H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

This page is constantly updated with latest news, info, FAQs on current H1B 2018 season. Below are some topics, FAQs covered on this page.

  • Start of  H1B Visa 2018 season ?
  • H1B Quota for FY 2018 ?
  • H1B visa 2018 Lottery Predictions ?
  • Plan for H1B FY 2018 Application ?
  • Find Visa Sponsors for H1B 2018 ?
  • H1B Visa 2018 Fee ?
  • H1B 2018 Lottery Results
  • H1B 2018 Petitions  Tracker – Crowdsourced
  • New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?
  • Latest News updates of H1B FY 2018

If this is your first year of H1B visa filing, you must read What is H1B Visa, Requirements, Process . Not to scare you, Last year, there was lottery for H1B season and for FY 2017 USCIS received 236,000 applications .

When does H1B Visa 2018 Season Start ?
Update : USCIS accepted H1B Petitions for FY 2018 starting from April 3rd, 2017 until April 7th. They updated that H1B Cap was reached on April 7th, 2017. 
Typically, USCIS accepts H1B petitions for next fiscal year starting from April 1st. So, for FY 2018, the start date for accepting applications would be April 1st, 2017.  But, for FY 2018 season, April 1st falls on a Saturday, so USCIS will accept applications starting from Monday, April 3rd, 2017.   If you were wondering why called 2018, when in 2017, it is the fiscal year dates that dictate that. USCIS fiscal year is from October 1st to March 30th. So, technically the fiscal year for 2018 starts from October 1st and they accept petitions for the same 6 months before the start date and it would be April 1st, 2017.  You may read USCIS Press release for H1B 2017 Start Date 

What is H1B 2018 Quota ? Regular Cap vs Master’s Cap Quota ? 
Update : USCIS confirmed the below quota cap numbers in latest press release for FY 2018. 
To get some background, read H1B Quota – Regular vs Masters .  There have been many speculations on increasing the H1B Cap due to extremely high demand and bills proposed for the same in the past, nothing made it through. As of writing of this article, below is the H1B cap quota. We will keep this article updated as new changes come in.  The total H1B Quota as of today is 85,000 and it is split like below.

Regular H1B Quota  65,000
Master’s H1B Quota ( Only US Masters Degree Eligible) 20,000

Out of the above 85,000 quota, 6,800 are set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them. Also, check out the article with history of maximum H1B Cap from 1990 to 2017 

H1B 2018 Lottery Predictions ? 
It used to be a speculation whether we would have lottery in previous years, but in the past 4 years, lottery has become common. It is very likely that we would have lottery aka random selection for H1B 2018 season.  We have been writing predictions over the years and all of them have been accurate so far. Check out our H1B Visa 2018  Lottery Predictions – Data Analysis  to get an idea on how many H1B petitions you can expect for this fiscal year.

Update : USCIS Received 199,000 H1B petitions for fiscal year 2018.  H1B Lottery was conducted on April 11th, 2017.

Are you planning for next fiscal year, Read  H1B Visa 2019 – Lottery Date, News, FAQs 

When to plan for H1B 2018 Application – What should be your strategy ?
It is never too late to start planning…Depending on your situation, you may fall in one of the below categories and the suggestions are described below.

  • 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.
  • Working Professional from outside USA : If you are a working professional outside US, planning to work in US, especially  on H1B visa, your best bet is to find Multinational companies ( MNCs) 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. There may be many people already in-line for these visas, you need to plan carefully so that you are given a slot in the company’s filing for your next season application.
  • Other H4, L1 Visas :  If you are on these visas living in USA, 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.

For FY 2017, we have put together a Step by Step Plan on How to apply for H1B 2017 Quota, it gives a guideline on the planning and what steps exists.

How to find H1B Visa Sponsor for FY 2018 quota ?
This is probably the most asked question by everyone. It can be a tricky decision, you need be very careful to avoid fraud.

  • 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.
  • If you are professional planning to arrive in US from outside America,  it can be really 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

We have an article that we wrote for previous season, you may read article How to find H1B 2017 Sponsors to find out various options.

What is H1B Visa 2018 Fee ? How much does it cost for the company ? 

The H1B fee varies by the size of the company..As of FY 2017 season, it can range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee. On December 23, 2016 , USCIS increased the H1B fee component of base filing fees, which was $325. The below table is updated with the latest fee updates from USCIS.  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 from FY 2017 quota.  If any changes, we will update this accordingly.

