FY 2017 Exceptions in Receiving H1B Receipts – Experiences

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 142 Comments

Many of you, who are still waiting for receipts for FY 2017 must be wondering, do I still stand a chance to get H1B receipt. Let me cover the reality first and some of the exceptions or outliers shared by users in the last couple of years, when we had lottery.

What’s the Reality of  Getting H1B receipts now ? Is it Game Over ?

Well, unfortunately, the reality is that, if you are still waiting for your H1B receipt, either regular or premium processing,  the chances of getting H1B receipt is very slim. The slim chances are due to the fact that USPS delayed mail or lost mail or some system level exceptions.  Some of you may have a week of slim chances and after that it is technically a game over situation as it has been over 2 weeks since May 2nd, when the H1B Data Entry was Complete for FY 2017 .

What are the Exceptions and Outliers for Receipts Shared by Users in Previous Years ?

As always, there are some exceptions and outliers these can be for various reasons and you may or may not be part of that, let me share with you what our users have shared in comments in past couple of years.

  • FY 2016 – H1B Receipt June 3rd: One of the user posted that they have received receipt on June 3rd..see below. Check Comment Link FY 2016 Receipt Exception 1
  • FY 2016 – No Receipt – Direct Approval June 23rd : Very rare, but lucky person who got it approved…seems the system did not send out the receipt notice mail or it was lost in transit. Check comment linkException H1B 2nd
  • FY 2015 – Premium Processing – Approval on June 17th : This is totally off the normal, but it happens in life. Check comment link, the user describes full storyException H1B 3rd
  • FY 16 – Check cashed, no receipt August 30th : Interestingly, check was cashed, but no receipt till Aug 30th. Check  commentCase 5 outlier H1B

So, What’s the key take way ? Should I keep hopes ?

There can be similar exceptions like above for some cases…but let’s be realistic, these could be a fraction of the total receipts… Posting these experiences of users is not to increase your hopes, but just to share that there can be exceptions due to system glitches. Personally, I do not recommend banking too many hopes and waiting for your petition receipt. You should have got a receipt number by now, if you were selected in lottery…if not the by today, at most by end of this week…otherwise, the chances after that are almost zero…

One thing is for clear, if you have not heard anything from USCIS, you need to start to think about your options and plan accordingly so that you do not get into out of status situations, which can jeopardize your future.  On a side note, you should ask your employer to share the reject letter copy, when they receive the rejection package indicating that you were not selected in H1B lottery, that is the only way to be fully 100% confirmed that you were not picked in lottery.

Any exceptions so far? Are anyone still getting receipts?

In case you have not checked out, we have written few articles in the past that talk about all the next steps. Read below…


Other Articles

Comments ( 142 )

  1. sivaram

    hi guys
    this is siva
    regular process started r no tstarted my case number was EAC 16141***** THIS SERIES is started pls any one tell me iam waiting for u rs reply

    1. San

      My employer told me that the check was encashed on April 17th but I still haven’t received the receipt/case number. Is there anyone else with the similar situation?

  2. SM Kiran

    Hi Saurabh,

    Below is the status of my H1B now.
    “Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction”

    Now can we expect a new receipt number because the case has been transferred to new office. Please let me know


  3. ns

    Hi Saurabh

    I am on h4 and my spouse company have filed for GC and got receipt number last week.. What may be the time frame in which i may get my H4 EAD status and start working.
    P.s : My h1 did not get picked this year 🙁
    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator


      Once spouse’s I-140 is approved, you can apply for H-4 EAD. Do you know where exactly spouse’s GC process is at the moment?

  4. H1BJuly

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have selected in lottery- RP/non-AD. Waiting for approval. My query is I had few backlogs in my education B.E. passed exceeded 4 years duration. So will it be any issues,,, pls advise


    Hello everyone!

    I would first like to congratulate all who were able to confirm their receipt. You definitly going to change your live and work for the bests in the best country of the world to live.

    I take this opportunity to ask if I still have a chance, because I have not received any information yeat.

    Kind regards

    Flavio Brando from Brazil

    1. Gilbert

      The Statue of liberty just showed me the a## :D. Got package back with check. Game over. This is pure gamble. Instead do some software or manufacturing business instead of cleaning US a##.

      1. RK


        You proved the story “Fox and Grapes” that Grapes are sour. 🙂 Tell me that will be your comments if you gor the H1B visa.
        What comments you are giving now, That time you did not realize when you applied the H1B visa..

        Now you rejeected and you started like India and India’s work culture.. What is mind set of people. Laughing on you!!!!

