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 ( 10,835 )

  1. RCB

    Hi Ram,
    I am on my H4 and i had applied for H1B. My H1B has been picked and its in progress. I had got a RFE and it has been addressed by my employer and in website my status has been changed to “Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received” on Oct 02 2017.
    I guess i had got RFE on some document related to employer which had some basic responsibilities and documentation related to company because i had to sign and send this document to my employer. When i asked about RFE my employer said that they will take care. So by this i understood something was required from my employer’s end.

    My question here is :

    In my offer letter 65k salary has been mentioned by my employer. And i heard from few of my friends telling that they are rejecting H1 applications if salary is less than 80-90K. I am little confused now. Could any of you plz help me in this and also if any of you have experienced anything related to this could you please share here. Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @RCB,

      Many people received an approval with and without RFE’s this year for the salary range you are quoted. So, the approval depends on the RFE questionnaire and the response documents submitted. If the vis officer agrees that the position you are offered is a specialty occupation, falls under proper wage level and the wage offered is same as the prevailing wage in that county/city then there are no issues in giving her/his approval. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  2. 3rd Timer and 2nd RFE

    My h1 approved after 2nd RFE

    1st RFE – client letter
    2nd RFE- Level 1 wages and specialty occupation (PP, California )

    Appreciate your help on this matter.

  3. Jagan

    I applied H1B through a consultancy and stamped. They are just consultancy and as per them, I need to travel US and search for jobs. Is there anyway to apply and get jobs from India itself? What is the process and which website will be best?

    1. Congrats

      Congrats. So many companies are ready to offer you job if you have H1B. You can get a job from India . Remaining details let the experts tell

  4. H1B_CTS

    Hi Ram

    I have submitted my amendment in premium processing for location change , normally how long does it take ? is there any roadblock for Amendment too ? please advise. i am waiting for amendment approvals to fly in December.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Premium usually takes 15 calendar days. If the documents submitted to USCIS are to their requirement then the approval will be given. Good luck and all the best for your amendment approval.

  5. Prajith

    Thanks everyone who are replying to us. You are really great. While relatives itself expects something to help, you guys are awesome that helping others without expecting anything.

    My status shows case approved. My consultancy says it will take 21 days for the approval notice to receive. Is that true? I feel 21 days are too long.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Congrats for your approval. The hard copy would take 1 to 2 weeks to arrive. However, if your employer did not receive the document more than 1 month then they can contact the USCIS to send the duplicate copy.

  6. Gaara

    I observed that since yesterday, I am not able to find all the LCA’s filed for an employer in H1b on the DOL website. I think they changed it where only a specific LCA can be searched. I am not sure if its a bug or they have now changed it? Any one has any idea about it?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Bharti Mehra,

      I know some of them who received an approval with EE degree. Are you want to know if anyone received an approval in software field but having a degree in EE??

      1. Bharti Mehra

        Yeah, I want to know if anyone received approval for Software Engineer position even though they have degree of MS or BS in Electrical/Electronics Engg

  7. Chris

    Hi All,

    My application status is still showing as ‘Transferred to new center on May 31’. There is no further update on this even after 5 months. Can anyone tell me what could be the reason.

    Thanks

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Chris,

      @Chris,

      No reason. Compared to previous years USCIS taking more time to adjudicate the petitions (due to more wage level scrutiny, insufficient documentations related to specialty occupation/statement of work/employer-employee relations, status maintenance , suspension of premium process from April to October etc).

      For rough idea visit worktheme.com to know how many like urs not processed. One option to speed things up is go for premium. In that way you will know the status of your application within 15 days. However. it costs $1225+lawyer fee . Only your employer can initiate the Premium process but the fee can paid by your employer or you. Good luck and all the best in getting the approval soon.

  8. Tilak

    In what way this effect h1b 2018 visa holders . its positive or negative

    http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/us-committee-passes-bill-increasing-minimum-pay-h1b-visa-holders-90000-71763

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Tilak,

      In my opinion it will not affect because this bill to become law is very remote. Similar to this bill there are at least 40 bills are in congress and some of the passed the committee. So, dont worry. 🙂

  9. Sharma

    Hello All,

    I got my H1B approved and was preparing for stamping later this month but due to some stain marks on my passport my employer is saying I need to apply for new passport as due to stains my passport will be considered as Damaged Passport. Can some one let me know what happens to my approved petition as it references my current (damaged) passport number? Will this require amendment of petition as well. Thanks!

      1. 1ofdlucky1

        That’s incorrect. Carry both passports and moreover for stamping you fill DS160 and you need to give new passport number in that. To be safe carry both passports to consulate as well as POE.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Sharma,

          Can some one let me know what happens to my approved petition as it references my current (damaged) passport number?

          If you apply for new passport due to expiry or stolen or damaged then you will be given new number. However it will not be problem for your already approved petition. Like @1ofdlucky1 said you need to carry both the passport when you go for stamping and traveling. The visa officer at the port of entry (USA) will check both the passport if needed to. Good luck and all the best for your stamping.

          1. Avi

            i797 doesn’t have anything related to passport so apply for mew passport and use that while filling ds160. You don’t need to carry old passport.

  10. PPRFE

    Hi,

    After responding to RFE and converting it into premium the USCIS sent me again the same RFE.

    Did any one come across this situation. Can you help me out with further steps.

