H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track your H1B Case

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

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

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

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

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

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

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

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

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Comments ( 12,863 )

  1. H4_H1

    Hi guys,
    I am currently on H4 which is expiring in Mar 2018.My H1b case(COS) status is RFE Resp Sent.Should I apply for H4 extention or wait for H1b approval?pls suggest.thanks!

    1. 3rd Timer


      I think you can wait for some more time, till Feb and apply for extension. I hope it will be approved before then. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  2. H1B Aspirant

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer

    could you please tell me the stamping procedure. Steps needed for stamping and how many days it requires

    Thanks in advance

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1B Aspirant,

      First go to the US Consulate website close to your address (Example if you are in Nagpur, go to Mumbai website etc). Then fill up DS-160 Form. You need to create an account. No fee for this. Once it is filled correctly (this is simple and straight forward) submit it. Then again go to the website and find link which will tell you how to schedule an appointment, pay fee etc. There you can see approximate wait period or when the next slot is available for the interview.

      Paying fee also easy if you have an online bank account. If not others also can pay for you. Then schedule an appointment on the given date. Go one day before for finger printing. During Visa interview day take all the necessary documents (like i-129, i-797A approval form, SOW, Client letter, degree certificate, if you are working then pay stubs and tax forms etc).

      Take the documents which are applicable and relevant to your case. Search this forum about what are the forms required. Answer all the questions truthfully during the interview and you will definitely get a visa. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and safe travel after to US.

  3. km

    My RFE response was received by USCIS on 7th of December.

    My employer is NOT upgrading it to PP, as they are seeing too many rejections at this point in time. Any insights on this?

    PP takes 15 calendar days is known. Approximately how much time does regular process takes?

    PS: My RFE was SO and WL1

    1. 3rd Timer


      Typical time frame is within 60 days as per USCIS guidelines. However, this year that time frame will not be honored due to various reasons (no PP from April to October, increased scrutiny etc). So, I expect it would at least 3 to 4 months. Having said that, not all cases takes that time because there are cases approved within two weeks even for normal processing RFE responses. Good luck and all the best for your RE approval.

      1. Km

        Does PP has any chance of rejection?
        I mean , I know its the process which really matters and not if it is regular or premium.

        but is there any, even slight a bit, chance of rejection just due to PP?

        1. 3rd Timer


          PP will be handled by different officer than the one who had issued the RFE first time. So, some attorney’s thinking that these PP officers are experienced and they can spot the pbs easily or it is difficult to convince them than the normal officer. That’s the reason some attorney’s recommending not to upgrade. However, it is up to you/your company’s to decide, i.e, if you feel that the company applying H1 B is not dodgy, the documentation for the job is strong, you are having required specialty skills and your RFE is addressed in detail manner then up course it will be approved without pbs weather it is PP or Regular.

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

  4. Second time

    FYI 2016-17
    Didn’t get picked up.

    FYI 2017-18
    3rd April – Application submitted.
    18th Aug – RFE
    14th Nov – Response to RFE sent
    13th Dec – Approved.

    Lets just hope for all well going further.

  5. Need expert advice

    Hello All,

    My employer had sent response for RFE which got denied. Please find the reason below:
    Decision Notice Mailed
    On November 30, 2017, we denied your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC1714xyz. We mailed you a decision notice that explains why we denied your case and your options. Please follow the instructions in the notice.

    After inquiring with my employer, I received a mail stating:

    “The petition was denied due to the following reason: The USCIS did not deem the position as a specialty occupation.

    Per company policy, we cannot share the denial notice.. ”

    I have 8+ years of experience in Computer programming still not sure why USCIS denied with this reason. In my company all the RFEs have been denied with the same reason. More than 80% of engineers have received denial notices.

    Some managers are now saying since the denial reason was against specialty occupation there is no benefit for filing MTR.

    So my question to the panel here is, Really is it game over or is there any chance my case getting approved if my employer file a Notice of Appeal or Motion?

    Kindly suggest.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Need expert advice,

      I am sorry to hear that your petition has been denied.

