H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track your H1B Case

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

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

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

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

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

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

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

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

Related Articles


Comments ( 10,384 )

  1. Advait

    Hi Ram,
    I had my visa interview yesterday. The consular said that your visa is approved and that it will take 2 or 3 days more than usual to get the visa. I am an f1 to h1 transfer and she said that there is a sevis issue that needs to resolved. Do you know what is the complication in f1 to h1 transfer and how much time it takes to get resolved?

    1. sandeep

      My Friend as similar issue with the i-20 generation and the college updated him stating SEVIS server has some problems and once this is resolved they will provide new I-20. So i guess you hold tight for a day or 2 to SEVIS team to fix their servers . Congrats on your stamping.

    2. Same experience

      Don’t worry. Exact same thing happened to me. Was worried sick since the online status was showing admin processing. Got my passport with visa issued on the 4th business day after the interview. It is the new normal for F1-H1. They just need to verify something related to sevis which cannot be done on the day of the interview itself.

      1. Advait

        Thanks for sharing your experience. Appreciate it 🙂 I think I just need to wait and watch from here. Hope I get it before I have to fly back.

        Wonder how prevalent this trend is!!!

  2. NewUser

    Hi Ram,

    My document is in RFE status.

    I got to know RFE on May 16th,2017.

    I submitted documents on august 7th ,2017 and update status with Response received in US immigration site.

    but still,didn’t get any update from my immigration team and sa well as in US immigration site.

    Could you please advise on this

    1. 3rd Timer

      @NewUser,

      USCIS will take 60 days to respond to RFE response. So in your case, 60 days were already passed. My understanding is you need to wait 30 more days (till Nov 07) to contact USCIS to know the case status. Also, check with your employer too. This year USCSIS website is not up to date and many cases are already approved way back but it still shows case received. Alternatively, you may try Premium Processing for an extra fee. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  3. H1B_WaitingApprovalNotice

    Hi,

    Anyone from CTS who received approval notice – How much time did it take for receiving the approval notice after the status changed to Approved in USCIS website? My status changed to approved on Sept 27…Haven’t received the notice yet…

    Thanks

    1. sandeep

      I am from CTS too, for me it took 6 days to get the update from CTS stating my H1b was approved, i already requested for the hard copy of I-797 and it will be reaching me today as per the FEDEX tracking number.

  4. Om

    I am working in US since 4 years for a big known MNC on L2 visa. My company has been applying for my H1B visa since 4 years and it didn’t get picked in lottery. This time I got it applied through a consultant also.

    Again this time application through company didn’t get picked but application through consultant got picked.

    I got RFE for this application and it got denied today.

    Hats off to the lottery system!

    Anyways I would like to thanks Ram and 3rd Timer for their prompt replies and diligent efforts to help and motivate people.

      1. Om

        RFE was for Specialty Occupation and Specialty Occupation-Availability of Work
        We havn’t received Denial Notice yet. it just got updated on site.

        1. H1B_Lucky_Star

          Sorry to hear about it…All of us who are on RFE boat are waiting with finger crossed..Anyway, How many days it took before they issue Denial since the time you submitted your RFE response…I just wanted to understand if USCIS Is taking more longer to respond to the RFE,it will resulted into Denial…is it the right statement to presume….

    1. Ram

      I am sorry to hear that. Never get dejected! Please do try to get the reason and think about filing MTR. All the best for your future endeavor!

    2. TheGreatUnluckyBoy

      Even I got denied today and was shocked to see it’s status.

      Upgraded to PP on October 13th , responded to RFE on September 26.

      RFE was on my educational qualification and speciality occupation as I did BE in EEE.

      I have genuine experience of 7 years in Virtualization domain.

      Yet to receive mail why it got denied !!!

      What are the options available now ???

  5. Mk

    Hey RAM/3rd Timer,
    My H1b filed for location A (clientA) on Apr 2017, picked on lottery, and received RFE(Right to Control & speciality occupation). USCIS received(California service centers)documents on 15-Sep-2017 and keeping my fingers crossed.
    Have valid B1 visa, got an opportunity to travel location B (Client B) for Training&System. Since from Jun 2017 started working for both clients 50:50.
    Here are my questions.
    1: Are there chances of complications during H1B stamping even though I carry client letter from Client A bcuz of my B1 trip for Client B.
    2. l’m seeing visibility from Client B even after H1B approval. I will go for stamping with Client A invite letter as per LCA. Can I travel to client A(location A) and then apply LCA from onshore and start immediately working for Client B .
    3. Do I need to H1B amendment along with LCA if I apply from Onshore.

    Please let me know if any alternatives or unseen risks

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Ram

      I assume you are not in USA currently.
      1. With B1 Visa you can travel to USA for any business purpose(any client). When asked in DS 160 for H1B, be clear of what you mention in it regarding your trip. If you have a valid reason for travelling on B1, I don’t foresee any issues with your H1B stamping.
      2. Will you be able to produce everything(including client letter, SOW) related to client A? Recently we heard that some were asked to produce letter stating that applicant would be working only for the client mentioned in LCA. If you are confident that you can handle any kind of situation during and after stamping, I think you can go for stamping with client A.Else better to raise amendment for client B, get it approved and then go for stamping.
      3. Amendment is required whenever there is a change in location of work outside the MSA mentioned in the current LCA,you have to file amendment before working for different client. You can work with receipt number of amendment petition. (https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-draft-guidance-when-file-amended-h-1b-petition-after-simeio-solutions-decision)

      1. Mk

        Thanks Ram,

        Yes. i’m in INDIA waiting for my first overseas opportunity !
        Yes. I will be able to produce everything(including client letter, MSA, SOW) from client A as i’m staffed 50% .
        If i file amendment for Client B from offshore before i travel to US. How long does it take ? can i opt for Premium Processing? Will there be any chances of RFE for amendment ?