    Thanks

    1. 3rd Timer

      @PPRFE,

      Yes. Some people earlier reported like you (refer Immigirationgirl.com). The next step is send again the same response you send earlier and wait for the reply from USCIS. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

    2. H1B2018selected

      Hi Ram,

      My H1B visa is approved for 2018 and visa stamping process is also completed today. My passport is going to expire in 2020 so I am planning to renew it. Can the renewal process affect the current H1B visa? Do I need carry out the entire process of H1B once again?

      1. 3rd Timer

        Can the renewal process affect the current H1B visa?
        No.

        Do I need carry out the entire process of H1B once again?
        No. But you have to carry both the passports whenever you are traveling.

  11. Ranjita

    Hi Ram,

    I hold an H1B Petition from my employer which was applied for client A in 2015 & now my employer has a requirement for Client B & when we asked the immigration team to check for amendment they said its not possible to amend & my H1B expired last month.

    1. What would be the reason that being in same company the amendment is not possible?
    2. What will happen to my H1B , does it go VOID?
    3.My Employer is interested in re-applying H1B for this year , do you see any issues here?

    Thanks
    Ranjita

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Ranjitha,

      I assume you are outside of USA and also your petition is approved with Consular Processing (CP). In CP cases, I came across two opinion regarding the unused but already approved petition. First opinion is you are not considered as not counted in lottery since you are not appeared for the visa interview. Other opinion is one can still utilize the petition before the 6 year deadline (in your case it will be 2021). If first one is true then it will be a problem for some one try for amendment (not sure though) or transfer. However, my opinion is your immigration team may be wrongly interpreted. So, I suggest you to check with the your company’s immigration attorney.

      1. What would be the reason that being in same company the amendment is not possible?
      May be your company’s immigration team is interpreting wrongly.

      2. What will happen to my H1B , does it go VOID?
      Yes, only if you have never used after 6 years of the approval. Once you used even one time within that 6 year time (2015-2021) then i guess you can utilize for 6 years, which is not necessarily have to be continuous.

      3.My Employer is interested in re-applying H1B for this year , do you see any issues here?
      I guess that is possible too. But you have to go through lottery again and It is not necessarily to be straight approval even if it is selected in lottery. meaning this is considered as new petition and will undergo all the necessary scrutiny and the previous approval will not have any influence on the new approval. I strongly believe you can reclaim your already approved petition. If you are not able to discuss with your company’s immigration team or lawyer due to bureaucracy then my suggestion is go for private consultation which may cost you around $100 to $200.

      –Good luck and all the best for your next option.

    2. Ram

      @Ranjitha,

      Do you know for long your initial H1B petition was approved for? Probably the Visa has expired now and it is easy to renew it though you have never got stamping. You are counted as cap exempt.
      Since your visa is expired, you cant file amendment. Your immigration team has to apply extension and amendment now. Once approved, you can get your stamping and travel to USA. Extension cum amendment can be filed in Premium processing now, so you can get the approval in 15 calendar days.
      Do you see your visa status as VOID or revoked in online? If no, never assume its void. Its pretty much there with you, its just expired. You can apply for extension.
      When you have cap exempt petition, there is no need to re apply (undergo lottery) again. It is enough to apply for extension and get stamping once approved.

  12. PPRFE

    I had a RFE to which I responded along with a PP. USCIS has responded with exactly the same RFE as the initial one even the same date as the initial one. It seems like they have not even considered the RFE response. This is for California center. Has anyone across the similar scenario?

    If yes how did you deal with it.

    1. Ram

      When you apply PP with RFE response, this glitch happens in the system. Please ask your Attorney to call USCIS and check on this. Few members did report this problem here. You can also ask your Attorney to resend the response.

  13. H1B RFE

    I have received an wage level 1 and specialty occupation RFE. I have Wage Level 2 salary.
    My RFE mentions that
    “If you claim that proffered position is not entry level, but more complex and needs bachelor’s degree or higher, submit evidence to demonstrate that the record contains LCA corresponds to proffered position. Please submit new LCA that was certified prior to filling, with different wage designation to the proffered position. If you submit new LCA also provide an explanation for the change”

    And there is also weird thing about this RFE is: USCIS asking that the LCA must have need certified prior to the Form I 129 filing date (which is impossible, How can we backdate!!?) They are asking for new LCA with Form I 129 filing date.

    My lawyer has filled a new LCA with updated wage level 2 and going to submit new LCA. As far as I know ‘The LCA must be certified at the time of filing the H1B petition. A new LCA certified after filing would not be a valid LCA supporting that H1B petition’

    So, my question is:

    1. Shall I ask my lawyer to include the previous LCA (with wage level 1) and not the new LCA (with wage level 2) ?

    And I am still waiting to review my RFE response with her. I am not whatever explanation she provided for the change of wage level is enough. She is confident and asking me to relax.

    I am worried because there are few cases got denied since they had changed the wage designation. And as far as I my online research shows the same. Please suggest.

    1. Ram

      I am not too sure of your complete RFE and hence I am not able to give you a detailed suggestion here.
      But on a high level I am telling you the general process, When ever a H1B visa is filed, there would be a LCA submitted along with it which explains the job’s terms and conditions. This LCA would have to be submitted and certified by DOL already. Same would have been followed for your H1B application too. They would have got a LCA approved and submitted it along with your petition. From the RFE snippet provided, USCIS is asking whether you have any other previously certified LCA for your position? If you have so, you got to submit it. If not you will have to defend what ever you have already submitted with your application. Submitting a new LCA right now will not help you in any way. I am not sure of your complete RFE, please talk to your Attorney and check them on this. USCIS would always want already certified LCA(Before H1B application).
      On the other hand, if its WL1 RFE, a new LCA with WL2 may not be the right response too.

