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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 2024 – 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.


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. hi,im from philippines. i got my decision last feb 7 2012 so sad my petition was denied i was waiting for almost 11months i thought after i got rfe,then my employer was replied for another evidence,we are not sure if the outcome is good.and so sad the result,my petition was denied .
    now i can sleep well knowing i’ve done my best, the agency did its part, and its heavens will,maybe god has a reason.my question is its ok if i will find another employer to apply another petition for me this coming april 2012 fy 2013.?thanks so much

  2. Hi,

    I got my H1 approved in December 2011 and it is about to expire by May 7th 2012. Due to some unavoidable personal problems I couldn’t travel to the US last year. Now my employer has assured me that I can fly by 3rd week of March this year. But could you please tell me whether if I reach the US by March 22nd would I be able to apply for an extension? If there is any change in the client (not employer) would it cause any delay in the process?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Abhilash,
      You can travel to US in March and will be able to file for extension. Extension needs to be filed as long as the issued I-94 is valid, which would be expiring on May 7th 2012 in your case. You should carry recent employment letter and project related documents when travelling to US. For the extension to go through, USCIS will ask for extended client contract and other project related details.

  3. Hi Saurabh,
    I got white slip and checked by last check box(Admin query)
    but they are not asking anything. simply they returned the passport?
    how can i resolve my issue?
    Hope you got it.
    how much time it will take?

    • RK,
      They don’t ask for any documents mostly in the cases where they have to do background/security check or if they already have the required information in their system. Which consulate was this?

  4. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B petition was filed on Oct 14. Till now i didnt get any notice. It is still in Initial review. friends whose petition ID greater than mine have got some progress, few ppl got RFE. its has been almost 120 days. Can you please advice me on what could happen next and if it gets into RFE how many more days it wud take.

    I suspect my petition will go thro RFE – because if they want to approve the petition they do it early [with in 80-100 days]

    Thanks in advance.

    • Sridharan,
      Was your petition filed at CSC or VSC? The former is already processing Oct petitions, while the latter just started w/ Oct. You can ask your employer to follow-up w/ USCIS. Delay doesn’t mean RFE necessarily.

      • thanks Saurabh. I have one another question – is there any specific reason for a petition getting delayed from processing? My petition ID starts with WAC, does that mean CSC?
        I will check with my employer as well. thanks.

        • Sridharan,
          Yes, that’s CSC. You should see some movement within a week or two. I can’t think of any apparent reason for delay except for big load of petitions to process.

          Good luck!

  5. Hi Saurabh,

    I have asked a few qns earlier. Just trying to get clarification for some points.
    My Employer says though my h1b petition reached USCIS on Nov 21 and since there is no response on acknowledgement / Receipt # so far, they are saying it didnt make it through this year 2012 quoata.
    My query is, If USCIS rejects or doesnt accepts the petition will there be any sort of communication notice?
    Or is it assumed that all petitions which reached USCIS before 22 Nov ’11 is considered as accepted by USCIS for 2012 quota?
    Please let me know your expert opinion. It will help me.


  6. Hey Kumar/Sourab,

    A quick question:

    How do you think the chances to get a Approval from RFE to H1b for Indians in the california center. Oflate there has be lot of speculation of Indians getting denied of L1, and H1B . I am an Economics major and my Premium processing application got a RFE which we submitted on last friday. Is the situation as glim for economists as for engineers ! I know you can give a definite ans, but what is ur take on this.

    • AK,
      The chances of success vary from case to case, and primarily depend upon your profile, employer’s credentials and offered job. Most of the rejections happen for consulting companies but I don’t think you will be working for such a company. So you might have a better chance of approval.

  7. Hi Saurabh

    I checked with my Employer. They are confirming that although it reached USCIS by Nov 21st since there is no response regarding acknowledgement / File # the H1b is not considered for this year’s quota. They are saying they have got some other petition in other cases denied by USCIS even though it was filed before 22nd.
    In your experience have you seen any such scenario. What are the possibilities that it will be still processed.

    • Sat,
      Usually, if it didn’t make through the quota, then USCIS will return the package to the employer. But your employer hasn’t received back anything from USCIS. Why does the employer want to discount the possibility that if it did reach USCIS on Nov 21, then USCIS would have issued the receipt number which got lost in transit. If I were you, I would pursue them to call USCIS and follow-up on the case.

      • Thanks a lot Saurabh. The info on package return on denial helps me. I have again raised queries to my employer’s immigration team to get a confirmed answer. The members in the team are so lethorgical that they dont care about these since it doesnt affect them. Will keep you posted on the reply i receive.


        • Hi Saurabh,

          My employer has now come back and saying my petition has been returned.

          “Due to the number of cases USCIS received, it was determined that they received sufficient number of cases by the time your case was receipted in. USCIS returned a number of cases which were filed before the cut-off date indicating the same.USCIS returned a number of cases and your applications were also one among them”

          Just want to know few things.
          1. My application has reached USCIS – California center on 21 Nov 10 AM. As my employer has mentioned is it possible that even before the cut off date has reached is it possible for the application to be rejected as my employer has mentioned.
          2. If the application was returned back by USCIS within what timeframe this would have happend. Will it take couple of months to send back the application or will it happen immediately after the cut off was reached.

          Somehow i am feeling their answers are not convincing. Please let me know your suggesstion.


          • Sat,
            1. I don’t think they will return the petition if it was received on Nov 21 as the quota was still open that day. How do you know about the date and time? From UPS/FedEx tracking number?
            2. Most of the petitions were returned within 1 month (as I experienced from posts made by the user). It is very unlikely that they would take 3 months to return a petition and keep the employer in limbo.

          • Hi Saurabh,

            1. First when i asked for Status update on my petition they said no updates from USCIS. Then i asked them for Tracking number to make sure that my petition has reached used. I got the Fedex Tracking number and verified in the Fedex site and it clearly states delivered on Nov 21,10.21 AM signed by Chapman. That is how i initially confirmed it is filed within quota.
            But my employer (Inida’s one among the top 3 IT companies) saying some stupid answers that it didn’t go through.

            Is there anyway i can get the info myself from USCIS since i have the tracking number?


  8. Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks a lot for your valuable informations. It is really helpful.

    My H1B was filed on 18th Oct in CSC. Please let me know when can i expect the papers…

    Thanks in advance….

  9. Hi Saurabh,
    I want to know is there any yearly limit on money transfer to india. I heard from some of my friends that you need to declare in tax return filing about amount you transfer every year. If it is more than $10,000 then you need to pay taxes.
    One friend told that one of his friend got about $40,000 tax due from US gov on the overall money he transferred to india within span on 3 to 4 years. Reason for that is he crossed the per year limit and hence needs to pay 25% tax on additional money he transferred beyond the limit.

    What is your idea about this and how much information could be true.


    • Natie,
      I will have to do more research on this, but what I my guess is that they don’t care about the outflow of funds as long as they have been declared and paid taxes for in US. Also, the 10K limit is on the incoming money, and not outflows. But I will have to do more research to know the right answer.

