Whats after USCIS approval for H1B

After H1B Visa Approval – What’s next ? Process ? Visa Stamping ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 566 Comments

Many of the lucky ones, selected in H1B Visa Lottery and have approved H1B petition notice, might be wondering what are the next steps.. Our previous article covered the typical Steps After H1B Visa Lottery . Now the next questions are like what do I do with the H1B approval notice, when can I apply for visa stamping, when can I work in the US, etc. We will look at the typical steps after the H1B petition is approved by USCIS.

What’s after H1B Approval from USCIS – Next steps?

Typically, once the H1B application was selected in lottery, most of the applicants would have received the petition receipt number along with the receipt notice from their employer either email copy or scan copy of the physical receipt notice from USCIS. You would have used that number to check the status on USCIS website and got to know that your H1B application is approved by USCIS.  If you look at the H1B Case Status info and meaning on USCIS site, it tells you that they will send the approval notice copy to the petitioner or employer/ attorney.  Once the employer receives the approval notice, they would typically send the actual copy of the approval notice from USCIS, so that the applicant can take that and carry to the visa stamping at consular post. If the application was filed in US with a Change of Status, the H1B approval notice would have an updated I-94 attached as well to indicate your valid Change of status and validity of the same.  Having said that, some employers or consulting companies, withhold the actual copy of approval notice for some time so that they can send the same when they need the candidate to travel to US or have leverage to bargain or terms, etc…again, it depends…

When can you apply for H1B Visa Stamping after H1B Approval ? How many days before start date on H1B approval  ?

As per the US Dept. of State Consular processing website, for H1B work visa, you can apply for Visa Stamping up to 90 days before the petition start date. In general, for most of the H1B petitions filed in April 1st week, they would have the start date as October 1st. The reason is that you cannot file for H1B petition before 6 months from the requested start date to work in US. As it was lottery, we can safely assume that most of the new H1B petitions start date would be October 1st.  Assuming your start date is October 1st, you can plan and apply for H1B Visa Stamping anytime on or after July 1st.  The visa slots at US consulates can be tricky with demand, I suggest you plan early and apply for your H1B visa stamping at US consulates as early as you can to avoid last minute delays.  Also, not all H1B stamping appointments result in successful stamping, some may get 221(g) query from the Visa Consular officer (blue, white, yellow) asking to submit documents, so plan accordingly, so that you get time to submit these documents and are ready to start working from October 1st. We have put up these steps in the below chart for your reference.

When can you enter US on H1B after Visa Stamping from US Consulate to work in US?

As per US Department of State, You can enter US on H1B only 10 days prior to your H1B start date on your approval notice (I-797 form).  Technically, what it means is that, if your H1B start date is October 1st, then you can enter America on or after September 20th on H1B Visa.  These 10 days rule to enter US and 90 days rule for applying for H1B stamping has been same for the past few years, you can check our previous article indicating the H1B stamping details and US entering criteria to get some perspective.

It is always good to put it in a picture to understand easily. Below are the steps as a flow chart.

After H1B Approval Notice – Process Next Steps

Flying to USA on H1B Visa  : pre-departure checklist- What you should do in your home country?

If you are flying to America for the first time on H1B visa, there are quite a few things that you can do in your home country to make your life easy in USA and maybe save some money too…We have written an article covering booking tickets, health checkup, driving license, list of things to carry, etc. You should read the article Pre-departure checklist and Things to do before you enter US on H1B

Did I miss anything ?  Add your thoughts…

Reference : US Dept of State official – US Travel Docs H1B Stamping FAQs 

   

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Comments ( 566 )

  1. Sai

    Hi Kumar,
    RFE Reason – Employee and Employer Relationship
    I’ve got an update from my employer regarding RFE reason, (ie) USCIS has requested my employer to justify the “relationship between the employee and employer”
    As part of it, my employer is requesting the following info from my side,
    With respect to the each Job Duties listed in Job description, you are required to prepare a description detailing:
    (a) Educational requirement for each duty
    (b) Time devoted to each duty
    (c) Explain how your education relates to each of the duties.

