H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

H1B Visa 2018 – News, Quota, Cap, Lottery Results, FAQs

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 12889 Comments

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

H1B 2018, 2019 Season is over, H1B 2020 Season Starts on April 1st, 2019.  Check out H1B Visa 2020 – Start Date, Fee, Lottery – FAQs 

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 ( 12,889 )

  1. Oktay

    Hi guys, how do you calculate your wage levels? I try to do it using http://www.flcdatacenter.com/ but I don’t know which occupation should I select. In the receipt, OCC is 030.

    1. Ram


      You can find the occupation corresponding to your code here.

  2. Marvin Zhang

    Is it possible to have a new LCA by changing the Wage Level from 1 to 2, while responding to RFE. The client and location is same.

    1. Ram

      Is the RFE related to your wage? If not, better not to touch it. Once approved, you can file an amendment for the latest salary.
      Of course, even now you can do it, but this may rise more questions as its gone to RFE already.

  3. Sam

    Got an RFE on Labor Condition Application. It says that my work doesn’t seem to be an entry level position despite the wage classification selected in the LCA. Asking for

    Letter explaining how this wage level is related to the specialty occupation selected

    Documentation to support that the level 1 wage designated in the LCA corresponds to that position

    In my LCA Job title: Software Engineer

    SOC Code: 15-1131

    SOC Occupation Title: Software Engineer

    My Employer is saying that as of now they don’t know how to respond to this query. Many of friends are saying that it’s tough to get the approval if one get’s this RFE. Any views on this. Do you know any one who got this kind of RFE and got approval.

    1. Ram

      one way to respond is submitting resumes and wages of employees in similar position with similar qualifications. It can be from your employer’s place or other employers in your area.
      From your side please ensure that you are not underpaid. To check the salary ranges of other people in your area and qualification can be found from
      Good luck!
      RFE response is what will give you approval. So prepare it well!

      1. Sam

        It is under Software Engineer, New Jersey. My LCA is wage level 1 which is $78,000. It is not Computer Programmer.

        The RFE issued is about wage level being 1 (entry level). They say Level 1 doesn’t count as speciality occupation and asked me to justify how the job needs Level 1 .

        USCIS RFE:

        It does not appear that a Level I wage designation would correspond to the proffered position described in the petition, which you indicate normally requires the attaimnent of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent as a minimum requirement

        You may submit additional evidence to satisfy this requirement. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, a combination of the following or similar types of evidence:

        A letter explaining how the Level I wage designation LCA that you have provided corresponds to the proffered position.

        Documentation to support. that the Level I wage designation on the LCA corresponds to the proffered position.

        1. Sam

          Can I create and send new LCA in this RFE, by changing the wage level to 2. I have the client documents and its a long term project.

          Please suggest.

      2. Sam

        Can I create and send new LCA in this RFE, by changing the wage level to 2. I have the client documents and its a long term project.

        Please suggest.

        1. Ram

          Sam, I will request you to discuss it with your Attorney/any specialized immigration expert and take a decision on this. Usually it is not recommended to file a new LCA for a RFE but if you guys decide there is no better way to mitigate it, please go ahead and do it.

  4. Sky

    Hi everyone,

    A quick question about travel scheduling.

    My H1B Cos got approved. I am currently on OPT and my F1 visa expired. I need to travel abroad in September and come back on October 1st.

    I will, hopefully, get an H1 visa when I travel. Do I need to come back on/before October 1st ?


  5. query

    Hi ,
    I have my H1b visa stamping in 2 week’s. I got thru in lottery this year 2017. In ds160 I mentioned my intended date of travel as Aug1 2017. Should I change it? h1b holders allowed to travel only after Oct 2nd??. Also let me know if I am done with stamping next month can I travel immediately or wait till Oct 2. Please let me know.

    1. Ram

      You may need to change the travel date either as petition start date or after it. You will be allowed to enter USA only 10 days before the approved start date of the petition. Good luck! Please keep us updated regarding your interview experience.

    2. New Hope

      Your intended & actual date of travel should always be on or after 01-Oct-2017. Legally, you cannot travel before this date on your H1B visa the validity of which starts only from 01-Oct-2017 onwards.

      1. query

        Thanks for your response Ram and New hope.
        Sure I would do that . I got this doubt because in my LCA , period of employment is from Aug8 2017 to 2020. So I assumed I could travel in Aug.

      2. Ram

        Not at all times, you are given an exemption of 10 days. You can travel 10 days before the intended employment start date.

        You can verify the info in

  6. Sam


    I received RFE copy today and it states “Speciality Occupation – Availability of work”.

