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H1B Lottery Receipts Waiting – Premium vs Regular Processing ?

Many of you, who applied H1B petition for FY 2017 are going through a very tough time…many waiting for the lottery results, some waiting for the actual decision, some very nervous looking at the celebration from others saying their case is picked, some making up their own theories that ‘game is over for premium processing folks”, some talking about stats of other attorneys. some blaming the system, some blaming the fake consultancies…it is a complex world, isn’t it …everyone has their opinion and has their say… Just look at comments on our H1B Visa 2017 page, you will get a sense of the discussion.  Anyways, let me try to shed some light on the reality so that everyone is on the same page….

Is it ‘Game Over’ for H1B Premium Processing Petition filing candidates?

No, absolutely not.  Many may claim and make up their own theories or say that they are hearing from their attorneys and other attorneys that the game is over, but it is not true. The reality is that you still have till May 12th for the premium processing clock start date. The chance of getting receipt might be slim, but still there is chance. You can get a receipt up until May 12th, if you have filed under premium processing. Also, you cannot be sure about anything until you get a rejection package from USCIS.

When will the H1B petitioners, who filed under Regular Processing get Receipts ?

Well, this is a tricky question… As there is no set SLA for regular processing petitions, you can continue to receive the case receipt number anytime now, up until USCIS formally indicates with an alert saying that they have returned all the rejected petitions. It can go up until mid-July 2016 or even later.

Last year USCIS also did a news alert on May 5th, indicating completion of data entry of all the petitions received for FY 2016 year. They mention in that they will start to send rejection packages for petitions not selected.  After couple of months on July 14th last year, USCIS did a news alert indicating that they have returned all the rejected petitions.  If you look at it, it took them over 2 months just to complete sending rejected packages…Now, coming to this year, as we had more or less same number of petitions, you can expect the last date for receiving lottery decision around that, which is mid-July or late July.

Many of you might be thinking, what the heck, that’s a long way to go….unfortunately, the reality is that until you get a rejected petition, you cannot be sure that you were not selected in lottery.

Need to wait for USCIS alert on Data Entry

We need to wait and see, if USCIS releases a news alert like last year indicating that they have completed data entry… we can expect some real final lottery decisions for unlucky candidates. Last year it was done around May 5th, let’s see, if we get something this week.

What’s the basic rule of H1B Lottery Result you need to aware ?

Either you have filed in premium processing or regular processing, one rule of lottery applies to everyone. Up until the date you receive a rejection package and you see a physical sample H1B reject Notice by yourself, you cannot be sure that you were not picked in lottery.  People can say all kinds of their own theories, some of them might be 99% correct, but they will NOT be 100% correct. The fact is that until you see a physical rejection letter that came along in a package from USCIS, your game is NOT over for FY 2017!

What are your thoughts?

While Waiting – Always appreciate the brighter side of life…Check out the below video.

Image Credit : http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=30485&picture=i-am-waiting 


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  1. Hi,
    I just want to ask if all the people who get picked in the lottery will receive their approval all at the same time? Some of my friends already receive their approval and I still have not got mine. If not, how long does it take to receive the approval letter according to your experience? Thankyou

  2. Hi,

    I have got receipt of lottery and waiting for petition, wants to know that if employer doesn’t hand over petition to me then would I loose my H1 or I may get it re-issued after I shift my company and get that transferred to new employers.


  3. Dear Kumar / Saurabh,

    Thank You for this Wonderful H1B Blog. I have question and My Situation as follows… I thought I should post my question in this Blog so I can get a fair Idea.

    My Situation

    H1B petition(i-797B) expiry date: 8/3/2016
    H1B Visa expiry date: 8/3/2016
    Currently in the USA with I 94 Expiry date: 8/3/2016

    Extension filed date: 5/11/2016 ( May 5 )
    Case Status : Case Was Received

    Since its already July 2016, I am planning to talk to my Employer to upgrade my case to Premium Processing.

