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 Component Fee 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 Fee Varies from $500 to $3000

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

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

Track your H1B Case

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

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

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

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

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

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

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

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

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Comments ( 12,779 )

  1. Vijay

    Hi Ram & everyone,

    I have an urgent situation… I had sent a premium processing form to upgrade my case. The uscis case status now says “Name Was Updated”.

    What does it mean? Does it mean my attorney has sent an incorrect form?
    Please help me.

    1. 3rd timer

      @Vijay, I Think it is not a concern. I read it in somewhere that the website update include all the USCIS internal updates. Meaning, some time the data entry officer may have missed a letter or made a spelling mistake. If he/she noticed later then he will correct it and that will be reflected in the website. That might be the case. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    2. Ram

      I am sure Attorney know their business very well. Please check with your Attorney whether the check sent for PP has been en cashed.If yes, don’t worry, everything is going right.
      If the Name correction was not requested I would request you to talk to your Attorney to reach out to USCIS customer care.
      Recently I have yet another observation, when ever a case is getting updated as Name as updated, actually there is an approval or RFE issued for the case. I have no idea why the online system is updated incorrectly. That may be the case too. So there is nothing to worry, please get in touch with your Attorney and talk to them.

    1. 3rd timer


      I guess right to control RFE is generic RFE and relatively easy to respond. So, good luck and all the best for your approval.

  2. Nancy

    My F1 visa is valid till April 2018, I haven’t received any update from USCIS about my approval. It was selected in lottery . What should be my status after 1st of October 2017.

      1. 3rd timer

        @Nancy, yes F1 continues till the approval. After the approval it immediately changed to H1 if the change of status (COS) was requested. If Consular Processing is requested then after the approval you are not authorized to work till you get the stamping from oversees embassy. However, you may continue to work in OPT EAD till the EAD valid date.

        Good luck and all the best for your approval.

        1. Nancy

          Should I request for PP or just wait? I am not sure. I did got RFE and it was responded as well by the lawyers.Current status says they have received the response and working on the case . It has been almost 1 and half month since we have send the response. Are there more chances of getting it since it will be PP ?

          1. 3rd timer


            Usually USCIS takes 60 days to respond to RFE cases. Since you have waited already 45 days, you should expect some kind of communication like approval or additional information (this is depends on the RFE response) within next 15 days. As we know that USCIS is slow these days. So, if you upgrade to PP then USCIS has to respond within 15 days. It is depends on if you/employer willing to pay additional $1225. Most of the cases Employer may not agree. They may agree if you tell them to bear the cost. Decide which one is better in your case and act accordingly.

  3. Neha


    When we send the request for Premium processing… Does the case status change on the website?
    I had sent the request on Friday, my case status online is still the same.

    Please let me know.

    1. Ram

      Yes once the Premium processing request form is received by USCIS the status changes to “Premium Processing request has been received”. Then USCIS checks the form and check you have sent for PP, if everything is as per guidelines and If USCIS accepts your Premium processing request, the status changes to case received. After this, They do send an Premium processing receipt notice to Attorney. There on within 15 calendar days, you would see some kind of status change.

  4. Quin

    Hi All,

    Please help me..My RFE for wage level 1 was evidence pertaining to the proffered position (6 pages). Is it common RFE and any advice for what’s the best evidence to support my case? My job title is Market Research Analyst.

    Thank you so much for all your help!!

    1. Ram

      Currently this type of RFE is seen commonly. Few cases which were responded for this RFE, got approval too. There are two sub types in this RFE. One type is to prove why only wage level 1 salary is being proposed for a specialized occupation mentioned in petition. Other is how can this job duties with WL1 salary be classified as specialized occupation.
      I am not sure under what sub type your RFE falls into it. But either way, if you could prove your point, approval is yours.
      The response for such RFE would vary from case to case. All you have to prove is your job is a specialized one but a limited one which demands only WL1 salary.

      Few articles which might help you!

      Good luck! Prepare your response well! Reach out to us in case of any help!

    1. Ram

      USCIS process it within 60 days from date of receipt of RFE response. It can go beyond this too as more RFE responses would be sent now. There is no deadline for regular processing cases.

  5. Aadi

    Anyone who has received RFE for specialty occupation with master’s degree and wage level 2, could you please let me know what all documents your Attorney submit in response to RFE ?