  10. Hello Saurabh,

    Very GoodMorning……The service that your are offering from this site is really commendable and a wonderful job….Thank You so much for the excellent website….

    I was on H4 status and Have applied for H1B on sep20th 2011….My case status starts with WACXXXXXXXXX…Till Feb 9th 2012 it was showing as Initial Review and the case status got changed to RFE……As of now the Employer did not receive any Documents….What would be the next to be taken action steps

    A— wht would be the certainity of getting chances approval usually on the cases who gets RFE….

    B—what would be the time frame that would take in completing the procedure to reach the Decision status

    Kindly Help
    Thank You.

  11. HI Saurabh,

    Unfortunately as you told before my less that 1 year in my company created problem for my L1. I have computer science degree and i have worked on this specailization for 5 years. Will i not get any relaxation if i apply for l1. it is very urgent for me to go to US, since we have customers waiting. i have developed this application and it is difficult to give KT as it requires huge domain knowledge.. what to do ???

    • Ashwini,
      For L-1, the specialization needs to be employer specific. As an example, if company ABC builds a tool XYZ which can be used to manage say procurement system, then knowledge of that XYZ tool is specialized for L-1. Knowledge of XYZ is not readily available outside the employer. However, if company MNO created that tool, and then ABC is one of the companies that customize the tool, then it’s not specialized knowledge for L-1, as it is available outside the employer as well (there can be other companies doing the same customization).

      When you say you have 5 years of specialized knowledge, but less than 1 year of experience w/ current employer, that doesn’t add-up. If the knowledge is related to employer specific tools/applications/technology then how did you get it outside the employer? In either case, 1 year term is not relaxable.

      Did you talk to your company attorney?

  12. Hi Sourabh,

    My H1 petition (starting with # EAC) was filed on 16’th Sept, when can i expect the decission; the current status is initial review.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Sidd. D.

        • Hi Sourabh,

          I got an RFE. Today i checked the status and i came to know the USICS have mailed for additional evidence / information Feb 2’nd, I did not receive any mail from USICS nor my employer.
          Does this mean, my petition is rejected? Do I need to get in touch with my employer?

          Sidd D.

          • Sidd. D,
            Your employer/attorney will receive the RFE details within 1-2 weeks, and you can get the information from them.

            Have you created an account on USCIS website and added your receipt number to it? This way you will get automatically notified whenever the status changes.

  13. Hi Saurabh,

    I have a valid H1B visa and my wife has an H4 visa. But am yet to go to onsite due to delays in the upcoming project. Now my wife is filing for L1.
    So, in case I want to travel with her, do I need to file for L2 visa?

    • Amit C,
      You can travel on H-1 only if you plan to work for the sponsoring employer on H-1 in US. If the goal is just to accompany your wife, then L-2 is the right visa.

      • Thanks for the reply Saurabh.

        If I go for the L2 visa with my wife, then what will be its impact on my H1B? My intention of filling for L2 is just to accompany my wife but I do not want this L2 to impact on my H1B visa. Is it a good idea to apply for the L2 visa and what all questions can I expect from the interviewer?

        • Amit C,
          If you go for L-2 visa stamping, there is a possibility that the VO will cancel your H-1 visa stamp. Although this doesn’t mean you will lose your H-1, it’s just that you will have to again go for H-1 visa stamping when you decide to travel to US on H-1. Once you have got your L-2 visa stamped, you can travel to US on L-2 and then file COS to H-1 either through same employer or a different one in future.

          During interview you may be asked about your H-1 visa, and you can reply back that the onsite assignment on H-1 has got delayed, so you want to use L-2 visa now to accompany your wife and may want to use the H-1 in future.

  14. Hi Saurabh,

    My petition was filed on oct-7-2011. But still the status is under initial review. Could you please let me know if the processing of October petitions were done?

    Appreciate your effort in solving our issues.


      • Hi Saurabh,

        My petition number starts with EAC.
        Where can i find if its CSC or VSC. Could you please let me know?


          • Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your inputs. mine is EAC.
            my petition was filed on oct7. still my status is shown as initial review.
            Do you have any idea when EAC petitions will be processed.


    • Hi Saurabh,

      I was on L1A status. My H1B petition was filed on Nov12th on PP processing. Got an RFE on dec 1st. My employer said he responded to RTE Got an email approval on Dec 17th from my employer ( as uscis sent an approval email with I94 with expiry date to my lawyar). I did not recceive my physical petiton from USCIS yet.

      USCIS Online status was showing only RTE status till Feb 01th 2012.

      Now my employer says first officer approved my petition and sent an approved email communcation,…when second lawyer reviewed my case during printing petition they are requesting for a copy of I94.
      Based on attony emal confirmation I quit previous Job on Jan2012 and started working for new employer/client based on email approval.

      Now uscis website shows RFE respone review under progress .
      I dont know how my case has been changed from approved ( via emal) and to RFE.

      Anyone faced any simlar issue….

      Now I dont know my employer faked me by email .

      They say USCIS deplying my petition print processing and changed my petition status from approved to RFE review…

      Did my employer send me the fake approved email ?

      I dont know what should I do now???

      • Raja,
        I don’t know if your employer is cooking up a story, or if this is really something that has happened. As it has been filed w/ PP, it should get processed within 15 calendar days of receiving the RFE response. Legally, you should be working for L-1 employer until your COS gets approved. Talk to an experienced immigration lawyer to know how to get out of the mess.

  15. Hi Saurabh ,

    I saw your posts so I would like to clarify my question on H1, it was filed and got RFE and my employer didnt answered it but my status is showing RFE response review, will that be possible??

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ask your employer to check w/ USCIS? Has the RFE submission date elapsed? At times, the online status is not 100% reliable, so it’s best to check w/ USCIS.

      • thanks for your response. Employer is not responding to my call. Can I call to USCIS with my receipt number? However, RFE submission date expired on yesterday.
        I would like to ask few more questions and like to explain my situation

        Actually i am on L1B status and applied for H1B and got RFE abt Employee and Employer relation, few other documents but my client is refusing to send the required documents, hence my consultant is not even responding my call.
        1. Is there any possibility for L1 status candidates who got RFE, can change from this client to another client with the other or same consultant who is ready to offer me a client letter? Do I need to get LCA? will USCIS will accept LCA with new client?
        I know about my present case that I cant do anything now but above few questions raised in my mind.
        Appreciate your response and any advice on my case if there is any possibility to get H1B.

        • Anil,
          You cannot call USCIS, only the employer/attorney can call them about status updates.
          1. Yes, a new LCA is required. However, if your employer is not coordinating then it may be tough to get all this done. In addition, your RFE response date has already passed, which also does no good to your case.

          You can try again in next year’s quota through a more credible employer and a client who is ready to provide supporting documents.

