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

One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “How do I check status of my H1B registration or case status online. Many applicants are worried about their status and some say “It has been 4 months since I filed, no reply from USCIS or still my case is in case received status”.   In this article, we will review how to check H1B Registration Status and H1B Petition Status online on USCIS website and how each of the various statuses look like.

If you are new to the H1B visa filing process, USCIS is the government entity that accepts H1B registrations in online system. They also accept H1B petitions for the applicants who are selected in H1B registration lottery selection process. You can check more details on current H1B season details at H1B Visa 2022 – Lottery, Registration Dates, Quota, News

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

H1B Registration vs Actual H1B Petition Difference

USCIS has changed the process to apply for H1B Visa from 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 submission that a H1 Sponsoring company submits on behalf of an applicant that they intent to file H1B visa petition, if selected in registration process. As part of H1B registration, employer only submits basic information about applicant in the H1B Registration Online Tool. The employer does not send any physical packages or forms to USCIS. The H1B registrations are submitted by H1B sponsoring companies as a first step in the overall H1B process.
  • H1B Visa Petition : It is the actual H1B Visa application package that includes LCA, filing fee, and all documentation related to applicant, that is submitted on behalf of H1B applicant. Only applicant selected in the H1B Registration Selection Process, also called as H1B Visa Lottery , are eligible to file the H1B Petition. USCIS sends out a Case receipt notice for H1B petition received by their office.

Now that you understand the difference, let’s look at how to check the status online for each of them.

How to Check H1B Registration Status Online ?

Whenever an Employer or attorney submits H1B registration for a H1B Applicant online, the system generates a long 15 digits or so number for tracking in the system. It is listed under the status of the H1B registration. In some cases, it can be alphanumeric number as well. For FY 2021 season it was a number. It looks like in below screenshot in the online system. Some employers share that confirmation number in the form of screenshot, but many do not share that information as it is of little use to H1B applicant.

H1B Registration Confirmation Number Status
H1B Registration Confirmation Number Status

Update : Many Users have started to get H1B 2022 Selection notice on March 27th, 2021. Read more at H1B 2022 Lottery Results out – Sample Selection Notice

The H1B Registration “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” generated online, that you see under the status of registration, cannot be used by H1B Applicant to check the H1B registration status online. That number is only for internal tracking by USCIS and used for H1B lottery selection process. Only your H1B sponsoring employer/company or attorney can login to the H1B Registration system on USCIS website and check the H1B registration status. You can read H1B Registration Selection Lottery Status for FY 2021 – How it worked ?

After the H1B Registration process is complete and applicants are selected, the selected applicants would get a H1B Registration Selection Notice. This can be downloaded as PDF and have to used for H1B petition filing with USCIS using all the relevant documentation like H1B LCA, Client letters, etc. Below is sample snapshot of the H1B Registration selection notice. It has the “Beneficiary Confirmation Number” listed as well and other details.

H1B Registration Selection Notice Sample
H1B Registration Selection Notice Sample

Now that we understand how to check H1B registration status online, let’s dive into process to check H1B petition status.

H1B Visa Petition filing, Case Receipt Number

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

After USCIS receives the H1B Petition, they would give your case a number called USCIS Case/Receipt Number ( read Understand H1B Receipt Number ) and send a copy of the receipt notice in postal mail to the H1B sponsor or attorney. The receipt number is on the top of the receipt notice in the first row and first column as shown in below screenshot. It starts with WAC, EAC or other letters that signify the service center followed by digits.

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 USCIS website. If you as applicant do not have copy of the receipt notice, you should ask your employer or attorney to share you that information so that you can check on USCIS.gov website.

How to Check H1B Visa Case or Petition Status on USCIS website ?

Step 1 : Go to USCIS Website Case Status link : USCIS Check Petition Status.

Step 2 : As shown in screen shot below you enter the H1B petition Receipt number and click on Check Status, you will get the status of your H1B case. 

USCIS Case Status Online Check

You can also go to the menu and go under Tools > Case Status Online to get to the same URL and enter Case number. 

USCIS Website Case Status finding Navigation

Various H1B visa application Statuses on USCIS

Each of the H1B applications filed with USCIS can go through through many steps and can have various statuses as part of the adjudication process. In this article, we will cover some of the common statuses, such as Case Received, Request for Evidence(RFE), Approved, Decision Notice Mailed. We will look at each of various statuses below

USCIS H1B Status – Case Was Received

As soon as USCIS receives your application, they will update their system and it will show initial review status in their online system. Here is a sample screenshot. All it means is that USCIS has got your application and they have just receipted the application, next step is to process the petition and then adjudicate  the case.

USCIS Case Was Received

USCIS H1B Status – RFE or Request for Evidence

USCIS Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed RFE

For some cases, USCIS asks for more info called Request for Evidence (RFE) and send a letter to your employer/ attorney. Here is how USCIS defines RFE. Many refer to this as H1B query too.“A request for evidence is made when an application/petition is lacking required documentation/evidence (initial evidence) or the officer needs more documentation/evidence (additional evidence) to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the benefit sought. We may send you a request for evidence at any stage of our review. The request will indicate what evidence or information is needed for us to fully evaluate your application or petition.”  If your H1B petition is going through RFE, it would look like below. 