  6. CTS_T55

    Hi Ram/All,

    Went for Visa stamping interview last week, VO returned my Passport and issue 221g white slip and asked for below doc from my employer.

    1. A statement of work signed by your employer and the end client.
    2.A letter (on letterhead) from the personnel department at the u.s end client company stating that there is a vacancy for you.

    I have responded with my employer support letter and SOW but they responded without client letter they will not process my visa.

    Client is not going to share any letter so it means my visa will be rejected?

    Please let me know any other way to save my visa.

    1. 3rd timer

      @CTS_T55, Sorry to hear that your case went in to 221 (g). Since the VO specifically asked those two documents, I am not sure how you can circumvent and convince the VO. I afraid it is difficult. May be your employer may help since they are the one submitted the LCA stating they have a job with that particular client. Anyway, good luck and all the best for your Visa approval.

  7. RP

    Hey, my sponsor havent receieved anything yet on my H1b application this year, does it mean i still have a chance to be selected on the lottery this year?

        1. Ram

          In that case, your employer has to contact USCIS customer care and check what happened to your petition initially. Please note that only your Employer/Attorney is authorized to inquire about USCIS petition.

          1. 3rd timer

            @RP, Either your sponsor is lying or they really didn’t receive the response till now. If your H1 sponsor is one of the consultancy then the there is more chance that they are not telling the truth. Alternative option other than contacting the USCIS, your employer may check the status of the H1 Fee check to if that is cashed (or encashed). If your application is infact picked then the receipt number will be marked in the back side of the check. If the check is not cashed then your case is not picked. At this time your sponsoring company can easily verify this option. Good luck and all the best.

  8. Mani

    I have got RFE for my H1B application 2 weeks before but USCIS system is not updated with latest information its still showing as Case was Received. What is
    the time duration to update RFE in USCIS system after generating RFE ?

    1. Ram

      How to do you know that RFE has been received? Did you get the RFE notice?
      The USCIS site has some lag in updating status. Sometimes, it gets updated after a week or 10 days and many times it never gets updated. So as long as you have the notice in hand, i don’t think you need to worry about online status.

      1. Mani

        Hi Ram,

        Thanks for your response.. My employer has updated me the status.. they have not responded with exact reason.. they have asked me to submit experience certificate in order to proceed further. when i looked the status in USCIS system its still showing as Case was Received.

      2. cg-emp

        Ram – Your reply answers my anxiety. My company filed response to RFE on 24th August 2017 and fedex tracking shows, it was received on 24th August 2017 at California Center.

        But USCIS website still shows as “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed” as on 27th September 2017.

    2. 3rd timer

      @ Mani,

      This year USCIS web update is not up to date, meaning, many cases that were approved in June/July/August are still showing “case received”. So, don’t rely on the update. Instead, if you have received RFE paper form, send your response by addressing all the points raised and if possible, upgrade to PP once you send the RFE. If you can then you may bear the PP expenses because some company’s may not agree to pay the PP fee ($1225).

      Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  9. BAL

    Hi Ram,

    In my ex-company my designation was SR-ANALYST.In my current LCA filed for H1B 2017, my role is mentioned as ANALYST.
    Will there be any issues due to this?
    My work stream between these two positions are different.
    In case of SR-ANALYST, i worked for developer stream, whereas the one mentioned in LCA is for Architect stream.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Ram

      Usually, the H1B application is for future roles. May be that is the role you may be doing in USA, once your H1B is approved. Your current position doesn’t affect the petition in anyway unless you are in USA already(petitioned for the current role performed). The petition would be scrutinized for whether you possess the skills to do the job duties enlisted. If this point is also met, there should not be any problem.

  10. Nidhi

    Has anyanyone heard back from Diaspark ? My case was picked in lottery, but after that communication has stopped and no one is responding from their side.

  11. Nidhi

    Has anyo e heard from Diaspark ? My case was picked in lottery, but after that communication has stopped and no one is responding from their side.

  12. SachiS

    H1b got approved on Sept 22, 2017, two days after USCIS received my premium processing application.

    Details: WAC center, Advanced Degree, First try at H1b, Degree in Statistics, working as Data Scientist. I have been on CAP-GAP from July 2017.

