H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

This page is constantly updated with latest news, info, FAQs on current H1B 2018 season. Below are some topics, FAQs covered on this page.

  • Start of  H1B Visa 2018 season ?
  • H1B Quota for FY 2018 ?
  • H1B visa 2018 Lottery Predictions ?
  • Plan for H1B FY 2018 Application ?
  • Find Visa Sponsors for H1B 2018 ?
  • H1B Visa 2018 Fee ?
  • H1B 2018 Lottery Results
  • H1B 2018 Petitions  Tracker – Crowdsourced
  • New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?
  • Latest News updates of H1B FY 2018

If this is your first year of H1B visa filing, you must read What is H1B Visa, Requirements, Process . Not to scare you, Last year, there was lottery for H1B season and for FY 2017 USCIS received 236,000 applications .

When does H1B Visa 2018 Season Start ?
Update : USCIS accepted H1B Petitions for FY 2018 starting from April 3rd, 2017 until April 7th. They updated that H1B Cap was reached on April 7th, 2017. 
Typically, USCIS accepts H1B petitions for next fiscal year starting from April 1st. So, for FY 2018, the start date for accepting applications would be April 1st, 2017.  But, for FY 2018 season, April 1st falls on a Saturday, so USCIS will accept applications starting from Monday, April 3rd, 2017.   If you were wondering why called 2018, when in 2017, it is the fiscal year dates that dictate that. USCIS fiscal year is from October 1st to March 30th. So, technically the fiscal year for 2018 starts from October 1st and they accept petitions for the same 6 months before the start date and it would be April 1st, 2017.  You may read USCIS Press release for H1B 2017 Start Date 

What is H1B 2018 Quota ? Regular Cap vs Master’s Cap Quota ? 
Update : USCIS confirmed the below quota cap numbers in latest press release for FY 2018. 
To get some background, read H1B Quota – Regular vs Masters .  There have been many speculations on increasing the H1B Cap due to extremely high demand and bills proposed for the same in the past, nothing made it through. As of writing of this article, below is the H1B cap quota. We will keep this article updated as new changes come in.  The total H1B Quota as of today is 85,000 and it is split like below.

Regular H1B Quota 65,000
Master’s H1B Quota ( Only US Masters Degree Eligible)20,000

Out of the above 85,000 quota, 6,800 are set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them. Also, check out the article with history of maximum H1B Cap from 1990 to 2017 

H1B 2018 Lottery Predictions ? 
It used to be a speculation whether we would have lottery in previous years, but in the past 4 years, lottery has become common. It is very likely that we would have lottery aka random selection for H1B 2018 season.  We have been writing predictions over the years and all of them have been accurate so far. Check out our H1B Visa 2018  Lottery Predictions – Data Analysis  to get an idea on how many H1B petitions you can expect for this fiscal year.

Update : USCIS Received 199,000 H1B petitions for fiscal year 2018.  H1B Lottery was conducted on April 11th, 2017.

Are you planning for next fiscal year, Read  H1B Visa 2019 – Lottery Date, News, FAQs 

When to plan for H1B 2018 Application – What should be your strategy ?
It is never too late to start planning…Depending on your situation, you may fall in one of the below categories and the suggestions are described below.

  • F1 Student in USA : If you are studying on F1 visa and about to graduate in next one year, you should seriously look at finding an internship or co-op at companies that can sponsor your H1B visa. You can search for H1B Sponsors in a particular area using our H1B Sponsors Search Tool and try to get an internship to work there on CPT or OPT after you graduate. This is a strategic move and will require sometime, so plan well.
  • Working Professional from outside USA : If you are a working professional outside US, planning to work in US, especially  on H1B visa, your best bet is to find Multinational companies ( MNCs) that have major US presence and secure a job there, so that you can position internally for applying to H1B visa, when the season starts. This is a very strategic decision, you need to carefully assess your options, speak to the company if such options exist and then only choose it. There may be many people already in-line for these visas, you need to plan carefully so that you are given a slot in the company’s filing for your next season application.
  • Other H4, L1 Visas :  If you are on these visas living in USA, your best bet is to find companies just like I mentioned for F1 students that sponsor H1B visas and start interviewing and keeping the conversation going so that you can ask them to file H1B when the season starts.

For FY 2017, we have put together a Step by Step Plan on How to apply for H1B 2017 Quota, it gives a guideline on the planning and what steps exists.

How to find H1B Visa Sponsor for FY 2018 quota ?
This is probably the most asked question by everyone. It can be a tricky decision, you need be very careful to avoid fraud.

  • If you are student in the US, it is very straight forward, you find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool in an area as I mentioned above and get an internship in one of them so that they can sponsor your H1B visa.
  • If you are professional planning to arrive in US from outside America,  it can be really tricky.  If you work for an Multinational company ( MNC), then they will have some internal process to pick the candidates and then process H1B visa for them…The other option that has been used and abused is the consulting companies route…Many a times, the H1B aspirants approach a body shop IT consulting company to file H1B for them and they apply for the same. It gets nasty with the body shop consulting companies.  The comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article are quite eye opening. I advise, you beware of the consulting companies and avoid fraud.
  • Also, WE as RedBus2US do NOT provide any guidance or assistance or sponsor anything. If someone claims that, it is pure fraud and they are trying to trick you, we are not responsible for that. Please be careful

We have an article that we wrote for previous season, you may read article How to find H1B 2017 Sponsors to find out various options.