  6. sandeep

    Hey RAM/3rd Timer,
    My H1b filed for location A on Apr 2017
    My project ended at location A on 6th june 2017
    Got new project in LOcation B 12th June 2017
    My H1b was approved on oct 10th 2017
    Amendment Filed on Oct 10th 2017 for location B
    Now can i travel to my home country for stamping while my amendment is still pending.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sandeep, What visa you currently have? My suggestion is same as Ram. Better to go with approved amended petition because VO may ask you end client letter (not always but there is a very high possibility). If you can’t provide then you may end up in getting admin processing (AP). Other suggestion is speeding up the amendment with PP, get approval and go for stamping. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and safe travel.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Michelle

          That is something you (your attorney) have to opt when you file. Other option is consular processing. The difference is if your H4 is approved with COS then you no need to go out of the country immediately for stamping. You are required to get stamping whenever you go out of the country or whenever the i-94 expire. In CP, you have to leave the country and appear for a visa interview at the consulate and come back. This COS and CP definition applicable for most visa options (like F1 to H1, L1 to H1 and H1 to L1 etc). Also, I m curious to know why you are trying to get H4 when you have a chance to get OPT in F1 and work? In H4 you can’t.

          1. Michele

            I came to the US to study English for 3 months, during which time my husband received a work proposal, so we chose to stay in the country and had to keep my status to be eligible.

  7. Jayesh

    Hi Ram / @ guys ,

    My employer not ready to share the rfe which is common but while talking to him , I realize i have got Sp + WL1 rfe. And HR said to me directly that this year I wont get my Visa blaming the USCIS rule. However I convinced him for trying the best as per the attorney’s guidelines and strong documents . Also given him latest status report of approved petitions So he is saying that he will try for it. Dont know why are they so negative . Sometimes I suspect that they wont have sufficient documents to prove the RFE ? Is there any chances that they can withraw the petition or simply wont reply with proper documents ?
    2.However my attorney is going by exper opinion so
    Will the letters from experts( a professor in the field ) strongly raise the chance of getting approved? if so, how strong are these and what are the chances of getting approved after submitting the letters?(including other requested docs too) ?

    Please share your thoughts and experience.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Ram

      When a complex RFE is received, few employers thinks about not responding to it or withdrawing the petition to avoid denial in their history. So please keep pushing them and show them all the success stories you see for this RFE. Approval after this RFE is something that has been achieved already. If they follow the right approach, I am sure they can get approval easily.
      Employers can withdraw the petition at any point of time.
      Keep working with your Attorney and prepare a very good response.

      I am not sure of your RFE completely. Strong expert letters have proved specialty occupation in the past.
      Assuming the RFE is to prove that yours is a specialty occupation though you have WL1:
      You can also try to prove that there are similar people working in the industry with similar education or experience.
      The industry standard is to hire someone with a degree similar to yours for the position being proffered.
      But make sure you approach it in right way so that it doesn’t raise a second RFE asking ” Why only WL1 for such specialty/Complex job”

      Please be in constant touch with your Attorney and work together for the response!
      Good luck!

  8. XYZ

    I was issued an RFE.. On enquiring my employer replied that they have responded to my RFE 6 days ago but the status for my receipt number is still on RFE wherease the deadline to submit is in 2 days
    How much time it takes for the status to get updated???
    Is it possible tat status will not update even after they have received the response???
    Thanking you

    1. Ram

      @XYZ Have you ensured that the package was received by USCIS using your mail tracking? With that in hand, please ask your Attorney to call USCIS customer care to verify the delivery info.
      Some has reported that without any update(RFE response) in portal, the approval was given.
      Usually RFE response is updated within a day or two, since your deadline is nearing better to call them and ensure that package was received safely.

  9. StillCaseWasReceived

    Hi Ram,
    My status is still ‘my Case Was Received’. Background: I am in India. I work for a mid-size top 20 company in India. I filed my H1b through a small consulting company in US (0-50) employee run by a couple of Indians and got picked in the lottery EACxxx. I’ve 19 years of IT experience. They filed it under wage level 1 as Software Developer – Application.
    My question is: Should I keep the hope up? What issues do you foresee?
    Just to add, I’ve bachelor and masters from top universities in India.

    1. StillCaseWasReceived

      Hi Ram,
      My status is still ‘my Case Was Received’. Background: I am in India. I work for a mid-size top 20 company in India. I filed my H1b through a small consulting company in US (0-50) employee run by a couple of Indians and my case got picked in the lottery EACxxx. I’ve 19 years of IT experience. They filed it under wage level 1 as Software Developer – Application.
      My question is: Should I keep the hope up? What issues do you foresee?
      Just to add, I’ve bachelor (mathematics honors) and masters (computer science) from known top universities in India. I’ve been in US in past and one of my kid is US citizen. Just adding these factors, just in case if these may work to keep my hope up.

      1. Ram

        I understand your situation. But unfortunately for normal processing USCIS works in its own pace. They pick cases in random and work on it. We cant be sure when we will get an update. If you want to have a faster decision from them, please opt for premium processing for case.
        On the other hand, we do hear of petitions getting approved without any update in online portal. Please check with your attorney for any recent updates or think about expediting the case with PP. Our genuine profile and background may help us go through their scrutiny faster but everyone has to got through all the scrutiny/process present to us(application). The delay has become inevitable this year. All the best for your approval!