USCIS H1B Status – Case Approved for regular processing petitions.

USCIS Case Was Approved Status

If your H1B visa petition was approved, the system would show a status saying “Case Was Approved”, when the application was approved and when they mailed you the I797 decision. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval. 

USCIS H1B Status – Premium Processing, Email

If you filed your application in premium processing, you may see different status update, because the initial update is communicated via email, it would say “Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed”. Check below screenshot for approval status on USCIS for a H1B premium processing application

USCIS : 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 tells that your H1B was denied. Check the screenshot.

H1B Visa Denied Decision Notice Mailed

FAQs

As applicant, can I check H1B Registration Status on USCIS.gov ?

No, you cannot check it on your own. Only Employer or Attorney can check H1B Registration Status on USCIS website.

I have a H1B Registration Confirmation Number, Can I check on USCIS website ?

No, you cannot use that number to check H1B registration status. That long 15 or so digits number is for internal tracking and used for lottery purposes, it does not any format like H1B Case number to check on USIS case status webpage.

Employer not sharing details of H1B Registration, Any other Options to check ?

No, there are no other options to check, if your employer is not sharing info. H1B registration and petition are both employer’s and they have the right to share or not share. Most of the employers share the information.

Is there hope for H1B Registration after initial Lottery results after April 1st ?

Well, this is unknown…It all depends on the demand and how many actually file the full petition with USCIS. They may run second or third round of lottery as needed from the registrations pool. USCIS will update these details, if something happens.

Can I track my H1B Petition Status on 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 of the employer share that info.

Also, you should check article on How to check the online USCIS processing times explaining how the number helps you get an idea of approximate time and how you can do it on USCIS site.

Also, there are many more statuses that a H1B petition can go through, you can check the detailed H1B Statuses, Flow of Status in USCIS System

   

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1,903 Comments

  1. Hi Saurabh,

    I am on H1B visa and it is valid till Feb 2013. I got an opportunity with one employer and they told they will be filing a Visa transfer petition in premium mode for me and my family by sep 15. They want me to start the relieving formalities with the current emloyer(Notice period is 2 weeks) as soon as they file a petition and share the receipt number and join them by Sep end. They gave the commitment that even if we get RFE, they will be able to respond as they have all the documents for my position with the client. Moreover they will be submitting client invite letter and new LCA along with the transfer petition. Could you please provide your suggestion on whether to go ahead as per their instruction or to wait till the transfer approval. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  2. Hi Saurabh,

    Currently the status of my H1 is – On September 13, 2012, we decided to refund the fee on this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Once we complete our fee return processing, we will mail your refund to the address on record. This refund does not otherwise affect the processing of this case. It was receipted on September 13, 2012, and we mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case.

    Please let me know what does this meant..

    Thanks in advance.

    Ram

    Reply
    • Guess u applied for Premium processing nd USCIS was not able to make a decision within 15 calendar day so dey r refunding ur premium fee…but ur petition will be taken care on high priority

      Reply
        • Ram,
          Which centre have you filed? Receipt #’starts with eac? When was the visa filed and when was it upgraded?
          I have filed on apr17 and still under initial review, planning for premium based on ur reply….thanks

          Reply
  3. Hi, I have got an RFE for my application. Now my employer has asked me for another JD. What I wanted to know how much can my two JDs (one during the original application and one now for the RFE) differ. Are there any dos or donts while submitting this JD. I understand this could be my last chance and hence dont want to take any chances.

    Reply
    • Hi Karan,

      May i know in which organisation you work? May be i can help someone to identify with same as that of your case and hope it can help!!!

      Reply
    • Which center..? California or Vermont..?

      Regular or premium.. ? Please let me know.. My application is also filed on May 25th Vermont center but still there is no update. Still in initial review

      Reply
  4. Hi Saurabh,

    I would be grateful if you could answer my following queries ASAP:

    1. Can a US company that was started 2 years back & has current staff strength of 12 employees file around 40 H1B petitions for the same fiscal year? Is there some cap/limit to the nuumber of petitions that can be filed?

    2. Can an employer (US) withdraw a H1B petition after receiving the EAC receipt notice &/or after approval?

    3. If he can and does so then what happens to the candidate i.e can the candidate(employee) still proceed (with the remaining steps of H1B prcocess using the same petition that was is filed or approved and was subsequently withdrawn by the employer) with another willing employer.
    4. Does the employer who initiated/filed the petition at the outset and withdrew later, get the refund of the petition filing fee?

