Document Checklist for H-1B Visa Petitions

All of the documents below are required by the USCIS in order to approve your H-1B petition. If you cannot submit all of the documents at one time and need additional time to find or obtain specific items, please inform the person who is helping with the H-1B process.

A high-quality scan of each document will be sufficient for the H-1B visa petition, no need to deliver any originals to the ISSO unless you are asked to do so.

If you are requesting and extension of your H-1B visa status, please view the required documents for that petition on the ISSO H-1B Extension page.

Documents for Initial and Transfer H-1Bs

Personal Documents

1. Passport Biographical Page (current passport)

  • Most recent passport biography page(s) with date of expiration shown
  • Include the whole image of the biography page, including the MRZ text on the bottom of the biography page
  • If I-94 has an old passport number on it, include a copy of that passport. (see below)

2. Passport Biographical Page (old passport, if applicable)

  • If your current I-94 has your old passport number on it, include a copy of that passport
  • If you have received a new passport since your last entry into the US, please submit the biographical page from your old passport

3. Most Recent Version of CV

  • CV should be updated with current employment and most recent publications

Visa Documents

If you are currently outside of the US and will enter the US after you receive your H-1B visa stamp, documents are not required for your petition.

If you have ever been in J visa status, we will need any documents related to that visa program for you H-1B petition. Even if you are currently outside of the US.

4. If you are currently or have ever been in J-1 visa status:

4a. Most Recent Electronic I-94

4b. All DS-2019s (page 1 only)

4c. All J-1 visa stamps

4d. If you were considered subject to the 2-year Home Residency Requirement, include evidence that you have received a waiver from the requirement or "Favorable" Advisory Opinion from the US Department of State

  • The USCIS will expect to at least see the I-797c Notice of Receipt for your I-612 waiver application
  • It is not possible to file an H-1B petition with only the Department of State "Favorable" No Objection recommendation

5. If you are currently in F-1 visa status:

5a. Most Recent Electronic I-94

5b. All I-20s (pages 1 and 2 only)

5c. All F-1 Visa Stamps

5d. OPT and STEM OPT EAD (front side only)

5e. Three Most Recent Pay Stubs

6. If you are currently in any other visa status (H-1B, H-4, J-2, etc.):

6a. All I-797 Approval Notices

6b. Most Recent Electronic I-94

6c. Visa Stamp (if applicable)

6d. Primary Visa Holder Documents

  • Must show the primary visa holder is maintaining their current visa status
  • Include scans of primary visa holder's:
    • Passport biography page
    • Most recent I-94
    • Most recent visa stamp
    • Three most recent pay stubs
    • Marriage certificate (along with English translation is needed)

Education Documents

7. Diploma

  • Required: a scan of the diploma from the highest degree earned
  • Optional: scans of all previous degrees

8. Transcripts

  • A scan of the transcripts for the highest degree earned
  • For research-based PhD programs (with no coursework):
    • Provide a letter from the school registrar or PhD advisor confirming no coursework was required
    • Alternatively, provide a copy of previous degree and transcripts for that degree

9. Translation

  • If diploma and transcripts are not in English, provide an English translation of both documents
  • The translation can be done by anyone other than the applicant or family member
  • All translations must include the following statement with translator’s signature:

“I, [name of translator] certify that I am fluent in [foreign language] & English and confirm that the attached translation is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge.”

10. Academic Equivalency Evaluation

  • Only required for degrees not from a US institution of higher education
  • Use an experienced evaluation company such as those recognized by NACES or NAFSA
  • Only a general evaluation is required, no need for the evaluation to be mailed to the ISSO or sealed
  • The ISSO does not endorse any specific evaluator. Commonly used evaluators include:

NOTE: Evaluations take companies time to process, so please initiate the request as soon as you are invited to complete information into ISSO's online database (ISD).

Other Documents

11. Medical License

  • If position involves incidental patient care, include a valid license, 2113 certificate, 2168 certificate or in-lieu letter from the California Medical Board

12. I-539 Application and Waiver of Liability