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 ( 12,860 )

  1. sRI

    Hi Ram. All,

    Am working for CTS and got an RFE in month July. RFE response has been submitted on 29th Aug. Am from Non IT back ground (Both BE and ME) with 6 Yrs of IT Exp. Those whose RFE response got submitted in last week of Aug with IT background got their results as Approved. But i dont see any update for my case and now am tensed whether it will be approved or not. Can u help me on how the exp will be calculated and chances of my case is getting approved.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Each case is different. USCIS won’t deny the petition based on the discrepancies between education and line of work. There are many people received the approval like yours. So, don’t worry. Normal processing takes time and USCIS can take any time they want. If possible request your manager to upgrade to PP so that you get the decision within 15 days. I guess you are India and your manager may not agree with PP upgrade since because it will cost additional @1225+lawyer fee. However, if you can afford then you can ask your manager to upgrade and this is allowed as per USCIS. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    2. H1B_Lucky_star

      @Sri- The people who got the approval are more than 6 years of exp? Any one do you know who are for Non IT and ME with more than 10 year of experience got approval?

  2. Siva

    Hi Ram,
    My H1b status is still in “Case was Received”. I am in dilemma to go for PP or not.
    I have two question in mind, please answer
    1. Is there going to be any impact on normal processing time due to PP started for all?
    2.if it is yes to above , I will go for PP. After PP, USCIS will respond to my application with in 15day. Their response may be either approve or RFE.
    Will they take decision on my RFE response within 15 days or is it going to normal processing time?

    Thanks in advance

    1. 3rd Timer


      1. Is there going to be any impact on normal processing time due to PP started for all?
      Maybe or maybe not. There are no set timelines for USCIS to respond for normal processing. It is possible that normal processing may take longer.

      2. Will they take the decision on my RFE response within 15 days or is it going to normal processing time?
      Yes. The cycle continues for 15 days if you receive RFE. I believe USCIS gives sufficient time for RFE response (normally 12 weeks I guess). After your response then USCIS will give their decision within 15 days.

      –Anyway, good luck and all the best for your approval.

  3. Shashi

    Hi Ram,
    I got an RFE on july 29, and we (my consultancy) have responded them in the last week. The documents were also delivered to USCIS on Friday. But i haven’t received any mail or change of status on my case as ‘Response received’. I am bit tensed now as my deadline to submit the RFE is Oct 14. But USCIS haven’t looked into my case to change the status as ‘Response received’.

    What you want me to do now? Shall i wait or call them to get an update on my case?
    Please suggest me if they do not check my status till Oct 14, will my case gets denied?

    1. Ram

      It was a long weekend in USA. So you would be getting updates sooner today or tomorrow. Hope you have a confirmation of the mail delivery. Usually USCIS also gives a grace time of three days for receiving the RFE response.
      There has been a lag in updating status online. So you can ask your Attorney to call and verify it if there is no update within next two days.

    1. Ram

      Does it carry your case number and the rest of the details(petitioner, beneficiary name) are right? If only address is wrong, you can inform your Attorney. They would correct it by contacting USCIS customer care. If the rest of the details are right, then it is for your case.

    2. Ram

      One more point, address on RFE document would mostly be addressed to Attorney(if your company is represented by one). So may be it has Attorney’s address. Just a thought.

    3. tele44

      Guys Iam on OPT cap gap and my h1b was picked in the lottery. On July i got RFE and the my employer responded on sept 28 under premium. Today i got another RFE. Do u think that my chances of approval are now rare with second rfe?

      1. 3rd Timer

        @tele44, Some people reported that they have received approval after responding to 2nd RFE. But each case is different. what was about first RFE?

          1. 3rd Timer

            @tele44, Some people reporting that USCIS is issuing the same RFE after upgraded to PP. And some people received the second RFE for Wage level 1. Did you know that your wage level?. If the RFE is same as the first one then send the same response. If it is related to second then I believe that the lawyers have already figured out how to respond successfully. Update us what is the second RFE is about. Anyway, good luck and all the best for your successful RFE response and approval.

  4. Jack

    Hi Ram, All,
    My H1B is approved which my Employer-A filed in 2016, After it gets approved, the original H1B position is no longer available & my Employer-A didn’t share approved petition copy with me. I have form I-797C which is notice of action (which has my receipt number).