    The end client is willing to provide the letter, but it won’t have the work duration. I will have: ” Person X is working at Verizon as a contractor at the location .. “.

    What should I do to clear the RFE and will this letter be sufficient.

    1. Ram

      Sam, can you explain your RFE elaborately?
      Are you asked to prove that you will have enough specialized work for the visa validity period or are you required to prove that your position is a specialty occupation?

      If its that you will have to prove that you have enough work for the time period- Then you may need to proivde project details n what you might be doing in addition to the client letter you have stated.
      If its latter, then you will have to prove your qualifications. This can be done in many different ways as you might know it already.

      1. Sam

        Are you asked to prove that you will have enough specialized work for the visa validity period or are you required to prove that your position is a specialty occupation?


        I can get a client letter but it wont have duration in it. Is there any other possibility for me.

        1. Ram

          I think it should not be a problem.
          But in the client letter if you could get with your job position mentioned and that the position requires special skills, its an additional plus. Please do verify it with your Attorney once. Good luck!

  7. Sachin

    Hi Ram,

    I’m currently working in US on L-1B visa. My L-1B visa is expiring on 16th Oct 2017 (First 3 years only). My H-1B was selected in the lottery (filed with COS) but I’ve not received any update after that. I’m thinking of going to India in the second week of Oct to get H-1B stamping or L1 renewal in case there is any delay in H-1B approval. My attorneys are saying they do anticipate H1b approval before 16th Oct. In case they don’t receive H1-B approval by 1st Oct they will prepare my L1 renewal.

    Does this make sense? What other options do I have?

    1. Ram

      Sachin, How was your H1B filed?
      If its COS, until you get H1B approval you will have to maintain your L1B status. In this case if you get approval before October, you will have absolutely no issues.
      If its in CP, then you will have to fly out of country, get stamping and come back on H1B. Or if your L1B has not expired, then you can file COS when inside USA itself.
      Depending on how you filed your H1B, we can discuss the options further.

      1. 1ofdlucky1

        Ram, Can we also do COS from L1 to H1 when the L1 extension is pending? And do you know how much time this COS will take and probable fees? I think i have asked you this before as well but i missed that conversation. Thanks for your help.

        1. Ram

          When you file COS, you will be submitting your current i-94 and it has to be valid. If your i-94 is expired(Grace period) and I think applying COS may not be valid. Until your COS is approved, you will have to maintain your current status. If your current status has enough time for COS to be approved, you need not worry about your extension. But once COS is approved, don’t forget to withdraw your extension application!
          For COS, you need to fill out form I-539 and fees is around 350$(please check USCIS site for latest fees info). COS can take approx 4-5 months to be approved and when you apply COS alone, you cannot apply it in Premium processing.

          1. 1ofdlucky1


            Thanks for your response. Let me make it more elaborate my I-94 is already expired and extension is pending. L1 expired last week and i-94 date was same as L1 date. What i am asking is if suppose my L1 extension goes on till October month, and meanwhile H1 gets approved, can i apply COS in October first week from L1 to H1 than ?

          2. Ram

            Nope I don’t think this can be done. If your L1 extension is approved then You can apply for COS from L1 to H1.

      2. Sachin

        Hi Ram,

        Thanks for the reply. My H-1 B was applied with COS. Yes, if I get my H-1B before 1st Oct I won’t have any issue. In case my H-1b is not approved till 1st Oct what all option do I have? My L-1B is expiring on 16th Oct.

        1. Ram

          If its not approved by October, then you might get a RFE reg your current L1B. Once your L1B expires and H1B is not approved, you may have 60 day grace period. Even after that, you and your dependents may have to leave the country and come back with H1B stamping. Please discuss with your Attorney for an expertise opinion.

  8. Sonu

    Just spoke to 2 friends today. Both received their approvals a 4-5 days ago but online status is received for both! Don’t know whats happening…

    1. Snails Pace

      One of my friend got approval (WAC..)almost 3-4 weeks back. Site still shows as received. May be they are updating RFEs punctually and thats why worktheme shows more RFEs compared to Approvals.

  9. H1B 2018

    Hello Ram,

    I am on L1B Visa and expiring before Oct 1st 2017 (Not finished full 5yrs, but visa is stamped to the date before oct 1st).
    My employer applied H1B Visa Under Change of status (COS). Now i got RFE.
    Did not recieve RFE snail mail yet. Attorney expects it is because of my visa expiration before Oct 1st and she also said they will convert to Consular processing whilw responding to RFE.they also said i have to go to my home country before my visa expiration date.

    My question:
    Am i in trouble of getting denial notice. How long this whole process may take.
    My family live here in USA and now i am not sure how many months i will be stuck in my home country.


