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How to check H1B Visa Case status Online on USCIS.gov? Petition?

One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is: “How do I check the status of my H1B petition 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 the case received status”.   In this article, we will review how to check H1B Case or Petition status online on the USCIS website and what each of the various statuses looks like.

If you are new to the H1B visa filing process, USCIS is the government entity that accepts H1B registrations in an online system. They also accept H1B petitions for the applicants who are selected in the H1B registration lottery selection process. You can check more details on current H1B season details at H1B Visa 2023 – Lottery, Registration Dates, Quota, News

Before we go into details, you need to understand the difference between H1B Registration vs. H1B petition. Let’s review that.

H1B Registration vs Actual H1B Petition Difference

USCIS has changed the process to apply for H1B Visa from the fiscal year 2021 and they introduced the H1B Registration Process as the first step before the actual H1B Petition is filed with USCIS.

  • H1B Registration : It is the online registration submission by a H1 Sponsoring company 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 : H1B Petition is the actual H1B Visa application package that includes H1B Labor Condition Application(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.

In the below section, we will focus on the H1B Petition or H1B Case Status to check online. If you are looking for Registration or Lottery status, check the article: How to Check H1B Lottery or Registration Status online

H1B Case vs H1B Petition Status ?

Many use the terms H1B Case and H1B Petition interchangeably. In fact, both mean the same. What actually happens is that after someone is selected in H1B Visa Lottery during the registration process, they submit the entire application package with USCIS. Submission of this H1B application package is often called filing the H1B Petition.

After USCIS process the H1B petition, they assign a case number to the same. This is the case number that is used to track the status of the petition. Many call the H1B petition as H1B Case after USCIS issues the receipt number. So, these terms are used interchangeably and both mean the same.

H1B Visa Petition Filing with USCIS, Case Receipt Number

After an applicant is selected in the H1B registration process, the employer has a choice to file an H1B petition on behalf of the selected applicant. If the employer chooses to file an H1B petition, they would file an H1B petition with USCIS by completing the necessary I-129 Form, attaching supporting documents, relevant filing fee, and other information.

After USCIS receives the H1B Petition, they give a case a number for the submitted H1B petition, which is called USCIS Case/Receipt Number. As this number is specific to a H1B petition, it is also called the H1B Receipt Number. USCIS sends a copy of the receipt notice in the postal mail to the H1B sponsor or attorney.

The H1B receipt number is on the top of the I-797C Receipt notice in the first row and first column as shown in the below screenshot. It starts with WAC, EAC, or other letters that signify the service center followed by digits. For more on the what each of the letters mean, read H1B Receipt Number Meaning

H1B Receipt Notice - Case Number Sample
H1B Receipt Notice – Case Number Sample

Anyone, including the H1B Applicant, can use the H1B Case Receipt Number given by USCIS to check the H1B petition status online on the USCIS website. If you as an applicant do not have a copy of the receipt notice, you should ask your employer or attorney to share that information so that you can check on the USCIS.gov website.

How to get H1B Case Number? Get from H1B LCA ?

In order to get H1B Case Number or H1B receipt number, you need a copy of the H1B receipt notice as shown in the above screenshot. Only your H1B employer or Sponsor, including Attorney, would have the H1B receipt Notice. In most cases, the companies share this receipt notice with the applicant, so that they can check their case status online. You cannot get the H1B Case number without having the H1B receipt notice. So, you must talk to your employer or attorney to get the same.

H1B Labor Condition Application(LCA) is submitted to the US Dept of Labor before the submission of the H1B Application to USCIS. So, this does not have the USCIS issued H1B Case Number and you cannot get it from LCA. You can check the details of an LCA on websites like H1BGrader to see what an LCA contains.

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 the screenshot below you enter the H1B petition Receipt number and click on Check Status, you will get the latest status of your H1B case. 

Check USCIS H1B Case Status Online
Check USCIS H1B Case Status Online

You can also go to the menu and click on Tools and then you will see Case Status Online on the page to get to the same URL and enter H1B Case number. 

Check Case Status from Tools on USCIS website
Check Case Status from Tools on USCIS website

Various H1B Case Statuses on USCIS

Each of the H1B applications filed with USCIS can go through many steps and can have various statuses as part of the adjudication process. Let us look at some of the common statuses, such as ‘Case Received’, ‘Request for Evidence(RFE)’, ‘Approved’, ‘Decision Notice Mailed’, and understand what they mean.

USCIS H1B Status – Case Was Received

As soon as USCIS receives your application, they will update their system and it will show the initial status that reads “Case Was Received” in their online system. Below is the 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 Case Was Received
Case Was Received – H1B Case Status

USCIS H1B Status – Request for Evidence(RFE)

For some cases, USCIS asks for more info called Request for Evidence (RFE) and send a letter to your employer/ attorney asking for more details. Many called this in short as RFE or as H1B query too. As per USCIS, RFE means “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, the online status would look like in the below article. 

USCIS Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed RFE
USCIS Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed RFE

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 notice. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval. 