    Now Employer-B is ready to offer me job and transfer my H1B, Is it possible to transfer my H1B to Employer-B based on receipt number ?

    Looking for your urgent response. Please help
    Thank you.

    1. epat

      Yes it is possible provided your petition from Employer A is approved. You can check that on USCIS website
      (https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do) by entering the receipt number given on I797C notice of action.

  5. Norinder

    Hi, my consultancy shared the RFE as they wanted some info from me and also spouse details (h4 to h1b). USCIS had clearly asked for education evaluation from a recognised body and the employer says they only give info, provide details and write up from their side. Very disappointed 🙁 anyone’s heard of this. They have sent the response. Is it possible to share the evaluation separately? The due date was 26october

    1. Ram

      It is very easy to obtain education evaluation from recognized agencies. This is a paid service and can be obtained within a day to a week’s time. Its better to obtain it and send it as response. This process is done by most of the companies when filing H1B.
      I don’t understand this”give info, provide details and write up from their side. “So better to clarify this with them and check whether they mean to submit the educational evaluation only.

  6. Nag

    Hi Ram,

    I have applied for H1B through a different employer and i got selected in the lottery. So, after that i got an RFE and we have responded.

    how long it will take to clear the RFE, what is the possibilities of rejection?

    what i got to know from my friends this year most of them got RFE’s and main reasons for USCIS is looking for the Client approval letters for clearing the RFE’s, is this correct?

    Please advice.

    1. Ram

      Nag, USCIS would process your response within 60 days from the date you have sent your response. But since most of the applications are in RFE state, the process might take longer than 60 days. If you are sure of approval and want faster decision, you can opt for PP.
      If you have answered well to all of the queries in RFE, then possibility of rejection is remote.

      what i got to know from my friends this year most of them got RFE’s and main reasons for USCIS is looking for the Client approval letters for clearing the RFE’s, is this correct?

      yes they do look for client letter, SOW if the LCA states that beneficiary would work for a different client.

  7. RRK

    Got an Refusal worksheet email from Consulate stating that

    “Action in your case has been suspended under Section 221 (g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act
    (INA) pending further administrative processing. The petition is being returned to USCIS for review. Upon completion
    of the review, USCIS will contact your petitioner.”

    In 221(g) blue slip, VO selected only “Your application requires additional adminstrative processing before a final decision can be made”.

    Let me know the next steps of the above.

    1. Ram

      RRK, They have reopened the case. They have sent your application back to the service center which processed your case initially. I would recommend you to contact your immigration Attorney and check on further steps. But as per my knowledge, as we do for the H1B petition filed, we need to wait for the update from USCIS and should track the case in USCIS site. Good luck!

  8. 2 2 1 G Mess Ups


    As more & more candidates will plan on appearing for this year stamping soon, I wanted to share few of my experience, As working in an MNC as immigrations team lead I have gather much more experience then I can explain.

    Max to Max 221g are issues by Chennai Consulate, counter 24, 27 (2nd last from left) A gentleman in late 30’s, lean tall, stressed faced, blond hair with partition in middle, located between a chubby officer bald with beard on left & a lean mid 40s lady officer on right.

    Out 22 cases that ended at his counter, 19 of them has got 221g with all of them having complete set of documents, 12 out of 19 are waiting for some update form > 90 days now.

    If by any means its possible to avoid Chennai consulate then avoid it, if not then avoid this gentleman at any cost.

    Overall the situations has been messy.

    Few bright shinny luck ones still make there way & get it but be careful and do your homework.

    I wish everyone a bright luck & bright future.


  9. Om

    Firm which applied for my H1B says that they have sent application for PP on 5th Oct but I don’t see any update on USCIS site for my case till today.
    Does it take so much time?

    1. Raj

      Hi Ram,

      My case still shows Case Was Received . Non PP, Regular, Vermont Service Center.
      When can I expect an update. Feeling really tensed.Anyone in the same boat?

      1. Ram

        @Raj, Yes ! Loads of people are waiting for an update like you. This year there has been terrible delay in processing of cap subject applications. We can attribute the delays to more strict scrutiny of applications or to less man power. We cant be sure of when you will get an update for regular processing. So if you want faster response, please opt for premium processing.
        Good luck!