      We cant say anything for sure, unless we have your complete RFE details.

  14. dps

    I am currently with employer A. Employer B is going to initiate an H1B transfer for me.

    I have plans to travel abroad, potentially while the H1B transfer will be pending.

    This being said, my starting date with Employer B will 2-3 weeks after I return. During my travel, I will continue to be an employee for Employer A – I will be on PTO. So, upon my reentry, I will have my I797 for Employer A, and evidence that I am still employed with them.

    Is this doable?

  15. Ram

    Hi Ram/3rdtimer,

    I am working with company A on H1B visa and they have filed amendment for location change . Now i got opportunity with company B .

    1. Is it recommended to transfer H1B when my amendment is in process ?
    2. To my understanding If i resign company A they will withdraw my petition so i think we dont have any issues , Is my thinking is correct ?
    3. i filed H4 to H1 conversion for my spouse and it is in process, If i need to move to company B, Do i need to transfer her H4 as well, she has valid H4 with Company A till June 2018 ?

    Thanks for the response.

    1. 3rd Timer

      1. Is it recommended to transfer H1B when my amendment is in process ?
      I believe it will not be problem. It may pbs if the extension is filed and not location change.

      2. To my understanding If i resign company A they will withdraw my petition so i think we dont have any issues , Is my thinking is correct ?
      Yes. You are eligible for 60 days to find a new job. But my suggestion is, resign once you get at least the receipt number of the transfer.

      3. i filed H4 to H1 conversion for my spouse and it is in process, If i need to move to company B, Do i need to transfer her H4 as well, she has valid H4 with Company A till June 2018 ?
      Yes.

      Also, consult with your new company’s lawyer as well. Good luck and all the best for your transfer.

  16. H1B Aspirant

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer

    Mine is picked in lottery. If my employer have any problem in applying for H1b. Is it possible to change employer before approval?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1B Aspirant,

      I am not clear with your sentence of “If my employer have any problem in applying for H1b”.
      I understood your question correctly then you can not able to transfer the lottery selected petitions before the approval. Once it is approved then you can transfer to other companies and the original petition valid for 6 years.

      Also, when you do a transfer after the approval then the transfer petition is goes through all the scrutiny (like the new job requested is specialty occupation, the petitioner has the required skills through education or experience for the requested job, SOW, client letter and job duties for the period requested etc). Most of the time it will get approved, some time RFE is issued before approval and very rare instances the petition can be denied.

  17. Shaik

    Hi, Ram/3rd timer thanks for your suggestion on H1b Visa queries.
    My employer has submitted Response to query on wage level 1 on Oct 10 and it has been updated in Website as well. how long will it take to process my rfe response. when can I expect it?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Shaik,

      If it is regular processing then USCIS will usually take 60 days to respond. However, due to lot of backlog in this year (more scrutiny due to (a) President Trump’s buy & hire america directive, (b) declassification of computer programmer is not a specialty occupation just before the April h1 filing date, (c)Wage level issues in LCA (d) suspension of premium processing, and (e) in cases the employer/attorney not prepared the documentation well to address all the USCIS points) it would take more than 60 days. If you are not heard back from USCIS within 60 days then your attorney/employer can contact USCIS and ask about the status.

      Also, you should know that there is no law that USCIS has to respond within some specific days once RFE is submitted. So, the answer to your questions is you should expect the response any day which can be tomorrow or some time in next year. Once option available for you is you can opt for premium processing. In that case you will definitely get some response (second RFE, approval or notice to denial) within 15 days. The premium process can be filed any time and it will cost around $1225+attorney fee. If your employer is not willing and if you can able to afford then I suggest you to take that option. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval without further hassle.

  18. HI

    Its has been more than 3 and half months since my extension was filed. Its still in the received status. I heard that sometimes cases are being approved but messages are not being updated on the website. Is there a way to know (without going for PP) about the case status.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Normally If the case is approved then you will see an update from the USCIS website as well as you (usually your employer or attorney) will get the hard copy evidence within two weeks of approval. In this year there are many cases still shows “case is received” but they already approved. This is known only based on hard copy received by the petitioner. In majority of the cases the the employer already received the approval but they are not communicated to the beneficiary due to various reasons. So, in your case I suggest you to contact your employer/attorney to make sure they already received the approval. If not you can try PP. If the case already approved then you will get the money back. If still pending then you can expect the response within 15 days. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  19. Saurabh

    When does the premium processing starts. When mail delivered to USCIS or when USCIS update in their system ?

    my application for premium processing delivered to USCIS office on Oct 31 (based on USPS tracking), but USCIS updated on their website on November 2 saying “We received your request for premium-processing of your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and mailed you a receipt notice.”

    Also I checked with my employer, there is no update yet.

    1. Ram

      The exact start date would be on the Premium processing receipt notice which is sent to your Attorney/Employer once the premium processing request is accepted. But as per my knowledge, since the status changed on Nov 2 the start date would by Nov 2.

      1. 3rd Timer

        It will be Oct 31st, the mail delivery date. Your 15th day is on Nov 14th/15th because USCIS uses calendar days for PP application. Good luck and all the best for your PP approval.

    2. andrew27

      Hey,

      My timeline looks exactly like yours (Nov 2nd case was receieved with PP) and I got an update yesterday for the California service center! So you should probably get one soon.

      Good luck.!