What is H1B Visa 2018 Fee ? How much does it cost for the company ? 

The H1B fee varies by the size of the company..As of FY 2017 season, it can range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee. On December 23, 2016 , USCIS increased the H1B fee component of base filing fees, which was $325. The below table is updated with the latest fee updates from USCIS.  There are various fees components that make up this number range, for more details Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee 2017 – Who pays for What ? . Below is a high level summary from FY 2017 quota.  If any changes, we will update this accordingly.

H1B Fee ComponentFee in USD
 Base filing fee$460
AICWA Fee$750  or $1,500
Fraud prevent & detection fee$500
Fee based on Public Law 114-113 ( if applicable)$4000
Premium processing fee (Optional)$1,225
Immigration Attorney FeeVaries from $500 to $3000

H1B 2018 Lottery Results – Checks Cashed, Receipts : 
One of the most asked questions is when will I get to know the lottery result for my petition. Well, this depends on many factors and there is no set SLA or date.  To put things in perspective,  last year, USCIS did a news alert indicating that they have returned all the rejected H1B petitions on July 8th, 2017. So, you can expect the last date for receiving final lottery decision around mid July 2017. …As we had about same number of petitions filed for FY 2018, it may be slightly earlier or even later in July or even early August 2017…  Few of the ways you would know, if you are selected in lottery is that, if the check that was filed with your H1B petition was cashed, or your employer gets the actual physical receipt notice in mail to them. If you filed under US masters quota, SEVIS update is another indication that you were selected in H1B lottery for FY 2018.  Ideally, your receipt numbers should arrive within 1 to 2 months…but, you never know, until you get a reject notice to be sure !

H1B 2018 Case Tracker  :
Did you apply for FY 2018 ?  With premium processing suspended, it is quite hard for applicants to know the general status of everyone to understand their situation. We have put together a tracker along with good graphs for analysis. It is completely anonymous as we do not capture your case number or any personal information. It is community contributed data, the more you add, the better for everyone, including  You !

Track your H1B Case

Anonymously Track your H1B Case - Share and Get updated from Community.

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

We do not know, if this news release is directed by Trump administration or not…but, on April 3rd, 2017 the start date of H1B season, there were set of new announcements made by USCIS to report and prevent abuse of H1B program. Check out USCIS New measures to report, prevent H1B Fraud  . Besides this, as of the today ( article updated date), nothing has been officially ordered or specifically implemented by New President Trump Administration. There are many speculations on how H1B program will become tougher with higher wages, quota limits, etc… but, nothing has been officially signed. We will update the article as new updates come in.

Various H1B Bills  in US House and Senate  – Will they be passed for FY 2018 ?
There are few bills that are introduced in 2017 and at various stages in both house and senate. There are many confusions regarding the same bills like the minimum wage will go up to $130,000 USD, etc.  Fact is that nothing has passed and there are very slim chances for them to get passed before start of FY 2018 season. You can check H1B Bills Tracker to get more details on current status. We will keep the article updated as new things are passed.

Latest News about H1B 2018 Season 
High Level Latest News for FY 2018 is listed below. But, all the Latest News are tracked on our H1B 2018 News and Updates Tracker Page. Check out below.

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

Most recent and complete history of all latest breaking news updates from Official sources like USCIS and Unofficial sources for FY 2018 Season.

Are you planning for FY 2018 quota ?  What are your questions ? Add your thoughts.

Related Articles


Comments ( 9,547 )

  1. pidit

    Hi Ram,

    What is wage level 1 RFE? I received an RFE concerning LCA. At least, that is what my attorneys are saying the email they gave me. They are documenting company hierarchy and stuff. Is this the level 1 RFE?

    1. 3rd timer

      @Pidit…It is unfortunate that you have received RFE for wage level 1. This year majority of the RFE, if not all, have received related to wage level 1. At this point of time many attorney’s aware of this RFE’s and may have a strategy to address. Check this thread for details of different wage levels.

      http://immigrationgirl.com/why-is-uscis-issuing-rfes-when-the-lca-indicates-a-level-1-prevailing-wage/

      –You should know that not all wage level RFE’s are same and each attorney might be responding to the RFE as they fit. Hope your case is approved based on the response.
      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    2. Ram

      There can be any queries related to LCA. LCA has job title, salary and job location. We can clearly tell what the RFE is about only when we have the complete details of your RFE notice. May be you can check with your Attorney for more details. Good luck!

  2. SS

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your help in this forum. I am working as a Full Time employee on STEM OPT valid till 2019. I received an RFE on job description. My employer has submitted documents to lawyer.

