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Steps after H1B Visa Approval – Visa Stamping, COS ?

Many of the lucky ones, selected in H1B Visa Lottery and have approved H1B Visa 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 to 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.

Background : H1B Registration, Petition Filing, Approval

Typically, once the H1B registration was selected in the H1B registration lottery process, most of the applicants would file the H1B petition with USCIS. After they file the H1B petition with USCIS, they would receive 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 receipt number to check the status on the USCIS website and got to know that your H1B petition was approved by USCIS. 

Now, once you see that approval status, as described in 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 to the applicant. Let’s look at the next steps.

Next Steps after H1B Approval from USCIS

The steps after receiving H1B Approval notice fall into two scenarios based on the H1B petition filing, either Consular Processing or Change of Status(COS). Let’s look at each of these in detail

Steps for H1B Petition filed as Change of Status (COS)

If the H1B petition was filed as a Change of Status(COS), it means that the applicant is already in the US and trying to move from one status to another status. It could be situations like someone on an H4 visa, F1 Visa, or any other visa type trying to move to H1B status. Below are the typical steps

Step 1 – Verify COS Approval & I-94 : The H1B applicant needs to verify if the change of status was approved or not along with the H1B petition approval. If the COS was approved, the H1B approval notice comes with I-94 attached to it. The validity date on the I-94 arrival-departure portion of the approval notice would also be same as the H1B approval notice.

Sometimes, the H1B approval does not come with Change of Status approval. It could be for reasons like not maintaining proper status in the US in the past. In such cases, the COS portion of the H1B would not be approved. If COS was not approved, there would not be an I-94 attached with the H1B approval notice. In such cases, the applicant would have to leave the country and get H1B visa stamping at a US consulate to work on H1B.

Step 2: Wait for October 1st to Start working: If your H1B was approved with COS approved, there is nothing you need to do. All you need to do is wait for October 1st and then join the company that you plan to work on H1B. If you are already working for that company on F1 OPT or something else, you can inform them to switch your status to H1B for their tracking and update I-9 form accordingly.

One important thing to note is that you do not need apply for H1B visa stamping as you are already in the US and maintaining proper status.

Now, let’s look at the steps for second scenario, where H1B was applied as Consualr Processing.

Steps for H1B Petition filed in Consular Processing

If the H1B petition was filed in Consular processing, it usually means that you need to get H1B Visa stamping done in order to start working. Usually, most of the applicants, who apply for Consular processing are based outside of the US, when they applied for H1B visa petition. Below are the steps

Step 1 : Gather all Documents for US Visa Application : If you are applying for H1B visa stamping, you will need a lot more documents in addition to your H1B visa approval notice. You need to have all documents and information related to your passport, your family personal information, your education certificates info, your US travel itinerary, your recent passport photo, etc.

Step 2: Complete DS-160 Form, Pay Visa Fee, Schedule Biometrics, Interview Appointments : After you have all documents, you need to first complete DS-160 Form that is nothing but US Visa Online Application form. You will use all the details from the previous step to fill the form.

Once you complete the DS-160 form, you need to pay the required US Visa fee of $190 USD either online or at a bank. Using that, you need to book appointments for giving Biometrics and In-person visa interview. You can check the Step by Step Guide to apply for US Visa to know more

Step 3: Attend Biometrics, in-person Visa Interview: You need to carry all relevant documents required for Biometrics appointment and in-person H1B Visa interview. Below are key documents that you need to carry :

  • Passport
  • H1B Approval notice ( I-797A Notice of Action )
  • Employment Offer Letter
  • H1B LCA Copy
  • Education Certificates – Bachelors, Masters degree ( as applicable)
  • Pay stubs ( if already working for the company)

You can check H1B Visa Stamping Document Checklist for complete details on the documents.

Step 4 : Wait for Decision, Collect Passport – Approve Visa : After the visa interview, you need to wait for the decision from the US consualte. If everything went well, your H1B Visa stamping would be completed and you get your Passport with H1B Visa foil glued in the passport. Sometimes, there may be additional processing required and consulate may issue 221g form for Administrative processing.

Step 5 : Travel to US Port of Entry, Enter US, Start Working : After you get your visa approved, your next step is to travel to US. Getting US visa stamping does not guarantee entry to US. The H1B applicant need to go through US Port of Entry Procedures and convince the CBP officer. Usually CBP officer would ask questions related to entry, do a quick security check, take fingerprints and let the H1B applicant into US, if no issues. Once you clear CBP at Port of entry, you are all set to start working at your company in the US office location.

