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 ComponentFee 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 FeeVaries 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.

Related Articles


Comments ( 9,533 )

  1. L1h1

    Hi Ram,

    I am following your forum from long time, and have below question
    I am currently on l1 visa in USA and applied Lottery this time from company X. I got lottery and my status still show “Case received”. My problem is, I want to continue on L1 with current company till Feb 2018 even if I got approval before that.
    Do I need to leave the current company as soon as I got h1b approval, or it is my choice to join company X in March 2018 after approval? Please advise.

    1. 3rd timer

      I think it is depends on how you have applied. If it is COS then your status changes the day H1 approved. If it is CP then you can continue to work in L1 till March, go out of country after your L1 expired data and come back in H1. I dont know if you can convert COS to CP at this point assuming if the petition is COS. Usually if you go out of country then it will automatically become COS to CP but I suggest to check with your attorney or consult with attorney.

      Good luck.

      1. L1h1

        Thanks for kind reply.
        Suppose if my h1b applied with COS then you are advising that i have to work with Company X from the Day one of approved.

  2. Rajesh

    Hi Ram, My H1B renewal file with USCIS on 12 Sep. Looks like now premium processing start for 2018 cap. Can I file my case in premium processing now?

    Thanx,
    Rajesh

  3. sudgud

    Sharing My experience in Chennai office yesterday. My appointment was yesterday at 10:30 .I along with my wife and dependants reached there at 9:00 and there was a long queue. Good thing is we were asked to get in without standing in the queue as my daughter is 2 years old. After some 3 validations we were in. First person scanned the DS-160 sticker on the passport and then comes Interview.. most awaited…. to add to my fear the lady in front of us got some 221 form. We went and greeted the VO (lady).

    We: Good Morning Madam.
    VO: Good morning..
    Since I was holding my baby, she started with my wife…
    VO: your daughter looks very naughty …(my daughter picked the biometric machine in her hand )
    Wife: She is…
    VO: Which state you are travelling
    Wife: Texas
    VO: What is your husbands Sal
    Wife: around 110K
    VO: What is your education
    Wife: PhD in advance mathematics and computing
    VO: Your husband is only bachelors .. How do you see this
    Wife: I am his mentor 🙂 professional guide .
    VO: Calls me in front.
    VO: Which is your company
    Me: XXXX
    VO: Which is your client
    Me : XXXX
    VO: How you gonna celebrate your move to US
    Me: Take wife to shopping
    VO: Suggests some street/shops
    Me: with laugh ok i will go.
    VO: I am approving your visa ,.Have a safe trip and take your wife out as promised here 🙂 and gives a flying kiss to my daughter

  4. H1B_RFEResponseSent

    Hi Ram,

    Based on your experience, does resumption of premium processing create further delay to the processing timeline (1-3 months) of regular applications for which RFE response has been sent? Or do they have separate team for premium processing in USCIS? Any thoughts on this would be very helpful…

    Thanks in Advance

    1. 3rd timer

      After RFE response USCIS will respond within 60 days. Some time you will get the approval quickly (within a week or two) and for some it would really take 8 weeks. So, if you wish to expedite you can go for PP now for RFE cases too. You will get the approval or other/second RFE kind of response within 15 days to 20 days. Also, I believe when you use PP option, USCIS respond by email as well. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    2. Ram

      It will definitely delay the processing of cases filed in normal processing. I don’t think there is any separate team to handle the Premium cases. Its just that Premium processing cases are given high priority.

  5. Smar

    URGENT! Please reply ASAP!
    Hello
    My approval notice has mentioned Montreal consulate, now i have moved to Calgary. I need to know am i allowed to appear in interview in Calgary or i have to fly to Montreal.
    If yes what is the procedure?
    Pls reply
    Thanks

    1. Ram

      I think you can attend interview in a different consulate(Calgary). I don’t think you need to do anything from your end . Please do check with your Attorney once. Good luck!