    1. 1ofdlucky1

      In the first place when you knew your L1B is expiring before Oct 1st, COS should not have been applied in any case. In April filing of H1B you must have applied Consular Processing only. If at all your company decided to file L1B extension also than anytime after H1B approval you must have filed H1B COS this would save you from the gap scenario.

      Now i think they will treat it as a Consular Processing only and ask your your company to file L1B extension. Once you get your H1B approved as Consular processing, apply for COS being in US only. This will save you from going outside US to come into H1B status.

      1. 3rd timer

        I guess timing is the Key.. Usually USCIS takes 60 days to 90 days to respond to the RFE. Since most of the lottery selected applicants not even received any (first) update, i doubt that USCIS will approve before the post RFE decision before Oct 1st. Having said that every case is different. So, good luck and all the best.

        1. Saur

          DId your Lawyer call USCIS and confirmed the RFE? If not, do that.
          I got an RFE and when my Lawyer called USCIS, they said no RFE has been issued and my case got mixed up with another one with same last name.

    1. Miss R

      HI Ram

      Yesterday my employer informed me that my check got encased long back but still now they haven’t recived any update.

      Can you please let me know what is the chance of approval/ -RFE?

      Designation – QA ANALYST
      PCk 75
      Petition filled from California.

      As this is almost July end … looks most of them recived update … are u thinking the last petitions will go more of RFE ?

      1. 3rd timer

        @Miss R, I hope you have received/know the receipt number. If you have not received the receipt then it was told that usually USCIS write the receipt number back side of the cheque.

        If you already received and know the number then you just have to wait. based on worktheme.com it looks like USCIS cleared only 20 to 30%. Many people are waiting just as you for the next stage like approval or REF etc. We just have to wait and hope that our receipt has some update. Also, if the paper work is fine then i dont think you will get RFE. So, good luck and all the best for getting the approval or update soon.

  10. Sam

    Hi Ram,

    I see some one got RFE about ‘LCA wage level does not match JD’. How is this wage level defined for e.g. Mine h1 filed and I’ve offer of 68k pa for system analyst. Am in India .got 10 years exp.
    Anyone got approved in this wage range.

    Appreciate your inputs

    1. Ram

      As you very well know, the LCA is provided along with H1B petition. The Department of Labor, maintains the LCA job title, wage and job description mapping. This has to be maintained in the filed H1B petition. If the job description provided has more skills added to the one maintained by the DOL, then wage level increases correspondingly.
      If there is a mismatch, then RFE is issued. In your case, you need to see the JD submitted, Job title and salary level. If it all goes along with the ones DOL has, then you would get your approval. There is no need to compare with others. It all depends on the details you have submitted.

  11. H1B -Revocation

    My Friend Case status changed to ,”Revocation Notice Was Sent”,.What does it mean?

    Why the status changed from approved to Revocation? Current employer can do this ?
    On July 19, 2017, we revoked the approval of your case, Receipt Number EAC17*******, and mailed you a revocation notice. It explains the reasons for our action.

    1. Ram

      Yes the employer can withdraw the visa. The withdrawal can happen at any point of time.

      Please refer https://redbus2us.com/h1b-revoked-withdrawal-termination-by-employer-uscis-oh-my-options/
      for more details.

      1. H1B -Revocation

        Thanks Ram for your quick reply,
        i need small clarification, Once reached US , i am working for my current employer after 1 year i am changing the company to new employer within US..

        Now my current employer can revoke my Visa ? if it happens what next? if it is common meas how employees are moving to new company? is it mean like we cannot change the company?

        1. 3rd timer

          My understanding is after Oct 1st, even if the company A (which is the one sponsored in first place) withdraw then you can transfer to company B or C etc..

          However, if they withdraw before Oct 1st (F2018 petitions) then you can’t transfer. In your case It is not a problem i guess since your’s is already counted in lottery and your H1B would be valid for 6 years.

        2. Ram

          When you move from one company to another, the new company will initiate a transfer of H1B(Technically its a new H1B being applied as cap exempt). Once you obtain the receipt number of the transfer/Approved you can start working for new company. Now this new H1B is yours(Need to maintain this) and you need not worry about the previous one. Even if the previous one is revoked, you need not worry about it.

  12. SHAN


    I got a mail from my employer saying my application is selected in lottery during May last week. After that no updates. what will be the next process after the lottery selection? when can i expect further updates? Any idea?

    1. Ram

      Shan, did you get the case number/receipt number from your employer? If not, please get the receipt number and receipt notice. Verify whether all information in the receipt notice is right. Then with the receipt number you can track your case in USCIS site. Many cases selected along with your are getting updates. Please wait till your case is worked on and an update is provided. Good luck!