    2. Ram

      Do you have the tracking number of the mail? Has the mail delivered to the service center?
      Additionally today(10/09/2017) being Columbus day, most of the states are on long weekend except Florida, California. So you may get delay in updates.
      As you know, USCIS site has loads of discrepancy this year. So please keep checking whether the check for PP has been en cashed. If so, then you can be confident that PP has been accepted and you can expect some update within 15 days. Good luck!

  10. Pankaj

    My RFE asks for Expert Opinion letters and academic evaluation. Any advice if one should stick to the agencies mentioned in the RFE (Morningside and FIS) or one should choose any other agency? What are the typical costs for such evaluation?

    1. Ram

      The academic evaluation submitted initially with H1B petition is generally taken from any of the reputed agencies. If its mentioned in RFE to get from any particular one, better to go with it. Depending on the type of service chosen the cost varies. First choose an agency to provide the service, then you can check their site and choose the best suitable service. Good luck!

  11. Hopeful

    Need Info : I have my petition approved during stamping will the VO ask any question from resume.. Sorry if I am silly . Also I heard chennai consulate produces lots of rejection is that true ?

    1. Ram

      @Hopeful The questions will be completely from the petition submitted(I-129) and all the documents submitted for the H1B visa. Please be sure on what was filed for and get to know what is there in those documents. Good luck for your stamping.
      Don’t worry about previous success rate. Every case is different! If you have all the genuine experience and documents, there is nothing to stop you:)

    2. 3rd Timer

      VO can ask any general questions. However, everyone knows that not all but most of us will exaggerate our resume. So, the VO won’t ask very detail questions. As Ram pointed out prepare well about your company, salary, and sow etc. And yes each case is different. Also, like RFE, almost all the 221(g) cases will get approved if the documents are correct. So, don’t worry just prepare well. Good luck and all the best.

  12. Jayesh : I need your inputs / suggestions

    My employer asked today to fill education and experience evaluation form created by some agency.
    I have a BE computer degree from India.

    Q 1 ) how come they doing this evaluation asked by USCIS if I have degree in BE computer ?

    Q 2 ) in resume I have by mistaken mentioned 2 technical certificates I have passed few years back which is now expired and shouldnt b valid now. Will this create the problem for me as resume is submitted at the time of filing itself ?
    Please give your thoughts / inputs .
    Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      1) Other than US degree USCIS wants equivalent evaluation certification. Since your company is not given in that document earlier they are asking now.

      2) It will be a problem I guess.

      –Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  13. Raj


    I am on a fresh L1A since jan 2017.
    I have applied for H1B through a different employer and i got selected in the lottery.
    So, after that i got an RFE and we have responded.
    Again, i moved it to premium procesing.
    Now i got a 2nd RFE.
    Anyways, we will be responding
    But my question is, if suppose my H1B is rejected, will it affect my L1A status. Should i have to go back to my country.
    Please help me understand this situation.


    1. 3rd Timer

      Is it applied as COS or CP? If it is applied as COS then if it approved you have to stop working for the company A and immediately have to move to Company B. If the approval comes with CP then you can continue with Company A and whenever you want to switch you have to go out of the country get stamped and come back in H1. If it is rejected then you can continue to work with Company A in L1 visa.

  14. Please help

    I have got a Specialty occupation RFE.
    Below is the list of documents they have asked for:

    – copies of validation reports submitted to DSO
    – copies of pay stubs, salary, etc while on OPT & STEM OPT.

    Is this kind of request common in specialty occupation RFE?

    My DSO retired and he didn’t save validation reports.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Please help.

      I guess the officer is trying to ascertain that the job you did during STEM OPT is really a specialty occupation and also you follow the new STEM OPT procedure when obtaining the EAD.

      To request new STEM OPT EAD (not the first year but the additional 2 years or some people got 7 months) the student requires to submit i-983 (training plan) when joining a company. Also when he/she leaving the job he/she has to obtain the evaluation form signed by the supervisor. This evaluation form is nothing but the last page of the i-983 form. So, if you have used STEM OPT after May 2016, then you must have submitted this form. And it is nothing to with DSO. Means it should be stored in your school database against your name in the computer.

      If they not able to find it then check your email, because you might have sent them by email. Give that copy to your attorney/employer to address the RFE. If you are not able to find all the paychecks then send them the offer letter and exit letter of the company you worked during STEM OPT, W-2 and even tax forms (state or federal etc). That will establish that you worked in that company for the duration you are claiming. Keep in mind that if you worked for more than one company in STEM OPT period then you may have submitted more than one i-983 form. So, include all. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

      1. Saurabh shah

        @ 3rd timer

        Thank you for your generous response.

