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 ( 23,594 )

  1. Doubt on premium processing

    Will the pending premium applications will be given preference while processing even after April 3rd or they will be treated as normal ?

  2. H1b Urgent help

    Dear Saurabh, Kumar & Friends,

    Required urgent help (EAC14550)

    My case was referred in Oct 2016 and my employer has submitted documents on Jan 2017.
    As per my employer, on 8th March 2017 my case got approved but still I can’t see the update on USCIS website. Last week I enquired about same to my employer but they said your case number is changed and new number assigned after refer.

    My questions is –
    Do case number changed after refer respond
    Why there was no change in status (ref response received) on old number if new number was assigned
    Please help

  3. Ravi Kumar

    221g White slip issued without mark any box

    Interview at Hyderabad on 20th March:
    Questions asked –
    To Me:
    Petitioners name
    End client
    Educational qualification

    To My wife:
    How long you have been married
    How many children’s

    With this I thought I am going to get my VISA Approved, But VO took 2 min time to type something in his system and issued 221g white slip without mark any box. And said it will take 2 weeks for further investigation. And given passports and I797 back to me. I don’t receive any email or call till now.

    What does this mean? Will my VISA Approved after 2 weeks?

    Please help me, Iam not understanding anything.

  4. Anu


    My name in all educational documents is “Firstname Lastname”. In my passport it is Surname:Firstname and Givenname: Lastname. So my employer IBM is saying “Givenname Surname” is correct format and filing my petetion as “Lastname Firstname” for 2018. So this finally mismatching with my name in educational docs. will that cause any problem?

    1. H1B_helper...

      Givenname must be the firstname and surname must be the lastname in the passport. You filed it wrong in your passport. You cannot use wrong passport. Change it asap. But you might miss train this year…

      1. anu

        Ohhh. But my employer Ibm told me no issues and filing petetion as per passport. But if I go to stamping then all my employment related docs and passport will be same and educational docs will mismatch. Will that cause problem for stamping?

        1. administrator


          Your employer is taking passport as the source of truth, which is correct. However, what the other poster is suggesting is that your source of truth aka passport should be corrected first.

          Do you want all your US documents like DL, SSN etc to read Last Name, First Name?

          I agree w/ the other person. Update the passport first, then use it for H-1 – it will help long term in US.

          1. anu

            Hi saurabh,
            Thank you for your post. Actually I am from Andhra where we used to use first name as surname and 2nd name as calling name. So in my educational docs my first name given as surname and my calling name given as second name. But in passport they gave correct. So other docs if they gave as per passport then my first name will be given as calling name which is actually correct. But this will mismatch with my educational docs. So my question is if I proceed further as per passport (which is correct) then will that cause a problem since it’s mismatching with my educational docs?

          2. administrator


            So the passport has the correct name and educational documents have the order swapped.

            That should be ok then. The educational documents come into play only during petition processing and as it is manual process then can see that the order has been swapped.

            Any document you apply in US like DL, SSN etc would take the data from passport, visa and 797 which will have the correct information.

  5. Stamping_Query

    Hello everyone,

    Has anyone got a experience of going for Stamping with the Amendment receipt.? Can you please share your Visa Stamping experience and also POE experience. Thank you

    1. Amendment_Query

      Hello Stamping_Query,

      Is your company allowing you to go to for Stamping with Amendment Receipt ? I work for a MNC and my company has not yet decided on whether they should allow this on not.
      Since it might take around 6 months for Amendment to be approved in absence of Premium, I want to know how other companies are dealing with it.

      1. Stamping_Query

        Hi Amendment_Query,

        I too have a mixed opinion about this from people, hence wanted to know from folks who have already done this?

        Hope to hear back from others.

  6. Krishna

    Hi all

    Yesterday day done with
    interview at consulate. Questions:
    1.who is employer?
    2.How much is the salary?
    3.what is your qualifications? 4.where is your employer located?
    5.who is your client?
    Go with good looking formals and maintain eye contact with VO,last but not least confidence is more important. ..
    Thanks @all
    Hope your all wishes come true soon…

  7. Approved

    Interview at Hyderabad:
    Questions asked –
    Petetioner name
    Educational qualification
    Client name

    It took only 2 mins. No documents asked. Visa approved.