USCIS Case Was Approved Status
USCIS Case Was Approved Status for H1B

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 the below screenshot for approval status on USCIS for an H1B premium processing application

USCIS : Case Was Received and A receipt Notice Was Emailed Status
USCIS H1B: Case Was Received and A receipt Notice Was Emailed Status

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 tell that your H1B was denied. Check the screenshot.

H1B Visa Denied Decision Notice Mailed
H1B Visa Denied Decision Notice Mailed

There are many more statuses that an H1B petition can go through, you can check the detailed H1B Statuses, Flow of Status in the USCIS System.

FAQs

Can I track my H1B Petition Status on the USCIS website?

Yes, you can, if you have the H1B Case Number given by your employer.

My employer not sharing H1B Case Number with me, any options?

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 employers share that info.

Can I get the H1B Case Number or Receipt Number from LCA?

No, you cannot get it from LCA.

Can I sue my employer, if they do not share the H1B Receipt Number?

No, you cannot sue the employer to get an H1B receipt number. H1B Petition is employer’s property and filed by them. You cannot seek its details by filing a lawsuit against them.

My employer shared the H1B Receipt Number, not the Receipt Notice, How do I know, it is mine?

Well, there is no way you can know just by looking at the H1B receipt number. You need to look at the H1B receipt Notice so that you can be sure that it is yours. The receipt notice has the name of the applicant. USCIS’s online status does not show the person’s details.

You can also check the article on How to check the online H1B processing times on USCIS website to get you an idea of the approximate time to process.

   

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1,903 Comments

  1. Hi Saurabh,

    My petition doc for H1B premium is delivered to USCIS on 22Nov morning, i have not received any reciept number from my employer as of now. If my petition is delivered on 22 Nov morning to USCIS, do you see any hope?

    Thanks
    Nidhish

    Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh!

        Here is what i got from employer y’day –

        “Please note that the H-1B petition filed on your behalf was sent to the USCIS for adjudication on November 22. Even though the petition was filed via Premium Processing, it can take up to 30 days to actually receive the Receipt Notice. While the USCIS requires the case to be adjudicated in 15 days when filed premium, it still takes an additional 2 weeks to obtain the Written decision.

        Right now we are waiting for the Receipt notice and when that is received You will be updated.”

        So it looks like i should wait for 10 more days approx before asking them to check from USCIS.

        Regards
        Nidhish

        Reply
        • Well it can take 1-2 weeks to receive the physical copy of the receipt notice, but as part of PP, they should receive the receipt notice through email as well. Check w/ employer if they did provide an email address and if they have received any update from USCIS there.

          Reply
          • I would like Thanks Saurabh on providing the right and prompt information!!

            I got the receipt no. today and i could see below message under Decision –
            “On December 9, 2011, this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER was approved and we sent you an e-mail notice. Please follow any instructions on the notice. If you move before you receive the notice, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283.”

            So it looks like its approved now. after this step how many days normally it takes for receivng hard copy of petition from USCIS?

            Regards
            Nidhish

  2. Hi Saurabh,

    I was in US for 2 years nov 2008 till nov 2010 and returned back to Home. I had to quit the company and joined a new company. My new employer has filed an H1B Cap exempt petition on 27 Oct 2011 based on the previous I797 and obtained the recipt number. Now due to urgency he wants to apply for Premium processing. can you please let me know how long it will take to apply for premium processing and once filed with premium how long uscis will take for approval. what are chances of getting approved H1B. will my going back to home without using 6 years affect this H1B issual?

    Thanks,
    Teddy

    Reply
    • It will depend upon your employer/attorney how soon they can prepare the paperwork for PP filing. Once USCIS receives and acknowledges the PP request, they would adjudicate it within 15 calendar days. Chances of approval depend upon your specific case. Not utilizing 6 year term on H-1 will not impact your case adversely.

      Reply
  3. hello i filed form i-130 for my wife and she gt her approval on June 2010 plus i checked her ase status online i found that it SAYS on POST DECISSION ACTIVITY. So now i am wondering that how long more its going to take to get her interveiw appointment…..

    Reply
  4. My H1B petition filed on 14th November. It is filed as premium. but still its status is ‘Initial REview’. Is it possible that it will take more than 15 days?

    Reply
    • Have your employer check with USCIS on why it has not been processed yet… Once they do that it will be processed asap. Same case happened to me also.

      Reply
  5. Hi Saurabh,
    My h1 was denied on 7-Oct,On 1-Nov H1 was appealed/reopen . The receipt no. given by employer is same.can you please answer my questions
    1) I want to know does the receipt no. remains the same? 2) i had seen on internet that appeal process will be 22 months is that true? 3) can i see any updates on USCIS web site?

    Reply
    • 1. I am not sure, but I think so
      2. Yes, it is a slow and lengthy process. You can also check the processing times on USCIS website (not sure if they are published)
      3. Not sure

      Reply
  6. Hi Saurabh,
    I got RFE and the employer responded on Nov 28 but the status still showing “Your Case Status: Request for Evidence” , Please share your thoughts about this case.

    Thanks in advance,
    Venkat

    Reply
    • Do you know if the same has been received by USCIS? At times, there status message doesn’t update even though it has been received and acknowledged. Ask your employer/attorney to call USCIS and follow-up.