  20. Gause

    My Employer filed for premium processing on last Friday. I am waiting for the status to change. It is still in the same state as ‘Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received’. Can anyone tell me that how long it will take to change the status into premium processing after filling for PP.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Don’t worry about the USCIS website status update since because this year it is not up to date.
      Mine is approved in June itself but it still shows as “case received’. Just make sure your attorney/employer received the email confirmation. Also, you should expect the response within 15 calendar days from USCIS from the day your documents delivered by FEDEX/UPS.
      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

      1. JC

        Hi Ram and 3rd Timer,
        Thanks for your support. After responded to my rfe(e-e,edu. eval.), case has been approved with in 2 weeks of time (regular processing, No-PP)and received all the documents from my employer through Fedex.
        But its too BAD- Its not updated in USCIS site and worktheme, still its rfe response received state only.
        Now I think, this is the time to attend interview, So kindly provide your valuable suggestions – Don’t want to miss any docs at last minute – Suggest me documents Order or list to carry & sample interview questions please.

        Thank you,

        1. Mine

          Hi Jc,

          Can you please provide your time frames it will be really helpful for other people.

          Case was received ?
          RFE date?
          RFE respond date?
          Approval notice.

          Thanks JC.

          1. JC

            @Mine
            Case was received ? 04/11
            RFE date? 07/24
            RFE respond date? 10/16 Response Received state changes – 10/20
            Approval notice. 11/08

        2. Ram

          Congrats on your approval! When you have the approval notice, the status in website is no longer relevant to you.
          Please find the required documents in the below links
          https://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1-visa-documents.html
          https://redbus2us.com/new-h1b-l1-visa-stamping-documents-checklist-by-us-consulate-general-office/

          Depending on the consulate the list of required document may vary. So please check the official site for updated list. All the best for your stamping!

  21. Capgemini - Waiting for decision

    There is huge volumne of RFE denilas this year from CapGemini.
    Not exactly sure the reason behind it.

    Is it same for other companies as well?

    I am still waiting for decision on my RFE

      1. StillAwaitingforResponse

        I personally know many of my friends with Non-IT Graduation have got their visa approved successfully this year . I am not sure how it can be due to degree. Ram & 3rd Timer, Your suggestion on this.

        1. 3rd Timer

          This year compared to previous years USCIS is issuing/issued more RFE’s. Take a look at this article. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/trump-s-h-1b-reform-is-to-make-life-hell-for-immigrants-and-companies.

          This year most of the RFE’s for WL1 LCA issues and specialty occupation. Before the April lottery, USCIS issued a referendym that Comp. Prog. are not a specificity occupation. These added to the confusion and resulted in more RFE’s. It is true that USCIS giving RFE’s to people who are having non IT degree (like EEE, ECE) but applied for software jobs. But these RFE’s are easily addressed because one can get the expertise either through education (not much experience) or through experience (but not direct link to the software education). For long time many people overcame these particular RFE’s with proper documentation. So, if someone is getting these RFE then it is no need to worry. However one should address work with attorney/employer to address effectively. The denial only happens if the documentation is not proper, i.e, VO not able to make a connection between the job requested and the document submitted. Also, it is safe to say that in future (new or extension or amendment or transfer) lot of rejection will happen if the documentation are sloppy like previous years. Good luck and all the best for people who are still waiting for their approval with and with RFE.

  22. Raj

    Hi Ram,

    I’m in H4 right now. And my H1b RFE is in progress. At the same time my wife is getting transfer from A state to B state in USA, she is also in H1b. Will it be a problem for my H1b if her employer process amendment for both of us.?

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Amendment is done only for H1B petition. H4 remains unaffected. So please don’t worry about amendment of H1B. As long as you don’t travel out of USA(if H1B filed in COS) you are good. All the best for your approval!

    1. 3rd Timer

      If it is COS then you can change immediately because you are already counted towards the lottery. Just you have to make sure the documentation for the status (like pay stub, resignation letter etc) for the period till the date you are requesting the transfer. For CP cases then it will not be a problem with the status.

      1. Mi

        Hi 3rd Timer, thanks for responding!

        Sorry, but I do not quite understand these initials.

        My case is that I had the F2 visa, I passed an RFE, and I was approved, receiving a letter with the new I-94.

        So, if I want to go to another company, to work in another function, what is the procedure?

        1. Ram

          It is simple, find a prospective employer who is ready to transfer the visa. Get the transfer initiated through the new employer. Till transfer is initiated, make sure you are maintaining the H1B visa properly. You can join the new employer either with the receipt number of transfer petition or with approval.

          1. Mi

            Hi Ram, thank you, always very friendly. So, if I have a new employer, but the function is different from the H1B approved petition, what is the procedure? Explaining: I was approved as Cost estimator, but a new company has potential interest in hiring me as a junior engineer (I am a civil engineer). It is possible? What are the chances of having this transfer denied?

    2. 3rd Timer

      In your case, the initial H1 should be applied with COS. So, you can apply for the transfer as soon as you receive the petition. For the transfer, they treat as a new petition, meaning USCIS see the job is a specialty occupation, you are possessing the specialty skills (acquired through education or experience or combination of both), the requested job is available for the requested period and you are paid as per the WL indicated in LCA (WL2 or more is better). The new petition may or may not warrant an RFE or it might be approved straight away. So, the documentation is very important. Good luck and all the best for your transfer.

  23. H1B_AmendmentApproval

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    I have below query regarding H1B amendment filing. Please let me know your thoughts.

    1. Before stamping for Location A, initiated location amendment to Location B . If amendment is denied, can I still proceed to stamping for Location A?
    2. After stamping for Location A, initiated location amendment to Location B . If amendment is denied, can I still travel to stamped Location A?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1B_AmendmentApproval,

      (1) yes.
      (2) yes.