    1. Gutsy

      Regarding H1b-transfer while on AP

      Hi Sourabh and other experts,

      I had attend H1b interview 2 months ago and unfortunately received a white slip with AP marked on it and no other documents were requested and so far, there is no progress on my case. My H1b petition is set to expire in coming Feb. I have the following questions on this regard:

      1. If I don’t get the approval before Feb and if the petition gets expired, can I still use this approved petition for a cap exempted transfer if I get an opportunity from another employer?

      2. I have a potential sponsor ready to transfer my H1b and I think they would back out if they come to know about my AP status. Can I go ahead and claim that I have not appeared for any stamping, so far? Is there a way the new employer can check the current status of my H1b?

      Thanks

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Gutsy,

        -Did they ask any documents? Usually AP takes 4 to 8 weeks and very cases it will take 3 to 4 months.

        1) Yes. You can use H1 for 6 years. So you can claim the unused days in future.

        2) My understanding is, even if you get a job and H1 transfer done, you have to appear for visa interview again because you don’t have visa earlier. If your AP is not resolved then I don’t think you can schedule a second interview when the first interview is in AP. However, the second company can file a H1 transfer when the visa is in AP but you can’t appear for a visa interview.

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

        1. Gutsy

          No they didn’t ask for any documents neither collected anything during interview. VO told me it could take 3-4 months to resolve this.

  10. RG

    Hi,

    My H1b cap exempt got denied today ( as a applied from L2 to H1b COS and extension). My question is
    1) Can I find other job /same job and file a new application? Will USCIS reject it considering my previous application is rejected?
    2)Do I need to leave country or is there a way I can stay here and file new application?
    3) Until when I can stay in US after denial notice?

    1. 3rd Timer

      Sorry to hear that.

      1. First, try to understand what is the reason the denial. If you think that you can overcome that in your next application then you can try again.

      2. If your L2 is not expired then you can stay here till the expiry date.

      3. If your L2 is expired then, unfortunately, there is no option you have to leave.

  11. Michele

    Today we received the approval letter from my husband’s visa.

    The Timeline:

    April 03: Application
    April 15: received lottery notice
    July 03: RFE
    September 28: RFE response
    October 16: letter of approval.

    The USCIS site is still: Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received.

    Good luck to all, and a special thanks to the RAM, always friendly and attentive.

  12. Ane

    All,

    I got an RFE and attorney submitted documents on September 21,2017. How long does it usually take for USCIS to respond? I read that from the day that evidence is submitted USCIS normally responds within 2 months, however, is it possible that they take longer like 3,4,5 months?

    Thank you,

    Ane

    1. 3rd Timer

      USCIS will respond within 60 days. However, if the response didn’t come then your employer can contact them only after 90 days. It is possible that some cases may get adjudicated more than the 4 to 5 months. If you want a faster response you may try PP. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  13. Saurabh

    Still Waiting for initial reply from USCIS – “On April 11, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker”

    Are there more people still waiting for initial reply ?
    Does anyone know how many application are still pending like this ?

    1. Urgent|| Really worried ||H1B Amendment cancellation

      Hi Admin,

      I have an approved petition dated 12feb-2017 and a stamped visa dated 2 march-2017.
      My employer applied amendment for location change in september and i got a reciept in october through which i can fly.
      Now my employer says that the position for which they applied my amendment is no longer available so you may proceed with searching another project in same company.
      My question is:
      1. Can the current amendment for which i just have the receipt and the case status shows”Case Was Received” be cancelled? If yes what is the process and in how many days it gets cancelled?
      2.Now as i am searching for a new project in the same company can i apply a new amendment with different client and location at once? or does my previous amendment needs to be cancelled? How much time takes for cancellation?
      3. is there any risk in both the things? and should i cancel or i can file an amendment on this amendment? what should i do?

      Thanks

      1. Ram

        Since the position is no longer available, it is better to withdraw the amendment petition. Please talk to your attorney, they would know the procedure for sure. Once you got the next one, you may need to raise amendment again.

  14. LuckyStar

    I am losing my hope now as my H1B transfer is now on RFE status. My employer hired a lawyer preparing all the required documents but the time is almost up (October, 26). I have been in US for almost 5 years and do not know what i should do if i go back to China. Finger Crossed!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @kirti, Some people got an approval for WL1 RFE. Take a look at this,
      http://immigrationgirl.com/rfe-success-story-too-complex-to-be-level-1. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  15. Raman

    Hi Ram,

    I’ve been working in the USA on L-1B for 3 years and my I-140 is approved. This year my H-1B was selected in the lottery and it got approved. I’ve H-1B stamping interview tomorrow at Chennai consulate.

    I need your help to clarify my answers for some tricky H-1B stamping questions.

    1. Why did you move from L-1B to H-1B?
    My company applied for my H-1B because I’ve been performing really well and my employer wants to hire me for long-term and L-1B visa can be extended only till 5 years.

    2. For how long you are planning to stay in the USA?
    My company wants to hire me for long-term. I definitely want to stay in the USA for next 4 to 5 years but not sure on the long-term plans. What should I say for this question?

    3. Why you applied for the green card?
    My company wants to hire me for long-term that’s why they applied for my green card.

    Can you please help me with these questions?