    My Question

    1. Once My Employer Upgrades my case to Premium Processing in July 2016 and if the USCIS for some reason Rejects my Extension will be I out of status even though my existing H1B Petition is valid till 3rd August 2016. Or Can I still be in US till 3rd August 2016.

    2. What are my other options ?

    Once Again I Truly Appreciate All Your Support…


    • Kimmy,

      1. No impact on current petition. So even if extension is denied, you can continue to work till 8/3
      2. Upgrade to PP. In case it is denied, change employers and work for the new employer. As long as this is filed prior to 8/3, you should be ok.

  4. Hi,

    Lats week my company manager called me and told me that the cheque had been en-cashed for my name, but I am still waiting for the receipt. Just wanted to confirm, is this the right process. If the cash had been withdrawn on my name can I confirm that my name is picked up in lottery ?

    • Firstentry,

      If the check was really cashed, then you have made through the lottery. BTW, the cashed check would have receipt number printed on the back. So the employer can look-up receipt number there. If the employer has not received receipt notice, then they should follow-up w/ USCIS UNLESS they are lying about the check cashing.

    • Sonia: I am wondering the same thing….PP/REGCAP/VERMONT…not receive a receipt or anything but initial FedEx delivery confirmation. The WAIT is driving me CRAZY.
      I want to stay positive….GL to all…Cheerio, Ziska

  5. Until when does the USCIS process regular packets? Like when is the latest I will be notified of a decision. (Not the lottery results, the actual approval/denial)

  6. I applied h1b for 2015, my petition got picked in lottery. Afterwards it went to RFE and my consultant send response to them, but USCIS had denied my petition because of E2E relationship. He didn’t shown properly and i lost 3 lakhs in Indian currency. So i took a break and i applied h1b for 2017, but till now i didn’t get any response from them. So i lost hope this year too. Most of them saying that once data entry is done there is no chance to get the receipt number, i mean no chance of picking in lottery.

    How many of them received receipt number for regular processing till now.

  7. The secret of getting thru lottery: Have “BLIND” faith/trust in the God you are believing in.

    First of all, a big thanks to this initiative and up-to-date information on RedBus2US. And a special thanks to Kumar for his positive advices to keep the hopes alive.

    I got a call from my manager yesterday; my case got thru the lottery. It was my first time and believe me I have almost lost the hope when people started spreading rumors that there are no chances once the data entry is done. But as Kumar mentioned in this post, the hopes are still alive. My colleagues said that few of them received their positive status by May end last year.

    So friends, do not lose the hope, have unconditional faith on God. You will receive Good News soon.

    … and not to forget; thanking Mr. Kumar and Redbus2US team for their constant efforts. 🙂

  8. Hi,

    My Employer informed on April 29th, that the check is en cashed. So, it means picked in lottery, right? and they said they are waiting for official mail to give receipt no to me. any one has idea, how many days it will take to get receipt no after check en cash?

  9. Is there a chance to get check encashed after this. My check was not encashed. it means i am not in.. non-AD/RP

  10. Hi,

    I have got an email from my employer that my h1b case had been picked and they will share the receipt no. as soon as they will get it.
    Is it take time to get the receipt no. after getting the case picking information??

  11. After all reviewing different H1 b visa site I came to know you have below options to check if
    your H1B Visa is selected in the lottery.

    1.H1B fees Check encashed or not. (If it is encahsed then you are done with lottery).
    2.SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Record Update
    3.Receipt Number issued by USCIS

    • Receipt number is easiest of all. As that is the first step and confirmation that you’re application has been picked up. For the other 2 mustn’t be the easy to get that information.

  12. My lead got his receipt. My ex-teammate got his receipt.
    Does that mean USCIS has mailed the final list of receipts to my employer? Will they send receipts all at a time employer wise?

    Can I stop being hopeful. Please advise.

  13. I have seen in uscis website that they have finished data entry part… This means that they have already all the case numbers to the selected candidates who have PP AND RP and from now onwards they will send rejection letters,, i amlittle bit confused in this

    • completion of data entry doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has been communicated. But yes it kinda tells you that the chances are really slim.