    Awaiting your prompt reply.
    Regards

    Reply
    • AJ,
      1. Legally they are allowed but USCIS may be interested to know if they have gained enough business in 2 years to file for 40 H-1s this year
      2. Yes
      3. If the petition was approved when it was withdrawn, then candidate can use it for future H-1 transfer. If the petition was still pending, then candidate cannot use the petition and will have to file a new petition next fiscal year
      4. Nothing is refunded from USCIS to employer in case of withdrawing the petition.

      Reply
  5. Hi Saurabh,

    I am going to attend the Visa interview in couple of weeks. Can you please clarify my below query.

    Currently I am India working in COMPANY A, I got Job In US(Company B) for X client and my petition filed on May 1st and got approved two days back. Can you please tell me what are all the documents i need to carry for Visa interview as i have only offer letter from Company B and there are no Payslips from them.

    Please let me know what kind of questions i can get from VO as i never worked for company B in US.

    Thanks,
    Suman

    Reply
  6. Hi Experts,

    My H1B is approved at USCIS. My Visa Stamping process should be initiated soon. I have few queries so it would be great if you can advise me here.

    1. My wife and children would be Accompanying me on H4. My wife is also in IT and having exp of 6 years. So what are the prospects of applying H1 for her from US.

    2. Are there any job openings in US where employer agrees for the H1 initiation.

    3. there are some Consultancy also who offer the sponsorship for paying them 5K – 10K $. Could they be trusted.

    4. Most importantly, is it mandatory to come back to India for H1 stamping if you are on conversion of H4 to H1.

    Any pointers to the above queries would be helpfully and greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a nice day!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • 1. My wife and children would be Accompanying me on H4. My wife is also in IT and having exp of 6 years. So what are the prospects of applying H1 for her from US.

      New H1 quota will start from 1 April 2013 – so you can find some consultany/empoyer to file petition – if petition approve she can work from 1st oct 2013.

      Look into COS and w/ COS options –

      2. Are there any job openings in US where employer agrees for the H1 initiation.

      its depend on location , skills , can travel? etc

      3. there are some Consultancy also who offer the sponsorship for paying them 5K – 10K $. Could they be trusted.

      Depends – better consult with friends – with good experience you can bargain with 50% cost.

      4. Most importantly, is it mandatory to come back to India for H1 stamping if you are on conversion of H4 to H1.

      No – until you have valid I94 you can stay in US – if you leave US then you need stamping.

      Can you share you h1 – when you applied and when it approved ?

      Reply
      • Hi VAX,

        Thanks for the updates. really appriciated.

        Anyway my H1B was filed on 18th April and it got approved on 4th Sep. It was under normal processing.
        One of my friend got RFE in July while one of them got RFE on 5th Sep 2012.

        Reply
  7. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B was filed on June 5th with EAC center. Status is still “Initial Review”. Mine is H4 to H1B.
    1. I am wondering would there be any delay in processing as it is non working(H4) to Working (H1B) visa?
    2. Is the probability of getting RFE high in this case?

    Could you please clarify.
    Thanks
    KL

    Reply
  8. Hi,
    My petition is in initial review and it reached to USCIS on May 1st to California location. My receipt number starts with WAC. Is there any one who sent their petitions after May 1st and got approved?

    Reply
  9. Hi Saurabh,

    I am on H1B visa and my period of stay in U.S is five years. My visa gets expired in another 6 months. (My employer does not apply for Green card). Can I apply extension for getting Visa for the remaining 6 months out of 6 years ?

    Thanks,
    Suresh

    Reply
    • Suresh,
      Yes, the employer can file for extension for a time period such that your total time spent in US goes to exactly 6 years (but not over).

      Reply
  10. Hi Saurabh,

    My petition has filed on June 8th,2012 and got receipt No on June 11th 2012. But still shows initial review. So If I did not get approval till Oct 1st, Should I start to work on Oct 1st on wards to my employer using my petition number OR need to wait until get approval.

    Can you please reply to my query.

    Thanks in advance.

    By

    Priya

    Reply
  11. Hi ,

    I received a mail from my employer citing that my Petition is Approved. However in the USCIS site I see my EAC# is still in ACCEPTANCE. Anything to be concerned about? 🙁 Also. what is a VTS # ?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Dhanya,
      At times the online status is not updated accurately. If you have no reason to not believe your employer, then it must be approved. You can ask them how they know about it.

      Reply
  12. Hello,
    Does anyone have any idea about the hit rate if you have recieved an RFE? Some say its almost the end of the road while some say recieving RFE helps in getting your H1B approved as compared to someone whose petition got rejected without even bothering to ask for clarifications/evidences.

    Reply
    • Karan,
      It depends upon the RFE reason. They can be as simple as a missing standard document or as difficult as employer-employee relationship, contract details etc.

      Reply
  13. Hello, My brother got an offer and the employer has filed a H1B petition. But, as my brother is working in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, he is saying it is difficult to get H1B visa here in India. Dear Saurabh would you please let me know if you have any idea about this.

    Reply
  14. Hi Friends. our H1 has been applied on April 27th and May 1st 2012. But its still showing in as ‘Initial Review. Any idea how long does it take for the status to change on the website? Have emailed the attorney too.

