As you all know, we had 199K H1B petitions for FY 2018 Quota, many of you must be waiting for the USCIS receipt numbers or H1B application checks to be cashed…While only 85,000 of the 199K will be lucky, there are many confusions around when will the H1B lottery results date would be for all applications, is there a deadline as such. Some seem to be saying “lost hope”, etc…Let me try to clarify some of these aspects.
How would you know if you were selected in H1B 2018 Lottery ?
As premium processing is suspended for FY 18, we are left with about three ways, you would come to know, if your petition was in H1B lottery.
- H1B Petition Check cashed by USCIS for your petition
- Getting H1B Receipt Number from USCIS in Mail ( normal post)
- If filed under US Masters Quota, SEVIS record updated with H1B Info.
While there is no specific sequence as such that all the applications should go through the same process like checks cashed first, then receipt numbers are generated, and SEVIS record updated later…any of the above three could happen in any order…it is probably due to the way systems are setup, updated and how the applications are processed. If any of the above three happens, then you would know that you are selected in H1B Lottery.
What is the Exact H1B Lottery Results Date for FY 2018 Season ? How Long does it take ?
While, there is no exact date defined or set by USCIS for releasing all the H1B lottery results, they update stakeholders on their overall milestones such as
- Completion of Data Entry of All Petitions filed for fiscal year
- Completion of Returning of all petitions filed for fiscal year.
For FY 2017, they updated in news alerts that Data entry for all petitions was completed on May 2nd and all unselected petitions were returned on July 8th , check FY 2018 Cap Updates page .
Now, for FY 2018, based on last year’s data, we may expect similar dates. We can expect update from USCIS in May regarding data entry and very likely on returning petitions by mid July 2017. You can consider up to two weeks after the announcement for full mail processing and you can expect final result (either receipt notice or rejected package ) by end of July 2017 or early August 2017. I would say, that’s the final lottery results date for all petitions. Until you receive a rejected petition package or H1B receipt notice from USCIS, anything is possible…
My H1B Applications Checks are NOT cashed, Is there any hope ? Is it Game Over ?
It is not necessary that you need to have your checks cashed right now along with others, who are posting comments and attorneys’ updating info, to be considered you were picked in Lottery…sometimes, you may just get the H1B receipt notice from USCIS as well in mail… As I said above, until you get a rejected notice or receipt notice, anything is possible…Your deadline is probably when USCIS informs that they have completed returning all petitions not selected in lottery. To be pragmatic, many attorney’s suggest that you should get receipt notices or checks cashed by end of May…while, that is the normal trend, but I have seen some exceptions in last few years that fell past May.
US F1 Students – SEVIS Updates – What does it mean ?
If you have filed your H1B under Master’s quota or you are a student studying in US on F1 visa, you will have your SEVIS records updated by USCIS, if you were selected in H1B Lottery. You can check with DSO on the status. Some may be willing to share the info, some may not be willing to share this info…so, it depends…While, the SEVIS update can be an indication for being selected in H1B lottery, but not having this update by now does not mean that you were not selected in Lottery…sometimes, it may take time depending on the processing pace and systems involved…So, you do not really have to give up hope, if you do not see any update on SEVIS by now.
You can check out crowdsourced Visa Trackers – H1B Tracker to get a sense of what is happening in overall context. Also, read Understand H1B Receipt Number – EAC, WAC ?
Did you get your check cashed before or after ? How was your SEVIS update done ? Share your thoughts and experiences.