    Thoughts: They delayed the decision on purpose. They knew people would pay for PP out of desperation as there were less than 15 days after they resumed PP.

    Thanks for all the support. I am grateful to this site and the people. 🙂

  13. H1b Still waiting

    My H1b petition got picked in lottery this year, still showing same thing application received:

    “On April 11, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker”

    Anyone still waiting for initial reply ?
    When i can ask my employer to contact USCIS to get the update ?

    1. 3rd timer

      I guess many people are waiting, may be 30% to 40%. Even if your employer/attorney contact USCIS, they wont answer. Because there is no rule that all the H1 application required to adjudicated by USICS in certain date (like before Oct 1 etc). Having said that, you have now an option to utilize Premium processing (PP). In that case you will get an answer within 15 days. The answer could be approval or RFE but you will get some response within 15 days. If your employer not agreeing to upgrade your case to PP, because they have to pay additional $1250 for the service, then you can bear the cost. As per law, the beneficiary ( you are) allowed to pay the expenses for PP.

      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    1. 3rd timer

      It would take approx one to two weeks. So, in your case it would come in any day. However, if
      you are still not received for 30 days then your employer/attorney can request a duplicate copy of the same. Unfortunately, as a beneficiary you are not allowed to contact USCIS (they wont answer) and also if your employer try to contact before 30 days USCIS ask them to contact after 30 days. You have given 12 weeks to respond to your RFE from the day the RFE is generated.

      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  14. H1BFirstTime

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    My H1B applied this year from employer A and I worked with employer B at that time. I recently switched my employer B to C. Is it an issue with my H1B? Please clarify.

    1. 3rd timer

      Usually it will be intimidate. Some time it may take a day or two. If the response reached the USCIS on Friday even then it may take 3 to 4 days to update.

      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  15. FirstTimeRH1b520

    Hi All,
    My H1B got approved after RFE on last week , can you please help me on next steps? How many days it takes to recieve hard copy of approval.

    One more thing Oct 2nd 2018 my passport will expire i am planning to take new passport after next month OCT 2nd 2017.
    Please suggest best option.

    1. 3rd timer

      Are you in India or US? Usually USCIS require 6 months validity on your passport before applying for a visa. So, if you are out side US and plan to travel October or November then get a visa, travel to US and apply for passport renewal in USA at Indian Embassy. If your travel is within 6 months of passport then it is better to get renewed and apply for a Visa.

      Regarding next step, (if you are in India/other country), book Visa appointment, carry all the documents (like, i-129, i-179A/B, client letter, Sow work ..what ever applicable for your case) for the interview, get a visa, book a ticket to US and go work for a client who sponsored your visa.

  16. SMAR

    Hello Great RAM,
    After submitting the DS 160 form, it shows bring passport and approved I129 at the time of interview
    I only have approved I797, what is I129?

    1. 3rd timer

      I-129 is H1 visa application copy and the approval is i-197 A or B. You can get it from your sponsors. Good luck and all the best for your visa interview.

      1. SMAR

        What documents should i carry i129 application plus i797C approval notice?
        I talked to my employer,they said i129 application has sensitive information regarding company’s earning and tax declaration.

        1. Ram


          Check these links for complete set of documents. Depending on the consulate you are going, the list might slightly vary. Good luck for your stamping!

  17. DespNeedanAnswer

    Hello, so my 1st H1b petition with the company I am currently working with- Company A got approved with COS in August end . I am in cap gap and will continue working with them post October 1st. I recently got another petition approved from company B. Not a transfer but an independent petition which they filed in april. I intend to join this company sometime in Jan next year. I haven’t received the approval notice yet. My question is that this petition from Company B was also filed with COS and was approved just this week. What happens to the COS applied for with this petition. I already got an I94 with the company A’s approved petition. I also intend to go for stamping to my home country in October on company A’s petition. Will this have any impact- worried about the COS part especially.

    1. 3rd timer

      No pbs i guess. Since your status changed to H1 on October 1st you are free to choose which company to work. Since you are prefer to work with Company A then there is no issue to go to stamping with petition A. Also when you change the company latter you have to initiate the transfer with Company B. In that case, Company B have to pay the fees.

      Congrats for your approval. Also, good luck and all the best for your visa interview later.

