H1B Visa 2018 News Quota Cap Lottery Predictions and FAQs

This page has all the latest information on upcoming H1B 2018 season, which starts in April 2017.  We will keep this page up-to-date with FAQs and news about FY 2018 season. Below are various topics and FAQs covered on this page.

  • Start of  H1B Visa 2018 season ?
  • H1B Quota for FY 2018 ?
  • H1B visa 2018 Lottery Predictions ?
  • Plan for H1B FY 2018 Application ?
  • Find Visa Sponsors for H1B 2018 ?
  • H1B Visa 2018 Fee ?
  • Latest News of FY 2018

If this is your first year of H1B visa filing, you must read What is H1B Visa, Requirements, Process . Not to scare you, Last year, there was lottery for H1B season and for FY 2017 USCIS received 236,000 applications  .

When does H1B Visa 2018 Season Start ?

Typically, USCIS accepts H1B petitions for next fiscal year starting from April 1st. So, for FY 2018, the start date for accepting applications would be April 1st, 2017.  But, for FY 2018 season, April 1st falls on a Saturday, so USCIS will accept applications starting from Monday, April 3rd, 2017.   If you were wondering why called 2018, when in 2017, it is the fiscal year dates that dictate that. USCIS fiscal year is from October 1st to March 30th. So, technically the fiscal year for 2018 starts from October 1st and they accept petitions for the same 6 months before the start date and it would be April 1st, 2017.  You may read USCIS Press release for H1B 2017 Start Date 

What is H1B 2018 Quota ? Regular Cap vs Master’s Cap Quota ? 

To get some background, read H1B Quota – Regular vs Masters .  There have been many speculations on increasing the H1B Cap due to extremely high demand and bills proposed for the same in the past, nothing made it through. As of writing of this article, below is the H1B cap quota. We will keep this article updated as new changes come in.  The total H1B Quota as of today is 85,000 and it is split like below.

Regular H1B Quota  65,000
Master’s H1B Quota ( Only US Masters Degree Eligible) 20,000

Out of the above 85,000 quota, 6,800 are set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them. Also, check out the article with history of maximum H1B Cap from 1990 to 2017 

H1B 2018 Lottery Predictions ? 

It used to be a speculation whether we would have lottery in previous years, but in the past 4 years, lottery has become common. It is very likely that we would have lottery aka random selection for H1B 2018 season.  We have been writing predictions over the years and all of them have been accurate so far. We will write a detail article with predictions as we near the H1B season. For now, you can read H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Predictions

When to plan for H1B 2018 Application – What should be your strategy ?
It is never too late to start planning…Depending on your situation, you may fall in one of the below categories and the suggestions are described below.

  • F1 Student in USA : If you are studying on F1 visa and about to graduate in next one year, you should seriously look at finding an internship or co-op at companies that can sponsor your H1B visa. You can search for H1B Sponsors in a particular area using our H1B Sponsors Search Tool and try to get an internship to work there on CPT or OPT after you graduate. This is a strategic move and will require sometime, so plan well.
  • Working Professional from outside USA : If you are a working professional outside US, planning to work in US, especially  on H1B visa, your best bet is to find Multinational companies ( MNCs) that have major US presence and secure a job there, so that you can position internally for applying to H1B visa, when the season starts. This is a very strategic decision, you need to carefully assess your options, speak to the company if such options exist and then only choose it. There may be many people already in-line for these visas, you need to plan carefully so that you are given a slot in the company’s filing for your next season application.
  • Other H4, L1 Visas :  If you are on these visas living in USA, your best bet is to find companies just like I mentioned for F1 students that sponsor H1B visas and start interviewing and keeping the conversation going so that you can ask them to file H1B when the season starts.

For FY 2017, we have put together a Step by Step Plan on How to apply for H1B 2017 Quota, it gives a guideline on the planning and what steps exists.

How to find H1B Visa Sponsor for FY 2018 quota ?

This is probably the most asked question by everyone. It can be a tricky decision, you need be very careful to avoid fraud.

  • If you are student in the US, it is very straight forward, you find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool in an area as I mentioned above and get an internship in one of them so that they can sponsor your H1B visa.
  • If you are professional planning to arrive in US from oustide America,  it can be really tricky.  If you work for an Multinational company ( MNC), then they will have some internal process to pick the candidates and then process H1B visa for them…The other option that has been used and abused is the consulting companies route…Many a times, the H1B aspirants approach a body shop IT consulting company to file H1B for them and they apply for the same. It gets nasty with the body shop consulting companies.  The comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article are quite eye opening. I advise, you beware of the consulting companies and avoid fraud.
  • Also, WE as RedBus2US do NOT provide any guidance or assistance or sponsor anything. If someone claims that, it is pure fraud and they are trying to trick you, we are not responsible for that. Please be careful

We have an article that we wrote for previous season, you may read article How to find H1B 2017 Sponsors to find out various options.

What is H1B Visa 2018 Fee ? How much does it cost for the company ? 

The H1B fee varies by the size of the company..As of FY 2017 season, it can range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee. There are various fees components that make up this number range, for more details Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee 2017 – Who pays for What ? . Below is a high level summary from FY 2017 quota.  If any changes, we will update this accordingly.

H1B Fee Component Fee in USD
 Base filing fee $325
AICWA Fee $750  or $1,500
Fraud prevent & detection fee $500
Fee based on Public Law 114-113 ( if applicable) $4000
Premium processing fee (Optional) $1,225
Immigration Attorney Fee Varies from $500 to $3000

What is the Latest News about H1B 2018 Season ?

No official news has been released by USCIS yet. They usually mention some of the updates, in rejected petitions and some when the season is close to start. We will keep track of the news updates and keep those posted here as they appear.