      “The petition was denied due to the following reason: The USCIS did not deem the position as a specialty occupation. I have 8+ years of experience in Computer programming still not sure why USCIS denied with this reason”.

      First of all the denial is nothing to do with your experience or education background. Even if you had a PhD and 25 years of exp it would have been denied. Because, what the employer needs to establish first and foremost to get H1B is that the Job they have advertised/available is in fact specialty occupation. If they are not able to establish that fact then USCIS will not check the beneficiary’s qualification.

      The USCIS looks for beneficiary’s qualifications only after it is satisfied that the job the employer posted in labor department is in fact specialty occupation and they have shortage in workforce in US. Then USCIS look for the beneficiary’s education to see he/she has special skills to do the specialty job requested.

      If the USCIS is not able to make the correlation between the education and the job duties mentioned in the i-129 then they issue RFE. So, in that case the employer with the help from beneficiary and other experts in that field try to convince the USCIS that the beneficiary’s part of the education or accumulated experience makes him/her as specialty skill person.

      In your case it looks like that the first part of establishing the requested job as a specialty job was inadequate from the documents submitted from your company. It is possible to get positive outcome with MTR option. However, the request should come from your employer and you can’t request yourself.

      Based on your write up it looks like your company is accepting the USCIS findings. So in that scenario it is difficult to get a positive outcome. Also, if you and your company planning for MTR then you should do it within 30 days of the denial date. If it is more than 30 days then USCIS will not accept the MTR application.

      –Good luck and all the best for your other options including MTR or applying next year again with better documentation etc.

  6. Jalan

    Hi Ram,

    My H1B got approved for Part time for 30 hours. I would like to know Can I work overtime if my employer required? If Yes? How many maximum hour can I work in Part time H1b without changing in the LCA.

    1. 3rd Timer


      It is possible, i.e, Lets say if your case is approved while you are in middle of return journey then your status is H1 and not F2. I am assuming you have applied with COS. In that scenario the Port of Entry VO may ask H1 documents. That’s my guess.

  7. H1B Second Time

    Hi, After submitting the RFE response to USCIS on 21st, still my case shows the same Request for additional evidence was mailed. Team suggest some guidance from your end.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1B Second Time,

      Well, this year the update in USCIS is not great. Example one of my friend received an approval last July but it says still received. So, you cant do anything just hope it will be approved in due course.

      Good luck and all the best for your approval.

          1. NN

            My timeline:
            April 11: Picked up in lottery
            Aprill 22: receipt notice
            June 6: RFE – CPT maintenace of status
            August 18: RFE response received
            Sept 27: Updated to PP
            Oct 4: 2nd RFE – Wage level I
            Nov 27: RFE response received – tracker note updated
            Dec 7: H1B approved – tracker not updated
            Dec 11-13: emailed attorney 3 times who finally called USCIS, confirmed application was approved, still waiting for approval notice

  8. Sophia

    Guys, I upgraded to premium. My case status changed yesterday saying ‘premium processing request received’ and today it changed again to ‘case was received and a receipt notice was emailed.’ So my start date of premium is today or yesterday?

    1. 3rd Timer


      15 days clock start the day Fedex reached USCIS. And you should get the response within (including) 15 calendar days. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

    2. logic

      Does 1 day of different really matter? Just do not understand why people are bothered about 1 day. It is like you would not have gone for PP if the advertised SLA is 16 days instead of 15.

        1. 3rd Timer

          Sorry guys. I just don’t want to make fun of anyone who are waiting for their approval because i know how hard and how it is frustrating to wait. I just felt that couple more extra days of waiting is not a big deal. Anyway, apologies if anyone offended.

  9. Ravi Shankar Villuri

    My H1 was applied with COS. My wife’s H4 and ead was applied later after my application went through the lottery. My case has been stuck i “rfe response received” for 5 months. My question is if i apply for PP now, what are the chances that the H1, H4 and H4 ead would get adjudicated together? I understood from my attorney that if they aren’t, my wife would lose her current L2 ead. Any thoughts?

        1. 3rd Timer

          Once your case is approved in PP, then your status immediately (the day it is approved) become H1. In that case your spouse’s L2 is no longer valid. My understating is your H1 and H4 will be approved and but not the H4 EAD. It would take time and also there is no PP for H4 EAD.

