How to Apply for H-1B Visa – 2011

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 47 Comments

How to apply for H-1B Visa from India and other countries including US? So many IT workers try to apply for H1B visa, but only few of those are actually aware how one can get H-1B Visa.

In this article you will learn everything about H-1B visa application process.

Applying for H-1B Visa

One can apply for H-1B Visa from

  1. Within the U.S. (from different visa types)
  2. Apply for H-1B visa while you are outside the U.S. (for example, India)

Applying for H-1B Visa in America

You can apply for H-1B visa while you are in a valid visa status in the U.S.

  • F-1 Visa to OPT to H-1B Visa
  • F-1 Visa to H-1B Visa
  • L-1 Visa to H-1B
  • L-2 to H-1B
  • B-1/B-2 to H-1B Visa
  • etc.

Can I apply for an H-1B visa by myself?

Nope, you cannot sponsor an H-1B visa as an individual, by yourself. Only an employer (a business organization) can apply for an H-1B visa. Which means you will need to find a job and ask your employer to apply for you.

Difference between an H-1B applied by consulting companies and direct employer

  • Consulting Company – You will have to find and join a consulting company. They will apply for your H-1B visa, meaning, the consulting company will be your employer. The consultants will help you find jobs (contract), and sometimes you will have to search for and find jobs through your contacts. After the "project" (with the consultants) is over, you can look for a new job (a real one). Most of the times, consulting will be a traveling job.
  • Direct Employer – You apply for jobs directly to companies and when they hire you, they will apply for your H-1B visa. After your visa is approved, you can then work legally for them.

When Can One apply for an H-1B Visa?

The USCIS starts accepting petitions for H-1B visa every April 1st of each year. However, the annual H-1B visa application season actually starts on October 1st of any year. There is no deadline to apply for H-1B Visa from April 1.

For example,  for the H-1B Visa Fiscal Year 2011, applications can be sent starting on April 1, 2010. Until all H-1B visas slots are filled-up, the USCIS will continue to accept H-1B visa petitions.

You can see the time line featuring the number of H-1B visa application filled for FY 2010.

Applying for H-1B Visa from India (and others)

The only way to apply for an H-1B visa from India is to find an employer who will apply for your H-1B visa. Potential employer can be either a consulting company or via direct hire.

Most of the time, IT workers find some Indian consulting firms based in the U.S. which help these workers to for H-1B visa in their behalf.

Can you suggest a consulting company to file my H-1B?

Well, that’s really your job to find a consulting company. You only have to be very careful because lately, there had been many consulting firms caught to have committed fraud.

So, be careful and ask for reference from trusted sources.

Best Time to file an H-1B?

Drawing from the example given above, for H-1B FY 2011, a consulting company has to apply by April 1, 2010. Which means you need to find a company and send all the required documents to them well before April 1, 2010.

I hope the above information is helpful. When it comes to immigration matters and the USCIS, always consult an immigration attorney for better guidance.

Related Post


  1. Venky

    Hi Raghu,

    I got I-797C Recept Notice. how much time it will take to get I-797B/I-797A Approved Notice from USCIS .

    1. Author
      Raghuram Sukumar

      Regular Processing will take about 3 to 5 months.

  2. Hojda Viorel

    Hello. I have a question: a company from US wants to hire me in this year (2013) but because of the 2014 fiscal year cap they can’t do it (the max cap for H1B visas has been reached). When is the sooner moment that they can apply for a new H1 visa for me for the year of 2014 (2015 fiscal year) ?
    Thanks !

  3. Santosh Pisipati

    Hi Raghuram,

    I am working in a software company from pst six months its a stratup company,I have been applied for a jobs in US through a site and got a offer and they are ready to do H1b processing For me.Now my present employer says they are not having IT papers and also i get my salary through Cheque.

    is it any problem if i am working for a startup company and if they dont provide any documents,They provide experience Letter ,Payslips and says thats are not valid.
    Also My concern is in interview in Hyd will they ask for bank-statements mandatorlyor they dont ask for bank statements at all only ask for pay slips and experince Letter.

    Please let me Know


  4. Amandeep Sandhu

    I have completed B.Sc Nursing from India with 80%. How can i apply for a job under this category .

  5. Scott

    Do you know if there are any U.S. federal regulations regarding the sponsoring of a visa for someone that will be hired to audit other companies? Just curious if the rules require citizenship in order to be an auditor? If not certain, could you point me in the right direction? Thank you.

    1. HSB

      I don’t have info on that. I guess it has do with nature of the jobs. I have seen H1b workers get low level clearance for certain federal jobs.

  6. vijay

    i am a btech graduate (cse) passout in 2010 .i was rejected thtice f1 visa for i want to apply for H1B
    i want to work in usa so please tell me the process to get an employment visa for us.
    first of all tell me can i get an employment visa for us with this qualification and i have completed some of softwares (java,oracle)
    so please let me know the process to get an employment visa for us.
    waiting for ur reply.