  6. Being hopeful !!

    Good news to all !!! Premium Processing has been resumed !

    https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-resumes-premium-processing-some-categories-applicants-seeking-h-1b-visas

  7. Nik Limpert

    Nick Limpert

    I am from Germany. I received an RFE today asking for Wage level 2 $100,000 and a letter from client that explains the job responsibilities and contract duration. Location is NYC.

    My question is I am out of job with the above client, but got another client “Wells Fargo”, in same location NYC with a Level 3 wage $112,000 and with all supporting documents.

    (a) Can I have a change in client in same location for responding to my RFE. I will be providing USCIS all the documents.

    (b) Has anyone in past come across this situation and got approval. If yes, please share.

    (c) What will be my approval chances.

    1. Ram

      I am answering this based on my personal experience. When we change the client during RFE stage, the chances of approval goes down. It raises unnecessary scrutiny and questions.
      I would recommend you to talk to an immigration Attorney before responding to this RFE. Do post your outcome and the way you responded to it. It would be of great help! Thank you.
      Good luck!

      1. Nik Limpert

        I appreciate for your response. If I get a denial, then am I still eligible to apply for H1b next fiscal year.

        Also, will my current denial have any increase in scrutiny for my next H1B filing.

  8. Quin

    Hi Ram and All,

    USCIS released the news today that they resume Premium Processing for all H1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year year (FY) 2018 cap: https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-resumes-premium-processing-some-categories-applicants-seeking-h-1b-visas

    Just want to get your advice if I should request premium processing since I still don’t receive any news from them at this moment? The fees for premium process is $1225.

    Thanks,
    Quynh

    1. Ram

      Oh yes! If yours was picked in this year’s lottery. You can give it a try. The process has to be initiated by your employer/Attorney. So please talk to them and take the necessary steps. Good luck!

    1. 3rd timer

      That’s long time. If you have Fedex/UPS/USPS delivery receipt then ask your employer/attorney to raise Service Request (SR) about your case. It is possible that your receipt notice might lost in transit. If that is the case then USCIS will send the copy of the original receipt. Good luck and all the best.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Sen, Some people reported that they did received an approval after RFE. Some of them within a week and some it took 2 to 4 weeks. And up course many still waiting more than month after RFE. So, it looks like the approval timing depends on the RFE. Hope your’s will be approved before October 1st. But you should also prepare for the worst case scenario if the approval gets delayed. You should also remember that USCIS will take up to 60 days after RFE submitted. They usually respond within that time frame but it is not absolutely must for them to respond. Good luck and all the best.

  9. Samron

    Hi Ram,
    My initial OPT expired on 6/13/2017.I’m not eligible for OPT extension.My H1B got picked in the lottery.On 9/5/2017 I got RFE.i am in CapGap right now which is till 9/30/2017.After 9/30/2017 Am I out of status?

    If I am out of status,should I join a new Masters and sevis transefered before 9/30/2017?

    My Employer will definitly respond to the RFE.
    Please advise me

    1. 3rd timer

      You are not eligible to work beyond September 1st. However, you are authorized to stay in status without work till your case is adjudicated. At the worst case if it denied then you have 60 days to prepare for alternate arrangements like leaving the country (but you have to leave immediately if the denial is based on fraud). So, answer to your Q, you will be in status after 30th but unfortunately you are not allowed to work. Regarding first day CPT, it is better to avoid. If you feel that is the only choice available then check with your DSO or any immigration attorney immediately because you are running out of time. Good luck and all the very best for your RFE approval.

    1. Ram

      From the document asked, I think you have got a RFE to prove specialty occupation. This is one of the common RFE and most important point to prove for H1B visa. Good luck! Prepare the response well!

  10. CPS

    Just to Share the experience about the H1B stamping on 18th Sept 2017.