      Wait until you hear on rejection .. fingers crossed !

  14. I have seen in uscis website that they have finished data entry part… This means that they have already all the case numbers to the selected candidates who have PP AND RP and from now onwards they will send rejection letters,, i will little bit confused in this

    • USCIS will only cash the check and send receipt to those applications got selected. Which means they won’t send you rejection letter( because the case hasn’t been selected) but will only return the whole package.
      You can check your check got cashed or not… That’s the only way to know if you got choose before hearing back from USCIS.

      • ZC,

        Not entirely correct. Rejection letters are sent out for those who didn’t make through the lottery. They will have name of employer, employee name etc.

      • Oh ok, My attorney will most likely respond tomorrow as its not working hours for them. But searching more on this topic, it appears that h1 is picked otherwise it doesn’t make sense for uscis to charge money for COS. I will post to this comment once I get confirmation from my attorney. Good luck !!

        • unexpectedly, got update from my lawyer that my h1 is picked and they will send me my i797 copy soon (wonder why the delay). 3rd time lucky, feeling elated !!!

          • Congratulations! I am still waiting, as we do not have direct contact with the lawyers, only the HHRR people can ask directly to them.

            Contratulations again!

    • I wouldn’t lose hope just yet. I got my receipt last year on the third week of May. This year the process is taking about the same time, just a couple of days in advance… so there must be a lot of receipts that haven’t been received yet.

    • I am waiting too AD/PP. If today was the last day of data entry, receipt could be in the mail. So little hope until Thursday :\

      • If email was wrong, you may have chance to get it by snail mail. All PP emails should have been sent by today.
        Regular processing cases can wait for 1 more week to get snail mails.

  15. Thanks Kumar,

    Great post!

    I just saw the USCIS Completes Data Entry a minute ago. Why there’s still chance till 5/12 if they already completed data entry now?

  16. I am a 2nd timer and got through the lottery luckily this time.
    Having said that, for all those who are still waiting for some good news:
    1. Many of you will not come to know about your results unless your employer/attorney is willing to share it with you even though you are sleceted in lottery. There are only few firms/employers who will share lottery information to thier employees so soon.
    2. Assumning your attorney/employer has not yet heard any information about your case, it still possible they may receive few more reciepts by May 15. So keep faith in God for 2 more weeks.
    3. Worst case, assuming you don’t hear anything from your attorney/employer in next 2 weeks(only 85K can be lucky…so relax and accept the truth of Mathematics) – JUST FORGET YOU EVER APPLIED for H1 this year and plan towards your next goal.
    4.If you have more patience and too lucky, you can still keep hope for good news till mid July.Since chances are too slim after May 15th, start working on Plan B.
    Your goals are more important than luck. Luck will follow those who have strong Goals.
    Thanks to @Kumar for encouraging words and helpful blog.

    • Like –> (only 85K can be lucky…so relax and accept the truth of Mathematics) – JUST FORGET YOU EVER APPLIED for H1 this year

  17. I’m AD/RP/VT. I’m still waiting for the result. Your post helps me a lot. I’m really appreciated it! Thanks Kumar!

  18. Hi

    I realized that I have a chance still..I thought game is over for regular processing.Dear admin is there any chance to know my petition number or id or any reference number by giving my name /email.Atleast am expecting reply from you..Thanks for the info..

    • RP – NON AD,

      There is no way to know the status by contacting USCIS. USCIS will issue receipt number if selected or return the petition, if not selected. There is no other way to know the status.

      • Do we need to actually wait for receipt ? If selected and I guess your cheque will be encashed and employer will know it ?

  19. Beautiful video there, first of all, thanks for that Kumar !

    And thanks too for the inspiring words.

    It ain’t over till it’s over.

    Many of us needed this to hang in a while longer, to get through this phase, to negate all the negativity.


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