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 ?
  • New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?
  • 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. On December 23, 2016 , USCIS increased the H1B fee component of base filing fees, which was $325. The below table is updated with the latest fee updates from USCIS.  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 $460
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

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

As of the today ( article updated date), nothing has been officially ordered or implemented by New President Trump Administration. There are many speculations on how H1B program will become tougher with higher wages, quota limits, etc… but, nothing has been officially signed. We will update the article as new updates come in.

Various H1B Bills  in US House and Senate  – Will they be passed for FY 2018 ?

There are few bills that are introduced in 2017 and at various stages in both house and senate. There are many confusions regarding the same bills like the minimum wage will go up to $130,000 USD, etc.  Fact is that nothing has passed and there are very slim chances for them to get passed before start of FY 2018 season. You can check H1B Bills Tracker to get more details on current status. We will keep the article updated as new things are passed.

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 ( 194 )

  1. Hopeforbest

    Hello, has anyone heard of Oncorre Inc, NJ?
    They are asking for $4500. I could not find any negative reviews about them. But out of 319 LCAs filed over the last few years, only 3 were withdrawn/denied.
    Could anyone advise any genuine consultancy to go it? Have not been lucky in the last 2 years and want to try my luck for the last time.

    1. Karan

      People are just wasting their time and money by trusting stupid fake consultancies. They are making fool of themself.

      Some of the fake consultancies which have been banned: http://redbus2us.com/h-1b-debarreddisqualified-list-of-employers-in-usa/

      Most of the consultancy companies take money and they don’t even file H-1B. Please be aware folks!!

  2. Rashmi

    Hi Saurabh/Team,

    Hope you are doing well.

    My case was approved on Dec 9th’2016. However I have not received approval notice from my employer yet. When asked for same, I was told that they need some more time as they are in process to take care of all required documentation in order to ensure smooth process at stamping and port of entry due to new president administration. I am not sure what’s going on, I feel it’s too late as it’s been 3 months since I received approval. Could you please answer my questions below:

    1. What exactly I should ask my employer at this point of time to proceed further?
    2. In what cases, amendment is applicable?
    3. Do I need to face any difficulties if my employer doesn’t send me I-797 before 01st Apr’2017 (or) if the visa interview is not scheduled before 01st Apr’2017?
    4. Till what time, petition approval is valid. Since I received approval in Dec’2016, until what time I could attend visa interview?
    5. I am afraid as my employer is not responding properly and the time for h1b 2017 filing is approaching. What would be possible difficulties I need to face if my employer continues to delay the process?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Regards,
    Rashmi

  3. H1B Expert

    Don’t plan for H1B through consultancies and waste your money. Even though we may get lucky in lottery but RFE is certain for all the consultancies. Fake consultancies won’t be able to clear the RFEs.
    My 2 cents don’t give your hard-earned money to fake consultancies.

    1. Best of luck

      Yes it may cross 2L this year as well bill risk until coming here…may expect lot of scrutiny while stamping. For sure tough time for consultencies…

  4. H1b

    No changes to H1b this year. Confirmed by senator.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/republican-senator-does-not-expect-donald-trump-to-weaken-h1b-visas/articleshow/57157935.cms

  5. ravi

    Hi

    Last year I got my h1b and visa stamped on December’16, But There was no project so far in my current company CTS . Can anyone suggest me what all option I have to get a job on H1B . Few points I would like to mentioned .

    Primary Skills :- Base SAS/Advance SAS/Macros /SQL
    Secondary Skills :- Big Data (Hive), Statistical Analysis with SAS( Linear and Logistic Analysis )
    Domain :- BFS (Credit Card Domain)
    Exp.:- 6+ year

    Thanks,

  6. Mark

    My J1 visa is only valid until July 2017. If I apply for H1B visa on April, Would I need to go home to my home country after July and just wait for the result at home?

  7. VJ

    Don’t plan for H1B through consultancies and waste your money.. Even Though if we get visa after passing through lottery process, we won’t get job in US because of proposed bill for wage increase. 130K. For this amount they can hire 2 local employees..
    We can plan for some other country where the visa process is easier than US.

    Purely my suggestion..

    1. H1 Hopefull

      I agree with you. I had friends who got picked through consultancies last year, forget getting a job, they got picked, got RFE which never got cleared . so whats the point? Why waste money?

      1. 2nd timer

        should have hired a good attorney who can understand the RFE case to respond to USCIS and process it in premiuim for quicker results,

        1. H1 Hopeful

          No matter how good the Lawyer is, if the case is weak and the consultancy is a fake (doing H1B after taking money with no client ready) nothing can save you bro

    2. 2nd timer

      130 K bill is one of many bills being presented by senators to the congress, this came to limelight to scare the h1 aspirants, I strongly believe this bill is not going to be accepted. but wait for mid march for new amendments and new rules.

      1. VJ

        Nope.. it doesn’t seem like that.. most of the MNCs applied visa only for senior folks.. for e.g heard from my friend in Infosys TLs and PM only.. Then only they can get paid from client if there is wage increase.. So it seems 130k bill is having possibilities to get passed..