H1B Fee Component Fee in USD
 Base filing fee $460
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 Fee Varies from $500 to $3000

H1B 2018 Lottery Results – Checks Cashed, Receipts : 
One of the most asked questions is when will I get to know the lottery result for my petition. Well, this depends on many factors and there is no set SLA or date.  To put things in perspective,  last year, USCIS did a news alert indicating that they have returned all the rejected H1B petitions on July 8th, 2017. So, you can expect the last date for receiving final lottery decision around mid July 2017. …As we had about same number of petitions filed for FY 2018, it may be slightly earlier or even later in July or even early August 2017…  Few of the ways you would know, if you are selected in lottery is that, if the check that was filed with your H1B petition was cashed, or your employer gets the actual physical receipt notice in mail to them. If you filed under US masters quota, SEVIS update is another indication that you were selected in H1B lottery for FY 2018.  Ideally, your receipt numbers should arrive within 1 to 2 months…but, you never know, until you get a reject notice to be sure !

H1B 2018 Case Tracker  :
Did you apply for FY 2018 ?  With premium processing suspended, it is quite hard for applicants to know the general status of everyone to understand their situation. 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.

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

We do not know, if this news release is directed by Trump administration or not…but, on April 3rd, 2017 the start date of H1B season, there were set of new announcements made by USCIS to report and prevent abuse of H1B program. Check out USCIS New measures to report, prevent H1B Fraud  . Besides this, as of the today ( article updated date), nothing has been officially ordered or specifically implemented by New President Trump Administration. There are many speculations on how H1B program will become tougher with higher wages, quota limits, etc… but, nothing has been officially signed. We will update the article as new updates come in.

Various H1B Bills  in US House and Senate  – Will they be passed for FY 2018 ?
There are few bills that are introduced in 2017 and at various stages in both house and senate. There are many confusions regarding the same bills like the minimum wage will go up to $130,000 USD, etc.  Fact is that nothing has passed and there are very slim chances for them to get passed before start of FY 2018 season. You can check H1B Bills Tracker to get more details on current status. We will keep the article updated as new things are passed.

Latest News about H1B 2018 Season 
High Level Latest News for FY 2018 is listed below. But, all the Latest News are tracked on our H1B 2018 News and Updates Tracker Page. Check out below.

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

Most recent and complete history of all latest breaking news updates from Official sources like USCIS and Unofficial sources for FY 2018 Season.

Are you planning for FY 2018 quota ?  What are your questions ? Add your thoughts.

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Comments ( 12,858 )

  1. Raghav

    Hi,

    I have entered US and worked for client 1 month and came back India 4 months before. Can I go to US again to work with same client ? I was in US for 1 month.
    I got pay slip from my company.

    I have used for 1 months my H1B visa. How will it be counted ?

    Waiting for reply.

    Thanks
    Raghav

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You can, if your employer is willing to continue your employment and your H1B is valid, and you get paid on H1B as per the application filing. If you entered on H1B visa, you would have used only 1 month of your H1B time.

      1. Raghav

        Hi Kumar,

        My H1B was approved for 3 years and I have used for only 1 month. I had entered on Jan to Feb 18. Can I use my H1B for remaining 2 years and 11 months or how is it calculated ?

        Thanks
        Raghav

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Your H1B clock is calculated by the amount of time you have spent in US. Yes, you can apply for H1B transfer with a new employer or work with your current employer as well.

  2. Pathakodi

    Hi,

    I have H1B stamped on August 2018. I am planning to fly on Jan 2019. I want to apply H4 for my wife & two kids. Please advise.

    1) Can I apply H4 when my H1B is stamped but have not travelled yet.

    2) If yes, what is the process to do that? Should H4 be initiated from my visa sponsor (Employer) or I can apply without employer help?

    3) Should I be paying visa fee for all three (Wife, 6yr & 2yr kid)?

  3. Sri

    Hello All,
    Please advise with below situation

    My H1B got picked this year and it’s in “Case received status” with California center. It got picked after 3 attempts from 2016.I’m working on CPT status now and have following questions:

    -I want to travel to India in November for personal reasons and return December last week. I want to know if travelling while case is still pending would disturb H1 application process. As after some research I understood that I can travel outside country anytime while case is pending but to return I need to wait till case gets approved. [P.S I will be working from India].

