How to check H1B visa petition filing status? Approval,RFE,Denial

by Kumar · 1,809 comments

One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “ How do check status of  my H1B petition and How long does it exactly take ?”.    Also, many people are worried about their status and some say “It has been 4 months since I filed, no reply from USCIS or still my case is in initial review status”.  If you have filed a petition, you would be curious to know how the various status on USCIS would look…I think it is hard to know how it exactly looks because I do no think anyone posts the screenshots online…. Finally, I am able to take some time to search and do this. Let me share some of my thoughts here with screenshots.

Check H1B visa petition filing status?

Though this question may seem trivial for someone who is America, it is not as trivial for someone in other country. The simple fact is, one may not know the visa filing system in America and the H1B petition might have been filed by their current company, some consulting company or a big corporation. In any case, there is nothing wrong if you do not know this. Anyways, USCIS is the US Govt. Org that accepts H1B petitions for any fiscal year and they count your application towards a cap that is allotted for a year, which is 65,000 for regular quota and 20,000 for advanced degree quota. You can check the status of your application online on USCIS site.

You can check by this USCIS  link : Check H1B visa Application Status.

As shown in screen shot below you enter the H1B petition receipt number.

USCIS Check h1b application status

H1B visa application Screen shots – Approval, Premium, RF, Denial

Initial Review Status of H1B visa application

As soon as USCIS receives your application, they will update their system and it will show initial review status in their online system. Here is a sample screenshot. Click on screen shot for bigger image.

Check H1B Visa application Status Initial Review USCIS

What is an RFE or Request for Evidence ?

For some cases, they ask for more info called RFE and send a letter to your employer/ attorney. Here is how USCIS defines RFE. Many refer to this as H1B query too.

“A request for evidence is made when an application/petition is lacking required documentation/evidence (initial evidence) or the officer needs more documentation/evidence (additional evidence) to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the benefit sought. We may send you a request for evidence at any stage of our review. The request will indicate what evidence or information is needed for us to fully evaluate your application or petition.”

RFE H1B visa petition status on USCIS

H1B approved Status by USCIS , regular filing

If your H1B was approved, the system would show a status saying when the application was approved and when they mailed you the I797 decision. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval.

Check H1B visa application status approval status USCIS Approval Notice

H1B Premium Processing USCIS Status?

If you have done premium processing, you may see different status update, because the initial update is communicated via email. Check below screenshot for approval status on USCIS for a H1B premium processing application

H1B approval notice Premium processing status USCIS

H1B visa petition Denial Notice status on USCIS?

Unfortunately, some people get denials, Here is how USCIS would show the status. Check the screenshot.

Denial Notice status of H1B visa petition filed USCIS

I hope to write an article in future on how to check the online processing times explaining how the number helps you get an idea of approximate time and how you can do it on USCIS site.

Just again, You can check status by this USCIS link : Check H1B visa Application Status

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Santosh April 16, 2014 at 2:09 am

My H-1B application was filed on 1st April, but my employer said that the cheques are not yet cleared. How long it take to cash? When we come to know that petition is selected for lottery or not?


Selvan April 7, 2014 at 2:23 am

I have applied through a consulting company. I asked them the tracker number, they replied that , it will only be generated only after the submission of the application? Is it correct or do we get it before its being picked up in the lottery.

Thank you.



rk April 7, 2014 at 3:40 am

You will get the receipt number only if it gets picked in lottery. Otherwise USCIS returns the package along with the fee cheques submitted. There is no way to check the status till you receive the receipt number for your case. This online tracker is of no use till then. For normal processing, it might take anywhere from end of April to Mid may for the announcements to be made.


shravan March 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

nice one but will there be any date before which we will know if our h1 application is selected or not


rk April 7, 2014 at 3:42 am

Sometimes, the cheques are submitted to bank if it is picked in the lottery and intimation comes to the respective attorney or employer later. This is the only other way to know.


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