    1. 3rd Timer


      This is nothing new. This means for a given time you can work more than 1 employer provided each employer have the approved copy of the beneficiary. Meaning you can work 20 hrs for one employer and remaining 20 hrs for other employer but each should have their own approval copy, i.e, you should have two approved receipt copy. This is allowed for long time and not a new directive.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sanoop B, The below are some of the reasons there are many rejections happening compared to previous years.

      1. Computer programmers are not considered as specialty job as per USCIS. This directive came just before the April filing which go many companies off-guard.

      2. The job requested is not related to the education. One of the Example is ECE educated person will work as Business analyst or Software engineer. Some of the RFE related to these could be addressed successfully by providing the job experience. But some could be rejected if the USCIS determine that the experience is insufficient.

      3. Not submitting the proper or clear statement of work. or the SOW is not align with the beneficiary’s previous work or intended work etc.

      4. Some jobs USCIS would expect the detail breakdown of the job schedule which was not submitted by the company.

      5. Wage level 1 LCA. This year USCIS concluding that most of the WL1 LCA’s are in fact initial/low level job which doesn’t comes under specialty occupation.

      –Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  10. LuckyBunny

    Hello There,

    I am wishing you “All the best” for your petition approval and stamping.

    This is really a good site to read the issues\status of others and post our own queries. I really should thank to the great people like “Ram” and “3rd Timer” for giving the best advices and thoughts.

    “Ram” and “3rd Timer” – You guys are really awesome, the attitude helping others is really awesome.

    Finally..My petition got approved today. I need all your wishes for my stamping.

    Lucky Bunny

    1. StillWaitingfortheresponse

      Congrats for your approval. Can you please share us your experience. Did you get any RFE (if so what is the RFE) and when did you replied..How long it took for an approval and your service center etc..

  11. HappyHappy

    Hi Friends,

    Need your help guidance urgently. I work for MNC and got H1B VISA stamped but due downsize I can’t travel with that project and need to continue at offshore.

    1) Is there any company transferring VISA in India?
    2) Any of you or your friends has done transfer recently?
    3) Someone told , lots of rejection happening even for H1B transfer, Is it So?
    4) I have been applying on Naukri, Monster but not getting any response, may be Christmas quarter in progress.

    Kindly need your suggestion. Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Congrats for your approval and visa stamping.

      1) Is there any company transferring VISA in India? Yes, many will do. Check with friends.

      2) Any of you or your friends has done transfer recently? Not mine. But, I believe many here are still expecting approval or waiting for RFe results. I dont think many would able to help you in this. Best option is networking.

      3) Someone told , lots of rejection happening even for H1B transfer, Is it So? Not really. But you should remember that if you are amending or transferring then it would consider as new petition. Only thing is, it was already counted against the cap. Otherwise, it would draw a same scrutiny as initial petition. For example, if the initial petition was approved with WL1 LCA after RFE and it doesn’t mean that the transfer petition will be approved without any pbs if the new LCA is WL1. Simply put it depends on the documents you are submitting for new job and just it will not go through lottery.

      4) I have been applying on Naukri, Monster but not getting any response, may be Christmas quarter in progress? Yes. Usually end of the year the hiring might be slow.

      -Good luck and all the best for your transfer and also safe travel to US.

      1. HappyHappy

        Hi 3rd Timer,

        Thanks for your information. I have got my H1B approval directly without any RFE issued. So I am wondering going through small consulting companies which might project scrutiny issues, But going through big companies like Wipro, IBM, Accenture, Infosys, TechM, CTS etc… but not sure if they are in the transfer process. Any idea on this? I hope big companies may not have major risks like small consultacies. Thanks

        1. 3rd Timer


          It doesn’t matter for the USCIS that the HiB is applied by big or small companies. If the company is maintaining the proper records, the job is actually exist, the documents they are submitting is not dodgy or adequate, and you are possessing the special skill to to the required specialty occupation then USCIS approve your case.

