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 ( 11,171 )

  1. tej

    My employer says my check has enchased but did not get any notice from uscis.Is there any one like this and is my case a lottery select or not ?

  2. pk

    Hello All,

    My employer has shared an receipt number today saying that my application hasn’t been picked in the lottery.

    How can i make sure that the receipt no is legit ? because when i tried to input the receipt no in the case tracker in USCIS website it says NOT A VALID RECEIPT NO.

    AS per my understanding even rejected applications should have a proper reveipt no right ? please clarify

    1. 3rd timer

      Sorry to hear that..But the receipt number of un-selected lottery selected petitions can not be tracked and it will give error when you enter USCIS website. Good luck and all the best for your next option and also for next year.

    2. Ram

      You get the rejection notice(It is also given in case your petition is not picked in lottery), which contains your name. With this you can cross verify the info.

  3. FirstTimer1

    Hi,

    I am AD/first timer and my H1 petition is in received status. I had also filed an H4 for my spouse. Now I see that I received an Approval notice for H4 but my H1B is still in received status.
    Note that the receipt number for H4 is also showing as received online. So I am sure that the online case status is not a reliable way to know your actual status.
    Can I be sure that first my H1B will be approved and then only H4 will be approved?
    Thanks

  4. FirstTimer

    Hi,

    I am AD/first timer and my H1 petition is in received status. I had also filed an H4 for my spouse. Now I see that I received an Approval notice for H4 but my H1B is still in received status.
    Note that the receipt number for H4 is also showing as received online. So I am sure that the online case status is not a reliable way to know your actual status.
    Can I be sure that first my H1B will be approved and then only H4 will be approved?
    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Congratulations! Your H1B would be approved as well.. Your approval notice is on the way. Do keep us posted when you get the notice.

  5. TCSer

    Does TCS sharing receipt numbers to the selected or selected and having RFE? I heard only approved petition is given the receipt numbers, is it true?

    In my case I have got lottery selection mail and received WAC # from TCS. I have not received any approval mail. in USCIS site status is case was received. Not sure they udate status on time or not.

    1. TCSer

      My Question is simple, for TCS employees if I get WAC#, is it confirmed that my case has been approved?
      I think there are lot of issues in TCS when come to auto system mails.

  6. tej

    Hi Ram,

    My employer says “attoney said the check is enchashed but he did not get any update on this ”

    I did not get any number .Can you please tell me what can be done in this condition as I did not receive any update for employer

    1. 3rd timer

      If the employer statement is true then you can request your employer/ attorney to look for the receipt number on the back of the cashed cheque image. If the number appears then they can request the additional/duplicate copy from USCIS. Good luck and all the best for the positive news.

  7. TMR

    Employer 1 had applied for my h1b and it is approved not stamped yet.

    1. Can I transfer my h1b through different employer 2 after October 1 but before visa stamping?
    2. Will employer 1 will be intimated abt my transfer if I do it via employer 2?
    3. Is there a chance my employer 1 will revoke my h1b knowing abt my transfer?
    4. In case if it is revoked should i need to reapply again next year again through lottery?

    Ram – can you help me to clarify on my queries? I am not happy with the policy of my current employer, so I am thinking if I can transfer it through a different employer without any issue from employer 1

    1. Ram

      1. Yes
      2. No
      3. Yes
      4. No After October 1(Petition start date), even if the petition is withdrawn, you can file a cap exempt transfer.

      1. 3rd timer

        The key is make sure the employer not initiating the withdrawal or revocation proceedings before Oct 1st. No problem if they do it after Oct 1st.

  8. Qq

    L1 (company A) to H1b (from company B) filed as Cos. Since i had travelled outside US. COS is void and H1b approved. As i am back to US willing to reapply COS with effective date as 1st Nov 2017. If COS is still pending for approval by that time can i start working on h1b after 1st Nov 2017.

    1. Pray

      Hi, You got yr h1 approved while u were out of USA OR yours got approved and then you traveled out? What it says in yr petition that you have to go for Consular processing ( any place noted??)

  9. James Dalton

    I received an RFE couple of days ago regarding the client project duration. My contract with the client will complete this month end.

    My question was can I go to a new client in same location to respond to RFE. I can tell USCIS that the contract was completed and show them the evidence.