          • Saurabh,

            Just got a response from my employer that he has replied to RFE stating that , job position by client is ruled off due to budget constraints,he also stated that he is willing to take me in an internal project within the consultancy.
            I have 2 question:
            1)If that is the case , is there any chance for approval of H1b petition.
            2) Employer also stated that H1b is rejected ,employer shall be filling H1 amendment through another client letter,and when I asked that if H1b is not approved then can we apply for amendment.
            Employer replied that since you are already considered into H1b 2011 quota , you can apply for amendment even though H1v is not approved.

          • Anil,
            1. It would depend upon how your employer positions you, and whether USCIS agrees w/ that explanation or not. In my experience, shift from external project to in-house project isn’t simple.
            2. If H-1 is rejected, then employer will not file the amendment. Instead they will have to appeal against the judgment or file a motion to re-open (MTR). Appeal is usually filed when no new documents need to be submitted and you just want them to reconsider the judgment based on already submitted documents. MTR is filed when new information needs to be submitted. So if the client needs to be changed, then it will be MTR. However, this can take few to several months to process and no PP services are available. It’s possible that H-1 through new quota may get approved faster that MTR.

          • Thank you Saurabh.
            While this process is going on for my H1B,
            My wife has applied of L2 EAD(2 months ago),Can you Please tell us whether USCIS will work on INDEPENDTLY or will it wait for H1 RFE to get completed or will it process EAD as an indepently issue ?
            Once again Thanks for all the help.

          • Anil,
            L-2 EAD will be processed on the basis your current L-1. However, if your H-1 gets approved along w/ COS and your wife’s L-2 changes to H-4, then L-2 EAD will be denied. Once your status changes to H-1, you have to ensure that your wife also moves to H-4 and stops working on L-2 (if she is working at the moment).

          • Thanks Saurabh,
            Will L2 EAD processing be held while my H1B is in RFE status, because my wife is still waiting for EAD as she applied on Dec 8th 2011 and I filed H1B on Nov 1st and got RFE on Nov11th??

          • Anil,
            I think it should still process, as your current status is still L-1 (even when H-1 is pending) and her L-2 EAD should continue to process on it’s basis.

          • First of all Thanks Surabh , My H1b got approved(from L1b) on 02/17 for 3 years validaity.
            Thanks for helping us in difficuly times.

            -On dec 8 , my wife has applied for L2 EAD, when my H1b petition was in RFE.Now as my H1b is approved and my wife is in H4.
            Will my wife L2 EAD petition gets rejected automatically or Do need to inform them to withdraw my petition.

            Kindly give us reply.

          • Congrats Anil!

            USCIS has made mistakes in the past, so it’s better to send them a withdrawal request to make sure they don’t do a mistake in your case.

  16. we filed for H1 transfer and my husband got denied just today 2/7.11, i am holding h4 visa, my question is it okay to file for h1? i have my college bachelors degree. will the denial of h1 transfer of my husband affect the filling for my h1?

    since my husband’s file transfer got denied can he go back to his previous employer without filling for another h1 visa? we still have our h1 visa up until sept2012

    • CRAZY8,
      Your status primarily depends upon your husband’s status. So as long as he maintains his status, you should be ok to file for H-1 w/ COS when next quota opens. And to maintain status, he needs to get continuously paid by an employer for who he has an approved petition.

      Yes, he can go back to old employer and work for them on the basis of old approved petition, or file H-1 transfer to another employer. Just make sure he gets regularly paid.

      • so its okay for him to go back to his old employer where we have our valid visa that will exprire on SEPT2012? is it okay to file perm upon going back to the old employer?

        • CRAZY8,
          As long as they are willing to hire him back and have an unexpired petition, he can go back to them. Yes, the employer can start the PERM process once he joins them back.

          • we got denied from filing the transfer visa for company B, but the lawyer said that she plans to FILE PERM with company B because once perm will be approve we will have the green card stage and once we have the green card, we will be resident already. is this a fraud or something?

          • CRAZY8,
            That doesn’t look right. You are already a resident alien, and you become a permanent resident after your AOS (i.e. I-485) has been approved. So it’s PERM then I-140 and finally I-485. What’s your country of birth?

          • philippines. our lawyer told that she’s gona APPEAL our denied status for the h1-B for COMPANY B and at the same time file for perm this coming week and i140 /i45 then the adjustment of status. She’s gona put us in the category of EB2 so that it will be faster. what do u think of this? is this something fraud? can we have honest feedback? coz were gona gamble 7k$ and its a huge amount.

          • CRAZY8,
            Your attorney seems to be too enthusiastic and very less aware of the reality. Yes, she can go ahead and appeal the denied status, but it would take few to several months to process and there is no guarantee that it will be reinstated. Does your attorney think that the denial was incorrect, and they have valid reason to appeal?

            Whether the GC is filed in EB-2 or EB-3 will depend upon your education and experience, and the offered position. What’s your education and how many years of experience do you have (not including any experience w/ the employer who is filing GC)? I can then give you a high level idea whether you qualify for EB-2 or not. EB-2 dates for Philippines is current, but EB-3 dates are still from 2006. Although it is not required that one should be working for the employer at the time of GC filing, but if you have never worked for the employer, it can be questioned how they were able to evaluate your performance and deemed you suitable for the GC. Lot of employers file GC only when the person has worked for them 6-12 months, during which time they would have evaluated the performance.

            Is the attorney asking for $7000 for all this?

          • he is currently working with COMPANY B right now and we are going to appeal the denied status this week. upon appealing the denied status, our lawyer will file PERM at the same time. he already have 6 years experience working. including his experience for COMPANY A. our lawyer said that sh’es running after the “perm approval” before our visa for COMPANY A expires which is on SEPT2012. yes computing all money that she’s asking for its about 7k$ including his atty fee.

          • he took ab economics and he was able to get here through management research analyst position. and our lawyer will be filing perm with management research analyst for his economics diploma.

          • CRAZY8,
            He will qualify for EB-2 only if he has done Masters or has 4 years Bachelors + at least 5 years of work experience prior to joining B (which is the GC sponsoring employer). In addition, the offered job should also require a candidate w/ above profile.

          • yes my husband had the 4 year bachelors degree and he has a total of 6 years experience working he graduated with a.b economics and works as management research analyst. so it is okay to appeal the denied h1-b and apply perm at the same time for company B? there’s no problem with that? what do u think?

          • CRAZY8,
            There is always a risk that your appeal will be unfruitful, and PERM processing would be put in audit/denial. Chances of this happening will depend upon how the attorney prepares your case, and how much USCIS and DOL are satisfied w/ it. What was the reason for current H-1 denial?

          • im not quite sure about the denial. havent read the mail yet. our atty was very confident that he will be able to get through this. but im really having doubts that this will be denied again. but she told us that she is running after before the appeal gets denied. that is why she is filing the perm EB2 at the same time with the apeal. ohgod i dont know what to do. i hope this will come out fruitfully. thank you so much for your help!=)

  17. My H1B petition was filed on 8 Sep 2011 and it is still in Initial Review state. It’s with the Vermont Service Center. By when I can expect to get the petition processed?

  18. Dear Saurabh,

    My H1-B visa was filed on OCT 17, 2011 under regular processing. The status still shows as ” Initial Review”. By when do you think I can expect the approval?