    Reply
  15. HI Everyone,

    Has anyone got his/her H1b approved, which was filed on April 9th, 2012 at Vermont service centre (EAC)? Mine is still in initial review.

    @Saurabh: Is it normal?

    Reply
  16. Hi

    Anyone got their I129 (L1 to H1) approval that filed on 4th May 2012 in EAC center through normal processing? Mine was filed on the same date in normal processing but it is still in initial review.

    Thanks
    Vini

    Reply
  17. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B was approved in 2012 for only 1yr which is valid till March 2013. now I am still in india and has not yet travelled US.
    Query1: Now only 6 months are remaining. suppose I am not going to US during this period, can i apply for an extension from india?
    Query2: if any other employer (not the current company) is interested to transfer the petition and hire me for US location, Can i go ahead with the same? Will my current employer can reject my H1B visa by any way?
    PLease let me know.

    Thanks
    Sidd

    Reply
    • Sidd,
      1. Yes, but only employer can file for extension
      2. Yes. The current employer will not know about the transfer. When you leave them, they can withdraw the petition but by that time you would already have another petition from the new employer.

      Reply
  18. Hi Saurabh,

    I filed H1 Transfer on Aug 17 and website shows it is Approved on Aug 21 under Decision Tab and My Employer get the Email Notification too that My H1 Transfer has been approved.

    Currently He scheduled my Interview… Here the tricky part .. He still didn’t got the I-797 copy from USCIS…

    Can you please let me know how many days it will take to get the hard copy of I-797 after Approval.. Mine is done under Premium Processing…

    Can I go to Interview without I-797 hard copy..Is it advisable..

    2) I got B1 on 2010 and Travelled to US twice but each Travel is under 60 days ..
    I have Denmark WP which I got this year and due to Internal project ISsues i didn’t traveled.. Is that effect in Interview process as I have not utilised the WP Visa properly.

    Now I applied Swiss BV and going for stamping this week.. Here While submiting docs to USCIS I didn’t mention that I am applying for BV for Swiss and even while submitting non blank pages This Visa will not be there is there any issues.. Please advise..

    Please advise..

    Extremely Imp..

    Thanks in Advance,
    Regards,
    Vamsi.P

    Reply
    • ABC,
      Employer should receive the copy within 30 days of the approval date. You should carry the hard copy when appearing for the interview.

      Your previous B-1 trip seems ok (2 months) and not using Denmark WP will not impact the outcome of your stamping. Its ok to not mention Swiss trip to USCIS as it happened later.

      Reply
  19. Hi, My brother got an offer and the employer has filed a H1B petition. But, as my brother is working in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, he is saying it is difficult to get H1B visa here in India. Dear Saurabh would you please let me know if you have any idea about this.

    Reply
    • Tanu Goyal,
      He may be subject to additional processing b/c of his current work. Also, this will hold true irrespective of whether he applies from India or any other place. As the petition is already filed, there is not much you can do except to wait for the processing to get completed.

      Reply
  20. Hi,
    I am in US on H1b Visa and looking to change my job. But a lot of times, the prospective employer asks me if I am on W2. Now I am clueless, what is W2…is it something to do with the tax declaration (W2 form) that I have filled or is it a different visa type altogether?

    Reply
  21. Hi Saurabh,
    I am in US on H1B visa with company X. Now I have got an offer with company Y. As I know, I need to get my sponsorship transferred from X to Y. How does that go. My prospective company is ready to get it transferred. Do I need to wait for it getting transferred and then put down my papers with X. How much time does it take for transfer.

    Thanks for your response

    Reply
    • MG,
      Y needs to file cap-exempt petition (aka H-1 transfer) for you. You can join the new employer once the transfer petition has been received by USCIS. If you want, you can also delay the joining until petition approval or never join them. Transfer petition takes 2-6 months, while PP cases are adjudicated within 15 calendar days (not including RFE time).

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for your response.
        But what still is not clear to me is how should I time my resignation from my current employer. Should I resign only when the transfer process has initiated and I get some sort of confirmation like may the receipt number, or is it safe even to resign prior to that. What are the risks and chnaces here?

        Reply
        • MG,
          The earliest point to resign from current employer is when the petition has been received by USCIS. The catch is that in case transfer is denied, then you will be in a fix as you would have left the old employer by that time. So you will have to go back to old employer or immediately file H-1 transfer to another employer.

          Reply
          • Hi Saurabh,
            Thx for ur response, but it came bit late. I already resigned frm previous co. on 15th and my transfer petition was filed PP on 21st. I havent still got the receipt no. When shud i expect the receipt no. And what can b the difficulties given that there is a week gap bw my resignation and new filing.

  22. Hi Team,

    My company has initiated my H1B in April. Still it’s into Initial Review status.

    I have enrolled at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do for status update. I just want to confirm that it wouldn’t impact any process being initiated by USCIS.