    Does this happen with everyone when RFE is requested with this particular reason (Employee and Employer Relationship)?
    My doubt is, I had completed my BE in Electrical and Electronics stream but my overall career experience is into “Telecom Testing” and also the requirement for which i’ve applied is Telecom Testing.
    USCIS has requested to match the relevance between my ‘academic background’ with the ‘requirement I’ve applied for’.

    But honestly, my academic background (EEE) is nowhere related to the sector(telecom) am into, as i’d started my career in telecom sector and for last seven years into the same domain.

    Had anyone come across this sort of situation? Will this create a problem in approval, can someone please throw some light on this?

    1. technology specialist

      Nothing to worry about Your Education background and your work experience

      Please try to response to RFE as soon as possible to fly to US

      1. H1B_waiting

        Hi Technology Specialist,

        I have submitted my RFE docs on July 21st, but still it is showing response to USCIS received. When can I expect approval notice?

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Sai, When your employer has filed for your petition, they would have filed for certain job with job description in mind. You need to work with your employer to get that info. Also, if you look at IT folks, some of them in Google are even from History in US…so, it is not a concern, it is all about what job your employer is hiring for and how you fit into that is the matter. I suggest you work with attorney and seek their advice.

  2. Acc-H1B

    Hello kumar, As always you are our latest resort to get all the quires answered. I hope you will remain your same attitude till we reach USA. I would required to hear on below:

    1. I got confirmation from internal team as my petition has been approved, here hard copy is awaited. My question here is what hard Copy contains? And when shall we get from USCIS?

    2. If my client is no more with us which was filled at the time of filling petition then now shall I go for stamping with another client SOW? Is there is amendment required in petition?

    3. If my company doesn’t have job matching to my profile, then what we would be the process of getting client or project with another company? Is there is any provision of getting stamping from another company if current one doesn’t have?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. It contains your name and validity of the petition approval with employer name
      2. Well, it depends on how it was filed by your employer/ attorney. Dont worry about it too much now.
      3. Yes, you can transfer your H1B visa to another employer and then go for stamping and travel to US. Check H1B Transfer Options

  3. RFE

    well today my status got changed to RFE. After so many days of wait, finally i landed up in RFE. Lets remove the misconception that RFE doesnt come after so much delay!!!>..:(

  4. Curious

    Hi,
    I got RFE on June 15th. My employer told me they replied to RFE on 9th September. Today is 20th September, i don’t see any update on USCIS website.

    Now I am confused, have they even replied to RFE? Can anyone comment or share their experience on this? Does this happen that USCIS website delays in updating status online?

    1. technology specialist

      USCIS will update the status in their site with in 24 hours after receiving the RFE response with out second thought, Please check with attorney related to RFE response submission and ask for FED-EX courier number for tracking purpose to check whether your RFE response has reached to USCIS office or not.

      1. Curious

        Thanks for your response.
        Status got changed on 22nd Sept to response received. It took them 14 days, I would suggest not to trust online updates fully based on my experience.

  5. Rajesha

    I recently attended my H1B stamping dates and from the appointment history option in the online portal I found that the appointment is set for the Visa: ‘H1B’, however the visa category defined under it is ‘Business/Tourism’. Is it an issue? I am unsure as to why there is a difference. This is for the fingerprinting appointment.

    For the VAC appointment, Visa is ‘H1B’ and visa category is ‘All OFC Slots’. Please advise.

  6. ACC3-H1B

    Folks from Accenture.. Anybody there who hasn’t got any notification after their H1-B being picked in lottery (may 18th mail) ? No request for RFE and no approvals yet 🙂

    1. Acc-H1B

      Hello mate, please raise ticket on my request under visa/ immigration, people mobility will definalty come with response as same i did and come to know my petition has been approved. Feel free to ping me on dimple.jaral at the rate Accenture dot come…..

  7. Software engineer

    First of all, huge thanks for great articles and help from this website.
    Going to share my experience.

    Case received: 13 Apr
    Approval notice: 21 Aug
    Interview at embassy (interviewed with my wife): Sept 7. Officer at the post asked us for additional documents (I didn’t have official job offer letter with me). Sent letter with job offer to embassy email 3 days letter and got visa stamped 3 more days later without additional questions or need to show up to embassy.