Those are the steps after getting H1B Approval notice. Now, let’s now look at some common questions and situations.

H1B Sponsor Not giving the Approval Notice to Applicant

Sometimes, some employers from IT bodyshop 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 the leverage to bargain or terms, etc…again, it depends… Important thing to know is that, it is employer’s petition approval and you cannot really get it from anywhere else, only your employer can share that. They are not obligated to share that approval notice with you.

When can you apply for H1B Visa Stamping ? How many days Before ?

As per the US Dept. of State Consular processing website, for H1B work visa, you can apply for US Visa Stamping up to 90 days before the petition start date. If you went through H1B registration lottery, we can assume you are new cap-subject petition and your start date would be October 1st. So, if your start date is Oct 1, then you can plan and apply for H1B Visa Stamping anytime on or after July 1st

As background on why October 1st is the start date for new H1Bs, you need to know that as per rule, one cannot file for an H1B petition before 6 months from the requested start date to work in US. So, as the new Fiscal Year starts from October 1st of that year, you can only file on or after April 1st, which is when USCIS accepts petitions after H1B registration.

Now, 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 ?

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

Pre-departure checklist for H1B Visa holders

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

What are your experiences ? Add your thoughts in comments below

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


Other Articles


  1. MY Cap petition was approved in March 2019 but no stamping has been done and it was expiring on 8th oct 2019 . Can i apply for the Out Of Cap for the new project

  2. I got my H1B approved in may 2019. I am planning to get my Visa stamped in December, 2019 in India .
    I was working on my OPT and STEM- OPT for the same employer. So, I started working from May 2018.
    What should I write as my start date while filling the Ds-160 for H1B stamping, May 2018, or 1st October 2019 ?

  3. I received the OPT STEM extension approval (with EAD) and H1B approval notice on the same day (Consular processing – as there was no i94 and have a name of consular on the bottom of i797 form). I’m in the US since I graduated working for the same company for both applications. My F1 visa stamp has been expired for more than 2 years so if I go out of the US, I have to interview at home country consular to get a new stamp to come back. My question: at the consular, can I renew my visa stamp under OPT first and delay the start of H1B even when the consular has been informed about my H1B approval? If I want to use up my OPT STEM before getting the H1B stamp, is there any option more than avoid traveling abroad during the time I’m in OPT? Thank you for your help.

  4. Hi Kumar,
    My employer filed my H1B for me this year and it got picked up in April, and it turned into “”RFE” status because I was using CPT in early May. I had to make an urgent travel outside US later, so my case may get converted into consular processing. I was back to US in June and my case just got approved this week, with starting validity date on 10/01/2019. I wonder do I need to travel back to my own country to get the stamp and got back to US before 10/01/2019 ? Or I can do the travel after 10/01/2019 ?

    I really appreciate your help here, thank you !

    • Did you get the I-94 attached with the approval notice ? If you have valid I-94 attached, then you probably may not need to travel. Check with your attorney, USCIS and you can ask DSO as well to see what the SEVIS reflects.

  5. Hi there,

    I got my H1b visa approved and the laywer received the email with the notice of approval courtesy letter in July and it was written that my employer should have received the original letter in few days. It is the end of August and my employer has not received yet the original copy of the letter.
    I have already fill out DS 160 and I have my appointment with the embassy in Madrid sept 16. What should I do if the employer does not receive the original letter by the time I have to travel to Spain?
    Is there a phone or email I contact to the USCIS to notify them about the missing letter?

  6. Hi Kumar,

    My company scheduled H1b visa stamping on October last week. My client wants me to be in USA in first week of October. When I checked with our company team they told like this is the earliest date we got. Is there any way where we can get early appointment dates or any site to check the available appointment dates


  7. Hi KUMAR- I’ll have completed five years on L1B upcoming Oct.19. If I leave USA and go home country before 30 sept 19, can I be eligible for apply full 6 years on H1B petition in Apr 2020 . Pls reply ASAP. Thanks

    • Yes, technically you would be as you would have spent one year outside of US. Instead of cutting it to last day, leave like 5 to 10 days before to be safe.

  8. Hi

    Firstly appreciate your patience Kumar.

    My Masters is finished in Mechanical engineering. Now I m in CPT (pursuing MBA), just completed first semester and my H1B visa is approved in premium processing.