    Don’t wait till your time slot. Try to get into early so you can come out of early. They don’t usually look at your time slot.

  8. H1 VISA

    Hi All,

    My H1 VISA stamped with company XXX for Client A location X , as there is no opportunity to travel in my current company XXX.Can I change company now to get US opportunity.

    Kindly suggest me on this?

  9. Query

    During amendment, can a person start to work for the new client/ location post receiving the Amendment receipt or one has to wait till approval.

    With premium mode being suspended, this can be a concern.

  10. H4 to h1b Cos denied

    Hi all,

    Applied for h4 to h1b cos last year.
    Case was received -April 2016
    RFE – Sep 20, 2016
    RFE response received- Dec 15
    Case Denied – Mar 20
    H4 expired – oct 31.
    As the attorney and consultancy was so confident about approval they asked not to file for h4 extension.
    Can any of u tell me wat are the options for me now?

    1. H4-h1 cos!

      Hi.. You mean, ur H1B petition got approved and the cos process got denied?

      Because in my case, I am in H4 currently and I have approved I797 copy. Any impact is predicted in my COS from H4 to H1??

    2. Visa - privilege not a right !

      One of the possible reason for your COS denial is you have extended your stay (way beyond the permissible limit), should have left country before H4 validity expired as it would have taken COS out of equation.

      As your case stands now, you have very less to negligible options.

      One thing would suggest is to head back home asap and then see if you can apply for H4 again.

        1. Travel Home

          When your H1 went to RFE and was not approved until your H4 expiration, you must have filed an extension of H4. Poor job by your attorney. You got to leave immediately and try H4 again from home country.
          You have already accrued almost 6 months of unlawful presence.

        2. Visa - privilege not a right !

          Instead of blaming that attorney, a dummy like your employer, if you are educated you should have done prior research esp with immigration matters.
          You are the one who is gonna suffer now.

  11. Mahesh

    Hello Everyone,

    I have received 221 (g) and submitted relevant docs 2 months back. As of now there is no response not even acknowledgment mail.

    Just curious do we get any acknowledgement mail upon docs submission..?

    1. 221g

      You must get the acknowledgement email once you send your documents. Please check with the customer care that your email has been received by them or not. Some emails with larger attachments will not reach them.

  12. Pending_Stamping

    Re-posting as no response on the first time 🙂

    Hi Everyone,

    I work for an Indian IT MNC. I need one suggestion from you. My H1b got approved in December after RFE and stamping is still pending. .

    I will need to travel for a client which is different than that in the Petition. Initially I was told that we can go ahead with Stamping and then file amendment and travel with Amendment receipt and Stamping.

    Now they are telling that first Amendment will be filed and then Stamping on the Amended petition. With the Premium mode being suspended I think it might take indefinite time.

    Can anyone tell if the First approach is still possible?

        1. Answer

          Yes you can travel with the Amendment Receipt if stamping is already done. I myself would travel next week with amendment receipt to US…Will post about POE experience next week…

        2. Answer

          @Same_Boat : As per my information most of the consulates have announced that they wont be accepting stamping request if the amendment is not approved and is in pending status…so better check option of going for stamping first and then apply for amendment if possible.

    1. H1B_helper...

      H1b needs to be amended for every location change. They check this at port of entry. For eg, if your initial H1b was approved for San Diego and you are entering in New york, that will surely raise a RED FLAG in Immi officer and he will surely ask for all client related question. If he finds you dont have approved amended petition for new location, he “might” deny entry.

      Look at the word “might”. This means, it is totally in control of that officer. If he wants, he could let you in. But he can also screw you by not letting in.

      That is why almost all companies waits until the petition amended and approved before entering in US.

      Hope that helps.

        1. H1B_helper...

          Having just receipt doesn’t mean it is approved… What if it gets denied… The officer will better safe than sorry (to Trump). In my opinion, amendment too follows the same procedure as of a new H1B with LCA and the petition with very similar information.