    My appointment time is 9:00 am morning.
    1. when I reach the main entrance, they asked us to carry the current passports.
    2. after 3 to 4 validaiton – entered into Bio metric validation
    3. when to VO counter.
    VO: Good Morning.. show me your passports
    me: Good Morning . Sure.. (then provided by passports)
    VO: Who is your employer?
    Me: Told my company name
    VO: How long you working in XXX company?
    Me: Told my XXX year of experince
    VO: which state you travelling?
    Me: NJ
    VO: What is your salary?
    Me: mentioned in US$/Annum

    Dependent:
    Spouse:
    VO: When did you get marry?
    Spouse: told date and month and year
    VO: How many children you have?
    Spouse: 1
    Son:
    VO: Hai !!!!
    Son: Hai!!!
    VO: What’s your name?
    Son: XXX XXX (name)
    VO: Thank you..

    after a min time.. He told.. your visa got approved..!!!
    Happy Ending!!!

  11. Mani

    Hi Ram,

    After waiting 6 months, i have got an RFE and my employer asked me to upload experience certificate. Is this common RFE .. thanks in advance

    1. 3rd timer

      @Mani, Unless otherwise we see the actual RFE it is difficult to know it is common or not. However, it is look like wage level 1 RFE (you may try to correlate that with your LCA if possible) and your employer try to address it as a specialty occupation and require 4 year degree. That is my opinion. If RFE is in fact related to wage level 1 then take a look at this to get some understanding of what USCIS expecting,

      http://immigrationgirl.com/what-does-uscis-want-in-the-level-1-wage-rfe/

      –Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  12. Melody Huang

    Hi Ram,

    My receipt number is WAC 17-144-50001. The USCIS online status for my case is still showed “case was received on April 11, 2017” at this time. The notice date for my receipt is April 25, 2017 and I saw the USCIS processing times information is updated as “processing cases as of June 1, 2017″ for H1b – special occupation -visa to be issued aboard” at the California center today. I am wondering should I expect an approval or REF or … for my application? Is it possible we may get an approval or rejected notice without USCIS status changing online? Or is there any better way I can do to check my case decision? Thank you !

    1. 3rd timer

      @Melody Huang, This year the adjudicating of H1 is slow compared to previous year due to non availability of PP and more scrutiny related to wage level 1 and Specialty occupations.
      Having said that, you should expect the approval or some form of communication in your case from USCIS any day/time.

      Is it possible we may get an approval or rejected notice without USCIS status changing online?
      Yes. This year the USCIS website is slow to update or they are not at all updating. Many people expressed that thy have received an actual hard copy approval but the website still says case received. So, to make sure your’s also one of those, i suggest to check with your sponsor. They might be withholding information of the approval.

      — Good luck and all the best for your approval.

        1. Quin

          Hi Melody,

          I’m in the same case with you!! California Service Center, case recevied on April 11, 2017 and notice date of receipt is April 25. Still no update until today…So no worries, you are not alone. I believe we will at least get RFE or approval sometime until October 1st. Please update if you get any news from USCIS.

  13. Happy

    Hi ,
    In interview, I was told that my visa is approved and not issued any I-128G slip, but it is already a Weeks time and status says as “Administrative Processing”.
    Any idea and how long it takes to get Stamping?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Ram

      Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer.Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Please wait patiently, the status might change soon!

  14. Rahul

    Hi All,
    My H1B visa is expiring in Sep 30, 2017
    My employer has already filed for H1B extension(May 2017) which is currently in process. I have to go to India in Dec 2017 for personal reasons.
    1)Is it advisable to travel to India before H1B gets approved?
    2)What is the consequence if H1B gets rejected and someone is still in US?

    1. 3rd timer

      I believe PP will be re-instated before December. So you will have a choice/chance to use that option.

      1) Generally, It is not advisable to travel before approval. But in case of emergency what can we do. Just have to take a chance. Also, since your visa is already expired, you have to appear for personal visa interview when you travel, then that bring other hurdles. Though not everyone get 221g, you should prepare for that as well.

