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

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

1835 comments… add one

  • RK Nov 20, 2014 Reply

    Hello Guys,After response to NOID for I-129 H1B Visa, today I See status “We updated your name for your I-129 , Petition for Non-Immigrant worker.” What is this mean..? Please advise.. Iam really tensed…

    • Am Nov 21, 2014 Reply

      Hi I got the same status update when I upgraded my processing to premium. Did you find any reason for this?

      • RK Nov 22, 2014 Reply

        No Am, Iam stil in regular process only.
        Kindly, let me know if you come to know any result of your case. I do not see any forums on this type of case update. Very rare I believe.. You will come to know the result soon since you are in PP.. Pls post ur status if you come to know anything..
        All the Best in advance.. May God help us.. RK…

      • RK Nov 22, 2014 Reply

        Hi Am, No i did not find any reason for this. checked with Employer/Attorney they are also new to this type of “Status”.
        Please let me know if you come to know any update on ur case and I will also do the same..

  • Rahul Aug 28, 2014 Reply

    @Lanchister

    I am a H1b holder , but didn’t get a chance to travel yet. Would like to know if i change my job then my new employer would be able to transfer my H1B or there would be some legal issues since i didn’t travel even once with my current employer.
    Changing employer while in India is legitimate and easy process ?
    Need kind help as I am badly stuck.

  • chaitanya Jul 10, 2014 Reply

    Can someone please let me know further action plan as i got mail saying that

    Application Type: I129 , PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORK

    Your Case Status: Post Decision Activity
    On July 9, 2014, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER.

    • Atul Jul 10, 2014 Reply

      Wait for hard copy of approval. It normally takes 14 days to reach hard copy of approval to your employer. After that your employer can schedule for your visa interview.

  • just curious Jun 19, 2014 Reply

    should I expect all RFE or additional information requests sent directly to my lawyer, case is still in the initial review stage and haven’t gotten any mail yet. Thanks

  • Blossy Jun 16, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    Did the USCIS send all the Application Numbers Picked up in the Lottery??
    I am worried as I haven’t heard anything about my application, Whether Picked up in Lottery or Not? It’s already mid-June, Usually what would be last date to hear about the application numbers? I am also worried whether the Employer submitted my application or Not??

    Is there anyone? who is in the same situation as me?

    Thanks!

    Thank you

  • prin Jun 4, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    My application was picked 2 weeks ago so I asked the company to provide me with the EAC case number but they haven’t provided it yet. How long does it usually take for the employer to recieve the EAC case number.

  • Trip To USA Jun 1, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    I have not received the Receipt # yet my H1B was filed under Regular processing.
    Does this mean the case is not selected for lottery or generally it takes time for USIC to respond back ? I am worried and confused as some says that USIC will continue to send the receipt# by Mid of June, is this true ?

  • Sam May 19, 2014 Reply

    Hi ,
    This is Sam.One of the employer applied me a H1B VISA in April 2014.Still I didn’t get any update regarding lottery whether my application is picked or not from USCIS.
    Please let me know still is there any chances to hear good news..?

    Waiting for your reply, thanks in advance

    • MK May 20, 2014 Reply

      Same here. It sucks!

    • Sarvesh May 21, 2014 Reply

      Can anyone let me know if the lottery selection process of H1B visa is completed. The reason why I am asking this question as neither me nor my employer has heard back on it, the visa fee check is still not cashed, also we haven’t either got the visa fee back. So wondering if the lottery selection process is still in progress.

    • Sarat May 29, 2014 Reply

      Same case here.

      • Loc May 30, 2014 Reply

        I’m too. I am still waiting for the result.

        • Abhijit May 30, 2014 Reply

          Same with me. Getting no information, even if it is denied they should inform me. Waiting this long really sux

  • vishnu reddy May 16, 2014 Reply

    I have applied through a consulting company and i received a receipt number(WAC-XX-XXX-XXXXX). Does that mean my H1B application got picked in the lottery? I have also checked the status in website today and it says “Initial Review”. How and when do i know if it is approved/rejected?

    • Sean May 16, 2014 Reply

      Dude, plz use some common sense. this is the dumbest question i seen on this blog.

    • temp May 18, 2014 Reply

      Yes, That means your application was selected in the lottery..
      keep looking for status change in the website.. some times your employer get notified earlier than the wesite status udate…

    • Krishna May 21, 2014 Reply

      You can get denied for being dump.

      • Loc May 30, 2014 Reply

        Like your words! He pretends to be dump.

  • Hema May 12, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    My H1B was picked up in the lottery for fiscal year 2015 and i was keeping a close watch on the tracking. From “Initial Review status” the status got updated to “Post Decision Activity”. Does this mean an RFE came on our petition? or Is that a denial?

    Although there was a separate status defined for RFE “Request for evidence’, the petition is not clocked at that point. Please clarify what signifies this direct movement to “Post decision Activity” ?

    It was mentioned that the notice is mailed, my employer os yet to receive it.

    • Scientist May 19, 2014 Reply

      I’d say good news is coming your way :-)

    • KK Oct 29, 2014 Reply

      Hi Hema,

      My case is same. I got the same update today for my status. Can you please help me here with your experience.

  • raj May 6, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    My application was picked 2 weeks ago so I asked the company to provide me with the EAC case number but they haven’t provided it yet. How long does it usually take for the employer to recieve the EAC case number.

    Thanks
    Raj

  • Santosh Apr 16, 2014 Reply

    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 Apr 7, 2014 Reply

    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.

    Regards,
    Selvan

    • rk Apr 7, 2014 Reply

      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 Mar 17, 2014 Reply

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

    • rk Apr 7, 2014 Reply

      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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