    1. Ram

      For Q2, you may need to tell as ” I am planning to stay till mm/yyyy” where mm/yyyy may be the validity date of your petition. As you have assignment/work till that.
      For other questions, I request people who attended interview already to share their suggestions.

  16. Purohit

    Friends,I am working for US major,this year H1 picked ,WL3 now stuck in RFE. I and my employer are sure we can easily get through RFE.we requested our attorney to upgrade to premium but our attorney law firm strictly advised us not to upgrade there is a more chances of Denial if we so(they are saying thats the current trend).Please let me know if anyone has cleared RFE upon upgrading to premium?

    Puro

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Purohit, Many people reporting that they have received an approval. Up course some people reported that they have received 2nd RFE (related to WL1 and some of them are same as the first RFE due to PP may have received first before the RFE response). Since you are in WL3 You may not get 2nd RFE. Also, if your response to the RFE is not well complied or your support documents are not convincing then your’s may result in 2nd RFE. But if your employer/you feel that the response to your RFE is strong then you can try for PP to speed up. Keep in mind that if your case is denied then it will get denied irrespective of PP or regular. What is your RFE is about? did your employer/lawyer share the details?

    2. PHARMA

      Hi Purohit,
      My attorney also strictly advised us not to upgrade, until and unless you can’t wait. My Attorney also said the same thing that if we upgrade to PP, there is a more chances of Denial.

  17. H1-Clarification

    I have one question on H1-B. Could you please help me if you came across this situation. I worked for Company X (it is not a publically traded company) during 2013 to 2015 and they processed H1-B visa for me during 2015 and my H1 B visa petition got approved at 13-JAN-2016. Due to unavailability of projects I haven’t travelled to abroad also my visa stamping is not done. After that I joined Company Y (they are publicly traded company). Is it possible to transfer my H1 or apply H1 Not Subject to Cap through Company Y? My I-I29 got approved by USCIS and it is valid from 1/13/2016 to 09/10/2018

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1-Clarification,

      My understanding is since you have not appeared for a visa interview with X, USCIS would treat this as non-counted, meaning you can’t transfer. However, I also read in somewhere that some people actually transferred successfully (not sure that’s is true or not). It is worth a shot. Also, your company Y’s immigration attorney might give you more information. Do update us about the outcome if you could able to transfer. Good luck and all the best.

    2. epat

      You are cap-exempt for sure. I personally know few people who have filed cap-exempt petition successfully without visa stamp and subsequently traveled to US with visa stamp( from the new employer). Hope this helps.

  18. Life

    Hi Ram!
    I was working on non cap H1b in the US but my H1b extension was denied in April 2017 as my company lost non cap status. Luckily, I got through the cap H1B Lottery through another employer and got an RFE in July but a couple of days back my visa got approved. I wanted to know if I am eligible for drop box ?

    1. Ram

      @Life You can fill DS 160 and after completion it would ask couple of questions. On answering them you can find out if you are eligible for Dropbox option.
      But from what you have given, I feel you may not be eligible for drop box.
      But confirm this after completing your DS 160.

  19. Lucky

    Hi Ram,

    I have a question regarding my H1B. My employer received a RFE about specialty of occupation and right to control.
    I have around 8 years of work exp in this field and a masters in computers. My employer asked me to send my project info. Can you guys please give some details about what exactly am I supposed to include in that.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Lucky and @ same,

        H1B is for the specialty occupation. So, looks like USCIS is not convinced by the documents your employers (ex: description of works you are going to performing for the years your gonna work in H1) submitted. Hence the RFE. Also if you are going to work for a client then how your employer going to control your movements or works. These two RFE’s are fairly routine for H1 job applicants. So, I believe there is a good chance this will result in approval. Give all the info you can to your attorney. Good luck and all the very best for your approval.

        1. Lucky

          Thanks @3rd Timer for the info .

          So do I have to submit an expert letter for an SO . Or a detailed explanation of my daily duties and my project is enough?
          Thanks

  20. H1B_WaitingApprovalNotice

    Hi,

    Anyone from CTS who got approval notice…… After approval status change in USCIS website, how many days does it take for GM team to upload approval notice? I got approval on Sept 27 but after two weeks still no notification from GM team….When asked, they said they are waiting for approval from onsite leadership team to upload the notice…. Is anyone aware of such procedure and how much time it takes?

  21. Shravan

    My application got selected in lottery and got RFE.
    Responded to RFE on time and received response that “your H1B petition denied”.
    My company dont want to file MTR.
    I have my petition/case number in handy. What could be my next steps?

    1. Ram

      I am sorry to hear that. Only through your company you can file MTR. Nothing else can be done with this case number other than MTR. You can try visa under different classification or undergo lottery process(if exists) again next year. Good luck!

    2. H1B_helper

      Sorry to hear that. I dont think you can do anything. H1B visa needs the employer to do everything. Employees are called beneficiaries. Try again next year.

  22. Peter

    https://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-makes-additional-data-employment-based-visa-programs-available-support-hire-american-executive-order

    Out of 3M H1Bs 2M went to Indians. What other proof of abuse is needed? Hopefully USCIS will crack down on this.

  23. KIMPE

    Hi all,

    I hope you all are doing well! My case is the following: I am currently under an extended OPT, got picked in the H1B lottery and my RFE is still pending (I believe immigration has up to two months to notify the final decision, that is by the end of November) .

    However, due to personal issues I already decided to leave the country as soon as possible. Searching on the web I found that if my H1B gets approved and I quit my job I will not have a grace period and would need to leave the country the same day I stop working for the company and that is not convenient since before leaving I need to make some arrangements.