    2. 3rd timer

      Any time between today to till October 1st. In some cases it may go beyond Oct 1st as well.

      There is no requirement for USCIS to send their approval/RFE’s before OCt 1st, which is the starting (effective) date for H1B people allowed to work legally.

      However, they will try to send some communications before Oct 1st. Good luck and all the best for getting the approval.

        1. 3rd timer

          My understating is (a) straight approval, (b) RFE followed by Approval or (c) RFE followed by Notice to denial. Not sure they send the straight denial notice.

        2. Ram

          I have seen few straight denials. USCIS can deny any petition directly. But mostly it would be on grounds of improper filing of visa or incorrect payment of fees.

  13. SPB

    Check out the pdf links in this page. The winner is Cognizant


    1. Confused

      Curious to know what all numbers are present . Midway page 2 of 2016 doc the number 85K is crossed going by approved petition count

  14. Switched Project-RFE

    Hi Guys,
    My H1B was filed from A project, but now I work B project. I got RFE in my case and they are asking for documents such as client letter, work order and all, but as I switched project I can no longer present the documents from A project.
    What to do in this case? If I provide documents of the B project will my RFE be rejected? Anyone else facing the same issue here?

    1. Ram

      Generally it is not recommended to change the client during RFE phase. But since you have no option left, I would recommend you to talk to your employer/Attorney on how to mitigate this issue.

  15. AB

    Hi Ram,

    I got RFE on STEM OPT application. USCIS is asking for Employment Position for STEM OPT. My lawyer thinks I should send proof for current employment which is sponsoring my STEM OPT. But I have always heard of USCIS asking complete employment history for previous 1 year OPT period.

    I am not sure if this is the right platform for OPT questions, but there was no active thread.

    My questions are :

    1. Is it alright if I send extra information to USCIS in RFE response ?

    2. My employer provided employment verification letter which is digitally signed. Is it OK or I need a letter with physical/ink signature ?

    Please advise.


    1. Ram

      1. Depends on what extra information you send.
      2.Digitally signed should be fine. If your Attorney urges on physically signed document, then you may need to provide one.

      All the best!

      1. AB

        I am thinking of sending complete employment history for my 1 year of OPT. I am working at this company for last year and it is sponsoring for STEM OPT job as well.

        I am assuming if I interpret it wrong and my response end up partial, then it is denial for sure.

        This what my RFE states:

        1. Employment Position

        Please provide your employment position and proof of employment for your STEM Optional Practical Training(OPT). Evidence of employment may include but is not limited to:

        Letter(s) from employer(s) establishing job title(s), duties,location, pay rate and number of hours worked per week.

        Copies of your earning statements/paystubs

        Copies of your W2s

        If you worked for an employment agency or consultancy, you must provide evidence of the jobs you worked on and dates worked. Additionally, if you worked remotely(telework, assigned to client site, etc.). please notate such in your employment history.

        2.Training program form I983

        Please submit a copy of your Form – I983, Training Plan for STEM OPT Students, submitted to your DSO in support of your request for the STEM OPT extension.

        Please advise if it requires just recent employment for STEM OPT duration or complete history.

        Guys if anyone else got similar RFE before please suggest.


        1. Ram

          I would say submitting the complete employment history for entire OPT would be much better option.
          Let’s also see if anyone else faced similar situation and get their suggestion.
          Meanwhile, please do check with your Attorney.

          1. AB

            Thanks Ram.

            My attorney says sending complete history can raise more questions.If extra docs raise further questions I may get another RFE but partial response will definitely result in denial.

            I am planning to send complete employment history. Does USCIS disapprove sending extra documents ? or Can extra documents affect my chances of approval ?

          2. AB

            Thanks Ram.

            My attorney says sending complete history can raise more questions.If extra docs raise further questions I may get another RFE but partial response will definitely result in denial.

            Does USCIS disapprove sending extra documents ? or Can extra documents affect my chances of approval ?

          3. Ram

            I would encourage you to go through the RFE notice once again and respond only to questions that has been asked for. The accurate/Strong response is what will lead to Approval. So please pay attention to the RFE notice!

    2. Sam


      Were your STEM_OPT fees check cashed by USCIS? Approximately after how many days did you receive the RFE? Are you working for a US based company or a consultancy?

        1. Sam

          Oh! Good luck buddy. I am a bit tensed as well. My OPT started from 11th July 2016. I started working with a professor as an assistant from 7th September. I got a proper job on 17th October 2016. I think there is a chance I might get an RFE about employment history. Let’s see.