    What would be the likelihood of getting an approval under these circumstances?

    1. Ram

      Well you could but since its in RFE state already, there might be more scrutiny at this stage. There might be a chance that it might lead to more questions. So please consult your Attorney before changing the client. Since you say the Client is same location, new LCA/Amendment is not required.

  10. hope for the best

    I am currently under F-2 . My spouse and I were both picked in the H1B lottery, and we are still waiting for the approval.

    My petition was filed as change of status. If my spouse gets the H1B approval before Oct 1 and I don’t receive a result by Oct 1, do I have to leave U.S. after Oct 1 because of the F2 expiration? If I leave U.S., the change of status H1B petition will be abandoned right ?

    If my husband changes to H1B, my F2 will not be valid anymore. Will there be any problem for my case to change from an expired F2 to H1B ?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Ram

      When filed in COS, it is mandatory to maintain your F2 status(Current status) else this will lead to issues in your H1B approval. To maintain your legal status, kindly ask your husband’s company to file H4 for you, so that you can continue staying in US until your H1B is approved. Kindly discuss with an immigration Attorney ASAP on how to handle this situation.

      1. Hope for the bext

        Hello Ram,

        Thank you so much for your response. If my husband’s company files the H4 for me, then I will have two change of status petitions– one for F2 to H1B and the other for F2 to H4, right ? Is that a conflict ?

        My attorney told me I will be in an “authorized stay ” until I get a final result of my case because when the change of status H1B case was filed in April, the F2 status is still valid. Is it correct ?

        1. Ram

          yes you will have two COS. Usually it is not required to be done, but in your case I felt its little safer approach. You can always discuss with an Attorney and take a final call on this.

  11. P.

    Hi Ram,

    thank you for this forum. With September approaching fast and so many H1B still pending, do you think there’s any chance of extending the gap for OPT for after October 1st?
    If not, would that mean all OPT’s waiting for H1B would have to leave the country while the process is pending? Thanks for everything!

    1. Ram

      No those on Cap Gap can lawfully stay in the country beyond Sep 30 until the case is adjudicated(When H1 is filed as COS).
      https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/extension-post-completion-optional-practical-training-opt-and-f-1-status-eligible-students-under-h-1b-cap-gap-regulations#capgap

    2. Ram

      But work authorization is what confuses me. In the USCIS link there is no word about it. But widely they say, after Sep 30th the cap gap students needs to stop working until H1B is approved.

      1. Ram

        Please discuss with an immigration Attorney reg work Authorization beyond Sep 30th and please post the response here. So that we can get to know about it too. Thanks.

  12. JignessSa

    I think like I have actually lost my mind. I am checking worktheme and this blog every few minutes looking for any new info etc. The fact that they don’t even consider updating approvals online to be important is shameful of them.

  13. Mechanical Engineer

    Guys,

    Just got approval from my attorney. Status did not change in the USCIS website. Good luck to rest of you.

    third timer, AD, WAC, second masters, CPT, Direct approval

  14. Confused

    Ram,

    I have received my H1-B approval notice dated 02nd July, 2017 but as of today, the status has not changed from ‘Case was Received’ on USCIS website. Is this an aberration?

    1. H1b applicant

      Hi,
      Don’t worry as long as you have your approval notice. Same is the case with my H1B as well. I got it stamped but my online status is still showing “Case was received”. This year USCIS is not updating the status correctly on time.

  15. MK

    Could those knowledgeable or have gone through the process recently reply to my query?

    For those whose petition is approved, how long is the usual process for DS 160 to get the visa stamp? Anyone has any experience with US embassies in Canada?

    1. Ram

      You can get your H1B visa stamped 2 to 3 months before the petition start date. So August/September is the right time to get the stamping. You can start filling your DS 160 and depending on the availability of Visa interview date, you can schedule your interview.

      For more details on stamping in Canada please refer https://redbus2us.com/change-of-status-or-first-time-h1b-visa-stamping-canada-or-mexico-h4-to-h1b-f1-to-h1b-etc-go-to-home-country-for-visa-stamping/

    2. Mohamad

      It really depends on case by case basis. Visa stamping can take anywhere from 1 day to 3 months or even more. Some people get their stamped passports back within a day and some have to go through administrative processing, which can take months. Better to apply early (max 90 days before your start date). Good luck!