  6. abhi

    Hi Saurabh,

    My lottery got picked . But I got to knw some people get visa validity for 1 yr, some for 2 and some for 3 years. So, how is this determined? Luck or visa interview performance.

    1. administrator


      Things that determine the validity period of the petition:
      1. What the employer requested
      2. What USCIS determined appropriate based on submitted documents and information. For example, for a small consulting company submitting a project of 1 year may receive 797 valid for 1 year
      3. An error on USCIS part

      In any case, extensions can be filed until the person has spent 6 years inside US on H-1

      1. Kiran

        Hi Saurabh,

        I have few questions on the last statement (In any case, extensions can be filed until the person has spent 6 years inside US on H-1).

        My wife’s H1 petition filed in Aug 2010. She then traveled to US twice during 2011-12, spent 8 months altogether. She resigned here in India in 2012 and since then she did not get a chance to work or travel due to family constraints. Is it possible to utilize the H1 visa NOW in non exempt category? If yes, what should be the next steps? I am assuming that one US consultancy is willing to sponsor as and when needed.

        Any information in this regards would be useful.


        1. administrator


          Yes, it is possible. She needs to find an employer and they can file cap-exempt H-1 petition for you. Paperwork would be similar to her initial H-1 petition. Additional documents required:
          – Proof of previous H-1 status: copy of old 797 approval notice, or at least the receipt number
          – Proof of maintenance of previous H-1 status: payslips for the period she was on H-1, W-2
          – Proof of current status in US: only needed if she is currently inside US. If yes, then what’s her current visa status
          – Proof of previous H-1 visa stamp: passport copy w/ visa page

          1. Kiran

            Thanks Saurabh for the response.

            One more question.Since it was filed first time in Aug 2010, I am assuming the extension (if everything goes as expected) SHOULD be filed before Aug 2016 as the H1 visa validity is maximum 6 years. Am I correct?? If not , what is the cut-off timeline for the extension?

          2. administrator


            You are correct about the 6 year period. However, there have been recent experiences shared when USCIS approved the cap-exempt petition even after 6 year period had expired. In one instance, original petition was from 2003. So worth a try.

      2. abhi

        Thanks Saurabh for the response.

        I had one more issue that is my passport is valid till Nov-2018. So will it have any issue in the visa validity period.


        1. administrator


          They can issue visa valid longer than the passport expiration date. It would be kept consistent w/ your petition expiration date.

      3. abhi

        Thanks Saurabh.

        One more point is I am going for stamping on Oct and baby would be 2 months by that time. Can you tell how dependent visa be done for the kid like any documents and their physical presence is required or not?

        Thanks in Advance

        1. administrator


          Baby is not required to be physically present for the interview. You need to pay the fees for baby’s visa, complete DS-160 form and then carry the documents for the baby along w/ you. Document would be proof of identity (like passport) and relationship (like English language birth certificate or baby’s passport with parent’s name endorsed).

      4. abhi

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the reply.

        For this year my petition is approved and stamping is on Dec. Thing is in my organization as of now no requirements are there for my skills where H1 could be used. So in that case can I search for other employer to file H1 Transfer or is it mandatory that H1 transfer can only happen if you travel at least once with your filling company. If you could explain it will be of great help.


        1. administrator


          Another employer can file cap-exempt petition even before you have travelled to US. There are multiple examples shared on this blog and elsewhere where someone has done this.

          1. abhi

            Hi Saurabh,

            Can you please let me know when the 6 years stay at US starts from for example my visa is stamped from Sept’16 to Sept’19. In case I travel in 2019 then how long I can stay there, only 3 years since it was stamped in 16 but I traveled in 19 or counting would start from 2019 till next 6 years?

            Thanks in Advance,

  7. Shiv

    Hi Saurabh,

    I was selected in lottery with xyz company and currently I am working with company abc and on notice period to move to another company dhc.

    Could you please let me know this job change will affect in anyway to my h1b with company xyz.

  8. Raju

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thank you for offering valuable suggestions…
    H1B picked from Employer A .Would it possible to transfer the case and travel with employer B once it approved by employer A,before October1st 2017 ?
    There are many website reviews are confusing and the risk involved .

    1. administrator


      Yes, there is conflicting information available about this. Some attorneys have suggested this is possible while others have shared experiences about denial. The argument against is that your H-1 would become effective after Oct 1, and so it cannot be used for cap-exempt filing. The argument for is that you are requesting a future start date after the cap-subject H-1 petition would become effective, and so it should be approved.