    I have a family emergency and I may have to travel to India. Will there any issue if I travel with STEM OPT and H1 is in progress (after Oct 1st). Please suggest.

    Thanking you in advance.

    1. 3rd timer

      @SS, Sorry to hear that you have received RFE. I think you may have following option, assuming your RFE is not approved before Oct 1st and also yours filed as COS (some RFE’s getting approved within a week too. If that happens in your case that will be great).

      1. You are outside US after Oct 1st and your case is approved before your travel date, then your status become H1 and COS (Chang eof Stauts) become CP (Consular Process). So you have to go through VISA stamping for your H1 before entering. As you know that visa stamping has it own problem.

      2. You are outside US after Oct 1st and your case is still is RFE state, then i believe you can enter US with your STEM OPT since because there is no COS happened. Again, you should aware that Port of Entry Officer has a discretion of allowing or denying your entry. So, you should keep all the relevant documentations (all i-20, transcripts, job duties, i-983 forms submitted to school, employer letter describing duties etc).

      3. You are outside US after Oct 1st and your case is approved but you are in flight/traveling.
      I am not sure what will happen. May be POE entry is denied and you have to go back and get visa stamping (point 1) and re enter.

      –So, my suggestion is check with other friends and also consult with your firm’s immigration lawyer or independent lawyer. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval and have a safe journey.

    1. Ram

      You have high chances of direct approval depending on the documentation submitted. Don’t worry, Please have hope and keep tracking your case. Good luck!

  3. PRay

    What are the most routine RFE questions? In my case, I have got three questions such as (1) Evidence pertaining to Proffered Position, (2) Evidence pertaining to beneficiary’s qualification and (3) Evidence pertaining to beneficiary status. Are these common? My employer/attorney is working on response. What’s your opinion? I think, (2) and (3) can easily be addressed since I have dual master degree, though not in computer science, so with an education evaluation, will be addressed; secondly since H1 was filed under CoS but I had to come back due to end of assignment, which should NOT be a problem ( but not sure how this will be evidenced). Any expert advice!

      1. 3rd timer

        @PRay, It looks like common/routine RFE. Please work with your employer and attorney and I am sure it will be approved. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Sorry to hear that your case went it to RFE. USCIS usually adjudicate the RFE cases within 60 days. Also, if PP is reinstated in October then you can upgrade your case to PP. If the decision is not made before October 1st then you should not work and ask the current employer to remove you from their payroll. However, you are authorized to stay in US till the decision is made. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

    1. Smar

      Hello everyone,
      I have been reading this blog since couple of months.
      This is my 1st post, yesterday i got approved.
      Regular, non AD, wage level 1.
      My question with Legendary RAM: how long would it take to reach approval letter.

      Thanks

      1. 3rd Timer

        It will take a week or two. Your employer or Attorney can contact USCIS if you are not received more than 30 days. If you try to contact before 30 days they may not answer or ask you contact after 30 days. And, Congratulation for your approval.

  4. Rahul

    Hi Ram & Team,

    Today My employer received RFE explaining it’s pretty much a boiler plate RFE ,its for speciality occupation and right to control.

    1) What are possible chances of getting approval for this RFE
    2) if some one in the same boat share your valuable thoughts
    3) is this the common RFE

    Your thoughts will really helps me.

    1. Ram

      1. High chances of getting approval. Please work with your employer closely to get the right response ready.
      2. I know of many of my friends who got the same RFE and got approval successfully.
      3. It is one of the common RFE.

  5. Rajesh

    Hi Ram & Team,

    1. When we will expect to start premium processing for H1B?

    2. My company filed my renewal and got FedEx receipt number for same ? What is next step to check status on usics site?

    Regards,
    Rajesh

    1. 3rd timer

      1. We are expecting PP to be re instated in October 1st week, which is actually 6 months when USCIS suspended in April. They said they will suspend approx 6 months. So, more chance that PP will be available from October 1st week. But it is also not certain.

      2. Your employer/attorney will receive the receipt saying USCIS actually received and opened your package (fedex receipt would indicate it has been delivered). If your employer share that infor then you can use that number to track the status of your renewal application. If PP is available in later data then you can also upgrade to PP. Go through uscis.org to see what forms required for upgrading to PP. Your attorney also can help you.

      –good luck and all the best for your renewal.

  6. Harsh

    Ram Sir,

    There was an spelling error of my surname in my form I-797C. Although my name is spelled right in my form I-129. I noticed the error when I received the documents from employer.

    I have scheduled my VISA interview too. Please suggest what to do ?

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Please do ask your company/Attorney to raise a request to correct it. If it gets corrected before interview, you are all good. If not, you can explain to the Visa officer that request has been raised and provide the corresponding service request number. Do talk to your Attorney regarding the best possible way to resolve this and let us know!Good luck!

  7. Enrique

    Hi everyone,

    I got rfe because of wage level 1. My salary is 90k with title software developer, System software. What are the chances?