    California/Regular Processing/Interview at Kyiv, Ukraine.

    Hope this helps someone and good luck for all who still waiting.

  8. RFEOnAug

    I got RFe on August for which my company has to respond by Aug 31. They had responded already. How long does it take for RFE to respond by USCIS. It’s 20 days already.. I know people say it may take upto 2 months. For people who are on same timeline as me, have you receive any updates on RFE?

  9. RFE_Worried

    Hi Kumar,

    What would happen if a case gets denied after RFE??
    will they refund fees??is there is any way to re-evaluate the process??
    Please throw some light on the above questions

    Thanks,
    RFE_worried

    1. Aks

      You can try and request an MTR – Motion to Re-open if you feel the grounds for denying are incorrect and USCIS made a mistake. Please bear in mind the request has to come via the petitioner (your company), not from you (the beneficiary). You can always approach your company and request them to consider this option. Always better to consult an independent lawyer and get a second opinion since the company lawyers are always thinking from the company’s perspective and not from your perspective.

  10. Visa Got stamped

    Hi kumar @ all redbus friend… My visa got stamped yesterday after around 6 month of waiting..!!!!! Thanks to all fro providing info, suggestion and support through this portal.. All d best to all who are waiting for case approval and visa stamping… keep passion and trust on god..!!!!

    1. Acc-H1B

      Congrats buddy….which company and if it is possible kindly share you stamping experience….please one last gift to all redbus buddies….thanks

    2. Please share

      congrats Buddy. can you please share the experience,so that it will be useful to all of us?
      And after Status approval,in how many days you have received the documents?

      1. Visa Got stamped

        Hi All sure i am sharing my exp.in short.

        I got all my petition docs ( I-797 ,I-129 , LCA, employer letter etc) in a one week time after approval mail. after verify all docs and preparation i took appointment on 11th Sep ( OFC) and 14th( interview) at Kolkata location. here in kolkata no much rush as other embassy location.

        I reached before 45 min with all listed documents in my hand.
        > Petition docs
        > Passport ( New & Old)
        >educational docs
        > All Experience letter, training certis.
        > Current employer’s pay slip & bank statement
        > marriage certificate.

        I got token no.7 and after verification formalities i got number for interview

        I pass my greetings to VO and handover passport & petition docs to him.

        Que: since how long are you working with this company?
        Ans: its new for me
        VO laughed like i answered something wrong..
        Que: give me specific ans..repeat same que. again and continue laughing.
        I gave same ans in detail.. now he laugh more.
        Que: for how long are you going to US?– i answered.
        Que: who is your client
        Ans: XXX.. he laughed again and this time even in different way.. actually he wanted to check my passion and confidence..i stand calm and with smilly face.
        Que: what will you do there
        Que: what is your salary
        Que: which location are you going
        Que: when you will plan to go to USA.
        Que: when you will return?

        and after one min. he gave me my old passport and keep new one and said ” I am approving your visa…!!!!!” that’s what i wanted to listen…

        So overall it was nice exp. for me.. but for few seconds i thought he is going to reject my visa..when he laughed like evil.. :-(. but i didnt loose temper , confidence and never change my expression.

        Hope it will help to you guys… all d best.

  11. Waiting for Docs

    Hai Guys, My case was approved on July 13th and Till now didn’t receive any documents. May i know how much time generally it takes to receive docs and when i can go for stamping?

  12. RFE

    Hi Kumar,

    I have been asked to submit Client Letter, Position Description Letter, Org Chart , SOW and MSA for RFE.
    During case filing i have submitted client letter and org chart ,But was asked again.Due to client constraints, PM is not ready to share SOW and MSA. Now i have proceed with same old client letter and new Org chart and PDL. Is, Client letter would be enough ??
    Your note is highly appreciable .

    Thanks

  13. H1b

    in LCA….instead of 1120 Lane , i given 120 Lane. in remaining all documents i given correct address. h1b approved now. going for visa on coming Friday. will it be a problem. ?

