Tips to apply for H1B USA Visa from Saudi Arabia

Everyone would love to work in the USA for a handsome salary and you might be one of them too! Here we are going to share some tips and procedure to work in the USA for Saudi Residents. Under the USA immigration law, in order to work in the USA for a certain time as a nonimmigrant, one obviously needs a Visa based on the type of job work. For this purpose, H1B Visa is granted by the USA to temporary Saudi workers.To proceed, there should be a job offer. The respected employer or agent needs to file a petition to get it approved in the United States for a work permit by the USA. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the worker applies for a work visa.Your employer or agent will be notified when your petition is approved.[irp]

When an applicant is permitted to work he can remain in the United States and work with that employer for the length of the period of his approved status. His I-94 Form shows his H1B status, Departure Record, which he receives upon entering the United States and when passing through Immigration Control or the temporary visa, status is either changed to H-1B or the extended one which is in the case of transferring to a new employer in the United States).The H-1B visa status is left when for a short trip foreign national leaves the United States let’s say to Canada or Mexico. That status is restored upon returning at the end of his trip abroad back to the United States. For an H1B visa holder, the total stay limit is 6 years. Initially, it is approved for 3 years, which can be extended for 3 more years.The most important point here is that after the approval of the petition there is no guarantee for the issuance of a visa. In this regard, you should be eligible for a visa under the USA. immigration law.

Eligibility Criteria for H1B Visa from Saudi Arabia: The applicants must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for H1B Visa.

  • H-1B visa is the requirement when you are coming to States for services in a professional job. In order to qualify, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s higher level degree or an equivalent degree in that specific area in which you wish to apply. USCIS will decide whether the applicant is qualified enough for that job or not. OR 12 years work experience
  • The degree or education should relate to the employment field applied in.
  • 12 points in ‘total' are required to qualify for the H1B visa program
  • There should be a valid employer-employee relationship in which the USA. An employer may hire, fire, pay or supervise or control the work however he wants of the H-1B worker.
  • The wage is determined on the basis of the position of the employee in which he/she is employed and the geographical location of work. There is a database maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) with different wage levels based on occupation and work location.
  • There is a limit/quota for H-1B visa which is of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed for applicants with the USA. masters or higher degree is exempted from the cap. One must plan in advance to file for an H-1B visa as the Cap numbers are often used up very quickly for subjecting to the annual H-1B numerical cap. The U.S. government starts its fiscal year on 1st Oct. H-1B petitions can be filed 6 months before the start date, which is April 1.

FEE FOR H1B VISA: For H1 B petition, the filing fee is paid by the Employer/Sponsor. The fee ranges from $1570- $2320.

  • The applicant is supposed to pay Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee $190 for application of Visa which is non-refundable and non-transferable. The fee can be paid via bank, mobile (IMPS system), or over the counter cash mode. In Saudi Arabia, you can pay the Visa Fee in at any branch of Samba Bank. You can register yourself first on the applicant site and choose the option “Schedule Your Appointment” to access the payment option details.
  • After paying the fee, an interview appointment needs to be scheduled at the Consulate. The interview can be rescheduled for a very limited number of times otherwise the fee needs to be paid again.
  • Currently, the average waiting time for scheduling an interview is 10 days, with a processing time of about 8 working days.

Steps to Obtain H1B Visa from Saudi Arabia

Photograph get the required picture which is with minimum dimensions of 600 x 600 pixels and maximum 1200 x 1200 pixels, a color image (24 bits), image in JPEG format and size less than 240 kilobytes. The picture must show full face, neck, and shoulders of the applicant from the front with a neutral expression and open eyes with the plain light background.

Visa Application Fill in the Visa application form DS160 (H1B) form online. Enter correct honest information. You will get a 10-digit barcode for confirmation. Print that out as it is needed for interview appointment

Fee Applicants need to pay the fee of $190 through options mentioned in the article above either electronically or as a bank transfer in cash. The fee is valid for a year only and should be paid before the interview is scheduled.

Appointment for an interview takes two appointments after the fee is paid. The first appointment is at the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC), to give Biometrics information which includes the fingerprints and photographs.  The second interview is at the consulate/embassy. The appointment can be scheduled online and the applicant must bring along the valid passport, fee receipt, visa application and DS160 form.

Fingerprinting at VAC:  After taking, an appointment for a personal interview, schedule the biometric information appointment a day or two before the interview at the embassy. Under the new rules, the Biometrics information is given at the VAC appointment.

Go for the interview: On the day of appointment for an interview, you need to go to the consulate/embassy where your interview is scheduled. Carry all mandatory as well as supporting documents (originals and copies)

DOCUMENTATION for H1B Visa from Saudi Arabia

  • Sponsored Job Offer letter from a US employer
  • Copy of current resume
  • Valid original passport and its copy of all pages
  • Copies of educational degree certificates transcripts mark sheets (if applicable)
  • Employment reference letters (if applicable)
  • Professional License (if applicable)
  • Copy of your education evaluation, if completed (if applicable)
  • Photographs
  • Form DS-160, US Visa Application confirmation page should be stamped at the Visa Application Center (VAC)
  • Fee payment receipt of US Visa Application
  • Original Notice of Action-I797
  • Work experience certificates (if any)
  • Copy of previous H1B approval notice (if present), I-797 form