      Reply
  7. Hi Saurabh,
    On 6-Sep H1 was filled in Regular mode, last week on 1-Dec it was requested for Premimum processing. The receipt no. given by employer is same. I want to know does the receipt no. remains the same.

    Reply
  8. Hi Saurabh,

    I plan to go to US on an H4 visa.I am working here in India in an MNC and my manager suggested I should take an LOA (leave of absence) for 6 months.He mentioned that there is some clause where an H4 becomes eligible to work after 6 months.
    Do you know of any such clause?
    Please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Shaavi

    Reply
    • An employer can file H-1 for a person on H-4 anytime. Once COS is approved, the person can start working on H-1 from the COS approval date. If one wants to play really safe, then COS should be applied 60-90 days after entering US on H-4.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thx for the response.
        So unless my H1 visa is filed by my employer when I am in US I dont become eligible to work,right?
        So there is no clause that makes an H4 eligible to work after 6 months without any visa even though he may be working for the same company in India as well as US.

        Please let me know.
        Thanks,
        Shaavi

        Reply
  9. Hi Saurabh,
    My Employer has filed L1 to H1 COS for me on Nov 15 under PP. We got the receipt number on Nov 18. My status is in ‘Acceptance ‘ stage still. is it normal ? today is 20th calender day from the date of receipt number generation.

    Reply
    • It should have been processed by now. What does your online status say? Does it use the word “email” in the status message, or does it use the word “mail”? If latter, then it wasn’t filed w/ PP.

      Reply
      • this is my status message
        “On November 18, 2011, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER and we e-mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. This case is being processed at our CALIFORNIA SERVICE CENTER location. You will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something from you. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. ”

        what should i do ?

        Reply
        • It was filed w/ PP. They should have processed it by now. Circle back w/ your employer/attorney to check if they have any updates (at times petition gets processed but the online status message doesn’t change). If they don’t have any updates, then they should call USCIS and check why it wasn’t processed within PP window.

          Reply
          • Hi Saurabh,
            My Employer says my case is in RFE stage and they are going to respond to it. how much probability is there for my petition to get approved or Denied 🙁

  10. Hi,
    Recently due to change in job description (with the same company), we had to file for the H1B Amendment. The USCIS received my application on 11/2/2011. The amendment was filed via the regular process. The website status still shows “initial review” with a processing time of 60 days. I am all booked to travel to India during the Christmas holiday in December. Does anybody know what the most recent regular processing time has been for amendment to get approved??
    Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Hi Saurabh,
    I have a few questions regarding the H4 visa.
    My husband recently went to the US and his SSN and PAN are still in process so he is still on per diem.He wont get any pay slips unless these things are cleared.
    I read that for H4 visa spouse’s pay slips are required.So is it mandatory?
    If not then what alternate documents can I produce.
    Also I am working here in India.Is it ok if I take an LOA and then apply for H4 or I have to resign from my job.

    Thanks in advance,
    Shaavi

    Reply
    • Yes, when going for H-4 interview, you will be asked for H-1 payslips to see if the husband is maintaining valid status in US or not. Usually 3 payslips are required. If he has worked in US in 2011, and you go for stamping in 2012, then W-2 for 2011 is also required. This puts you guys in a tricky spot. His 2011 W2 will be based on per diem, which is not correct for a person on H-1. Talk to your employer about this.

      Reply
  12. Hi there,
    Does anyone have a problem checking your case status online?
    I’ve been trying to check my case online these past 3 days and it didn’t work.
    It said ” The site’s security certificate is not trusted!
    I used different computers but it still appeared.
    If anyone know, please kindly advise. Thanks

    Reply
  13. Hi Saurabh,

    Is it must that a H1B approved this year (2011) must have a start date in 2012? Similarly, is it must that petitions filed/approved in 2012 have an employment start date in 2013?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Employment start date can be maximum 6 months in future. So petitions filed on April 1, 2011 will have start date of Oct 1, 2011. A petition filed on Oct 31, 2011 can have a requested start date of Oct 31, 2011 or as late as Apr 30, 2012.

      This is true for any calendar year. Remember, USCIS doesn’t work on calendar year, but on the basis of their fiscal year (Oct-Sep).

      Reply
  14. Hi Saurabh,

    I applied for L1B Extension 2 months back. Got RFE and responded to RFE on 17th Nov’11. While responding to RFE, upgraded the case to premium processing. However, in USCIS website, still my status is “RFE response review”. From the above, i came to know tht, it should be done with in 15 calendar days. Is it correct? If that is the case any other reasons why my case is still pending?

    Thanks,
    Kiran

    Reply
    • Yes, it should have been done in 15 calendar days. Your employer/attorney can call USCIS to follow-up about the delay. 15 day period starts from the day they acknowledge receiving PP upgrade request. Also, check w/ employer if PP check has been cashed.

      Reply
  15. Hi Saurabh…

    If USCIS received d courier on 22nd and it reached to their team on 26th when r my 15 days ending??
    pls suggest.
    Regards

    Reply
  16. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1-B visa is approved on the USCIS site. But currently the project, for which I was scheduled to go, is on hold. So, wanted to know for how long can I delay my Visa Stamping?
    Thanks in Advance.