  14. H1b

    instead of 1120 Lane , i given 120 Lane. in remaining all documents i given correct address. h1b approved now. going for visa on coming Friday. will it be a problem. ?

  15. RFE_Denial

    Below are the updates of my RFE response
    —————————————————————————-
    I have applied for H1b first time, April 13th lottery got picked
    —————————————————————————-
    I got RFE on June 15th, I have submitted RFE response on July 18th with Valid SOW, and client engagement letter

    But my case is denied.
    What options do i have?
    my cap counts, and my petition was denied, so can i apply for a different project?? Is there a chance??
    I work for Wipro…

    1. WiproRFE

      RFE_Denial

      Can you please tell which client you have applied for. What is the reason for denial. Am also from Wipro and submitted RFE document.

      Thank you
      Jyothsna

        1. Wipro_RFE

          Hi,

          Pls let us know what was the reason for denial. Did you check with GIMS team in wipro? As u have provided valid SOW then there should not be any denial case.

    2. H1Bhopeful

      As far as I am aware. Even if you apply for anotjer project you will be subject to the cap even if they apply for a different project since this petition got denied.

  16. RFE

    KUMAR,

    I got RFE asking SOW. But my client will renew every quarter the SOW.Current sow has validity til august 31st 2015 and i submitted the same to USCIS .Lesser validity of SOW leads to any issue

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It is very hard to tell what is going on through the USCIS officer. It would be best to submit the latest documents than the ones with past date.

  17. Vaishnavi

    Hi,

    My H1B petition got approved on 17th July and it is not yet stamped. My company applied my H1B for a client “A” and now my company is not going to work with client “A” from December 2015 onwards. My company is asking me to go for visa stamping in october. Should I mention my client as “A” in visa interview?

    If the visa interview happens as expected by specifying the client as “A”, then what are the further steps to consider to enter into US as my client “A” is no longer exist with my company after December 2015. I know that I will not work for client “A” and my company is not specifying anything about new client and further steps. They are simply asking me to get ready for visa stamping in october with same client “A”.

  18. RFE

    Abhay,

    can i know the validity of the SOW .even my rfe related to same but we submitted the SOW which has validity till AUG ,Still next quarter SOW is under renewal

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      NRS, yes, they do vary by that criteria. Yes, labor department has standards that have to be followed. You can check out H1B visa Sponsor’s database to get some idea. You can search by city or zip code and look at salaries. Also, there are public databases like FLCData center that can be used to check that.

  19. Ashish

    My employer is still showing the status Pending Lottery Status. I suppose the lottery status has been out by April 30th. Can somebody tell me what would be the probable/tentative status for me.

    1. VK

      Lottery results are already out. Few companies dont tell if its rejected. Few companies if approved dont let the employees know since there is a high possibility you can use that h1b anywhere else

  20. Abhay

    Thanks Redbus for continuous updates and providing one platform for all queries.

    Today my case got approved. Some info may be useful for others who are eagerly waiting to hear from USCIS.

    Case received :13th Apr
    RFE : 20th June
    RFE response : 12th Aug
    Approved date : 7th Sep
    WAC, Non-AD, RP

    Hope this helps.

    –Abhay

    1. RFE

      Abhay,

      can i know the validity of the SOW .even my rfe related to same but we submitted the SOW which has validity till AUG ,Still next quarter SOW is under renewal

  21. superzagu2001

    My case was approved last Sept 1 after waiting 60 days from receiving my RFE response. I am currently in the US with L1 visa from a different employer and scheduled to go back home in my home country this first week of October and planning to start my new work in the US in January next year. Would there be a problem with the visa stamping schedule or any problem at all with regards to my said schedule? I have read in this website that there is specific timeline for visa stamping and entry to the US. Can someone enlighten me up? Thanks!

  22. Nani

    Hi All,

    Kind thanks for your thoughts and ideas..hopefully it will not be a problem for those who are waiting for approvals.

    May Best wishes and God bless.

