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.

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 ( 3,758 )

  1. Unlucky_Guys

    3rd attempt by employer in non AD category having 11+ years exp . Seems still not lucky .
    However faith in God .
    Cong rates all of you lucky guys .:)

    1. Guduru

      You are not only unlucky, you are stupid as well. The updates haven’t started coming for Non-AD and you are already talking shit.Wait for atleast mid may before you give up your hopes. All the best

  2. SighOfRelief

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/its-h-1b-positive-time-for-indian-it-companies-to-breathe-a-sigh-of-relief/articleshow/58270022.cms

  3. Joy

    Hi Experts,

    I have filed my H1B amendment in Premium on 31st march,2017.Till Now I have not received the receipt number.I have a valid petition from 2016.Hence my amendment was cap exempt.

    Any one having any information about the delay of H1B amendment premium processing receipt ?

  4. Not fair....not fair...

    This forum now sucks with bunch of AD guys only and half of them had applied 3 to 4 different petitions. USCIS is even bigger one..not to coming on their own words and not to cracking down these multiples…

    If 20K allowed for AD then why they merge rest unpicked to 65K… seperate the lotteries with seperate categories….

    Here comments after lottery…almost 8 out of 10 are AD.. means 130 out of 200k must be AD

  5. KM

    [ Don’t want to look nerdy. But, if you are getting bored while waiting for results. Play with this simulator 🙂 ]

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    using System.Threading.Tasks;

    namespace H1_Lottery_Simulator
    {
    class Program
    {
    public static double PercentageChance(int totalApplications)
    {
    totalApplications -= 20000;

    return 65000 * 100 / totalApplications;
    }

    public static void Play_Lottery()
    {
    var applications = new Dictionary { { 2017, 236000 }, { 2018, 199000 } };

    Random lottery = new Random();
    foreach (var year in applications.Keys)
    {
    var rank = PercentageChance(applications[year]);
    var result = lottery.Next(1, 100);
    var announcement = (result <= rank) ? "WON " : "LOST";

    Console.WriteLine($"You {announcement} lottery for year {year}");
    }

    Console.WriteLine("———————————");
    }

    public static void Main(string[] args)
    {
    var quit = "";
    while (!quit.Equals("quit", StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase))
    {
    Play_Lottery();
    quit = Console.ReadLine();
    }
    }
    }
    }

    1. AD guys such a curse to indian IT

      Hence proved, ur are worth less AD guy with no option in india and went to US low grade university with mindless F1 visas poured by USCIS. U people corrupted the system and indian image with fake experience and living worthless life in US while doing masters.

  6. Balathripura kanari

    hello guys, i want to apply us, do i need English fluently to apply h1b, i want to apply next year. I have exp. in big data, completed B.com , having exp 8 years. any suggestion plz, i inform to my HR people , I will get only 80K ringgits. Do i need to finish any English course to apply. I am very much appreciate if you give tips. thank you.

    1. MEng

      Here is what you need :

      “hello guys, i want to apply *for H1b to work in US * , **is fluency in English important for applying for H1b Visa****, i want to apply next year. I have **experience** in big data, completed B.com , ****and have 8 year of experience in my field***** **** Could you guys provide any valuable suggestions****, ((((i inform to my HR people , I will get only 80K ringgits—CANT EVEN CORRECT WHAT THIS ENGLISH YOU USED MEANS))). ****Do i need to take any exams that is used as a measure to judge my English proficiency****. ***Any comment/feedback is highly apprecaited****

      BRo please don’t apply this isn’t the right place for you. This is not mean all i am saying is if you stay in india you have a higher chance of moving upwards in your company and getting promoted on a regular basis. With that sort of english you will always remain an employee level person in US. Personality and how to express and present your self is very important in United states of America.

  7. Pom

    Received my receipt from my lawyer this afternoon. I have been able to check the status using the receipt number and everything shows up fine on USCIS Case Status. Thank God!!! So happy…This was my third attempt under advanced degree and it was filed at the Vermont Service Center…God bless you all and Best Wishes

  8. Confused

    Does getting a receipt number mean your petition was picked? Because I have tried approx 200 numbers in series and they all say case received blah blah blah…. How can 200 in a row get selected in a “Random” lottery???

  9. Chini hope

    I see lot of AD people applied multiple petitions, in comments and in my friend circle also. Actual
    Petitions may be 100k remaining are wasted. 🙁 i am still waiting with one petition us based company.

  10. madhan gudure

    I applied from 2 consulting and my employer filed as well. One consulting got the receipt notice and other one says got the cheque encashed. But I have heard from my employer, is there a way to transfer one of the petition to my employer without joining any consulting company. Please suggest.

    1. Now Pay The Price!!!

      I hope you get screwed over. People like you deserve to be screwed! I hope you cannot transfer and your employer fires you!!!

      1. J

        All these consultant companies needs to be banned. Filing multiple petitions and people who have studied in the US are not even getting their petitions selected

      2. Ross

        Whats wrong with you guys, people like you who cries on others should be screwed, its legal to apply multiple petitions, if he is lucky he will get selected both, if not both will be gone. what does matter to you, if you are so High skilled you find two other job offers which would be future employment and apply multiple petitions. Dont get on others dude, if you are lucky you will get. Most of them who are from IVY schools getting 250K were unable to through the lottery.

