Getting the H1B visa can be an arduous task. However, the key to getting things done smoothly is to know the process. It is more than likely that you will not face any problem if you follow the procedures correctly. In this post you will learn more about H1B Visa stamping requirements.

Read the complete step-by-step guide to H1B visa stamping.

FAQ on H1B Visa Stamping

I was on H4 visa. Now my employer has filed for my H1 visa. Will the period spent on the H4 visa count toward the maximum allowable period on H1B visa?

No. The time spent on H4 dependent visa under no circumstances counts against the maximum allowable periods on the H1 Visa. These are two separate visa types.

What if the consulate holds my case under Section 221(g)?

If your visa was not issued under Section 221(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, it means that your case requires further administrative action. It does not mean that the Office refuses your petition. It only means that it is put on hold. Here is what happens next.

  • The consular officer will return you your passport.
  • You may return to the Consulate on any working day with the required additional documents.
  • You must follow the instructions that were given to you in form 221g.
  • The application fee paid to schedule the initial interview remains valid for the subsequent interview up to one year from date of payment.

See a sample of 221g form.

How is the maximum period of stay on H1 calculated?

The maximum period of stay is calculated on the basis of the stay in the United States minus stay outside the country. For example, if you were outside the country for 1 month each year for the 6 years that you spent on the H1B visa, you are eligible to get a benefit of almost 6 months towards your maximum allowable stay in the United States (Please read the next question for more details).

Is it possible to adjust the days spent outside United States towards the maximum period of stay?

Yes. According to the a USCIS interoffice memorandum, any days spent outside the United States during the validity period of an H1B petition will no longer be counted toward the maximum period of stay in the United States in the H1B status.
There is a catch here. The visa holder must be able to submit evidence that he was outside the country. The legal term for this is 'recapture benefits' towards the period stayed outside the U.S.
For this it is advisable that you save

  • All copies of your travel documents (electronic or physical)
  • All copies of your spouse's travel documents (electronic/physical)
  • All copies of travel documents of other dependent visa holders (H-4)

Remember that you have to provide all the documentary evidence establishing you (principal alien) and your spouse/children (dependent visa holders) were outside of the United States. If your proof is good, you will seek the recapture period and any recapture benefits.