  19. hi i have issue regarding my school here in u.s.a they caught me plagiarizing and im holding h4 visa. will this affect my visa? or if i apply for immigrant will this affect me in any transactions in the future?

    • Moonah,
      I don’t think it will impact your visa as plagiarizing doesn’t result in finger printing. However, I don’t know how it impacts your grade and degree.

      • i just want to make sure that this wont affect my status in USA whenever my visa get expire and reapply again… this wouldnt show up isnt it?

        • moonah,
          As long as you are not finger printed, you should be fine. You can check w/ the school who all they will be contacting regarding this. It’s not a criminal act, and so I doubt if it would have a long term impact on your immigration plans.

  20. Hi,

    My Compnay filed my petition on 18th Nov 2011 and in USCIS it is in ‘initial review’
    state.the petition has been filed with california service centre.any idea how much time it would take from now for decesion

  21. Hi Saurabh,

    My employer a leading IT company filed my H1b on Nov 18,2011. They have not still got the acknowledgement or Receipt notice till today. I kept on enquiring and they say there is no update from USCIS. I believe there will be a receipt number generated once it is filed. Since it is almost more than 2 months i am doubtful whether it is filed properly. Is there any way to check if the petition was filed with USCIS.
    I asked my employer to upgrade it to Premium processing and they informed they can do that only after the receipt notice. Is that so?
    Can you please give your suggestion.

    • Yes, it cannot be upgraded unless receipt number is known. Does your employer know when it reached USCIS? If it reached USCIS after Nov 22, then you didn’t make through the quota. If it reached on or before that date, then they should call USCIS and follow-up. You cannot do anything at your end.

        • Saurabh,

          I have question on the filing. Is that the employer can file the petition online? or do they have to send the document printed and mailed through certified post only?

          Also i hope for all H1b petitions there will be an acknowledgement / receipt #

          Please provide your comments

          • Sat,
            Yes employers have the option to e-file the petition. Once USCIS receives the petition they would issue a receipt number as long as it’s not a cap-subject petition which was received after the quota got exhausted.

          • Hi Saurabh,

            I checked with my employer and got the Fedex Tracking number. Checked the status and the petition was Nov 21, 10.21 AM. I hope that means the petition is filed. But they have not received any acknowledgement of file number. The petition was sent to California processing center. Can there be situation of not sending acknowledgement but the File processing be done.

            Please provide ur comments

          • Div,
            Refer to my reply to your other post. There is a chance that the receipt number got lost in transit. Is this is possibility that your employer is not willing to share the receipt number w/ you? In either case, the employer/attorney can still call USCIS and follow-up to get the receipt number.

            CSC is still processing Sep petitions, and so it would be surprising if your petition gets processed at this point (as it’s filed in Nov). Was this filed w/ premium processing?

          • Hi Saurabh,

            Is that only the attorney’s can call USCIS and get the File number. I have the Tracking number with which the case was delivered to USCIS. Can i call the toll free number 1-800-767-1833 and seek for file number. Any other details would be required to get the file number.
            I am requesting my employer to get the details but it might take some time in getting them do it. Also i am just waiting for the file number to get this upgraded to PP.
            Provide ur comments

          • Sat,
            Only the employer/attorney can call them and get the receipt number. You can try, but I doubt if USCIS would help you.

          • Hi Saurabh

            I checked with my Employer. They are confirming that although it reached USCIS by Nov 21st since there is no response regarding acknowledgement / File # the H1b is not considered for this year’s quota. They are saying they have got some other petition in other cases denied by USCIS even though it was filed before 22nd.
            In your experience have you seen any such scenario. What are the possibilities that it will be still processed.


          • Sat,
            When they say other petitions were denied, do they mean they were denied after processing or were they not even accepted? IMO, if the petition reached USCIS on Nov 21, then it should be considered as part of the quota and your employer should call USCIS to follow-up. Seems like employer is ready to forget the processing and not take any corrective actions.

  22. Hi Saurabh,

    My employer claims that they filed H1B “premium” processing on my behalf. The receipt notice posted cost was $2,325. Based on the amount, did they (my employer), really filed premium processing? I assume that the word “premium processing” should be posted on the receipt notice (which wasn’t even mentioned on the receipt notice), but I guess I might be wrong. Thanks in advance, saurabh.

    • If this is the entire amount of the filing, then I don’t think PP has been filed. If this is receipt just for PP, then it might have been filed. PP cost is $1225.00 and then the attorney fees are in addition to it.

      Do you know your receipt number? If yes, then what’s the status when you check it online? Does it use the word “email” or “mail”? Also, when was the petition filed?

      • The petition was filed Nov 17, 2011 and the notice date was Nov 18, 2011. The status is still “initial review”. It stated on the receipt notice, “This courtesy notice is to advice you of action taken on this case. The official notice has been mailed to the applicant/petitioner indicated above. Any relevant documentation included in the notice was also mailed as part of the official notice.” The amount ($2,325), is indicated on the receipt notice.

        My employer informed me that they filed H1B PP and it cost them more than the usual. I doubted being filed as PP because it didn’t appear on the receipt notice. USCIS usually indicates PP on the notice.

        • kwiksilber,
          I don’t think it’s PP especially b/c it has been more than 15 calendar days since it has been filed and the online status doesn’t provide any indication to the same.

          You should check w/ your employer again, and if they still think that it was filed w/ PP, then they should call USCIS and follow-up.

          • Anyways, I was also planning to get married with my girlfriend who is EB2 status. She is still with me in my home country right now. We were planning to get married when we get to the states. Will the marriage affect my H1B status? I mean, will I acquire EB2? Thanks for the help saurabh.

          • yes, saurabh..employment-based green card category. How will it affect my H1B? Will her status change my H1B in effect of the marriage?

          • kwiksilber,
            You both can be married and be in US on your separate visas. What visa will she be on, or has her GC already approved?

          • hi saurabh…i can’t see your reply here..but i was able to read it thru my email. Thanks for the info. Godbless

  23. I received the following email. I’m still waiting for the mailed document and I don´t now what it means.

    My PD is current.
    My case is I-140 / EB3 / Consular processing (returned to USCIS May 2009)
    My old status was RFE replaied and received by USCIS December 1, 2010

    USCIS Website now, (WITH NO HIGHLIGHTED DOT) shows – “On January 24, 2012 we mailed the document to the address we have on file. You should receive the new document within 30 days. If you do not, or if you move before you get it, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283.”

    Received email states:

    Card / Document Production

    On January 24, 2012 we mailed the document to the address we have on file. You should receive the new document within 30 days. If you do not, or if you move before you get it, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283.

    This step applies to applications that result in an applicant receiving a card (such as a “green card”) or other document (such as a naturalization certificate, employment authorization document, travel document, or advance parole). Applications will be in this step from the time the order to produce the card/document is given until the card/document is produced and mailed to the applicant. You can expect to receive your card/document within 30 days of the approval of your application.

