April 23rd H1B Visa 2013 Cap count Update – 5,600 petitions, Prediction

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 127 Comments

USCIS has released its weekly H1B cap count updates for FY 2013 yesterday. The cap count update includes petitions received until April 20th, 2012. Below are the numbers:

  • 4,400 new H1B petitions were filed under Regular quota
  • 1,200 new H1B petitions were filed under Masters degree quota

H1B Visa 2013 cap count updates by USCIS on April 23rd, 2012:

H1B Petition Filings Total Cap Current Cap count
Regular Quota 65,000 25,000
Advanced degree Quota
(Masters degree)
20,000 10,900
Total 85,000 35,900
Remaining H1B Cap 49,100

H1B Cap count numbers Analysis – Increased filings
Well folks, there is some good movement in H1B cap count numbers. If we compare the cap count numbers from this week, with last week April 17th, H1B 2013 update numbers, the regular quota filings have gone up by 1200 from 3,200 last week to 4,400 this week. Unlike, the advanced degree filings are down slightly by 300 from 1,500 last week to 1200 this week. Overall, the number of filings have gone up by about 900.  I am not sure, if we can expect the increase every week, but something to watch out…I have done some high level predictions using linear regression ( not enough data), if we expect the same pace of H1B petitions filings:

  • Regular quota H1B cap may exhaust by July end
  • Advanced degree cap may exhaust by July 1st.
  • My experience says that Masters quota can be exhausted earlier as we can expect more filings after Spring Graduation Ceremony in May.

From US Economy perspective, the US Jobless claims are up slightly. They have been up slightly from the four year low and trending up. Recent CNN Economists survey says that the unemployment may go down to 8% from 8.2% by the end of the year and we may not expect speedy recovery…On the other hand, positive news from  National Association of Business Economics’ survey, saying that employers expect to do more hiring in the next 6 months. From H1B visa jobs perspective, it is a good news as there will be more skilled workers required in 2012 and 2013.

What are your thoughts on US jobs and economy ?

H1B Cap Count 2013 – Regular Quota  Graph

H1B visa 2013 cap count update Regular quota April 23rd 2012

Masters Degree H1B cap count 2013 Graph

H1B visa 2013 Masters degree cap count update April 23rd 2012

   

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Comments ( 127 )

  1. pranav

    Hi saurabh,
    I m in Accenture and the company has filed cap exempt premium petition for h1b. Today I got to know that it has got rfe. What are the chances of getting approval.
    Rfe is regarding employer employee relationship.

  2. Madhavan

    Hi Saurabh,

    I belong to company accenture and my h1 b is expiring on 31 st december. My company has filed my petition under premium processing on 1st november. Will it be fine for me too book tickets of travel in january as i have pans of vacation or is it possible under premim processing also i may not get approvals by that time.

    Thanks
    madhavan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Madhavan,
      The only case in which H-1 approval will be delayed is if RFE is issued and then your employer takes some time to respond to it. However, knowing that it was filed by Accenture, chances of RFE are pretty low.

  3. Soni

    Hi Suarabh,
    Sub: H1b -RFE-Denial-MTR, EAD expired
    I graduated with MBA last year and had 12 months of OPT. My employer (small sized business and technology firm) filed for H1b and got a RFE for asking more information about the company’s profile. My H1 got denied on 26th Oct 2012. My company will file for MTR however, now my EAD has expired. Please advice on following:

    1)How long can I stay in US since my EAD expired on Oct 2nd 2012?
    2)When my employer files for MTR, can I continue living in US till I receive response from USCIS?
    3) Is it safe to apply for a certificate/additional course meanwhile till I get a response on MTR?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Soni,
      1. You have 60 day grace period b/c of your F-1/OPT
      2. No, MTR doesn’t give one authorization to continue staying in US
      3. You can enroll in another program, yes. I would suggest talking to your DSO as well.

  4. Riti Shivhare

    Dear Saurabh,

    I have 5+ yrs of experience in IT, hold Masters degree (MCA) & working with an IT firm. My husband would be flying to USA next month. As my company doesn’t have any onsite requirement, I am looking out for H1B Visa sponsors. I see few openings as well on few sites. I would like to know:
    1. If i apply for the job & get through, how do the company get H1B done for me (as new quota for Visas will only open in April 2013).
    2. Also, if they apply Visa for me in the start of April 2013, how many months does it take to get it done. Can it be done by May 2013 by any chance?
    3. If getting H1B Visa through any sponsors won’t be possible, my only option would be to go on H4. In that case, is it possible to get H1B sponsors while being on H4 in USA.

    Thanks,
    Riti

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Riti Shivhare,
      1. The company will have to wait until April 2013 to file H-1 for you. Even if they are willing to hire you now, they cannot do it until your H-1 gets approved and you move to H-1 status (earliest date for this to happen is Oct 2013)
      2. H-1 processing can take 15 days (premium processing) to up to 6 months. Irrespective of how long it takes to process, the earliest start date to work is Oct 1.
      3. Yes, an employer can file H-1 for you while you are in US on H-4. They will have to file H-1 petition along w/ COS (change of status) from H-4 to H-1. Once approved, you can start working on H-1 (again Oct 1 constraint) w/o needing to get H-1 visa stamped in the passport (this requires COS to be approved).