    Regards,
    Nani

  23. Optimist

    Dear Kumar,
    Thanks for replying to all my previous questions. I need a quick help on the below one as well:
    Prologue:So I was offered a Job with company X USA and they applied for my H1B. They said until you get a job work out of our company X in India. It is a product company and not a consultancy.
    In my I129(Letter to USCIS) etc., it was mentioned that I am currently employed with company Y ie. my previous employer.
    Ques: What should I answer to VO when they ask who is your current employer, how long have you been with the current employer etc.? Should I just say company X India and try to prove that I am moving from the Indian subsidiary of company X to US subsidiary of company X ? But this is’nt mentioned in my I129.
    Please help and thanks for reading through a long post

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      I suggest you check with your attorney, if that was a mistake or your company X is legally owned subsidiary of company Y. Many a times, the company’s legal company names could be different from the real brand name. Sometimes, the companies have different names in different countries and may have different taxing structure…So, your attorney would be the best person to advice on this as you will need documents to back anything that you say.

  24. Nani

    Hi All,
    Could some one guide me on below my status.

    Case Was Received
    On April 13, 2015, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXXXXXX, and sent you the receipt notice that describes how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your receipt notice by May 13, 2015, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Still how long does it take time to approval?
    Advance Thanks,
    Nani

      1. Nani

        Thanks Technology specialist.
        one more doubt……
        Will it get approve directly without any REF, I am bit worried about that.please clarify me.

        Thanks,
        Nani

        1. H1BHopeful

          Not Necessarily. A direct approval is not guaranteed, you could still get an RFE. I have heard cases where an RFE was issued in September as well.

          1. Nani

            Hi All,

            My case still is in case received status only, why It’s taking ages of time to push in to the next level. It’s almost 120 days after receiving receipt number from USCIS…Mine is Regular Process.
            Here anybody still waiting for Approvals & Received status?
            Advance Thanks,
            Your’s Nani.

    1. Hanu

      I got RFE on Sept 3…. Until last application process will be same. Wherever they feel that extra information required then they will ask for it.

  25. technology specialist

    Below are the updates of my REF response, Who have submitted the REF response, please don’t worry. It will get approved
    —————————————————————————-
    I have applied for H1b first time, April 13th lottery got picked
    —————————————————————————-
    I got RFE on June 15th, I have submitted RFE response on July 17th with Valid SOW, and client engagement letter

    Finally My petition got approved on 4th September 2015. Thank You God

      1. technology specialist

        Mine is Normal Process only, I just Replied to my RFE with Valid SOW and client letter, I hope your RFE will be approved before 17th of Sep

  26. Hanu

    I have received “Request for additional evidence notice was mailed” status(Online Status Check) on Sep-3. Yet to receive the RFE notice.

  27. Rahul

    Hi kumar
    Our check was en cashed in first week of may. We are still waiting for receipt number. We confirmed with lawyer he told that he has immigration stamp on his bank statement for check encashed. That is the only proof which shows we are selected please advise

  28. IamConfused

    Hi Kumar, My Employer has applied for H1B and my petition got approved and I am going for stamping next month.
    My approved form I-129 and my LCA have client A with address city HARTFORD, CT. Now I am working with same Employer, but for client B located at same HARTFRD city, CT State.
    Now my question is, if I am going for visa interview will the VO will ask for new client letter from client B or is it fine to go with the same LCA. Will there be any problem in the visa approval?
    Please be noted that my I-129 and LCA has client A address and My DS 160 has Client B address.
    Please help me

  29. Raj

    Hi Guys,
    My case status is “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed” since 25th June.. Its been very long time when can i expect an approval on this..any idea anyne?

    1. technology specialist

      Hello Raj,

      I think you got RFE and your petition has been suspended temporary,
      Please check with Your company or Consultancy to respond to your RFE With necessary documents to USCIS with in time frame.

      After submitting the RFE Response to USCIS, it might take 60 to 120 days to get approve your petition. Then only you can go for VISA interview.

  30. Waiting for Stamping

    Hai guys, My case was approved and am waiting for stamping.
    I want to know, any chances that,will be rejected during stamping? and if so, what can be the cases,to be taken care,when we go for stamping,to avoid rejections?

    Please help me in this….