    Please guide me and provide your insight on the following:

    1) If I ended my employment with the company BEFORE immigration accepts/rejects my application (that is, still under OPT extension), would I have 60 days to make arrangements and leave the country within that time frame?

    2) Would it be advisable and recommended to have a conversation with my supervisor and let her know the situation and wait until USCIS make the final decision? So if my application gets denied I would have 60 days grace period and if it gets approved I can possibly agree with my supervisor to lay me off and in this way get the benefit of the extra 60 days to stay in the country?

    Thank you so much for your comments and all the best,

    KIMPE

    1. Ram

      Personally, I would suggest you to wait(if you can) till your H1B is approved. For faster response, you can opt for Premium processing for your case. If you leave after your H1B is approved, you do have that 60 days grace period and also you can use that H1B later point of time if required.
      Right now if you quit there is a high chance that your current employer might withdraw the petition. Later if you want the H1B visa again, you will have to undergo all the process from scratch.
      Think and choose the best path for you! Good luck!

      1. 3rd Timer

        As Ram suggested wait for the approval and then resign or your employer to terminate the employment. In that way, your current application is counted in the lottery and you can use it for future if you wish.

        (1) I guess yours is applied in COS. So if it is approved then the day it is approved your status changed to H1. That means you are counted in the lottery. If you want to leave on this day then you can simply submit a resignation letter and leave.

        (2) If it is rejected then your status is not changed due to denial. So, as a student, you are entitled to have 60 days to leave the country.

        (3) If you leave before the approval comes and your employer notifies the USCIS, which they supposed to do, then it’s all over for you next year. It’s my opinion that it will be very difficult to get H1 in coming years, if not impossible.

        (4) If you leave before the approval comes and your employer not notified the USCIS, then I am not sure it will be taken as counted. Because on the day of approval, for COS, USCIS also issue new i-94(with old number) expiry date. Since you have left the country your i-94 also removed on the system. That will result in RFE. Since you no longer working in the company, they won’t reply that means no H1B for you.

        –my suggestion is If you have decided to go back to your country and thinking of coming back to US in next few years then upgrade to PP and get approval and leave.

        -Whatever you are decided, good luck and all the best for your approval and future.

        1. KIMPE

          Thanks for the detailed information Ram and 3rd timer. My question is if my H1B application gets approved and I terminate my employment would I still be entitled to the 60 days to make arrangements and leave the country?

  24. sneha

    Ram,

    Introduction – I am on F1/OPT. My F1 expires in Dec 2017 and my opt expires in January. My H1b went through the lottery but I received a RFE on Wage level 1 in September. My employer said he will respond to RFE 15 days before the deadline (I am trying to convince them to respond sooner). I am really worried.

    Question – I want to know what are my chances here. If worse happens, Can I join school after my OPT expires in January?

    I hope I get some good news before things go haywire.

    I really appreciate all the help and support you guys provide.
    Thanks,
    Sneha

    1. Ram

      The approval depends on how well the response justifies your wage level. I am hearing loads of application getting approval with this RFE. So approval is not something that’s impossible. Most of the employers try to utilize the 12 weeks completely given for RFE especially for wage level 1. Though the waiting time causes huge pressure for us, they still try to use the best of time.
      After sending response for RFE, why not think of upgrading to PP for faster response?
      You can go back on F1 but what will happen to H1B(may be filed in COS) once approved? I would recommend you to talk to an Attorney and discuss pros and cons about it.
      Good luck!

      1. sneha

        Thanks for the response. I will upgrade to PP after RFE is received by USCIS. But just was curious if I can go back to be student even after my F1 visa expired.

        Thanks
        Sneha

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Sneha,

          Yes, I guess. Because if it is denied then you will technically go back to a student visa. Since it is denied you will get 60 days if your OPT is expired. In that 60 days, you can apply for new masters. Anyway, good luck and all the best for your approval.

  25. H1b-RFE-Master's

    RFE replied on Oct 3 in premium processing. Status changed as follows.

    Oct 5th: Premium processing update(Initial Review )
    Oct 6th: Acceptance

    Waiting for next steps. Any idea when can I expect status change.

    @Ram,3rd timer when can I expect approval?

    Thanks in advance for replying

  26. RFE_IN_PP

    RFE responded on Oct 3 in premium processing. Status changed as follows.

    Oct 5th: Premium processing update(Initial Review )
    Oct 6th: Acceptance

    I don’t know why it is not displaying RFE response received or something like that.

    @Ram,3rd timer when can I expect approval?

    Thanks in advance for replying

    1. Ram

      The probable scenarios which could have happened are
      Scenario 1: This is one issue few applicants are facing when sending RFE response and PP together. They might have processed PP form first and may be they are yet to process RFE response yet. If this is the case, they might resend the first RFE again to you thinking that they are yet to receive the response.
      Scenario 2: They actually have your RFE response but just that online system is not updated.

      In both these scenarios, the confusion can be resolved only when your Attorney speaks to USCIS customer care and get to know whats happening.
      Please request your Attorney to call USCIS customer care and resolve this.
      Good luck! Do keep us updated on the outcome.

  27. Robin

    4 out of 10 candidates has got ‘Decison notice mailed’ status in my company. All the 10 of us got RFE notice on the same day. Any idea on why the rejection is more this time around and do you think the remaining 6 will get through?

    As of now all the 6 of have ‘RFE was received’ Thanks.

