Today is April 3rd, 2017, the day USCIS accepts H1B 2018 Petitions, which is probably the most anticipated day for many international students in US and professionals both in US & abroad thinking about their destiny, to work in America. Many of you might be new to process of H1B visa, below are some of the common questions and their relevant answers, including what can you do to be informed…
Some common FAQs for H1B Visa 2018 Filing
Many of the first timers for H1B process, would have common questions like What is H1B Fee for FY 2018 ? Difference between masters quota and general quota cap ? To understand, some of such common questions and active discussions in comments, you should read H1B Visa 2018 FAQs
H1B Lottery Predictions for FY 2018 ?
We predict that, there will be more petitions filed for H1B quota than the available cap. You can read H1B Visa 2018 Lottery Predictions – Trend Analysis, to get an idea on what we are predicting based on data.
How long will the H1B petitions be accepted for FY 2018 season? It is very relative and depends on number of petitions USCIS receives. It can range from 5 days to 10 months or more. As per last few years’ history, the minimum duration for accepting petitions for a fiscal year would be at least 5 business days. For FY 2018, the minimum 5 days would be from start of business day of April 3rd, 2017 to end of business day of April 7th, 2017. If USCIS receives more than 85,000 petitions during this time, then the season closes and USCIS will conduct a lottery to select those 85,000 petitions to fulfil the H1B cap. If USCIS does not receive enough petitions, which is 20,000 for US Masters students’ quota and 65,000 for regular quota, then USCIS will continue to accept until the H1B cap count of 85,000 is met. During recession period, the H1B Visa 2011 cap was reached on Jan 26th , technically it lasted for 10 months. But, as per our H1B Visa 2018 Predictions, we expect a lottery for FY 2018 and cap would be complete by end of business day of April 7th.
As we expect Lottery, when will the H1B 2018 Lottery conducted date be ? Well, this always depends on many factors like the number of H1B petitions that USCIS received and how much time they take to sort those out. In the past they had more pressure as there was premium processing in place, but for FY 2018, premium processing is suspended for up to 6 months, so it may be even later, hard to tell…Historically, the lottery was done about one week after the cut-off date.
- For FY 2017, it was done on April 12, 2016
- For FY 2016, it was one April 13, 2015.
We can expect it be around the same dates or later. If you are not sure about all the lottery and how it works for H1Bs, check below basics.
H1B Processes, Basics : Below are some of the common processes in H1B and basics, if you are a newbie, you should read the below.
- How does H1B Lottery or Random Selection Works?
- H1B Filing , Lottery Selection Myths
- All about H1B Caps – Regular vs Masters Quota
When will you get H1B 2018 Lottery Results? When will you know decision on your H1B application ?
In general, it is a waiting game. In the past, there was premium processing and those processing dates given by USCIS… So, first the premium processing applicants selected in Lottery were informed via email and then regular processing were informed via hard copy mail… As we do not have Premium processing this year, this waiting game is going to be more…we do not have any SLA defined for regular processing. If there is lottery, they will conduct lottery and then selected petitions would be sent receipt notices…subsequently the rejected or petitions not selected in lottery will be sent reject notices. USCIS will send in their own sequence and there is no information on how they prioritize. USCIS usually gives news alert indicating that they have returned all the rejected petitions. For FY 2017, it was July 8th and it was July 14th for FY 2016. So, you can expect the last date for receiving lottery decision around that dates or earlier…depending on the number of petitions filed this year, it may be earlier or even later in July or even early August…So, be ready for waiting game folks !
How can you confirm, if your employer has filed H1B petition ?
H1B process is usually fully processed by your employer and it can be tricky at times as some employers do not share the petition information transparently to employee…Some of the ways you can know that your petition is filed is to ask for information from your employer or immigration attorney for details like below.
- Copy of LCA that was used for filing H1B your petition
- Copy of Fedex or UPS or mail related tracking information for H1B petition
- Copy of the receipt notice, once they receive it ( they will only receive this after lottery process )
- Copy of reject notice from USCIS, if your employer says your application did not make it in lottery
- Copy of the application package that was sent to USCIS.
Employers do not have any legal commitment to share you the H1B petition information as it was filed by them. Anyways, most of the good employers share fair amount information and hope your employer is one of them…
Who is your contact for all your H1B petition related information?
Your employer / immigration attorney is your only option to get information related to your H1B petition. You cannot really get information from USCIS customer service or any other sources. Your employer / immigration attorney would get receipt number regarding your H1B petitions, which you can use to check on USCIS website. Also, they will get your H1B reject notice, if you were unlucky and did not make it through.
Tracking Your H1B Petition – Crowdsourced for Insights.
As premium processing is suspended this year and there is no way to know status of others and compare yours vs everyone to get overall idea, we have built H1B tracker to help applicants crowdsource information anonymously and get insights. If your employer is filing H1B petition on your behalf, please add your case anonymously and update the status as you have more information. This will help you and the community, use below link to register and add your case.
Did we miss anything ? Any questions ? Your Thoughts ?