    2. Chicago

      Hi, Carry new LCA, Amendment receipt number, client letter, supporting documents and most importantly USCIS rule stating you can work at the new location with amendment receipt. I have seen many cases where POE officer asks you to support your case that you came legally (proof of burden is on you). Also, note that they will call your client, manager to verify your claim and genuineness. But all this being said this is just a process they follow and again travelling with an amendment receipt is not illegal.

      1. Pending_Stamping


        What do you mean by “most importantly USCIS rule stating you can work at the new location with amendment receipt”.

        Can you please let me know where can that be arranged?

      2. Same_situation

        @Chicago, where can we find the USCIS rule stating one can work at the new location with amendment receipt ? Any pointers on this would be helpful.

        1. administrator


          Read this on USCIS site.

          “Note: Once you file the amended petition, your H-1B employee can immediately begin to work at the new location. You do not have to wait for a final decision on the amended petition for your H-1B employee to start work at the new location.”

  13. L1andH1

    I will be having interview on March 27th Hyderabad. I have valid L1 till 2018. Can anyone tell me if vo ask the below question what I need to answer.
    Question :you have already have L1b which is valid till 2018 .. Why you are moving from L1b to H1b?

  14. non- ad/RP

    Hi All,

    I am booking the visa appointment for Chennai location now, i am in payment confirmation page.. I paid through NEFT transaction and it is asking about receipt number ..

    I am not sure what is meant by receipt number and account number is this one ‘TIER2850135345291’

    Can any one pls confirm whether this account number is correct or not .. admins could you please respond for this query ..


        1. Yogi

          I have got the a/c info from that page and closed it. Made NEFT transfer from my bank website to the account given.
          Receipt got populated after some time. Hope it helps.

    1. Sri

      Once you have done with payment, will have to wait 30 minutes during business hours if not you will have to wait for next day to get your payment processed once it processed you can login back and it will allow you to book appointment.

  15. Suresh_H1B

    Hi Admin and all friends,

    I need the some information on 221g. Recently I attended the Visa interview @Mumbai location and got 221g white slip issued. Now I got a mail from the consulate to send my passport for further processing.
    My question here is….
    How should I send my passport, through courier or should I personally go there again ?
    If I can courier, then can I courier my passport to any location or only Mumbai where I attended my interview ?

    Please help me

  16. Docs required for stamping

    Hi All,

    Could any one please help on this .. I got docs from my employer for stamping…

    Docs include these two only– Original approval letter, Supporting document ..

    Could any one please help any more docs required from employer i thought we will need LCA and I-129 forms and Original contract letter ..

    Admins could you please help whether these docs are required for stamping “LCA and I-129 forms and Original contract letter” ..

    Many thanks in advance

  17. H1_Amendment

    Hi All,

    My petition approved for Client A location X (stamping not done yet), Now my company wants me to move to Client B location Y (files an amendment)

    Question is, Can i go for Visa stamping with amendment receipt? Or do i need to wait for amendment approval and then appear for stamping?


    1. Benedict

      Hi Sim, You got Received to RFE or you had done any Premium upgrade?

      I am sure , you will get soon Approval even if it is RFE 🙂

  18. Wade

    My H1B Sponsored A company and past two years working in B Company and my A company planning for stamping and what are the interview question for stamping since I am not employee of the A company. If VO asked the Employee and employer relation what could be the answer.

    Please reply with question and answers for these situation

  19. L1andH1

    I have applied H1b for Fiscal year 2016-17 and it picked up in the lottery.
    Moreover, my employer applied the H1b as COS.I came back to india on August 2016 (till that time h1b is not approved).My h1b petition was approved on January 2017.
    But, I do not know, whether h1b approved on H1b COS or with out COS(I want to know/or how can we check it’s approved on H1b COS or without) .But , when I see my approved I797A ,it’s have I94 valid from 01/24/2017 to 09/22/2019.Can you please answer following questions.
    1) How can i check H1b petition is approved on COS or Without?
    2)I see,my approved I797A ,it’s have I94 valid from 01/24/2017 to 09/22/2019.It means , is it approved on H1b COS?
    3) Now My L1b empoyer is asking me to travel to USA for urgent assignment(H1b is not stamped,only petition approved).Can i travel on L1b?

