FREE DOWNLOAD: Click Here To Download The Employers Guide to the H-1B Process.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Click Here To Download The Employers Guide to the H-1B Process.
What to Do If Your Situation Has Changed Since You Were Chosen in the H1B Lottery

Being selected in the H1B visa lottery is a significant milestone for professionals aiming to work in the United States. However, changes in personal or professional circumstances between the time of lottery selection and visa issuance are not uncommon. In such cases, updating your H1B application becomes essential to ensure compliance and maintain eligibility. 

Below, we’ll guide you through the steps of updating an H1B visa application, discuss the importance of timely updates, and address common scenarios that may necessitate such changes.

Understanding the Importance of Updating Your H1B Application

The H1B visa program, designed to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise, is highly regulated. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all information to be accurate and up-to-date to reflect your current situation accurately. Failure to report significant changes can lead to delays, visa denial, or even legal repercussions.

Common Changes That Require Updates

Several changes can necessitate an update to your H1B application, including:

  • Changes in Employment: This could include a change in the employer, job location, job title, or significant job duties. A new Labor Condition Application (LCA) might be required to reflect these changes.
  • Changes in Personal Information: Such as legal name changes, changes in marital status, or changes in dependents.
  • Changes in Legal Status or Background: Including issues like pending criminal charges or other legal entanglements that were not disclosed initially.

How to Update an H1B Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve experienced one of the changes mentioned above, you’ll need to update your information before proceeding with your H1B application or you may face substantial complications. Here’s how to move forward without putting your visa at risk:

Step 1: Notify Your Employer or Sponsor

The first step in updating an H1B visa application is to inform your employer or sponsor about the changes. Since H1B sponsorship is employer-specific, your employer is primarily responsible for filing amendments or updates to the USCIS.

Step 2: Assess the Type of Change

Determine if the change affects your LCA or H1B petition directly. For instance, changes in job location or duties may require filing a new LCA to ensure the conditions of employment are still met according to the Department of Labor standards.

Step 3: Filing an Amended Petition

If the changes are significant, such as a different employer or a major shift in job duties, your employer might need to file an amended H1B petition with the USCIS. This process involves submitting the relevant forms along with the new LCA and supporting documents that reflect the updated information.

Step 4: Communicate with USCIS

Your employer should also communicate any changes to the USCIS directly, especially if they pertain to your legal or immigration status. Ensuring that USCIS has the most current information can prevent issues related to miscommunication or outdated information.

Step 5: Receive Acknowledgment from USCIS

Once an amended petition is filed, USCIS will review the submission and issue a receipt notice. Following this, they may also issue a new I-797 Approval Notice, which serves as proof of the updated petition’s approval.

Documentation and Records

Throughout the application and update process, it’s essential that you keep accurate records of all communications and filings with USCIS. This includes saving copies of amended petitions, receipt notices, and any correspondence with USCIS or your employer about the changes to your situation.

Resolve H1B Complications With Litwin & Smith

Updating an H1B application after being selected in the H1B lottery is crucial for maintaining your eligibility and compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Whether the changes are personal, professional, or legal, timely updates are essential. By following the outlined steps and working closely with your employer and immigration professionals, you can ensure that your H1B visa reflects your current situation accurately, thereby securing your position and future in the United States.

If you have concerns about updating your information for your application, you can work with the professional immigration attorneys at Litwin & Smith. Our skilled team has decades of experience helping out clients successfully apply for and receive H1B visas in a variety of challenging situations. We are prepared to help you and your sponsor ensure the application process runs smoothly by responding to complications in a timely and efficient way. Learn more about how we can assist you by scheduling your consultation today.

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