After H1B Approval – What Next?

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Congrats on your H1B Petition Approval. Getting H-1B approved is a big step. Typically after H1B petition is approved by USCIS, they will update the USCIS Online Case Status search website. H1B approval message will look similar to this


Current Status: Approval notice sent.

On June 24, 2009, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow any instructions on the notice. If you move before you receive the notice, call customer service.

This article will add more details to previously discussed article -  When to go for H1B Stamping.

After H-1B Approval Notice Sent

Depending on your current visa status if living with US or applied for H!B from outside US, you may fall into any of the following categories

  • H1B Petition approved with Change of Status (COS), you live within US
  • H1B petition approved without Change of Status, you live within US
  • H1B approved and you live outside United States

Within US and H1 Approved With COS

If your H-1B Visa petition is approved with COS and you live in US ( F1 Visa to H1B, L1 to H1B, L2 to H1B, H4 to H1B, …) you can start working from October 1, 2009. You will be required to get H1B stamping ONLY when you travel outside US. From October 1, 2009 your status will be changed automatically to H1B.

Students in OPT to H1B Visa – Your status will change to H1B from H1 start date, even if OPT period is valid for few more months.

H1B Approved within US without COS

If  H1B approved without COS and you live inside US, you will have to go travel US ( home country usually) get H1B stamping and enter after October 1, 2009.  You may have different questions with respect to this situation.

  • When can I get stamping?
  • Can I get stamping before Oct 1 and enter US on H1B?
  • Can I get continue to work with current Visa status (L1, L2 or OPT)

You have to consult an immigration attorney to get answers to your unique situation or for additional questions.

H1B Approved while living outside US

This situation usually applies to those who applied for H1B through consulting firms. With USCIS have increased the security check to prevent companies from misusing the H1B program, consulting companies are finding it tough to respond to RFE on H1B requested by USCIS.

If you have H1B approved despite increased security checks and tough measures by USCIS, you can go for H1B stamping to your nearby American consulate. Check with  US consulate on the earliest time and date to appear for H1B Visa stamping interview.

There are couple of blog readers who applied for H!B on April 2009, got H1B approved and already got H1B visa stamping. They can travel to US after October 1, 2009. But, each US Consulate will have varying rules, check with them, before booking visa interview date.

If you have additional questions like

  • I live in New Zealand, but I’m citizen of UK, where should I apply for H1b stamping?
  • I have H1B petition approved from last year, but my employer is asking me to wait, since job situation is not good in US, what should I do?

Consult an immigration attorney to get your questions clarified. If you have unique situation, spend some money to get your questions answered by an Immigration Attorney.

H1B Stamping

If you live outside United States, your employer must agree for you to go for H1B Visa stamping, this is usually the case with consulting companies filing for H1B. You just cannot go for stamping without your employer being aware of that.

Even before that, you need to get all the documents required for H1B Stamping. Your employer must provide you with all the required documents and you can prepare additional documents for H1B stamping.

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