    1. h1b

      My visa got approved on Mar 16th & it showing as admin processing. Can suggest anyone if Visa officer told Visa approvef, check status in https://ceac.state.gov/ceac..is it approved or issued. Or it will take some time to update same status. I believe initially it updates admin processing.. Pl suggest who have faced same case.

    2. H1B_helper...

      COS works only when you’re inside USA.
      The approval notice with I 94 tells your case was approved as COS.
      If you’re​ not inside USA now, you need visa stamping to enter again. If L1 stamped is valid, you can enter on it. H1b approval will not bother your case.

  20. Drupada

    Today (17-03-2017)I have attended H1B visa interview.
    Below are the questions they had asked.
    1. Who is your petitioner?
    2.How long you have been working for your current company?
    3. Where do you live in USA?
    4.Are you working in client location or in your company ?
    5. Who is your client?
    6. What is your salary?
    7. Have you seen Colombia ?
    (We laughed together bcz it’s my first abroad travel)

    Finally she said we will send your passport to your address.

    Nice interview and it took hardly 5 mts. Always go half an hour early not more than that because you need to stand in the queue long time.
    Don’t panic by looking @ the peoples visa rejection. Better not look at them while they are leaving.

    I hope it may help you.

  21. Sam2018 (Approved)


    My H1B petition got approved. Got RFE on 30th Sept, RFE responded on 9th Jan and approved on 16th March, regular processing.

    Best of Luck for people waiting for their approval. Hope for the best and never lose patience.



  22. Pending_Stamping

    Hi Everyone,

    I work for an Indian IT MNC. I need one suggestion from you. My H1b got approved in December after RFE and stamping is still pending. .

    I will need to travel for a client which is different than that in the Petition. Initially I was told that we can go ahead with Stamping and then file amendment and travel with Amendment receipt and Stamping.

    Now they are telling that first Amendment will be filed and then Stamping on the Amended petition. With the Premium mode being suspended I think it might take indefinite time.

    Can anyone tell if the First approach is still possible?

  23. H1 amendment

    Hi All,

    My petition approved for Client A location X (stamping not done yet), Now my company wants me to move to Client B location Y (files an amendment)

    Question is Can i go for Visa stamping with amendment receipt? Or do i need to wait for amendment approval and then appear for stamping?


  24. Hai

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap on April 3, 2017. All cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, for the FY 2018 cap will be rejected.

    The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as science, engineering and information technology.

    Congress set a cap of 65,000 H-1B visas per fiscal year. An advanced degree exemption from the H-1B cap is available for 20,000 beneficiaries who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher. The agency will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public when the H-1B cap has been met. 

    USCIS recently announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B petitions starting April 3 for up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. While premium processing is suspended any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition will be rejected. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, both forms will be rejected.

    H-1B petitioners must follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence. The filing fee for Form I-129 has increased to $460, and petitioners no longer have 14 days to correct a dishonored payment. If any fee payments are not honored by the bank or financial institution, USCIS will reject the entire H-1B petition without the option for the petitioner to correct it.

    Form M-735, Optional Checklist for Form I-129 H-1B Filings (PDF, 278 KB), provides detailed information on how to complete and submit an FY 2018 H-1B petition.

    For more information on the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and current Form I-129 processing times, visit the H-1B FY 2018 Cap Season Web page or call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 or 800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired). To subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates go to the H1B FY 2018 Cap Season Web page.

    1. PoorWaitingGuy

      It is not justice accepting new application without touching previous year application (not even move one bit from the date of acceptance .. almost one year now).
      If they dont have manpower to handle ,.. then cancel that business. Any tasks without deadline doesn’t make any sense for the beneficiaries.
      This is my opinion 🙁

    2. OneMoreH1Aspirant

      The latest below message posted, and “All cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, for the FY 2018 cap will be rejected” — Means all the current FY-2017 pending (Received, RFE cases ) cases will be summarily rejected? Could you clarify please? Thanks

    3. PoorWaitingGuy

      Latest USCIS posting:


      Excerpt:The latest message posted, and “All cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, for the FY 2018 cap will be rejected” — Means all the current FY-2017 pending (Received, RFE cases ) cases will be summarily rejected? Could you clarify please? Thanks

      1. usapatriot

        Its appalling how you cannot even understand simple english. It says FY18, and FY18 has not yet started for the H1B season this year. Go find out about the USCIS details on the FY for H1B

        It generally starts on April 1st but this year April 1st is not a workday, and hence April 3rd. So if you file your application for the new H1B season before that it will be rejected.