    1. Surinder

      This is great news. Fake consultancies and fake people getting arrested. I have personally started reporting some consultancies in California, Texas, Virginia and Illinois. I have even started sending emails to US consulates in India (Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore,) to look into applicants closely that mention different clients. I would be happy to see people getting arrested for this. More emails today to Consulates in India. about people I know who may be involved in faking resumes and working at client locations.

      1. All the best.

        http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/nation/indian-origin-woman-hr-manager-convicted-in-h1-b-visa-fraud/364456.html

        Best of luck guys.
        No one knows until you get some permanent job…its all changed these days.

    2. Ram

      http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/nation/indian-origin-woman-hr-manager-convicted-in-h1-b-visa-fraud/364456.html
      Dont go with consultencies. Try getting offers in right way and apply h1b through them. Thats only the safest option in current situation
      Fake consultency guys will be caught for sure.

  8. H1b 2012

    Guys beware, lot of fake consultancies asking for your money to file h1b . Last year many people fell into the trap and ended up loosing 1000’s of dollars . DHS is actively catching the fake shell companies , many Indians from jersey, Virginia , Texas and California have been convicted !

  9. iampks

    Guys, I know a lot has changed since last few weeks. Can someone with true experience with H1B predict if there is going to be a lottery this year or will be like 2008-12 where quote did not get filled up till mid of the year. While talking to some of my friends I came to know that most of the big Indian MNC’s like Infy/TCS/Wipro/HCL/Accenture are not filling many H1’s this year. Is this true? I also spoke to few consultants who have been doing H1B’s but said that are not going to do this year? Does this seems to be reasonable and if true there is very slight chance of having a lottery?

    1. H1b_helper

      Dont you think you are expecting too much… H1B visa application mostly depends on market situation. Now it is good. For sure there will me more than 85k. May be even more than last year.

      This is the last chance to do based on existing limitation. If Mr.T changes the law based on recent bills (both house and senate are now under Mr.T’s control), next year will need to adhere to that and that could reduce the number… but it might also be tougher to find clients because of pay requirements…

      Best of luck…

      1. MyOpinion

        But if I apply now and picked, will there be any situation not getting job because of wage changes may be next year as you are thing that?
        Some friend saying many resumes coming with local people there and mentioned in resume as ‘american’ it seems.

    2. Infy_SP

      Infosys started filing h1b visas but this time its seems to be lesser count.
      My manager applied 11 visa last year out of which 2-3 got selected. This year the count is 3 from the same project.

      Even there is another account which applied only 5 visas this time however last year its 15+
      This time might be Infosys will file lesser visa as compared to last year. Not only because of Mr. T but this yr even all Quarter results are also not that good as compared to last year.

      TCS has also same issue, the profit numbers are not good this year…

      But here that doesn’t matters even if count is 1L to 1.5L still you need LUCK factor……AND YES the lottery will be there….It might not be 2L+ but it will go to 1.5L which I think

    3. 2nd timer

      I have heard many wiproites are being deported if they don’t have any projects handy, few of my neighbours working for Wipro are vacating their apartments this monthend and travelling back to India. I see message from Narayanamurthy for considering not to participate in this year’s H1. I see this year count might come down to 120-150 k compared to last years 226 K

    4. iampks

      I think most of you guys are correct in your observations. The number of petitions from big MNC’s will definitely be lot lesser than prior year but it might still end up in lottery because of Advance Degree petition/Dependent of EAD holders. I think one of the proposal is to eliminate the additional 20K for advance degree and also stop dependents of EAD from working and as per me these two categories of people might fill up the quota.Again, nothing is for sure till the end of filing period but I hate being in lottery.

    1. John

      http://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/donald-trump-law-introduced-to-cut-legal-immigrants-to-us/story/245988.html
      Sounds like making doors close. It may be risk this applying H1B? I heard some news about that upcoming changes can hurt more than the bills introduced so far. any one has any ideas. Also many companies taking safe steps that not go for H1B and hire locals. Looking all these, is it really risk applying H1B this year?

  10. MD/3rdtime applicant

    Today News
    http://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/donald-trump-law-introduced-to-cut-legal-immigrants-to-us/story/245988.html

  11. H1B Hopeful

    Interesting news from Infy CEO-

    http://www.livemint.com/Industry/VtFnghv7Wqu6r5J7M9n3EN/Indian-IT-companies-need-to-stop-using-H1B-visas-Narayana.html

  12. shyam

    Please read

    http://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/big-relief-for-indian-techies-trumps-prominent-indian-american-donor-says-us-president-not-planning/534773/

    1. John

      The thing is that president can direct DHS to perform ‘wages based selection’ instead of random lottery. This can happen with out any bill, this can be a direct executive order anytime before April. One another possible option is, if the executive order delays, then random lottery may happen and while stamping visas, they can be reject based on wages. In this case, applicants may not even get their fee refund as this is VISA rejection.

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