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.

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Comments ( 10,855 )

  1. Techmate

    Hello Everyone,
    My Visa has been issued but status is still in Received status . So don’t worry , keep hope and stay safe.
    I’m sharing my interview exp below .
    RFE received – 12th Sept
    Approved – 25th Oct
    Visa Interview Details:
    Embassy Official – So is X your petitioner ?
    Answer – Yes
    Embassy Official – Where would you be working ?
    Answer – City and State
    Embassy Official – What’s your salary ?
    Answer – Say annual salary in dollars
    Embassy Official -Highest Qualification ?
    Answer – Your most recent qualification .
    Embassy Official -What would you be doing there ?
    Answer – Say your duties ?
    Embassy Official Stopped me midway and asked do you have the white pamphlet, i said yes .
    Embassy Official – Your visa has been approved. Thanks ..

    Yes, you will get nervous hearing all the interviews going on, but when it’s your turn, just relax and listed to questions asked to you and answer truthfully . That’s all

    All the best to everyone !!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Techmate, Congrats for your approval and also for the successful visa stamping. Thanks for sharing the details too. Have a safe travel to USA.

  2. Few things

    Hi,

    I got RFE on 18 September and last day to response is 2 Dec. I want to understand few things.

    1. if the RFE response is not send till the due date what will happen in that case ?
    2. RFE responded and rejected/denied then what will happen ?

    Also employer told that cheque is already encashed once your petition is picked in lottery and if the RFE is not responded / denied then amount will be given refunded to employer. they can try for next year.

    please provide some guidance on above queries. Thanks.

    1. 3rd Timer

      1. if the RFE response is not send till the due date what will happen in that case ?
      It means you are abandoning the petition. Similar to withdrawing.

      2. RFE responded and rejected/denied then what will happen?
      Nothing. Similar to above but it is rejected by USCIS because your documentations are inadequate.

      3. Also, the employer told that cheque is already encashed once your petition is picked in the lottery and if the RFE is not responded/denied then the amount will be given refunded to the employer. they can try for next year.?
      No. The amount only refunded if it is not picked up in the lottery. Once it is picked then the burden of the proof is with the applicant. Since you are not able to prove that ur application merited an approval they will not return the money.

      -Anyway, Goodluck and all the best for your approval.

      1. Few things

        Hi 3rd Timer,

        Great..Thanks for your response.

        I got 5 pages RFE, but I can see below two titles in Bold letters.

        1. Specialty Occupation (from page 2-4)
        2. Specialty Occupation – Availability of Work (from page 4-5)

        May i know what are the chances that RFE will be approved and how much time it takes to get the approval after responding to RFE.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Few Things,

          Both are routine RFE’s. The USCIS is not able to conclude from the documents that (a) the job you are going to perform in H1 is a specialty occupation and (b) they also not think that the job will be available for the entire period for the H1 requested. These are some of the basic requirements for approving an RFE. These RFE’s can be addressed effectively with proper documentation by an experienced immigration attorney.

          Once the response to RFE is submitted then you can expect 60 days normally to get a reply from USCIS. However, this year that may take longer than the actual response time of 60days. One option could be considered to speed up the process is to update to Premium. It will cost an additional $1225+lawyer fee. If you opt for PP then you should get a response (approval or 2nd RFE or denial) from USCIS within 15 calendar days. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

          1. Sneha

            How much time do USCIS provide to respond to RFE? I see it differs from each person. I got an RFE on Sep 14th and deadline they provided is Dec 9th. But for above application, the time to respond to lesser than me.

            Why is that? Is it based on type of reason mentioned in RFE?

    2. 3rd Timer

      @Sneha,

      My understating is USCIS usually give 84 days (12 weeks) including the mailed date for the RFE response. My guess is @FewThings might have received an actual letter a week or two later and he/she probably quoting that date.

  3. Maya

    I am on L2 EAD. i got second RFE asking for my husband’s details like paystubs , employer letter etc. I have everything ready . And both of us are full time employees. Is this an easy RFE ? My first RFE was on SO . This time they asked only for my husband’s details.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Maya,

      Looks like they are trying to find out the status of your husband’s visa/stay. And if you are submitting all the documents they asked then there is no reason they can deny the petition. So, I believe yours will be approved. Good luck and all the best.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Maya,

          My suggestion is to give all the information to the lawyer. Let them decide what to include and what is not to include in the response.

  4. H1B-denied-reopen

    On October 3, 2017, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) transferred your Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal to the Commissioner, Receipt Number EAC17*******, to the USCIS office that made the original decision on your case. That office will mail you our decision or send you a request if it needs something from you. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    When will be it process to approve.

  5. H1B-reopened

    On October 3, 2017, we received your Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal to the Commissioner, Receipt Number EAC179******, at your local office. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Please tell me how many days it will take.. to approve or deny

  6. Bharti Mehra

    Hi

    My H1 got denied, even MTR also got denied. The reason for denial is empoyer-employee relationship. My employer said if we re-file the MTR by submitting client letter then there are high chances of approval since the other supporting documents cannot convince the USCIS officer. Actually I am not working at the location for which my H1 was filed, so I can’t provide the letter from client for which we filed the H1. But currently I am on project and I am working in different state. Can I submit client letter from this client and appeal for my H1

  7. Bharti Mehra

    Hi
    I had beed working in Seattle, WA. My H1 got picked up. We received the RFE for employer-employee relationship on Jul1 and responded to it by Jul 20. Since the client couldn’t provide the letter, we submitted letter from vendor company. On Aug3 my project ended and I moved to CA for another project. On Nov 15 my H1 got denied. Looks like they need letter from client itself. My question is that can we submit documents from the current project of California where I have been working now?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Bharti Mehra,

      I am sorry for your denial. The answer to the question is, the USCIS may not accept the different client during RFE/MTR. It is similar to WL1 RFE. On can’t change the initial basic documentation (Like LCA, Client name, education etc) submitted in April. However, one can provide additional documents which will support/clarify the original documents (like an expert letter, exp letter etc) but one can’t change the base documents.

  8. tej

    Hi,
    I got a 221g asking for client letter. I have submitted it .

    Now i got a mail asking me to submit my passport . Does this mean my Visa is approved .If so how may days does it usually take .If not what are the other possibilities .

    Thanks

    1. 3rd Timer

      I am sorry for your denial. The answer to the question is, the USCIS may not accept the different client during RFE/MTR. It is similar to WL1 RFE. On can’t change the initial basic documentation (Like LCA, Client name, education etc) submitted in April. However, one can provide additional documents which will support/clarify the original documents (like an expert letter, exp letter etc) but one can’t change the base documents.

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