      1. Riti Shivhare

        Thanks a lot Saurabh for valuable comments. I would rather fly on H4 now. Have another query. My Husband’s Visa is valid only till Feb. 2013.
        1. Once he reaches USA, what docs would be needed for filing the extension.
        2. We hear that he needs to have at least 3 months salary slips in USA, then only the company qualifies to file the Visa extension for an individual. True?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Riti Shivhare,
          1. Same documents are initial H-1 petition filing. In addition, copy of your I-94 (received when you enter US), copy of 797 and payslips for the applicable period
          2. If the person has stayed in US for more than 3 paycycles, then at least 3 payslips are required. If the person has stayed in US for less than 3 paycycles, then all the payslips for the time spent in US

          1. Riti Shivhare

            Hi Saurabh, I seek help for few more queries. My husband’s visa validity is only till 2nd week of Feb. 2013. He will fly to USA mid Nov. 2012.

            1. How soon he/(the company on his behalf) needs to initiate the process of H1B extension once he reaches USA.
            2. As the H1B is valid only till mid Feb. 2013, how soon I need to fly on H4? Is it okay if I plan the travel in 1st week of Feb. 2013.
            3. Can I travel on his current petition copy, until Feb., once the process of visa extension has been initiated.

            In case I am not able to travel until 2nd week of Feb. 2013(till current Visa is valid):
            4. I believe i can only travel once the extension is approved and he has valid visa extension copy. True?
            5. How much time does it take for normal processing of visa extension & how much for premium processing?
            6. Whats the extra cost for premium processing (in case it needs to be borne by us).

            Thanks lots for all the help. Looking forward for the responses.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Riti Shivhare,
            1. It needs to be filed prior to H-1 petition expiration date
            2. You can travel to US prior to H-1 expiration date. However, I would suggest travelling to US prior to your husband filing for his extension. This way, your H-4 extension can be filed along w/ his H-1 extension
            3. You can travel on current petition, and then file for H-4 extension. The drawback is that H-1 extension and H-4 extension would have been filed separately and may get processed at different times.
            5. Regular can take 2-6 months, while PP is done within 15 calendar days (not including RFE time)
            6. PP cost is always $1225.00 per petition.

          3. Riti Shivhare

            Thanks a lot Saurabh. Can you help with these as well:
            1. I applied for passport after my marriage (married for last 1.5 yrs) but due to lack of IDs, applied it from my hometown and have my father’s name on it. I didn’t mention spouse’s name. I have got the marriage certificate made few days back. During H4 Visa interview can it be an issue, as to why it doesn’t have my spouse’s name. I have the marriage card, wedding album & marriage certificate with me.
            2. My husband’s H1B visa is valid till 12th Feb. 2013. He is flying mid Nov. 2012. Due to constraints I will only be able to fly only after 15th Jan. 2013 . I am seriously worried if I can fly so late. Will there be any issues at port of entry?

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Riti Shivhare,
            1. It is ok to not have the names mentioned in the passport. Having marriage certificate, wedding card/album should be sufficient.
            2. Yes, you can. Ask your husband’s H-1 employer to issue a letter stating that extension has already been applied (if they have applied the extension by your entry date) or will be applied soon after you enter US. You can talk to your attorney as well about this.

  5. Amit

    What happens to cancelled or rejected seats of H1B VISA?Does the UCIS accepts new H1B applications to fulfill total number of quota for that year?Thanks.

      1. Long waiting

        Saurabh,
        Does it mean if the number of approved petitions reaches the quota, all RFE will be denied and who submitted RFE first better get a chance than who are responding it later ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Long waiting,
          No. They would process all petitions even if their initial estimate of extra petitions make them go over 65K approved petitions.

  6. harshini

    hi,

    I have filed my h1b on APR 2012 with employer B when i was working in US with employer A as L1B visa holder.My L1B visa valid till 2014.
    Due to some reason i required to come back to india and need to stay for couple months.Still my H1B is under processing.
    My question here,if my petition is approved while i am india, Can i go back to US with my L1B(employer A) and change my job there with my approved H1B petition. Here i just want to avoid stamping as my employer B is consultant .Please suggest.

  7. aditya verma

    Hi,
    My question is what if I get the H1B visa from my current employer and then I immediately resign and join a new company. So, will I be able to go from the next company on that visa. If not then how much time it will take to get the formalities done.
    Thanks
    Aditya.

  8. Ankur

    Hi Saurabh,

    I appeared for H1B Visa Interview on july 26th 2012 at Delhi consulate. It was smooth interview. He asked me with state/city, which company, whom do you report, what’s your project and what company do? I will be working for internal project and then he asked project details that i described him properly.
    At last, he asked employer letters write to USCIS (including I797, LCA, Offer letter, my edu. evaluation, resume and many more). He didnt issue any slip to me and said he wanted to review the application. Due to urgent short travel, i chose not to deposit my passport and asked if i can submit my PP later. He was convinced.
    Since VO didnt issue any slip (green, pink, white, blue). Is my case gone into AAP. Do i submit my PP to VFS or should i wait for their email to submit it. What are the chances now.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ankur,
      To me it looks like AAP. You can contact VFS and ask about the passport. Usually they ask you to submit passport once they have completed their processing.

      1. Ankur

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the reply. I got an email to submit passport last friday and i submitted today monday morning at VFS Center.
        It stated in meial “Kindly note, you are requested to submit your passport at the nearest VFS centre for further processing.

        Please log on to the given link in order to check the nearest US Visa Application Centre.