      2)In worst case if your case is denied here before you have traveled then you will have 10 days to leave. I am not sure about what will happen to dependent when you travel to India without approval, i.e, since the primary person is out of status the moment he stepped outside the country, then that makes the dependent too. May be I am wrong. May be some one have better answer or lawyer’s can help with this.

      3) But, i believe If you use PP, whenever it is available, then you will come to know abt your petition.

      –good luck and all the very best for what ever happens.

    1. Lenin Gowripatnam

      My Stamping was due on Sep 15th 2017 (friday) and it got approved. I submitted my passport and left and today morning ( 19th September 2017) got an SMS stating my passport is ready for pick up. My passport got stamped with H1B successfully without any hassles.

  15. H1-B

    Hello Ram,

    Currently I am in US on H1-B visa. My visa has expired in Aug 2017 and extension has already been filed with USCIS.

    I am getting married in Dec 2017 and I wish to get my husband here in US as a dependent and such that he will be able to work here.

    I wanted to confirm if I can file for H1-B to L1-B transfer or if I can file for fresh L1-B as my H1-B extension has not yet been approved/rejected by USCIS. Is this possible and what are the chances of getting my L1 approved.

    Is there any other way that my dependent can work here in US.

    Thanks.

      1. 3rd Timer

        1. Assuming you have not filed i-140 already, then your future husband cant work with H4 dependent visa.

        2. If you get the H1 B approval before you are traveling to India and decided to continue in the same visa, and also your employer ready to sponsor your GC then it would take at least 1year to 2years before you receive the H4 EAD.

        3. If you are planning for L1B Visa, you should remember that one can stay maximum of 6 years only in one or combination of visa. So if you have already used significant time in H1 then you can only utilize the remaining in your L1B.

        4. Since your visa already expired and you have not received the approval, I am assuming COS will not be applicable if you file now. But you can file with CP.

        5. If you file after the H1 approval and you are planning an international travel, you have to appear for Visa interview for the approved H1 because your earlier visa expired. In that scenario, you have to take a decision. Maybe you can travel with approved H1 and try to change CP to COS in January.

        –I may have missed some more scenarios. As an answer to your query, yes you can apply L1B. But in my opinion, it will be filed as CP. Also, consult with your company lawyer who is ready to sponsor for your L1 or other lawyers who can help you to understand different options.

        Good luck and all the best for your approval and marriage. Have a safe journey too.

    1. Jay

      Your husband can work only if your I-140 petition has been approved and for which green card process should have been initiated already. In this case, your husband will be on H4-EAD and he can work

      If you want him to be here on H4 alone it is not possible.

      H1B – > L1B conversion – I wonder if they would issue a work visa if you already have a work visa of another form. I know that if you are on L1-B your husband can work as a dependent and that is why you want to try that option.

      Chances of L1-B approval varies from case to case. The rejection rate is pretty high

      My suggestion would be to apply for masters and be here on F1. In 16 months he can finish the course and OPT would kick off and he can work. Ask him to apply for good universities.

      I am working out this with my wife who has 7 years of work ex in India and my H1-b got picked recently. Has given GRE and applying for Universities now

      This year, her L1b got rejected and H1b filed was also not picked triggering us to try the F1 option

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Jay, Actually you are also eligible for CPT after 9 months which is valid for 11 months (if you use full 12 months then you cant use OPT).

  16. Atur

    Hello,

    I got through the lottery in May (Master’s Degree).

    I am yet to receive any communication from USCIS – no RFE, no interview/approval communication. I was wondering if there are others in the same position? By when can we expect to hear back from USCIS? Is there a date by which most approvals are finalized every year?

    Thank you!
    -r

    1. Ram

      Did you get the receipt number for your petition? Are you tracking it online? Loads of people are awaiting to hear something from USCIS. So please be patient and keep tracking the case. All the best!

    1. Ram

      First step is to collect all the required documents for the visa interview. The required documents list can be found in
      https://redbus2us.com/new-h1b-l1-visa-stamping-documents-checklist-by-us-consulate-general-office/

      For more info verify http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-typework.asp

      The list is not limited to ones mentioned here. Do connect to your colleagues and Attorney to get to know if there are any new ones required.