  16. Ranju

    Hi Guys. need help.

    I have been notified by my employer that I have got RFE for my case with a reason stating “Select an US embassy where the beneficiary will apply for a non immigrant visa”. Any thoughts, seems strange to me. The employer is working with Attorny, however I am confused. Do you guys sense anything strange in this?

    1. Yes

      This is basic information missing. You just need to specify the embassy/consulate where you will be applying for the visa. Should be in the country of your residency. For example Karachi, Pakistan.

  17. Jayesh

    Hi Ram,
    have you heard someone who have got H1b direct approval for this year whoese job role mentioned in offer letter as COMPUTER PROGRAMMER ?

    If someone got it please comment.

    1. Ram

      Jayesh, I too know a few petitions which were given direct approval.
      I too would like to know if some one got a RFE for the above role.

      1. Jayesh

        Thanks Agaiiiiiin Ram and Yes 🙂 .
        yes I have seen many one who have got RFE for job role as Computer/Application programmer. Even seen few on worktheme.com comments.
        But looking others with same role also get the approval get some relief 🙂 .

        Bdw good news is EAC and WAC centers now speed up the process now like more than 400 cases per day and if this continues , almost every cases will have some update in next 2 months.
        Bad news is % of RFE is too much for this year which will cross more than 60-70% .

        All the best to others and hoping that everyone will clear RFE’s and get the approval asap.

        1. Ram

          I take RFEs as the result of strict scrutiny of applications but this will cause a big delay for the aspirants on further steps.
          Added to strict scrutiny, it would be beneficial if there is a better way of selecting the H1B petitions instead of lottery. Hope they are working towards it.

  18. AK

    On July 24, 2017, we mailed a request for additional evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC171435****. The request for evidence explains what we need from you. We will not take action on your case until we receive the evidence or the deadline to submit it expires. Please follow the instructions in the request for evidence. If you do not receive your request for additional evidence by August 23, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Worried, Ram can you explain how long will it take to approve the case ?

    1. Ram

      Totally unfortunate AK. But dont worry I am sure you will get your Approval.
      In 8-10 days you will get the RFE notice, from there on you have 90 days to respond to it. Once your response is sent, ideally you will get an answer from USCIS within 60-90 days.
      If you need some help for preparing response, please feel free to reach out to us. Good luck! Prepare the response well. Your approval completely depends on the response you prepare.

  19. Achieved

    Hey Ram,
    I got my approval notice today. Very excited, thanks for all the supports and suggestions.

    My Employment is valid till: 08/21/2020

    1. Ram

      Congratulations! Very Happy for you:)
      Is the site updated with the approval status or you received the approval notice from Attorney?

  20. G

    On July 5, 2017, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
    July 11 th my status changed in USCIS site received to Approved.

    BUt I havenot received my Approval Notice yet.i hope within 1-2 weeks we will receive a notice .When can expect my approval notice ? do i need to raise any request to my attorney?

    1. Ram

      Congrats on your approval! Within 2-3 weeks you will get it. Please follow it with your Attorney and get your notice. Attorneys might be busy with multiple other cases, so better to check with them frequently.

  21. Cg fspune

    Hi Ram , I got RFE for H1B this year. I have been asked to submit the right to control and itenary docs mentioning the daily/weekly/monthly job duties. The role mentioned is of a programmer/developer. My query is that whether programmer roles will be having an issue for getting an approval this year?

    1. Ram

      Few of my friends with Computer programmer role has got approved already without even a RFE. If your RFE is not related to role, please don’t worry. Respond clearly to the questions that has been asked for and I am sure you will easily clear it. Even the RFEs that has come out are nothing much related to Computer Programmer role. Good luck to you!

      1. 3rd timer

        @Ram, What will happen if USCIS sends the RFE but your attorney/employer not received. Also if there is no update on the uscis website like RFE is issued so that your attorney make a call? And, if your REF reply deadline passed? ….Just a hypothetical scenario but it is improbable due to the current situation? what is your thought on this?

        1. Ram

          If there is no update on both side, we would never know there was one. But I doubt whether that would happen. I understand there is no proper update in website but mail communications happen correctly with USCIS but its delayed.
          RFE generally has 90 days(whereas NOID has only 30 days) deadline to answer. If we don’t reply to it, the case is denied automatically.
          In this hypothetical situation, we may be able to appeal the decision and go for MTR.

      1. TCS_Pune

        No one is responding. No update. No activity in VTS. No one ready to disclose. It is very frustrating situation . Deadlock !!

        1. TCS - Pune

          Same hear, I check with visa team they said we are waiting for feedback from embassy for your case, wait till that.