Are you planning for FY 2018 quota ?  What are your questions ? Add your thoughts.

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Comments ( 92 )

  1. Confused

    so according to the new bill, master quota is removed? so 65000 visa quota will include the master quota as well?? or what is it??

    1. Confused


      This says the bill does nothing as it is written in such a way that it does something.

      Is this true?

  2. lessactivity

    This year traffic to redbus2us seems to be extremely less.. by this time last year, the h1b-visa-2017 page was full of active participants and lot of comments. But now there is hardly any post. Trump effect? or people got tired of this random H1B saga?

  3. Ramsay Bolton: Our Blades Are Sharp

    The new H1B bill is going to be introduced in the Congress that is supposed to increase minimum salary to 100K and also to revoke the 20K quota for Master’s and phd. My question is, if the bill is passed, (very bright chances as Republicans have thumping majority in both the houses) would this bill affect the 2018 H1B CAP (2017 lottery) or will this be implemented for 2019 CAP i.e, 2018 lottery? Any thoughts?

  4. H1B2K18

    What will be the impact if the bill on “increasing min wages to $100K and eliminate the Masters Degree exemption” get passed?

    1. Mohan Kiran

      I did Only B.Tech and i heard the latest news that Masters Degree is must and should to apply a h1b visa. Is this correct so will i am eligible then with normal B.Tech Degree.

        1. H1B2K18


          Is tat true? I thought it meant, min requirement for H1B will be those who hold a Master’s Degree and those – B.E , B.Tech..etc cant apply for it

          1. RX

            that is a wrong info. What they proposed in the bill is that remove the Masters degree quota (whoever completed Masters from US university). Currently there is a 20K visas allotted to them.

    2. 3rd_Time_Lets_See

      If that happens then it will not be feasible to have so many people onsite for companies but still there will be visas but only for selected roles which can be billed high.

    3. Ramsay Bolton: Our Blades Are Sharp

      80% of the candidates would be ineligible. There won’t be even the need for lottery because the application would be obviously less than 85000.

    1. administrator

      Well, we need to wait and see what Trump would do after he becomes president. It is very unlikely that they will remove H1B, all they may do is make rules strict and change cap count…again, this is pure speculation on the possibilities. We just need to wait and see…

    1. Think

      for a person who probably will apply for an H1B visa, you seem to be a little bit “slow thinking”… just to be kind with you.

    1. H1B_2nd Time

      Not yet buddy….Last year also they ask employees to initiate H1B’s in March end.
      I will assume the same trend goes for this year as well.

      1. Raees

        I am sure it will be less this year… Am also betting that there might not be a lottery
        Lot of consultants are not ready to process any new H1’s as they are scared of an Audit.. Also the BIG 3 from India might go slow in processing of H1’s …. As Kumar mentioned, all this is again speculation and everything would be clear after 20th of Jan when Mr Trump would become Mr President

  5. Anamika

    Hello Guys,

    I got my visa stamped in Sept 2016 but unfortunately no project there till April 17.

    If I go for Transfer do I need to pay any amount ?

    or Do I need to go through the interview process again ?

    1. H1/L1 Helper

      First question? Did you pay for the first time?

      You never pay any money for H1. It is paid by Employer. If your Visa is stamped and you are still out side of US then also you can transfer. In other or Clear words, you can change employer out side of US also and that new employer will file Petition under cap exempt. I guess you may need to go to stamping and interview again.(Not 100% sure about repeat stamping and interview)

    2. Anamika

      I got my visa stamped in Sept 2016 but unfortunately no project there till April 17. – can’t help !

      If I go for Transfer do I need to pay any amount ? – I? not you but your employer surely have to, to transfer petition.

      or Do I need to go through the interview process again ? – NO.

    1. H1B_2nd Time

      There is no advantage in terms of lottery process or visa approval.

      However, only thing is the processing of your petition is much faster and processed than RP applications.

      Moreover in both the cases, you will only able to travel to US only in Oct’17.

    1. administrator

      I highly suspect that the numbers could reduce due to demonetization. It may go up or down with the new presidency and their immigration stance…

  6. Lottery Theory

    I was unselected in last year’s lottery. That was my first and last try. I already have a green card now. I’m happy I don’t have to go through the lottery ever again. Good luck to all. Make sure you have a back up plan.

        1. CTS 3rd time - H1B 2018

          Has CTS started sending mails (Automated mails) to enter the details from the Global Mobility?
          Last year by this time, we got the mails already.

          1. CTS_GUY

            Are mails being sent for everyone at once or is it unit wise ? I am from QEA and have not received it, is there anyone from QEA who has received it?

  7. Rahul

    Can Someone advise about cap exempt H1B. ie for IT jobs in US universites. How far is it easy/difficult to find jobs ? for 2018 season.(April 2017 application)

  8. Yash


    I shall be starting my master’s program in 2017 and shall graduate in 2019.

    Therefore, I shall have 3 tries at the lottery under advanced quota (I’m STEM.)

    What is my cumulative probability of getting a H1B?

    1. Anonymous

      Avoid states. Last year probability was close to 55%.
      Assuming probability remains same for three years, probability = 1 – .45*.45*.45 = 91% approx.
      9% is not a small number. 9% of 100k students is 9000 which is not small either. I have tried 4 times in masters quota and didn’t get h1b yet. You could be lucky and get through lottery in first attempt but its getting tougher every season.

    1. administrator

      It has been quiet for sometime. Do not see much activity happening with H1B aspects of CIR lately.

          1. Shoba

            Can you guys please let me know your consultants/H1B sponsors name and contact details??

            I am looking for genuine H1B sponsors.

            Thanks in Advance.

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