        No wonder most of the IT work done by Indians has to be redone again.

        But again I have to hate my govt which has this labor arbitrage in place and not hate the player.

        PS: I wont be surprised, if I get hate replies for this response, I dont expect anything better.

        1. LongLiveHumanity

          We need to import junk from certain countries due to local unavailability and live with it even though it adds net negative to country’s balance sheet . This is true for any country – junk created or designed needs rework/maintenance if adequate cost/efforts have not been involved just to save costs .

      2. USAPatriot

        Why did you not upgrade it to premium processing ? I know several Indians who upgraded their genuine petitions to premium and got the results in 4 days.

        I am not going to call you out here for all your shenanigans.

      3. Botaniccolt

        No. It simply means if your petition for FY18 is filed before 3rd Apr then it will be rejected. Older RFE’s will be looked into separately.

    4. GM

      They say nothing about a lottery. My guess is that there will be no lottery this year, USCIS will just drag it so that they will no be able to allocate all the visas mandated by the cap.

    1. congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Hi congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Can you please share the interview location, questions asked and client/in-house project?

      1. Sss

        Hyderabad consulate.


        1.who is your petitioner?
        2.who is the client?
        3.how many years you have been with this employer?
        4.what is your designation?
        5.which city your going?
        6.what is your highest qualification?

        H4 ques:
        How many years you have been married?

        VO was very cool and listening with patience.


  25. Concerned

    I submitted for Premium Processing after RFE and on 13 March the website said that my Premium Processing had been received. However, today on 14 March I checked and it said “Case was Received”– no sign of Premium Processing, no sign that I had gotten a RFE, nothing! Should I be worried?

    1. Ram

      After premium processing is accepted , it usually goes to case received status. This is normal process. Your previous process too remains intact. You can check the entire steps by creating an account in uscis site and add your case in it.

  26. h1b_amendment

    Hi Kumar,

    I need your inputs please!

    I got stamping for X location with A client. But the A client (same client) requesting me to travel to Y location (different location). I know that we need to apply before April 3rd to process under premium. My question here is in case if my case moved to Regular processing still can I travel to “X” location???

    Please provide your inputs asap

    1. H1B_helper...

      H1B is approved for location/zip code. If location changes, you need to file new LCA and an amendment. If not, it is illegal and you could get deported will not be allowed back for some time. Discuss with your attorney.

  27. Sam2018


    My application for H1B for year 2017 had been selected in lottery and got RFE. Attorney responded to the RFE on 9th Jan 2017, but still waiting for decision from USCIS.

    Can I apply one more time from a different employer for year 2018? Please suggest.


  28. ACB


    Today i attended H1 b visa interview in KSA along with my dependents.

    Questions asked to me:
    1. What is your present salary?
    2. How long have you been in KSA?
    3. What is your highest qualification?
    3. Present company and work?
    4. Future job roles and responsibility?

    Questions asked to my wife:
    1. How long have you been in KSA?
    2. Do you have kids?

    He took passports and said visa approved. You will get message and passports in 3-4 days. I am waiting for my passports.


  29. H1

    I have done stamping for project A and now I can’t travel for the same project. I have h1 validity only for one year i.e till oct 2017. If I have to travel for different project what I have to do now. Should I file amendment and wait till I get approval? please guide.

  30. vikram raney

    Hi All,

    My case got denied on 10/02/2017 ,my employer said they have filed motion and submitted I-290 forms to the consulate.
    So,are there any hopes to change my status?
    till now no change in status,10days back they submitted forms.

    can any one suggest me the time it takes for update?