    1. Ram

      @Robin, That’s a terrible statistics. The denials are not because they all belonged to a certain company but for the documents submitted. They may not have sent a proper response to all those RFE.
      Most of the companies have a specific template for all scenarios and they keep re using it for all cases. May be that lead to denial. Instead of following a general pattern, each case has to be treated separately and handled in a different way. RFE could have been the same for different cases but depending on the nature of the case the response would be slightly different.
      of course, if the RFE is completely company related like tax details, company profile etc the response would be the same.
      So coming to your scenario, are all your RFE the same? By any chance did you see the response they sent for you. If the response is genuine and convinces the VO, I am sure you will get your approval.
      This year there are loads of scrutiny of every application to catch the fraudulent petitioners and to minimize the misuse of H1B. That’s why even if there is a slight deviation of application data or VO is not convinced of some point, the application is getting rejected.
      Rejection is not always the end. If your colleagues feel the decision given is completely unacceptable and they have valid points to challenge it, they can go ahead & file MTR.
      Good luck!

  28. EE

    Hi,

    Here is the sequence of events that happened.

    1) My employer files my H1B petition (OPT to H1B change of status).
    2) I get laid off.
    3) My H1b is approved before Oct 1, 2017.
    4) I still have not found a job.
    5) On Oct 11, 2017 my online status was updated to – “Revocation Notice Was Sent”. It says “On October 5, 2017, we revoked the approval of your case, Receipt Number WAC1714350047, and mailed you a revocation notice. It explains the reasons for our action. Please follow the instructions in the notice and submit any requested materials. etc…”

    What are my options? If I find a job in the next 60 days, can I do a H1B transfer as a cap-exempt candidate? Or, will my OPT (which expires in Dec 2017) be still valid if my H1B is cancelled.

    Thanks.

    1. Ram

      @EE, I am sorry to hear about your termination. You have 60 days grace period to find a job. Please work with your immigration attorney immediately after an H1B layoff or revocation to determine the best action for your situation.
      As per my knowledge, since your H1B was approved as COS, your OPT is no longer valid.
      All the best for your new job!

    2. Ram

      I always have little confusion around revocation and withdrawal. As per my knowledge, revocation can be done only by USCIS and withdrawal by employer. So please talk to an immigration Attorney and see what options you have.

    3. epat

      EE,
      You are H1B cap exempt. Your case is similar to mine . I was able to successfully file H1b cap exempt petition two years back even though my first h1b petition showed online status as “Revocation Notice Was Sent” . Hope this helps.

      1. Ram

        @epat I have few questions reg Revocation. Can you please answer them based on your experience?

        1. Was your revocation based on your employment termination?
        2. Will you be able to go back and work for the employer who revoked it in future?
        3. Did you face any issues while transferring or going for stamping after revocation?
        4. Then what is the difference between withdrawal and revocation?

        1. epat

          Ram,
          Please see my answers below:

          1. Was your revocation based on your employment termination?
          My fresh H1b was filed and approved when I was in India. I got the stamping done as well. But I never travelled to US.
          So it was not exactly termination. I guess my first employer must have withdrawn the petition ultimately (around 18 months after stamping).
          2. Will you be able to go back and work for the employer who revoked it in future?
          I’m not sure as I didn’t try that. But I dont think that will be a problem.
          3. Did you face any issues while transferring or going for stamping after revocation?
          I did not face any issues while filing cap exempt petition and stamping with new employer and was able to travel to US.
          4. Then what is the difference between withdrawal and revocation?
          I’m no expert but I think there is nothing called ‘withdrawal’. There is only revocation and it could be due to different
          reasons, and withdrawal being just one of them. See “Automatic Revocation” @
          https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-12693/0-0-0-13508.html

  29. Ket

    Hi Ram,

    First of all thanks for this wonderful blog it is really a source of truth for fresh H!B applicants like me.

    My H1 got selected in May
    RFE in June
    RFE Response sent and received on Aug 4, 2017

    Now It has been more than 60 days and there is no status change on my H1? I thinking about PP but since It has been more than two months I should have a repose by now and want to use PP in case I got a second RFE. Please advice me on how to approach for RFE passed 60 days?

    Thanks,
    Ket

    1. Ram

      Ket, most of the RFE are getting response in the past couple of weeks. We are not sure of the order they are going to process it. As Premium processing is back, we can see surge in PP request. So right now, they might be concentrating on clearing them first. Normal processing cases may see further delay. So if you require faster decision, I would recommend PP. PP or normal, if a case has to get second RFE, it would get it. Since because we expedite a case, USCIS will not deny or provide RFE. This is my opinion. You can also discuss with your Attorney and take a decision on this.
      My observation for second RFE was
      1. When PP was sent along with RFE response, USCIS accidentally processed PP first and so they issued the previous RFE as second RFE again. Then when sent same response again, the case got approved. So from this what I inferred was, it is not recommended to send PP and RFE response together as we are not sure which form would be processed first. Since they are getting loads of mail a day, there is a high probability for manual errors.
      2. If a case in WL1, the first RFE is not related to it then the Second RFE was related to WL1 mostly.

      So my point is, PP or no PP the result for the case is going to be same.

      Good luck! Hope I didn’t confuse you further.

  30. Confused

    So I had my interview today. H1b was approved with COS on Sept. 1st. The interview went well but in the end the officer just politely said that since you went from F1 to OPT to H1B there is one step I need to complete. Your visa will be processed in 5-10 days. I did not get any 221g slip. The officer kept the passport , cancelled the old F1 without prejudice and returned my approval notice to me. Now that I check the status online it shows administrative processing. I am really surprised because I thought it was approved especially since I did not get a 221g slip. How long do you think it will take to receive the visa?