    If you do not receive your document, please contact our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

    Thanks for your kindly help,

    • USCIS will send the RFE details to employer/attorney within couple of days and they should receive it within 1-2 weeks through normal post. If it takes longer, then the employer/attorney can call USCIS and follow-up.

  24. hi i would like to ask a few questions. 1st we filed h1B TRANSFER last april2011 and on aug2011 usics asked us for the proof something then our lawyer submited it on october 19, a day before the deadline.. then it has been 3months now(FEBRUARY) but then when we checked our status online it was still “REVIEWING…..” 2) i want to travel for a few months say 10months this comiing may is it okay despite the transfer status?

    • You can travel while transfer is in progress. However, to return to US you do need approved H-1 visa stamp in the passport and approved 797 petition for the employer you will be working w/. Depending upon what’s the status w/ your visa stamp and petition, you may want to explore the option of upgrading to premium processing.

  25. My employer filed my H1b as a non immigrant visa last Dec. 25, 2011, How many months would it take to send me Notice of action?


    • From the date of filing I assume this is a cap-exempt petition as quota was already over by that date. The processing may take 2-4 months. If it was a cap-subject petition, then the same will be returned to the petitioner as the quota had exhausted.

      • Thank you so much for your response.
        If ever there is a pending of the processing of H1b visa, for what reason? and how many months again would it take to wait for the approval?
        Thank you again for giving the time to answer my questions. God bless us!

        • Usually the wait time is 2-6 months. Did your employer receive a receipt number for your case? If yes, then what’s the status when you check it online?

  26. Dear Saurabh,
    My H1b Petition was received by USCIS On January 31 status is Decision status as mentioned the below updates.

    On January 31, 2012, we mailed you a denial decision notice for this case I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. The notice explains why the denial decision was made and the options that may be available to you. If you have not received this notice within 15 days of January 31, 2012, please call customer service at 1-800-375-5283 for further assistance

    Could you please let me know the process. when I will get approval status ??


    • Actually it’s a denial and not approval. Your employer will receive the denial notice within 1-2 weeks and that will have more information on why it was denied. Unless your employer wants to appeal against the decision or file MTR, it’s a closed case now w/ no chance of approval.

      • Thanks a lot for the information.

        It means my Visa will be cancelling ?
        I am applied through my company, so shall I discuss with my manager regarding this ?

        • Your petition will be getting denied. Visa stamping comes after the petition has been approved, and as your petition has been denied stamping will not even come into picture. You can talk to your employer, as soon they will receive information from USCIS w/ details about the denial.

          [H-1 visas are always applied by a company and not by self]

  27. Hi,

    My H1B amendment was filed in premium and got approved, but never received petition copy. My employer when checked with USCIS, they informed that we need to apply request for duplicate copy (I824). Hence my employer filed I824, now in USCIS site shows “Acceptance” on 02-Feb-2012. Could you please let me know generally how many days it takes to get duplicate copy.

    Really appreciate your help.


      • Thanks Saurabh.

        In the USCIS site, I am seeing the following message. Could you please
        let me know the meaning of this message. Is this means, they have mailed duplicate copy of H1 petition?

        Your Case Status: Acceptance
        On February 6, 2012, a duplicate notice was mailed to you regarding a decision on this case, or describing how we will process the case if it is still pending. Please follow any instructions on the notice. Your case is at our CALIFORNIA SERVICE CENTER location. If this I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER is still pending, you will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something from you. If you move and this case is still 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.

  28. Hi Saurabh,
    My petition was filed on August 19th and today i got a RFE. Is it anyway i can process premium on my case, and do you see any risk in doing that?

  29. Hi Saurabh,

    We have filed our I-140 in June 2011. Received RFE on educational evaluation in Sep 2011. Before we answer the RFE, the Online status shows – On Oct 26th, we have approved the petition and sent documents. But still we(lawyer/employer/myself) did not receive them. Attorney said, online status might be wrong and she submitted the docs for RFE in Nov 2011. Still we did not hear anything from them. Attorney called USCIS couple of times and they responded her to call after 2 weeks everytime she called.
    So my question is –
    1) Can the online status be wrong for such a long time (still it shows the same status).
    2) Can an individual directly call USCIS and check for the status?
    3) Is there a chance that petition gets approved even before RFE is answered?

    Please clarify my questions.

    • 1. Yes, there is a possibility that online status is incorrect.
      2. It’s better for employer/attorney to call USCIS and follow-up
      3. Possible. The RFE was related to education evaluation, and it’s possible that the officer did a second review and realized that it should be approved.

      But had it been approved, then the employer/attorney should have received the approval notice by now. So it’s better to call USCIS and ask them to clarify.

  30. Hi Saurabh,

    My wife’s H1-B petition application was received by VSC on Nov 9th, and they generated the petition number on Nov 16th. From your previous posts, I understood that VSC is taking 4-6 months per application just to move it out of `Initial Review’.

    I am in US since 2007 on F1 (doing PhD). Can I apply for F2 for her, while her H1-B petition application is still under process? Does an F2 application help/inhibit her H1 chances?

    Also, if I get an F2 for her and she comes over to US, and if her permit gets approved, does she have to visit India before starting work?

    Sorry for asking too many questions. Appreciate your response.


    • Hi Saurabh,

      One more question: Her L1-B was rejected in July 2011. Reason for rejection given was that H1-B was the right category and L1-B was the wrong one for her work petition.

      Does her L1-B rejection impact her H1-B petition application? My guess is it won’t, but wanted to know your opinion.

      Thanks again for being a great information resource for all of us.

    • Is she currently outside US? If yes, then she can enter US on F-2 visa. Once her H-1 gets approved, she will have to file for COS from F-2 to H-1, and once approved she can start working on H-1. The other option is to leave US, go for H-1 visa stamping and then enter to work on H-1. However, she should file for COS to H-1 only after staying in US on F-2 for around 90 days as F-2 is an non-immigrant visa while H-1 is a dual intent visa.

  31. Hi saurabh
    My I 129 petition was received on nov 4 2011 (Vermont ser cen regular processing) with an EAC receipt number. my case is still under initial review and F1 OPT expires on feb 14th any suggestions to get my application approved before my OPT runs out

    • I doubt if it would get processed by the time your OPT expires. One option is to upgrade your petition to premium processing, in which case USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days. If your petition is not processed by the time your OPT expires, then you will have to stop working.

      • I can still stay in US right? Can my lawyers write to USCIS and ask them to expedite my application in regular processing will that help

        • Firstly, being on F-1 you have the usual 60 day grace period. In addition, one can stay for up to 240 days after I-94 expiration date if a COS is pending. When is your I-94 expiring?

          USCIS will not expedite the processing, unless PP is filed.

          • My office decided to go for PP. am i too late?…. say it reaches USCIS tomorrow or monday it will take 15 days from there. I will still end up having 3-4 days gap before i get the decision and OPT expires. does that mean i should quit and rejoin or should i ask my company to not run my payroll for that gap. what is the best way to make this work or can i just continue working
            Thank you for your help

          • USCIS will take maximum of 15 calendar days, but can be processed even before that. So you should remain optimistic. The plans would get derailed in case USCIS issue RFE.

