How to document an in-house project for an H-1B filing

Are you planning on filing an H-1B petition for an in-house project? Make sure you proactively submit proper documentation of the project!

Sometimes IT consulting companies have the H-1B employee work at the H-1B employer’s offices instead of at an end client worksite. The employee in this situation works on a project for a client of the employer, much as she would if she were working at the end client worksite. However, it is important to proactively submit documentation to clearly establish that there is work available for the H-1B beneficiary. Based on our experience filing this type of petition for various clients, we have found that the following type of evidence can help document the in-house project:

  • Copy of the contract between the H-1B employer and the client for whom the work is being done.
  • Copy of the work order, if applicable.
  • A clear description of the project including the project purpose, and the specific role(s)/position(s) that the H-1B employer will provide and a detailed explanation as to why each position is necessary.
  • Detailed project milestones showing which milestones have been met, and including estimated milestone completion dates for the remaining milestones. This is tremendously important to show that there is work available for the duration of the H-1B validity period requested.
    • This should also include detailed task lists/description of duties for each stage.
  • Copy of a cost analysis for the client’s software product. This cost analysis is often prepared by the client who has hired a company (the H-1B employer) to develop specific software.
  • If the work has already begun, a copy of the invoices from the H-1B employer to their client, or documentation of payments from the client to the H-1B employer.
  • If H-1B petitions are submitted for multiple H-1B beneficiaries who are working on the same project, a clear explanation of who will work on what particular aspects of the project, to show that the H-1B employer actually has sufficient work to support all petitions.
  • If the H-1B employer presented a project proposal to their client including the scope, outline, budget and timeline, consider submitting a copy of that as well.
  • If it is available, a copy of the product prototype or screen shots of the product if development is already underway.

It may be that not every piece of evidence listed above is available or applicable. Likewise, you may have other types of documentation that also serve to document to the in-house project. By proactively including proper documentation with an H-1B filing for an in-house project, the employer may reduce the chance of receiving a request for additional evidence (RFE), which can delay processing and increase costs. Proactive planning on the front end can lead to smoother processing later, and happy employees!

Do you need assistance with an H-1B filing or other employment-based or family-based immigration matter? Please contact us at 804-396-3412 or for more information!