  16. Rohit

    Hi ,

    After 4 months of wait today I got RFE bit frustrate . I have few questions at this point of time.
    1)What will be the avg time to respond REF.
    2)This year is there any denied cases after receiving RFE .
    3) Do I really need to worry getting RFE after 4 months.

    Thanks in Advance.

    1. RP

      @Rohit
      After 4 months of wait today I got RFE bit frustrate .
      –> Lucky guy, I got RFE after 6 months .. So chill, it common

      1)What will be the avg time to respond REF.
      –> 2-3 months
      2)This year is there any denied cases after receiving RFE .
      –> Not sure , its kind of mixed response. Somebody says Yes and some No, so hope for approval
      3) Do I really need to worry getting RFE after 4 months.
      –> No, maximum petitions will get approved even after RFE.

      BTW, you applied through MNC?

      1. Rohit

        Hi Rp,

        Thanks for your response. It is not MNC but good reputed company.

        BTW ,Will it be any issue if I am not belongs to MNC?

        Thanks Rp again for your valuable info.

        1. RP

          Absolutely NO!

          RFE might be for client letter or something else, that will be taken care by your employer and Attorney …

          don’t worry, stay cool and enjoy your life… 🙂

          wait for your turn……

          1. Rohit

            @RP really build moral confidence with your comments. Thanks for your time replaying on my quiries.

            I will update you guys once I receive any info from my employer.

            Thanks

  17. RFE e-request

    Hi,

    How much time do USCIS takes to send a duplicate RFE notice and do we get an extension on the deadline to submit the docs if RFE notice is not received from USCIS ?

  18. 2nd timer

    Non AD non IT.. Mech eng…. India based MNC… got petition approval news on 27th July.

    Second time lottery winner. First was in 2014. But got only 1 year petition as was on L1 for 5 years in USA. employer did not file gc. Came back to india. And after a year gap, filed another petition and picked in 2017 lottery….

    Following this website for this years h1b news… it helped me a lot during waiting time…

    Thanks a lot to everyone and admins…

  19. Krish

    The wait is so irritating. 4 months passed and no updates after ‘received’ status in April. What if USCIS doesn’t resume PP in 2017 at all… With current rate of processing, I think to get even some form of update, it might take until January 2018.

    I’ve started to figure its best to search for alternative job in India as plan B…

    1. Ram

      Krish, I understand your situation. But please have patience. May be a positive news is on its way to you. The current year processing is not like previous years. Probably, for the forth coming years we should be prepared for such delays:(

        1. Ram

          Some states provide you a new DL with one year validity depending on the receipt notice of H1B. Check whether your state allows you to do so else you will have to talk to your congressmen.

  20. Maheshwar

    Hi ram.. thanks for the updates.my h1b got approved now. Are the stamping interviews started? Are we seeing any rejections in stamping?

  21. H1B RFE

    Hello Ram,

    My case has got RFE . My internal mobility team has asked for Onsite Manager letter and SOW. I can give them SOW however my project is named T & M project and my name is not mentioned in the SOW. Shall I submit the SOW without my name or shall i look for another project code from a different account ?Is changing the account and project code going to impact my approval ? My internal mobility team is ok with the current SOW. Please advice.

    1. Ram

      SOW is a document which contains the generic details about the project and the contract details between the vendor and client. I don’t think it would specifically carry your name. As long as your immigration team/Attorney specifically asks for such document, I think SOW which you have gathered would be suffice. Reg your project name, just check whether it goes along with the project name mentioned in your petition.

  22. H1B visa interview

    Hi,
    I have always gone thru this site for all my doubts that I had and it has been really very helpful, Today I am very happy to say my H1B stamping is done successfully.
    VO asked me questions like – petitioner? client? Salary in US? Highest qualification? and where I would be traveling?
    It was good experience and really a very long wait.
    Thanks

  23. Sharma

    If my attorney ship my RFE response today, then how many days it takes to reach USCIS?
    Can they ship using Express Mail service or ordinary snail mail?

    1. Ram

      Depends on the shipment they choose. There are over night shipping or normal delivery . Check with your employer/Attorney on which shipment they would be using and depending on that we will know when USCIS is going to recive the package. They mostly use Fedex or USPS over night shipping only.

