employer.
  • The names and contact information of any relatives you may have in the United States
  • Information pertaining to your family, including your mother’s and father’s full names and dates of birth
  • Current U.S. work-related information, including the following:
  • Name and address of your current employer
  • Your monthly salary (you can find this information on the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA))
  • Description of your job duties
  • Past work-related details, including the following:
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, your previous job titles, employment start date and end date, the name of your previous supervisor and his or her job title and job duties
  • Past education-related information, including the following:
  • Name and address of your high school and the date you graduated
  • Name and address of the academic institution where you received your bachelor’s degree and the date the degree was awarded
  • Name and address of the academic institution where you received your master’s degree (and any additional degrees) and the date the degree(s) were awarded

You will also need (1) your current, valid passport (2) any previous visas that you were issued and (3) Form I-1797 (Notice of Action).

When completing Form DS-160, take your time and make sure that you have answered all questions accurately and truthfully. Providing false information could result in a rejection, in which case you may not receive your H-1B visa stamp. Additionally, you must pay the necessary filing fee, which can be submitted electronically via the secure Department of State website.

Step four: Schedule an appointment with an Offsite Facilitation Center

Schedule an appointment with an Offsite Facilitation Center to have your biometrics taken. As per the Visa Application Center (VAC), you will need to have your fingerprints taken before your H-1B visa stamping interview.

Step five: Attend your H-1B stamping interview

Finally, attend your visa stamping interview. Make sure that you bring all necessary documents with you to your interview, including:

  • Current and expired passports
  • Your H-1B photograph
  • A copy of you VAC-stamped DS-160 confirmation page
  • A copy of your DS-160 receipt
  • A copy of your visa stamping appointment letter
  • Documents related to your H-1B petition
  • Any necessary supplementary documentation that may be necessary

What to expect during the visa stamping interview

During your visa stamping appointment (also known as “consular processing”), you will have an interview with a consular officer. You must present all necessary documentation to the consular officer, as well as answer several questions. These questions will pertain to your education and experience, your intentions and your sponsor employer.

While the questions consular officers ask vary and are determined on a case-by-case basis, examples of some of the questions include the following:

  • What is the highest degree that you have completed?
  • Where did you receive your degree?
  • What is your previous experience in the specialty occupation?
  • Why do you want to work in the United States?
  • Have you lived in any other country, besides your home country?
  • Do any of your family members currently live in the U.S.?
  • Do you intend on returning to your home country when your H-1B visa status expires?
  • What will your job duties with your sponsor employer entail?
  • What will your salary be?
  • How did you receive a job offer from the sponsor employer?

The takeaway


The road to U.S. immigration through the H-1B visa can be a long and arduous one, but now that you’ve gotten the approval notice, it’s time to consider how your living situation will be once you make the move. For instance, did you know that access to credit cards, apartment rentals loans and even internet plans are often dependent on having a U.S. credit score? And due to current technological limitations, it is not possible to use transfer your credit history and other data from your home country to U.S. credit reporting agencies. 

Fortunately, you can always turn to Nova Credit’s Global Credit Passport®, to translate all that credit data and financial information into a U.S. equivalent score which can be used to support your credit applications. Now keep in mind that this does not automatically mean that you now have a U.S. credit score, but having a U.S equivalent score increases your chances of lenders and creditors approving your application for credit cards, apartment rentals, student loans and other important credit services. Once approved, you can then begin properly building your U.S. credit score. 

In line with its commitment to helping U.S. newcomers arrive and thrive, Nova Credit has also partnered with a number of credit providers who are willing to evaluate applications through the Credit Passport. This lets us offer a variety of newcomer products and services aimed at making your transition into the U.S. a more hassle-free one. Want to learn more about our services or speak to us about our products? Fill out our contact form to get started. You can also visit our resource library for more guides on making the most of your new life in the United States. 

Nova Credit currently connects to international credit bureaus in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

<cta-arrive>

More from Nova Credit:
H-1B visa holders in the United States: An overview

H-1B visa stamping: H-1B visa interview documents and more

How does the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order affect the H-1B visa?

How to check H-1B visa processing times

All about H-1B Labor Condition Applications

The H-1B extension checklist: What you should bring for H-1B renewals 

How to find out if you've been selected in the 2020 H-1B lottery

How to Find H-1B Sponsors in 2020

H-1B to Green Card process: Everything you need to know about changing your status

The ultimate guide to the H-1B visa 

How to check the status of your H-1B visa application

H-1B Approved


Code (ID Name): <call-to-action>

New to the U.S. and looking for a credit card?

Explore credit cards that accept international credit history.

Code: <call-to-action-a>

DID YOU KNOW?

You can use your international credit history to apply for a U.S. credit card

Credit history used to stop at the border—until now. Your existing international credit history could help you get credit in the United States.

Code: <cta-amex>

New! You can use your international credit history from Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the UK to apply for an American Express ® Personal Card in the U.S.

Code: <cta-mpower>

Use your international credit history to apply for a loan to fund your studies in the U.S. with MPOWER Financing.

Code: <cta-realestate>

Use your international credit history as part of your rental application

Code: <cta-arrive-archived>

New to the U.S.? Subscribe to our newsletter, Arrive, for newcomer news and guides to decoding life in the U.S.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-boundless>

Applying for citizenship or a marriage-based green card

File online and save thousands in fees through Boundless

Learn More

Article Snippets

Code: <cta-articles>

Code: <cta-facts>

Code: <cta-uscis-time>

Processing Time:

When can you see updates to your USCIS case status?

Enter your details to check your USCIS case status and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-uscis-status>

USCIS case status: automatic updates

Get a free guide on how to sign up for automatic USCIS Case Status updates and receive other notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-h1b-status>

Check your H-1B case status update

Enter your details to check your H-1B case status and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-h1b-times>

Check your H-1B case processing time

Enter your details to check your H-1B processing time and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-build-credit>

Build your U.S. credit history

Where are you from?

Depending on where you are from, you might have different opportunities to build your credit history in the U.S. For example, selected banks accept credit history from selected international countries, meaning you might not even have to build credit in the U.S. to get approved for a credit card.

Select your country to receive your personal credit builder guide and Nova Credit updates in your inbox.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-how-to-build>

How should you build credit in the U.S.?

There are multiple ways to build credit, each with their own hurdles. Enter your details to see what’s the best for you.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-no-ssn>

No SSN? Find out which card is best for you

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-free-consultation>

Free Consultation

The Alcorn Immigration Law team knows immigration yields innovation. We help you obtain a visa, green card or citizenship so you, your employees, and your family can live and work in the U.S.

For a free consultation to explore the best immigration options given your circumstances and goals, contact us and mention Nova Credit.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-j1-fica-refund>

Check if your eligible for a FICA Tax refund

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-i797>

Need help with you i797 form?

Code: <cta-j1-tax-burden>

Download our Free J-1 Tax Guide

Code: <cta-no-problem>

New to the U.S? No problem!

Moving to the United States can be a daunting task for newcomers. In addition to gaining work authorization, you will also encounter problems with securing housing, utilities, identification, and legal hurdles.

If you are planning on starting life in the U.S, sign up to our newsletter for a FREE ebook guide on immigrating to the United States and a checklist for obtaining work authorization.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-g-1145>

Download the G-1145 form

Thank you! We sent you an email with a download link and instructions on how fill out form G-1145. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-arrive>

Need help moving to the U.S.?

Our free guide breaks it down for easy reading — download it now and get extra tips delivered straight to your inbox

Thank you! We sent you an email with a download link and instructions on how fill out form G-1145. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.