Sunday, January 10, 2016

H-1B resolutions for the new year

If you are in F-1 status, either in finishing your studies or in optional practical training, then you may be thinking about H-1B status, in order to work lawfully in the U.S. At the same time, many people make resolutions for the new year. Therefore, may I suggest several resolutions for you with regard to H-1B status. Please keep in mind, however, that not all of these resolutions may apply to you.

·         Collect your immigration and related documents
The documents that are especially important are the following:

o   Passport

o   F-1 visa stamp

o   I-94 admission document

You might not have received a hardcopy I-94 when you entered the U.S. Instead, your I-94 might have been stored, in electronic format, on the web site of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If so, you can download it from

o   I-20

o   Employment authorization document (EAD), if applicable (e.g. if you have OPT)

o   Current resume

·         Collect evidence of any previous academic degrees
Even though you might be currently enrolled in an academic program, you still might want to get evidence of prior degrees even from several years ago, for several reasons. First, your most recent degree might not be the best match for the offered H-1B job, whereas an earlier degree might. Second, you might not be able to earn, in time for the April 1 beginning of filing period, a degree from your current program.

If you do not have such evidence with you right now, keep in mind that getting it could take time, particularly if the academic institution is outside the U.S., or if Mom or Dad must look for it at home. 
In any event, the academic transcript you submit should be an official one. That is, it should come from the office of the academic institution (typically the registrar) in charge of grades. It should also carry the insignia of that institution. Only in rare cases will you need to submit the transcript in a sealed envelope. Most other times, the transcript can be a photocopy. An unofficial transcript (e.g. a “print it yourself” transcript from your academic computer portal system) is unacceptable.

·         Request a credentials evaluation of non-US degrees
 If you choose to, or if circumstances require that you, rely on a non-U.S. degree, then you will need a credentials evaluation of that degree. The purpose of such an evaluation is to show that your degree is the equivalent of at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

One company that provides credentials evaluations is Educational Assessment, Inc. Their web site is and their telephone is 706-613-0336.
·         Get certified translations of non-English documents

Any non-English document you provide must be translated into English, and be certified. With respect to the translation, you may, but are not required to, do any of the following:

o   use a professional translation service

o   have the translation notarized

o   have another person translate the document into English
That is, if you wish, you could translate the document yourself into English. Then, you can have someone other than yourself review the translation for accuracy. That person then should certify the translation, by signing a statement, on the translation, with wording such as the following:

I certify that I am fluent (conversant) in both the English and ______________ languages, and that the above/attached English document is an accurate translation of the document that is in the above-named non-English language.  This document is a/n __________________________________________(English description of document)
             Signature          _________________________________

Printed Name________________________________
             Address _______________________________________

Date: __________________
With respect to any document you provide, the chances are small that you will need to supply an original version. That is, you probably will be OK if you submit a photocopy of that document. Needless to say, of course, neither the original document nor the copy should be altered. Please be aware that the government does have the right to request an original version.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

The information above does not constitute legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

Calvin Sun, Attorney at Law
We Chat: calvin_t_sun

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