    1. Ram

      Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within a minimum of a day or max of 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case.
      These days every case go through this administrative processing. If they need something, they will reach out to you through email. If they didn’t ask you anything, then you are going to get your passport with visa stamped.

    1. Ram

      No, it is not denial. They have provided you a NOID(Notice of Intent Denial). It is a kind of severe RFE. Please work closely with your Attorney/Immigration team. You will have 30 days to respond to it(Check the notice for exact timeline). If you give them the best response which convinces them, you will get your approval. It is a chance USCIS gives you to explain yourself of why you want visa. Please talk to your Attorney/Immigration team and get to know the details of NOID. Put in your best of efforts to provide the best response! Good luck!

    1. Ram

      @SK did you or your Attorney raise any service request to update your name? If yes, then the SR has been processed and your name has been updated.
      If not, no worries, internally they are working on your case. They do update their internal work status online. It is a sign that you are going to have some update on your case soon. Good luck!
      Btw, only worktheme website categorizes this status as others. It is internal classification of that site only.

  31. SMAR

    I want to thank Great Ram and share my visa stamping experience in Calgary, 1st time h1b interview.

    Q) What you do in cci wireless?
    Work as a nw analyst lte n wimax
    Q) What you will do in US?
    Will work as RF engineer
    Q) whats ur highest qualification?
    Master in Electrical n comp engg

    OK YOUR VISA IS APPROVED
    thanks

  32. A

    Hello – I am planning to go to India for two weeks in December/January. My H1b has been approved and I work for a government agency. I cannot afford to stay more than 2 weeks. Those who have been through the interview process…could you please share your experiences here. I would be going to the New Delhi consulate. I was previously on F1 while I was working on my PhD.
    Ram, any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Ram

      I would recommend you to start filling DS 160 after which you will be able to book slots on a convenient date.
      Then you can collect all the required documents and prepare yourself for the interview. Get to know what documents you take, why and whats there in them.
      I am just giving you a general idea here of what can happen in an interview:
      Some people do report of 221g issuance for certain cases but as long as you have a genuine profile,strong case and all the required documents there is nothing to worry about. There are no timelines within which 221g would be resolved and cant be expedited.
      Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Most administrative processing is resolved within a day or max within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case.
      But when you have all that’s required, I don’t think you will face any issues and you would be able to get the visa within the duration of your stay.
      People who attended interview recently in your desired consulate would be able to give you detailed experience. Good luck for your stamping!

  33. Eileen Kelly

    Hi everyone! Thank you so much for this dialogue. I check these comments daily and I really appreciate them.

    RFE response was sent with upgrade to PP on October 2nd.

    Does anyone know–
    1. Would online case status reflect PP upgrade?
    2. Would the case status say “Response Received”?
    3. Is it possible that it would jump straight from “RFE sent” to “Approved”?

    It has been ten days and I’m starting to worry they didn’t receive the response and check for PP.

    1. Ram

      Hello Eileen,
      1. Yes the status changes to Premium processing request has been received and then would change to case received once they accept the premium processing request.
      2. If your response is received first, it would say response received. If not, would go to PP status. Depends on the order they see the forms.
      3. It might happen too. I have also seen Attorney receiving the approval email(in PP) but the online status still says RFE sent. Please do check with your Attorney for latest update.
      If the status doesn’t change by end of this week, please request your Attorney to follow it up with USCIS customer care.
      Meanwhile, please do ensure that the package was delivered safely and also whether the PP check has been en cashed. Just an alternative route to know that the things are going correctly.
      Good luck!

      1. RFE_IN_PP

        My case is also the same RFE sent in premium processing on Oct 3. Status changed as follows.

        Oct 5th: Premium processing update(Initial Review )
        Oct 6th: Acceptance

        I don’t know why it is not displaying RFE response received or something like that.

        @Ram,3rd timer when can I expect approval?

        Thanks in advance for replying

  34. 221G Mess

    RAM,

    Highly appreciate you taking out time & guiding so many people, it really counts a lot.
    I post this query on Beast called h1b forum but hasn’t got much attention so thought to take your experience on it:

    My case is now hanging from 103 days, upon sending a general inquiry to US consulate Chennai today I got the below response, now this is a unusual response hence requesting any body having past experience with it please shed some light.

    “Please wait for the admin process to be completed, we will get in touch with you, We are unable to provide any time frame in your case.

    There are a few cases which have been refused for administrative processing but do not fall within the category of cases listed in the website and your case is one of those not in that category. ”

    This is a very unusual reply & there is very less on google about.

    Thanks in advance.

  35. Raj Aryan

    Hi,
    Below is my time frame:
    H1B approved – may 2017
    H1B RFE – June 15 2017
    RFE Response – Sept 8 2017

    Post RFE response, there is no update. Its more than month now. Any suggestion?

    1. Ram

      Usually USCIS takes 60 days to process the response sent. Since more RFE responses are coming now, there can be much more delays too. If you are sure of approval and want faster decision, please go in for Premium processing of the case.
      You can easily upgrade to PP at any point of time. Good luck!

      1. Vinod

        Hello Ram,

        In my case,

        H1B picked up – May 2017
        RFE – 29th June ( on EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP)
        Response – 03rd Aug

        It’s been 70 days since my RFE response. Can I go for any enquiry through my company’s Visa team. Please advise. Thank you!