        Lottery is luck, so stop crying and hope for the best.

    2. SPB

      3 petitions?? Either you are joking or you have some nerve to post it here. You may be trouble if ‘madan gudure’ is your real name.

    3. Your_Friend

      Great, you only get temporary relief by having your consultancy H1-B application picked up in lottery. As USCIS cracks down on consulatancies that are selling H1-Bs, they will go through candidates who purchased those H1-Bs.

      There were incidents last year where candidates have been stopped in immigration because they were flagged for buying H1-Bs in immigration system. It does not matter if you transfer it to a genuine employer or other H1-B you applied from US employer got picked up and you never used the consultancy one. They will eventually get to you or you will get to them during immigration.

    4. VK

      First of all, i would say your really lucky, but Seriously dude!!!!!! Some of us here are trying since last 3 years with one US Employer and still waiting.

    5. Madhan Gudure

      Sorry I forgot to mention I am on OPT and was in AD category. My employer says there is still hope that we gets the selection from them.

      I haven’t paid to any consultancy, and getting multiple offers /visa application is not illegal, so don’t give threats.

      My employer was trying H1B for me from last two years, they only suggested this way, they said will hire me back in few months if I decide to go with this route.

      1. your_friend

        So you mean your employer suggested to go the consultancy route?

        Don’t be too much relaxed, its not like you had two american corporates applying for your H1-B because you had some talent. You went through two consultancies and this year with increased scrutiny all multiple applications folks will come under review from USCIS.

        Hopefully if any of the consultancy you applied through goes bust you will go bust.

    1. OPT_H1_FirstTime_Selected

      I guess yes, mine updated today. Seems like they started bulk process from today. I am not sure when will I get receipt. Mine AD/VT.

  11. Crossed

    I sincerely hope all those who had filed multiple application or paid for their H1bs if in case they get selected that none of their visas get approved . For morons like you the system is clogged today for guys like us who had a studied hard , landed a full-time job but still hoping to get H1b for the last 3 years .

      1. Bloody Losers!

        People like you should be hung naked on Times Square! You don’t deserve to be in this country nor do you deserve to take away anybody else’s chance. I hope all three of your petitions get RFE and the gets denied! Then you can boast about being a genuine candidate!

        1. Alliswell

          Although people are using some harsh words, I think such people truly deserve every bit of it! You are stealing others’ chances. Making it tough for those who have slogged their way up the ladder!

  12. Kumar

    international office of my school told me that my F-1 status has been automatically extended to September 30, 2017, I’m graduating in May and I don’t have OPT as I used it for my previous masters program. does this mean I’ve made it to the lottery?

    Cheers and thank you,

        1. Kumar

          you don’t necessary need to have OPT for cap gap, the difference is if you were on OPT you’d have work authorizations until September 30, otherwise you’re just allowed to stay in US until you get the h1b on October 1st.

    1. IANAL

      Not necessarily. That is merely the cap-extension in effect.

      USCIS applies it regardless of whether your petition was picked up or not since you were in F-1 status when your petition was filed. USCIS indiscriminately updates the SEVIS records for all eligible petitions that have a pre-Oct 1 expiry of F-1 status.

      Ask your DSO for specifics, if there isa case number mentioned on the update. If there is a case number, that mean you cracked the lottery, but if not, that does not necessarily mean that you didn’t (waiting game).

        1. Non AD... Last hope

          Thanks man… Looks like they are only notifying ADs….

          But to answer your question, its safe to say that you got picked. Congrats!

    1. Non AD... First time.

      Well, I haven’t received the receipt yet. But my boss said that my checks were cashed.
      Thanks God. Hope that a good sign. Good luck!

        1. Non AD... First time.

          I only sent one application. But I sent 3 seperate checks for
          DHS Filing fee, base $460
          DHS Filing fee, ACWIA $750
          DHS filing fee $500

          I am not sure how the other did it though.

          1. Non AD... First time.

            Yeah. That’s what I did. Sent separate checks , and no PP checks. Never intended to have PP in the first place.
            I just listen to what the lawyer told me to do.

  13. 2ndtime

    From the courier tracking i could see my application was arrived on april1st. Will they accept the application if it is received on Aprils 1st 2018 ?

    1. Another One of IBMer

      My Case Manager last month confirmed my filing, with the following message:
      “Your application is sent to US team and is pending for final audit before printing the petition. The petition may be dispatched to USCIS on 31st March. Please note that there will be no further updates on your case in ZOOM until the mid of April. The receipt number is expected to be available and updated only by mid of May (if the application gets picked in Lottery).

      As of last week, I can see my status in INS Zoom as “Filed”. I checked with him yesterday, if anyone from IBM has received any receipts or if they have any updates on the same ? He said, the IBM Immigration team have not got any updates on anyone from IBM who have got selected and have been reported to them.