        VFS Centre Timings: – 8:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 3:00pm (Monday to Friday).

        Also you need to pay Rs183/- in cash (VFS Service Charges) while submission of passport/Documents at the respective VFS centers.

        Note: You need to carry the hard copy of this email for your reference.”

        They charged me RS 183 and took passport.

        Thanks
        Ankur

  9. raji

    Hi ,

    I have a H1b approved in 2005. I applied for H1 transfer in 2006 and it was rejected in 2007 . can I apply for H1b transfer now? Since the current year cap is over, would my application fall under last 6 year quota?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raji,
      Your’s is a border line case. I suggest talking to an attorney if you can avail cap-exempt H-1 or not.

  10. Thomas

    Hi Saurabh,

    My fiancee is applying individual H1B from India .She already applied for H1B petition and she is planning to go for H1B visa interview on August 1st week. August 2 7 is our marriage.

    Can we apply H4 for her since I have valid visa if her H1B is getting rejected..

  11. Ravi

    Hi

    My wife already got H1b stamping for 2012…She s waiting for project assignment to come for USA..I have already got H1b stamped working in USA. In the meantime i am willing to take my wife & Kid with me in H4 stamping…If i file H4 whether any issues will come for her H4 stamping…We need to stay together in USA….

    Kindly suggest the possible solution to me to get my wife & Kid in H4….

    Thanks
    Ravi

  12. Manu

    Hi,

    I was in US on H-1b will June 2011 and my that petition is expired now. Now I am in India and to Apply for H1b again but Cap is now over this year. I came to know if you have received H1B in last 6 year then you wont come under Cap and you can apply even Cap is over. Please suggest is this correct and I can apply for H1B even now.

    Thanks
    Manu

  13. Tina

    for much time r we allowed to stay on h1 visa including extension. I am on l1 visa n have applied my h1 visa. I have been on l1 for 18 months time now. after my h1 is approved will these 18 months be subtracted from Max. stay of permitted h1 ? for ex. on h1, lets assume Max. stay is 6 years. will I be allowed to stay 6 years starting from Oct 1 or will 18 months of my l1 be subtracted from those 6 years of my h1?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Tina,
      If you have spent 18 months in US on L-1, then you can spend 72-18 = 54 months on H-1 in US. Only the time spend inside US is counted towards the 6 year ceiling.

  14. Yash

    Hi i am offered 65K in NJ i want to know what will be Take home Salery in NJ in this package and am i able to save anything.

  15. Ankur

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a question regarding consulate center: I am in india and my petition has approved for next 3 years & on i-797, it shows Consulate: New Delhi. I want to visit my aunt in canada next month. Is it feasible if i go to Canada for H1 visa stamping. Will it safe there.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ankur,
      One is always advised to attend the visa stamping in their home country. As you will be in CA on a tourist visa, you may not be allowed to attend H-1 interview from there.

      1. Ankur

        Saurabh,

        Thanks for the reply. but most of the applicants whose residing in US, they have gone to CN for visa stamping on canadian tourist visa and successfully get it. (I was in states and come to india for stamping last yr but GOT 221G and case sent to USCIS for futher review).

        Second, what are the chances if i re-apply for visa interview at same consulate location with same employer with whom my previous petition is with uscis for further review from last june 2011. will they ask me that they can’t process with new petition until wait for the decision on the last petition. or they would process with new petition with the impression that “i am waiting for last one year with no response from USCIS.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ankur,
          Although they are also on tourist visa in CA, their case is different as they came from US to CA w/ the purpose of getting visa stamped. Yours will be different. In addition, you have received 221g on your current stamping, which adds another layer of uncertainty.

          I would suggest going through the article “The Beast called 221g” (you can search it from archives link at the top), which has more information about the options you have.

  16. Ankur

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working on H1-B from Oct 2009 from Employer A and transferred my h1-b to Employer B on sep2010. However, my client was the same. My petition was approved for an year with Employer B. With new petition (Employer B) i went to india for stamping in feb 2011. However, it got rejected after prolong period for 4 months. Now, USCIS received my case stating that they review it but that petition got expired in sept 2011. Still it is under post decision activity. My same employer B has filed a new petition and it got approved for next 3 year until 2014. Kindly advise me what are the chances for getting visa approved.

    Employer B is a consulting firm and they will be showing inhouse project. How safe is it? what precaution i should follow in this case if i re-appear for an interview?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ankur,
      When going w/ consulting companies, consulate would want to know how you will be a billable asset for the employer. So when you work in an in-house project, consulate may want to know what product/service you will be working on which earns revenue for the employer. They may ask for details related to the same. Was it filed as in-house project w/ USCIS? What supporting documents were submitted w/ USCIS?

      1. Ankur

        Hi Saurabh,

        Yes, my petition is filed as in-house project with USCIS. I am not sure what supporting docs. were submitted. But, my employer B told me that he will be sending me the supporting doc. that need to be presented in front of consulate when i appear for an intervw. That would include: My offer letter, employee agreement, Company’s tax papers. company’s profile.

        As you mentioned, “consulate may want to know what product/service you will be working on which earns revenue for the employer”. what would be my answer since my employer is consulting firm. Can you explain me in brief.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ankur,
          You need to discuss this w/ your employer. If you will really be working in an in-house project, then they would know how your services will make money for them. If you will not be working in an in-house project and mentioning this just to avoid client letter (which is actually what you will do), then I cannot help you.