  24. SHAN

    Ram,
    My passport got damaged on chennai flood and i got a new passport.
    Do i need to fill yes in Passport lost or stolen field in DS160 and mention my old passport details?
    My old passport number is mentioned in my new passport also??

    1. 3rd timer

      Yes, You should give the details of old passport in the DS form. Also, do carry the old passport when traveling. Good luck & all the best with your VISA interview. And do let us know how it went.

  25. Amit pal

    I have received the I797C- Approval of notice on 22nd of May, 2018, Mentioning that I have been selected for a lottery and you can check your status by entering the case number at UCICS website. Peoples ( a couple of my friends) who got the I797C accepted notice after 22nd of May, 2018 already received the I797B  just after the two months of receiving I797C (with the same status i.e. Your case been accepted). 

    When I am checking my status it remains same. How long will it take to receive the I797B  (It’s already been ~ 3 months)? I applied from an alien country and who will receive my I797B form? Me or My employer or the Lawyer?

    1. 3rd timer

      Many people are like you Amit. So, you should expect some sort of communication (approval or RFE etc) any time now to Oct 1st. Your lawyer/employer will receive the approval notice. Some instances USCIS may send the copy to you/beneficiary but not all the time. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

      1. sanjay

        Thanks for the clarification.

        So, this process is not FCFS. People can get the approval (I 797 B) even they got the I 797 C form after mine.

  26. Viji

    I got my RFE which has the below requirements (F1 COS):

    – Any letters from an industry-related professional association indicating that they have made a bachelor’s degree or higher in your degree or related field a basic requirement for entry into this position.
    – Letters of affidavits from firms or individuals in the industry that attest that similar organizations routinely employ and recruit only degreed individuals in these positions.

    Could anyone please share if you have any ideas on how to collect these letters? I highly appreciate your help!

  27. SHAN

    i got my petition approval mail from my emplyer last week and asked to fill the ds160 form. i applied both H1B and H4 for my wife together so we r planning to attend interview together.
    I am trying to fill DS 160 for my wife for H4.
    currently my wife is working in capgemini and also she wrked in few companies in last five yrs.
    So do i need to fill all present emplyment and prevoius employment details for my wife in DS160?

    1. senthil

      Yes,Try to be Honest.T
      here will additional questions asked in the interview to your wife since she has been working here and she can’t work in US as a dependent.

  28. epat

    Hi,
    My wife was on H4 and her H1B petition got picked up in lottery and got approved subsequently. Following her
    H1B petition approval she left USA to get H1B stamping. Now the company which sponsored her H1B petition is not agreeing for H1B stamping as the project is not yet finalized. I understand that she can get H4 stamping done and enter on H4. My questions are:
    Suppose she enter USA on H4 and given that she has approved H1B petition (but no H1B stamp), can she look for H1B jobs?
    Can a employer file cap exempt H1B petition for her?
    Please share your experience if anyone has gone through similar circumstances? Thanks!

    1. Ram

      Was your wife’s H1B filed as COS? Was the H1B petition filed this year?
      Please provide these information, so that we can discuss further on this.

    2. Ram

      One more point, though the project has not been finalized, she can get stamping with the initial project which was filed for. Then on finalizing the project, the company can file amendment. She would be authorized to work on obtaining the receipt number.
      If her H1B petition was filed this year, then she can travel to US on H1B only before 10 days of the petition start date.

      1. epat

        Hi Ram,
        Thanks for taking time to respond.
        Yes, it was filed as COS this year and she travelled to India after approval.
        Company doesn’t want to bring her to US on H1B without project as she will be on bench and they dont have people in US on bench. One option is to be in India till she gets the project. We are exploring that option.
        However suppose if company doesn’t agree for H1B stamping at all, can she look for H1B job opening after coming here on H4?
        Can a employer file cap exempt petition when she is on H4 under premium (assuming premium processing resumed by that time)?

        1. epat

          Hi Ram,
          Did some more digging and looks like it is possible to change from H4 to H1B
          A cap exempt petition and COS can be filed together under premium (provided it is a different employer)
          http://www.trackitt.com/usa-discussion-forums/h1b/1497300573/cos-from-h4-to-h1b
          Please let me know if I’m missing something. Thanks!