  12. Sirisha

    Hi guys,
    I have received RFE on August 23rd and my employer has responded to USCIS on 6th of November and delivered to USCIS on 8th November. But still status has not been updated it still shows RFE mailed in the USCIS website. Is this normal ? Anybody out there on the same boat?…
    am actually worried..

    1. Ram

      This year we do see loads of irregularities in the case status tool. So may be USCIS have got the response and have not updated the tool. Please request your Attorney to confirm the same by calling USCIS customer care.

    2. imcool24

      Yes . This has been a crazy year. RFE received September 15th . Attorney responded November 1st week. It is way past the RFE due date. Status still shows RFE sent. Attorney has confirmed the RFE response was sent and received by USCIS.

  13. Neelam

    it will be four month my case is in status “Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received”.
    Is there any hope for approval ?
    when i ask my company immigration team, they say follow USCIS status.

    1. H1applicant

      Mine is pending from 2 months …My case is transferred from Vermont to California after RFE response.
      Even I have started losing hopes

    2. MK

      Mine is pending from 89 days and showing the same status “Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received”. RFE was on right to control and speciality occupation. Ram or 3rd timer what is chance of approval?

    3. Hope

      Please don’t lose hope and i know this kind of waiting is mentally exhaustive. My RFE decision has been pending for the last 3.5 months. But keep praying including for me too and everything will turn positive.

  14. SS


    My H1b visa application has got an RFE. Judging by the rate of rejections, i am pretty sure it will be rejected.

    My RFE is about maintainance of status.

    My question is, if i reapply for H1b visa after moving back to India, will my application see same RFE?

      1. SS

        My RFE title says “Specialty Occupation”.
        However, documents asked are the following:

        1) Validation reports submitted to DSO every two months (I have two reports and apparently, my former DSO did not save the first two and I have an email from my university saying that)

        2)Pay stubs from my job
        I was in India for five months of my OPT. However, I was employed then. The company have a branch in India as well. I misplaced the pay stubs from my first company. I have all the pay stubs from my second company though. From the first company, I have its job offer letter.

        Now, in my opinion, above documents come under Maintenance of Status. I don’t know why it is under specialty occupation. Any advice is appreciated.

        1. 3rd Timer


          Usually, you are required to submit the progress report to DSO for every 6 months if you used STEM Extension by submitting i-983 and you need to update the address for every 6 months for all the OPT cases (initial and STEM extension cases). Also, if you worked in a company which was not e-verified during STEM extension that will considered as violation or misuse of the OPT. Regarding pay stubs, if you have worked in US company or MNC which had a branch in India then they should have a copy of your W-2. So, you can submit them. I believe you have already asked this question earlier. Anyway, Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

    1. Ram

      @SS Your RFE currently is about maintenance of current status. This has been issued as your H1B would have been filed in change of status when you are in USA currently. Is my assumption right?
      This is a simple RFE and I feel you can clear it easily as you know will already have the right documentation and visa status with you.
      On your second question, when you re apply from India, you will be applying it as consular processing. So in that scenario there may be no question about the visa status or maintenance of Visa status but when you go for H1B stamping, they might ask you about it. In this scenario, you may or may not get RFE on other details. We cant say for sure.

      Never get dejected, I strongly feel you can clear this RFE if you are maintaining your status correctly.

      1. SS

        My RFE title says “Specialty Occupation”.
        However, documents asked are the following:

        1) Validation reports submitted to DSO every two months (I have two reports and apparently, my former DSO did not save the first two and I have an email from my university saying that)

        2)Pay stubs from my job
        I was in India for five months of my OPT. However, I was employed then. The company have a branch in India as well. I misplaced the pay stubs from my first company. I have all the pay stubs from my second company though. From the first company, I have its job offer letter.

        Now, in my opinion, above documents come under Maintenance of Status. I don’t know why it is under specialty occupation. Any advice is appreciated.

  15. NN

    My application got 2RFEs. Lawyers submitted the response on 11/27 (Fedex delivered). Already updated to PP when we responded to the first RFE. USCIS tracker still says RFE was mailed. Not showing RFE received. It’s been 15 days. I understand the tracking system is bad, but shouldn’t I here back by now? Is there a chance that they lost my response. I don’t think lawyer would do anything to follow up. This whole process is exhausting. Can I do anything?