    Thanks,

    1. 3rd timer

      Looks like majority of the RFE’s is related to wage level 1. I am sure most of the immigration attorney might be knowing how to respond. Hopefully your’s also successful. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  8. Cgold

    My petition is valid till dec 17 and my stamping is also valid till dec 17. My company says no opportunity now but once the visa expires I will have to file cap exempt again. What are the chances it gets approved? I’m but confused, can transfer to other company and file cap exempt? Please help.

    1. Ram

      After expiry, Extensions get approved easily depending on the documentation submitted by the Employer. Before expiry, you can submit a cap exempt petition to transfer your visa to a different company.

  9. XYZ

    Got an RFE.. My employer told me that nothing is needed from me.. RFE is company information.. Non IT/HEALTHCARE
    Is it a common RFE??? Wat are the odds??
    Thanking you

  10. Siva

    Hi ,
    I am also in similar situation,
    USA Company A applied H1B, its got picked in lottery and status is “Case was Received”. At present, I am working for company B in India. Company B asking me to visit their head office in USA for technical conference on B1 USA.
    Is there any impact on my H1B application if I travel USA on B1 Visa?

    1. Ram

      I feel travelling on B1 would not affect H1B in any way. There might be additional scrutiny during Visa interview but apart from that I don’t foresee any issues. Of course, its better to check with your company’s immigration team/Attorney before taking a decision on this.

  11. Madhan

    I done my visa interview 3 days back and got Approval, But on status I see still VISA status as “Administrative Processing”!
    Is it common to see in the beginning?

    Plese respond.

    1. Ram

      It is common for the Visa to go for administrative processing. Administrative processing, also known as Security Advisory Opinion (SAO), is the time period during which visa applications undergo additional review outside of the “normal” visa processing times. Administrative processing takes place after the visa interview.The purpose of administrative processing is to ensure that the applicant poses no security or related risk to the United States. During this stage, it will automatically move to ready state in couple of days, if all security checks are passed. If anything is required, they would notify to you. This would be resolved in max of 60 days.

  12. H1B RFE

    Received an RFE,
    ‘Please submit new LCA with different wage designation and or job code and title and explain the changes’.
    I asked my lawyer and she said that she filed for new LCA with different wage level 2 (which is my actual wage) but not sure whether the USCIS will accept the new LCA.

    1. Anyone experienced this situation? If yes, what works the best? Filing new LCA or keep the old one and explain that wage level 1 is considered in the specialty occupation?
    1. Is it okay to change the LCA wage level from 1 to wage level 2 now?

    1. Ram

      As per my understanding it is better to go with old one. Filing an amendment in RFE stage is not a suitable approach. It is better to justify the existing one. But your Attorney would be the right person to take decision on this. Do post once you have made a decision on this. Good luck!

  13. Raj

    Hi Guys,

    Today My employer received RFE explaining it’s pretty much a boiler plate RFE ,its for speciality occupation and right to control.

    1) What are possible chances of getting approval for this RFE
    2) if some one in the same boat share your valuable thoughts
    3) is this the common RFE

    Your thoughts will really helps me.

    1. Ram

      1. High chances of getting approval. Please work with your employer closely to get the right response ready.
      2. I know of many of my friends who got the same RFE and got approval successfully.
      3. It is one of the common RFE.

  14. imcool24

    Endless Wait!

    Its been more than 5 months now that i have been waiting to hear back an update from USCIS. Online status shows Case received. Employer has no update ( RFE/Approval) till date. Not sure when this is going to end. Some cases have got direct approval while online status still shows received. I seriously hope that i too get direct approval as this wait is killing me.

  15. Being Hopeful

    Hi !

    I got selected in lottery from 2 companies.
    Company A: Got an RFE for wage level 1 on Sep 5 . They have still not replied back to USCIS.
    Company B: My employer has not heard anything from USCIS or the Lawyer’s as of today. I called up the Lawyer and they have not got anything as of date for me. That too had a wage level 1 .
    My actual salary is much higher even more than level 4 , so i’m not sure why did they apply for level 1.

    If you could give me any idea about any chances of getting a direct approval for B or that too would likely be an RFE . Is it too late already ? I read over here that someone had a theory that if the status is still on received from the Vermont center , most likely there is no RFE and they should approve it sometime soon.

    The wait is excruciating !!

        1. 3rd timer

          As I explained in my earlier reply to one of the post, all the wage level 1 gets RFE and also if two application is picked in lottery leads to automatic RFE for both.

          USCIS treat them separate petition unless both the petition are filed by same company or affiliated company’s.

          So, there is a chance to you will get direct approval or RFE (company specific) for petition B.
          Example, my friend got RFE for wage level 3 petition and approval for wage level 1 petition.
          Good luck and all the best for getting approval for petition two.

    1. Being Hopeful

      The level is what the company files in the Labor certification (LCA). It might not be the same as you would make. Ideally they should file it the same as the salary but for a strange reason they do not !!