  17. Chandni

    Hello Saurabh ,

    My Husband is with BIg IT company . He has his L1B pending and got an RFE. The company is ready to file for his H1B .They got ready just today and they say it might take 2-3 weeks for processing. Do You think the Quota will last till then ?

    We have another option of a desi company filing it , but we are not sure how good or bad they are. They are ready to file it immediately. Spouse is on H1B with a perm job. Kindly advice.

    1. Chandni

      My Question is if we take 20 days to prepare the document and submite it by June 15?Do You think the Quota will last?

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chandni,
      The quota may still be open 2-3 weeks from now. I assume they meant that I-129 will be ready to be filed 2-3 weeks from now. If they will start LCA processing in 2-3 weeks from now, they he may miss the bus (as LCA processing can take 2-3 weeks).

  18. Nitin

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working for Employer A in H1B which expires Feb 2013. My wife went to India last month for H4 visa stamping and have got her visa stamped till Feb 2013. She is returning back to US on Jun 4th 2012.

    I got a job with new employer (Employer B). Last week, Employer B filed my H1B transfer in Premium and today I have received my receipt number and am now waiting for H1 approval. Employer B is asking me to resign today as they say receipt number is sufficient for resigning.

    Couple of questions:
    1. Is receipt number sufficient to resign from Employer A and start working for Employer B? Can I continue with Employer A, if petition is denied or there is any RFI? When does my H1B with old employer gets cancelled?
    2. Will my wife face any issue at Port of Entry as her visa has Employer A, as by then I will be with Employer B.

    Please consider this an urgent request.

    Thanks,
    Nitin

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nitin,
      1. Yes, you can work for B once the transfer is received by USCIS. You can work for A in case B’s petition gets denied or RFE is issued. It would be up to A whether to hire you back or not
      2. It would be fine. Make sure she has a copy of your transfer notice, B’s employment offer letter, recent payslips (from A and B). She should also know the details about your case to explain the same to PoE officer (if asked about).

  19. MMK

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am applying for a new H1-B visa (however I have been aproved for 2 H1-B’s before with 2 other companies), and this time I do not have my originals of my degree as I lost my entire bag during my travel. My appointment is on Wednesday and I am not sure if I can get all these docs ready by then. I have a copy of all my certificates though. Will this pose as an issue during my appointment?

    Thank you for your assistance!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      MMK,
      You can try w/ the duplicates. As you already have held H-1s in the past, they may not ask for degree certificates. If you have filed a lost baggage claim w/ the airport, then you can carry that document as well.

  20. AJ

    Hi Saurabh,
    My H1B Petition has recently been approved & I expect to go for the visa interview soon. I have a few Qs regarding the visa interview:
    1. What is the succes/failure rate of visa interview?
    2. Do we need to show some evidence of funds for H1B category interviews as well (like for immigrant visa)? If yes, then how much does one need to show in the banks accounts? If any other form of evidence of funds (property/land in India, LIC policies, investment in shares etc.) also acceptable apart from the bank balance.
    3. Untill three months back I had been running my private clinic (at our family residence where I am still staying), now I have shut it down (three+ months back) and am not doing anything right now, except for waiting/ preparing myself to go the US on my H1B (new career in clinical research). Will being jobless (literally) and a career switch impact my chances adversely (like, visa being denied)somehow?
    4. Also what form of past pay-slips can I show as I was running my own clinic set up?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      AJ,
      1. Last time such statistics were published, they mentioned the rejection rate of around 27%
      2. Not required to show bank balance
      3. It doesn’t. You should be qualified for the position, and your employer should be in a position to pay you your salary
      4. So you were self-employed. You can carry your tax returns to show what kind of income you were generating. Payslips are not required for self-employed folks

  21. Santhi

    Hi,
    I am on H4 visa. I am going to apply for New H1B with some consultant. The consultant people asking me previous work experience. Actually i completed masters in INDIA and i have only 1.6 years of experience.
    So My question is MCA + 1.6years of experience is sufficient for H1B process in US

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Santhi,
      Depends upon on the offered position. If the position requires someone w/ MCA and around 1.6 years of experience, then you should be fine. However, if the position requires someone w/ (for example) 5 years of work experience, then you cannot go for that position.

      In general, one qualifies for H-1 as long as they have 4 years of college degree equivalent to US Bachelors.

  22. YSR

    I applied for H1B for this 2013 quota through one of the consultancy in USA and it claims that they had filled my petition on second day soon after the quota got opened.I didn’t receive any acknowledge number till now. How many days it usually takes to get a ack number for USCSIS.
    Please tell me.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      YSR,
      Employer/attorney should receive the receipt number within 30 days. If they don’t receive it, then they should call USCIS and follow-up. Did you check w/ them?

  23. Abhi

    Hi Saurabh,

    i am on H1 in US and plan to switch . i have offer from 1 consultancy to join as contractor. what difference does it really make between working as contractor and permanent employee when it comes to visa extension, Stamping ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Abhi,
      When you work as a contractor, you work in EC or EVC model depending upon if there is a vendor in b/w or not. Such work models are more closely looked at during petition processing and stamping. If your new employer has direct clients and can show all the required information/documents, then it should be fine.

  24. narasimha

    Hi Saurabh,

    Is it necessary we should have Degree certificate for H1B filing , can we do with provisional certificate & 4 years marks list.