    Now I am planning to come India on oct 3rd for stamping. Do I need to enter my CPT course details in DS-160 form ? Because in form it is mentioned only to enter completed courses details. Is it necessary to fill CPT course details though the course is not yet completed? Please share ur valuable answer

    • Hema,
      🙂 I am not sure, if you need to list every course taken in University. You would usually list the degree done and not on a credit taken level by course… I do not recall doing it on course credit level myself. Post a screenshot in Forum, so that I can check. I will review and respond.

  9. I have given my screen name instead of the username in the facebook and LinkedIn social media handle section. I have already submitted the ds160 and booked dates. Will it be a problem?

    • Well, we have no information on how the state department will look at them as so far we have not seen any 221g or any cases related to the same. If you think they would not be able to locate your profile publicly using the name, then it does not hurt to re-submit or call the customer service and clarify. Do let us know, once you talk to customer service.

  10. Urgent help.

    I had valid petition which was never stamped. Filed extension from India. But it got approved only till 2019 year end.

    1. Can I go for stamping?
    2. When to file extension?

    Any issues in stamping or POE?

    • Yes, you can as long as you have the job valid in US and there is enough proof for the same.
      You can file it anytime up to 6 months before expiration.
      It all depends on the petition, your employer, profile, etc. Cannot generalize.

  11. I have given my name only in the facebook and LinkedIn social media handle section. I have already submitted the ds160 and booked dates. Will it be a problem?

  12. My h1b got approved. Can I travel on sept. end to India, get visa stamped and come back to usa on mid october? I am concerned about if I can leave USA before October 1st?

  13. My case was approved in 2017 but there has been no progress yet. What should I expect from my employer and how can I proceed further for visa stamping? How do I know whether my case is still valid after 2 years of approval?

    Waiting to hear Back

    Thanks and Regards

    Subhankar Chatterjee

    • Check with your employer, if you still have option to go and work….You need to have a role for you that was filed on your behalf…

  14. I am in USA, got my H1b approved. I am travelling to India and get my visa stamped there.
    What steps do I need to follow for that? I will be filling ds160, paying visa fees. Do i need to go to OFC for biometric ? Or I will directly go for visa interview?

  15. If you got only classification approved without extension of stay but then visa stamp is approved through consular processing, does uscis send some notification to your h1b employer?

  16. Hi,

    I have applied for H1B with COS this year. I am currently on CPT. I got an RFE. My lawyer suggested to withdraw COS and have it filed under Consular processing because in my RFE, they have asked a lot about my CPT and no questions were asked about my company or specialty occupations.. Which is why the lawyer suggested to take the other route so it is easy approval (not guaranteed).

    * What are the chances that My application will be approved?

    * Also in this case, if my application is approved without COS, do I have to go to India before October 1st to get stamping done (because of consular processing)? or can I wait until my semester ends in the end of October to go to India and have my passport stamped?

    Any advice or suggestions will help and is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

  17. I got RFE for my 2019-20 petition. So there would be some delay in getting approval notice or might be denial notice too. I have some personal emergencies even so I don’t want to travel to US until 2020 end. So is there any way I can keep my petition alive until 2020 end and then plan to travel?

    • Not necessarily, you can go to other countries like Canada. You need to check with the country’s consulate to verify, if they allow stamping for Third country nationals.

  18. I am currently in US on a F1 visa and was approved as of June 12th 2019 for H1B visa. I have my confirmation letter, and I have notified my employee. I plan to travel back to Haiti, my home country in December. I am wondering where I can get my passport stamped before I travel. Is there anyway to do it in US? Should I travel to Canada? I would prefer to have the passport stamped before I return to Haiti.

    • You cannot do it in US, you need to do it in your home country or other countries, where they allow third country nationals stamping. The recommendation is to go to home country…

  19. Hi there,
    I am an Indian software engineer and I have got my H1b application approval. Is this necessary to appear for visa stamping in July2020?Can I not do it in September or October???

  20. I filed for it last year (April 2018) and got an approval last week. It has been a long wait. I am now waiting for the attorney to share the approval with me so that I can proceed with the next steps.

    Afaik, the next step will be to fill up the DS-160 and collate the documents required. Is that correct or is there something else that i can do in parallel, independently?

  21. Hi ALL,

    I got a receipt notice on April 11th(2019) I payed premium processing, and today is May 6th, when should I get my case approval or more documents needed? Can I request refund since they are taking more than 15 days to provide an answer? Im just wondering what is 15 days guaranty means.

    Thank you!

    • No additional documents needed, unless USCIS issues an RFE. the 15 day clock starts on May 20th. They will give refund automatically, if they do not meet the 15 day SLA.