      My personal choice is the second option. Because once your stamped you can travel and then apply for amendment. With amendment notice receipt you can start working for B. The notice receipt takes a week or so. Also, check with your employer and their attorney’s view on this too. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and safe travel to US.

      1. H1B_AmendmentApproval

        Thank you for your inputs. I also would prefer option -2 but it seems now there is a new rule that we need the amendment approval notice to travel/stamping if there is a location change….The receipt notice of amendment alone is not sufficient for travelling/stamping…This is for all consulates including Chennai consulate apparently…..:( If this rule is true, then option-1 and 2 are almost same since we need to initiate amendment either ways before travel…

        1. 3rd Timer

          I am not sure about the rule. Unless it is written in USCIS website these are rumors. However if you want to be in safe side then apply for amendment with PP. In that way you will get your approval (assuming all the documents are in place) and apply for stamping or travel. Good luck and all the best for your stamping and travel.

          1. H1B_AmendmentApproval

            Thank you for your inputs. I have initiated amendment with PP to be on the safer side. If I get an RFE for amendment, what are the timelines for responding to the RFE and for USCIS to process the RFE response? Is it 15 days for responding and 15 days for USCIS to process the response?

          2. 3rd Timer

            If you receive RFE then in most cases USCIS give 12 weeks to respond. If USCIS receive the response within that time line then that is considered as timely response from the beneficiary. If the response takes more than 12 weeks then USCIS deemed as the beneficiary abandoning the petition.

            In your case you will get 12 weeks to respond to your RFE. After you send the RFE response then USCIS again takes 15 calendar days from the courier delivery date to give their reply and you need to pay again. PP is one time fee. Since your original petition is filed with PP, USCIS always try to respond from their end within 15 days but they will give sufficient time for you to prepare your response. This 15 days cycle repeats till you get the approval or in very rare cases denial (NOID).

            Good luck and all the best for your approval, visa stamping and safe travel.

  24. santhosh tej

    I had my H1B interview Nov 3 rd in which they gave 221g blue slip asking for client letter. I have submitted the client letter on Nov 11 th Nov . How long does this process take. They did not collect my passports at Interview centre. Typically how long does this process take . What is probable result and time period for this kind of cases

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      Unfortunately there is no deadline for 221g. It can be resolved in few weeks to months. The timeline varies from case to case. So please keep tracking your visa status in the link provided and email them on regular basis to get an update. Good luck to you!Hope you will get a positive result soon.
      Please do follow https://redbus2us.com/the-beast-called-221g-process-faqs/

  25. RG

    Hi,

    I have received my extension approval a couple of months back without any RFE. But the USCIS website is still saying received status. I checked with the immigration legal team in company. They said not to worry about it. Has anyone heard of such instances? I am going for a Dropbox stamping soon.

    1. Ram

      Yes its common now a days that the USCIS site doesn’t have the updated information. As long as you have your approval notice, please don’t worry about it. You can get your visa stamping. Their internal systems will be updated. All the best for your visa stamping!

  26. H1B

    Hi Ram,

    I need to change my location. My employer suggesting for Mobile amendment. My stamping is done and currently i am in India.
    Can you please tell me about what is mobile amendment and how can we use it.
    Can it be done in Premium Processing

    Thanks

    1. Ram

      I am not too familiar with mobile amendment. Please check with your employer/Attorney on this and do let us know too, so that will be helpful for many who are in same situation.
      Amendments are common if you are changing location of employment and you need not wait for approval of amendment to work in new location. You can travel/work in new location with the receipt number of amendment petition. So please ask your employer to file one and you can travel/work with that receipt number. Safe journey!

  27. AM

    So frustrated and it’s impacting personal life also. SO+ emp employer relationship + status + edu evaluation in Rfe. Will it ever get approved with so many grey areas. 9 years of experience in business and strategy consulting. Applied as BA. Current status H4. The consultants do a real bad job. But there aren’t lt of options anyways

    1. H1B denied

      My h1b got denied after rfe.. I did 4 years degree BE.,ECE. And having 5 years of IT experience. Whether my rejection is based on my degree dept..?

      1. H1B denied

        Hi Ram,

        Can you please reply, it’s very frustrating, did SOW should be active ( at least for a year) while submitting RFE..? Or one month will be fine

        Thanks

        1. Ram

          Yes SOW should be active for an year at least. If not, an additional letter stating that this SOW would be extended after its expiry is also acceptable. Depending on validity of SOW, the H1B petition validity is given.

      2. Ram

        I am sorry to hear about your denial. The reason for denial cant be assumed. The exact reason is stated in denial notice, please check with your employer and get the denial notice. From that you can also know the options to challenge the denial decision if any. So please discuss with your employer/Attorney and decide on what to do further. All the best!

        1. H1B denied

          Hi Ram,

          Thank you.. employer is not ready to reveal the reasons and go for appeal. Simply they said it’s because of degree. Waited for this more than 3 yrs.. not sure wat to do. Did this rejection affect future visa apply (L1,H1) and results again in rejection

          1. Ram

            I personally know of many with this degree who have got the visa successfully this year and in past too. I am not sure how it can be due to degree. By any chance was your RFE about specialty occupation? I think they would have not proved that properly. That’s why they are pointing your degree as the reason. Please don’t be dejected and I am sure something better is awaiting you!
            This result doesn’t affect you in any way. It never has an impact on your future visa applications with USCIS.