      1. 3rd timer

        Some one in one of the post explained that it would help company’s during benching period. i.e, if they receive an approval for wage level 1 application (salary requirement is low for this case, however, they are paying more to the beneficiary) then during the benching period they can pay less and maintain the status. I am not sure that is the reason but it is weird that they are paying more but LCA is filed with wage level 1.

        –Good luck and all the best to get an approval for your wage level 1 RFE.

    2. Ram

      The wage levels are determined based on Data provided in http://www.flcdatacenter.com/OesWizardStart.aspx

      Depending on the job location, occupation the wage levels are determined.

  16. SD

    Hi Ram,
    I got RFE few days back.My company attorney is still examining the case for response.
    1.Specialty occupation:
    Submit detail about duties and responsibilities,time devoted to each duties,educational requirement for these duties,how beneficiary’s education relates to the position,etc.
    2.LCA Level 1 wage:
    The duties described in the proffered position do not correspond to LCA level 1 position.
    Explain how the level 1 wage corresponds to the porffered specialty position.
    Documentation to support level 1 wage with the specialty position.
    Point no.1 :Can be replied satisfactorily.
    Point no.2:Can you please and work out and guide me with your experience and expertise for the best possible response,if any.
    Thanks,
    SD

  17. SS

    HI Ram,
    My attorney has been received RFE. below are queries –
    1) Specialty occupation
    2)How beneficiary education relates to this position.
    3) similar occupation job posting with education requirement by other similar organization.my employer is a franchise-consulting firm. i was applying for non IT related job.
    4)Bachelor or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position, show the evidence in this respect., company business plan, client letter etc..
    There are so many evidence require in response of RFE.

    As per attorney my employer told all queries not require to answer, there few not applicable for my position. But as per letter, all queries should answer other then it will go with decision.

    While i had been submitted H1b ,i was stop servicing few month back. In RFE letter, they are not asking my current job position instead of the above. approx 2 yrs i am not doing service, starting a business few months back.
    My question how much my possibility to get denied or approval in respect of this RFE. after response this RFE is there possibility to get another RFE for current position.

    1. Ram

      If there are points which are not applicable, its better to tell the same with proper evidence in the response.
      All the RFEs you received are common ones and if you answer them properly, you can receive your approval.

      Your current job is irrelevant if you are out of USA. The H1B petition is only for future employment and hence it should not be of any issue. Good luck!

    1. 3rd timer

      @Vino, Just hang in there and the approval could be any day. Having said that, you also check with your sponsoring company if they already received the approval notice. Because, this year many cases in USCIS shows “case received” but actually the approval already given and the employer received the hard copy of the approval. May be your case also one of those. Good luck and all the best.

      1. Andy

        I second this. My case got approved a month back and my attorney/company didn’t bother to inform me. Like a fool, I was checking the online status multiple times every day.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Worried, Though it is not that common RFE it is easily addressable REF. Your employer/attorney can respond without any problem. If your occupation is closely matched with the education then the approval is high. If the education is not related to the occupation you are applied then you can still get the approval by showing the experience in that area. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Raju, Sorry to hear that you are one of the unfortunate one. However, you may ask your previous employer(S) with updated experience letter with 4 or 5 roles and responsibilities which are related to the occupation you have applied. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  18. Raman

    Hi Ram,

    I got H-1B approval last month. I’ve been working in US based product company from last 5 years. I’m a Senior engineer in my company. Now, my boss is giving me a promotion and asking me to become Engineering Manager.

    Does this affect my H-1B? I heard I will have to file H-1B amendment after this.
    I already I-140 approved. Do I’ve to file green card again?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. 3rd timer

      @ Raman,

      Does this affect my H-1B?
      NO

      I heard I will have to file H-1B amendment after this?
      yes, you needed an amendment. But this is easily done for most or all cases within couple of weeks.

      I already I-140 approved. Do I’ve to file green card again?
      Not sure. Your company’s attorney may be of help on this.

      — Congrats for your approval and also for the promotion. Good luck and all the best for your GC.

  19. Rajesh

    Hi Ram & Team,

    My H1B renewal is in process . My company has uploded petition document where FedEx receipt is there. Does this mean they file my case with consulate?

    Regards,
    Rajedh

    1. 3rd timer

      @Rajesh,

      That means they send the application package to USCIS via FEDEX and you can track if it is delivered or not. You may not infer that if it is filed as COS or CP. For that you should check with your attorney/employer. Good luck and all the best for your renewal approval.

  20. Venkat

    Hi Ram –

    I have a query. My H1B application was selected in lottery via Company A and got an RFE. My company has filed a RFE response two weeks ago and i am waiting for an update from USCIS. Now my Company A is asking me to travel to USA on B1 visa for a short term assignment. I would like to know if i can travel and will this have any impact on my H1B petition? Appreciate your response.

    1. Siva

      Hi,
      I am also in similar situation,
      USA Company A applied H1B, its got picked in lottery and status is “Case was Received”. At present, I am working for company B in India. Company B asking me to visit their head office in USA for technical conference on B1 USA.

      Is there any impact on my H1B application if I travel USA on B1 Visa?