  18. Niky

    My H1B will pending after Oct 1 cap gap – Can I still work?” My OPT cap-gap is Expired on 30 sep.I got RFE recently?

    And can I leave without in USA legally after my SIEVES will expired after 30 sep ?

    Please answer me.

    1. 3rd timer

      My H1B will pending after Oct 1 cap gap – Can I still work?”

      NO. But you can continue to stay in US till you get the decision. Also, you are not authorized work even without pay. I believe you will get 60 days time to leave once the outcome is negative. However, if your RFE is strong then it will surely be approved.

      And can I leave without in USA legally after my SIEVES will expired after 30 sep ?
      Yes. As per rule you are in status after Oct 1st due to late in adjudicating the application from USCIS. So, np.

  19. PlsHelp

    1. My H1 amendment (same client different location) got RFE . I already changed the location before case approval.
    What will be my non-immigrant status if the h1 amendment gets denied ?

    2. Its already more than 5 months after the h1 amendment was applied and i changed the location, if USCIS takes 2 more months to give decision and if the case gets denied .
    Is the authorized stay (180 days) applicable to me here ? and will i be violating it ?

  20. Nagesh

    Hi Ram,
    Working for Comp A, applied H1 through Comp B and got picked in lottery, current status RFE on petition and attorney is working on the same.

    If i quit Comp A , would it impact my Comp B H1 ?


    1. 3rd timer

      It will not impact the approval. USCIS only look at the merit of the application of company B and also the RFE response. If the response is strong they will approve. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  21. Confusion

    Employer applied H1B for me it got RFE still pending with attorney, not sure when will it get resolved. Now I’ve got another employer who is ready to file H1B for me this year.
    Is it possible to file new H1B while your previous one is still in process (RFE)?

    1. Ram

      New H1B means the new company is ready for filing H1B for FY2019? If yes, there is loads of time to decide on that. It can be applied only by April 2019. By that time if this year’s H1B is approved, you can initiate a transfer to the new company than filing a new one. Could you please provide more information? Is the pending H1B, a cap subject one for FY2018?

  22. sen

    Hi everyone,

    I work for a big so called good company. I got an RFE. The attorney replied to the RFE.
    I asked the company to upgrade the case to premium processing.
    They have asked me to pay for it personally.

    Does this makes sense?

  23. TG

    Hi Ram,

    I got RFE with level 1 wage and couple of other points like I travelled back to India. I am not sure what else is there in RFE as Employer has not shared it with me.
    I wanted to apply for Premium but employer is saying putting in premium will not help at this stage as USCIS is currently trying to hold lot of applications.
    What is your suggestion at this point?
    Attorney has not responded to RFE yet.

    1. Ram

      I feel USCIS is not holding any application. Rather all applications are put to tighter scrutiny which is taking more time from them to arrive at a decision. If you upgrade the case to Premium processing, they might take your case as priority and provide a decision. So if you wish to have faster response, you can go for PP.

  24. PP

    Hi Ram

    I Finally got the RFE. But my client want to call me in B1. Is there any impact to my H1 ? as my attorney is not going to respond now , we have date till December so around that time may be he is going to respond .

    I don’t know what are questions I got…


    1. Ram

      I don’t think there would be any issues in that. Later when you are attending H1B interview, if asked about this B1 Visit just be prepared to explain the purpose of the visit. Good luck! Prepare your response well!

  25. Ashok

    Hi Ram,

    I really need your help on this clarification on how six years stay is calculated.
    I was on L1 visa for 3 years (My H1B application was applied when I was in usa in April 2016), then I retuned to India (June 2016) and staying here and it is almost one and half year in India and I got H1B stamped now applied in April-2016.
    Am I eligible to travel with H1B for fresh 6 years (3 + 3 years extention) or L1B stay will also be considerd?
    Please help me here.
    – Ashok

    1. Ram

      Since your H1B was applied during your stay in US(2016), you might be eligible only for 3 years on H1B. Kindly verify this information with an Attorney. As per my understanding, Had you applied in 2017, you would have got full 6 years of H1B.

      1. Ashok

        Hi Ram,
        Thanks for your reply. I applied in Apr-2016 but somehow they kept my application on hold and got DIRECT approval on Sept-2017 (No RFE applied came). It is their issue holding my application for more than a 15 years .. that is just elapsed in India. So any idea on this.