    Our company is doing background checks along with Third party and most of my colleagues have recieved that email whicle i am still waiting for that. I just want to be on safe side by confirming that it’s not related to my individual enrollment at USCIS.

    Reply
    • Hello,
      I guess I know which company you work for. I too was tempted to enroll for automatic updates but when I saw the form I got a bit sceptical. However I dont think it should really matter if you have enrolled in your indiviual capacity. With regards to the mail, if you are in the company that I am guessing you are in, then you shouldnt bother. Usually it is conducted to ensure the records are all clear, and only in case they have a doubt or need some clarification then they send you a mail. E.g. in one of the cases the company where this guy was employed (a small establishment) got shifted and hence the third party was not able to locate them. He got an email for this. Let me know if you have an information which is not in line with what I just mentioned.

      Reply
      • Hi Karan,

        Thanks for the update. Actually we are 8 person for whom H1 has been initiated together. 7 of them has got email from 3rd Party to provide their details of educations, photocopies of their Marksheets, Degree etc. Also they have to provide their current and permanent address and 1 declaration also. But i haven’t got it yet.

        I asked to my employer also by formal procedure but they said it will be done for all the cases enrolled for H1 and it’s company specific checks. The only diffirence between them and me is that i am lateral in this company and they all are associated with my current company since their inception of carrer.

        Could it make any difference. I am not sure on this but my 3rd party verification was done when i joined this organisation. Any pointers will be very helpful.

        Reply
        • Well, I must know the name of your company to give some pointers….maybe some hints etc….what I was referring to was a letter from the immigration department and not directly from the 3rd party. Also the letter of declaration was a consent letter given to NASSCOM for carrying out the investigation. Like I said it has nothing to with your eligibility or anything else….in my team we initiated H1s for 5 of them and only one of them got this letter.

          Reply
          • Hi Karan,

            I think you already got that correctly. It’s the one whose name has been shortened after removing Technologies from it’s name.

            I think you are correct here. At the time of joining this company my background checks were done so i suppose i didn’t get that email.

            I was also checking for some lateral case but don’t know anyone in my circle who is lateral and his/her H1 is also initiated.

          • Great then…relax…and keep me posted about any change in status either on the USCIS website or your intranet…so that we know hows it progressing. BTW when was your H1 filed and for which center?

          • Hi Karan,

            Mine was filed on April 18, 2012 but i am not sure how to get the Centre name, i don’t know. Let me know how to check it and i will update you on that.

            Yes sure i will update about progress on my H1B. You also please share updates from your side.

          • Same here….lets keep each other posted….I heard that the statuses usually change on Monday (not sure) and usually for most of them they change during September…since they have to clear the applications before 01st October…. I guess they are not in any sort of obligation though.

  23. Hi ,

    I just checked my Petition status and it has changed from Initial Review to Acceptance. All my colleagues have theirs in Initial Review. I am not sure why mine has gone backwards 🙁

    Can please somebody explain what is happening to my petition?

    Thanks

    Reply
  24. how many days after the visa status changes to ‘post decision activity’ PA interview date will be given. Is ther any process that we need to do after the ‘Post Decision Activity’ status?

    Reply
  25. Hi ,

    My petition was filed on 14th may 2012 at Vermont Service Center. It still shows status as Initial Review. Can anybody tell how much time it will take further ?

    Reply
  26. HI,
    Today i got an email from uscis showing my receipt number . When I tried checking for the status of my petition, I got the following message in the screen:

    “Post Decision Activity

    On July 31, 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.

    For approved applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include USCIS sending notification of the approved application/petition to the National Visa Center or the Department of State. For denied applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include the processing of an appeal and/or motions to reopen or reconsider and revocations.”

    As most of my friends who got their receipt a month back still have their status in the ‘Initial Review’. Is there any problem with my petition?

    Can some body explain ?

    Reply
    • Hi PAranidharan,
      Congratulation. You H1-B has been approved by USCIS on 31st July. Cheers 🙂

      When did your employer file your petition and at which center?

      Reply
    • Even I got email from USCIS on 2Aug2012,

      “Post Decision Activity”

      On July 31, 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.

      Mine petition was filed on 9 Th April 2012 @ California Service center Regular Processing.

      Reply
  27. Hi Saurab,
    Indian PP is expiring by Jan 2013.
    US visa (B1/B2) is valid till 2022.
    Can one make a trip to US landing there in Sept and return in Oct 2012?
    Or any minimum 6 month time of PP validity on the day of arrival in
    US applicable to Indian Citizen?
    Please clear my doubt
    Sriram

    Reply
    • Sriram,
      You can do that travel. One needs to have passport validity of 6 months when going for visa stamping. It can be valid for a shorter duration when doing the actual trip.

      Reply
  28. My friend’s L1 visa is set to expire this September. He is here in US for last three years. His organization thinks there are high chances that his visa extension request would get rejected. They are asking him to go to Canada and come back so that his I-94 gets an extended date when he comes back to US and then can work here…

    My question:

    Can date on I-94 exceed that on Visa. What are the chances that they will give a three year date to I-94 now that the Visa is set to expire in Sep 2012.