        I am not sure if I submitted any I-983 form since my stem opt was approved before May 2016.

          1. Please Help

            My case:

            I was suppose to graduate in Dec 2014.
            My graduation was delayed to May 2015. However, my OPT did not get cancelled. In May 2015, i volunteered for a consultancy firm. I had to go to India for like 4 months (from Aug 2015 – Dec 2015). I was still trained by the same company.

            First OPT started from Dec 2014 to Jan 2015.

            I returned to the US in Dec 2015 and applied for STEM ext. I got it approved. In May 2016, i changed the company. However, this company was not e verified and i still worked for it. For obvious reasons, i did not inform my DSO about change of employer.

            STEM OPT – Jan 2016 – June 2017.

            Now i got an RFE which i anticipated. Is there any chance of approval if we try our best to respond? I am aware my case is complicated.

          2. 3rd Timer

            @Please Help,

            I am sorry..I don’t know the answer to your questions. As per rule, you are not required to submit i-983 because you are not utilized (or) forgone the 7 months extension eligible for you on May 2016.

            However, you have worked for a company which is not e-verified. As per USCIS that is illegal. I am not sure that is fraud or not. There is very very remote chance that yours get approved with Consular processing. I am not sure. Even CP is approved you may have a problem at the visa stamping. I hope something positive will happen for you. Sorry for my negative reply. Good luck and all the best.

  15. Saurabh Shah

    Does anyone have any knowledge of any rejections after answering RFEs?

    Please share your experiences and mention your details if possible.

    This thread is helping many people.

    1. Ram

      Some of the denials that I got to know from Admin decisions are:

      1. There was no enough evidence to prove the specialty occupation of the beneficiary
      2. The project is an in house project which actually never existed.
      3. There was no enough evidence to prove the right to control (Employer-Employee relation)
      For more you can check it in https://www.uscis.gov/laws/admin-decisions?topic_id=1&newdir=D2+-+Temporary+Worker+in+a+Specialty+Occupation+or+Fashion+Model+%28H-1B%29%2FDecisions_Issued_in_2017/

  16. Raghav

    Hi Ram,

    My employer is a US based company. My H1B got approved and COS activated on Oct 1. I traveled to india for stamping on Oct 3 and yesterday the interviewer at the new delhi consulate asked to submit more documentation. Me, my office, and my lawyers are working on getting the documentation ready. My question:
    1) How long does it take for them to process things and take the next action (more doc requests or ask to bring passport for stamping) after I email the documents they have asked me to email?
    2) While this processing take place, am I allowed to work for the same company remotely from india? If it takes more than a month I would need the income to pay US bills.

    1. Ram

      1. When you say you were asked for additional documents, do you mean you were issued 221g? There is no deadline for processing it. It can take as little as a week or several months.
      2. You will have to clarify this point with your Attorney/HR.

      Good luck on clearing your 221g soon!

  17. AD

    Hi guys,
    Are we seeing more 221g’s being handed out these days? Is it safe to go for the interview? What are the stats from New Delhi consulate?

  18. VA

    Are there still petitions which are picked but not processed? Does it mean its denied? What is the time frame for all petitions to be processed?

    1. 3rd Timer

      Are there still petitions which are picked but not processed?
      Yes. Still, many petitions are not processed yet. It is predicted that some regular processing cases, even without RFE, will get approved later this year or even early next year.

      Does it mean its denied?
      No. Very rarely USCIS send straight denial. Almost all of the cases they send RFE or NOID (notice of intended denial) before they send the denial.

      What is the time frame for all petitions to be processed?
      Technically USCIS can take all the time they want. However, you can upgrade your case to premium processing. In that case, USCIS will respond within 15 days about your case. PP involve additional $1225+Lawyer fee. It may straight approval or RFE and very very rare instances NOID. Also, make sure your sponsored employer not revoked your petition.

      –Good luck and all the best for your approval.

        1. Ram

          Do you mean notice of intent to denial? NOID(Notice of intent to denial) is a kind of severe RFE. Usually 30 days is given to respond to it. If the response is satisfactory, the approval is given. If not it is denied. After responding to NOID, USCIS would provide a decision within 60 days but this may take longer too. When issued NOID, it need not result in denial all the time. There is still a chance to turn to approval.