        2. Ram

          Since your COS is already approved. From October 1, her H1B would become active. Then why would you want to apply COS again? You can file transfer after October 1.

          1. Ram

            Though she enters on H4 visa before October 1, since her COS is already approved, her H1B becomes active automatically. Please verify this with an immigration attorney once. If this is true, you need not file COS again.

          2. epat

            Hi Ram,
            Thanks again for your reply.
            I’m little confused. Here is the timeline
            H4 visa holder with expired H4 visa stamp in US ==> Applied for H1B with COS and got approved (July-17)==> Travelled to India in Aug-17 ==> H4 Stamping in India in Aug-17==> enter US on Sep-20-2017 ==> In this scenario, will H1B becomes automatically active on Oct-1-2017?

          3. Ram

            As far as I know H1B will get activated on Oct 1, as the COS would not have been approved for an expired H4 visa. Please verify this with an immigration Attorney once.

          4. COS

            COS is automatically abandoned if she travels to India between the time the petition is approved and the COS hasn’t triggered. She will be in h4 status if she comes back using the h4 stamp.

  29. infy-fellow

    Hi Infoscians,

    My H1b Petition got approved, but i got a mail from BINHR asking me to initiate BG check for H1B related checks. Just wanted to check with you guys did any of you from Infy got such mails.

  30. Infy_Ganesh

    Today I got email from our immigration team that I got RFE without any details. When will the details of RFE will be shared with Infy. What would be the time lines to close the RFE and get approval.

  31. Desii94

    Got a phone from the attorney with following details.

    My H1 Received date 06/11/2017
    Notice date 09/31/2017
    Approval notice valid from 10/01/2017 to 12/01/2019
    I94 valid from 10/01/2017 to 01/10/2020

    Why there is a diff between Approval valid dates and I94 valid dates, which one is right and the difference pls

    1. Ram

      Some times there are discrepancies between the i94 and visa dates. Visa is used only to gain entry into US. Until i94 expiry date you are authorized to stay in US.

  32. Waiting

    Hi,
    Is there anyone still waiting to hear about their petition? I still have no updates from my employer. I am sure my case did not make through lottery, but they did not receive even the rejection notice yet. Is there someone in same situation?
    Per USCIS all rejection notices must have been received by 31st July.

    Appreciate your responses.

      1. Shankari

        Hi Ram,

        Yes, my employer says they did not get anything yet. Neither receipt number not rejection letter.
        I too asked them to follow up, though I do not know if they are really doing it.

        1. Sri

          Me too.. My case still shows filed but did not get any updates after that. Is there an option to contact USCIS directly to find status?

          1. Ram

            We as beneficiary are not authorized to inquire about our form I-129. Unfortunately, only your employer or Attorney can do it. Please follow it with them and get to know about your petition soon.

    1. 2nd timer

      I am from TCS pune. Still i am waiting for response from FDFU. my manager does not have any clue about my status. but few folks got rejection mail and approved mail as well. Can you share how u got to know about the rejection share by USCIS. since still the list is pending is wat i heard from my employer. And if that true, what i should predict if mine is still pending.

      1. Waiting

        According to USCIS all un-selected petitions have been sent back to respective employers and should have been received by 31st July as mentioned under “News” on their website.
        https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-returns-unselected-fiscal-year-2018-h-1b-cap-subject-petitions

  33. Nimesh

    My Case status is “Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction” since May 31st and havent heard anything from USCIS till now.

    Does that mean i have receied any RFE but havent communicated yet?
    or IS it take this long to process my petition after case is transferred to other location?

    1. Ram

      Unless there is a change of status in USCIS site or you hear anything from your employer/Attorney, there is no update regrading your case.
      Your current case status states your case has been transferred. This is some routine thing that USCIS do. Please wait patiently. The officers work on cases in random manner and probably your case is yet to be picked by the officer to work on or they may be performing background verification/Scrutiny on your application and based on the results they will update the status to you. The Usual guidelines are if your case has no updates for more then 6 months, only then your employer/Attorney can contact USCIS customer care. So I think your case is within the time line. I completely understand your state but please hold on and keep tracking your case. Good luck!