            You should stop working and the payroll should stop running while you wait for H-1 to get processed.

          • saurabh,

            I have not seen any change in my status online, since my employer sent docs for upgrading to PP How will this work will I be issued a new receipt number or should i still check my old receipt number

          • Achan,
            It is the same receipt number. Do you have some sort of proof that USCIS has received the PP upgrade request. If yes, then your employer can call USCIS and follow-up on the same.

          • I do not have any proof what kind of proof should i expect should it show up in my online case status. my employers attorney work really slow

          • Achan,
            If the employer sent the document through FedEx/UPS or USPS w/ a tracking number, then they can use it to see if the document has indeed been received by USCIS. In addition, they can always call USCIS to check what’s happening w/ the petition.

          • I got RFE ……. USCIS needs more info on employee employer relation ship. do you know what kind of documents my company should produce to show that they are not some kind of body shop company and have complete control and supervision on me on a daily basis

          • Achan,
            I don’t know the exact documents, but the employer needs to submit how they manage your daily or weekly tasks either by doing regular meetings w/ you and client, how they prioritize the work, how they approve timesheets etc.

          • Achan,
            It will depend upon the submitted documents, and whether USCIS is satisfied w/ those submitted documents.

          • Hey saurabh
            my attorney did email PP office
            this was his email
            “I just called to speak to someone about the request for evidence faxed to me today (but addressed to Joe Rivas) and the automated service indicated that there was no premium processing request for this receipt number (which is obviously wrong). Can someone call me at the number below? I don’t understand why we’re being asked for more evidence concerning the employment relationship. This client is NOT a consulting company that places people at client worksites on a temporary basis. It is a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar construction company that is world-renowned in the fields of automation and high tech construction. There is nothing in the support letter that should trigger this type of RFE. The employee is a permanent full-time hire who we’re converting from OPT to H-1B. Responding to the detailed RFE will be a waste of time and money for all involved, so I would like to see if there is another way to address the situation quickly and cheaply. ”

            this was PP officer reply
            “Good Afternoon,

            Please disregard the request for evidence. Your case is currently under review.”

            But my online status still says RFE my time is running out what do u think the decision will be and when will i get it

          • achan,
            That’s a pretty strong email that your attorney sent to USCIS. Glad that they accepted their mistake and got rid of the RFE. Based on this email, you can ignore the RFE even though the online status says RFE. It should get updated within 15 calendar days.

          • 15 days from today or 15 days since we upgraded to PP ……….. I am in the middle of a project I cannot really stop working. can i ask my company to pay for these days later

          • Achan,
            It should be 15 days since they received the PP upgrade request. However, I am not sure if they would have stopped processing after issuing that erroneous RFE.

            Legally, you should stop working for the employer once your OPT expires and H-1 hasn’t been approved yet. You will have to check w/ an attorney about the arrangement of continuing to work and getting paid later.

          • Finally my visa got approved today. My OPT EAD expired yesterday and online status changed to post decision activity today. On February 13, 2012, 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.
            But i have not got any papers yet. can I still continue working??
            Thanks For ur help

          • Congrats achan.

            If you know that your H-1 has been approved w/ COS and w/ effective date of 14th Feb or earlier, then you can start working for the employer on H-1. However, you will have to check w/ the employer about their policies – do they want to see the 797 approval notice before allowing you to work on H-1, or is the online status good enough. As this is a PP case, your attorney would have received an email as well. That could also help in supporting your case.

  32. Hi Saurabh,

    I recently recevied my approved petition from USCIS.

    While filling form DS-160, I saw mismatch between client address in PETITION AND LCA.

    Please let me know, if it is an issue and which address I need to fill in DS-160

    • Check w/ attorney about that. If it’s a spelling mistake then it should still be fine, but if the addresses are different then it might cause a delay in stamping.

  33. Hi! I have a question, we already filed our H1-B TRANSFER to WAC last october, but when we checked it in the uscis website, it says 2 months and it is currently on REQUEST FOR EVIDENCE, but we havent got any results yet. and my H4 daughter wants to go back to our country for few months or a year to study there and our visa expires at SEPTEMBER 2012 what advices can you give regarding this?

    • The employer/attorney should have received the RFE notice by now. Did you check w/ them?

      One can travel internationally, while transfer is in progress. Extension of stay will be abandoned in case one travels outside of US while it’s pending. To return back to US, one would need an unexpired 797 petition from the employer you are working w/ and unexpired visa stamp in the passport (which can be from the old employer also).

      • hi our lawyer already submited the request for evidence last october… and the status in the uscis website is still REVIEW FOR RFE it has been 3months now but we didnt receive any decisions yet..

        • Once the response has been received, USCIS can still take 2-4 months to process. Your employer/attorney can call USCIS to follow-up. If you have urgent needs to get the decision ASAP, then you can evaluate whether to upgrade to PP or not.

      • hi we already got the results for our transfer of H1-B unfortunately it got denied. however i was wondering about the mail that the uscis gave to us, there was a name of someone WE DO NOT KNOW WHO IS THAT PERSON, SHE IS NOT RELATED TO US but her name appeared on the mail but the WAC was correct and the mail was sent to the office that i am currently working.

        • Trizia,
          Can you provide more information in what context was that name used. Is that someone working for the employer or attorney? Did you check w/ the attorney?

          • the name that was filed was my FATHERS NAME, he’s the one who’s holding the h1-b and he filed transfer for it. when the uscis asked for the REQUEST OF EVIDENCE our lawyer submitted it the day before the deadline, now we already received the decision and it got denied. upon reading the letter they sent to us, there was a name of a woman who is not related to the company. the company doesnt know who she is.

          • Trizia,
            USCIS might have messed up at their end and updated your case for someone else. Yes, you can appeal against the decision. I don’t know the current processing time, but it can take few months (2-6).

          • but the wac that was prvided in the letter was my father’s wac and it was address to his company, so who got denied was it my father or the woman that was in the letter?

          • and may i also ask that can we still appeal the case? because it was stated in the letter the we could appeal it and how long will it take if we will appeal it?

  34. Hi Saurabh,

    I read your blog and it very useful. I have a issue I need some advice with.

    I was previously on F2 (dependent of student) visa, and did a COS to F1 (approved in US with i-94) and then to H1 (approved without i-94). so I came to India. My visa was rejected, and the VO sent me a mail that the petition was reverted to USCIS with the recommendation to reject the H1 approval. Is there some way my petitioner can withdraw the petition? Also, I have a bigger MNC who is my client company who are willing to take me as full time and apply for my H1. They want to wait till the 221g (admin processing) is closed so that they will not be delayed with this.

    My question is
    1) will the withdrawal of the petition (my petitioner said he will withdraw), give me a better shot at the new H1 with the client company?
    2) Will the ongoing 221g close when the petition is withdrawn and not affect the new H1 with a associated 221g?
    3) How long does the withdrawal take to be in effect?