    Is this legal do stay with an expired visa but a valid I-94

    Can he visit India in such condition?

    Reply
    • Goyal,
      Lot of times they issue I-94 valid for 3 years when entering US on L-1. And yes, lot of times I-94 goes well beyond L-1 visa stamp expiration date. He can continue to stay and work until I-94 expiration date in case of L-1.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thx for your reply. He meanwhile tried this, but the officer gave him the same date as his L1 Visa expiration date on his 1-94 as well 🙁

        Reply
        • Goyal,
          Ask him to talk to his immigration team about getting the I-94 extended. This can be done by visiting a nearby CBP office.

          Reply
  29. I am in US on H1B visa. Can I work multiple jobs on H1-B Visa.
    In case yes, Do I need to notify my present employer or seek any NOC from them to do so?

    Does it depend on visa type or the employer.

    Reply
    • NO, a big NO. You can’t work for more than one employer i.e. only one W-2 permitted. That is the reason you need to file for H-1B transfer when you join a different employer. I hope this clarifies.

      Reply
    • Goyal,
      You can have concurrent H-1s filed and then work for multiple employer. For example, A filed full-time H-1 petition for you, while B filed part-time H-1 petition for you. You can then work for both ensuring you satisfy both LCA requirements. Other than that, you cannot work for multiple employers.

      Reply
  30. Hello Saurabh

    My employer has filed H1b for this current fiscal year. Currently my application status is showing as “Initial Review”. My worry is that this status is their from long time.

    Could please help me in knowing the max time takes for changing the status from “Initial Review” to “Decision” and “Post Decision Activity”

    Thank you
    Arjun

    Reply
    • No one can tell you how long it is going to take for the approval or change of the status. It might take between 2 weeks to 3 months and given the volume of the applications, it will definitely take some time.
      If you are in so much hurry then ask your employer to convert it to premium processing, you will definitely get some outcome with 14 working days.

      Reply
    • Hi Arjun,
      When you check your status application, uscis websites just shows 4 steps including acceptance, initial review, decision and Post Decision Activity, right? While I read on this website with screen shot there are many steps after initial review to the last step. Thanks

      Reply
  31. Hi Saurabh/Everyone,
    I have one question regarding my H1B petition.I have filed my H1B petition in previous project then I moved out of the project and joined another US project under same employer but now when I approached for LCA change my internal visa team suggesting that LCA change is not possible as of now and in most case eg 90% cases USCIS puts the petition into RFE then we might have to withdraw our petition because reason given is that the earlier client might not share non-shareable document as I am no more associated with that project. But as far I know that my petition is under Cap now so is it possible to file new petition under Cap exempt or wait till its reviewed or comes under RFE.Please suggest what are the options available now for me and how much time its takes for approval of petitions.My petitions was filed on 7th,May2012 but still under review. Thanks !!

    H1B guy

    Reply
  32. hello there,
    just wondering…so if i received the WAC, does it mean that the application is in “acceptance” stage? My case was sent on june 11th (the postal service confirmed acceptance). My lawyer gave me this WAC, but I checked it using the USCIS case status. It said that my case could not be found.
    It’s weird… help? I re-typed the WAC several times, without the dashes. Still could not find the case.

    Reply
    • mel,
      was your petition sent on 11-june? When did the USCIS receive it. It should be on 12-juen, right!!. Please share more details.

      Reply
      • my lawyer said that based on the postal service, the WAC received it on June 11th. Also, I had got the receipt number. If it was rejected, the application would not have been received and no receipt number would be issued.
        thats what I thought.

        Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh. I did contact my lawyer and he called the USCIS call center. They had technical glitch with the receipt number. My case is in process, but not sure which stage.
        Thank you once again! 🙂

        Reply
  33. Dear Saurabh,
    I have attended B1 visa on the 19th,June2012 and then they handed over the pink slip
    under section 221g but today I got my B1 visa stamped but the validity is only 1 year.As far as i know usually they gave validity for 10 years. Is it because my H1B petitions under process (not asked during interview) or my L1B got rejected this year on 20th,Jan2012(asked during interview).Please advise. Thanks !!

    Thanks
    kumar

    Reply
    • As far as i know and from my other colleagues in my office who got 1 year B1, i could only say it all depends on your number of years of experience, your designation and the reason for your B1 travel (if it was questioned in the interview)

      When i went to B1 interview, on the same day, one my other colleague who had only 1 or 2 years experience came with me, we had both gone for the same reason and to the same place and were interviewed by the same VO.

      In your case, even if your H1 petition wasnt questioned, i assume that VO can see it from their database only with your PP number, that may have indicated to give you 1 year. IN many case, they ll reject but if your reason was strong and supporting, Vo would have convinced to give you visa but restricted to 1 year.

      Reply
      • Dear SP,
        Thanks for Reply.However my experience is 7 years and I agree that they might have tracked from my PP number and that may be the reason that they restricted B1 to 1 year.