        1. Ram

          Last year few applications were delayed in that way. Have no idea why. Since its approved now, there should not be much of issues. Good luck for your stamping!

    2. 3rd timer

      I think USCIS calculate based on when you have applied not how many days you are out side in US.

      Example1: You were in H1 or L1 for 6 years and the last day was 15th September 2015. You left the US on September 20th, 2015 (within 10 day’s allowance). Then you applied 2016 for H1 with a start date of October 1, 2016 on April 1st. Lot of people applied and USCIS decided to go with lottery. Lets assume Your application was picked in the lottery but USCIS would not approve the petition because they go with application date not actual starting date. Since you have applied on April 1, 2016 which was less than one year hence your application would not be approved.

      Example 2: You were in H1 or L1 for 6 years and the last day was 15th Marc 2015. You left the US on March 20th, 2015 (within 10 day’s allowance). Then you applied 2016 for H1 with a start date of October 1, 2016. Lets assume your application was picked in the lottery and in this scenario USCIS might have approved for 6 year petition (Assuming your documentation are correct and hasn’t resulted in any RFE).

      Example 3: You were in H1 or L1 for 6 years and the last day was 15th September 2015. You left the US on September 20th, 2015 (within 10 day’s allowance). Then you applied 2016 for H1 with a start date of October 1, 2016 on September 21st 2016 (Here the assumption is the cap was not reached till September 21st like year 2011). Then USCIS will approve.

      Same examples apply for intermediate year too. Like your case. Since you are applied h1 within one year you could only able to recover the unused 6 year time and in your case that is 3 years.

      –Good luck and all the best for your Visa and travel.

      1. Ashok

        Hi 3rdTimer,

        Thanks for your reply. I applied in Apr-2016 but somehow they kept my application on hold and got DIRECT approval on Sept-2017 (No RFE applied) . It is their issue holding my application for more than a 1.5 years .. that waiting time is just elapsed in India. So any idea on this.

  26. Adil

    Picked in lottery 05/17.
    OPT expired 06/17.
    RFE requested in 07/17.
    RFE response received by USCIS in 08/17.
    Cap gap expires September 30th.

    I understand I can’t work anymore starting October 1st, but is there any time limit for me being here and waiting while application is pending? Or do I have to leave in 60 days? I’ve seen both answers.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Ram

      Until your H1B application is adjudicated, you are authorized to stay in USA. Please do confirm this with your Attorney. Good luck on your Approval!

  27. CTS_CBE


    Anybody there with amendment filed before going for stamping?

    If so, did you get Amendment Approval notice? How long it took for Approval from date of Amendment filing?

    Thanks in Advance

    1. Stamped

      Usually, it takes around 2 months time, worst case may extend to 5 to 6 months. So, better go for stamping with existing sow and apply amenment post stamping…

  28. H1B DENIED

    Hi Ram

    Any information on the below case will be highly appreciated :

    I got Rfe for my case with reason employer employee relationship is not clear and we submitted the response on time. Now my status On September 20, 2017, we denied your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

    It is in Denied state. Can anyone tell what all options are there for me to proceed further

    1. Ram

      I am really sorry to hear that. We will have to wait for the denial notice. In it the reason for denial and options/ways to challenge the decision would be stated. Based on that info, you can choose either to challenge the decision or try to get employment through different visa category or try for H1B next year. Do reach out to us, in case you need any further help. Good luck for your future!

          1. Ram

            if your employer is not willing, then there is no option left. You have to try different visa category or try for H1B again next year.

  29. AAV

    Hi Ram,
    I was in US for 5 years from Aug, 2012 to Sep 2017 and came back to India recently couple of weeks back since my L1b visa expired. I have approved I-140 and my H1b was selected in the lottery this year and got an RFE. We are working on my RFE response and USCIS has requested to submit SOW.
    Unfortunately our client give SOW for just 6 months. They renew it every six months. And currently I have it for Aug 2017 to Jan 2018.
    Attorney suggested to get the Intent to extend validity of contract letter from client.
    Can you please share the format/template of this letter if you have? It will really help. I tried to search on the internet but could not find the same.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Ram

      It would be better if you get the format from your Attorney as they are more experienced in this and would have seen many such letters for different cases. And to answer your question, I unfortunately don’t have it with me. Hope anyone else who has in this forum can help you. All the best for your Approval!