      Best option here is to find a new employer and ask their attorney about it. If they are willing to file, then you are all set and they would provide best argument to get it approved.

  9. bob_Secondtime

    Hi All,

    I have received the receipt number only by today which was picked much earlier. I checked the status in USCIS and it says the case received. So what should be next steps? Will it be only as case received in the status till we get stamping done? somebody please help me here

        1. Thani oruvan

          For your question, it will be in case received status till your petition is approved/moves to RFE (they request for further evidence if the current docs are not enough) which will be done in coming months. Then you can go for visa stamping.

  10. Ram

    got a confirmation that my H1b petition is selected in lottery. But i need to travel to Us before October for short business trip. I am applying for B1/B2 visa now. Will there be any issues?

  11. pavan

    hello all,
    my employer informed me that my petition got selected in lottery some were in may first week, but then on i dint get any update on receipt after repetitive follow up my employer informed me that i can expect an update on receipt by June end please can any one shed some light on this does receiving receipt takes that long time appreciate any response.


    1. administrator


      Ask your employer how do they know that you have made through the lottery? In case they are relying on cashed check, then receipt number should be present at the back of cashed check. They can access copies of that check online in their banking account.

      1. pavan

        thanks saurabh,
        followed with my employer he mentioned that he got an email saying ‘selected in lottery’ and no receipt so far asked him to share the mail and verify receipt behind cashed check but he said there is no receipt number behind cashed check and cant share received email (company policy) now I’m bit skeptical whether they are telling true or not. and do you think still we can receive receipt so far i enquire with my friends (different company) around 90% who got selected in lottery have received receipt and rest are waiting for rejected package mine is peculiar case

        1. administrator


          Not sure who sent that email to your employer about selection. USCIS won’t sent selection email, but they would sent receipt number email. So a selection email w/o receipt number is not possible.

          Yes, it looks fishy. You have to check w/ employer about the receipt number. If they genuinely received the selection email (somehow) but are not willing to follow-up w/ USCIS about the receipt number, then it doesn’t look right.

  12. Jose

    hello everyone, does anyone knows if in order to get the H4 approval notice, the H1 applicatio linked to it had to be approved before?
    my wife received the H4 approval notice in the mail but i have not heard anything about my H1 application.

    does this H4 approval notice means my H1 was approved too?

    1. administrator


      If H-4 is approved, then it implies that accompanying H-1 petition has also been approved. What’s the status shown online for your H-1 petition?

      1. Jose

        hello Saurabh,

        i don’t know what my H1 status is, i have not received any information from my employer lawyers, i want to believe that they have my receipt and approval.

        is there any way to know the status of the accompanying H1 with the H4 case number?

        1. administrator


          I don’t think you can gather H-1 receipt number from H-4 receipt number. Let your employer/attorney know that H-4 COS has been approved. In case they don’t have H-1 receipt number yet, they should follow-up w/ USCIS.

    2. Naveen

      How did your wife receive the approval letter? Shouldn’t it be mailed to the attorney at law or the employer initially?

  13. Luis

    Hello everybody,

    My case Is PP, I`m still waiting they pick up it,
    My question is, how this web site knows information about me like ( my name, country, etc..) if the Immigration didn`t get the package ? ??

    1. administrator


      What website are you referring to? If you are referring to Redbus, then the site doesn’t know anything about you. USCIS site is the official source of information about your specific case and until you receive receipt number from employer, you won’t find any information there.

    2. Jose

      Hello Saurabh,

      I don’t have any information on my H1 application, i’m assuming that my information was delivered to my employer lawyers and they haven’t told me yet. The only thing we received is my wife’s COS approval notice valid from oct of 2016 to oct 2019.

  14. Zel_apd


    When can we expect the rejection packets or at least the confirmation that the application is not picked up in the lottery?
    Out of 8 applications my employer did, 2 have been picked up and he said he don’t see anything +ve though the last hope is till the rejection packet is received.

    1. babu

      Any idea about, when can USCIS start by sending Rejection letter (or) packages?? who ever not picked in the lottery..

  15. imcool24

    Hi ,
    My check has been encashed April 20th . My employer told that there are 9 other “encashed checks” waiting for USCIS receipt notices.Rest all encashed check notices have come.
    Don’t understand why it is taking this long for them to receive the receipts. Couple of possibilities would be either lost in USPS transit, or some system issue because of which they were not generated.

      1. imcool24

        No Raghu – I am still waiting eagerly to find out what has happened exactly. Employer will check with bank only after they receive rejection notices.

