H1B Visa 2018 News Quota Cap Lottery Predictions and FAQs

This page has all the latest information on upcoming H1B 2018 season, which starts from April 3, 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 ?
  • H1B 2018 Petitions  Tracker – Crowdsourced
  • New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?
  • Latest News updates of H1B 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 ?
Update : USCIS released press note that they will accept H1B petitions for FY 2018 starting from April 3rd, 2017.
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 ? 
Update : USCIS confirmed the below quota cap numbers in latest press release for FY 2018. 
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. Check out our H1B Visa 2018  Lottery Predictions – Data Analysis  to get an idea on how many H1B petitions you can expect for this fiscal year.

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

H1B 2018 Case Tracker  :
Did you apply for FY 2018 ?  With premium processing suspended, it is quite hard for applicants to know the general status of everyone to understand their situation. We have put together a tracker along with good graphs for analysis. It is completely anonymous as we do not capture your case number or any personal information. It is community contributed data, the more you add, the better for everyone, including  You !

Track your H1B Case

Anonymously Track your H1B Case - Share and Get updated from Community.

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.

Latest News about H1B 2018 Season 
High Level Latest News for FY 2018 is listed below. But, all the Latest News are tracked on our H1B 2018 News and Updates Tracker Page. Check out below.

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

Most recent and complete history of all latest breaking news updates from Official sources like USCIS and Unofficial sources for FY 2018 Season.

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

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Comments ( 644 )

  1. Stranger

    H1 should be given only to people with accredited degrees from american universities. All the Indian IT Body shops should be given only L1 Visas (as per need) and not H1.

  2. toAllhaters

    All these haters are actually indian prics who went to US on f1 and after completing masters they dont have job and life and sole thing they do is they sit on internet and cry on people who really struggling hard in india/MNC and qualified to work in US.

    1. Reply

      Struggling hard? hahaha I wonder why. Maybe because you studied at some worthless college and are slaving for 20-30k INR at some outsourcing MNC. And “Qualified?” … Hahaha come on man.
      I cant wait for Trump to prioritize American workers and give a blow to all these IT companies that think they can keep abusing the system.

    2. ReplyToWITCHs

      ohhh really? So i went to a top school here in USA. Had 4 job offers upon graduation and now working for Google. I didn’t get H1B in 3 consecutive attempts (Yes bad luck and the fact that WITCH’s are clogging the system). And you say we are not qualified ? I agree some fall under the category of masters from cheap colleges , no jobs , consultancies etc. But PLS DO NOT generalize everyone. I am done complaining about how unfair the system is for people like me, life is not fair now is it?

      1. Stop the nonsense WITCHes

        After completing my graduation in India I got placed in top product based company and later was moved to USA based on my skills and patents I filed. I am highly paid and have multiple patents in my field of work.
        From last 4 years, my company is filing h1b and never got selected in the lottery due to the high volume of petitions from WITCHes. Despite having approved i140 now I am moving to Canada in 3 weeks because was never able to move to h1b and my current L1B is expiring in 3 weeks.
        My company works with WITCHes and outsource some legacy work to them frequently and I have dealt with so many of them over last few years and I must say most of them have no clue what they are doing. Things which should take few hours to be completed are done by them in weeks and that too with poor quality. They simply do not want to work hard or build their skills.

    3. Peace

      Some deserve H1B more than others but what decides it is very subjective. People have their reasons and I wish good luck to everyone. The problem is when people think the visa is answer to all their problems.

  3. Info_Help__

    Hello All,

    I have a approved petition for X location. But somehow my Client and Location got Changed for now.
    Whats the minimum and maximum processing time for Amendment approval ?
    P.S : My visa is not stamped yet.

    Any help Would be highly appreciated.
    Contact : [email protected]

      1. NotPostive

        There could be 50 roles under 1 LCA (for identical roles you dont need multiple LCAs) Hence I feel LCA count is not the true indicator of the number of petitions. I am scared H1B will reach close to 3 lakh (This is my 4th and final attempt). Iam mentally prepared now

  4. CTS_CBE

    What ever it may be. Bodyshop or WITCH, in your terms. These companies are not sending Trainees or the people who do not know anything.
    Atleast we know something that you guys do not know, and that is needed for the Client these WITCH/bodyshop has.

    Let the US do the filtering based on merit or whatever it may be..we will never blame anyone for not getting Visa.

    Please try to avoid blaming/barking at others.

    Let the Govt prove who is eligible.

    Thanks !!!

  5. Be_Happy

    What a joke of my life? I am still waiting my status to move from “Case Was Received” to something … but fortunately or unfortunately it is same as “Case Was Received” from 13-April-2016. My gosh , I cant believe it …

    How patient I am .. but I am. I had seen many people, my teammates Petition Approved, Stamped, Traveled and got 3 months USA pay stub as well 🙂

    But I fed up checking status everyday 4-5 times and checking weekly once these days .. and today too “Received” 🙂 I am not sure should I cry or laugh 🙂

    But I am Happy 🙂

  6. Satya


    I have H1b visa stamped and now my employer is filing an ammendment, Is the premium processing suspended for ammendments as well? how long will it take for an ammendment under regular processing?