    Reply
    • You can go for H-1 stamping anytime during the time petition is valid. Anytime you go for stamping, you will have to carry recent documents for that time. You may be asked about the delay, and you should be truthful that you didn’t attend visa stamping as the project was getting delayed etc.

      Reply
  17. Hi ,

    I have responded to RFE on 22nd November. How much more I need to wait before I get any decision.(Regular Processing) ?

    RFE was to explain Employee- Employer relationship. My company has provided Client letter, Manager’s letter and SOW. What are the chances for approval of my case ?

    Reply
    • Usually they try to adjudicate within 60 days of receiving RFE response, but in reality it can take even more months.

      Did you explain how your employer controls your day to day tasks and how you report to him w/ work statuses.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the response.

        Yes we have explained that.

        My manager is based at the proposed work location and I would be reporting to him daily.

        Will this explanation suffice for approval?

        Reply
  18. Hi Saurabh,

    My case is for new H1B premium processing, got the RFE and replied the same on 22nd Nov, as updated on the USCIS case status.

    “Request for Evidence Response Review
    On November 22, 2011, we received your response to our request for evidence”

    Now I am started getting worried still there is no update on the case.

    Q.1 What is the end date I should expect the reply considering 15 calender days. is it 6th Dec i.e. tomorow?

    Q.2 In your experience do you have case in mind where USCIS has not replied in 15 days?

    Q.3. The USICS website status also says “You should expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date we received your response unless fingerprint processing or an interview…”. What do you think of above mentioned note of 60 days because in my RFE also it was clearly mentioned premium processing?

    Reply
    • 1.It should be adjudicated within 15 calendar days
      2. Yes, may be few cases; but majority are adjudicated within 15 calendar days
      3. That’s their standard response.

      If you don’t get final result within 15 calendar days, your employer/attorney should call USCIS and get an update.

      Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh for reply,

        The status finally changed today to Post Decision Activity and says :
        On December 6, 2011, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow any instructions on the notice. If you move before you receive the notice, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283.

        Got the approval exactly 15th Day from RFE reply reciept by USCIS. 🙂

        Q1. This is premium processing case: How long it takes get the approval notice, is it sent via email or post?

        If it is post then there will be delay.

        Q2.Also let me know when can I proceed for stamping?

        Reply
        • 1. Employer/attorney would know the approval details by email. 797 will be issued through regular post and should reach employer/attorney within 1-2 weeks.
          2. Once you have all the necessary documents, you can go for stamping.

          Reply
  19. Hi Saurabh!!
    First of all thanks for helping everyone so much.I am happy to c ppl like u still exists 🙂
    My I129 was received by uscic on 22nd Nov and it reached to their team on 26th Nov.My status is still accpetance.Mine is a PP case. does 15 days includes holidays also???
    Shud I assume I am going to have RFE or case denial ?? for how long shud I not worry ??
    pls advise.
    Regards

    Reply
    • 15 day period is the actual calendar days, and so it includes holidays and weekends as well. If it doesn’t get approved or issued RFE within 15 calendar days, then your employer/attorney should call USCIS and follow-up. Delay <> Denial or RFE.

      Reply
  20. Hi Saurabh,

    I have got update as below from USCIS,This says they will respond with in 60 days.Is this a default message or a mistake?since our case is premium they should respond us with in 15 calender days right?

    On December 1, 2011, we received your response to our request for evidence. This case is being processed at our VERMONT SERVICE CENTER location. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. We will notify you by mail when we make a decision or if we need something from you. You should expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date we received your response unless fingerprint processing or an interview are standard parts of case processing and have not yet been completed, in which case you can use the processing time information on our website to estimate when this case will be done. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.

    Please let me know for any information in this regard

    Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thank you very much for your prompt and apt responses.

        We really appreciate your support.

        Atlast my tension got relieved that my H1b Approved with in 4 days i responded to RFE.The status is now changed to Post decision activity.

        Hence ,May i expect that the approved papers to my employers will come in a week time?.

        What are the other aspects i should look in to? apart from SSN Number (Reminding my case is H4 to H1 COS and my start date of employment was about to be November 9th it got delayed).

        Thanks once again for your help.

        Reply
        • Yes, the papers will arrive in 1-2 weeks. Although your requested start date was Nov 9, as the petition was just approved, it will have a start date of Dec XX.

          SSN is the only thing you need to apply right now, and then ensure that you start working and getting paid on H-1 from the approval date. As 2011 is about to end, make sure you get paid in 2011, so that you have appropriate W2 for this year. Else it may hurt in future.