  16. Muhammed

    Hi, my employer said that I did not get a receipt nor the package back. Is there any chance now? Any comments are welcome.

  17. V


    MY OPT is expiring on May 31st and can not be further extended. Unfortunately, I could not get through the lottery this year. Can I still continue to work until I receive the H1B denial from USCIS?

    1. HA

      Your last day of work would be May 31st in that case.. You can still stay in the US while waiting for the rejection letter, but you CANNOT work past May 31st.

    2. JS

      Hi V,

      I was in a similar situation last year. But I planned ahead of time so that I can continue working. I enrolled in an MBA program to extend my visa. I know it’s already too late, but you can still try to enroll in a School and get your full time CPT asap.

        1. JS


          I enrolled in an MBA program. I need to take two classes on campus, and allowed to take one online course per semester.

        1. JS

          If one has a masters degree from US, then there are some schools who issue full time CPT for the second master’s on the first day of school. Yes, you are correct under normal circumstances one can get CPT after 9 months of the program.

          1. JS

            Below are three universities that I know, who offer full time CPT right from the first day.
            1. ITU, San Jose
            2. United States Univeristy, San Diego
            3. Internation American Universtiy, Los Angeles.

      1. Beware Fraudulent Universities

        Full time CPT will get your H1B denied in the future – all places that offer full time CPT that allow you to work at a job of your choice are fraudulent or bending the USCIS regulations. Go read any immigration forum and you will see that people keep getting RFEs/denials for this. Don’t do it.

        1. JS

          A lot of my friends joined above listed universities and they got their H1-B approved. I think if one has a full time job and employer is reputed, there will not be any issues.

    3. Bell

      How do you know for sure that you did not get through H1B lottery this year?

      Well, I was in the same situation last year. You can keep on working until you receive an official notification of lottery rejection. If you receive this before your OPT expiration date, then you can work till whenever it is. However, if you have not received it yet, you can work until the date you receive the notice.

  18. raj

    When I searched my case number in uscis site getting error as My Case Status does not recognize .
    Does any one else has similar issue.
    Validation Error(s)
    You must correct the following error(s) before proceeding:

    My Case Status does not recognize the receipt number entered. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

    1. Steve

      From some source I have heard that there will be a second lottery to fill in the vacant slots of H1b which were declined for fraud such as double entries from same employers and also for withdrawn petitions. So there won’t be exactly 85000 selected initially. So folks keep hope and wish best luck to me and everyone.

      1. sinabagh

        I am waiting for a receipt number just like you but let’s not give people false hope. that sounds like an absolute BS! if USCIS wants to do anything like that, they will definitely release official news instead of letting you know by “some source” of yours.

  19. Anirban

    One of my friend got the receipt on July 13 last year. Does this mean I sill have a chance of getting my case picked up.

  20. Xammy

    My husband is Dutch and has applied for a H1B (I am Canadian and will be going with him). We got a receipt notice that was dated April 21, 2016 (with a receipt date of April 11, 2016). When I look for info on the USCIS website it says “My case was received” and under next steps says “If we accept your case, you will receive a receipt notice. If we reject your case, we will send you an explanation with instructions.”

    I’m not sure if the company paid for premium processing or not, so I have no idea what we should expect in regards to the outcome of the visa process. What is the latest that you think we will be waiting for the result? Thanks for any info!

    1. administrator


      If the status message contains the word “email” then it has been filed w/ PP and should be adjudicated by May 27. If not, it is regular processing, which can take few to several months. There is no SLA for this. The employer still has the option to upgrade to PP anytime during the processing to get the decision within 15 calendar days.

      1. Tammy

        We asked and it looks like they did regular processing, but the lawyer told the company we should know by the end of June at the latest, which seems to conflict online info. Is there a chance that regular processing applications are answered earlier or do they finish all of the premium ones first? I’m still checking my status on the USCIS website every single day, even though logically I know I won’t hear for ages, probably.

        1. administrator


          They would finish PP applications first and then pick-up the RPs. You would start to notice movement on RPs starting next few weeks. However, some RPs will be processed prior to others. In general, they would be processed within 2-6 months. If your petition is picked early in that RP lot, then you should hear by June, if not then it would take more months.

          Instead of checking the status online, why don’t you set-up an account on USCIS site, add the receipt number to it and subscribe for email notifications.