    1. saurabh

      My RFE required to send them six months validation reports I sent to my DSO.
      However, I think I didn’t send one.

      Anything I can do?

    2. Saurabh_29

      Don’t be tensed, it will go through..RFE is very common this year. They just wanted to be double sure on all aspects…hope for the best.

  19. sandeep

    Hello Everyone,
    I got my H1b petition approved (as seen in the USCIS website haven’t received the approval notice yet though) on Oct 5th 2017.
    I work for Cognizant and I am on CPT F1 VISA.
    I followed this website and comments for some time and wanted to share my experience on my H1b petition filed for FY2018
    H1b file date: April 3rd 2017, regular, master’s quota
    H1b petition selected and noticed received on: May 5th 2017
    RFE: June 17th 2017
    RFE responded on Aug 11th 2017
    Approval (USCIS website): Oct 5th 2017
    I have no idea what my RFE is on, as Cognizant policy is to not share those details with the employee and for sure it was not
    related to my college and CPT as they haven’t reached back to me on the those details. All I shared from my end was my manager letter and SOW.
    I have also moved from one project to another project within cognizant while my H1b petition was under review. So for that reason, I have already submitted the paperwork from my end on the H1b amendment and it will be shipped to uscis in a day or 2.

    Thanks a lot for the comments and suggestions by RAM, 3rd Timer and others as those kept me going.
    Good Luck to all and hope for the best.

  20. vino

    our attorney is providing the expert opinion letter to prove programmer level is specialty occupation . Please can you explain whether this RFE coming under WAGE level 1? and what kind off justification need to approve this case.Is their any one got same rfe and got approved.

    1. Ram

      It may or may not be related to wage level 1 RFE. If you have the details of the full RFE notice, only then we would be able to tell it for sure.
      Wage level 1 RFE has been cleared and couple of petitions has got approval.
      For more info on WL1 RFE:

  21. Roger

    Hi Ram,

    My original petition is valid until Sep-2018. Now I am planning to submit amendment for new location. My new sow for new project is valid till Dec-2019. Is there any chance that my new petition will have enhanced validity till 2019.

    1. Ram

      The chances are remote. I have seen reduction of time period based on amendment and have never seen increase in validity. If you do see increase in validity, do update us here. Thank you!

  22. Mahesh

    Is education evaluation is mandatory for foreign degree candidates for H1b?

    I am holding engg in IT from well known university of india and i got RFE regarding my education evaluation.

    My question: is it mandatory to have education evaluation for all the candidates like me??

      1. Mahesh


        So you mean to say: all the candidates should do their education evaluation before applying for H1b.

        And those who have not done education evaluation they will get RFE.


          1. 3rd Timer

            @Mahesh, The good thing is USCIS is not rejecting the petition based on not submitting the educational evaluation instead they simply issuing RFE to address.

            Getting education evaluation is easy and RFE related to this easily cleared. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  23. Roy

    My case was approved on 27 Sep 17 and I also got the approval letter in mail. The status on website also showed ” Case Approved” till 02 Oct 17. However now the USCIS website shows my status as RFE that RFE has been mailed to me on 03 Oct17. What does that mean getting this update once I have already got the approval letter in hand. Is it just an error ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Roy, It might be a glitch. This year USCIS website update is not that great. However, Please do update us if you really get the RFE.

    2. Ram

      Roy, I feel this could be an error. Can you please ask your Attorney to check with USCIS? if you are ok, can you please update us on what happened? It could be of help to others too. Thanks.

  24. Rfe late response

    Hi All,
    Got Rfe for wage lvl 1 it’s been 2 months my employer s not responding for Rfe since he doesn’t know how to respond, I have 6 yrs of experience plus MS. My question s is it OK if v take so long to respond? Pls advise

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Rfe late response,

      Usually, in the RFE letter from USCIS there is a time frame to respond, like 12 weeks. You should have to respond within the last date mentioned in RFE letter else they consider you are not interested or agreeing with the officer’s view and they will deny it. If your employer doesn’t know how to respond then, my suggestion is to take a help from experienced immigration lawyers such as http://immigrationgirl.com/about/, murthy.com, and others. Good luck and all the best.