  30. HH

    Hi All,

    I am currently on STEM extension and working as a Full Time employee. I received RFE on Level 1 wage, Job Description, Organization chart and my employer prepared documents. My employer asked attorney to upgrade to PP ( while responding). Some one told me that PP cases are handled by seniors so there can be a denial or potential 2nd RFE. Is it true? Should I ask him not to upgrade to PP?

    Masters in IT
    LCA: Software Developer, Applications
    Level I – $71

    Thank You!

    1. Ram

      No I don’t think so. There is no relation between Premium processing and denial. Premium processing is just for getting faster results. Decisions are based on documentation and authenticity. According to me, whether Premium or regular, the decision would be the same for a case.

  31. Anu


    Say if the premium processing is reinstated for other categories on Oct 1st, do you think H4 to H1b COS can be done then for a newly approved H1b or was there never a premium processing for H4 to H1b COS after approval?

    I am getting mixed information from different forums. Some say when premium process is reinstated for all the application types- then it can be done.

    1. Ram

      As far as I know, for COS you file form I-539. The form I-539 can not be filed in Premium processing at any point of time. I would recommend you to clarify this info with Attorney and post the outcome here. It might be helpful for people in similar situation. Good luck on your COS!

  32. Jay - H1B Approved Finally !! - Advanced Degree

    Timeline of events for any inference:

    1) Came to know about the status of my petition in the lottery – 5/2/2017
    2) Received RFE on 6/12/2017 regarding specialty occupation
    3) Response sent for RFE on 8/24/2017
    4) Approved for 3 years on 9/16/2017

    Appreciate the guys in the forum for actively sharing the information and constantly updating their statuses !!

    1. H1B RFE

      Congrats Jay,
      Can you please tell us more about your RFE? I have specialty occupation RFE as well and my lawyer will be responding to it next month. I would like to know more.
      My RFE is ‘Prove wage level 1, management analyst position as a specialty occupation’.
      Please email me if possible at [email protected]

      1. Jay

        Answering s specialty occupation RFE involves explaining the skills needed for the job and correlating that with your experience and education. Should not be difficult

        I am worried about the Level Wage 1 RFE as it is being issued quite often and also scrutinized. It is for your attorney to justify and you have to rely on him. My wage level was level 2, therefore did not have any problem.

        1. Aadi

          Hello Jay,

          I too have received a specialty occupation RFE for Management Analyst (MBA) wage level 2. Please could you let me know what all documents did your attorney provide to prove specialty occupation ?


          1. Ram

            If the H1B (Cap subject) is denied, you can file MTR(Motion to Reopen) to challenge the denial and asking them to reopen the case. Else, you have to undergo lottery(if exists) again next year:( You cant transfer a denied petition.

      1. HH

        Hi Ram,

        What kind of second round RFE? My employer asked attorney to upgrade to PP while answering speciality of occupation. Should I ask him not to do that? I am working as a full time employee and my employer asked attorney without informing me.


        1. Ram

          RFEs were just issued. Yet to get the details. May be will know in few days. I don’t think there is any relation between Premium processing and RFE. I am sure your employer is confident of approval and that’s why have asked for PP. I don’t see any harm in upgrading to PP. Faster or slower, the response/decision for petition will remain the same.

          1. HH

            Thanks Ram. He is confident. I am working since 8 months as a full time employee and he is looking to keep me for long time. He prepared job description in details also mentioned how I get work, how he monitor my progress, how tasks are related to my education etc. I wish I will get positive response.

          2. MRS

            Hi Ram,

            Pl. update some details of the 2nd RFE after receipt. It will help us to understand the trend. We are in the same boat after PP and yet to get details.

      2. Reddy

        I got RFE on July 21st and my Employer has submitted RFE on Sept 21st and upgraded to premium on Oct 5th and i have received second RFE on Oct 16th . I am waiting for the RFE document .