          I don’t what to wait for !!

          1. Tcs-Pune

            As per USICIS ..they have returned all the rejected applications and informed the selected ones.–19th july

  22. Ram


    Premium processing for certain Cap exempt H1B is reinstated with immediate effect.

    1. 1ofdlucky1

      Ram , Any idea based on your exp that till when USCIS might open PP for everybody. This 2nd update came after June 26 for CONRAD. Can we expect something soon or still it will take time.

      1. Ram

        In the previous years, Premium processing was suspended only for 2-3 months. This is the first time they have suspended it for more than 6 months. I feel they might bring it back by October/November , by which at least 70% of cap subject H1B petitions would have some update.
        But by seeing this step by step process, I also feel that only in the last step would they reinstate the PP for cap subject petitions.

        1. 1ofdlucky1

          I think October/November will be very late for few people especially the F1 people who might have to stop working Sept 30th if approvals doesn’t come by then.

          1. Ram

            Yes I agree. But it is told COS is given preference over CP. I feel COS applications will be given some update before October.

    1. Infoscion

      Hi not received any update from Infosys yet. Still waiting for rejection or receipt. Do you know if other infoscions got rejection notification

        1. infoscion

          Ok. This is first update to me now that last week few got rejection notice. Do you know if anyone with approved status already. Do we have chance still or we have no hopes now

          1. Infy-Waiting

            Yes.My Friend got approval notice on May 2nd week.I dont’ think we will get positive results hereafter.Mostly we will get rejection only. Lets hope for the Best.

  23. H1b applicant

    I got my H1B stamped after approval. Stamping was in South Africa as I have my PR here. They were no major questions. Documents asked by visa officer:
    1) Company offer letter
    2) I-797 approval form
    3) DS-160, the application form filled online to get the appointment for visa.
    4) Since I have kids to take them along, they asked for Spouse’s approval letter along with his copy of certified Id.
    5) Spouse’s visa(My Spouse also had H1B stamped, so had to show that).

    It hardly took 20 mins.
    Hope this helps.

  24. cgold

    i have my h1b approved and stamped till 31-dec-17, but my company does not have project and not sending me onsite. Query:
    1: If i change the compnay, will the h1b stamped will be null and void?
    2: If i change the company, can my current company revoke my h1b?
    3: if i do not get any project till 31-dec, what will happen to my h1b?

    sorry for this many questions, but dont want to waste my h1b opportunity, so want to take some steps now..
    please advice..

    1. 3rd timer

      @cggold… I am not a lawyer but these are my answers.

      (1) If you find a job and if you are able to transfer your H1B in next couple of months (before December, lets say October) then you can travel with the old visa.

      (2) They can revoke. But, since it is occurred after October (in your case you approval happened last year) the new company can transfer your petition. if you never worked/used your H1, then it should valid for 6 years with the new company.

      (3) Nothing will happen. Let say if you are getting project after Dec 31st in this or new company then you need to go for a stamping. But in case of new company you need to apply for transfer first then approval for that company ( no lottery for you) followed by Visa interview.

      I encouraged you to read this forums and other forums. I am sure you find similar case of yours. Also, it is my opinion that once you have all the information i suggest you to consult a immigration lawyer to get their opinion as well. Good luck and All the very best.

      1. Cgold

        Many thanks for your reply. I’d I travel to us may be short term 4-5 months what will be the possibility? I mean will the validity over of visa or do I need to again for stamping is visa expires?
        Thanks again.

  25. G

    I need small clarification h1b validity .
    I heard h1b valid for 6years .
    1.The calculation is based on how many years stayed in US?

    2.The calculation is based on the date from stamping started ?

    1. Ram

      1. Duration is calculated based on time spent in US.
      2. The clock of six years starts the minute you land in US(Clearing your PoE interview).

  26. AnotherH1B

    Is there any one who is done with interview part for FY18 or whose RFE documents completed with approved status?

    Ram, Dou you have any update on this?

  27. Ram

    Hi Saurabh, Kumar, All,

    I applied for H1B in 2016(from employer A) which went to RFE and approved recently after long long wait. I yet to get stamping done and I don’t have copy of approved petition yet. I am in India right now.

    My current employer do not have any project and hence there is no plan in near future to call me to USA for one of their client.

    My question are,

    1) Is it possible to transfer H1B to new employer(Employer B) while I am still in India and get visa stamp and then travel with new employer’s(Employer B) approved petition.

    2) In mean time if my initial petitioner(employer A) revoked my approved petition. Will it be possible for me to still transfer H1B to new employer(employer B)

    Thank you.