          Reply
  21. Hello Saurabh,

    I had a H1B from Jan 1999 to Jan 2001 (2 years) and worked in USA during that time. After which I returned back to India. I am eager to apply for a H1B again but learnt that the cap is over this year. Since I had a H1Be and did not utilize the 6 years then, is there a way that I can exempt myself from the cap this time and get a H1B approved?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  22. Hello Saurabh,

    Is it leaglly allowed for 2 different companies to file my H1B? I don’t fall in the cap of 65,000 as I had H1B before.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  23. hi,
    My employer field my H1b on JULY 29 2011.now status is initial review,
    if REF,when can expect.if denied, when can we expect?
    why i am asking is ..i have provided all previous experience details correctly,
    but in resume ,starting date and end date of my previous exp is wrongly mentioned.

    i.e, I was released from previous company on 09 jul 2010(AS PER MY RE LEAVING LETTER),but in resume i mention end date as 30 jun 2010.i have provide my releaving letter.

    is this will case for REF or denaid.

    Reply
    • Regular processing can take 2-6 months to process. In certain cases, it can take even longer. Within that timeframe it will either be approved or issued RFE. Once RFE is responded, USCIS may take another few months to eventually approve or deny it.

      The discrepancy you mentioned is trivial and should not impact the outcome of the processing.

      Reply
  24. Hi Sourabh,
    my cmpany had applied for H1b (regular ), I got RFE on Nov 4th. docs were submitted on 11 Aug 2011

    I have few questions,

    1. since the cap count is reached , will my case be still considered?
    2. Is there any option for me to get the Processing chanegd form regular to premium?

    Reply
  25. Hi,
    My h1b – PP was approved on 1 Nov 2011 in USCIS site. it has been 1 month now, we have not received approval notice copy. Is this time normal or something is worong.I live in delhi, india.

    Reply
    • Your employer/attorney should receive the approved 797 within 1-2 weeks of final approval. As it was approved on Nov 1, they should have received it by now. Did you check w/ them?

      Reply
      • Yes , I checked with employer on 28th nov, they are saying they are still waiting for my approved petition.In USCIS site, my status is in DECISION as approved.It has not moved to post decision activity,may be due to premium processing.

        Reply
  26. Hi Suarabh,

    I am on L1b for last 11 months and still valid for next 2 yrs, just want to know if can i switch my job and what will be the requirement and process.

    Reply
    • You cannot switch jobs on L-1. An employer can file H-1 for you, and once that is approved you can start working for that employer on H-1 (from the approval date).

      There are articles on this blog that explain that process in details along w/ advantages and disadvantages.

      Reply
      • thanks saurabh,

        one more question, before applying for h1 do i need to inform my eisting employer or it will hidden from them till every thing get approved.

        Reply
        • It is not required to let current employer know. They would not know about the process unless someone specifically tells them about it.

          Reply
  27. Hello Sourab,

    My emploer has filed my H1B premium processing on OCT 21st 2011, still they have not received receipt number nor any kind of status. I am bit worried. Let me know the reason for this. Its close to 40 days now.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  28. Hi Saurabh,

    my employer filed my H1B premium on 17th nov’11 and i got the receipt n 19th nov. The status shows ‘Acceptance’.But there is yet another case from my office for whom this was filed on the same day and the receipt number is after mine and the status has changed yesterday to ‘Decision’ (approved) whereas mine has not yet changed. Do i need to worry about mine not being processed wrt my receipt number?

    Reply
        • In case of PP, it is possible that one petition gets processed earlier than the other. But all PP petitions would still be adjudicated within 15 calendar days.

          Reply
          • Sorry for raising this again!! may be i didnt understand the part clearly…but just one thing i want to know.is it actually possible for a petition with a receipt number after mine, to get processed before mine??? to be precise, assume my # ends with 720 and the other’s ends with 820..is it actually possible for the #820 to get processed before 720,even if both r filed on the same date.

          • This is my understanding how the process works. There are bunch of USCIS officers who review the petition. As petitions come in, they are distributed amongst these officers to keep them busy. It is possible that a officer reviews and approves a petition (as it wasn’t complex), while another officer doesn’t get to the petition that was assigned to him/her (either it is complex, or he is still backlogged w/ older petitions).

            So it is completely possible that a petition received later than yours to get processed prior to yours.

          • Hi Saurabh, I’ve got my petition approved and waiting for the hard copy of the notice, to schedule an interview.Thank you!!

            Hi Tanya,
            Mine got approved on Nov 30th exactly 13 days from the filing date.If yours is a PP then USCIS will surely process it within 15 days, or they will surely do i atleast on the 15th day 🙂

          • Hi,

            Is anyone familiar with the documents checklist needed for getting SSN for H1B visa holder?

            I have the foll:
            1. SS-5 form filled
            2. I-797,I-94 (sent by mail by employer), original docs are yet to be received.
            3. Passport
            4.Birth Certificate
            5. Medical Insurance Card

            Do I need to submit the originals??

            And I got my H4-H1 approved on 5th Dec. Is it ok to go ahead with the process of getting SSN immediately? Bcos, I learnt from some people that it may take 2 weeks of time for the system in SSN office to get updated about your I-94 information, and it is better to apply for SSN after that.

            You response is appreciated.

            Thanks.

  29. Dear Saurabh
    I am working on H1b visa and have an approved petition and I94 valid till next year. However, my H1b stamp expired in Jun 2011. I need to go to Canada for a 2 weeks vacation. Someone told me about Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR) due to which I can reenter US on H1b from Canada without a stamp. Is that true?

