H1B Visa 2017 News Updates, Fees , Lottery Predictions, LCA - Processing Times, FAQs.

If you were one of the unlucky ones not picked in whopping 233,000 H1B 2016 Lottery Applications , you might be already wondering when is the next H1B season going to start.  Also, some of you may be studying in US and some working abroad and planning to work in US next year. This page will be constantly updated with the latest details and commonly asked questions around the next upcoming H1B Visa fiscal year of 2017 season news and updates.

H1B Visa Cap reached for FY 2017, Lottery Done
 On April 7th, H1B Cap for FY 2017 was reached. Lottery was done on April 9th. Read News Summary – Over 236,000 Petitions for FY2017 

When will the H1B visa 2017 season start ? Date ?

Short answer April 1st 2016. Typically, USCIS will start to accept petitions for the next fiscal year starting from April 1st of the previous fiscal year. USCIS fiscal year is from October 1st to September 30th. So, for H1B quota of fiscal year 2017, which starts from October 1st, 2017, USCIS would typically accept applications from April 1st, 2016.  The H1B Visa 2016 season started on April 1st of 2015.  Also, in the H1B Rejected Notices of 2016, USCIS mentioned that, the non-selected candidates can file H1B petitions for FY 2017 on or after April 1st, 2016.

USCIS announced on March 16th, 2016 that they will accept FY 2017 petitions from April 1st, 2016. Read Summary of USCIS press release FY 2017 .
Also, we have written an article summarizing on What to expect in H1B FY 2017 Season 

What is H1B 2017 Cap ? What are the H1B 2017 Quota numbers ? Regular vs Masters ?
If you new to H1B, I suggest you read All about H1B Visa Cap- Regular vs Masters. In simple terms H1B cap is a congressional mandated maximum number of petitions that USCIS can accept in a year.  As of now, below are the H1B cap number for fiscal year 2017.  The below numbers are confirmed in press release by USCIS on Mar 16, 2016.

  • Regular H1B Quota : 65,000
  • H1B Master’s Degree Quota ( only US Master Degrees) : 20,000
  • Out of the above, a total of 6,800 is usually set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them.

There have been many discussions around change in H1B cap numbers by Obama administration since 2013. The planned proposal was to increase the regular quota cap to 110,000 and Masters quota to 25,000.  No changes for FY 2017, the above numbers of 65,000 and 20,000 are officially confirmed by USCIS in their press release.

What is H1B Visa 2017 Prediction? Will there be Lottery again for FY 2017

Update :  USCIS Updated on April 12th, 2016 that they have received over 236,000 petitions for FY 2017 quota and the lottery was completed on April 9th.

Looking at the past trend of H1B season in the past three years, we could very likely have lottery for FY 2017. Last year for FY 2016 quota, there were 233,000 applications. We have done a detail analysis with the H4 Visa EAD rule in place considering the economy, students graduating, OPT news, etc.  You should read  article H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Prediction News, results, Date .

If H1B lottery, will there be any preference in lottery for Large companies ? Premium Processing 
Well, no preference for anyone, all are treated equally, including premium processing. There are many such misconceptions about lottery process, we have compiled a list of such myths and criteria, you should read Myths of H1B Lottery, Criteria

When to plan for H1B visa 2017 Application ? How soon ? What should be the strategy ?
It is never too late to start planning for your H1B 2017 season. If you plan to work in US on H1B visa in the next coming fiscal year, below are some suggestions based on your situation.

  • F1 Student in USA : If you are studying on F1 visa and about to graduate in next one year, you should seriously look at finding an internship or co-op at companies that can sponsor your H1B visa. You can search for H1B Sponsors in a particular area using our H1B Sponsors Search Tool and try to get an internship to work there on CPT or OPT after you graduate. This is a strategic move and will require sometime, so plan well.
  • Professional from outside USA : If you are a working professional outside US, planning to work in US on H1B, your best bet is to find Multinational companies that have major US presence and secure a job there, so that you can position internally for applying to H1B visa, when the season starts. This is a very strategic decision, you need to carefully assess your options, speak to the company if such options exist and then only choose it.
  • Other H4, L1 Visas : If you are on these visas, your best bet is to find companies just like I mentioned for F1 students that sponsor H1B visas and start interviewing and keeping the conversation going so that you can ask them to file H1B when the season starts.