    1. Ram

      1. Yes you can initiate transfer and once approved you can get stamping and travel.Please note that currently as H1B premium processing is suspended, the transfer might take 6-8 months to get approved.
      2. As you have not traveled to US yet, I am not too sure about it.

  28. 5th Trier

    5th Trier here (Applying since 2012), my lawyer just received my packet back last week. I am working for a fortune 500 and this has been a stressful 5 years for me with this lottery. It is disheartening to see all of my friends made it and I didn’t.

    This is my final attempt as I finally ran out of options. Reality sometimes hard to swallow.

    1. sk

      I am also applying through fortune 500 company this yrs and got selected. Dont know what will be next. Its very dishearting news. But dont fall down. Get back and hope for the best.

    2. Ram

      Don’t worry Dude. I think something better is in store for you. I wish they would bring a full proof system to provide the H1B Visa.
      All the best to you!


    Any updates for the chennai TCS folks?few of them got rejection mail from fdfu last week..There is no update after that..

  30. AShaik

    I need some clarification.
    My employer has filed for H1B under cap exempt on June 30, 2017 and USCIS has received it on July 3, 2017.i have filed for H4 for my dependents and I received I-797 C approval notice today.
    Do you think my H1B is approved as my dependent (my daughter 6 yrs old) has received approval notice.
    Thanks in advance.

  31. dpatch

    Hi, I have a quick question about a potential H-1b transfer:

    I am working for employer A, in the US. I’m on F-1, received H-1B and cap-gap. I already received my approval notice (starting October 1st).

    A potential employer B would like to hire me and have me start before October 1st. Can a transfer be filed in my case?

    Thank you!

  32. Jason


    My employer claims I should be receiving updates from USCIS via mail about approval/rejection before the attorney . Is that accurate?
    I was under the impression that the attorney receives all updates from USCIS and then forwards that info to me/my employer..
    The attorney is hard to get hold of and the HR team is very vague/slow with their response to my questions. This is my second application and I was simply informed in July 2017 that I was not picked in the lottery. I do not have any case tracking info from 2017 as well.
    Is this normal?

    1. WaitingInLine. #SAD

      Hi Jason, no this is not normal. First you will have no contact with USCIS and vise versa as H1B is concerned with employers. Second, if you haven’t received your receipt number by now there is smidgen of chance that you are picked. Either you aren’t picked in the lottery or your employer is not sharing the receipt info with you. Hopefully it’s the latter. Hope this helps

      PS. USCIS has already published that they have returned all the rejected cases.

  33. hanging in the balance

    Hey Guys,

    My employer still has not gotten the receipt copy for my h1b petition but got en-cashed check’s soft copy.

    What might be the hurdle and should i urge the employer to contact USCIS?

    1. WaitingInLine. #SAD

      It’s a little weird because the lottery happened a long time ago, and they have already sent out the rejection notices. Double check with your employer just to be sure. Sometimes employers don’t share receipt info. Hand in there. Cheers

    2. Waiting RN-check encashed !!

      Hi can u please share your employer name as i m having same problem & no reply from them as they are continuosly saying they r raining SR regarding that & uscis not even reverting them back ..!! 😪

  34. deadline crossed

    any hopes of getting approved ? Challenging date expired and any hopes of approving if i answer the denial questions correctly with valid docs ?

    1. Ram

      Usually you cant reopen a petition past the deadline provided. Anyways its better to verify the information with your Attorney. If they are confident of it, please go ahead and apply. Do keep us posted regarding the outcome.

  35. RFE issued erroneously

    Hi Ram,

    My status showed RFE has been issued. However, it’s been a month and I have not received any mail.
    Hence, my lawyer called USCIS and they told him that there was some mix up and no RFE yet has been issued.
    Does that mean my H1 was denied or approved?
    Is this situation common?

    1. Ram

      It could even mean your case is just in received state still. We can only take a guess regarding the actual status of the case.
      No this is the first time i am hearing of erroneous status update. There has been delays in updating status and also status not getting updated. This is the first of its kind. I would request you to follow up with your Attorney. They will have to reach USCIS for actual update.

  36. Jay

    Hello Ram,
    As we hear most of the people has got approval notice, but status is not updated on site. Can you please start new poll/voting on new page or any other way you think better, as we can get no of people and since how long they got approved and status is still received.

    1. Ram

      Yes that would be a great idea. We already have a H1B tracker page where people update regarding their case. I think we can add enhancements to the page for people to add these additional info. What say?

      1. Ram

        USCIS case tracker is not getting updated properly for past of couple of weeks. The Attorney is getting the approval notice for a case but a the USCIS site is still in case received status. Not all cases received on the same day has got an update. Please don’t panic if you didn’t get any yet.