        Thanks
        kumar

        Reply
  34. Dear Saurabh,
    I have one question regarding my H1B petition.I have filed my H1B petition in previous project then I moved out of the project and joined another US project under same employer but now when I approached for LCA change my internal visa team suggesting that LCA change is not possible as of now and in most case eg 90% cases USCIS puts the petition into RFE then we might have to withdraw our petition because reason given is that the earlier client might not share non-shareable document as I am no more associated with that project. But as far I know that my petition is under Cap now so is it possible to file new petition under Cap exempt or wait till its reviewed or comes under RFE.Please suggest what are the options available now for me and how much time its takes for approval of petitions.My petitions was filed on 7th,May2012 but still under review. Thanks !!

    Thanks
    H1B guy

    Reply
    • Kumar,
      If USCIS needs any information regarding your project, they would issue RFE. At this point, your employer will be in a fix as the project has already ended. So they will have to file new LCA and I-129 and submit them as RFE response for the new project. If USCIS doesn’t issue any RFE and petition gets approved, then your employer can file LCA and H-1 amendment later.

      Reply
  35. Hi Saurabh,

    Currently I am not working and on H4 visa but I have an approved H1b visa from my previous employer. Due to some health reason , I can’t work full-time. So, can I work part-time on H1b visa?? Also, will there be any problem for H1b transfer with COS for part-time jobs ??

    Please advice.

    Thanks,
    Aarti.

    Reply
    • Aarti,
      Get a new LCA w/ part-time information. Then have H-1 amended for the new LCA. Once this is done, you can work part-time.

      Reply
  36. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B case status shows RFE Response Review since May 23rd. when can i expect decision?

    Regards
    Suhasini

    Reply
    • Suhasini,
      It can take few weeks to several months for the RFE response to be reviewed. There is no set processing time.

      Reply
  37. Saurabh,

    Could you please me.
    here is my situation. I have a total of 7 yrs of experience in IT and my company filed for my H1B this yr in May. I have all my offer letters and experience letters from my previous employers but not the offer letter from my first employer (I lost the letter). My present company went ahead and filed my petetion with all the supporting docs except the offer letter of my first company. I tried to contact the HR of my first company but the company is now merged with another company and the name is also changed now. There is no way i can get any other things from that company now. will the missing document affect my h1b petition decision or my interview at consulate ?? Please help.

    Reply
  38. Saurabh,

    my I129 was denied..i’m really so sad. I just want to ask if my employer is going to appeal, what are my chances? how long will it take for the decision to come up? or is it better to re apply?
    what are cap exempt company? i heard that the visa cap was already filled..

    Reply
      • I don’t know yet the reasons why they denied it..got the email from uscis last june 29. Guys cqn apply a new h1b any time or do i have to wait for april 1 next year? What are my other options guys pls help…i feel like i was betryd by my employer..

        Reply
        • I am really sorry for that. I think one should wait until next yr as this yr’s quota is already exhausted. however, there are some categories which doesnt come under the cap. try for those.. good luck..

          Reply
    • sorry to hear that. when did u file for the I129? how long did it take for you to receive the notice?
      since the cap is already filled, the only option is to apply next year…apply early, so if it is rejected, u still have time to appeal.

      Reply
    • Jhayjhay,
      The employer can file MTR within 30 days of denial if they believe that petition was denied in error. Otherwise, you have to wait for next year for H-1 filing.

      Reply
  39. Hi,

    Not sure, I should ask this question here or not. I am on H4 visa and expecting my baby in November End 2012 and planning to go to India in Feb 2013 . Is there any rule/law which says I can’t travel with baby until baby turns 1 year or so ??

    Please advice as I am very confused.

    Thanks,
    Sita

    Reply
    • I don’t think there is such a rule, however since the baby is very young the long flight might be tiring and also the noise of the aircraft could be troublesome. Talk to your doctor for better advice.

      Reply
    • you need to take POI for your baby before you travel and of course PP.
      they recently revised the fees for the POI…
      3 months gap, i believe is ok to get everything set up but as far as i have seen, people here give 6 months atleast before they travel with new born

      Reply
      • @SP
        PIO is not compulsery. She can take the baby with visiting visa too. BTW, there are lot of details available on the net for the preparation of travel with an infant that you can refer to.

        Reply
  40. Saurabh,

    I am on L1 and have applied for H1. At the same time I am planning to bring my parents on B2. Should my h1b application affect their B2 visa processing.

    Also, once my H1b is approved, is it mandatory for me to get relieved from current job by 1st October or I can continue till 15th Oct.

    Regards,
    Nishant.

    Reply
    • Nishant,
      Your H-1 processing will not impact B-1 stamping. If H-1 gets approved w/ COS, then you need to start working for H-1 employer from COS approval date. If you work for a 1-2 weeks more then you will have to explain the same to USCIS in future (if questioned by USCIS). Check w/ attorney.