    1. Congrats

      Hi…Congrats on your approval….now everything is based on your attitude…be confident and answer appropriately. Don’t volunteer information…..give exact answer…..follow the golden rule ‘No More No Less’ information. If consular officer needs any additional information he will ask you…so provide exact answer…

  31. kkv

    After long wait status is updated from “Name was Updated” to “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed” on Aug 25th.
    RP / WACWAC151405XXXX.

  32. name was changed

    Hi,
    My case was in recived status since 13trh april.. today it went to “Name was changed”….what is the meaning?….and when can i expect an approval on this..any idea anyne?

      1. technology specialist

        Your petition will get approved with in next 15 days..nothing to worry. If you dnt get RFE till this time means u r good.

  33. john

    hi,
    my h1b petition is approved but my visa stamping is not not done yet.now my project is over(client closed the project).my employer is asking to go for visa stamping using the same client letter that I got back in march/ will this create any problems?

    1. technology specialist

      it should not be a problem, If your petition got approved means you are almost done and ready to fly. Nothing to worry about Visa stamping.

      If they ask about ur client in VISA interview, You just say client is still exist and you are going to work for same client, It’s as simple as that 🙂 I wish all the success in your life.

  34. Johnny

    Hello KUmar, please help

    I worked for a company for 3 years and my visa was expired last june.that visa was a cap exempt h1b visa. Last april,The same comfpany applied for 3 years visa. This time they applied through lottery and i got selected. My new visa was approved and stamped. In a nutshell, my previous 3 years visa was a cap exempt visa and my new visa is applied through lottery not a cap exempt visa.my new visa is valid from october1st.
    My question is do i have to wait till september 21st to travel to us or can i travel anytime? I am asking this question because i am not sure my new visa is consired as an extension.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Johnny, if you will be utilizing the new H1B visa that is counted in cap and in lottery, I believe, you have to wait until September 21st. It is not really an extension for your old H1B as both are filed under different classes. Double check with your employer’s attorney on this, they would be the best person to advice.

    2. H1B Hopeful

      If you got it stamped and if there are conditions on your travel date. Then the visa stamp would have something similar to: “Not valid before Sept 21st 2015” under annotation.

  35. Bharath

    I got RFE today Aug 25th for my case. Totally frustrated with the process. (But cann’t do much about it :() How the hell we can submit RFE and get approval by Oct 1st. Please suggest by when can we get the approval then?

    1. technology specialist

      It’s hard to listen that you got RFE Now, But we cant do anything unless responding to RFE.

      If you wanna fly in October 1st week, better to switch your case to Premium processing, Else jusr respond to RFE under normal processing ASAP. so it will be cleared with in next 3 to 4 months.

  36. RFE RFE

    Hi,
    I received an RFE in June, iI have submitted my documents.
    After that my employer is still teling that USCIS hasnt responded.
    Any one here with RFE and then an approval/denial please respond.
    I do not have Case Number since my employer does not share the case number till the case is approved/denied.
    Is there any other way to track my case??

    1. Optimistic

      You need the case number to track. There are “N” number of people who are yet getting RFEs and USCIS takes time to revert. So, don’t worry but try to get the case number from Employer to track the case (Only way to track your case is to get the case number).

    2. RFEsucks

      Dude, I understand your situation. USCIS received by RFE response on June 16th and I still don’t have an update (so it’s been over 2 months) — just waiting for an approval (with fingers crossed). Ask your employer for the case number and track it online, no other way.

  37. Highderabadi

    My case got approved on Aug 20th.
    # WAC15143xxxxx
    Non-Ad
    Reg
    Hope this helps for peeps who are still waiting. I know how frustrating the wait is. Wish me luck for the stamping guys 🙂 Cheers !

  38. L

    Hi, my case status just changed to approved, having been pending since April 13. I’m wondering if anyone can tell me how long it typically takes to receive notice in the mail and arrange embassy interview? What is the likelihood of being ready to start work in the US on Oct 1st? Thanks.

    1. kg

      @L – I think It is depend on centre .. Mine got approved on 13th Aug. and today i got mail from my employer that he got original receipt and mailing to me.

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