  33. Sunny

    HI Ram
    My current H1b from comp A expires on sep 30 2017.They filled extension got an RFE need to respond by oct 12 level 1 wages RFE. Comp A is responding next week.IN the mean time i switched between different team at same client location.
    Now comp A employer says as per attorney suggestion he want to file a new H1b as back up amendemt and extension with level 2 wages before sep 30 even after responding to RFE.
    Now i got an offer from Comp B.
    1.Can company B apply for H!B transfer after sep 30?
    2.What will happen if my present Rfe appplication denied will the new h 1b from comp b still valid?
    Can i work with the comp b receipt notice even after the present Rfe application deniedenied

    1. Ram

      When the extension is in progress, it is recommended not to file transfer to new company. Please work with your current company to get through the extension successfully. If extension is denied, you would have to leave the country within 10 days from the date of denial.

  34. PiyushSahoo

    Hi Ram, I am currently working for CompA on L1 valid till Sep-30-2017.
    CompB filed my H1B got Approved on Aug-29-2017 with I-94 valid from Oct-01-2017 to Sep-12-2020. Also CompA filed L1 Extn Approved on Sep-15-2017 valid from Sep-12-2017 to Apr-19-2019. As suggested by you earlier I spoke to my attorney . He said my H1 will override L1 on Oct 1st . I want to continue with CompA on L1 . One of my colleague suggested me to travel out of USA and re-enter with L1 document to continue on L1 status .

    Questions :
    1- Do you think travelling out of USA is an option here ?
    2- Since my L1 VISA is valid till Sep 30, is it safe for me to travel out of USA ?
    3- Do I need fresh L1 stamping if I enter USA before Sep 30 ?
    4- Once my status become L1 , can I change it to H1 later ? or I will loose my H1 completely ?

  35. PiyushSahoo

    Hi Ram, I am currently working for CompA on L1 valid till Sep-30-2017.
    CompB filed my H1B got Approved on Aug-29-2017 with I-94 valid from Oct-01-2017 to Sep-12-2020. Also CompA filed L1 Extn Approved on Sep-15-2017 valid from Sep-12-2017 to Apr-19-2019. As suggested by you earlier I spoke to my attorney . He said my H1 will override L1 on Oct 1st . I want to continue with CompA on L1 . One of my colleague suggested me to travel out of USA and re-enter with L1 document to continue on L1 status .

    Questions :
    1- Do you think travelling out of USA is an option here ?
    2- Since my L1 VISA is valid till Sep 30, is it safe for me to travel out of USA ?
    3- Do I need fresh L1 stamping if I enter USA before Sep 30 ?
    4- Once my status become L1 , can I change it to H1 later ? or I will loose my H1 completely ?

    1. Ram

      Even if you travel and re enter USA before Oct 1 on L1, H1 would override and will be activated on Oct 1.
      I request you to talk to your attorney and check on the options to use L1.
      I am just guessing, may be you can travel out of USA by sep last week and enter US after Oct 1 on L1 (with new stamping )would allow you to continue on L1. Please check with Attorney before taking any decision.
      H1 is approved and yours, you can use it at any point of time. But one point is, since you didn’t have cool off period, you can use totally 6 years only in both L1 and H1.
      Based on the option you take, answers for the other questions varies slightly. So better to discuss with attorney and choose a method, then we would look for options around it. Good luck!

      1. PiyushSahoo

        Thank you Ram , I was just thinking in my case if there is any option of filing COS on premium from H1 to L1 post Oct 1st , so that I can continue with CompA on L1 . Appreciate your reply . If yes will I be able to reuse my H1 later ?

        1. Ram

          You need to check with your Attorney on that. But as far as I know, COS when filed separately cant be filed in Premium processing. You can use your H1 but remember that together both in L1 and H1 you can spend only 6 years in USA.

    1. Cts h1b denied

      What was the reason for rfe… I also got rfe asking for clarification on employee employer relationship.. GLOBAL MOBILITY team submitted the manager letter in response.. Later on petition got denied for me

  36. Capxmpt Applicant

    Hi Experts,
    My questions is regarding 6 years Cap-period on L1/H1 and i want to check my status related to this as i had earlier L1 from my employer for 2012 to 2015 which i hardly used it for 1.5 yrs and came back to india in 2015 since then i am in india and 2016 my employer again field H1B ,which got approved in Oct 2016 however i didn’t get any chance to travel yet again to USA so just wants to check whether i will be part of cap period of 6 years or since i spent only 1.5 yrs in USA till now so that i can utilize remaining 4.5 yrs in USA.
    Kindly suggest the needful.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Cap xmpt

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