      Reply
  41. Hi,

    You guys are doing a great job. Congratulations!!.. I have a query regarding the H4 visa stamping documents. Right now I am in US on H1-B and my wife, she is an Indian, is going to attend for H4 stamping at London Embassy as she is in an onsite deputation to the UK from her organization. So for her stamping I need to submit my paystubs and bank statements. My question is, whether this pay stub should carry any stamp or seal from my company? My company is providing the payrolls through ADP. So I have the downloaded paystub files only. So is it ok? Also in case of bank statements, is it ok if I just submit the Original Bank Statement which I receive in mail or is there any supporting letter from the bank needs to be submitted along with it?

    Thanks,

    Abhilash

    Reply
    • Abhilash,
      It is ok to take print-out of the paystubs generated from the ADP system. They would mention your employer name, pay period dates, salary, taxes etc. As for bank statement, she can carry just the statement as long as it clearly mentions your name, address and statement period.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks a lot for your response. I have one more query regarding the bank statement. I reached in US in April First week. So I already have only 2 statements and I am waiting for the latest statement which will be generated by today or tomorrow. But when I opened the account, the bank official mistakenly put my Indian address as the communication address. So my first statement is carrying my Indian address. At that time I was in a hotel accommodation. So I have updated one of my friend’s address in my bank, where I was supposed to move in. So my second statement carries that address. Then I had to move to some other accommodation as the second one had some problem. So I had to update the new address in bank and my new statement will be generated in that address. So is it OK if the 3 statements carrying different address? I am really worried about it.

        Thanks,

        Abhilash

        Reply
        • Abhilash,
          It would be ok. If the officer enquires about the different addresses, then your wife can explain the same.

          Reply
          • Hi Saurabh,

            I have one more query, mine was an arranged inter caste marriage. My marriage date (when the marriage function happened) was August 18th and we have marriage invitation card with the same date. But we registered our marriage in special marriage act and we got marriage certificate with date as 3rd, December. My wife is now going to apply for H4 stamping in the UK even though she is holding an Indian passport. In this case which date we should state to the immigration officer at the time of stamping?

            Thanks,

            Abhilash

  42. Hi ,

    I am in H1B visa and I have applied H1b transfer with a new employer on premium processing and USCIS requested for RFE. The RFE has been answered by my new employer
    on 11th of june 2012 but still the status of my case is showing as RFE when this will be updated to next step from USCIS and how much more time it will take for the approval.
    The RFE was on Job decsription nothing else.

    Reply
    • Danny,
      At times the online status is not updated regularly. Check w/ employer to know what date USCIS received the response. And start calculating 15 calendar days from that date. If it doesn’t get approved within that time frame (+ 1-2 days), then your attorney should follow-up w/ USCIS.

      Reply
      • Thanks a lot Saurabh for your promt response. As you said my status got changed today as response review on RFE. You guys are doing a wonderful job.

        Reply
  43. Hi Saurabh,

    I am in the process of going for H1-B visa stamping. I am filling the DS160 form. However I am not sure what needs to be answered in DS160 for the below question. Please help.

    Question : “Have you ever been refused a US visa, been refused admission to the United States, or withdrawn your application for admission at the port of entry” – Please let me know if I need to answer “Yes” or “No” to this, as I had my H1 extension denied in Mar-2009 and had my L1-B individual work permit denied in Oct-2011. Both these are related to my work permit petitions and I was never rejected any visa. Hope I can answer as “No” to this question in DS160 form. Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Rajesh,
      Only if you went to a US consulate and your visa stamp was refused/rejected, should your answer be Yes. Petition denials are not covered under this question.

      Reply
    • Adi,
      Yes, you can apply for the B-1/2. They can carry copies of your old approval notice, 797C extension receipt and old I-94.

      Reply
      • But wouldn’ there be question since my extension is not yet approved and on top of that my visa is currently under RFE?

        Reply
        • Adi,
          It should not matter. Think about this example – your H-1 is approved and your parents get B-1 stamped. Later you are laid off and your H-1 is revoked. The consulate will not revoke your parent’s B-1 b/c your H-1 is no longer valid now.

          They need information that you are in US on valid status. As long as that holds true, they can go for stamping. If it gives more confidence then you can wait for your approval.

          Reply
  44. Hi,

    I am filing for my H1 extension, my current petition is valid till July 31st. Can you please tell me how long it normally takes to get the reciept number for my extension?

    Also, I believe once we get the reciept number for the extension it would help me to extend my stay here or should I get an approved petition before July 31st?

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,

    Devanand

    Reply
    • Devanand,
      It should be received within 30 days in case of normal processing. Yes, as long as the petition has been filed w/ USCIS you can stay for up to 240 days beyond I-94 expiration date (pending decision on your petition).

      Reply
        • Devanand,
          As long as you have the proof that it was received by FedEx (through delivery confirmation/tracking etc), you can continue to stay in US. Also, in case it gets denied, then you will have to leave US ASAP as your I-94 would have already expired by that time.

          Reply

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