  22. H1B stamping
    I am an Indian national working in Caribbean since a year. I got my H1B (uncapped) approval, the consulate notified is New Delhi.
    Can I go to a US consulate in Caribbean itself say Barbados for stamping?

  23. Hi Kumar,
    Currently I am in US on L1B status valid until mid 2018.
    My H1B petition got approved with consular processing in October 2018. It was applied with Consular processing to avoid the restriction on overseas travels as I had some planned out of country travels in August 2018.
    Now, can my attorney file amendment to change/transfer my L1B to approved H1B petition/I129 ? I do not have any immediate plan to travel out of country so do not really want to go out of country just for visa stamping.
    My employer is same, customer is also same for last few years and for next few years.
    Please suggest. Thanks in advance!!!

  24. I applied for H1B in May and got an RFE on it which i completed in August. I didn’t hear back and got transferred to another country. My H1-B just got approved last week (before I left the US). The lawyers are sending me the packet but I haven’t heard of a case like mine before. My question is:

    1. How long can I wait before stamping my H1-B visa and will it still be valid? I want to know if I can defer it or wait a year before stamping because I would like to have the experience in this new country.

    Please help if you know the answer

  25. Finally relieved ,
    Guys Im happy to share that my H1b got approved on Oct 18. The wait has been really tough and I thank this forum for enormous amount of help through the discussions. I hope people waiting for the decision get it at the earliest
    Non AD, WAC, Received on May 12, Approved on Oct 18.
    Not updated on Worktheme and egov . I have checked it on the uscis my account page.

  26. Hi,
    I have got my receipt number back in May 2018. I am getting some error when trying to track the status in the USCIS site but my employer assured that the petition has been successfully filled and this year the status page is not work properly. So I am unable track the status.
    So can you please let me know when can expect some news (approval/RFP) on my petition keeping the current affairs in mind?

    • You just need to wait, there is no SLA. It can take few weeks to few months…You can ask your employer to give you a copy of the receipt to be sure, it is right one you are trying. Sometimes, the system is not up to date.

  27. I have received my EAC number long time back but have not heard anything after that. Is there any last date for getting an RFE or H1B approval? The working start date is 1 Oct. Is it possible that no reply comes ffrom USCIS even after 1 Oct??

    • No specific timeline is given by USCIS for decisions…logically, you are right, they have to come by October 1st, but with the load, they often delay and does not happen on time. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is wait…

  28. Hi, I have some confusion regarding the I-797C approval notice. Appreciate if someone could answer it.

    I am on F-1 OPT and my employer handed me a copy of my H1B approval notice (I-797C) in June of 2018. I took it to DMV yesterday to extend my driving license as my OPT expires in August 2018. DMV asked me for an I-94 update and an original copy of I-797.

    What is an original copy of I797 with I-94 update?? Am I supposed to get another letter regarding my H1B approval which updates my status to H-1 on my I-94??

    Thanks in advance,

  29. Hello,

    I Got my h1b from my previous employer A on Feb 2013 and expired on Dec 2013. I got it stamped but never travelled on it. Then I filed for transfer with my current employer B. I got my approved petition in Jan 2017 and it’s valid till Dec 2018. I have 3queries reg the same
    1) if my current client doesnt agree for stamping n if there is a new client offering me a job, I know I shd do amendment with the new client.. Can I do stamping with the new client itself or shd it be done from old client only?

    2) if I do the stamping frm either of dem, n stamping dates are greater than petition dates, will there be any issues in future.

    3) when should I possibly go for extension? Before Dec 2018


  30. Hello,
    I’m currently working in the U.S. under OPT status. My H1B petition got selected this year in the lottery, and I am waiting for the approval. I’m planning to travel to Canada in August (I’m not Canadian), and am wondering if I can reenter the U.S. after my petition is approved. For example, if I get approval in July, can I travel to Canada in August and reenter the U.S.? I live in the U.S. now.
    Thank you.

  31. What is the Visa stamping process for people already working in US and have been picked in H1B lottery? I have received my EAC number yesterday and my OPT date is also extended in SEVIS portal, so I assume I have been picked in lottery. I am on F1-OPT and work for a US employer. Will I have to go to India for H1B stamping after I get H1B approval letter? Will the dates as mentioned in this article of 90 days and 10 days prior to Oct 1st be applicable?

    • If your employer has filed the petition with Change of Status, then your F1 will automatically switch to H1B and the I-94 attached to your approval notice will be your new I-94 for status. If it was filed as consular processing, then you will need to go and get H1B stamping and re-enter on H1B status. You can go for stamping 90 days before start date and enter 10 days before start date.