    Thanks
    Narasimha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Narasimha,
      I am not 100% sure if provisional degrees can work. Most of the petitions use degree certificate. In case of provisional certificate try to get a letter from the school stating that you indeed complete the course along w/ dates, degree etc. Also, check w/ an attorney.

  25. khushboo

    Hi ,

    I am in contact with a consultancy who is ready to file my H1-B visa through in- house project.
    I am a 6 years experienced IT professional. What are the chances of me getting H1 visa through an in-house project ? and also in case let suppose if I get H1 visa would it be safe to travel india after I start working from October ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Khushboo,
      You should qualify for the position and USCIS should be convinced that employer will have enough funds to pay you for the in-house projects.

      1. khushboo

        thanks Saurabh. I have another question , how safe it is to file H1-B in an in-house project ?if I go to india after getting visa trough in-house would there be any risks while returning from india after getting a job here ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Khushboo,
          If you qualify for the position and the company has a real in-house project and can show that they have the resources to pay you the salary, it should be fine.

  26. Subba

    Hi Saurabh,

    Currently I am working on H1B in level 5 company. My wife is working in India in level 5 company. Here I found some aaa company who can process h1 for my wife. I have queries regarding this.
    1). Could you pls suggest me that do my wife need to come to US and apply h1 through aaa company or can she stay in India apply h1 through aaa company.
    2)What are the chances of approving h1b if she come to us and apply h1.

    Thanks,
    Subba

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Subba,
      1. They can apply while she is outside of US
      2. Same as those applying from outside of US

  27. Nicolai

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have question regarding my OPT Status. Just to give you some background.
    I graduated in Aug 2011, wd MS in MIS degree when my major was not under the Stem extension list, hence we have OPT for 12 months unlike other Engineering students.
    But for my juniors after my batch ie. December 2011 graduates, this major MIS went under STEM (29 month OPT extension). Now I am in a dilemma whether I am eligible for OPT extension or not. Since university website shows MIS has 29 month OPT extension even though my I20 shows 12 month OPT period.
    Please share your thoughts.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nicolai,
      I don’t think you are eligible for OPT extension based on your B.Tech STEM. You should also check the same w/ your DSO.

  28. kalpana

    Hi Saurabh,
    This is an really important and need a solution from you,
    Iam on h4 and filing my h1 now but just we came to know that with my husbands h1 i got my h4 approval notice but in my h4 approval notice there is no i-94 attached i-797A is missing.My lawyer said that i should file for i-824 .In such case can i file my H1 with i-797C documents which i had ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kalpana,
      Why does the employer want to file I-824? Do they want to get the approved 797 amended to get it approved w/ COS? I don’t know if USCIS will do that unless it was their mistake.

      As you do not have a current I-94, your H-1 will not get approved w/ COS. One way is to go out of US and enter on H-4 visa. This will give you an I-94 and you can then file H-1.

      1. kalpana

        Hi Saurabh,
        My employer is not filing my i-824 my husband’s lawyer will do that.Today i called up uscis guys and came to know the post of my 797 came to our old address and now i changed it to present address in website. Its not even 6months since this happened .Will they send my documents if i requested them to my new address? I read in some forum that if it more than particular time period they wont maintain documents and we should go through tough process of applying i-824 is that true?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Kalpana,
          I don’t know about it. You can call USCIS again, provide them the new address and see if they are willing to send it to the new address.

          1. Kalpana

            HI Saurabh,

            I Just got my documents through post to my new address.I simply called USCIS and made address change thats it documents were in my hand within 10 days.Important thing is we should update our new address in USCIS website.This information may helpful to others too.

  29. Yegor

    Hi Saurabh,

    Do you know is it better if I come to US on b1/b2 visa then my visa sponsor applies for h1b visa and after 60 days of my staying in US applies for changing of status?
    Is it better or if there any benefits than to leave US and then apply for stamped visa from within my country.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yegor,
      Doing this is a misuse of B-1/2 visa. There are complications when going this route as your I-94 may not be issued for long enough duration allowing you to file H-1 COS. If USCIS determines that B-1/2 was misused then they can deny the COS. These are the things that can go wrong w/ this. If approved, it saves you (actually delays) the stamping.

  30. vishal

    Hi

    I request you to provide some light on my current situation. Working in US for few years was always my dream. I have currently 1 year experience in dataware housing (cognos tool ) so can I get sponsors to get my H1b if i try.. or else i am planning to take gre so that i can do my ms and can later work there.. Kindly provide your valuable suggestions.

    1. vishal

      Hi Saurabh,

      Though this is a basic question but I am really in need of seniors thoughts on the situation. I want to work in US for few years initially I thought to find a sponsor for my H1 visa as i have seen people doing that but after going this site I feel its very difficult to get h1 from India. So only option i feel now is to join MS and later applying for H1. Kindly suggest the correct way if you were in my place. Thanks a lot in advance

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Vishal,
        A lot of this is personal preference whether to invest time and money towards MS or wait and try for H-1. You can either be part of companies that sponsor H-1 and sent their employees to US and once here, make a switch to better companies who pay well. As it is difficult to find good employers from outside of US, it may be better in today’s world to do MS and then go for H-1. It helps in long term as you can work for employer on OPT, qualify for Masters quota and can later have GC filed in EB-2 category.

  31. Rani

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working with Employer A in L1B visa and got an offer from Employer B and Employer B agreed to do H1B Sponsorship.

