As many of you have applied for H1B Visa 2016 and waiting for the lottery result and wondering about the H1B Processing times, Receipt Numbers there was an update last week from SEVIS giving guidance for Designated School Official ( DSO) also called as International Student advisor, to address the H1B lottery and SEVIS update issue, as their system was flooded with too many requests from F1 students on SEVIS update and H1B lottery status. Let me share the background and some details on the same.
Background: What is SEVIS record and Why important ?
If you are a student either studying or working on F1 Status in America, your F1 status is tracked in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Department of State ( DoS) and SEVP ( The Student and Exchange Visitor Program) uses the SEVIS system to track and update changes corresponding to students and exchange visitors. Basically, the DSO/ International Student advisor at a school updates this SEVIS record of a student, every time there is a slight change in your F1 status like Working on CPT, Working on OPT, Extensions. If you enter US on F1 visa, your F1 Status has to be maintained properly and DSO updates the SEVIS system. Your I-20 would have these updates on it. That’s why DSO issues a new I-20, whenever you apply for CPT, OPT or extensions, including travel.
SEVIS record Update on H1B Application Receipt for Cap Gap eligible Students
Firstly, in simple terms a cap gap extension basically lets a student work or stay in US legally, depending on their OPT expiration date, during the cap gap period (between April 1st and October 1st) when their H1B visa application was properly with USCIS. With USCIS Cap Gap extension, student status becomes legal/ authorized by the update of the SEVIS record. Usually, if the H1B Application of an F1 student, who is in OPT cap-gap extension, gets picked in lottery and USCIS gives a receipt number, their SEVIS record would be updated by the system with F1 status extended until Sept 30th of that year and have H1B receipt number on it as well.
Typically, as the F1 students are anxiously waiting for their H1B case updates from their employers and attorneys, they used to go to the DSO at their school and ask them to check their SEVIS status, if it was update and sometimes even get the H1B receipt number and use that to check the status on USCIS website. Sometimes, the SEVIS and USCIS system would be delayed by couple of days or more. In any case, checking your SEVIS status from DSO was one of the ways to find out about your H1B lottery status. Guess what has happened last week? Unfortunately, you cannot use this DSO route anymore.
DHS Updates SEVIS Users to Inform Students on H1B receipt Numbers to work with Employers
With the flood of requests to SEVP response center regarding H1B petitions and lottery results checking by F1 students, DHS has given a guidance to DSO at schools telling that they should instruct their students to check USCIS website or call them for status of their H1B application, if they have a receipt number. If they do not have a receipt number, they should contact the employer, who has filed their H1B petition on behalf of them. Unfortunately, this was one the good ways to know the status for regular processing students and now it seems to be gone… Not sure, how DSOs will handle the requests from F1 students now… Below is the email that was sent.
Source : ILW : http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?4315-News-SEVIS-Asks-Students-to-Contact-USCIS-for-H-1B-Petition-Inquiries
Life is a Marathon – Don’t look at Others— Stay calm !
Last week, I did a 5.6k run and we have about 14,000 runners. I am not a marathoner by any means, but I did practice for it on my own and was comfortable completing it at a certain pace. But, on the day of run, as I started to run, I was not getting a hold of the right pace at which I should run to complete it. The reason was, I was looking people ahead of me and trying to speed up, I was feeling the pain in my body and thought of stopping at a point. Then I started to look down the road and focus on my running, instead of looking others around me…then I got a hang of it and could complete it !
I realized something during this run, if we keep looking at people ahead of us or behind us and keep comparing, we miss our pace and may even fail… I feel, life is exactly like that, we should look at our goal and keep going at our own pace, we should not be altered by people ahead or behind us… In our context of H1B Lottery results, I want you guys to also not worry about people who have received H1B receipts and keep thinking about it by comparing with them… Just stay calm and keep focus on your day to day activities. The receipts will come, if you were selected, there is nothing you can do about it…if you get one great, if you don’t, you may have better things waiting for you !
Any additional information on SEVIS record update and H1B lottery ?
What are your thoughts ?