  32. Hi,

    My company applied H1B for me and it got picked on April 28, 2018. Now I am on STEM OPT and I am planning to go to India for my marriage on Jun 20 and I will be back on July 15. My question is, is it safe to travel to India at this point of time ? If it is possible to go to India, what are the steps I need take. Please suggest me ..


  33. Tiji

    I recieved the status update that my case has been approved on dec 2017 and its been over 3 months now , we haven’t recieved the approval notice. what is going on and what should we do.

    I enquired with our sponsor but they have asked us to stay positive as it is still in processing. I am confused because the next round of H1B applications have started. So what happens to the previous years approved H1B applications that are not completed.

  34. HI
    my X employer filled my h1b for future employment its got picked but from july i am working in A company fulltime permanent position,
    my h1b case picked up but got RFE, my employer submitted docs,though today my h1b got denied,, so what should i do can i reapply for second petition or MTR or any suggestions plzzz

  35. Hi,

    My H1B was approved on Nov 29th (Premium Processing). The status online currently says “Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed”. I want to know what exactly is emailed. Is it the i797 itself that is emailed, or just a notification saying it was approved.

    Also, what is referred to as Approval Notice? Is the i797 also called approval notice, or is approval notice another independent document besides the i797.


    • max 2 weeks it would reach the Attorney. Congrats on your Approval!you must receive I797A(if filed in COS) or I797B if filed in consular processing. It would state clearly that your visa has been approved and the visa validity period is mentioned in it. This is the Approval notice and nothing else is sent.

      • @Ram if you are the admin , I would like to give a suggestion for the page . Create a pinned FAQ section where most frequent questions and answers are pinned . so that your work will be easier .

        • It is a good idea. But, the fact is most of the info is already on the site as articles, but still people ask it again. Creating a page like that may help few, but I am afraid, everyone will continue to ask…

  36. Hello Saurabh,

    My H1-B status shows approved awaiting the official letter by mail. I have a work related travel coming up in the first week of October when I would ideally change status from F1 to H1-B. Should I take an appointment in US consulate of the country I am visiting or my best chance would be to go to India all during one trip and get it done? Or, Should I get it done beforehand during September, 2017 before flying out or is it going to be too ambitious?

    If you could answer that for me.
    Thank you.

  37. Hi,

    Please respond to this question.

    I’m on OPT and currently working as a full-time employee in Company A, another Company B filed my H1B Change of Status and I got RFE which is to be submitted in Mid October,

    Suppose If I get approval in NOVEMBER, Can I wait and work with company A for few days and join Company B? or How many days will I have to switch to H1B employer?

    If the answer is zero days then,
    What is the start date?
    Card issue date? or there is gonna be a start date?

    Thank you in advance for reply.

  38. Hello,

    I have approved H1B petition with validity till 30 Dec 2017, which is not stamped yet. My previous employer couldn’t process it for an year, so i changed my employer recently. Now the new employer told that they can process it. I want to know the processing steps on this scenario, and the processing time. Currently i am in India working with my new employer.

    Appreciate your valuable reply in advance,

    • Your new company has to initiate transfer of Visa. Once transfer is approved, you can travel to USA. It takes 6-8 months in normal processing for approval. Since your existing Visa is about to expire, you may have to file extension too. As of 08/30/17 Premium processing for H1B has been suspended. Hence you can file it only in normal processing.

  39. Hey.. i am shortlisted for H1B & awaiting a response. By when do i get a clarity on status of my visa. My online status shows ” name updated for I 129 on July 21st”.

  40. I am already working in US with some valid work visa, This year applied for H1B visa and got approval notice, from October 1st.

    Can I simply apply for Change of status now and go for stamping next year 2018, planning for a trip on Summer time ?

    Or Stamping is must to work from October 1st ?

    • you can apply Change of status and start working on H1B once approved. Later when you leave and reenter US, you can get your H1B stamping.

  41. Hi there, can someone please clarify when do I need to go for my H1-B extension. I recently got my Amended petition Approval Notice from USCIS which is valid till 04/11/2018. My passport stamping is valid till 07/31/2018. I was asked to apply for extension 6 months before the vis expiration date. I am confused now, which date I need to consider to apply for extension. Will that 6 months before 07/31/2018 or 6 months before 04/11/2018?

    Much appreciated is someone clarifies.