    -I’m pursuing PhD (program end date May 2021), My Initial F1 stamping expired on June 2017 I have Masters (graduated 2014), utilized OPT period and then took another Masters with Day 1 CPT and now pursuing PhD with the same university . What if I go to F1 stamping in November and it gets approved, Is my H1 application still valid at this point, will h1 be processed?

    -It’s been 180 days since I received H1B receipt, any other way or call to inquire USCIS to check on status or to expedite . I understand premium processing is suspended till February.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sri,
      Your travel to India should not have any impact on your H1B, only thing is if it was filed as COS, it would be abandoned. Yes, you will need to get F1 stamping to re-enter US as your F1 visa is expired. Talk to your DSO and make sure you carry all documents that are required for you to present, if asked at Port of Entry. You may call USCIS, but not going to change much.

  4. jai

    Hi Kumar,

    My case was selected in lottery and status is Case Was Received
    On April 12, 2018. Still no update for this case. kindly help me to understand the same.

    Thanks

  5. Nagesh

    Hi Kumar/3rd Timer,
    Temporary suspension of PP is also applicable for 2018 h1 quota?
    my receipt no : EAC1714754XXX

    Thanks
    Nagesh

  6. Naren

    Hi Ram,Kumar,3rs timer and all,

    I was issued 221G asking for client letter at aug 10th 2018, submitted docs by aug 28th.Now i got a mail from USCIS like the one below.

    Sub: REQUEST PASSPORT :: MDR – 2018XXX XXX XXXX

    Dear XXXXXXX:

    With reference to your U.S. Visa application, we kindly request you to submit your passport (also the/your dependents, if any, who applied for US visa along with you) and a printout of this e-mail at one of the 5 Visa Application Centers (VACs) or 6 VFS offices. To locate the 5 VACs and 6 VFS offices closest to you, please check the website WWW.USTRAVELDOCS.com/in. There will be no fee charged for this service.

    Regards,
    U.S Consulate General,
    Chennai

    Official
    UNCLASSIFIED

    Also i dont see the status change in CEAC website is this a positive sign? any thoughts idea?

    1. 3rd Timer

      It looks like your case already approved. Dont worry much about status change in the website because now a days it is not up to date. Just submit the passport as soon as possible . Good luck and all the best. Safe travel too.

  7. Ravi

    Hi Kumar,

    Hope you are doing well!

    Currently, I am on cpt working at client location. my h1b got picked up this year and received an RFE, my employer is yet to respond to the RFE. however I am planning to travel to india from first week of feb to first week of mar next year.
    Not sure it my I receive the decision from USCIS before I travel. is it ok to travel while h1b is pending and what are the possible issues?

    Regards,
    Ravi

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      If you are on CPT, you are on F1 status…Not sure, how your H1B was filed either COS or consular processing. If it was filed as COS, the COS would be abandoned and it will processed as normal consular processing, meaning you need to get visa stamping to move to H1B status.

      1. Ravi

        Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for your quick response!

        The petition was filed for the COS. Since I have 4 months of time till my travel date assuming my employer responds to the RFE this month. could you please provide your insight on the below queries as well

        1. If COS is abandoned when I am in India, would that affect my current F1 status? Can I still travel to US on F1(valid till dec’2019) when my COS is abandoned?
        2. According to current situation, How long it might take to get a response for an RFE?
        3. what are the chances of receiving uscis decision when I am India(from feb 1st week of 2019 to mar 1st week of 2019)?
        4. If I receive approval after reaching US on F1. Should I go back to India again for stamping (or) I can also go to Canada for stamping?
        5. This travel is very important to me and I need to go to India due to personal reasons. What would be your suggestion in order to avoid any issues to my status?

        Regards,
        Ravi

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          1. It should not affect your F1 status, they are independent. Make sure you speak to DSO and carry all documentation for F1 and have valid visa stamping on your passport to re-enter.
          2. it is hard to tell.
          3. again, very hard to say, everything depends on case and USCIS load.
          4. you may go for stamping in Canada, but check with Canadian embassy to be sure as rules keep changing.
          5. Life is not black and white, you need to take some calls based on what is priority for you…I would not able to advice, you need to make an informed decision and not regret if things do not work out.