We have put together a Step by Step Plan on How to apply for H1B 2017 Quota

How do I find a H1B Visa Sponsor – The most asked million dollar question ?
If you are student in the US, it is very straight forward, you find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool in an area as I mentioned above and get an internship in one of them so that they can sponsor your H1B visa.   Unlike, if you are coming from outside US, it can be tricky.  If you work for an Multinational company ( MNC), then they will have some internal process to pick the candidates and then process H1B visa for them…The other option that has been used and abused is the consulting companies route…Many a times, the H1B aspirants approach a body shop IT consulting company to file H1B for them and they apply for the same. It gets nasty with the body shop consulting companies.  The comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article are quite eye opening. I advise, you beware of the consulting companies and avoid fraud.  Also, WE as RedBus2US do NOT provide any guidance or assistance or sponsor anything. If someone claims that, it is pure fraud and they are trying to trick you, we are not responsible for that. Please be careful. Anyways, for various other options , You may read article How to find H1B 2017 Sponsors

What is the H1B visa 2017 filing fee ? Is it same or any changes ?
It changed slightly this year with the Omnibus Bill passed in December 2015, that will increase the H1B filing fee by $4000 for FY 2017, until 2025 for certain companies that have over 50 employees and have more than 50% of their employees as H1B or L1 visa holders in USA.  Check USCIS Guidelines on H1B Fee increase. Depending on the size of the company, the H1B filing fee can vary anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee. There are various fees components that make up this number range, for more details Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee 2017 – Who pays for What ? . Below is a high level summary. Also, one key change is that,  there was $2000 USD additional filing fee as per Public Law 111-230, this law expired on Sep 30, 2015 and that is not included anymore.

H1B Fee ComponentFee in USD
 Base filing fee$325
AICWA Fee$750  or $1,500
Fraud prevent & detection fee$500
Fee based on Public Law 114-113 ( if applicable)$4000
Premium processing fee (Optional)$1,225
Immigration Attorney FeeVaries from $500 to $3000

What about Comprehensive Immigration Reform(CIR) and Obama Executive Actions for H1B 2017 Quota Increase ? 
There has been many articles and discussions since 2013 around immigration reform by President Obama and changes around and some like below have been discussed in the last couple of years, nothing moved significantly.

  • H1B Cap to be increased from 65,000 to 110,000 per year.  Also have provisions to have it up to 180,000 in case of extreme demand.
  • Advanced degree from US cap quota to increase from 20,000 to 25,000
  • The Filing fee for H1B could go up to 10,000 USD  ( Part of this came up as the fee increase in Omnibus Bill )
  • Additional H1B rules to avoid H1B Visa fraud by employers
  • Mandatory LCA posting for 30 days before it is certified.

The current status on all of the above are basically “No updates”,  there are no set deadlines for any of them and none of these are happening for FY 2017. You may read Summary of CIR Changes to H1B . Officially as per press release on March 16, 2016, the H1B cap is confirmed to be 65,000 for regular and 20,000 for masters…hence, no changes.

What is LCA for H1B Visa ? Processing times ?
LCA is a form that has to be filed with US Dept of Labor and get it certified before filing H1B petition with USCIS. It has to be sent along with H1B Package to USCIS.  It has all the relevant information about the job position like wage, location, title, etc. It takes about 7 working days for processing of the LCA by US Dept of Labor (DOL). You can read complete details at Why is LCA Needed for H1B – Processing Time, Salary 

H1B Visa 2017 Premium Processing Time :

USCIS Updated in their original press release on March 16, 2016 that the premium processing will begin no later than May 16, 2016.  But, on April 22nd, they updated that the premium processing for FY 2017 will begin on May 12th, 2016. What it means is that the official 15 calendar day SLA for premium processing petitions will be starting from 12th.  USCIS may process the petitions early as well, but officially their clock starts on that day.

H1B 2017 Case Tracker  :
Did you apply for FY 2017 ?  We have put together a tracker along with good graphs for analysis. It is completely anonymous as we do not capture your case number or any personal information. It is community contributed data, the more you add, the better for everyone, including  You !

Track your H1B Case

Anonymously Track your H1B Case - Share and Get updated from Community.

Most Recent News of FY 2017 H1B
Below is the most recent news regarding H1B 2017 season. You can check the updates page as indicated below for the full history and details.

