H1B 2016 Premium and Regular Processing Recipts and Time

H1B 2016 – After Lottery – Premium, Regular Processing Receipts, Time

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 2359 Comments

As I read the comments on our H1B Visa 2016 page, I can empathize what all emotions everyone are going through…some happy to be picked in lottery, some anxiously waiting for the result, some frustrated with the wait…some upset with the overall system and how it is abused… some swearing at others as they abused the system…when someone posts a comment telling that they have received the case number, the anxiousness or pressure among the ones waiting goes up by a big factor…Let me shed some light on the reality on the premium processing and regular processing times from a historical standpoint, so that all of you have a realistic expectations.

Let’s be realistic about results of H1B Lottery?  About 2 in 3 H1B petitions would be rejected !

I can imagine all the pain everyone has to go through, but let’s be realistic folks…Unfortunately, H1B is a lottery and only 85,000 petitions are selected from 233,000 petitions received for H1B 2016 quota.  Not being too picky on the precise probability…Just about 1 in every 3 H1B applications will be selected in the lottery process. It is very harsh on many who have spent thousands of dollars studying in US and on many who have been working at MNC companies waiting for years to get an opportunity to work in US, including many others like H4 holders who have found a job, sponsor and waiting to work…but unfortunately, it is the truth and reality…so, do not get disappointed with the results, it has nothing to do with your talent or hard work! It is pure gamble and luck…Not getting in H1B lottery is not the end of the world, stay positive…if you get it, great…if not, maybe there are better things that are coming for you in life ! Anyways, enough of the lecture 🙂 …

Keep the above truth in context and read below…

H1B 2016 Premium processing time – Case Receipts, Typical steps.

USCIS originally mentioned that the premium processing for FY 2016 applications will start no later than May 11th, later they issued a news alert that the H1B 2016 premium processing will start from April 27th.   Some of our readers are receiving the case receipts for the premium processing applications. You can check the status of selected petitions in our H1B Visa Case Tracker ….But, if you have not received your case receipt yet, you do NOT need to be in panic…You still have a week or so to get the premium processing receipts.

Usually for premium processing, the employer/ immigration attorney will get an email from USCIS informing about your H1B case with the receipt number. You can use that receipt number to track the status at USCIS site .  Ideally, all the receipts of selected H1B petitions should flow in on or before April 27th, or at least by 30th of April. Having said that, sometimes they may keep coming in the first few days of May too. What USCIS has promised is that the 15 calendar day premium processing SLA or Clock starts from April 27th. What it means is that the premium processing petitions have to be adjudicated by May 11th ( 15 calendar days from April 27th ). Also, one catch is that, if say your petition ends up in an RFE ( Request for evidence) while the adjudication of the petition, this will halt the premium processing clock for your petition and will restart after the RFE response is submitted by employer.

All in all, what I trying to articulate is that, just do not get nervous or more anxious when someone posts a comment that they have got the receipt and you have not. The lottery is done, if you were selected, you will get it…nothing will change that…stay positive!

H1B 2016 Regular Processing Time –Case Receipts, next steps

Typically, H1B petitions filed under regular processing do not have any mandatory SLA from USCIS, unlike in premium processing. They can take their own time based on their work load.  This is one of the most frustrating things many regular processing folks experience as they have to wait a lot of time… Anyways, if your regular processing petition was selected in lottery, your employer/ attorney would get the H1B case receipt notice in traditional postal mail from the USCIS. There will NOT be any email receipt notice. You as an employee needs to be in close touch with your employer/ attorney to know the status of your case.  If you were selected and your employer received the H1B receipt notice, the receipt notice will have the case number, which can be used on the USCIS website to check the status of your case.

As there is NO fixed SLA for the processing of the regular processing petitions, the receipts keep coming in sporadically from USCIS. Typically they would start to arrive from about 2 weeks from lottery date all the way till end of May or maybe even in early June for some cases. Again, this can be very frustrating to keep waiting on this receipts, but there is no choice.

Once you have the receipt number of your regular processing petition, you may upgrade it to  premium processing to get the adjudication done in 15 days…but, unfortunately, now you cannot upgrade the case now…you will have to wait for the receipt number to arrive in mail to take any further action like upgrade to premium processing…!

When you see a comment or status on our H1B tracker that regular processing petition case number received, do not panic and get worried about your case… You just need to wait for couple of months to conclude your luck…Over the years, I have seen the frustration of applicants and can empathize the pain that regular processing applicants go through…it is very tough ! All I can say is, stay calm and keep doing your day to day stuff, do NOT stress yourself.

Tracking your H1B Visa Application Case

We have created the H1B Visa Case Tracker with the goal that everyone can see the status of many people like you and have an approximation on timelines. Instead of adding status comments on blog, I request all of you to add your case and keep the status up to date on the H1B Visa Case Tracker as your case status changes…We will try to enhance, for more options..

Have you applied for H1B last year ? Any words of wisdom for new H1B filing candidates ?  Share your thoughts.


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Comments ( 2,359 )

  1. Raj

    How can I get to whether my application has been filed or not..
    Means is there any tracking number before it picked up in to lottery.


    1. administrator


      No tracking ability like this. You can track using receipt number, which is issued only to cases selected in the lottery.

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