  35. Hi Saurabh,
    Hope you are doing good. My question is that my employer had applied for the H1B on 21/11/11 under PP. Could you please tell me if this is PP or a regular processing, and if its not PP how long would it take for the process.Below is the message which i find on the USCIS website.
    On November 21, 2011, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, and mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. 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 contact our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.

    • As per the message it has not been filed as PP. If your employer has indeed filed as PP, then they should call USCIS and get it sorted out.

  36. Hi Saurabh,

    The case is being processed at VERMONT SERVICE CENTER location and my Current status on USCIS is ‘Initial Review’ and the description says “Your Request for Premium Processing Service for your I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER was received on January 4, 2012. but,As i know They should process it within 15 days. still no response from USCIS. what is the next step? Please help

    • Your employer should call USCIS and follow-up. In most of the cases, they adjudicate within 15 calendar days, but in some outliers they don’t process it within 15 calendar days.

  37. Hi Saurabh,
    My employer filed my H1B petition on 21st Nov 2011 at WAC (the receipt no. starts with WAC). When I checked the processing times at WAC, it says 2 months.
    Now its more than 2 months but still no decision has been made.
    When can I expect a decision on my case?

    • Although they have published 2 months on the site, in reality it is taking 4-6 months. Your petition may get processed in March or later.

  38. Hi,

    I have applied through Premium process but got RFE on both Education evaluation and Experiences ( 9+ years in IT). I have submitted back with all the required details as per the Immigration team and attorney advice.

    Since both my UG (BA) and PG (MBA project management) are did in (Non-regular stream ) Correspondence, but I have did one year of Diploma in Computer applications prior to those which is in regular. Now, my question whether I’m eligible and any chance of getting petition approval? Pls guide



    • When you submitted your degrees and mark sheets for evaluation, what did agency calculate – do you have equivalent of 4 years US Bachelors?

      • Saurabh,

        Yes before the RFE came in, they have mentioned it is equal to 4 years US Bachelors which is mentioned in the I129 form under education evalution. After RFE, I’m not sure how they are evaluting but I heard from the immigration team that they are trying to get opinion letters from three different agency to submit to USCIS.

        This kinda of situation, any chance of approving the petition? or any mandatory that both UG and PG should be in regular stream? Please guide



          • Hi Saurabh,

            My Petition case got denied yesterday, Yet to get the denial reasons…

            Meantime Is I’m eligible for L1 Individual or shall I go for H1b premium in Apr 2012? or wait for next one year to re-apply? pls guide

            Thanks again!!

          • Sekharbabu,
            If the H-1 was rejected b/c you didn’t have the necessary education, then it will impact your future H-1 processing as well. L-1 may be a safer option but it would depend upon whether the job requires use of employer specific skills/tools/applications/technology or not.

  39. Hi Saurabh,

    By Mistake my Employer, a Big Indian IT company withdrew my H1-B petition before decision. And now the quota for 2011 is over. Is there a way that withdrawn petition can be re-instated by paying the applicable fees and submitting the docs again. I will loose another year due to this mistake . Below is the status on USCIS for my case:-

    On January 21, 2012, we mailed a notice acknowledging withdrawal of this application or petition I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. If you have not received the notice within 30 days of January 21, 2012, contact our customer service at 1-800-375-5283. If at some point in the future you wish to pursue the benefits provided by this application or petition, you must file a new application along with all applicable fees and evidence.

    • I don’t think it can be refiled once it has been withdrawn. Your employer/attorney can contact USCIS to explore options, but don’t be very hopeful.

  40. Dear Saurabh,
    My employer filled my H-1B visa in Set 4th of 2011, I had OPT Visa (post MBA)for one year. I thought I going to receive prompt response but I’m still waiting. My question is
    1- when is the deadline to receive a response from USCIS? could be March 9th?.
    2- If USCIS denied my H-1b visa, are they going to back the fees to my employer?
    Let me know.

    • 1. No that’s not a deadline. The current processing time is 4-6 months, and VSC just started processing Sep petitions. Does your receipt number starts w/ EAC?
      2. No. In case of denial, nothing is returned to the employer

      • Dear Saurabh,
        -Yes it is EAC, what does it mean?
        – In other words I going to have a answer no beyond of March 4th (6 months)
        Let me know

        • 1. It has been filed in Vermont Service Center, which is currently processing Sep petitions. EAC = Eastern Adjudication Center
          2. Usually they process all petitions within 6 months, but that’s not a rule, and in worst case scenario it can take longer

          • Dear Saurabh,
            -I got my H-1B visa , 2 days ago, I was wondering if I can go to Canada for vacation there is way to get stamp in my passport onceto enter to the USA.
            -Can you let me know what is the right and duties for a worker who has sponship regarding to the sponsor?
            Thnak you in advance

          • Congrats Walter.
            1. Yes, you can get H-1 visa stamped in the passport. Usually it’s not recommended to go to CA for 1st visa stamping, but as you have done Masters in US, then it should be ok. However, there is always a chance that your stamping may get delayed or refused. So have contingency plans.
            2. You should be getting paid all the time at least the amount mentioned in the LCA. In addition, if you are fired then your employer needs to provide a return ticket back to your home country.

          • Dear Saurabh,
            -If there a chance to receive an offer from another company, can I resign to my current sponsorship?
            -Can I stamp my VISA in Bahamas or Mexico too.
            Thank you in advance

          • 1. Yes, one can change employers when working on H-1
            2. Yes, but check for Bahamas. I recently read somewhere that they have stopped accepting TCNs (third country nationals).

          • Dear Saurabh,
            -I see I wait to wait at least 3 months before to transfer of employer, is that correct?
            -The proccess to transfer to employer (H-1) is simillar to H1-B, my new employer have to submit the same documents and pay the same fees?

            Thank you in advance

          • – That’s not correct. You can transfer H-1 anytime. If you have stayed w/ old employer for more than 3 months, then you need 3 months of payslips; if you have stayed for less than 3 months they you need payslips for just those pay periods.
            – Yes, pretty similar. In addition to those documents, they would need to submit a copy of old approved 797 and payslips and W2s (if applicable based on 1)

          • Dear Saurabah,
            -The fees for transfer to another employer is same?
            -If the company get in bankrupcy, can I work in another company and ask to transfer my H-1B to the new employer.

            Thank you in advance.

          • 1. It’s almost same. There is one particular fees that doesn’t need to be paid (I think fraud one for $500.00, but not sure). Besides, some fees are dependent on employer size and percentage of H and L employees working for the employer, and may or may not be applicable depending upon your new employer. Again, all this needs to be paid by the employer and not employee.
            2. Yes, if the company goes bankrupt, then you can have another employer file cap-exempt H-1 petition for you, while you are still on legal status

  41. hi,,,saurabh,,my petition was filed last april 2011 my processing centre was vermont,i got an rfe last june 2011,then my employer response to rfe,,then my status changed to RFE RESPONSE REVIEW LAST JULY 19 2011,,AS OF NOW MY STATUS STILL RFE RR,,its almost 6 months now after RFE,,how long does it take to know the decision?I WAS TALKED TO MY EMPLOYER TO CHANGED MY PETITION TO PREMIUM BUT HE TOLD ME EVEN WE CHANGED IT REGULAR TO PREMIUM WE HAVE NO ASSURANCE IF I WILL GET MY DECISION IN 15 DAYS.ITS WASTING MONEY,, WE NEEED TO WAIT..pls let me know HOW LONG TO GET MY DECISION ITS POSSIBLE I NEED TO WAIT MORE THAN 10MTHS..TNX SO MUCH

    • If USCIS doesn’t adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days, then they will have to return the PP filing fees and still process it ASAP. I don’t think there is anything to lose here by filing PP. Your employer can call USCIS and ask for an update letting them know that your petition has been in RFE review for more than 6 months now.