  • July 8th, 2016 ( Official ) : USCIS released a press note today indicating that they have completed returning all the petitions that were not selected in the H1B lottery for FY 2017. Read More details here 
  • May 2nd, 2016 ( Official Update ) : USCIS updated that data entry is complete for selected petitions in lottery. if you were selected, you should receive receipt notices in 2 to three weeks. If not, the chances are very slim to get selected. You should look at your plan B.  Read H1B Data Entry Complete Article for full details
  • April 22nd, 2016 : (Official Update) USCIS Updated that they will start premium processing from May 12th, instead of May 16th.
  • April 12th, 2016 – 6:30 PM EST : Official Update :  USCIS released a press note that H1B lottery was completed on April 9th and they received over 236,000 petitions for FY 2017 quota. Read Press Release Summary  
  • April 12th, 2016 – 11:50 AM CST ( Unofficial Update ) : It is reported on blog by attorney ( immigrationgirl ) that they have received about 40 email receipts of Premium Processing. What it means is that USCIS has already conducted lottery. We will keep you posted with updates. If I am not wrong, they are just drafting the press release now.

H1B 2017 - Latest News Updates

Most recent and complete history of all latest breaking news updates from Official sources like USCIS and Unofficial sources for FY 2017 Season.

When is the next H1B Season ?

The next H1B season starts on April 1st, 2017.  Wondering about your next chance for H1B and various details about the next H1B season, check out H1B Visa 2018 FAQs

Sample H1B Reject Notices for FY 2017 ?

USCIS has started to mail out the reject notices for FY 2017 petitions that were not picked in lottery. It says that the start date for next year H1B season is April 1, 2017. You can check out the Sample Reject Notice for FY 2017, Details

We have many more FAQs around H1B Visa 2017. We will continue to keep updating the page with latest news and updates regarding FY 2017. Bookmark this page and keep checking for updates.

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Comments ( 23,172 )

  1. Subashini

    Hi Admin,
    Consider H1b is filed for a same candidate through 2 sources. Is there a possibility for both petitions to be selected in the lot? Or only 1 will be selected per candidate?
    Thanks

    1. Kingston

      Hi Subashini,

      Both can be seleted or only one also is possible. If both got selected, you can withdraw the second one once your visa got stamped.

    2. kk

      As per my knowledge, there will be a chance of picking both also. but only one visa will be valid which you have to choose for which employer you want to serve .

    3. H1 wisher

      Hi ,

      I have 4 years diploma and earlier had already travelled once to US on L1. This time my application is picked up in lottery. I received RFE as well for employer-employee relationship details. It’s been more than 2 months RFE response was sent by employer. Haven’t heard back yet. Do they even check my 4years diploma as criteria?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kulamani Sahoo,

      First date of filing is April 1, 2016. However, the cap is expected to get over the same day. Historically USCIS has accepted petitions received on 1st 5 business days even if the cap is reached on April 1.

  2. rajan

    For H1b 2017 , if more then once consultancy apply for same candidate, does it will have any impact? Like since for same candidate H1b is applied from two different Consultancy and because of this it will get rejected?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      rajan,
      It is legally allowed for 2 different employers to file petition for same employee. Filing through one will not impact the other.

  3. Jay

    Hello admin,

    I recently graduated in December’s 2015 from my masters. I got a job offer from a company and have applied for my OPT as well. My OPT start date is 1st march, 2016 (same on EAD card) and my employer is ready to sponsor h1b visa.

    Can I ask them to sponsor visa for this April 2016 deadline? am I eligible?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jay,
      You are eligible. You can ask them to sponsor visa. Yes, April 1st is the start of filing season. With lottery situation for the past few years, it may not last over few days after April 1st.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Jay,
          It has to reach the office on April 1. If it reaches on Mar 31, then it will rejected as it will considered part of previous fiscal year and not FY-17.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Jay,
            The employer can tell the delivery date to FedEx guys or file it online. In addition, even if cap is reached on April 1, USCIS has accepted petitions for first 5 business days. So a petition that reaches on April 5th also makes through the cap (at least that’s what has been the case in previous few years).

  4. Param

    Hi Admin Sir,

    I have completed my Special Diploma in Computers from SBTET ( 3 and 1/2 year coarse) after 10th . so total 10 + 3 and 1/2 years education. and have 14 years of IT Networking experience .
    Kindly confirm if I am eligible for H1B.