  42. Hi Saurabh,

    My case got picked up in lottery and I am still waiting for visa approval. However, I have dependent H4 visa on my husband’s H1B. Can I enter US on my H4 (and is it advisable??) and till date what date my H4 remains valid if H1B is approved. Within how many days of approval do I have to come back to my home country for stamping?

    • Has your H1B been filed as COS(From H4 to H1B)? If not, you can enter US on H4 when H1B is in progress. Once H1B is approved, you can come anytime back(Depends on requirement your Employer has) to your home country, get your stamping and re enter US on H1B.
      If your H1B has not been filed as COS, then your H4 remains valid till the date of expiry provided during Visa stamping.
      If H1B is filed in COS, then H4 becomes invalid on the start date of your H1B. If filed in COS, you need not come back for stamping and get stamping when you leave US.

      • Hi Ram,

        After my H-1B visa is approved and when I get a stamping done from my home country and re-enter states, is there any time period that I need to work in the US in H-1B visa?

        I am asking this questions as I am planning to go back to my home country after few months. But I might want to come back to US after a year or two.

        In this case, will my H-1B visa be valid?

        • As long as your H1B Visa has not expired, you can legally stay in US and work. There is a minimum requirement of time period in which you will have to stay and work.
          You can re enter US on H1B if you have not fully utilized your 6 years of time.

          • Hi Ram,

            Thanks for your response.

            Do you know what is the minimum requirement of time period in which you will have to stay and work in US, the first time you get your H-1B Visa approved?


  43. If I am on working in the US on a F1 Visa. Once I apply for a H1B visa stamping. Do I need to go back to my country to get my passport stamped? Or Can I get that stamp on a consulate?

    • Miguel,
      H1B visa stamping is usually done either in border countries or your home country. Some consulate in border countries like Canada offer stamping, some do not. It is advised to go to home country to avoid issues…but some prefer stamping in canada , etc…it is purely an option of choice. You should check with the embassy in neighbouring countries if they allow stamping or not for your country of origin and visa type.

      • I am working on an F1 visa. How many days approx. would I need to travel back to my country, go to an embassy or consulate, get the stamp and come back to continue working for the same company?

  44. Hi ,
    If my case is approved. Is it possible to switch to other company before i go for Visa Stamping . If yes what all the Process we need to perform .

    Actually my company wanted me to work with them now after they got to know my H1b lottory is picked . Please answer

  45. Hi, I received my receipt notice last April 11, 2017 but still haven’t got any updates as of today. How many days does it typically take for the H1b visa to be approved? Also, it says that you can only travel to the US 10 days before Oct 1st, but since I have a tourist visa which is good for 10 years, can I use it so that I can go earlier to the US?

    • marione_isabela,

      It may take few months. Now that everyone has received their receipts, they will start processing the petitions starting w/ the earliest ones that were receipted.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the response. What are the chances that the petition gets denied? What are usually the grounds for denial?


  46. Hi Saurabh,

    My case is approved fror FY18. After aproval howmany days it will take to get my signed LCA and final docs.

    I want to change my location as my LCA filed with old location. Howmuch time it will take to get my signed LCA and location change and final docs?

    FYI i am first timer got selected in lottery filed under non AD category from US giant MNC.


    • H1b Question,

      Once approved, the petition document should be received by attorney within 1-2 weeks (SLA is 30 days). They can get the new LCA processed even now and file amendment soon after approval notice has been received.

  47. Saruabh

    Have another question for you.

    If my h1b for FY18 is approved, can i reserved it to use it at a later time? For example: If i join a non-profit now for a cap-exempt h1b, and then let say 2 years from now. I want to switch to a for profit company, would i able to apply with a cap-exempt petition with an approval notice from now? (By that time, my current employer must have withdrawn the H1b already).

    • Steve,

      Once the petition has been approved, you can use it as reference for a future cap-exempt for-profit H-1 petition. Some people are of the opinion that you should work for at least sometime in the H-1 status in order to use this petition as reference in future. I have seen experiences that suggest otherwise but you should check w/ an attorney.

  48. Hello,

    My H1B extension/amendment petition got approved on 30-mar-2017 in USCIS website, but i haven’t still (as of 2-May-2017) got the Hard copy of Approved petition and new I94. Now i have to file another amendment for relocation. Is the hard copy of previous petition (with I94) needed (mandatory) to file new amendment.

    • Sheik,

      As it has been more than 30 days since it was approved, your attorney should follow-up w/ USCIS about the doc. The new amendment can be applied using old approval notice and amendment’s receipt notice. USCIS can get the details on the amendment using the amendment receipt number.


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