        1. Ram

          yes you can ask your Attorney to raise a query but I am not sure whether you will get any response for it. As far as I heard, for form I129 SRs don’t get proper response.
          Why not opt for PP instead?

    2. Brausa

      Hi,

      I apply for H1b and recently got RFe. My company is preparing response and in the meantime I would like to apply for my masters to start in the Spring. For that I need to change my status to F1. Question: Can I go to my home country to get the F1 while my H1b is being processed?
      Thanks

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Brausa, What is your current status? Is H1 filed as COS?
        As you know F1 is a non-immigrant intent visa. So, it may be tricky to get visa stamping if the VO knows H1 is pending. BTW, what is the point of F1 when you already have H1 and a job? Most of the US universities offer Masters in the evening time (courses) and weekends. So, you can look into those options if you wish to pursue your masters.

        1. Brausa

          Hi my status was F1 until February and they the company I was working applied for H1B and it’s pending now because they are working on RFe. The point is in case my H1B is Denied I have plane B which is persue my masters. For that, I would need to go to my home country to get the visa stamping.

    3. H1B_RFE

      Hi Raj- I am also on the same boat and not received any update yet from USCIS. Finger crossed 🙁

      H1B RFE – June 12 2017
      RFE Response Sent– Sept 9 2017

      1. Raj Aryan

        Hi
        Did you checked with your visa team. I have seen many people getting approval notice on mail with no update on system. I have raised a query with my visa team. awaiting there response.

  36. sRi

    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

      @sRI,

      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 expense of @1225+lawyer fee. However, if you can afford then you can ask your manager to upgrade and this is allowed as per USCIS. I believe that if all the other documents are in order (like SOW, client letter, right to control and wage level) then there is very good chance that yours will be approved. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  37. KanuK

    Hi Ram, All,

    Thank you Ram and 3rd timer for all the efforts that you guys are putting in. This blog has really been a great support during the long wait.

    My H1-B Application for 2018 got approved recently. Yet to receive the actual petition.

    The Timelines are:-

    Application Date : 1st April
    RFE Received on Date : 6th June (Tentative)
    RFE Response Date : 5th or 6th September
    Petition Approval Date : 22nd September

    I am currently based out of London on a work-permit. I will be here till at least Feb-March 2018 next year.

    I have few queries:-

    Query 1: My company is suggesting to get the H1-B stamping done from London itself. Is it safe to get the stamping done from London? and not from base location i.e. India?

    Query 2: Are there chances of complications during stamping if done from country other than base location India from where the application was initiated ?

    Query 3: Is it better to get the stamping done for myself initially and apply for my dependents (Spouse and kids) later? or it does not matter and we can apply for dependents H4 visa at the same time as my H1 stamping?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Congratulations for your approval.

      (1) It doesn’t matter. Just prepare well for the questions about your company, end client, sow and project you will be fine. Also, keep all the necessary documents. Browse this website and there is a post about what are the documents necessary for visa stamping. Use that as a guideline.

      (2) No. It really depends on how you are answering to the VO questions and the documentation. Personally, I know that one of my close friend went for a stamping in Singapore last year and he got approved.

      (3) It doesn’t matter. My personal opinion is if you go with your spouse and children then there is a good chance to get approval. The opinion is based on human psychology. I may be wrong.

      –Anyway, Good luck and all the best for your successful visa stamping and travel to USA. Please do post your experience how it went.

          1. Ram

            I second 3rd timer’s views. Prepare for your interview well. Get to know what you take and whats there in it. They completely question you based on your petition. All the best for your interview!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @MA,

      I think in previous years the second RFE is not common. But this year it looks like more people getting 2nd RFE. Also, It looks like some of the 2nd RFE is exactly same as the first RFE due to PP upgrade, meaning USCIS didn’t receive the 1st RFE response before the PP request. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  38. ToughTime

    Hi Ram,

    I have got 2nd RFE on top of 1st RFE response , Is this common? what are my chances of approval in this case? 1st RFE was about employer-employee relationship and we had submitted SOW, right to control doc & Itenary with all job duties. I am yet to receive the details from employer on what the 2nd RFE is about. Can I go for premium processing to clear the RFE quickly?

      1. 3rd Timer

        @ToughTime,

        Looks like this year, comapred to previous years, the 2nd RFE request is more. Did you know your wage level? I am guessing It may be about your wage level. Yes, if you go for premium then USCIS will respond within 15 days. My understanding is each RFE, USCIS give the petitioner 12 weeks to respond and they will take 60 days to reply if it is regular.

        -Anyway, good luck and all the best for your successful RFE response and approval.

  39. H1 -H4 Query

    Ram,

    I got selected in lottery for year 2018 H1B and have RFE.
    1-Is it the right time to apply H4 Visa for my spouse or do I need to wait for my H1 Approval ?
    2- Can we apply for h4 EAD too?

    Thanks,

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1-H4 Query,

      Congrats for selected in this year lottery and I am sorry to hear that you are one of the many unfortunate ones who had received RFE.

      1-Is it the right time to apply H4 Visa for my spouse or do I need to wait for my H1 Approval ?

      I guess you can apply now. If you apply after approval then it may take some more time to get approval for H4. Check with your employer too and they may give better suggestions.

      2- Can we apply for h4 EAD too?
      No. H4 EAD is available only for people who had already initiated their green card process and having approved i-140. It would take at least a year to get that point if you apply now in EB2/EB3. For EB1 and EB2-NIW it may take 6 months.

      -Anyway, good luck and all the best for your successful RFE response and approval.

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