  5. Ram

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am from India. My US L1 visa is currently in process in the Company that I am currently working.
    Can my company apply for H1B for me for FY2017 in parallel when my L1 visa is in process?

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Hemant

        Hi Saurabh,

        With my little knowledge ( ofcourse gathered through online search) in the case of Ram, if is H1B is selected then on 1st october ,2017 his COS (change of status) will take place & he has to move to the new employer from 1st october ,2017 .so that part he has to take care.
        Does the change of status happens automatically & immediately on 1st october or there is some process.

        Please comment if my understanding is correct ?
        Hemant

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Hemant,
          COS can be applied only if Ram is present inside US when applying for H-1. If he is in India, then H-1 will be applied w/ consular processing and not COS.

          In the scenario he enters US on L-1 prior to April 1 and then files H-1 w/ COS on April 1, then yes his status will change to H-1 when it gets approved (Oct 1 being the earliest).

          H-1 petition and COS are two separate applications (I-129 and I-539) and the latter is denied if applicants travels outside of US when COS is pending or if USCIS determines that the applicant didn’t maintain status previously.

          Does that make sense?

  6. Raj

    Hi,
    I am Full stack web developer having more then 11 years of experience and I have done diploma in electrical and electronics engineering(3 years) regular + BTech computer engineering(3 years) in distance mode. So, Am I eligible to apply H1B visa.
    Please advice me.

  7. KNB

    Hi Sir,

    I am Full stack web developer having more then 11 years of experience in IT and I have done diploma in electrical and electronics engineering(3 years) regular + B.Tech computer engineering(3 years) in distance mode. So, Am I eligible to apply H1B visa.

    Please advice me.
    Thanks

  8. Need advise

    Hi Saurabh / Kumar,

    The question/ concern I have is not related to H1B-2016 or 2017.

    I am working in US for a product based company on H1-B Visa.
    Recently, during my performance review meeting, my manager mentioned that they were not able to give me much raise/ hike (I was promoted with insignificant pay raise) because of the expenses incurred due to my H1-B petition.

    My question is, Is this legal ? Doesn’t it essentially mean that my H1-B petition paid off from my pay ?
    I am worried because in future, if I ask them for PR sponsorship they will keep saying this during my review meetings.

    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks in advance for your time.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Need advise,
      Your concern is valid and it does give that impression. It is better to talk to HR department or an attorney about it.

    2. Nero

      First of All, You need proof that they give this reason to you. Because HR will ask for Proof.

      Get that in email or writing and then go to HR. Otherwise when HR will ask they will give some other reason.

  9. Rao

    Hi, I have 10 yeras experience in Web and mobile development in India. I got an offer from US company and this year they will file H1. I have one doubt, I am holding Bachelors degree(15 years) in computer science. Am I eligible for H1B? since I don’t have masters or b.tech or B.E.

      1. Saurabh

        Rao,

        Are you stupid? Don’t you understand your question isn’t worth answering nitwit! Stop crapping over the comments section..

  10. Kiran

    Hi I am living in UK since 5 years holding Permanent Residency.
    Next year I will be becoming British Citizen. Now I am interested in going to USA so are there any special routes to USA for Brits or normal H1B?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kiran,
      H1B is one of the common visa types to work in US. Of course, there are other H visa types, if you qualify, check US London Embassy site. You can visit without visa and stay for up to 90 days as per Visa Waiver Program, but does not let you work.

    2. Kiran

      Thanks for your answers.What about green card processing for indian born British citizens? Do they fall into same queue or different ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vasanth,

      Kumar has mentioned about the fees in the above article (read last section). The final cost to employer will depend upon whether they have 50 or more employees and if more than 50% of them are on H-1 and L-1.

  11. Sandeep

    Hi,
    I am supposed to submit documents for H1B in next few days, to my organization. It is sponsored by my organization.
    I have few small queries. Can I apply same time another Visa for some another Country?
    Do I need to submit original passport to US embassy\my organization while submitting documents?
    Do I need to declare that I am carrying some other Visa while applying H1B?