    2. Ram

      @AM seems a list of commonly issued RFE. I can understand your frustration but unfortunately we have to wait for the approval. Approval completely depends on the response that is being sent. There are people who have cleared these RFEs successfully and got approval. So please be confident and stay positive! Help your Attorney in preparing response and provide your inputs too. This will give us a picture of whats really happening and would also give us a boost that we are working towards our visa too rather than left out in dark. All the best for your approval.Hope this helps you.

  28. Status not updated

    My attorney is saying that my case got approved in June end and shared with me the receipt number today . But in the USCIS site it’s status is still showing as “my case was received”. Is it a cause of worry or normal thing this year ?

    1. Ram

      This year USCIS case status site doesn’t seem to be updated properly. It has loads of issues with many cases. This could have happened with your case too. So please request for the approval notice from your employer. If you have your Approval notice with you with your name in beneficiary column, then the USCIS case status page is longer relevant to you. Please ask for the approval notice.

      1. Ram

        Typo: The USCIS case status page is no longer relevant to you. With the approval notice, you can proceed to next steps of scheduling visa interview and getting ready to travel.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Ram,

          I agree. Mine is still showing as “case received”. And worst, my sponsoring company informed me (after many queries) in September that the approval came in June itself. Then I found a new job as I was in OPT gap-gap earlier.

          The new company filed the transfer based on receipt number only because the first company not willing to share the petition. Luckily USCIS accepted the transfer with only receipt number and they approved with petition (filed in PP).

          Currently I am working in new company but the original petition still shows the case received. So, If anyone has already received the hard copy of the petition then please ignore the USCIS website status.

          Also, my another suggestion is if you are working for an employer who are not willing to share the petition details then please initiate the FOIA. Even though it would take time (approx 6 to 9 months) it is worth to get the details and believe me it will be useful in future.

          1. Ram

            Wow … Thank you for sharing your experience. This would enlighten many here. And congrats on your new job and Visa!

    1. 3rd Timer

      If the approval is send between April to September 1st then the approval will be given from October 1st, 17 to October 1st 2020. If the approval happens after October (say November 30) due to RFE etc then the approval end period will be same (October 1st , 2020) and the start date will be November 30th 2017. However, You can fully recover 6 years in your later extension regardless of how much the period written in your first approval.

  29. H1applicant

    Hi ,

    I have completed Masters in Computer Science from USA and I have almost 4 years of experience as a software developer in India.I work in one of the best employers in USA.I got rfe about specialty occupation.My attorney has worked on it and sent a response to rfe. Extremely worried about approval.
    Does it get approved when you have this type of rfe?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1applicant,

      Specialty occupation is one of the standard RFE is issued by the USCIS for many years. So, I believe this RFE is easy to respond and the approval for this RFE is higher than say WL1. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1b 2018,

      This year many people are like your case. There is no definite deadline for USCIS to adjudicate the case (like before Oct 1st or before Dec 31st etc). They can take as long as they want.

      However, one option to speed things up is to go for PP. With PP you should expect a response (Approval, RFE or Denial) from USCIS within 15 days. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  30. Ganesh

    On November 8, 2017, we denied your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC171435****. We mailed you a decision notice that explains why we denied your case and your options. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your denial notice by November 23, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy of the notice.

    What can i do now ? can i move further after the case denial.
    Ram can you help me on this. Totally upset.
    HR saying, better we can file new h1b on next year

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Ganesh, Sorry to hear that your’s ended up in denial. There is a chance to appeal the denial. But you have to do it within 30 days of the notice. Some people are successfully appealed their case and received an approval. So there is still a chance but it require very convincing response /documentation to address the denial reason(s) listed out. up course you can always apply for next year (new petition). Good luck and all the best for your successful appeal or new petition.

  31. Ram

    Hi,

    I have my extension approved and planning for a trip later this month. What’s the stats around visa extension stamping dropbox? Heard of any stamping issues for this year’s extension and also any h1 stamping with last year’s approved petitions?

    Regards,
    R

    1. 3rd Timer

      This year compared to previous years the VO’s asking lot of documentations. If you have all the necessary documentation then it will not be a problem. Couple of my friends received an approval with dropbox option. It is possible that even with dropbox option VO’s can issue 21(g) and ask more documentation. Good luck and all the best for your successful visa stamping and safe travel.

  32. Really Scared

    Really Scared
    Hi Ram and 3rd Timer,

    My actual salary is almost double of what is in the LCA. I got the Wage Level 1 and specialty occupation RFE. When checked with attorney, they said that wage level is based on the position and not the individual salary. Is that correct?

    Probably, attorney is going to highlight my salary. Does the real salary more than the LCA salary impact the RFE response positively or negatively?

    Also, I am working as an SAP consultant and completed by Bachelor in computer science in 2005. Did you see any cases of approvals with my profile?

    Thanks!

  33. Really Scared

    Hi Ram and 3rd Timer,

    My actual salary is almost double of what is in the LCA. I got the Wage Level 1 and specialty occupation RFE. When checked with attorney, they said that wage level is based on the position and not the individual salary. Is that correct?

    Probably, attorney is going to highlight my salary. Does the real salary more than the LCA salary impact the RFE response positively or negatively?

    Also, I am working as an SAP consultant and completed by Bachelor in computer science in 2005. Did you see any cases of approvals with my profile?