  37. Waiting sucks

    Guys… how do you stay sane during the waiting time? I’m aware if everything goes well, it’s only 2 months until we can move, but myself for example, I am working abroad from home for my US employer since February… I think I am going bonkers lol

  38. GVR

    Today I received my approval notice from USCIS.

    When I can go for stamping ? Is there any pre booking needed? Do we need to confirm our slot before some days??
    Normally how many days needed if we booked today?

    1. Ram

      I would recommend you to read this

      If you have some more questions, please feel free to post it here!
      All the best for your interview. Please do share your experience here once you are done with it.

  39. Roy

    Is H1B pitetion still be valid?
    If i change my current employer who filled the petition which is in RFE state as of now.

    If yes than what is the procedure?

    1. Ram

      Roy, I am not sure whether your petition is a new one or transfer case.
      If its a new H1B that has gone to RFE then you cannot initiate a transfer. You will have to get it approved first to transfer it to a different employer.
      If its a transfer petition that has gone to RFE, then you can initiate another transfer to a different employer.

    2. Ram

      Or is it that are you trying to change your employer in your country and asking whether it would affect the H1B petition. If so, No if you change employer in your country, it would not affect the petition in any way. Just ensure that your employer doesn’t withdraw the petition. If it is withdrawn, you will not be able to use the Visa.
      If you are in US already in a different Visa and your H1B is in progress. I would say you are allowed to switch and it will not affect the petition. But I-129 might be filed in COS, after H1B is approved immediately from Oct 1 you need to work only for the employer who filed it for you(provided he didn’t withdraw).So think well before your switch.
      That too if its in RFE and you resign there is a high chance that your employer may withdraw the petition. If its withdrawn,you need to undergo Lottery(If it happens next year) again

      1. Roy

        Thanks for the wonderful explanation which actually solved my query.
        So,The conclusion is that i have to wait for the approval.Hope my RFE get approved faster.
        Thanks a lot once again!!!

  40. NonAD_NonIT

    This year one major problem is like USCIS is not changing the online status on the cases.
    I have a query like for people who has got approval/rfe documents but online status is still like case was received, are their case history also showing some old date or that last updated date is updated.

    1. LuckyAlhmd

      That’s correct. I received my approval, got the visa stamped. All done and still USCIS website shows case received.

      USCIS website is definitely not reflective of the actual status.

      1. MP

        Hi LuckyAlhmd,

        Are you referring about this year Visa Process. If yes could you please share your VI experience and Consulate Location.

      2. Ram

        Congratulations! Can you please share your interview experience with us? Please add your case details like center, AD/Non-AD, FY2018 case and such.
        Thanks in Advance.

  41. Gowtham


    I got approval on July 5th ,uscis site status changed to approved but still I have not received my approval notice from my employer ,can you let me know how long it will take ? Once received the notice when I can go for stamping

    1. Ram

      You will get it within 2-3 weeks. After getting approval notice, you can start filling DS-160 and prepare yourself for the interview.
      As per USTravelDocs Agency Working Visa FAQ, which provides online visa appointment bookings in India for US embassies, they say you should apply at least 2 to 3 months before the petition start date.

    2. Ram

      Approval notice comes through normal mail. So please do expect delays of getting your approval notice. If it goes beyond 3 weeks, request your Attorney to follow it up with USCIS immediately.

  42. NonAD_CA_FirstAttempt

    Hi –

    I received hard copy of only Form I-797A. Rest all other documents were sent to me as soft copy (incl. petition, Form I129, etc.).

    When i checked with my attorney, he mentioned that printouts of soft copy need to taken to consulate for stamping. He said the original forms/submission materials are with the USCIS and they do not return those.

    Is this how it happens? Will printouts of soft copy (except I-797, of course) suffice when i go for stamping next year? My petition is approved with COS.

    Thank you!

    1. Ram

      Yes that’s right. Only the original copy of the approval notice is required. The rest are usually retained by USCIS. Soft copies would do.
      Congratulations on your Approval!

      1. NonAD_CA_FirstAttempt

        Thanks, Ram! I feel better now.

        Got my approval almost more than a month and half back. USCIS still shows the status as “Received”.

        Though it doesn’t matter what status it shows as long as the “real”, status is known but then, if people are analysing Approved vs. Received vs. RFE, then it certainly skews the numbers adversely.

        1. Ram

          yes I agree. As you have original approval notice, you need not worry about the online status. I wish they could update the online status system and make it consistent with the actual status. Do keep us posted reg your interview experience. Good luck to you!

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