    If I get select in lottery, will carry another Visa impact in getting H1B (during interview)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Sandeep

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep,
      1. Yes, you can apply for another country’s visa in parallel.
      2. No need to submit passport. Initially only copy is submitted. At a later stage when you have to personally appear for visa stamping, you will have to submit the passport.
      3. If you have any other US visa stamps, then let your employer know. Also, let the employer know if you have travelled to one of the high risk countries in last few years (like Iraq etc).

  12. Upendra

    Hi I am working in US MNC In India as a project manager. I am looking to file H1b. What could be possibility to pick. And what could be the expected questions in interview.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Upendra,
      Chances of selection depend upon how many total petitions are filed. Interview questions depend upon you and your employer’s profile and H-1B’s job description.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Jeanson Jacob,

          I don’t know about this company. You can search online to see what others are saying. My quick online search showed several negative reviews.

  13. Halee Dee

    When filing an H1B, if you are not selected in the lottery, are you still paying the $1500-$4000 in filing fees just for applying? Or if you’re not chosen, you don’t pay anything?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Halee Dee,
      If you don’t make through the lottery, entire fees is returned. If you are selected in lottery, but the petition is denied, then nothing is returned.

  14. Amar

    Hi,
    I had H1B visa from 2004 – 2006 and it got expired. I worked in US in 2005 and 2006. Now I want to apply for a new H1b.
    Whether my new application will be given priority in the 2017 lottery as I already had H1B and it is expired now and not able to apply without Cap?
    Thanks.

  15. Paresh Patel

    Dear Sir,
    Hi, I am planning to apply for H1B for FY2017, If so, the correct me if i am wrong here.
    1. Deadline for submitting the application is first week of April, 2016.
    2. Lottery date will be around 2nd week of April, 2016 and all the approved or rejected candidates will get notified by August 2016.
    3. If i got the approval, is the interview for applying visa and get it stamped is a quick process?
    4. Can i start working in USA from 1st October 2016, if in case i got the visa?
    5. Total Visa fees in Details.
    6. Chances to get Visa ? if rejected visa than how many fees will be refund ?
    7. Can i start H1 B visa Process in December-2015 Month or not through Sponsor?
    8. How many taxes will be deduct from Salary ? Actual take home Salary ?
    9. Accommodation Provide by Employer or not ?
    10. Is there any changes in H1B Visa for FY2017 like Fess, Visa Cap, Etc.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Paresh Patel,
      1. Yes
      2. Yes, the actual date will be announced by USCIS as time approaches
      3. It may be quick or delayed depending upon whether visa officer puts your case in administrative processing or not
      4. Yes, that’s the earliest date
      5. The fees need to be paid by the employer and not you. So should be employer’s concern
      6. Chances vary from case to case. If denied, no fees is returned to employer
      7. No and H-1 always need to be filed by an employer. There is no self filing
      8. You can look-up federal tax rates online. In addition there are state taxes which will depend upon the state you work in
      9. Check w/ employer. Some provide initial accommodation, but then you need to find your own.
      10. There was 2000 USD fees applicable to employers w/ >50 employees and >50% on H-1 and L-1. That has been dropped.

      1. Paresh Patel

        Thanks Saurabh,

        I Have total 16 Years of Experience in Computer Networking. I have done B Tech in Computer Science from India.
        1. Can I file H1 B Visa through Any of IT Consultancy Company or Not ?
        2. I Have some query about Salary Pay. somebody say that 70-30 or 80-20 % ? what does it mean ?
        3. Difference between Employer or H1B Sponsor ?

        Thanks Again.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Paresh Patel,

          1. If you find an employer that has an opening matching your skill-set, then they can file H-1 for you.

          2. In consulting, employer keeps a cut for themselves. So if the client is paying $100, they will keep $20-$30 for themselves and give the rest to you. 70-30, 80-20 is the percentage share b/w you and employer. When negotiating salary, look at the entire package and not just salary cut. If the employer gives you 80% but then passes the entire burden of healthcare on to you, then it may not be a good deal.

          3. Any company that files H-1 (Google, HP, TCS, Infy, mom & pop consulting company) is considered H-1B sponsor. They will also be your employer once you land in US on H-1.

  16. Ravi DeviReddy

    I am working in Singapore from last 2 years .. can i apply for H1-B in Singapore itself by without going ti INDIA (HOME Country) .what are the chances to get my H1-B .did you see any difficulties in this .