  7. Farhan

    Nice article. I have a question:

    This year I got my L1B visa and I was supposed to travel to the same companies USA office. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out well and I had to leave company. Is my L1B visa on passport completely useless now? Can it be used somehow?

    1. Raghu

      L1B visa applies only for that particular company & particular client.
      If you change company, it will become void.

  8. Hellovauser

    Hi All,
    I had a query regarding H1. My F1 was rejected last year and post that event I completed my MBA(1 year course), outside US. Now my current employer is willing to file an H1 for me. Could you experts please tell me if there is any issue in this case and what are the chances of me getting the H1?

  9. Rocksy


    I graduated on August 20, 2011. My opt is in processing, can I apply for H1b now??? Also, can I apply for I20 from another university and continue my studies?? Please explain the procedure.


  10. mohammed yaseen

    i am a fresh graduate in b com computers {commerce}. completed my degree in computers.
    i want to work in us so please tell me the process to get an employment visa for us.
    first of all tell me can i get an employment visa for us with this qualification and i have completed some of softwares for accounts and like to work on for accounts jobs.
    so please let me know the process to get an employment visa for us.
    waiting for ur reply.
    mohammed yaseen.

  11. usman

    hello , my name is usman ghani did my masters in IT , i just want to know can i apply for h1 b visa from pakistan and when is the right time to apply??? plz guide thanks

  12. usman

    hello , my name is usman ghani did my masters in IT , i just want to know can i apply for h1 b visa from pakistan and when is the right time to apply??? plz guide thanks

  13. Dan

    One thing that I thought I would share with the readers of this blog: International job seekers should be careful not to over-invest their time pursuing companies on the "H-1B sponsor lists" that can be found online. There are two big reasons why doing so isn't smart: 1. Just because a company has sponsored an H-1B in the past doesn't mean that they will do it for you, and 2. Every H-1B job seeker on earth is trying to get into these companies. Many companies will sponsor a visa if one of the following conditions exists: 1. the hiring manager is under time pressure to fill a job, 2. the hiring manager has a hard time finding a candidate with the right skills, or 3. a hiring manager really likes a candidate for whatever reason. It's good to look at lists of past H-1B sponsors to remind yourself that companies are, in fact, sponsoring visas these days. But don't assume that these companies openly sponsor. Many won't unless one of the three conditions above exists.

    I tell international job seekers to find companies that interest them and concentrate on presenting their value to hiring managers in their field. Take advantage of the referral networks that supply most of the hiring in the USA. The process takes time, but it separates the serious job seekers from the thousands of people who are just submitting resumes online and hoping. From my experience at Boston University and, connecting directly with hiring managers is how I've seen most internationals get hired in the USA with an H-1B.

  14. adnan

    Is there any consulting firm available in Pakistan through which I can apply for H1B visa.

  15. Sekhar


    If H1B 2010 gets rejected due to RFE, is there any time period(mandatory) to apply for fresh H1b 2011?



  16. simon

    hi sir

    i am simon at present i am doing MBA in hydrabad after completing my MBA i want to go US to get a job would you please tell me the process which type of visa i should apply and how to apply

    thanking you sir

  17. zain

    Hello, I did MBA in Finance from Pakistan with CGPA 2.54 on 4.00 scale. I am citizen of Pakistan. I want to is there any university or college who offered admission without the requirement of IELTS OR GMAT< GRE.

  18. Anish Mohan


    I have L1B visa with me …Is it easy to change the same to H1B?
    If my H1B petition get rejected, will I loose my L1B too?

  19. Suresh

    My son is likely to apply for H-1 in April through his genuine contact-cum-employer.

    In the meanwhile we are applying for L-1 for our business too. Can H-1B status be changed to L-1? How? Is it easy? And what external or internal audit the sponsor of H-1 has to undergo while he has employed H-1B ?

  20. Shirish

    Could you please tell me if I can apply for a H1B visa as I have done my Masters in Mechanical Engineering ? and what would be the process ?

  21. Asif hossain

    Hi Sir, i want to apply for H1B Visa from bangladesh, But how can i directly contact with the employer for IT based (Software Developer, .Net framework) job, is there any website where the employer looks for people ? How you people give interview and i dont trust local company who provide service for H1B visa.

    Dear sir please give me a way through this blog .


    1. Mushfique

      Dear Bro, Have you got any one from Bangladesh who applied for H1B visa and succeeded?

  22. coner

    Hi all,

    I have a quick inquiry : When applying for jobs while in F1 visa, and job application asks if I have eligible work permit in the US, is the answer yes / no? i understand my university will cover for OPT, but while applying for a job still on F1, am I eligible? thanks.