  25. SHAN

    Hi All,
    First i would like to thank you all for your presence in this forum. This helped me a lot on my journey of first H1B process.

    Finally, I completed my VISA interview today in US Consulate Chennai and i would like to share my experience to all of you.

    Myself and My wife appeared for VISA interview today. Our appointment time is on 9.30 AM, But we reached the embassy at 8.50 AM and they allowed us inside. After few Security checks for mobile phones and electronic devices we have been allowed to enter into to building.
    First They have verified my I797 and they have given a white pamphlet which has the rights details in US.
    Then We waited in a counter where our passport has been verified and taken our finger prints also.
    Then we moved into the main queue where many people are waiting to meet the VO.
    We waited in the queue for around one hour and finally our turn came to meet the VO.

    VO:Good morning. can i take your passports?
    Me:Good morning Mam. Given both of our passports
    VO:Is this your First H1B?
    Me: Yes Mam.
    VO:Who is your petitioner?
    ME: XXX Company
    VO:Who is ur client?
    Me: XXX
    VO:Salary in US?
    Me: XXX per annum
    VO:Place of stay in US?
    Me:City and state
    VO:Highest education?
    Me: XXX
    VO: To my Wife – What you like abt your husband?
    My Wife: Answered
    VO: Same question to me
    Me: Answered
    VO: Finally the golden words “VISA Approved”

    The VO is very Sweet and the overall process in very Smooth. While standing in the queue We can able to here lot of questions asked for others try not to listen to those. Be cool and confident and take the interview.

    Thanks all once again

    1. Nawaz

      Your wife applied H1b or H4 Visa… If H4 , Cant we need 3-4 months payslips of H1b holder. Please let me know as I also need to apply (H4) for my wife.

  26. Viji

    SO RFE (1 RFE only) (Wage Level 1 in LCA):

    In the response letter, there is a sentence like this “without a degree, the candidate may not perform the duties with minimal supervision”. Do you think the term “with minimal supervision” is appropriate in this situation?
    Thank you for your advice!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Viji, Your question is not clear. Are you have a degree but the RFE issued for not having a degree or, you don’t have degree and RFE is for that. For the first one it is easy to respond and for the second one, if you have sufficient years of experience then it can be addressed successfully. Good luck and all the best for your RFE response and approval.

    2. Ram

      I am not sure of the full content. It would be better if you could check with your Attorney as they could explain the terms better. I hope it is to indicate your ability to work independently. It doesn’t necessarily mean there wont be supervision. But rather than us speculating, it would be better if you could verify it with your Attorney.

  27. NN

    Anyone shares the same pain of getting a 2nd RFE? My case just got updated yesterday.

    My 1st RFE was about my CPT and maintenance of status. I’m gonna assume I got 2nd RFE regarding wage level I because I know someone from the firm also received that RFE.

  28. Remya

    Hi Ram,
    My husband got rfe for wage level 1 on sep 15th.
    He have only B.sc electronics as his educational qualifications…maybe thats why wage level 1.he have total of 10 yrs experience out of which the past 5 yrs he is working in an MNC as senior network engg L3 level. Is it difficult to get an approval ?can you suggest me with some options so that I can share it with my attorney. ..
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Ram

      We need to have the full details about the RFE. Please request attorney to share the RFE notice, read through it and find out what exactly they are looking for. Are they asking for why they are providing only wage level 1 for highly skilled person or is it something else? From there on, we can discuss on this.
      Wage level 1 RFE has been cracked by petitioners and they are getting approvals.

      1. Remya

        Ram…Thank you for your reply. ..can I get your emailid so that I could share the details with you. Sorry..since I am not an expert in all the process since I am new to the whole H1B and RFE world.I have asked our HR to share me with notice.

      2. Remya

        I talked to my HR,she said the company will not give RFE details and they will let us know once they responded. Is it common ?

  29. H1b-RFE-Master's

    Hi Ram,

    My employer filed my H1-B RFE response in premium yesterday. After how many days status will be updated on USICS website.

    Thanks in advance.

  30. H1b-RFE-Master's

    Hi Ram,

    My employer filed my H1-B RFE response in premium yesterday. I want to know how after how many days status will be updated on USICS website.

    Thanks in advance.