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ravi DeviReddy,

      You should check w/ US consulate in Singapore about their policy on TCNs (Third Country Nationals) which you are as you are neither citizen of Singapore or US. Typically it is ok to attend the interview as you have been residing there for a while. Still the consulate can put your petition on hold or ask you to attend interview in India if they feel like they don’t have access to information related to your case, which a US consulate in India would have.

  17. Prashanth

    Hi,
    Could you please let us know what are the Quota numbers recently updated for H1B 2017 ?
    Are they any priorities/criteria’s in lottery ?
    Please explain me in detail , how lottery works?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Prashanth,
      There are no changes in 2017 lottery and it’s same as previous years. 20K for Advanced Degree applicants, and 65K for everyone else (Advanced Degree applicants who don’t make through 20K are automatically added to 65K pool).

      1. karan

        Recently, we came across an article posted on Economic Times that H1B quota reduced to 15000. Can you confirm whether this is true or is it just rumor??

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          karan,
          There is a bill introduced to decrease the cap by 15K i.e. Advanced Degree will be 20K and General would be 50K (instead of 65K).

          However, this is still a bill and no numbers will be changed unless it is passed into a law.

          1. Karan

            Even though it wasn’t still passed, but due to the current conditions most of the US senators are forcing to cut the immigrants and giving preference to US workforce rather than offering H1B. Seems the bill will be passed during Feb’16 to the latest news I’ve came across

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Karan,

            Pretty low chance that it will pass so soon. The bill was introduced in Senate and needs to pass there and House. Later President needs to sign it. There will be lot of lobbying to change the language.

          3. Karan

            Hope so regarding H1B.

            Can you throw some light regarding OPT extension of F1 visa?

            what I heard of was, OPT extension in current scenario is 17 +12 Month stay which is going to reduce to 12 Month only. Is that true?? correct me if I’m wrong.

            Thanks

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Karan
            Rule hasn’t been published yet. If nothing is published, it will revert to 12 months. If it does get published, then as per current language it will be 12 + 24 months.

  18. Dreamer

    Hi! I have 14 years of experience in IT (software development) and i have a 3 years degree(not BS). Is it possible to be sponsored without an BS?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dreamer,
      You may be eligible based on education and experience. However, your employer should get education evaluation done for you and submit detailed experience letters to show that you are qualified for the position and H-1 specialized job in general

  19. EC

    Hi,
    I am currently on my OPT (started June 1, 2015) and had no idea about H1B visa until my employer asked me if there is any way I can stay after my opt completion. She (me too) has no experience in petitioning for H1B. My question is that since i started my OPT in June ’15, it will end June ’16. Can she submit the petition now or she has to wait until April 1, 2016 to submit it? What happens during the time between opt end date and 3-6 months process? Do i have to leave the country?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      EC,
      H-1 petition can only be filed in April 2016 now. If you are eligible for OPT extension (STEM + everify employer), then you can get your OPT extended.

      If OPT cannot be extended, you can still continue to stay and work in US while H-1 is pending (provided it is selected in the random selection). Search for “cap-gap” using your favorite search engine and then post back if you have additional questions.

      1. EC

        Thank so much for the reply. The problem is that even though I majored in science and business, when it comes to STEM qualification, they say it is “not scientific enough” :). Anyways, this means OPT STEM extension is not on the table for me. My other question is what documents does my boss need to submit? I checked some websites and some of them mentions that petitioner should retain an immigration attorney. is it really necessary? I’m sure it is helpful, but …

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          EC,
          Yes, they have a very tailored view of STEM when it comes to OPT extension. I would suggest hiring an attorney especially if this is your employer’s first H-1 filing. This may be an investment from employer’s perspective as they can learn the process and do it themselves in future.

          Documents from your side would include – passport copy, education certificates, graduation degree, recent payslips, OPT card, resume, experience letter. Once the attorney reviews your profile and offered job position, they may add more documents.

  20. shweta

    I am on F1 student visa and I was unlucky in 2016 Lottery Cap. I wanted to know is there would be lottery again for 2017. Plus would number of applicants count will go down because of H4 EAD Card.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Shwetha, It is hard to guess at this point. There are few rules that are being proposed and things can change….we may have lottery, just because of all the applicants from previous years apply as well. We will write an article on this sometime later, stay tuned.