      1. Ram

        I feel travelling on B1 would not affect H1B in any way. There might be additional scrutiny during Visa interview but apart from that I don’t foresee any issues. Of course, its better to check with your company’s immigration team/Attorney before taking a decision on this.

  21. H1B Tranfer

    RB is always informative and helpful. , I have a query related to H1B Transfer.
    What will happen if employer B H1 transfer petition being denied, in such kind of event, can I continue work on Employer A past approval or some other employer need to file cap-exempt petition to continue on H1 status

    Also, is there any need to get pay stubs from Emp A in case of transfer been initiated by Emp B by Oct 7th.

    What is that to be done to prove employee – employer relation for just 7 days, if needed.

    Also, is it allowed / possible to send the H1 AC21 docs to USICIS on Sep 29th as to reach there by Oct 1st or 2nd

    1. 3rd timer

      @H1 Transfer,

      The new rule states that You can have 60 days to can find a new employer and apply for H1 transfer after the termination/resignation of the previous employer.

      https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/18/2016-27540/retention-of-eb-1-eb-2-and-eb-3-immigrant-workers-and-program-improvements-affecting-high-skilled

      Based on this, you can resign the company on Oct 7th or even Oct 2/3 then ask the other company to file the transfer. Only think i am not sure that is if the final approval not obtained within 60 days then what will happen like if the petitioner is considered as out of status. May be the new company’s lawyer may help you on this.

      If the transfer denied with Company B then you can continue to work with A and it will not be problem. Later you can try with Company C if they interested to do transfer. That can be approved or denied depends on the documentation submitted by Company C.

      Regarding Pay stubs, if you do the transfer on October 1st week then you may not need it and in case if RFE is issued then it can be addressed.

      is it allowed / possible to send the H1 AC21 docs to USICIS on Sep 29th as to reach there by Oct 1st or 2nd? yes, it is allowed and most of them follow this method i believe.

      –Good luck and all the best for your transfer. Also, if possible, post the outcome of how the transfer went in later date so that many of them will be benefited later.

  22. Krtikos

    Hi Ram,

    My lawyer just sent me a copy of RFE file. They just request ‘A letter explaining how the level 1 wage designation LCA that you have provided corresponds to the proffered speciality occupation position’

    The weirds thing is that I thought they applied as software developer-applications so my wage level is 2. As I can see they applied as software developer-system design so my wage is just a little under the level 2. What do you think, what is my chance?

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Completely depends on the response submitted by your employer. If they could give the right justification for the salary paid, I am sure you can get your approval. Good luck!

    1. 3rd timer

      You may or may not receive RFE. Also check with the the company who sponsored your H1 and they may already received the approval (hard copy). This year USCIS update on the website is not up to date.

          1. Ram

            Have u filed H1B in change of Status? If yes, Since yours is approved, you can leave the country anytime now and while returning you need to get your H1B stamping and enter on H1B to use the Visa.

  23. Stressed

    Hi Ram,

    I have more than 8 years of total experience and I got RFE yesterday. I am not sure yet the reason of RFE. If it is lev 1 wage RFE, do you think it can get approved or USCIS will reject it based on my total experience?
    What can be done for approval?

    1. Ram

      I know its a difficult time but please calm down!! Let’s first see what the RFE is about. It may be as simple as company’s tax details or a complex one. Even if its regarding wage level 1, I am sure your company would be able to provide a proper response for it. Though specialized one , the job duties may have been in wage level 1 range. So let’s wait for the RFE notice to arrive and then will work towards response. Do post your reason once you received it. We can work to respond to it. Good luck!

      1. Ram

        One more point: Not everyone who goes for interview gets a 221g issued. Only if the officer feels something needs more scrutiny during interview, 221g is issued. So prepare yourself to take everything that’s required and get ready for all type of questions. When you are fully equipped with all that’s expected, I feel you would get your visa in no time.

      2. Ram

        Approval completely depends on the response you send for the RFE. Let’s get the RFE notice and find what’s required. Then we can discuss on how to respond to it. No worries!

        1. Stressed

          Thanks Ram. I had previous experience of 6 years as a Developer and from last 2 years I moved to Business Analyst. MY H1B was applied with BA position so I think that can be given as justification.

  24. AD

    Hi Ram,
    I am traveling to India to get my H1B stamped. While I am prepping for the interview I am coming across several instances where people working in biotechs get 221g. what is the probability of this happening? I work in a biotech and am immensely tensed now. Is there a way to avoid it?

    1. Ram

      Not only people from biotech, people from different streams are getting 221g for multiple reasons. I would recommend you to take all the required documents and talk to your company’s immigration team/ Attorney and also colleagues who recently attended interview. Get to know their experience and prepare yourself accordingly. You can get your stamping easily. All the best! Do post your stamping experience.

      1. AD

        Sorry for writing back repeatedly!!! But, you are such a wonderful resource. Thanks for helping with very query.

        What specifically should I prepare for? As my company is a small biotech (50 scientists) I do not have any other recent H1B point person as reference. The last one they applied for and who got approved was in 2015.