      Then get to know the content of the documents you are taking. Also be clear on the info you have entered in DS 160. All questions will be based only on these. Then you can search for interview questions online and prepare accordingly.
      Talk to some friends or colleagues to know about their interview experience.
      Some of the experiences can be found here
      https://redbus2us.com/4-h1b-h4-visa-interview-experiences-february-2017-india-ksa/
      https://redbus2us.com/3-h1b-h4-visa-stamping-experiences-2017-india/

      Hope this helps! All the best! Do post your experience too.

    2. RAO

      Hi SHAN,
      Take all the documents to interview , they may ask any document including ur form 16,LCA,I-797… (seperate all documents with U- pins)
      Questions : purpose of ur visit, who is ur petitioner, they may ask ur project details and ur roles in that , be well prepared for all the questions.
      *note: Electrical devices and bags are not allowed inside.
      All the Best.

    1. Ram

      In the first news release of USCIS, it was stated that PP is suspended for 6 months. Based on this we are under assumption that PP would start by October. There is no official word on this. Hope it gets started again.

  17. Lavanya Reddy

    Hi all ,
    Recently I got an rfe regarding how we justify the position as specialty occupation . .is this common rfe .. thanks in advance

  18. A

    Hi Ram,

    My attorney provided me with the complete H1b application and the original approval notice (I-797 A). Do I need something else in order to get the visa stamped if and when I need to re-enter the country? I did not get original I-94 or anything else.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    1. Ram

      The list of documents can be found in https://redbus2us.com/new-h1b-l1-visa-stamping-documents-checklist-by-us-consulate-general-office/

      For more info verify http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-typework.asp

      The list is not limited to ones mentioned here. Do connect to your colleagues and Attorney to get to know if there are any new ones required and prepare yourself well! Good luck!

  19. Mechanical Engineer

    Thank you for providing valuable information Ram!

    I got my H1b approval notice of action ( says H1b approved and COS approved ) on 8/4/2017 but did not get I-797A or I-94 originals. My attorney has created an inquiry on missing documents and USCIS said they would respond before 9/28/2017.

    My attorney is asking me to get visa stamped with I797-C, just to be on safe side as we don’t have I-94 to re verify I-9 employment eligibility form.

    What is a good action plan now? is it safe to go for stamping on I797 C ?

    Do i wait till 9/28/2017 and then travel?

    Please advice.

    thank you in advance

      1. Ram

        As per my understanding, I797C is only a receipt proving an applicant has submitted a benefit request; On approval you need to have I797A or I797B only. Please read the notice thoroughly once again and do tell us whats there in I797C.

        1. Mechanical Engineer

          Ram, yeah i have checked it multiple times now. It says I-797C courtesy copy, not a official notice. The above petition and change of status have been approved. I have H1b approved dates as well.

          1. Ram

            Interesting.. If there is no urgency to travel now, its better to get the original approval notice and then go for stamping.

          2. Mechanical Engineer

            Ram, Thanks for the advice.

            How can my employer re-verify my i-9 without I94? Can i use the online i94 page but it doesn’t say Class H1?

            Please let me know.

    1. Ram

      Congrats on your Approval! It is always better to have the original approval notice during the Visa interview. Though its not asked in most of the cases, its better to have it. Please do wait and depending on the outcome you can travel. Since your COS is approved, there is no urgency to get your Visa stamped. You can get them when you re enter the country anytime.

  20. Sarita

    After5 months wait, my status changed from “Case transferred to another location” to “Request for additional evidence mailed” today. My case number is Eac*** I am unsure as what will be the reason for RFE. Also I am travelling to another state for 1 1/2 week so I am worried it should not delay sending response if there is any dependency on my end. I am non MS and IT background. Please help me..expert advice needed.