  21. sriram

    hi iam having b1 b2 visa and iam having 14 years experience in travel industry now iam looking for H1b visa is thr any posssible to get the sponsership company

  22. Manjunath

    Hi,

    I have earned BCA(Bachelors of Computer Applications) from Karnatak University with 72% which is First Class which is Now A Grade University by NAAC. Wanted some information if this degree is considered US Equivalent and can I file for H1B and I am having close to 8 years experience

  23. Manjusha lingareddy

    For all the H1-B 2017 aspirants, you might want to consider this post I found on one the immigration lawyer firm blogs I am following (will post the blog link soon)…. If you’re working for one of these outsourcing companies currently in India or if you’re in U.S. And working for one of he desi consulting firms which has more than 50% of the employees on h1b /L1, please beware that next year your employer may face restrictions for bulk filing of h1b visa petitions

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2015/11/16/what-the-new-h-1b-visa-reform-bill-could-mean-for-indian-outsourcers/

  24. Joyce

    Hi, in the last cycle, my H1b application rejected in RFE. The reason for denial is “applicant does not meet the H1B specialty occupation category”. Any idea what does it mean ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Joyce,
      H-1B is for occupations which required specialized knowledge. Loosely, this means one needs to have an equivalent of 4 years of Bachelors degree.

      Your denial reason indicates that based on your education and experience, USCIS determined you didn’t posses relevant education equivalent.

  25. Haja Mohamedali

    Can a person working in US on a H1B visa continue to be a Director/share-holder-Owner of a company in another country without any salary in that country (Eg: in the company owned by his father)? Thank you. H

  26. Harpreet

    When I do a search on H1B employers and look at the max. salary. avg. salary, min. salary graph, the graph is incorrect. Maximum salary for 2014 is shown as a bar with label of minimum salary and vice versa.

  27. Sarah

    Hi, I am an internal auditor in the Philippines with seven years of work experience. I’ve been submitting resumes since October but I keep getting rejection notices. A couple of recruiters called but when they find out I need visa sponsorship, they stop processing my application. Can you advice how do I determine if a company is willing to sponsor fresh H1B? I get a feeling it’s harder to get hired for auditors than people with IT background. 🙁

  28. SumanPune

    Hi Kumar,

    I am planning to apply for H1B for FY2017 and here are my questions,

    1. How to identify which ones are genuine consultancies?
    2. I heard most of indian consultancies are fake? in this case how to choose genuine ones?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      SumanPune,
      Most of the small consulting companies find it tough to get visa approval. They are either fake or they don’t have proper client information to get your H-1 approved. Even if approved, they find it tough to place you at a client location.

      The best way to find more reliable companies is to go through your network of family and friends. If not, search online to learn from others’ feedback. You can also search online about past filings to see who filed the visas etc.

      Unfortunately, there is no formula to find a good consulting company and one has to do enough research themselves to find one.

  29. Gopi

    I just incorporated a software company in the U.S and have no employees right now.
    I am planning to sponsor employees (who are outside the U.S) for the
    next fiscal year. I have the following questions
    a. Can new companies sponsor H1B visa? If so, are there any additional paperwork required?
    b. If I apply for H1B visas and if they don’t get picked in the lottery, would they refund all my fees?
    c. How much would be the total cost for applying for a regular H1B visa?
    d. How much would be the attorney fees?
    e. Can you recommend a good immigration attorney who charges reasonable fees?
    Thanks in advance!

  30. Ram

    Hi,
    My company is willing to provide me h1b visa.
    But the fact is I need to be in US at the earliest.
    If I apply on April 2016 when will I be eligible to work in US is it October 2016 or October 2017?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ram,
      If H-1 is filed in April 2016 and the same gets approved, you can enter on or after Oct 2016. If processing gets delayed, then so does your entry date.

      For the sake of completeness, you can enter on Sep 20 2016, but cannot work on H-1 until Oct 1 2016 (assuming everything is processed and approved by then).

  31. CD

    Hi,

    My Petiton got denied for 2016 Cap, Now employer is filling for 2017 cap, My question is would denial of previous petition affect my new pettion like not get through lottery?

  32. Karan

    Amazing article.
    After reading what I understand is,an MBA graduate would initially apply for the 20,000 cap.
    B-school does not matter (but should be not for profit or public)
    Prior work experience also does not matter.