    Thanks

    Reply
  30. Hello,

    My employer has already applied for H1B and have received the RFE for H1B. Now as the quota is over, does replying to RFE help?

    Reply
    • Yes, you are still considered to have made through the quota as your petition was received before Nov 22. Your employer should reply to the RFE and try to get your petition approved. In case your petition gets denied, then you will be considered out of the quota.

      Reply
  31. My H1-B case was in RFE and my employer filed response . The case is now reflecting as RFE Response Review. How much time does it take for the USCIS team to verify the response and update the status online?IF MY CASE LIKE THIS,I WILL GET MY VISA OR DENIED..THANKS

    Request for Evidence Response Review THIS IS MY STATUS

    Decision

    Post Decision Activity

    *Request for Evidence Response Review*

    On July 19, 2011, we received your response to our request for evidence. This case is being processed at our VERMONT SERVICE CENTER location. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. We will notify you by mail when we make a decision or if we need something from you. You should expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date we received your response unless fingerprint processing or an interview are standard parts of case processing and have not yet been completed, in which case you can use the processing time information on our website to estimate when this case will be done. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.

    Reply
    • If your petition is w/ premium processing, then it will be adjudicated within 15 calendar days. Else it may take up to 2 months (or even more). Chances of success will depend upon your specific case.

      Reply
  32. Hi Saurabh,

    I had applied for H1b Premium Visa process on November 2nd 2011.Status was updated in USCIS as RFE on Nov14th Saying that they requested for additional Evidence and the same was communicated to my Employer on November 10th.

    My employer posted the response to RFE on 18th Novmber.But Still the status is not updated in USCIS.

    May i know When could i expect that they will take decision on my RFE Case being it is in Premium?

    Reply
    • Once USCIS receives the RFE response they would update the status, and would adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days. At times, they may take 1-2 weeks to receive the response depending upon how the response has been sent.

      Reply
  33. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1-B case was in RFE and my employer filed response on 22nd November. The case is now reflecting as RFE Response Review. How much time does it take for the USCIS team to verify the response and update the status online?
    Thanks in Advance.

    Amit

    Reply
  34. Dear Saurabh,
    My H1b extn RFE response was received on 7th November. Along with RFE response, I included a request for upgrade to PP. Somehow USCIS changed status twice. Once to RFE response received on Nov 7th, then next week it changed to case upgraded to Premium at 9th Nov. My case status is still In Process with premium upgrade at 9th Nov

    Someone told me that the denials are not updated on their website while approvals get updated immediately. Is that true? I dont see any screenshot for denial message on this page too. Its already 13/15 days and am worried

    Reply
    • In my experience, denials have been updated online as well. 15 calendar days from Nov 9 brings us to Nov 26. So you should see some movement by that date. If not, your employer should follow-up w/ USCIS.

      Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh
        I just got the status changed directly from “In Process” to “Post delivery Activity”. The status says
        On November 19, 2011, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow ….

        So I guess its approved. Waiting for the notice. My attorney still maintains that he got nothing in mail yet

        Reply
  35. Hello Kumar/Saurabh,

    My present employer has scheduled a B1 interview for me and also another MNC has offered me a position and are in the process of filing my H1b Premium Processing, could this be a problem? since two different companies are filing for two different Visa types for the same person?

    Reply
      • Thanks a Lot for your answer Saurabh.

        I have one more query. The offer that I have is from my perspective employer in US is not assignment specific (not for a specific company). Would I need to furnish a PO with customer name and my name specified on it ?

        Reply
        • If it’s a consulting company, then USCIS will most likely ask for client/project. Usually consulting companies (especially the small to medium ones) do not pay on bench as they do not have huge cash reserves. They pay only when you are a billable asset (i.e. working for a client who pays the employer for your services).

          Reply
  36. Hi,
    I graduated with an MS degree in May 2011. Since then I have been employed on OPT. My employer has recently filed my H1 (last week) through premium processing. It shows 15 calender days for processing. I will be traveling to India from 18th of Dec (a month from now) through 1st week of January. I would like to know if my H1 gets rejected for some reason then can still comeback on my F1 or OPT status. Please advise.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Your OPT will remain valid in case H-1 gets denied. So you can return back on that. Remember to keep your school in loop and get the SEVIS document endorsed for travel.

      Reply
        • You mean interview date for H-1? One needs to have an approved 797 while attending the interview. You may be able to book a slot, but if H-1 doesn’t get approved by that time, then you will have to reschedule it. You will have to check on VFS site about their rules related to rescheduling.

          BTW, when selecting the interview date, there is a note stating that 797 must have been approved by the time interview date is selected.

          Reply
  37. Hi Sourabh,
    My H1 premium petition got approved on 10th Nov by USCIS. But in the I129 and I797 i saw my dob is wrong , the month and date are reversed as in US format. It was by mistake wrongly given by my employer. Now i checked with them and the said they would file an amendment for the dob change and till then it get changed it is not advisable to start with the stamping process. Can you tell me what is the average time it takes for these kind of amendment and whether the premium status of my petition be considered to speed up the amendment process.

