Today, April 1st, is probably the most awaited day for many of the prospective work visa seeking professionals and students, who plan to work in US…If you are filing H1B for the first time, you may be curious to know many things about what to expect in the next few weeks or months…We have written many articles in the past that cover various aspects of H1B visa season. We will try to point to few of the articles that will help you understand on what to expect this 2017 season and pull some information from those articles as needed.
H1 Visa 2017 – FAQs : If you are already aware of H1B visa process and some details, you do not need to check this…but, many of the newbies would have questions like
- What is H1B 2017 cap ? Regular vs Masters Quota. ?
- What is H1B filing Fee ?
- How would someone find H1B Sponsors ?
- How about other past immigration reforms ?
Many such common questions are answered already at H1B Visa 2017 FAQs
H1B Predictions: We have done a detail analysis on macro-economic factors, job situation, unemployment, past history and done detail analysis, you should check out our H1B 2017 Lottery Predictions
How long does the H1B 2017 Season last?
Well, this can be a very tricky question, it totally depends on number of petitions they receive. It can range from 5 days to 10 months or more. The minimum H1B season duration would be for at least 5 business days, starting from April 1st, 2015. So, technically it would be until close of business day of April 7th. If USCIS receives more than 85,000 petitions during this time, then the season closes and USCIS will conduct a lottery to select those 85,000 petitions to fulfil the H1B cap. If USCIS does not receive enough petitions, which is 20,000 for US Masters students’ quota and 65,000 for regular quota, then USCIS will continue to accept until the H1B cap count of 85,000 is met. During recession period, the H1B Visa 2011 cap was reached on Jan 26th , technically it lasted for 10 months. But, as per our H1B Visa 2017 Predictions, we expect a lottery for FY 2017 and cap would be complete by April 7th.
When can we expect formal news and update from USCIS on H1B 2017 season?
Well, as per the history and our past experience, USCIS reports the official news regarding the H1B season petitions, counts, etc. after the first 5 business days. Last year for H1B Visa 2016 season, USCIS reported their first official H1B cap reached news on April 7th, 2015. We can expect first official news to be released on the same day, which is April 7th, Thursday for this year. Also, last year there were some delivery service errors and USCIS issued a news alert providing an option for employers to file a second petition. Hopefully we do not have such issues this year. You may read H1B 2016 Delivery Errors . But, always there is some news covered by from AILA and other attorneys regarding the petitions flow around April 3rd, it will not be official USCIS though 😉 …we will monitor the social media and keep our readers posted on the same updates.
When would the lottery be conducted for FY 2017 season? When will we get news ?
Well, this always depends on factors like the number of petitions that USCIS received and how much time they take to sort those out. Last year, the H1B 2016 Lottery Results were announced on April 13th. Last year, the lottery was conducted on April 13th and the year before it was April 10th. So, it would definitely be in the week of April 11th, unless the load is very high.
What is H1B Lottery ? How does it work : Based on the past experiences and guidance from USCIS, we have an article that talks about this. Read How does H1B Lottery or Random Selection Works ?
How about H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Results? When will I know the news and decision on my petition?
Well, unfortunately, it is a waiting game and there is no specific date for getting your results, unless you file the H1B petitions under premium processing. USCIS process petitions and keep sending receipt numbers and reject notices in their own sequence and there is no information on how they prioritize. You can see the results like receipt number and reject notices coming along, but it is the painful waiting game for everyone filed under regular processing. Last year, USCIS did a news alert indicating that they have returned all the rejected petitions on July 14th. So, you can expect the last date for receiving lottery decision around that…depending on the number of petitions filed this year, it may be earlier or even later in July or even early August.. We will have to wait for USCIS news release on lottery for this final date.
Who should you contact for your petition related information?
Your employer / immigration attorney is your only option to get information related to your H1B petition. You cannot really get information from USCIS or any other sources. Your employer / immigration attorney would get receipt number regarding your H1B petitions, which you can use to check on USCIS website. Also, they will get your H1B reject notice, if you were unlucky and did not make it through.
How do confirm, if my employer has filed H1B petition ?
Well, the only way you can know that your petition is filed is to get some information from your employer or immigration attorney by asking for things like below.
- You can ask for LCA Copy that was used for your petition
- You can ask for Fedex or UPS or mail related tracking information
- You can ask for the copy of the receipt notice, once they receive it.
- You can ask for the copy of reject notice from USCIS, if they say it did not make it to lottery
- You can ask for a copy of the application package that was sent to USCIS.
Some employer may share information, some may not. It is entirely up to them and their discretion…you have no way of knowing the truth unless they provide you the information…They do not have any legal commitment to share you that information as it was filed by them. Anyways, most of the employers do share fair amount information…
H1B Visa Filing Myths : Many newbies have confusions and misconceptions around the H1B lottery and how it works, including if there are any priorities for bigger companies, etc. We have wrote an article covering the same. Read H1B Filing , Lottery Selection Myths
How to Track your H1B ? As there are lot of unknowns, it is good to help each other by having an anonymous open tracking system. We have done this over the last three years and it helps everyone. Please add your case to details at our tracker link below and update the status as you have anything new for everyone to know some high level information. It is good for community, it is completely anonymous.
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H1B 2017 Updates : We have created an exclusive page for tracking the updates. You can bookmark this page and get all the updates : H1B Visa 2017 Cap count updates, News
Do you have any more questions? Any thoughts to add? Leave a comment…