  34. NonAd_NonIT

    URGENT!!!!

    My h1b got approved last week but my work permit is only from Oct1st. I am on h4 visa right now in USA.
    So can someone tell me when can I transfer my h1b??
    1. Anytime now, before Oct 1st is also fine??
    2. Only after Oct 1st,anytime…
    3. Only after getting first few paychecks from my recent firm??
    Anyone who has gone through this????

    1. 3rd timer

      1. You can transfer anytime now since it is approved. However, it has been reported in some cases that the transfer is denied since because the actual H1 start date is Oct 1st. That means USCIS denied because there is nothing to transfer before Oct 1st. There are some cases transferred successfully too. Conclusion, it is possible but better wait to initiate the transfer on or after October 1st.

      2. On or after October 1st is good. One more good thing is you still can initiate the transfer on the approved petition even the original employer revoked/withdrawn. Only catch here is you have to make sure they initiated the withdrawn after Oct 1st. And the H1 valid for 6 years and not cap-exempted assuming all your paperwork is good.

      3. It has been reported that there are no paychecks required if you could transfer on Oct 1st.
      Only thing thing is you can start work in the new company after receiving the acknowledgement of the transfer from USCIS. That might take a week. Approval is not necessary to start work in the new company but the receipt of transfer request from USCIS is required.

      Ideal scenario, Send the transfer request on Friday September 29. USCIS will receive the request Monday Oct 2nd. They send the receipt of request (not approval, that will take time) on Oct 2nd or 3rd. You will receive the receipt on Friday Oct 6th (or later). Then you can work in the new company from the following Monday, Oct 9th.

      — All the information based on this forum and in other forums.

      –Congrats for your approval and also Good luck & all the best for your successful transfer.

  35. H1b_cts

    Hi Ram,

    I have a question regarding H1 Amendment , did process change recently ? do we have to wait for amendment approval before travelling or we can fly with Receipt notice ? please clarify .

  36. H1B

    Hi Ram,

    I have approval till 5Aug2018 (TCS), first timer. Just wanted to know, what is the probability for extension. what are the chances, it will get extended?

    1. 3rd timer

      It depends on the new project, SOW, wage level etc. If the paperwork is in order then there is no point in denial from USCIS. So, you will be fine. Congrats for the approval and all the best for your travel. Also, do post your Visa interview experience.

  37. stan

    Hi Saurabh, My question as follows: in 2016 my l1 to H1 conversion happened successfully. during the conversion, my duties in the manager letter was managerial capabilities. H1 expiry date is Sept 2017. Now I have applied for extension based on my I 140 approval. For the extension, my duties in the manager letter was non managerial capabilities. Would this anyway cause issues?

  38. Aman

    Hello Guys,

    I need urgent help ,

    Is it possible that US consulate can contact directly to Employer for passport and 221g letter submission?

    In my case my employer submitted all the required docs to embassy 2 months ago , today I got the information from my employer that they need my PP and letter for submission. my case was under 221g (white Slip). I checked my case status online it is still showing Administrative processing. I’ve not received any e-mail of message .

    Any response will be appreciated .

  39. Ayush

    Ram,

    I have a question, my H-1B COS petition is pending adjudication . My company just responded to the RFE. I need to travel to India in the last week of October and my concern is that, would I be able to enter on F-1 if the petition is still pending? I know that the COS request would be abandoned.

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Ayush, what is your F1 Visa expiry date?
      There are some additional considerations for students when contemplating travel abroad. Students need to make sure that they have all necessary travel documents prior to departure.

      A student at least must have the following valid, unexpired documents: F-1 visa, OPT card, passport, and a Form I-20 endorsed for travel. To reenter in F-1 OPT status, the student must have a job or job offer when s/he departs the United States and must be returning to work in the offered job.

      1. Ayush

        My F1 is valid till December 2019 and I do have all the required docs. my only concern is would I be allowed to enter US on F1 if my H1B is pending with USCIS?

        1. Ram

          As long as your OPT is active and you have a job offer in US, you will be allowed inside US.
          But as always suggested, it is better not to travel when COS is pending.

  40. 4th timer

    Hi ram,
    My h1b got picked up this time and case was received on April 11. But no update till now.