        It would be great if you could tell me what exactly to look out for while preparing. I will definitely write my interview experience.

        1. Ram

          First step is to collect all the required documents for the stamping.
          The detailed list can be found at https://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1-visa-documents.html

          Next you need to understand the documents you have. Get to know the petition(position, salary, work duties, job title etc) very well. Every answer you give would be verified with the petition or documents submitted for visa approval.
          Then find out the various frequently asked questions and other interview experience from the blog. This would give you a general picture of whats really happening and what to expect.
          Talk to your immigration Attorney and they might give you tips too.
          All the best! Please feel free to post further questions if any.

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      To add to Ram’s inputs, I would like to tell you that, if you work in biotech areas, the reason for higher chance of 221g is for a simple reason as that field falls under Technology Alert List. You can check all the details of TAL here by State Gov . I know many people who have got 221g because their field is in TAL. It is nothing to worry, they just take more time to review the authenticity of the company, your profile, etc to ensure there is no abuse of the technology skill you possess. Do, don’t worry too much, be confident and go for it. If you happen to be given a 221g, do not get disappointed, it is very common for TAL areas.

  25. sen

    Hi Ram,

    Thanks a lot for keeping up with us!

    Has the USCIS started to respond to the RFE’s? Do they process the case in some sequence? Or can we expect to hear a decision for the rfe’s response before Oct 1 also?

    Any information will be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    1. Ram

      Decisions after RFE response are coming out at a slower rate. They are not processed in any sequence. I feel they might be now concentrating on cases which are still in received state. Getting a decision before October 1 would be highly unlikely. October 1 is not any deadline for the USCIS. Unfortunately we have to wait for results or PP to be reinstated.

    1. 3rd timer

      @FlyingUSA, Congrats for your approval. Interestingly there are many people reporting that they have received an approval but there is no update on the website and you are also now joining that list. Since you/ your attorney having the hard copy it doesn’t matter/issue about what is there in the USCIS status check page. Good luck and all the best for your Visa stamping and travel to USA.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Hopeful, Interesting Question. However it is not possible because only your employer and the attorney authorized by the employer are eligible to contact the USCIS to request the address change and the beneficiary not allowed to request anything.

      I understand that it is very frustrating to wait for long time (more than year or two or more if this is your first/second or third chance like me) but at least we are lucky to be picked up in the lottery. Just hang in there and you will definitely get your approval. Good luck and all the best.

        1. 3rd timer

          Looks like it is possible from the link you have provided. However, if you check the second page it is requesting many information like ur DOB, zip code when you filed, your address when you filed. So, even one information missing then it cant accept.

        2. Ram

          Further more, if anyone tries to change any of the details to pending petition, they are considered as Service Request and the same is updated in the case history of case status page.(You can see the history by logging in the USCIS case status). It is added with a note stating that if its not you who requested change, you need to call the customer care. There loads of screening and identity is confirmed before making any changes. So I don’t think any random person can change any of the details in an existing petition.

  26. M G N Murthy

    These updates do not give any information about the status of the applicants for H1B who have completed studies in American universities and whose names are picked in the lottery but no communication is sent to them regarding the issue of the H 1B visa although the last date 30 Sept 2017 is approaching. It will be helpful if you kindly give some information i.e., when they may get the H 1B visa. Many applicants and their parents are anxiously waiting for
    the visa. Thanks.

    1. 3rd timer

      @M G N Murthy, Once selected in lottery all the applications treated same and no priorities given to OPT students though it is believed USCIS start approving OPT cases first. Only advantage they have is they are eligible for extra 20K visas and two time in lottery (20K first time and 65K in second time if the first one is not successful).

      Also, it looks like the approval process is random means WAC/EAC17143XXX not approved before WAC/EAC 17146XXX.

      If some one graduated in US, their application is picked and thier OPT is ending before October 1st ’17 then they usually get cap-gap until September 30th. As per the approval we can except any time and also we should keep in mind that USCIS doesn’t have to approve OPT/cap-gap application before Oct 1st. They can take any time they want and there are reports that some cases from 2016 not yet adjudicated (refer www.worktheme.com) till now which is the case for Visa interview as well, means if some one get 221 (g) then the approval take from 4 weeks to year.

      Having said that please stay positive and your approval may be on the way. There are reports that some cases are already approved and but in USCIS website it still says “case received”. So, In case if the petition is filed by other company than the one currently working or consultancies then ask them if they received approval already. We should remember that these companies are not legally obliged to give the approval copies till you join them, i.e, on or after October 1st. Anyway, good luck and all the very best for your or your children;s approval.

    1. 3rd timer

      @ Sridhar, Technically yes you can initiate the transfer with Company B. But what I gathered from various immigration lawyers from different forums are it is better to wait for the extension approval and then try. Having said that every case is unique and consult with immigration lawyer for your case. Good luck and all the best.

