Approved H-1B Petitions with Start Date of October 1, 2014 Can Now Apply for Visa

According to AILA, beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions with a start date of October 1, 2014, may now submit their applications for H-1B visas at US Consulates worldwide.

According to 9 FAM 41.53 N8.4(b), “Posts are authorized to accept H visa petitions and issue visas to qualified applicants up to 90 days in advance of applicants’ beginning of employment status. Post must inform applicants verbally and in writing that they can only use the visa to apply for admission to the United States starting ten days prior to the beginning of the approved status period. In addition, such visas must be annotated, “Not valid until (ten days prior to the petition validity date.)”

It should be emphasized that the Form I-797 approval notice for H-1B status does not confer permission to travel into the US.  It is the visa in the person’s passport that controls admission into the US.  However, upon entry into the US with the H-1B visa, it is not the visa that controls the person’s authorized stay in the US but the Form I-94 that is issued by the US Customs and Border Protection via its website.