    One of the company applied h1b visa for me while I was in India and currently I am in UK with my current company’s project.

    Please let me know:
    1. Any idea how much time uscis is taking to give approval, rejection or rfe for cases which have been picked up in 2nd week of April 2017 only ?
    2. If I get an h1b approval, can I go for stamping in uk only or I have to travel back to India for stamping?
    3. If I have to travel back to India for stamping, will there be a timeline for that? As due to some personal reasons, I can’t travel for next 5-6 months.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd timer

      (1) You should get some update (RFE or Approval) anytime now to end of August. But, you should know that USCIS not required to give an update for the lottery picked application before Oct 1st. Based on earlier years, we can say that we should get some kind of update before Oct 1.

      (2) One of my friend in 2016 did a visa interview in Singapore. So, you can schedule a visa interview at UK once you received the approval.

      (3) You can attend Visa interview in India at any time after the approval and before planning to join a company in US. There is no time frame. Once approved you are cap-exempt to work in USA for a max of 6 years.

      –All the best and good luck in your approval and Visa interview.

      1. 4th timer

        Thanks for the reply.

        About stamping interview in uk, I heard that embassy do check some background and Certificates of an applicant from the location that was specified at the time of initial application. Any idea about this?

        1. Ram

          Yes Administrative processing has been strict these days. Yes they do it and when the information you provide are right, there is nothing to worry about. Good luck !

  41. TCS_Emp

    TCSers,

    Is it true that every one will get RFE in TCS as client letter is not provided by company.

    I was surprised that today I have received intimation about lottery selection via mail.

    I am from Pune DC, Hinjewadi

    1. TCS_2nd_attempt

      No it is not true that everyone from TCS will receive RFE. So many employees got direct approvals recently. Congrats on lottery selection process.

  42. TCS_Emp

    From TCS, I received WAC no and status is case has been received….
    I got mail on 9th Aug

    Why it is not yet approved? I think it is too long.

  43. TCS-HYD

    Got a mail yesterday evening from fdfu saying my petition approved… Till yesterday morning they were saying status is awaiting lottery results….

    1. 2nd 2nd timer

      My Employer saying my case is not picked in lottery but he is not sharing rejection letter. Is there anyway to know if my case was filed?.

      Thanks

    2. TCSer

      Your company might not have shared that you are selected in lottery long time back. but they just want to keep hold of you till it approves. Lottery results done long back. its just that they shared it because it approved.

      anyways, good luck to you.

  44. AAV

    Hi Ram,
    My company is preparing the RFE response and Offer Letter is one of the supporting that need to be included in the response. And I received the Offer Letter for 60K for H1b.
    I have been here in US on L1 visa from last 4.5 years and my current L1 visa is uptil 1st week of Sep 17. My current salary is 85K. In the LCA the “Wage Rate (Required)” was mentioned as 60K and “Prevailing wage” as 43K.
    My manager mentioned that I will continue getting 85K salary on H1b from Oct 17. I will be working for the same client and same project.

    I am not sure if the Offer Letter with 60K is fine to include in the RFE response. My Salary slips are already there with USCIS (have been submitting them for my L1, 1-140 and H1b application). The Visa officer will immediately notice this discrepancy in RFE response.
    Also I will be asked in the Visa Interview that why I accepted the Offer letter for less salary (for same job).

    Should I ask my employer to change the offer letter and mention the actual salary (85K) ? Please let me know your views.

    1. Ram

      I would say, go along with LCA. That too in RFE stage, better to stick to LCA. When you are going to get 85K, I dont see any harm in mentioning the same in offer letter.

      1. AAV

        I am not very clear. Should we submit the 60K offer letter OR 85K offer letter along with my RFE response?
        What is safe? Please let me know.

          1. Ram

            AAV, These are my recommendations only. Please take a final decision after having a discussion with Attorney.

          2. AAV

            Hi Ram,
            After having couple of discussion with HR people I got know that they erroneously put my salary as 60K instead 85K. And attorney is saying that in the RFE response we can include the offer letter for 85K but USCIS may question why the H1b petition was filed for so less wages. And now HR has asked us to take the decision on which salary to be included in the offer letter that needs to be submitted.