    1. mkm

      Hi bro,

      In previous some one mentioned they will release the results in last week of may. is it your second time with collabera. Last year when they released results. I am waiting for results from collabera

      1. collabera-h1-1sttime


        I have received call June 1st that it got picked through lottery.
        But i am yet to get the receipt
        Any update from your side

  21. FingersStillCrossed

    Any one from TCS got the confirmation?
    I do not have any update from anywhere; only the Visa Tracker in Ultimatix has the status of “WP/Petition filed and submitted” in green.

    1. Attempt2

      I came to know that some people from Manufacturing ISU and some from Morgan Stanley account have recd their status.

      I am waiting for mine. I’m from EIS.

      1. Attempt2

        Got to know today that my app has been picked up in the lottery. The ISU RMG had the list since 17th May but the lazy lady did not bother to update anyone. I am waiting to know the case number.

  22. Naresh

    My employer called me on Thursday and told that my case has been picked up in lottery.

    A brief message i received,
    ” Congratulations to you,
    We did get a confirmation, that your case have been picked up in the lottery conducted by USCIS. “

          1. Pp

            Hi MNB

            Did you get the call from smartsource? And they give you case receipt number?
            I haven’t get yet. I am waiting since last week onwards.

    1. cspk

      I did. They called me yesterday, but they told me , they don’t received confirmation from USCIS and they ask me to wait for the confirmation. It LL teke another 2 – 4 weeks time.

  23. Gaurav

    I have been trying to schedule an appointment for H1B Interview at US Embassy, New Delhi since last 10 days but no dates are available. Has anyone else faced this issue?

    1. administrator


      It is difficult to predict the opening of slots. You just have to keep trying to see if anything comes-up.

  24. RAJ

    Hi Admin,

    I just want to know that few pics of wedding are sufficient when I will go for visa stamping for H1B and H4 of my dependents and I also need to carry wedding card.

    Thanks in Advance



    1. administrator


      Its best if the passports have been updated w/ spouse’s name. If not, have the marriage certificate in English. In case that is not present, carry selected photos from the wedding and wedding card.

      1. RAJ

        Thanks a lot Saurabh for the reply. Spouse name is already updated in our passports. Hope, every thing will be fine now.



  25. Shao Mei

    Someone from infy got selected already and he has been informed via email. Is this over for those who have not received updates?

  26. H12016


    I have recieved my H1 receipt number. My case was filed under regular processing and now employer wants to know the pros and cons between regular and premium processing. Any help or links to articles explaining will be helpful.
    Also LCA has two addresses one of the employer and other of client. Will it be a good option to upgrade to premium considering the possibility that the project might end in couple of months.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator


      Under PP, petition is adjudicated within 15 calendar days, while RP can take few to several months. Still, even if approved early, the start date cannot be prior to Oct 1. Lot of folks wait to see how their petition progresses under RP, then set a cut-off date to upgrade to PP. For example, you can wait in RP until Aug and then upgrade to PP to still get started by Oct 1.

      Your employer/attorney will have to evaluate the risk. Even if upgraded to PP, USCIS may issue RFE asking why to approve when project is ending in few weeks.

  27. BeHappyPeople

    I am selected in lottery, Generally what is the chances of getting petition through and should we go for stamping personally ? Also I was in states on L1B and extension was not through, will it be any issue? People still waiting All the best.

  28. Amit


    My case was selected and I got receipt number too. I have a query that my wife’s passport does not have have my name endorsed on it. Will she face any issues while applying for h4?

    1. administrator


      As long as there are other ways to show that you both are married, it should be fine. This could be wedding card/album, marriage certificate etc.

  29. Kumar

    Hi , I got a confirmation that my H1b petition is selected in lottery today. but i have one doubt, my passport will expire on Feb2017 . so can i take new passport before attend the consulate ? or can i attend with old passport ? please suggest me

  30. Ss

    My employer informed that my cheque was deposited but till now there is no receipt received from USCIS. What does that mean? Do i still have a chance?

    1. INFY-firefighter

      Yup, there is no update from them. when i called them for an update, they said, they wil post the updates by end of next week

    2. MSINFY

      Team, looks like infy has updated the status starting 18.. Many have the file number updated.
      Fingers crossed. whether all are done / can we expect more updates over the next week

  31. bob


    I got a confirmation that my H1b petition is selected in lottery today May16th. Mine is NON-AD/RP. This was 2nd attempt. Vermont centre my petition was filed & confirmation got from consultant today.

    1. GameOver

      thats great. congratulations😀

      you probably are one of those last few lucky chaps. while it gives eveyone a ray of hope, it is better to start working on plan B,C ..etc.

      I lost hope for this year 🙁 🙁

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