    Thanks!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Really Scared,

      wage level is based on the position and not the individual salary. Is that correct?
      Yes. You may receive higher salary but still the job can be entry level (WL1).
      Check the page 7 of the document given below for the classification of Wage levels
      http://www.flcdatacenter.com/download/NPWHC_Guidance_Revised_11_2009.pdf

      Check the below link for what exactly USCIS looking for in WL 1 RFE
      http://immigrationgirl.com/what-does-uscis-want-in-the-level-1-wage-rfe/

      And the link below for some successful response for WL1 RFE
      http://immigrationgirl.com/rfe-success-story-too-complex-to-be-level-1/

      So, if the employer is offering the wage level equal or more than the position then that’s is fine for USCIS. However if you use salary as a argument then USCIS may conclude that the job you are doing is not an entry level (WL1). Owing to more WL1 for this year, the attorney’s already know or figured out how to respond. So, I do hope your attorney prepared or preapring a good response with all the necessary documentation. Just work with them and provide as much information possible from your end. I believe your case will get approved in the end. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  34. L12H1

    My VISA has been approved through regular processing, here is the breakdown

    4/11 – H1 selected in lottery
    5/19 – Transferred to different location
    7/12 – RFE
    10/04 Response to RFE
    11/08 Approved

      1. L12H1

        I am not sure what my RFE was as my company doesnt share but documents which i have provided were

        As some one said i too got a jackpot of submitting a list of documents out of which 4 & 5 were difficult in limited time

        1. Client letter with forecast for next 3 years, duites & responsibilities
        2. SOW
        3. 2 years performance review
        4. experience with roles, responsibilities & learnings of all current, previous employers
        5. same as 4 but from all overseas experience as i have worked in different continents
        6. duties for the current role with percentages of time spent
        7. payslips
        8. project & client details
        9. org chart
        10. family details

        1. 3rd Timer

          Congrats for the approval. The hard work finally paid off. Great. Also, what is your RFE is about? It might be useful to some people who have received the same (or similar) RFE as yours.
          Thanks for sharing your case too.

  35. Rass

    Hello Friends,
    Looking for expert advice.
    I got 2nd RFE.
    Below are documents required:

    This is what my lawyer mailed:
    USCIS is challenging whether the position of Software Engineer is a “specialty occupation” requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty. Please confirm whether we have permission to obtain the Expert Opinion Letter, and that company agrees to pay for the cost of obtaining the expert letter.

    This is my understanding:
    – need Documentation that confirms that here will be speciality occupation work available through the requested validity period

    Please suggest what documents to send. Also please mail me any templates if possible that can help with my case.

    Email: [email protected]

    Thank You
    Rass

    1. Ram

      Rass, from the email received it is clear that your Attorney knows where and how to get it. So better leave to them. They will know the format and from whom to get it from. Good luck!

      1. Rass

        Hi Ram
        One more question, they have requested offer letter copy as well in 2nd RFE. I don’t want to get in trouble with Wage level issue. Below are my details. Can you suggest if it looks ok and there will be no further RFE for WL1.

        Position: Software Engineer
        Offer letter: 64K

        1. Ram

          If they have asked for offer letter, then you have no other option but to submit it. If you don’t submit it, then this too may lead to rejection due to insufficient evidence provided. So please submit all the documents asked for.

          1. Rass

            Hi Ram,
            I am asking as I want to understand if you can provide a new offer letter with high pay? please note that this offer letter will deffer from first one i submitted and I want to know if that is ok and will not led to rejecting my visa? i can arrange for another offer letter with my company for visa purposes? what should be pay i put in that letter.

    2. 1ofdlucky1

      Expert opinion letter is very common this year. Attorney should take care of it. Different options will be there depending on time like 800$ for 2-3 weeks etc.

    3. Rass

      Hello,
      One more question, does expert opinion letter alone will work or do i need to give detailed job description along with Duties and how does my BE Degree help with my job duties.
      Please confirm?
      Also anyone with similar case and experience please share.

      Thank You
      Rass

      1. Ram

        The detailed job description and how your degree helps your position would also add more value to the response. If you could get it, yes it would help you to build a strong response!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Mahesh, It is possible. You can ask your employer/attorney to contact USCIS for correction. Based on the request for correction document you can attend the interview and in case the VO ask you may show this one. Good luck and all the best for your visa interview and safe travel.

  36. Shak

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I left my 2nd master degree program on Dec. 2016 while I already had a pending F1 to F2 COS filed on Nov. 2016. consequently my sevis was terminated on Jan. 2017. On April 2017 an employer filed H1B for me (still no F2 approval in hand at that time and F1 sevis terminated as I did not enroll). On Jun. 2017 I received F2 COS approval. How my H1B COS could be affected and what will be considered as my status on the time of H1B filing?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Shak, I am not sure exactly what was your status on April 1st. But I guess you are authorized to stay based on COS request from f1 to F2. Since you have already received the F2 COS in June It is most likely approved with COS for your H1. However, in case (very rare) USCIS determine that you have violated the status then they approve your H1 with Consular Processing. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  37. izkan

    Case was received in April – RFE came in August . Response was filed in October End with PP, Received Approval Today.

    None AD – Non Masters.

      1. JC

        Ram,
        Just one doubt please- I have responded to my rfe i.e. educational evaluation &
        E-E relationship on October and also status changed in uscis site ‘response has been received’ from the past one month.
        At present, mainly they are taking care of PP applications only, that’s why this delay is happening for regular ? Kindly provide your thoughts on this. Then it would be of great helpful!

        1. 3rd Timer

          @JC, It is possible that due to PP the regular processing may get delayed. However, you should expect some sort of communication (approval or 2nd RFE etc) from USCIS within 60 days of submitting your RFE. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

    1. andrew27

      Hi how many days out of the 15 did the case get to get resolved? I am in the same situation and RFE was received on November 2nd- I’m also filing with premium processing.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @andrew27,

        Once PP is submitted after responding to RFE (some people request PP after submitting the RFE and some send the PP along with RFE response), USCIS will respond within 15 days.