    I was having H1B with Employer A before. In 2009 I have applied extension for the H1B and got the RFP. But I had to travel back to India due to Personal reasons so my Employer A told me that they had to withdraw the H1B petition since they can’t reply to the RFP when I am away from US. I would have got another 2 years extension If the RFP is answered. This happened in Sep-2009. After that I applied L1B and I traveled back to US during May-2010.
    Now I have I-94 till Mar-2015.

    Now Emp B is applying a new H-1. Will there be any problem because of this history?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rani,
      There should not be an impact as you maintained status all along. However, do let B know about this history so that they are aware of the entire case.

  32. RON RATNAM

    I was on H1 in the US from Feb-2005 to March-2011 (same Employer). After that I went on H-4 till Aug-2011. I left USA in Aug-2011 and joined my present Employer in India.

    Now my present Employer in India is planning to file H1 for me. Can they file it NOW OR do they have to wait till Aug-2012 to file my H1. The reason I am asking is if they wait till Aug-2012, the H1B cap might get over. Thanks in advance for your replies.

    P.S. : When I checked on the internet, I am getting mixed responses to apply now or wait till Aug-12. But my worry is the H1B quota might get over by Aug-12. Pl help and Thanks.

  33. Sumesh

    I am currently on L1-B which expires in July 2012 (I-94 also expires on same day). Since there are lot of rejections for L1-B extension, I want to play safe. Can L1-B extension and H1-B process be initiated in parallel so that if L1-B is denied, I can land safe on H1-B given that my company has 99% chances of H1-B approval based on statistics. I have a few questions here.

    1. Can I do L1-B extension and H1-B filing together?
    2. If H1-B is approved first and in case L1-B extension is approved also, will H1-B gets cancelled? If H1-B is approved first before L1-B extension is approved, can L1-B be cancelled?
    3. Since I have spent 1 month in India on my L1-B tenure, can I get I-94 extended for 1 month? How long this will take? I am planning this because by that way I can be in U.S while the L1-B extension / H1-B adjudication is in process.

    1. Sumesh

      I am currently on L1-B which expires in July 2012 (I-94 also expires on same day). Since there are lot of rejections for L1-B extension, I want to play safe. Can L1-B extension and H1-B process be initiated in parallel so that if L1-B is denied, I can land safe on H1-B given that my company has 99% chances of H1-B approval based on statistics. I have a few questions here.
      1. Is there a premium processing for L1-B extension? What is the aproximate turnaround time for a decision by USCIS in this case?
      2. Can I do L1-B extension and H1-B filing together?
      3. If H1-B is approved first and in case L1-B extension is approved also, will H1-B gets cancelled? If H1-B is approved first before L1-B extension is approved, can L1-B be cancelled?
      4. Since I have spent 1 month in India on my L1-B tenure, can I get I-94 extended for 1 month? How long this will take? I am planning this because by that way I can be in U.S while the L1-B extension / H1-B adjudication is in process.

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Sumesh,
        1. Yes, PP service is available. It will be adjudicated in 15 calendar days in case of PP
        2. Yes. In case both petitions get approved, your status will be determined by the petition which gets approved later.
        3. If both get approved w/ I-94 attached, then your status will be determined by the petition which got approved later. To go to the other visa status, you either have to file COS or enter on the other stamped visa.
        4. How much time you spent in India doesn’t matter. Your employer will have to file extension based upon the requirements which can be for 6 mo or 1 year or 3 years.

  34. siya

    Hi Saurabh
    I am here on my student F1 visa and currently on my OPT, which started only on jan 2012, so i still have another 22 months of OPT. I have not graduated yet, will be graduating only by Aug 2012. My question is, since the H1B are filling up so fast this year, should i ask my employer to file my H1B immediately. Does filling now makes me based on undergrad, if so will the green process be delayed or something.. please let me know

    Thank you very much for your support, it helps a lot.
    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Siya,
      They can file on the basis of your undergrad, or wait until next year and file then (you would have graduated by then). Even if filed w/ undergrad, it will not effect your GC processing. It can still be filed under EB-2 category based on your Masters degree.

  35. Vani y r

    Hi ,

    I am currently on a h4 . Due to a family emergency I had to come to India and will be returning back in the mid of june. while i was in the US , i was looking for H1B and was not able to find one. One of the consultants has got back to me saying he is ready to proceed with applying for my h1b . But since I am in India now , would it be a problem to apply from here since my original I94 has been submitted when I left the country(i have scanned copy if this I94).
    Also In case i can apply sometime in 1st or 2nd week of may , and the file remains in process , while I be able to enter on my current H4 .

    Thanks
    Vani.Y.R

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vani Y R,
      H-1 can be applied while you are outside of US. I-94 is not important when filing from outside of US. Once approved, you will either have to enter US on stamped H-1 visa or file COS from H-4 to H-1.

      1. tintin77

        Hi Vani,

        I am looking for a consultant that can apply for H1B too. Can you please give me the contact.
        I am on F1Visa now and dont have OPT since I already used it.

        Please email me at joezach78 at gmail.com

        Thanks!

    2. sm123

      Hi Vani,

      Can you pls share the name of the consulting company which is ready to file your H1b. I am also on H4 and looking for such consultants. I appreciate if you can share the same. My email id is:- shikha.mudgal1 at gmail dot com.

