One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “How do I check status of my H1B registration or case status online. Many applicants are worried about their status and some say “It has been 4 months since I filed, no reply from USCIS or still my case is in case received status”. In this article, we will review how to check H1B Registration Status and H1B Petition Status online on USCIS website and how each of the various statuses look like.
If you are new to the H1B visa filing process, USCIS is the government entity that accepts H1B registrations in online system. They also accept H1B petitions for the applicants who are selected in H1B registration lottery selection process. You can check more details on current H1B season details at H1B Visa 2022 – Lottery, Registration Dates, Quota, News
Before we go to details, you need to understand the difference between H1B Registration vs. H1B petition. Let’s review that.
H1B Registration vs Actual H1B Petition Difference
- H1B Registration : It is the online submission that a H1 Sponsoring company submits on behalf of an applicant that they intent to file H1B visa petition, if selected in registration process. As part of H1B registration, employer only submits basic information about applicant in the H1B Registration Online Tool. The employer does not send any physical packages or forms to USCIS. The H1B registrations are submitted by H1B sponsoring companies as a first step in the overall H1B process.
- H1B Visa Petition : It is the actual H1B Visa application package that includes LCA, filing fee, and all documentation related to applicant, that is submitted on behalf of H1B applicant. Only applicant selected in the H1B Registration Selection Process, also called as H1B Visa Lottery , are eligible to file the H1B Petition. USCIS sends out a Case receipt notice for H1B petition received by their office.
Now that you understand the difference, let’s look at how to check the status online for each of them.
How to Check H1B Registration Status Online ?
Whenever an Employer or attorney submits H1B registration for a H1B Applicant online, the system generates a long 15 digits or so number for tracking in the system. It is listed under the status of the H1B registration. In some cases, it can be alphanumeric number as well. For FY 2021 season it was a number. It looks like in below screenshot in the online system. Some employers share that confirmation number in the form of screenshot, but many do not share that information as it is of little use to H1B applicant.
Update : Many Users have started to get H1B 2022 Selection notice on March 27th, 2021. Read more at H1B 2022 Lottery Results out – Sample Selection Notice
The H1B Registration “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” generated online, that you see under the status of registration, cannot be used by H1B Applicant to check the H1B registration status online. That number is only for internal tracking by USCIS and used for H1B lottery selection process. Only your H1B sponsoring employer/company or attorney can login to the H1B Registration system on USCIS website and check the H1B registration status. You can read H1B Registration Selection Lottery Status for FY 2021 – How it worked ?
After the H1B Registration process is complete and applicants are selected, the selected applicants would get a H1B Registration Selection Notice. This can be downloaded as PDF and have to used for H1B petition filing with USCIS using all the relevant documentation like H1B LCA, Client letters, etc. Below is sample snapshot of the H1B Registration selection notice. It has the “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” listed as well and other details.
Now that we understand how to check H1B registration status online, let’s dive into process to check H1B petition status.
H1B Visa Petition filing, Case Receipt Number
After an applicant is selected in H1B registration process, the employer has the choice to file H1B petition on behalf of the selected applicant. If the employer choses to file H1B petition, they would file H1B petition with USCIS by completing the necessary I-129 Form, attaching supporting documents, H1B LCA , relevant filing fee, and other information.
After USCIS receives the H1B Petition, they would give your case a number called USCIS Case/Receipt Number ( read Understand H1B Receipt Number ) and send a copy of the receipt notice in postal mail to the H1B sponsor or attorney. The receipt number is on the top of the receipt notice in the first row and first column as shown in below screenshot. It starts with WAC, EAC or other letters that signify the service center followed by digits.
Anyone, including the H1B Applicant can use the H1B Case Receipt Number given by USCIS to check the H1B petition status online on USCIS website. If you as applicant do not have copy of the receipt notice, you should ask your employer or attorney to share you that information so that you can check on USCIS.gov website.
How to Check H1B Visa Case or Petition Status on USCIS website ?
Step 1 : Go to USCIS Website Case Status link : USCIS Check Petition Status.
Step 2 : As shown in screen shot below you enter the H1B petition Receipt number and click on Check Status, you will get the status of your H1B case.
You can also go to the menu and go under Tools > Case Status Online to get to the same URL and enter Case number.
Various H1B visa application Statuses on USCIS
Each of the H1B applications filed with USCIS can go through through many steps and can have various statuses as part of the adjudication process. In this article, we will cover some of the common statuses, such as Case Received, Request for Evidence(RFE), Approved, Decision Notice Mailed. We will look at each of various statuses below
USCIS H1B Status – Case Was Received
As soon as USCIS receives your application, they will update their system and it will show initial review status in their online system. Here is a sample screenshot. All it means is that USCIS has got your application and they have just receipted the application, next step is to process the petition and then adjudicate the case.
USCIS H1B Status – RFE or Request for Evidence
For some cases, USCIS asks for more info called Request for Evidence (RFE) and send a letter to your employer/ attorney. Here is how USCIS defines RFE. Many refer to this as H1B query too.“A request for evidence is made when an application/petition is lacking required documentation/evidence (initial evidence) or the officer needs more documentation/evidence (additional evidence) to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the benefit sought. We may send you a request for evidence at any stage of our review. The request will indicate what evidence or information is needed for us to fully evaluate your application or petition.” If your H1B petition is going through RFE, it would look like below.
USCIS H1B Status – Case Approved for regular processing petitions.
If your H1B visa petition was approved, the system would show a status saying “Case Was Approved”, when the application was approved and when they mailed you the I797 decision. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval.
USCIS H1B Status – Premium Processing, Email
If you filed your application in premium processing, you may see different status update, because the initial update is communicated via email, it would say “Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed”. Check below screenshot for approval status on USCIS for a H1B premium processing application
USCIS H1B Status – Decision Notice Mailed Status (Denial)
Unfortunately, some people get H1B visa petition denials, here is how USCIS would show the status “Decision Notice Emailed” and tells that your H1B was denied. Check the screenshot.
No, you cannot check it on your own. Only Employer or Attorney can check H1B Registration Status on USCIS website.
No, you cannot use that number to check H1B registration status. That long 15 or so digits number is for internal tracking and used for lottery purposes, it does not any format like H1B Case number to check on USIS case status webpage.
No, there are no other options to check, if your employer is not sharing info. H1B registration and petition are both employer’s and they have the right to share or not share. Most of the employers share the information.
Well, this is unknown…It all depends on the demand and how many actually file the full petition with USCIS. They may run second or third round of lottery as needed from the registrations pool. USCIS will update these details, if something happens.
Yes, you can, if you have the H1B Case Number given by your employer.
No other options, your employer or attorney filing h1B petition has to share that information with you. If they do not, there is nothing you can do. Most of the employer share that info.
Also, you should check article on How to check the online USCIS processing times explaining how the number helps you get an idea of approximate time and how you can do it on USCIS site.
Also, there are many more statuses that a H1B petition can go through, you can check the detailed H1B Statuses, Flow of Status in USCIS System