      He asked me to wait for another 2-3 weeks. So Good Luck & Keep your Fingers Crossed, dear IBMer ! 🙂

      1. zerosum

        I had received a note from USA case manager during the last week of March ,it says that the petition has been prepared and would be filed on the first week of April.I don’t see any updates in ins zoom so far though..India immigration team is non committal to provide any status…

  14. Godisfaithful

    Third attempt, just got my receipt from my Lawyer and I am AD . God is faithful!! May God bless you all and best of luck.

  15. HIB_AD

    What does it mean if check hasnt been cashed yet ? Does it means I’ll not get picked or it might will get cashed later ? Please confirm!

      1. VK

        HIB_AD, In same boat, i guess there is still some time we can wait as there is no PP this time. Is your application sent to VT or CSC? VT seems to be slow.

  16. Yeshi

    Hi Guys ,

    I just called up my school DSO to check my SEVIS status…she said there has been no change…is it safe to assume my application was not selected ?…This year is my last attempt

    1. MEng

      You need to understand two things
      1) Change of status will take place if you qualify for cap gap. USCIS is in the process of updating it.
      2) Change of status will take place if you don’t qualify for cap gap but you made it to the lottery. In this case change of status happens when USCIS provides receipt number to your DSO through sevis account.

      And there is still a very good chance of your petition being selected in the lottery. Just believe in yourself and stay positive.

    2. AllTheBest

      My lawyer got a receipt but there is no change in my SEVIS status. SEVIS updates are quite inconsistent; I wouldn’t give up hope yet.

  17. PHARMA

    On April 18, President Trump new Executive Order titled “Buy American and Hire American,” which, among other things, addresses the H-1B Specialty Worker program.

    First, we want to clarify that no immediate changes will occur with H-1B or other employment-based regulations due to this executive order.

    Instead, the relevant government agencies will begin reviewing employment-based visa programs and propose new rules and/or guidance, if appropriate. The order also calls for reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are granted to the most skilled or highest paid applicants in an effort to create higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers. Changes to the actual immigration regulations require compliance with federal rulemaking procedures, which can take months or years to unfold.

    The most immediate change may be an increase in government enforcement efforts, as the executive order directs the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Labor to crack down on fraud and abuse.

    Since 2010, the USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security unit (FDNS) has conducted both announced and unannounced inspections of the H-1B worksites. The revenue generated from $500 anti-fraud fees funds the FDNS unit. The goal of these site visits is to verify that the petitioning employer (e.g. Emory University) and the foreign beneficiary (e.g. H-1B employee) are fully complying with the terms of the previously approved employment petition. Government officials may visit with the employee at the worksite indicated in the H-1B petition, their supervisor, ISSS, or central HR as they handle H-1B LCA’s. Although it could be nerve wracking, site visits are not something that you should worry about as long as both the hiring department and the employee have stayed consistent with the exact terms and conditions of the previously approved H-1B petition. If you need a refresher on how to handle site visits, please visit our website for the protocol.

    The order also calls for the review of all trade agreements in regard to their impact on the domestic economy. It is too early to understand the possible impact of such reviews to the TN or E-3 categories. If there are future changes to those programs, they are likely to happen over a long period of time.

    1. Sunny

      भाई सो जा यार, रात हो गयी है… स्कॉच के 2 पेग मार ले चाहिये तो

  18. MZ

    Hi guys,

    Does anyone receive any update from Fragomen? I’m not sure if it informs people by batch. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

  19. H1B Picked

    Received a call from employer saying that my petition got picked for CAP-2018.

    Advanced degree, Vermont, US Employer.

    So happy!! Wish all of you to receive info soon.

  20. Chill out

    You guys need to seriously chill out a bit. I understand it’s important and all, but really.

    I just trolled someone by making fun of the use of “cheque, encash” instead of “check, cash”. S/he responded by a full dictionary definition! Are you insane? How stressed do you have to be to take this seriously? To make things even worse, I couldn’t care less if it’s check or cheque, cash or encash, because I’m a non-native English speaker myself.

    So, chill out. Don’t get too stressed. It’ll all work out at the end. Because we’re all “high-skilled” people, right??

    (See, another trolling attempt. Don’t fall for it. Just relax.)

    1. Sunny

      Toooooootally agree with you….. People have gone insane on this blog, like its matter of life or death. AD / NON-AD, North Indian / South Indian, H1B / H4 etc etc…. I pity these people who can’t even figure out true meaning of life…. Life is too short for this sort of hate stuff guys…. All need to chill and calm down. Sometimes healthy troll is okay. Have a life guys!!! I wonder if this blog was a room and we’d be sitting all together then we might have killed each other for a stupid H1B visa. Why the hell you guys try to prove that you are too smart and deserve the H1B most when you are relying on working in US in order to prove your smartness… Morons…!

    2. Elizabeth

      ? Why were you making fun of them in the first place? Isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in you (self-admittedly) “trolling” strangers for grammar inconsistencies, then in return asking them why are they taking the time to try and troll you back?

    1. Steven

      Not yet.

      Immigrationgirl reports receipt notices for 16% of her firm’s petitions for California SC, 4% for Vermont SC, all AD, no non-AD.

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