      1. Vikram

        Thanks for your info..but my employer is a small company..I don’t think they will file it another time..if they file too ..can I be picked in lottery or not..am really low in luck I feel..

  31. koti


    Thanks to redbus2us i recently attend interview in kualalumpur (Malaysia) 1st time i went finger print and interview both same day here. not like in India. but 1st time (6th march) i received yellow letter that they asked Offer letter from employer and very few questions they ask.
    1. How long u working in malaysia
    2. How u know this petitioner
    3 who is u r petitioner
    4 how long u signed contract with this employer
    5 show me letter which is signed between u and employer (but 1st time i don’t have this so i received yellow letter) after i received scan copy of this letter and again i went on 10th march. then she repeated question 2 and 5 and after verify few minutes officer said Thank you very much and they took my passport.

  32. PositiveHope

    Generally What are the reasons USCIS are denying?

    Anyone knows the reasons of Denial? Or your friends case? This should help others and mentally prepare for it.
    Thanks in advance.

  33. VisaTransfer

    My petition got approved recently. Since it took time meanwhile my employer hired someone else in US. I have peition but my employer is asking me to wait for stamping until company starts working on new peoject. Its a small genuine company and pay is very good. Now I don’t know till what time i have to wait. Say i find another employer who initiates h1 transfer but due to PP suspension from april it may take time as well. While other employer has initiated process and meanwhile my first employer asks me for stamping, can i go with old petition for stamping. As i understand it can be done. Need experts to reply.

  34. param

    Hi Raghu/Kumar/ H1B Guru’s

    I have a situation here. My case status showing as “On March 7, 2017, we revoked the approval of your case, Receipt Number WAC16******, and mailed you a revocation notice. It explains the reasons for our action. Please follow the instructions in the notice and submit any requested materials. If you do not receive your revocation notice by March 21, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy of the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.”.

    Earlier it was “Case was approved” and i was done with stamping on jan 22 2017.
    When i checked with my employer (US Consultancy), they are saying Your H1B petition has been withdrawn because we eliminated few H1B job positions.

    And they totally did this to me without any communication . I resigned and got released from my indian employer and i have made my travel plans also.
    Now i don’t have job and i can’t travel US.

    And my employer saying you can transfer petition to another company if you want. I don’t think it is possible.

    Am requesting REDBUS to help me to know the chances on transfer “Revocation Notice Was Sent” petition to another employer.

    Please give me some inputs.

    1. Well_Wisher

      This is very unfortunate !

      Once revoked H1b petition cannot be transferred, your employer will have to file a new petition in the forthcoming year.

      Some, not all, employer do revoke when they don’t have requirements to fill in without any prior notification.

      Best wishes to you, hope you find new path soon.


  35. Be_Happy

    In the marathon of getting H1, H2, H4 VISA, USA , travel … let me see how many are still living life … CURRENT LIFE !
    Come on you need to enjoy your life despite what are you up to !
    Do you know there is color festival called HOLY ! No Idea how many remember !
    Let me see how many remember or how many are in this earth 🙂


  36. Capexempt

    Hi Experts,

    My H1B recently got approved for internal project in a MNC and recently i got referred for a new client and new location.so it seems it would required new LCA and petition amendment .
    So can i travel before amendments approval or i need to wait till my amendment aproval in india before moving to US ?


    1. ReplyCapExempt

      If you are planning to go to new location, Amendment approval is mandatory. If you apply Amendment in regular process, it may take 5-9 months (no defined timelines, but generally it takes). Else if company decided to file it in Premium process, you’ve only 3 weeks left before USCIS stops accepting the premium applications (may be for the next 6 months, refer USCIS website)

      1. ReplyToReplyCapExempt

        The below is from the USCIS site READ the Note section, don’t reply to queries if you don’t know the exact process.

        When You Must File an Amended Petition

        You must file an amended H-1B petition if your H-1B employee changed or is going to change his or her place of employment to a worksite location outside of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or an “area of intended employment” (as defined at 20 CFR 655.715) covered by the existing approved H-1B petition, even if a new LCA is already certified and posted at the new location.