        In most cases the USCIS response comes at around 15th day. Their response can be approval (most of the time), or second RFE ( in some cases) or Denial/NOID (very rare cases).

        In case USCIS issues 2nd RFE then you no need to pay PP fee again. And, USCIS will take 15 more days to reply to 2nd RFE response and the cycle continues till you get the approval or denial.

        Also, in case USCIS no able to adjudicate within 15 calendar days (some time time this happens) then they reimburse the fee but still they try to treat this as PP case.

        The first day of PP starts the day FEDEX/UPS document reaches the USCIS. Some time there will be delay of 4 to 5 days between courier receipt day and the online update date. But the courier receipt day is the day considered as first day. Good luck and all the best for your RFE PP approval.

  38. PHARMA

    Just For Information:

    By Krystal Alanis, Immigration Attorney at Reddy & Neumann PC.

    USCIS stated that employers have received scam emails requesting Form I-9 information that appear to come from USCIS. Employers are not required to submit Forms I-9 to USCIS. These scam emails come from a fraudulent email address: [email protected] This is not a USCIS email address. Do not respond to these emails or click the links in them.

  39. Sam

    Hi

    Am i eligible for cap-exempt petition for the following scenario?

    I joined my former employer last march and they filed for h1b petition last year as consular processing. I didn’t get my visa stamped because i am on OPT-STEM and try to maximize the time on OPT before starting the 6 years time. However, I got laid off recently and i found a new employer that can sponsor me for h1b.

    I am not sure if i am eligible to file cap-exempt petition because I did work for the initial employer (not on h1b thought) and it was withdrawn recently (which is after Oct 1st). The problem is my OPT going to finish at the end of this year, so i am hoping we can file a cap-exempt petition.

  40. NeedSuggestion

    Hi Ram & 3rd Timer,
    Till now I have only one update “Selected in lottery”, I do not have the case number aslo, Till now no update from USCIS, how many are there like me or shall i give up hope and move on.

    Pls suggest and need your guidance..

    1. Ram

      There are many petitions which are still in received state(Just selected in lottery and with no updates at all). This year processing is slower and it can take much more longer time for regular processing. May be you can talk to your employer about upgrading your case to premium processing. This would ensure that you would get some update within 15 calendar days. Unfortunately some employers don’t share the receipt number. If you have receipt number, you can track its progress in USCIS site. All the best! Be confident!

  41. CTS_T55

    Hi all,
    My employer had initiated H1B for me from Client 1

    I went for PA got 221g form. asking to submit client letter. Client1 won’t give those documents. VO kept my I-797 and returned my passport.

    My employer is ready for petition amendment for Client 2 in another location.

    1. Can we go for petition amendment when initial petition is under 221g processing?

    Please share the knowledge if anyone faced similar situation. Please suggest me what to do.

    1. Ram

      Since your initial petition is in 221g, I don’t think amendment is possible. Please check with your Attorney before opting for this process. Good luck!

  42. H1bRFE-Need help

    Hi Ram

    My wife applied H4 to H1 COS through an employer. She got picked into lottery and later on she got RFE on Sptember 8th.Her employer is responding to the RFE this week. My wife’s H4 is expiring in one week.
    Also,I haven’t applied H4 extension for her.

    current question is –

    1. whether she needs to apply for her H4 extension based on my H1, while this RFE is pending to maintain legal status in US?

    2. Can my wife stay in US even after the H4 expiration date based on the application of H1B Change Of Status. Whether 240 day rule apply here?

    3. What is the ideal solution for her to maintain legal status in US while she waits for her H1 change of status be approved by USCIS?

    1. Ram

      1&3. Since her petition is filed in COS, it is better to file for extension of H4 ASAP. For her COS to be approved, the current visa has to be valid. If her H1B is approved before H4 decision, you can withdraw the H4 petition. If her H4 is not valid, while approving H1B they would abandon the COS request and approve her H1B as consular processing. In such case she may have to leave the country(as her H4 would expire), get her stamping and enter on H1B. For few applications, I have also seen USCIS asking further evidence about the current Visa status. So if you apply for extension now, you can tackle such situations easily.

      2. Since her H1 is applied there is no need to apply for H4. She can legally stay here unless she gets a decision for H1B. But in this scenario, her COS is applied along with H1B. So it is required to maintain her H4 until her H1B is approved. So please apply for her H4 extension.
      You can also get an opinion from her Attorney before filling for her H4 extension.

      1. H1bRFE-Need help

        Hi Ram,

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        I have few more questions

        1. if my wife goes to India for H4 stamping and come back to US with approved H4 and her H1 got approved after her coming back to US what will be her status?

        2. Same case as above H1 approved but COS got rejected,what will be her status ?

        Do you see any problems if she go to India for H4 stamping?

        Thank you.

        1. Ram

          1. If she travels now to India, her COS would be abandoned. She will be on H4 and to convert to H1B she will have to file COS again and wait for its approval or get H1B stamping and enter USA on H1B.
          2. If her COS is rejected, she will continue to be on H4.

          In this scenario, it is not recommended to travel out of country. Instead applying for her extension, will solve all issues.

          1. Ram

            Also note that H1B stamping may or may not go smooth. Of late there are loads of Visa going to administrative processing or 221g after visa interview. This causes unnecessary further delay for travel. So please consider that too before taking any decision.

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