    3. JJ

      Hi Vani,

      I am also looking for a Consultant who can file my H1B now with Client letter.
      I am on F1 and do not have OPT since I used it earlier.
      Request you to provide Client details.
      Thanks.
      JJ

  36. Vikram

    Hello Saurabh,

    My L1B I94 expired on April 15th and my company has applied for an extension in premium processing. My current EAC shows RFE. My wife is currently in US working on H1B.

    My question is that in case after RFE response my extension is denied, Can I apply for H4 while continuing to be in US(given the fact that my L1B I94 has expired).

    Thanks
    Vikram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vikram,
      H-4 COS can be filed only if your I-94 has not expired. Else you will have to go for H-4 visa stamping and enter on that visa stamp.

  37. siya

    Hi Saurabh,

    Had a question about the H1B process, right now i am in OPT and i still have almost 22 months of OPT left, and i will be only graduating only no less then Aug 11 for my masters.
    so if i file for H1B now will i come under general quota and if so will it affect the green process in future, or should i just apply it next year, please let me know.

    Thank you
    Siya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Siya,
      You can go for H-1 under general quota, and then still qualify for EB-2 based on your Masters. You will not be pushed to EB-3 just b/c you went through general quota and not Masters quota.

  38. ksanj

    Hi Saurabh..

    Thanks for your good work… Iam in H4 visa. Trying to convert it to H1. I have applied for many companies as well as job sites. But didn’t get any response. Asif the H1 quota is filling up very soon, kindly suggest me any approach to get through..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      ksanj,
      You can find employers either through your network of friends, family and colleagues, or approach them from job sites like dice, monster; or get the list of past filers from FlcDataCenter website. Frankly, it is pretty difficult to find good reliable employers when your visa status is H-4.

  39. Jignesh

    Hello Saurabh,

    You are doing wonderful job by clearing all our questions and doubts. l also have one. I have got a sponsor who is ready to file my h1b visa. I am working with an IT MNC company as Sales Manager. Can my sponsor file my visa without client letter as in house employee? Actually he is hiring me for his own requirement. in this case client letter is required? what are the chances of visa not getting approved?

    Kindly let me know. Many thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Jignesh,
      Client required is mainly for consulting companies who hire on pretext that they will put the employee at a client site and do work for the client on their behalf. If your employer really has an internal need, then they can file it as an in-house requirement. USCIS may still ask questions to know if employer has enough funds to pay you while you are working on in-house project. In the end, USCIS believes that most small-medium companies do not have huge cash reserves to pay their employees and ask for documents to know that employee will be directly contributing to the company’s revenues.

      Does that answer your question?

      1. Jignesh

        Yeah it clears some doubt but I am in IT Sales so do you think USCIS will approve inhouse Sales position or it will be difficult?

        I have company B who is ready to offer me a job as IT Sales Manager but unable to provide h1b and company A is ready to file my h1b plus company A doesn’t have a problem if i work for Company B. so in this case client letter from Company B is enough to process my visa through company A?

        Appreciate your response.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Jignesh,
          When you are in Sales, your primary role would be to interact w/ potential customers, sell your company product and bring revenue to the company. In that case, there is no client letter needed as there is no one specific client, and the position will be in-house. Be clear on what your base salary and commission would be.

          The 2nd arrangement sounds very different. In this case, you will be doing Sales for B and then A will keep a cut from whatever B is supposed to pay you. I don’t know how much this will work.

          You should check w/ your attorney as well on the chances of approval of both scenarios.

  40. Sunny

    Hi & kudos for this forum !!
    I am working on L1 for an employer A in US and my visa was issues in Sep 2009. I have been in and out of US multiple times now and have actually lived less than 2 years here. Now looking at the job market and H1 benefits, I am planning to switch. Here are my doubts –
    – If I apply my H1 now and lets hope it get approved and I join some company by Oct 2012 – what is the maximum period I can stay in US on H1? If it is less than my L1 period..will it be worth?
    – more tricky one – how to handle the HR harassment on leaving the L1 Indian employer ? how much will they drill?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sunny,
      1. A person can stay maximum for 6 years inside US on H-1 and L-1. So once your H-1 term would be 6 years – time already spent inside US on L-1. The entire term may not be approved in one lot, but extensions can be filed.
      2. Worst case scenario is that they will sue you and not issue you experience letter. For the former, you need to talk to a labor attorney (in US and home country), while latter is not very important document but definitely good to have. In lieu of experience letter from HR, one can use letter from mangers and colleagues.

      1. Sunny

        One more thought- since I have arrived in US after about 15 months..should not my H1 period is reset and I may live 6 more years actually?
        Let me know please.

          1. sunny

            came in US Sep 2009, went back Apr 2010. Came in US Apr 2010 went back Nov 2010. Came in US Jan 2012, went back Feb 2012 and now came in US Mar 2012 🙂

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Sunny,
            In that case, previous stay is not counted and your clock will start from Mar 2012. This is different from H-1 as there is no quota system for L-1 and so one doesn’t need to go through quota again to reset the clock. You can discuss this w/ your H-1 attorney as well.

          3. sunny

            An update Sunny, so need a suggestions.
            I got an H1 sponsor now and they want me to join asap. I was informed that I cannot join them before Oct 1 but they are saying it does not matter. My I 94 will expire in 2015 and L1a expiring in Aug 2012. My question is – should I just abscond and start working for new employer ? what will be the consequences. I have a lot of leaves with this employer in India and a huge PF at India. Should not I properly resign from India and then join new employer..please suggest and provide some more details on law suit of absconding situation. Thanks!