  31. Please please help

    Both my h1b petitions got approved with change of status. I am working with employer A currently and its petition is approved with cos. I have asked employer B to withdraw the application. I am going to my home country for stamping next week with employer A petition and i94 . Will it be a problem? I am worried because even though I have requested withdrawl of the employer b petition it also had an i94 attached to it. So basically will the 2 i94 show up in the system and be a problem for me during stamping or port of entry. Or does it only matter as to which I94 card I give them. Please advice

    1. MRS

      If yours is COS.
      The approval letter aslo specifies as
      “The ( Right portion )1-94 portion should be given to the U.S. Customs and· Border Protection when he or she leaves the United States. The left part is for his or her records.”

      So, Select and handover when you leave also if COS is already effective.

  32. RaFa

    Hi Ram,

    Is it possible to file for Extension while amendment for location change is in progress. How many months before the expiry date one can file for extension ?

  33. Rajesh

    Hi Ram & Team,

    After raising amendment , once received receipt number will able to travel.
    Do we need to appear for interview for amendment also or simply paper work?

    Do we get RFE in amendment process also?


    1. 3rd Timer

      1. There are number of people reported that they have traveled with amendment receipt only. However, as you know Port of Entry VO will treat every case different. The better option is to travel with an approved copy if possible.
      If you are already having an approved visa then you no need to appear again.

      2. Yes. It is possible.

  34. TG

    Hi Ram,

    My current H1b application is in RFE, I came back to India in July as my L1b got expired. One of the reason of RFE was abandon of COS along with other Wage lev1 reason.
    My wife has H1b and currently working in USA. My question is if I enter US with H4 visa, will my H1B application/RFE be impacted? Is it suggested to travel to USA with different visa category when you have H1b application pending?


    1. Ram

      Generally its not a problem to travel to US on different visa category when H1 is in progress but since your RFE was particularly about maintenance of Visa status /current status, I would urge you to take the opinion of your Attorney and then plan accordingly.

  35. Cts_chn_h1

    Sorry to post here. This question for cts folks. There seems an official announcement that cts has stopped sending folks to US even if they have valid Visa. Can some one throw light on how far this is true?

  36. Cts_chn_h1

    Sorry to post here. This question for cts folks. There seems an official announcement that cts has stopped sending folks to US even if they have valid Visa. Can some one throw light on how far this is true?

    1. cts employee

      Dear Colleague , from April 17 mid to September 17 mid some internal restrictions were there , now many guys are going , do not worry i am also cts employee and my H1b petition in process

    2. Senthil Raj

      Cognizant is not entertainingly H1B hiring due to uncertainty on immigration reforms .With the current political climate Cognizant has even stepped up their game on H1B Visa. They are NOT RENEWING their current employees’ H1B Visa, hoping that the employee will eventually leave or send him back to the home location where he / she came from.:

      NO Green card processing
      NO H1B Transfers / Renewals
      If you cannot find a project within 2 weeks time, you are forced to resign from the company (This happened to me personally)
      Be ready to pack your bags anytime; Because the company will say that no H1 Renewals when you do not have enough time for another H1 transfer with some other company.

      1. 3rd Timer

        But the irony is they filed H1 for many people and many of them got selected. Now, they are not sending to US. Because of these many genuine candidates who have a job but missed out in visa. I hate these kinds of people/company even though what they are doing/did all these years are/were legal.

        1. Ovvviya_Army

          Hi All,

          Personally I have seen many transfers/approvals and people travelling on new h1.. this year..it all depends on how good you are…and what account you are into

  37. H1B Stamped FY18

    Hi Ram,

    I have got approval for my FY18 H1B petition till Aug2018. stamping is completed for both me and my wife with last date Aug2018 (petition last date). I am planning to travel US on Oct mid or Nov starting. Currently, my spouse is not able to travel along with me. She may be able to travel by Jun18 starting and I also need to come to India in March18 for 2-3 weeks. My employer may file the extension by Jan-Feb18

    Below are my queries-

    1. Will it be Ok to travel to India for me in March18. If my employer have already filed the extension in JanFeb18 assuming the result is pending?
    2. My wife will be allowed to travel US in Jun18 with the stamped VISA ending on Aug18? Considering my petition is submitted for extension at that time?

    Please suggest so that I can plan accordingly.

    Thanks in Advacne

    1. Ram

      Premium processing for all types of H1B has been open now and will remain open for a while. They might close it again by April 2018. So before that you can apply extension in PP and get your approval(both for u and ur dependents) in 15 calendar days. If your old stamping is valid, you can travel with it.