            My worry is my H1b should not get rejected on the low salary grounds OR salary mismatch (L1b salary that i have been getting / i-140 salary).
            Looks like I am badly trapped due to this error from HR people and not sure what is going to happen either way.
            Do you still think that there are more chances of approval if I stick to LCA/Petition? and there will less chances of USCIS comparing my old salary or GC-i140 salary? I heard for giving approval beyond 6 years they compare the jobs and duties in H1b and approved i-140 but not sure if they will compare the salary as well.
            Also I heard that in the stamping interview as well the officer ask your salary. I am not sure which salary should i say in case for RFE purposes i will go with 60K.
            Please help

          3. Ram

            AAV, If you are to change the salary now, it requires new LCA and amendment. If your RFE is completely not about it, please don’t touch it. Once your H1B is approved, you can always file an amendment with the new salary. Through out the 6 years, I am sure nobody will stay on the salary initially petitioned for. There would be increase. So you can always file amendment for increased salary after initial approval. If you file amendment now, it may lead to more questions.

          4. AAV

            Ram,
            Ok Thanks. I spoke to my HR people today again and they said we can go ahead with 60K salary while responding to RFE and later file amendment for salary change.
            I could not get any details from them on –
            1. exactly when they will file the amendment and
            2. if the approval is applicable in case of amendment,

            3. if USCIS question why there is so much hike (60K to 87K) since the jobs and duties are same. My GC was filed under job level1 under Eb3 even though i have 14 years of experience. And H1b was filed for Job level 1 as well.

            4. will get trapped in another issue when we file an amendment

            Do you have any recommendations? I am sorry to ask you so many questions but I need to be cautious since the HR people have badly screwed up my GC case by applying it under incorrect category.

          5. AAV

            Ram,
            Ok Thanks. I spoke to my HR people today again and they said we can go ahead with 60K salary while responding to RFE and later file amendment for salary change.
            I could not get any details from them on –
            1. exactly when they will file the amendment and
            2. if the approval is applicable in case of amendment,

            3. if USCIS question why there is so much hike (60K to 87K) since the jobs and duties are same. My GC was filed under job level1 under Eb3 even though i have 14 years of experience. And H1b was filed for Job level 1 as well.

            4. will get trapped in another issue when we file an amendment

            Do you have any recommendations? I am sorry to ask you so many questions but I need to be cautious since the HR people have badly screwed up my GC case by applying it under incorrect category.

          6. Ram

            They would file amendment only after the H1B petition is approved. Yes amendment requires approval too. It follows the same process like any other cap exempt H1B. In case of amendment you require a new LCA.
            For question 3, discuss with your Attorney for this. They will be able to handle this better.
            4. Amendment has same scruity as that of any other H1B petition. It would mostly go through successfully but as always the documents you submit matters a lot.

  45. Asianredneck

    Hi Ram,

    Looks like this is a good H1B community here.

    My petition got selected and it shows case was received by April 11th. However, my case status has not been changed ever since then. I saw one of the comment you made is that USCIS would inform my attorney first regarding the decision and then update to the website? Would be my attorney be the best person to contact with regarding checking the status of my case?

    Thank you!

    1. 3rd Timer

      My understanding is website update happens simultaneously (ideally) and then they send the decision (RFE, Approval etc) to the attorney through postal mail. However this year it has been reported that there is a gap between website update and receipt notice received. Means, some cases they already received the approval notice (hard copy) but the website shows case received (not updated). Also, I believe that USCIS updating immediately in websites in case of RFE.

  46. karthiga

    Hi ,

    Any guidance on my H1B case will be very helpful ..

    My H1B petition got approved in 2016 june [2 years validity upto 2018 september] and my stamping was in pending stageduring november .

    Later now its got revoked in january 2017 .

    May I know still is it possible to do h1b transfer or filling new H1B in cap exempt is possible ?

    i am in india now ..please guide me on further steps…

    1. 3rd timer

      You mean withdrawn? Yes, you can use it the already approved petition as a cap-exempt with new employer. you only need a approval notice or receipt number.

  47. Kartik

    Hi Ram,

    EB3 I140 was revoked in Sep 2013, so my H1B extension was denied and I had to come back to India. Now with EB2 I40 rule passed, am I H1B Cap exempt?

    Please reply.

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