        Note: Once you file the amended petition, your H-1B employee can immediately begin to work at the new location. You do not have to wait for a final decision on the amended petition for your H-1B employee to start work at the new location.

        1. ReplyCapExempt

          Sorry guys, pls. accept my apologies.
          This is what i’ve seen in our company as a standard. So i’ve thought that’s the law and it was my mistake. And thanks for correcting me. I am also currently in the same situation and your message gave me a big relief.

  37. Khushi

    Hi All,

    I am on H4. I left my Indian job and came here in US. I applied H1B through some consultancy but it got denied. I am applying again through some other consultancy this year. Can you please let me know that can i go to India for a vacation as I am going for change of status. Or I need to stay here till it gets approved or wait till lottery results.
    Also I dont wont to waste my career, So should I go back and start job there or wait for 1 more year.

    1. Ram

      Hi Khushi,
      You can travel to India . It’s just that your COS may not be approved but your H1 would get approved once picked in lottery. You can apply for COS once your H1 is approved. Good luck !

  38. Happy

    First of all, let me thank redbus2us guys for this amazing platform and then all the amazing people who shared their experiences throughout the journey. This wait time would have been lot more difficult if you guys were not there.

    Coming back to my case:

    Petitioner: Small consulting company
    Client: Small startup

    Application process started around March 2016:
    Picked in lottery: Mid may 2016

    RFE received: October 2016 (RFE was for lot of reasons like employer-employee relationship, whether the occupation is a specialty occupation, Foreign education credential evaluation)

    Responded to RFE: Dec 2016

    Case approved: End of Jan 2017..

    Visa Interview date:
    OFC: 6th March 2017
    Interview: 7th March 2017, 10 am

    VO was a guy in late 20s, greeted me with a smile.

    VO: Can you pass your passport and I797 please
    Me: Yes sure (passed the documents)

    VO: (Pointing at rights pamphlet) Did you get this?
    Me: Yes

    VO: Who are you working for?
    Me: (Even though it was a new opportunity, without hesitation I mentioned my petitioner/employer) XXX

    VO: What would you be doing there?
    Me: I will be working as

    VO: How much will be your salary in US?
    Me: XX US Dollars per year

    VO: What is your highest level of education?
    Me: Bachelor’s Degree in XXX engineering

    VO: Who is your end client?
    Me: YYY

    VO: What does your client do?
    Me: Explained about client in 2 lines..

    VO: (Going through the passport, it was completely empty) Your visa has been approved, you will get SMS in next couple of days to pick your passport. Have a good day.
    Me: Thank you, have a nice day.

    To be frank, I was very nervous, but I met two guys from TCS in line, who were also there for H1B stamping, we chatted about general stuff, US, Germany visa process which helped me divert the attention and calm down.

    While waiting for my turn, I was bit nervous again, but VO was a cool guy which helped me answer confidently.

    Thank you everyone and all the best. Next and most important step: POE, hope it goes smooth as well.

    1. H1B

      Hi Happy,
      Congrats!! & Thanks for detailed post,I’m lot more confident after reading your post.

      May I know if you mention it as new opportunity when “Who are you working for?” was asked?
      Did they ask anything about source of New Job?
      Mine is a new opportunity but I have a valid client I’m bit worried what if they ask anything specific to that?


    2. Happy

      @Congrats: Forgot to mention: Mumbai Consulate

      @H1B: Like I said, For the question “Who are you working for?” I confidently answered petitioner’s name even though it was a new opportunity. Rule of thumb is you don’t say anything extra than whatever is asked to you. So, I didn’t tell him that it’s a new opportunity. You should do the same and mention it only when it is explicitly asked. I wasn’t asked source of the job and all..

      Even though they ask you about your new opportunity you should answer like “Through Recommendation” or “Online Search”. That’s it. Be prepared for the next questions just in case if they ask more. But I think, if your employer and client has submitted all the proper documents, you need not worry. All the best.

  39. Waiting to travel

    Anyone travelling on H1 visa in near future?
    Looks like Indian IT companies has stopped sending their employees.