    1. Ram

      Its been too many RFEs lately. So please relax and we will wait for the RFE notice. Mostly the RFE would be on the company side and your employer may have to prepare the response. The RFE notice takes max of 10 business days to arrive at the Attorney’s office. Then you would have 90 days to respond to it. So I don’t think your travel would delay the process in anyway. You can always carry your laptop with you through which you can stay in touch with your company/Attorney. Good luck on preparing your response! If you are in USA and as long as you don’t travel out of the country, I don’t foresee any kind of problems for you.

  21. Quin

    Hi All,

    It’s September 15th and still no update on my case. Second applied and Wage Level 1. I’m so worried if I don’t get updates before October 1st. Anybody in the same situation?

    Case Was Received
    On April 11, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC171395***, and sent you the receipt notice that describes how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your receipt notice by May 11, 2017, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    1. Ram

      Just like you, loads of people are waiting to get an update. You are not alone. Please wait for an update patiently. Your case will get processed soon! Good luck!

      1. Quin

        Thanks, Ram!

        I checked the USCIS California Service Center Processing Time this morning. It’s showing:

        I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad June 1, 2017
        I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. June 1, 2017
        I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. June 1, 2017

        Last week it was updated to April 2nd. Does it mean that all H1B has processed to June 1st? Thanks. My lawyer is really unhelpful.

        1. Ram

          Quin, As per my understanding these timelines denote to Cap exempt petitions only.
          I don’t think Cap subject petitions come under this timelines. I still know many of the cap subject petitions just with received status.

  22. VA

    My husband had applied for h1b renewal, he has got an rfe for wage level 4 days back. if he gets a good job offer from other companies , can he change job? how is h1b handled in such situation? Also his I-140 is approved, can this be of any help in h1b renewal or new job? Please pls let me know.

    1. 3rd timer

      As Ram suggested it is better to get the approval and move.

      Also, If the H1 transfer happens before 180 days (6months) of already approved i-140 then if the Company A withdraws the i-140, you may not able to recover the priority date. So, check with attorney and they may give better guidance.

  23. Cap10

    I had to travel to India Urgently while my H1B extension has been applied and current H1B expires on Sept 30th 2017. Can my payroll run from my H1B employer after Sept 30th while I am in India waiting for my H1B extension approval?

  24. CTS_T55

    Hi Ram,

    Went for Visa stamping interview last week, VO returned my Passport and issue 221g white slip and asked for below doc from my employer.

    1. A statement of work signed by your employer and the end client.
    2.A letter (on letterhead) from the personnel department at the u.s end client company stating that there is a vacancy for you.

    Can you please let me know what is the second one and how much time they will take to my visa stamped after providing the required document.

    .

    1. Ram

      oops, I am sorry to hear that!
      I think the letter requested is more like a client letter which states that there is a vacancy available for you. You may request the client manager to provide one for you. Once you submit the documents, There is no set timeline for 221g processing. It can take as little as a week, or as much as several months. All the best! Try to submit the requested documents as soon as possible. Please do post the outcome.
      For more info, check this https://redbus2us.com/the-beast-called-221g-process-faqs/

    2. 3rd timer

      Usually 221g approval takes 6 to 8 weeks after submitting all the requested documents. Most of the cases will get approved within that time frame. But some cases, like back ground verification of the beneficiary or company involved in restricted areas like bio-medical, the approval go beyond that time frame. In your case the requirement is straightforward and the documents are not that hard to assemble you may get the approval within the normal process times, which is 6 to 8 weeks.

      I think the VO may want to ensure the job is actually available in the end client mentioned at this point of time. Means, the job might have existed when they filed the visa and later it may have withdrawn/postponed or no longer needed due to change in requirement, budget cut etc. If that is the case then some employers may use the approved visa to travel and after reaching US the find new client and amend the LCA and notify USCIS. So, in this case VO wanted to check that. That’s my take. But , I guess your sponsoring company might help on this. Good luck and all the best for your Visa approval and have a safe journey.

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