  8. Chandra

    It may be a dump question, sorry. I am traveling USA next week for a three week seminar using B1. Can I apply for SSN during this period? Is it allowed to apply SSN using B1?

  9. Sabitha

    Hi,

    I got my H1B stamped in my passport 3 Months back. Actually the employer (employerA) who sponsored (I paid 4k$ as deposit BTW) me the visa is not showing interest in bringing me to USA. He is not giving confidence that he can arrange client interviews and get me a job.

    I just got a call from another companyB who is ready to transfer the visa to them and arrange me a job . The good thing is that they are ready to sponsor me flight tickets, accommodation, food for 30-45 days. That is not the case with the companyA who sponsored me the visa. Please note that I have never been to USA so far. As I heard, we need to have atleast one month payslip from the companyA who sponsored the visa, otherwise the visa cannot be transferred. But the companyB said they will manage it as they have 3000+ people working for them and their immigration team know how to get transfer smooth and complete success. CompanyB is even ready to give me some advance until I secure a job.

    I need your advice and guidance and how to proceed further.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sabitha,

      Since you re not even started to work for company A, I believe, it is not required to submit the pay check when you are changing the job. So, if you think that company B is good one and better than A it is worth to try the transfer. Also, you no need to worry that if A will come to know you are attempting transfer with B. Because, USCIS will not inform company A. They will treat your transfer as new petition but no lottery because it was already undergone the lottery. Only draw back is there is no premium option for transfer so you need to wait at least 3 to 6 months. Some people advice that based on transfer receipt you can work and that’s true. However, some time visa officer at the poet of entry may deny (not 100% certain but it may happen) your admission. So, best case scenario is join B after you receive an approval.

      Whatever I explained above is about how the transfer work. But joining A vs B, it is your individual decision. My suggestion is reach out to some folks who are already working with B and they might give you better answer.

      Good luck and all the best for your transfer if you plan to go through.

  10. Crossing fingers

    Selected in lottery but still no word of results. Is there anyone else in the same boat? My application is at the CA center. I read somewhere if you havent heard back by June its usually a denial? How true is this?

  11. Jay

    Hi, I am on F1 visa. During h1b process, I worked for company A and then I changed from company A to company B. My H1b application has been approved but only for 3 month. How can I initiate process for extension ?

        1. 3rd Timer

          Again, the Q you are posted in not very clear. Ok, This is my understanding. You are in F1 (OPT/CPT/STEM Ext/or Cap-Gap) and working for a consultancy. They placed you in Client A and submitted the H1 with Client A’s credential/documents. Now, your H1 is approved for Client A for 3 months only in the mean time your job is changed to Client B which may be long time and you/your employer wants to change your job to B.

          If the above statement is true then file an amendment/extension on or later October 1st and based on the receipt continue to work for B till your get extension or RFE etc. It is better to ask for an amendment after October 1st because your H1 already kick-in. If you ask for an extension before that H1 official start date some officers may reject with an interpretation that your H1 not yet active.

  12. AISHWARIYA

    Thanks. My H1 B is already stamped in my passport. My passport has both B1 & H1B What kind of issues I might face if I go by B1 via Company1 ?

  13. AISHWARIYA

    Hi,

    I am working on Company1 and Company2 sponsored me H1B. I already have B1/B2 from Company1.

    Company2 has asked me to travel only after Mar 2019 due to project requirements and thus I have not travelled yet. So, I have not put my resignation yet with Company1.

    Now for some reason, Company1 is asking me to go USA (using the B1 they provided) for 2-3 weeks. Please note that I have never travelled to USA before.

    In this case, what will happen in immigration check? I don’t want company1 to know that I have H1B stamped from another company.

    Will I face any issue in immigration check or with Company1?

    1. 3rd Timer

      Since your new H1 is not yet stamped (assuming Comp 2 petition was already approved) It will not be a problem. Also, even if it stamped I believe it will not be a problem. Problem only happens at the port of entry if you are unable to answer the questions truthfully otherwise you are fine.

      –Good luck and all the best for your travel and also for your approval (if not yet approved) and for your visa stamping (if your H1 is/was approved already).

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      You need to mention clearly to the CBP officer that you are entering on B1 visa for business meetings with company1, so that your they enter in system that you have entered on B1 visa.
      Company2 does not have any info about you, unless you tell them.

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