    1. 3rd timer

      @ Pavan, Not all RFE’s are tough to respond. Most of the RFE’s are simple to address. Take your time and address all the points requested with the help of employer/lawyer and friends. I am sure your RFE will be approved and we should remember that USCIS not trying to deny the petition at any cost. They are just trying to get more documents to ascertain the application merits the approval. Stay positive and your’s will be approved in due course. Good luck and all the best.

      1. Pavan

        Thank you very much for the detailed explanation on my status,
        really appreciate it.
        Sure We will take good amount of time to respond on this.
        I will keep you updated on the progress

  27. OPTtoH1

    Hello
    Currently i am on OPT-EAD and employed in MNC.H1 approved with body shopper consulting company as COS.MNC want me even after moving to H1 status,but as direct employee only,MNC doesn’t want to get in to agreement with H1 consulting company as MNC don’t want to hire me as sub contractor due to end-client agreement.
    Can i transfer recently approved H1 before OCT 1st to MNC.
    Also if the transfer to MNC gets rejected, can i continue with body shopper consulting company who filed H1 for me or will i be out of status.

    1. 3rd timer

      @OPT to H1, you are certainly initiate the transfer before Oct 1st on the approved application. However, it is reported in last couple of years that many H1 transfers are rejected if they initiate the transfer before Oct 1st and of course some are successful. So, try to do transfer on Oct 1st and wait for a week to get the receipt of acceptance. Based on the receipt you can start working and also there are rumors that from PP may be reinstated in the first week of October. In that case you can upgrade your application with PP and get approval. Explain these to your MNC employer and proceed based on their advice. Good luck and all the best.

  28. Seriously stressed out

    Hi Ram,

    Received my RFE for multiple reasons:
    1) Specialty occupation
    2) Labor condition application (LCA)
    3) Employer’s right to control the employee
    4) Maintenance of status [I am in f1 opt on stem extension, about 10 months remaining]

    By the way, my job title is senior application developers. are these multiple objections common? Also what is the likelihood of getting all these approved and what would the time frame be? Also I have particular concern for #4. what is that about and how should we respond to that?

    1. 3rd timer

      @Seriously stressed out, It is normal to get RFE’s with multiple reasons. In your case the first 3 can be answered easily by your employer and attorney. Work with your and attorney to gather more information if they needed your help. In response to maintenance of status for F1 students it is straight forward i guess. Your school should have your course enrollment and also transcripts, job/CPT letter with start and end date (if you are working now or worked in CPT), W2 form and salary slip etc. if you are STEM students then you may also include new i-983 forms you have submitted to schools. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

      1. SimilarQuery

        3rd timer, you are always informative and helpful. I have similar query, what will happen if employer B H1 transfer petition being denied, in such kind of event, can I continue work on Employer A approval or some other employer need to file cap-exempt petition.

        Also, is there any need to get paystubs from Emp A incase of transfer been intiatived by Oct 7th.

        What is that to be done to prove emp – emp relation for just 7 days

  29. confused soul

    Hi ram,

    I receved multiple questions for an RFE:

    1) Specialty occupation
    2) Labor condition Application (LCA)
    3) Employer’s right to control the Employee
    4) Maintenance of status

    Is this common? how should I respond to each one? What are the chances of approval?

  30. TG

    I got an RFE too after waiting for 5 months. WTF. Definitely it would be level 1 wage. How to answer level 1 wage RFE? Will they deny most of the level 1 wage RFE?

      1. 3rd timer

        @TG, Sorry to hear that you have received RFE. Every case is different and not all the RFE’s are related to wage level 1. One of my friend received RFE for wage level 3 and other friend approved with wage level 1 application even though both have similar education, work exp and job functions. So, just stay positive, try to address all the points with the help of your employer/attorneys and friends and i am sure the RFE will be cleared. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

      2. MRS

        RFE for Level 3?
        Surprised!
        Is there multiple applications?
        2nd Masters? ( then it is status verification RFE or university credible )
        Full time CPT more tan 365 days?

        Pl enrich with some more details

        1. 3rd timer

          Is there multiple applications? Yes. He had two. One approved and one went to RFE.

          2nd Masters? ( then it is status verification RFE or university credible ) No 2nd master..US higher education.

          Full time CPT more tan 365 days? No CPT involved.

          –Interestingly, the approved petition filed with wage level 1 LCA and the RFE is issued for wage level 3 LCA even though both the company offered wage level 3 salary.

          The RFE is pertaining to the information related to the company and nothing to do with the petitioner.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Krtikos, it is unfortunate that your application went to RFE. Not all RFE’s are tough to respond and in fact some of them are routine like checking status, education evaluation etc. Take your time, work with your attorney/employer to address all the points requested in the RFE and I am sure your petition will be cleared. It is hard, but try to stay positive, good luck and all the best for your approval.

    1. 3rd timer

      @S, It would take anywhere between 1 or 2 weeks to 1 months. if it is more than 30 days then your employer/attorney can contact USCIS and request for additional/duplicate copy. Unfortunately you can’t contact USCIS and also USCIS wont answer if your employer contact before 30 days deadline. Anyway, congrats for your approval.

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