    Reply
    • If the amendment was also filed w/ premium processing then it will be done within 15 calendar days, although I am not sure if PP is available w/ amendment or not. The original petition’s PP status doesn’t imply that amendment will also be considered as PP by default.

      Reply
  38. Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for patiently answering all the questions.

    USCIS received my H1 premium case on 11/10/2011. The fifteenth calender day falls on 11/25/11 which is a thanks giving holiday. So will they provide an decision on or before 11/23 which is the last working day before thanksgiving?

    I have to join a new company on 11/28 and i was hoping that i get a decision by 11/23. My 194 expires on 11/24/2011 by the way. Any inputs on my case would be great.

    Also how much time does USCIS take to send I797 receipt notice to my employer/attorney. My DL expires on 11/24 and DMV needs I797 to extend my DL.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • I am not sure if they would approve it just before TG, or not. I assume they would approve it by 11/23 so that they can adhere to 15 calendar day window.

      What is your current visa status? Once they approve it, employer/attorney should receive it within 1-2 weeks (taking into account postal delays).

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        I am currently on L1 status which expires on 24-nov. My current employer has already applied for i94 extension.

        Will it take 2 weeks for I797 reciept notice also (not i797 approval notice).

        Thanks in advance.

        Reply
  39. I work for a big organization and a major consultant. Problem with my case H1b extn RFE is
    1. No client letter on letterhead. My manager however gave a detailed email with similar format from client email box
    2. My PO does have project name but not my name. I submitted an SOW that tells the project team at onsite and offshore and that has my name
    Is that a weak case? Does USCIS expect an exclusive name on the PO?

    Reply
    • USCIS prefers name to be present on the PO, else chances are the company would use the same PO for multiple H-1 filings. Try to convince the client if they can provide more specific information and work w/ your lawyer to frame a good response.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  40. Hi Saurabh,

    First of all thanks for the full of informative blog, I have read the entire this entire blog. I applied for H1B from India through my employer under premium processing. I got the RFE on 24th Oct asking for letter from my employer seeking roles and responsibilities to justify the experience in specialty occupation. I have submitted all the document to my employer and employer also confirmed that they have sent to attorney to submit the same and it got submitted on 15th-16th Nov. But the online status is not changed yet, it still shows the same request for evidence RFE since 24ht Oct. My case is processing through California service center. I also tried calling California service center premium processing number, but they say that we cannot give information on your case as we have instruction from petitioner and attorney that we can only provide information to petitioner and attorney and not to beneficiary. The problem is my employer visa team is fully occupied and not ready to follow-up with attorney. Any idea when will the status get changed and when can I expect the decision. Because online there is no update, is there any other way to find the status?

    Reply
    • How did the employer/attorney submit the response? If they sent it through normal post then it may take few days before USCIS receives is and updates the status. Usually they are pretty regular w/ status updates, but in certain scenarios they do not update the status. Wait for few more days, and then ask your employer/attorney to follow-up.

      Reply
  41. HI,

    My employer has filed my h1b and I have received my receipt number(wac123…) , I tried to check the online status of the same but it says :-

    •Your case can not be found at this time in My Case Status. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1.800.375.5283.

    Now I am worried how I will know my status…. and when it will be updated in the site?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • You can check it in couple of days again. If it still doesn’t work check w/ employer/attorney if you have the right number and ask them to check the status. If it doesn’t get resolved, employer/attorney can call USCIS and check the status.

      Reply
    • Hi
      I am on h4 visa. My husband is on h1b. We applied for visa extension in may 2011 as our visa was to expire in September 2011. It’s November and still its showing initial review. Yesterday we applied for premium processing. Actually there is an emergency situation in India and I have to reach there by December 1st. Is it safe if I go to India and my husband comes when he gets his approval through premium processing. I have to be in India on 1st December or even before that. Please guide
      nitika

      Reply
      • You can leave for India once you get your approvals. In case you have to leave US prior to receiving approvals, then also it is fine. You may have to go for H-1/4 stampings in case your current visa stamp have expired and you need to have approved petitions for this. While returning back you can use the visa stamp and new petitions to get a new I-94 at PoE. If your petition approvals get delayed (b/c of RFE), then you will have to wait for it before going for stamping and returning to US.

        Reply
  42. Hi,
    My H1B application was denied(reasons: no client letter,USCIS said PO should contain my name with PO start date and END date) on Sep last week. My employer some how managed and got PO with my name and appeal again on Oct Last week. But still now there is no case update or no information from USCIS, as atleast they received the application? What will be processing time can you please suggest me something about my case? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  43. Hello,

    I am currently on OPT working for a company that filled my H1B visa with regular processing on Nov 1st (Notice Date) in Vermont Service Office. My OPT expires in first week of January and my concern is if I won’t have my visa approved by that time (also taking in consideration all the holydays in Nov and Dec). I am thinking maybe of filling a premium processing so I was wondering when would be the last day for the company to do so in order to have my visa approved by beginning of January.