  23. sreenivasmondrati

    hello sir. My H1b approved lately but my visa has expired what can i do> Is there any reneval of my visa

  24. Mala

    Hello Sir/Madam,

    I am presently in India working in a Canadian based company into Industrial Electrical & Electronics manufacturing, which also has a site office in USA. Since my husband is in US on F1 visa for Ph.D, I have applied for internal transfer within the same company from India to Pittsburg.

    On which visa will I be transferred? L / H1B ?

    Is it possible to get H1B visa?

      1. Mala

        I possess Jamaican Passport with Indian visa (staying in India) and also USA B1/B2 nonimmigrant visa – Indefinate (issued since April 1983).

        Being Jamaican national, am I to obtain L visa for internal company transfer from India to USA?

        If yes, what is the procedure?


  25. Varun Kumar

    I will like to know that how can am Associate Degree student studying in USA can switch to H1 Visa.

    I am not asking for now because I know that economy is so bad. I will get Associates in mid of 2011… I am a transfer student. My plan is to get a Associate Degree and then transfer to university for Bachelors. I want to know that "Can I switch to H1 visa after getting Associates and study bachelors same time?" Is it very unrealistic or is it possible? My major is Engineering. I am studying at a community college as F1 Visa student.

  26. Kushan

    Hi all,

    I appeared for H1B visa interview yesterday. I got Section 221 (g) Notice.
    The counselor officer said that you qualify for this visa however in order to process your visa we need a set of documents. She game a form with Section 221 (g) notice which has 8 – 9 documents mentioned on it.

    Does that mean my chances of getting H1B are minimal now? Has any one gone through this process?

    Kindly share your thoughts.


    1. Harsha

      Hi Kushal

      Yes, this may delay the process. Depends the kind of documents they have requested and how quickly your H1B sponsoring company will present the required documents to the visa officer. In most cases, they request for the company information, contracts, Agreement and work orders from the actual client etc. Also the complete itinerary of your H1b stay in USA. If the company provides the satisfactory information and documents, you may have a chance of your visa getting approved. All the best.

  27. Rupali

    Going to apply H1 this year..need to b update..PLease tell me all the information…

  28. Sudipta


    MY company is planning to apply my H1 in premium category on April 2010. I have some doubts regarding premium processing:

    1) PP means less number of rejections. Is it correct?

    2) If apply H1 in PP category on 1st April 2010, can i travel before October 2010?

    1. Harsh

      Hi Sudipta,

      Can you share which company is applying H1B for you? I am finding difficulty finding any companies ready to sponsor this year.

      As far as your queries go, I am not an expert, so I dont know the answer to the first question, but as far as your second question goes, I think so you cannot start working before October 2010 even if you finish all the processing steps. I maybe wrong, please feel free to correct me, but this is what I know.



    2. Harsha

      Hi Sudipta

      The Premium Processing Service allows expedite the procedures for visa processing. Within the 15 day calendar period USCIS will issue an approval notice, or where appropriate, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the notice requires the submission of additional evidence or of a response to intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon the delivery to USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.Also, a separate phone number and e-mail address is provided for companies using the expedited processing to check on their status or ask questions.

      The guide lines. rules and requirements are same for regular H1B or PP. This process does not reduce the chances of rejection or a request for more eveidence. Its not advised to travel outside US when the H1B application is in process. You will not get the I-94 number if your are outside USA. Hope this helps.


      1. Anup

        I found this in liked in. Is it true?

        New H1B Rules

        Hope you know what is going on.

        · No new H1B application will be approved, as per the new guidelines provided USCIS on Jan 08, 2010 memorandum – for 3rd Party Consulting company.

        · No new H1B extension/stamping will be approved, as per the new guidelines provided USCIS on Jan 08, 2010 memorandum – for 3rd Party Consulting company.

        · If an employee has H1B approved or extension approved, and if he/she comes back to US from a vacation or from an emergency, he/she would be deported back to his/her home country from the Port of Entry (PoE) – for 3rd Party Consulting company.


        Because of 2 recent events:

        1) USCIS gave new memorandum (which is now guidelines for USCIS professionals working on the H1B petitions/extensions) on Jan 08th, 2010. (Attached the PDF file for the memorandum).

        2) Recently (Jan 2010) several H1B Employees were sent back (in some forum, its mentioned – all of them) to their home country from Newark, NJ and JFK, NY Port of Entry – these were the H1B employees, who went to spend Christmas/New Year vacation to their home countries.

        1. Solomon

          Hi Anup,

          can you post the link where the above points were mentioned as new RULES? The memo as mentioned in the PDF is correct. However that doesnt totally reject all 3rd party consulting companies but only those who don't keep the employer-employee relationship as the pdf doc suggested.

          Is this new from a trusted source? Has the USCIS any where laid down rules explicitly stating the rejection of 3rd party companies?

          Please paste the link here.


  29. Raju

    Well, the above information is very informative, but I would like to know, after the application what will be the steps and how long the processing would take and when can a applicant apper for interview in respective country consulate

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