    1. Sunil Kumar

      You have to WAIT for atleast 3r4Months in the New TRUMP Administration.

      Nowadays most Visa Applications are getting Rejected.

      You can expect the same after your Processing wait times.

    1. Infosys to pay $34 million in U.S. visa case

      Indian corporation pays record $34 million fine to settle allegations of systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes


      Infosys Ltd, India’s second largest software services firm, is set to be hit with a record $35 million fine on Wednesday by the US government on allegations of visa misuse, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people who it didn’t name, even as the company said it was working with the US government to resolve the issue.

      The violations pertain to using employees on business visas (or so-called B1 visas) to do work typically done by engineers on long-term work visas (also called H-1B visas).

          1. Systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes by INFOSYS

            Yeah Mann…. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION by WITCH guys.

            Sending CHEAP Labour & Doing BODY Shopping.

            Bloody Body Shoppers (Wipro,Infosys,TCS,CTS & HCL).

            The violations pertain to using employees on business visas (or so-called B1 visas) to do work typically done by engineers on long-term work visas (also called H-1B visas).

            The investigation, conducted by the department of homeland security and the US state department, found that the company used visitor B1 visas instead of the mandated H-1B visas for longer business visits, to bring an unknown number of its employees for long-term visits.

          2. Grand Gambheer Kumar

            YES Man, That’s Gold news not old news.

            Because so many don’t know about the Visa Abuse of this Companies – Wipro,INFOSYS,TCS,CTS,HCL, Capige mini , Acenture.

            So called WITCHs in Immigration System.

            @Stopit stupid – Thatswhy Fool like you waiting in India for Labor Visa.

          3. Sutti Selva Kumar

            YES Stopping Fools like you coming from Body shopping Agents.

            Keep ur Stupid tml in ur pocket, i don’t know what ur talking abot

        1. Systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes by INFOSYS

          Do you Know how damage those guys are doing to American Economy & American Jobs.

          Sending cheap labors on B1

          Surely these WITCH guys will get a Blow from Current TRUMP Administration

        2. WITCH KILLER

          What stop it ???

          You guys studying in some Jaffa College or get any University degree

          Get into some IT Company like Wipro,Infosys,TCS,CTS &…..

          Easily fly to US as a Body Shopper

          STRICT & STRINGENT Actions’s should be taken by the US Government.

          WITCH Companies should be Banned from filing US Visas, As they always do systemic Fraud and abuse of US immigration.

          Earning millions in the Systematic VISA FRaud… WITCH should be Banned from filing.

  7. Careful


    Dont try in fraudulent way. Try only in genuine way.
    All the best.

    1. Infosys Settles With U.S. in Visa Fraud Probe

      Infosys committed “systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes,” John Bales, the U.S. attorney for the district, said in a complaint filed yesterday with the settlement.

      Infosys will pay $5 million to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, $5 million to the State Department and $24 million to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, according to a filing yesterday in federal court in Sherman, Texas. Infosys, which denied the government’s substantive allegations, admitted it violated record-keeping requirements, according to the filing.

    1. Let's only believe in the facts

      Thanks for sharing the info, unfortunately this is just a court decision, as Hanuman said, and nothing has been officially posted by USCIS. It is too early to say we “have to” go through lottery process.

  8. Koste

    I guess my only wish would be to prioritize people who:
    1. studied in US
    2. Worked in US before.

    There is too much randomness currently. This is my 6th (!!) year of living in US. And I am still on an (expired) F1 STEM OPT. With slim chances of getting H1B.

    Feels a bit unfair.

    1. ProgressiveIndia

      Another self centric cynical person on this thread. 6 years is enough. Come back to your country and help it progress.

      1. Koste

        You have to fight for your place under the sun. It is not up to you to decide what is enough and what’s not. With that attitude, I really hope you are not applying. Leave America for the open-minded.

    2. PK

      Arey voh Kosta guy, Come to India and Do some Bajji or Bonda Business..or otherwise Punugullu will be tasty with palli chutney. Your a Criminal with expired Visa, there is no need for your american degree or petrol bunk experience for IT companies. WITCH guys are Watching..Be careful… Urs PK

      1. Koste

        You don’t know what you are talking about. You can work with an expired visa, you cannot travel. Brighten up before commenting nonsense.

        1. Rambola Jambola KHAN

          come to India Dude.. We will Rock here, Why on EXpred Visa

          Anyway yo can work on expred visa ILLEGALLY.. as ur saying

          But wen you got CATCH…You get DEported and Never get visa to ANY COUNTRY.

  9. H1bhelper

    Expect an executive order on h1b in coming weeks


    1. Finish gaj4a

      Please share your expected Executive order, We will forward to Trump Administration. Don’t do scare mongering in the name of new rules or Executive Orders… expect the same for you as well… Nothing Special 4 U 👍

  10. TCS

    What about TCS and Infosys guys. I am in TCS and dont see anything happening around on H1B front. Also, I was told a lot of approved H1B candidates have still not gone to US. Is that true?