    My question:
    Is the 85,000 cap limit allocated state wise i.e lets say State A – 15,000
    State B – 10,000 etc? Or its a single pool of entire US?
    Also I think I read in some article, if a candidate works for non-profit org. it becomes easier to get h1b? Kindly correct if wrong 🙂

    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Karan, It is not state wise, it is pool for entire US. Yes, if one works for non-profit, they do not fall under 85,000 H1B cap and can apply anytime.

  33. Cherry

    Hi, My company is helping apply for H1B visa. I-129 has been completed. should I go ahead to submit I-129 package right now or need to wait until April, 1, 2016 for fiscal year 2017? thank you~

  34. shab

    Hi, I have an general question here about H1B filling for FY2017 in April 2016th slot. Unfortunately I didn’t get my visa through lottery for this year. I heard some rumors saying USCIS has reduced the H1B visa filling processing fees for next year is that true. Can we expect to see any changes in the filling fees charged by USCIS for H1B filling next year. Is there any chance luck to have any increase in H1b slot for coming years to increase the numbers on having H1B visa for FY2017.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, there are some changes. I have updated the above article on Public Law expiry and reduction in $2000 additional fee for certain employers.

  35. Brave

    Hello

    I would like to apply for H1B visa. I am Web developer having more then 8 years of experience. I am unable to find any sponsor/employer who provide me H1b visa. Can anyone guide me how do I find job in us, who sponsor me.

    Thanks

  36. 4th attempt

    I would really recommend international students to negotiate their employers to file EB-2 or EB-3 right away as the H1b lottery is very volatile. The processing time only takes 1-2 years for most countries and you will not be affected by this crazy game of lottery, especially the OPT STEM is expiring in February 2016.

    My STEM expires in December, and Ill be doing CPT for my 4th h1b attempt before I need to get a wife. Get laid and get paid they say.

      1. robolife

        OP, when you tell you are ending STEM and starting CPT, how are you doing it? Can you continue on the same job? If not from India, China agree, you can easily get green card in 2 years. All my friends from other countries got though less qualified than me.

        1. H1BHopeful

          2016 is election year in the United States. So it safe to assume there is not going to be such an increase. And considering how long these take to implement procedural wise, considering the number of obstacles this is going to encounter, it will take years for such an increase to take place even if there is immediate plans by the senate/congress to introduce such a change.

  37. Paul

    Awesome and well written article.Just wanted to check one thing regarding the 20,000 Quota for masters degree.If they receive more than 20,000 in the Masters Quota,will they be pushed to Regular quota of 65,000.?

      1. h1B hopeful

        Yes that is right. First a lottery takes places with all the Masters quota petition, unselected masters quota petitions are then added to the regular quota petitions for another chance at the lottery.

        1. Query

          Hi, jst a query on ur reply above…if there are 40k applying under masters that implies only quota pool for bachelors degree holder is only 45k(85k -40k) and all TCS,Infy, CTS, H4 visa holders have to be lucky enough to fall in that 45k or is it that other masters deg holders will be blended with bachelor deg holders and there is a chance that none of the AD(not selected in masters quota i.e. 20k) is selected due to bad luck in lottery and all 65k are non AD..

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Query,
            No that is not how it works.
            1. They will randomly select 20K petitions from the 40K advanced degree ones.
            2. Remaining 20K will be added to the rest of the non-advanced degree ones. Say that number is 120K.
            3. These 140K (120K + 20K) will go through lottery to select 65K petitions. Some of the selected may be from the overflow 20K ones. You can do the math.

  38. Jagadish

    Hi, I am planning to apply for H1B for FY2017, If so, the correct me if i a wrong here.
    1. Deadline for submitting the application is first week of April, 2016.
    2. Lottery date will be around 2nd week of April, 2016 and all the approved or rejected candidates will get notified by August 2016.
    3. If i got the approval, is the interview for applying visa and get it stamped is a quick process?
    4. Can i start working in USA from 1st October 2016, if in case i got the visa?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. Yes, assuming there will be lottery and USCIS receives more than 85000 petitions.
      2. Yes, very likely. Typically, the timelines are always estimated and we do not know how USCIS will handle it. Having said that you are right, it is about the similar timeline.
      3. Yes, provided you have all documents. You just need to plan ahead so that you get the visa stamping slots.
      4. Yes, that’s right.

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