      1. H1B Stamped FY18

        Thanks Ram

        So I can apply for extentsion together with my wife – I being there in US and she being in INDIA, without travelling even once to US?

  38. Shin

    Hi Ram!
    I worked as a J1 holder for 18 months until Feb of this year for the same company that applied for my H1b FY2018.
    I got petition approved, so for the interview at the american consulate do I need to bring with me paychecks from the company and W2 document?
    Thanks for your help!

  39. believe gravity


    I received RFE on wage level 1. Can some one provide an insight on how this can be properly addressed in the rfe response? and also what are the chances of approval for this kind of rfe?

    I have 11 years experience in IT.


    1. Ram

      Here are some insightful articles for wage level 1 RFE

      The response for this RFE varies from case to case. Please contact your Attorney and they would help you to compile the best response for this.

      This RFE has been cleared successfully and have got approvals too.
      Here is a success story:
      Good luck! Prepare your response well!

  40. Aaditya

    I’ve received an specialty occupation RFE and USCIS has requested for a lot of documents to prove that its a specialty occupation. Below are two among the many

    a) Letters from an industry-related professional association indicating that they have made a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty a requirement for entry into the field.

    b) Copies of letters or affidavits from firms or individuals in the industry that attest that similar organizations routinely employ and recruit only degrees individuals In a specific specialty. Any letter or affidavit should be supported by the following: The writer’s qualifications as an expert; how the conclusion was reached; the bases for the conclusion supported by copies of citations of any material used.

    Please could anyone advice what is the difference between these two documents ? My attorney has told me that they will be getting expert opinion letter from a professor. Under which of the above category would that be ? and where can I get the other document from ?

  41. P.

    Just got approval notice from the attorney after RFE! Status hasn’t changed on the website yet. And didn’t pay PP.

    Non-IT, WAC, Non-AD, Wage Level 1

    Good luck to all!

      1. P.

        I responded to RFE on September 1st, it was received on the 6th. It took almost a month for approval notice (today October 3rd), status on the website hasn’t changed yet.

        Hope it helps!

  42. Sneha

    Hi Ram,

    Intro – My OPT is valid till January 2018. I had to change clients after my H1b got picked. My employer applied for amendment on June 14th. I received RFE for Wage level 1 on September 14th. I am planning to go for Premium process as it been revived today. Will this PP applies to both the applications? Or would I have to pay for PP fee separately for actual application and amendment?

    Thank you,

    1. Ram

      Hey Sneha, The PP is applicable only for the petition for which you are applying. Say, you are applying for PP with RFE Response, then its applicable only for the initial H1B petition. Good luck on your approval!

      1. Sneha

        Thanks for the reply.

        Are there any approvals after Level 1 wage RFE?

        I guess I wont need to do PP for the amendment right? if I have h1b approval? I should be able to work!?

    2. Ram

      If you need to get faster response for both then you may need to apply PP for both.
      But as per my knowledge, for amendment petitions the PP cant be applied. Please check this point with your Attorney.

  43. Raj

    Hi Ram,
    I got an RFE today, please let me know whether the below questions are generic.
    1. Letters from an industry-related professional association indicating that they have made a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty a requirement for entry into the field.

    2. Copies of letters or affidavits from firms or individuals in the industry that attest that similar organizations routinely employ and recruit only degrees individuals In a specific specialty. Any letter or affidavit should be supported by the following: The writer’s qualifications as an expert; how the conclusion was reached; the bases for the conclusion supported by copies of citations of any material used.
    Please advice on the above.

    1. Ram

      In addition to above points, do you have any idea about your wage level in LCA? Is it wage level 1? If yes, then they are trying to prove that yours is a specialty occupation and not a entry level job though you are on wage level 1. This is one of the RFE we see commonly this year.
      If yours is not wage level 1 then again they are trying to prove its a specialty occupation.
      What ever it is, prepare your response well. Get your complete RFE notice and get to know what’s really required and then compile your response. Good luck!

  44. Thomas

    This is indeed a widely discussed problem this year – but I also wanted to help my fellow H1B applicants: My status shows as “case received”, even now, but earlier today I’ve been notified by my lawyer that my case has been approved (got the approval notice by mail). So yes, they don’t update their online system all the time. VSC, non-pp.

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