    1. Surprised

      So you sit there with approved H1Bs to not come here, while we have good jobs here that we will lose without H1B, interesting.

      1. Bummer

        The top 4 Indian outsourcing companies as per my estimate, account anywhere between 50-70% of total H1B’s issued in the last 5 years.

    2. TCS

      TCS is filing only 15% of what they filed last year. Last year , they filed 13134 H1B Petitions. SO they will file around 2000 H1B Petitions this year.

        1. WITCH Hunt

          Good For Your Company and for others as well. Companies like Infosys should BAN from applying work visas. They are misusing the Law & Immigration. Total Exploitation of the System by Sending CHEAP Labor 2 US… Sirf Body Shopping Dandha

        1. EnoughIsEnough

          Good, It should increase from 13,000 to 30,000 so that you guys are permanently banned from applying in the future and abusing the system by monopolizing to such an extent

          1. TCSer

            It won’t increase to 30k. It will increase to around 17k. Don’t worry we will not get banned. And trust me your frustration level would increase. 😀

        2. ReplyToTCSer

          The most interesting fact will be the final approved(lottery and stamping) numbers from these companies. Hoping there will be a filtering step before lottery.

          1. TCSer

            Hope and pray coz that’s what we all can do. You can pray for us that we should be filtered out whereas we would pray that our visas get stamped soon. Praying for the thing which would negatively affect any individual. That’s what we indians are taught and usually do. Am I right?

  11. Really

    Wow, the LCA’s are being filed at the rate of 10K everyday. All that talk about restrictions on H1B has no effect what so ever on the numbers

        1. Reply Really

          This link only has counts for FY2017. This years H1B would fall under fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) so the LCA count is not for this year. I know its misleading but in 2017, you do H1 for FY2018

          1. Really

            Yes but LCA will be filed in 2017 for 2018 cap. But if you don’t trust me check the count tomorrow and it will change. Approx 45-50% of the final count will end up as new H1b applications for 2018 cap as this also includes renewals and transfers.

      1. H1Bhelper

        Any LCA’s filed now cannot be for new H1B petition. LCA approval takes minimum 7 days. After LCA approval, attorney has to prepare the H1B petition. Given that petitions will be accepted from 3rd april, there is hardly any time left for preparing a new H1b petition.

    1. LCACount

      What start date range are you looking at? LCAs for new petitions started to be filed only after March 1st and most of them have start date 180 days beyond the submission date so most of them falls to September 17. I know very well that my LCA starts on Sep. So I think we should be looking at the start date range of late August and further.

    2. Answer

      That is because people are filing all sorts of LCAs (new, transfer, extension) in a hurry because of the PP suspension. They do not want to wait and miss the April 3 deadline for ext. and transfers for PP. Not all are new LCAs.

      1. LCACount

        That’s true and LCA filing can start only 6 month in advance for legal reasons. So anything that was filed prior to March 1st is not a new petition. The only unkown is the LCA start date and looks like they usually requested to be started 180 days from the submission date. So on the icert website, I think we should be looking at certification start dates starting from August or so.

  12. Anu

    What about IBM. They asked docs to file. I got approved LCA also. But not sure whether they will file or not. What is the prediction of IBM. Howmany last year they applied. My bad luck last year mine didn’t picked in lottery. I have 6yrs of exp in IBM.

  13. What a SHAME!


    “Currently there are four bills in the US Congress about curbs on H1B visas. We are engaged (in a dialogue) with the US at very high level regarding this… We are making all efforts (through diplomatic channels) to ensure these bills are not passed,” Ms Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha.

    SHAME on your Indians!! H-1b is America’s Visa for America’s best interests. It is non of your business of what bills getting through US Congress and how they like to shape the Visa program. Your Minister said something like this in public is unbelievably embarrassing.

    1. USAPatriot

      Amen ! These visas were to grow our American economy, and not ship in cheap labor, and kill our jobs.

      But its a two way street, why is CIS still approving visas from TCS, Wipro, Infosys etc ? Our govt does not bother at all.

      Hope my president Trump does #MAGA

      1. Kevin

        The blessing from god is currently not falling on America, the interest of the nation is not in the hand of an individual but with people of the nation, periodically US is know for adopting cross culture talent from the world and grown with it, now a new kind of protectionism was planted in the heart of US people which is nothing but a loss to its own people/country

        May god properly bless America once again!!!

      2. ToUSAPatriot

        Go to hell you fake USAPatriot…

        Ur President… LOL

        I wish you have some other job to do …. other than jus commenting that you are a responsible US citizen…

        Which citizen opens this redbus portal and comments on Indians opinions

        Data: % of comments from Indians/visits to this website is 99.999999%

        Stop all this chutiya kaam & check with your consultants whom you paid money to process ur H1B…

        You looser

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