    Also, there is a chance that I will need to travel for Holydays in December. In that case I would definitely do a premium processing, but my concern is if I have enough time to have my visa approved by Dec 20th (when I would travel) and if so, once it is approved, I still need to receive all the paperwork by mail. What is the waiting time usually to have all that paperwork in my hands once my visa is approved within 15 days considering that I had no problems and no RFE?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Reply
    • If you have fears that RFE could be issued and your employer will take sometime in responding to it, then it’s better to upgrade it now. However, if you are confident that there will be no RFE, then you can wait until 1st week of Dec and then file for upgrade (to account for Dec-Jan holidays).

      If you plan to travel outside of US, then you should upgrade it now. The paperwork will be sent to the employer/attorney who can then mail it to you to your address outside US. You will have to get H-1 visa stamped in the passport in order to return and work on H-1.

      Reply
  44. Hi,

    My H1 is applied in Premium processing and on Nov 10th i got RFE. They asked last 2 paystubs. It was replied on 11th Nov. Now i just want to know in how much time should i expect the decision. Is 15 day clock still on for my case?

    H1 was applied on 27th Oct. USCIS confirmed receipt on 31st Oct
    Thanks,
    -Ram

    Reply
    • Hi Ram,
      did you get any responce from USICS on your case,
      iam in same situvation got RFE and Replied on nov 9th. iam still waiting to get reply from USCIS, please share what happened with your case,

      is USCIS will take more than 15 days after replied to RFE??
      USCIS received evidence on nov 9th, still didnt get any update.

      thanks,
      thiru

      Reply
  45. Hi,

    Recently m H1 B petition was converted from regular to premium processing. Please let me know how i can confirm that my petition got converted to premium processing.

    Reply
  46. Hi Saurabh/Kumar,
    Hope you are doing well. I have 6yrs of exp in IT and done MCA from IGNOU after my BCOM. My employer has applied H1B petition on PP 2weeks back. There is a RFE, it says on Nov 1st they have issued RFE notice but my employer doesn’t receive it yet. Now am getting worried what might be the reason for this RFE, I have submitted all docs including Client letter which clearly says about the project requirment and my role. What else they might ask, are they going to ask my previous 2 companies salary stmts or offer letters or current company or they have issued RFE for my education since its IGNOU MCA, not sure if IGNOU MCA holds any credit. Aslo Client letter its mention I need to travel to States by 1st of Nov but internal company letter says I will be travelling on Dec 5th. Not sure if this is causing any conflict. Please respond.

    Reply
    • There can be lots of reasons for which RFE could be raised. It can be as trivial as a missing document, to as complicated as client letter along w/ employer-employee control. It’s not best to speculate why it was raised.

      One usually gets around 60 days to respond to the RFE, so you have sometime in hand. Also, your petition was filed w/ PP; do you know if USCIS emailed the RFE details to the employer/attorney?

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thank you somuch for replying me. No email communication on this RFE, thats what my employer said. Even I tried to call the USCIS but they didn’t respond and said if your emplyer dont get the notice with 15days, then they have to get in touch with USCIS, USCIS cann’t share the RFE details with applicant. I am worried as I don’t have a very good educational background and also I will not be able to provide any salary slip from my 1st company but I can show them the bank stmt where salary was credited. Don’t know what todo, am worried. Anyway thanks again for your quick response.

        Reply
    • Hi Meera,
      Even i am in a similar situation.They have issued RFE to my case too.I have no idea of what kind of rfe is that.Please do post about the RFE issued to you so that i will have an idea.Mine is H4 to H1 (PP) .
      Thanks in Advance

      Reply
      • Anu what was your RFE ? Did u submit the client letter or the related documents ….when did you apply in PP …. what is your receipt date and on what date did you get your RFE ?

        Reply
  47. Hi – My employer filed my H1 petition in premium processing on Nov 5th. On Nov 7th i saw the status in USCIS site as “Inital Review” , but when i again checked on Nov 8th it said “Acceptance”. It went one step backward, what could be the reason behind this ?

    Reply
    • They at times flip back and forth for no obvious reason (the only thing I can think of is that it got re-assigned to a different officer who changed the status). USCIS is obliged to adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days, and they will work towards it.

      Reply
  48. Hi Saurabh ,

    Thanks for the other reply .

    Being in the mess or L1 RFE and H1 RFE . I am planning give up and return to india . I was wondering that if client allows me to work from India then is it legal to work from India without having valid US Visa . Means can they(Us employer) still generate my payroll for working in India without valid US visa status ?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Once you leave US, your US employer can still hire and pay you. If they are paying you in USD, then you need to ensure that you pay all appropriate taxes in US (to keep your slate clean for any potential return to US).

      Reply
  49. Hi Saurabh,
    My H1B application was denied(reasons: no client letter, missing my name and place of work on SOW, not enough information about my position!!!) last week but I still have My OPT valid until Oct’12 but I would like to apply for H1B again to get my wife in states on H4.

    So should I apply my H1B again with same employer or I’m better off with another one?

    Reply
    • If you think that the current employer will be able to overcome the initial rejection reasons, then go ahead and file through them. Else find a better employer who has more chances of approval.

      Reply

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