  42. hi, my petiton/receipt date is 3rd oct. But petion filed was on 30 sept. How much more time it would take now? when it would be approved?

  43. I applied for h1b and got a query on nov29th and my advocate gave a reply with new client letter.. Today i got update in uscis site as”On January 19, 2012, we received your response to our request for evidence. This case is being processed at our VERMONT SERVICE CENTER location.”…. I’m doing h1b premium processing… I have B1 visa till feb2nd… How much time it gonna take to get decision from uscis?
    If h1b is not accepted means do i have to leave the country?

    • As it is PP case, they would adjudicate it within 15 calendar days from Jan 19.

      Was your H-1 filed w/ COS from B-1 to H-1? If yes, then you will have to leave US as soon as H-1 COS is denied. If no, then you will have to leave US once your B-1 I-94 expires. If H-1 COS gets approved, then you can start working on H-1 from that approval date.

  44. Hi Saurabh,Need your advice..Unfortunately, Today morning, my case moved to “petition denied” , we had submitted the RFE response last week (client letter, manager letter etc)..
    When I talk to the employer about next step, they say they will Soon submit a “response to denial” to USCIS..what’s that? And what are the options available when H1b petition gets denied. I am so worried! pls help..

      • Hi shwetha, is your case a BEP case? didnt you submitted client letter at the time of fling? I have not submitted the client letter too at the filing time as my employer said I will be working from employer location and not the client location so client letter is not required.
        Hi saurabh,
        Is client letter not mandate if we work from employer loc than client loc..anyways I can submit SOW letter at the time of stamping…..pl throw some light here…

        • Based on the employer size client letter may or may not be required. For small to medium size consulting companies, client letters is a must. However, for big consulting companies (TCS, Infy etc), client letter is not required.

          Client letters show that employer has a source of funds to pay regular salary. Small companies do not have a cash reserve to pay salaries when an employee is not billable. So client letters are a must. Large companies can pay salaries even when the employee is not billable and so client letters are not a must.

        • Sam,after getting an RFE, I furnished all documents -manager letter, client letter etc..yet, i got “petition denied”, the denial reason wud be mentioned in the denial notice, which I am Waiting for..

      • Thanks Saurabh for the quick reply ! One more query..when the processing of ‘ motion to reopen’ takes place, can I process my H4 and travel to the US ? My husband is there on h1. Will this have an impact on my H1 MTR process if I go on H4 ?

          • Thanks Saurabh..I have a query here. My employer says, they will refile the case in April 2012,once the cap opens..I am planning to go to the US on H4 . My question is – when I will be in US on H4, my case gets refiled in April and i get approval by say June, can I start working there immediately after I get the approval or do I Need to wait till 1st oct?

          • If you are in US at the time of filing, then your H-1 can be filed w/ COS. Once COS gets approved you can start working on H-1 from Oct 2012. If COS is not filed or approved, then you cannot start to work until it gets approved or you get H-1 visa stamped in the passport.

          • First of all, Thanks a ton Saurabh for helping us out who badly need help during these tough times..
            I have one more query on this..
            My employer will be filing an MTR/appeal shortly as a response to denial by USCIS. If I go to US of H4 now, assuming that my MTR successfully gets converted and I get approval,
            1) would that require a change of status from H4 to H1?
            2) can I start working there immediately once the MTR is a success ?
            3)What needs to be done for stamping in that case?
            I am confused whether going on H4 would be a right decision while MTR is processed. Kindly answer my queries.

          • 1. Yes, COS needs to be filed once your petition is re-affirmed and you are on H-4 at the time of re-affirmation.
            2. No as your status would be H-4. You can work on H-1 only if COS has been approved, or you enter US on stamped H-1 visa.
            3. Stamping is not required once you file COS and get it approved. Next time you travel outside of US, you will have to go for visa stamping.

      • Hi Saurabh ,

        I saw your posts so would like to ask couple of questions My H1 was filed and got RFE and my employer answered it but finally it was denied but all the paper work was genuine still I don’t know complete reason of denial yet , I know that after denial we have two options appeal against the decision or file MTR (motion to re-open)it what is the difference between two? How long would it take ? FYI my H1 is done in PP so would there be any difference if MTR is done & how long would these process take approximately? Could you let me know as my application was PP would I get the decision faster if i do MTR,Can you please tell me timeline approximately
        Sorry for too many questions but I would need help from you.

        • In MTR, you submit additional documents to support your case. In Appeal, no additional documents are submitted but another officer is asked to review the petition. I don’t know the current processing times, but it may take few months. It will not be processed as PP even though your original petition was filed w/ PP.

          I would suggest to first wait to see what the denial reasons were and then determine whether you and employer should proceed or not.

        • Hi Saurabh,

          Thank you so much for your response. I just have couple more questions could you please answer these two. Now as my H1-b is denied when i apply in April with another employer or some other company does my records have a mark that my H1-B was rejected? Do I need to specify them That I got my application rejected for the X reason through Ycompany.Does this denial impact my future application. Could you please throw some light on this.

          • It’s always good to know the reason of denial. If it was related to the employer, then it may not impact your future filings, but if it was related to you, then it can impact future filings as well.

            Yes, you should let any future employer know about this rejection along w/ the reason. It will help them to prepare the case in a better manner and not be surprised in case USCIS decides to question about past filings.

  45. My H1b Petition was received by USCIS on 26th Oct 2011. It has been almost 3 months It is Filed with Vermont Service Center. any idea how much time they take to process??
    My problem is that i want to change my current project due to some issues i have, but my employer is asking me to wait till my h1 gets approved. Will there be any problem if i change the company when my h1 is under processing…please suggest me…thanks in advance.

    • It might take another 2-3 months as VSC is currently processing Aug petitions.

      If you want to change the employer, it’s better to do that once the petition has been approved. Else the employer can request to withdraw the petition w/o getting approval, which in turn will put you out of quota. Once the petition has been approved, you can apply for H-1 transfer to new company. At that point even if the employer withdraws the petition, you would still be considered to have made through the quota.

        • It is advisable not to change the client while H-1 is pending. Your employer must have submitted the information for existing client, and changing client would require to submit lot of information (like new LCA, I-129 amendment etc). So if you can continue to work for the current client, then do that. For speedy processing, you can upgrade to PP.


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