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Sunny,
            No matter what employer says, you cannot work for them until Oct 1 as that would be the start date on your new H-1 petition.

            I don’t know how your L-1 employer would react once you decide to leave them. Different employers have different ways to react.

  41. Harish

    Hi Saurabh: I have a question. I am currently in US with L1 and planning to get on to H1 this year. I have been getting in touch with as many consultanting firms as possible to file H1 but they say they need a client letter to file but client will not offer letter now for a job that starts in October. So the consulting firms asking me wait until Aug/Sep timeframe. But with the current H1 counts, the cap will be hit by July. So its kind of a tricky situation I am facing.

    My question is how come people would have filed 25,000 applications within weeks of opening with a client offer that starts in Oct. Is there i am missing something or i need to take different approach to find a employer who could file now. Your thoughts/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Harish,
      Big firms like Google, MSFT. ORCL do not need client letters for filing H-1s. Similarly other big consulting firms like TCS, Infosys can file w/o the client letter as USCIS has reasonable confidence that they will continue to pay their employees in US on H-1 and will not keep them on bench. And then there are smaller consulting firms who are feeling lucky and may have filed w/o the client letter (they may end up receiving RFE). Lastly, there are consulting companies who may have a long relationship w/ a client and were willing to issue a letter 6 months in advance.

      So you can either approach proper US companies or big consulting companies like Accenture, Congnizant etc who may be ready to file even w/o the client letter.

  42. narasimha

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks alot for your answers.

    I have one question on my wife’s travel through H4 visa.

    Currently i am employed with A company , recently my h1b transfer has been started for company B through regular processing , my last working date in company A is May 4th , i am joining new company on May 7th, and i am planning to bring my wife on May 10th. Current status of the transfer is transfer application has been accepted . i have all offer letters from company B. for your information i will have all the payslips from A till may 4th.
    My questions.
    1) Can my wife travel through Company A visa.
    2) if she travels through A visa , what are the new documents she should carry from company B , ( i have copy of approved LCA , fed-ex receipt location , offer letter).
    3) What should she answer if immigration people asks about my current employments , i mean should she say my old company or should she say new company by showing the proofs of LCA & offer letter .

    Thanks
    Narasimha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Narsimha,
      1. If she already have H-4 visa stamped through A, then she can travel on that visa and copy of your current employer’s petition and other documents. If she has to go for H-4 visa stamping then its better to go through the employer who will support the case in case of any queries (if A is ready to support then go through them else B). When going through B, you need to have approved petition from B
      2. She should also have A’s copy and copy of transfer notice along w/ other documents you mentioned
      3. She can say the truth that you were working for A and now moving to B

  43. Raj

    HI.

    Good Day.

    I am holding H1 B but not getting an opportunity to move to US. In the while one company offered me that i can move to US with visa after resigning current company (they will give some supporting documents) and they will transfer the visa to them once i on boarded to US. Is this possible.

    Please advise.

    Thankyou.

    Regards,
    Rajesh J N.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raj,
      Are you saying that the plan is to resign from current employer, then travel to US using that employer’s visa/petition, and after landing in US filing H-1 transfer to the new employer. In that case, it will not work out. You cannot travel to US on an employer’s petition for whom you no longer work. So the new employer should get the transfer petition approved while you are in your home country, and you should then travel to US to work for the new employer.

  44. Anurag

    Hi,

    I have an approved H1B petition from a company. This petition got approved on 01/2011 and valid until 12/2012. This H1B is unused as I didn’t join the company for some reason.
    However I am in US on L1B visa for a different employer.
    Here are my questions :
    1. How do I know whether the company(original petitioner) has cancelled my H1B?
    2. Although this H1B is unused, can this be transferred to another company who may want to hire me?
    3. If the original petitioner has cancelled the petition, can this still be transferred to a new employer?

    Thanks..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anurag,
      1. You can ask them, but there you cannot know it online, if that’s what you are asking
      2. Yes
      3. Yes

      1. Anurag

        Thanks Saurabh for the response. Another question on the same situation.
        My existing employer (which has my L1) wants to transfer the H1B to itself. Would it be possible to do so? If so then can this be done while I am in US(by doing a COS maybe) or do I need to be in India to get this done?

        Thanks a lot!

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Anurag,
          This can be done while continuing to stay in US. They can file H-1 w/ COS and you can start working on H-1 from COS approval date (typically Oct 1).

  45. David Pierpoint

    As always, a BIG thank you for the update and great summary analysis! Another thought for consideration… even though we don’t yet have enough data for a full regression analysis, and the trend flattened somewhat, we’re still looking at hitting the quota cap at least THREE months earlier than 2012. That’s a BIG shift! And you’re right, with the US job market showing some improvements, there will be increased competition for top positions requiring sponsorship. Keep up the good work!

  46. Rani

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working with Employer A in L1B visa and got an offer from Employer B and Employer B agreed to do H1B Sponsorship. I need to provide the expeirence certificate for the H1B processing. Since Employer A doesn’t know about this , I can’t get it thru HR officially. What are the options I have to get the expeience certificate? (I never worked for any other company other than Employer A). Please help.

    Thanks,
    Rani

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rani,
      You can talk to your attorney about the options and explain the reason to them. Ask them if you can submit a letter from a colleague or manager in lieu of the experience letter.

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