  40. Tamil

    Cleared interview in Hyderabad & waiting to collect passport
    I’m a silent watcher of this forum, and this is my first post. its quit interesting to see different feeling and people experience.
    Even though i’m not so desperate in getting h1b stamped, I was curious to try my luck, this forum helped me a lot to know about H1B processing and made me from zero to hero in this subject, guided me in every step, before you think of some questions, it would have been already answered here. people are amazing and I was lazy , it took so long for me to type here.

    Here is my Experience, got picked in lottery, went to RFE for sow, approved and went for bio-metric scan on 8th and visa interview on 9th march

    Finger print scanning is pretty simple process, went before 30min stood in queue , document verification , finger scan and photo, all in aprox. 15 min

    Visa interview, stood in queue according to time slot , directed to fingerprint verification counter after physical check, then to visa interview counter, few direct question and approved.
    questions : your education, how long you work for current employer, who is client, which city you would be working, how much is your salary, approved. she took only passport and haven’t asked for any other doc.

    Tips: be confident and open it well with a smile, it looks like 95% they pre decide the fate before interview itself and interview part is just 5% for confirmation.

    Kudos to Hyd consulate well maintained and friendly staffs, now i’m checking passport status for pickup ,

    Good luck guys, thanks to all and moderators, its a wonderful job by you guys, .keep up the good. believe me other than this forum I haven’t referred any other. 🙂

    1. Consulate change

      Congratulations Tamil! Thanks for sharing your experience.

      I am from Chennai and planning to schedule interview in Hyderabad since my attorney suspects more spike in Chennai consulate. (I am not sure about it though)

      My question is, will there be any questions reg the consulate change since by default I get Chennai consulate in ds160. If so how to respond in a better way. Could you please suggest me here.

      1. Tamil

        Hi I’m not expert in this, probably admin can suggest better way, i got knowledge about the H1B process from this forum only,

        To answer your question I too heard similar comments from my friends on Chennai consulate and there is a high possibility that in hyd they may question, be prepared with answer, for example you can say its because of early convenient date or on duty in Hyderabad or on vacation in Hyderabad which ever more convincing.

        Mostly people will book interview in different location because of non availability of appointment on particular date.



    Hi, Observed that there are around 640 Denials in the last 20 days, That is huge number !
    Also seen 2 guys got Direct Approval from received state this week almost waiting for 11 months.

    Also feel as April 3rd onwards Premium processing will stops, So Many people would file cases before April 3rd hence clog again processing speed, I believe.
    However predition and Waiting doesn’t have any timeline, Just Timing and Luck matters !

    What you say?

        1. administrator

          Just to clarify, the stats posted on their website do NOT just correspond to H1B petitions. It includes all petitions ranging from H1B, L1, Change of Status, Green Card, etc.
          Check few examples here : EAC1710051751 (I-539), EAC1710051750 ( H1B) EAC16147551751 ( Card Delivered – GC), EAC1614755196 ( COS).
          Do NOT spread false information and leave others waiting in Panic mode.

          1. Bala_Venkat

            Dear Kumar,
            Thanks for your response. But please note that the www.worktheme.com is a reference tool built by some software experts to get Series status and filtering other I-129 application.
            Hence one you click on series, you can see ‘Other Status’ (Other than H1B category) in a separate list.

            There is another portal maintained by Russian site www.http://h1bstat.ru/
            also has reference to the same.

            Yes, I agree, these portal can’t give 100% correct but more realistic I suppose.
            But Thanks to your portal as it is more helpful for all aspirants and your suggestion/guidance rendered. Thanks.

          2. administrator

            I do not believe that it can be done accurately as you cannot easily identify a H1B case by just looking at the number, there are so many types of applications… They do not really explain how they do it… I am not even sure, if it is legal to scrape USCIS site…Just dont spread panic in others minds by posting something that is not accurate and given by USCIS.

  42. Rosh

    Finally after long wait my petition got approved yesterday

    Sep 1 – RFE
    Nov 21 – Employer send RFE response
    Nov 23 – Status changed to RFE response received
    Mar 7 – Case Approved

    California center, Regular processing

    Don’t lose hope. My RFE processing took more than 100 days.

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