    1. @NN

      My RFE response delivered by Fedex on 11/29. Site updated the very next day (Approx 20 hours from the time of delivery). — Regular Processing.

      Its worth to cross check, not sure though on how you do that.

      1. NN

        That’s usually what happened when USCIS receives a document from us. I have seen lags in updates before but not this long. Lawyers kept saying I can’t rely on the tracking system but there’s still no update.

        1. 3rd Timer


          I think PP will be handled by diff department in USCIS. You should request your attorney to contact them in email immediately to see what is going on. Also, make sure the cheque for PP is cashed. In very rare cases USCIS can deny the PP request and process the petition as regular without giving any feedback. This I have read in other forum (immigirationgirl.com) recently. I do hope that is not the case with yours. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

          1. NN

            Lawyers totally ignore my emails and when I tried to call, they said I’m overreacting. They’re not gonna do anything

  16. CTS_H1-B Transfer Denied

    CTS_H1-B Transfer Denied

    Ram & 3rd Timer,

    Transferred My H1-B to CTS and initially i got approved for 1 yr, due to some emergency middle of my transfer came to india and H1 Transfer was denied, any suggestions from your side in this case.

    1. Ram

      I am sorry to hear about your denial. Do you know the reason for denial? Did you get any RFE before denial ? or was the stamping denied? Based on the denial reason, we can discuss more on this. Without denial reason, our discussion would be based on assumptions only.

      Another point, have u resigned from current company?
      How come you transferred first and got one year and then initiated transfer to another company? Can you please clearly tell us your scenario, so that we can help you further.

      1. CTS_H1-B Transfer Denied

        Initial approved from Some X employer for 1 yr approval based on client letter, and when i tried to transfer H1 to CTS it got denied.

          1. CTS_H1-B Transfer


            In 2016 my H1 picked in lottery and got approval for 1 yr (which end’s sep-30-2017)with infiniteXXX employer, in 2017 sep i got full time offer with CTS and transferred and mean while some emergency i was travelled to india in mid of oct, got RFE and answered in Nov, it got denied last week.

            1)what was the options i have now, i am stuck india.
            2) Can i transfer my visa to some other employer, is it possible.

          2. 3rd Timer

            @CTS_H1-B Transfer

            I am sorry to hear that your transfer with CTS got denied. Also, your initial post was little confusing and now it makes sense.

            1)what was the options i have now, i am stuck india.?
            You can continue to work for CTS India and meanwhile you/CTS can request for MTR (Motion to Retry/Reconsider). This needs additional and convincing documentation than the original RFE one. Also, if you knew the reasons for the rejection then that will be be very helpful to give suggestions. The downside is, it would take long time, at least 4 months.

            2) Can i transfer my visa to some other employer, is it possible?
            Yes, You can try that option as well. However, you should try to find out what is the reason(s) for the denial because if it is related to you then you can correct it next time with other employer. Keep in mind that the transfer and amendment will draw a same scrutiny as original petition meaning, if the original is approved with WL1, dodgy SOW, without client letter then thinking that the transfer also could be approved with the same documentation is not correct. You should pay particular attention to wage level, SOW and client letter and also your work experience if your intended area of work is different than your education.

            –Good luck and all the best for your transfer.

  17. H1B RFE

    I received specialty occupation and wage level 1 RFE. I have reviewed response summary letter with my lawyer and I think it is a strong response. We have submitted the response on 17 November. The lawyer has submitted expert opinion letter, organization chart, artifacts that I have created, detailed job description etc. Also, she argued on the fact that it is not under the USCIS jurisdiction to decide the wage level, DOL decides the wage level, she gave an example, that the plumber earning wage level 4, does not make that job a specialty occupation. And submitted that the dentist also working on wage level 1 and it does not mean that doctor profession is not a specialty occupation.

    However, my lawyer is recommending not to apply for the premium process (Since RFE is related to the Wage level 1).

    I am currently working on the CPT which is valid until 24th Feb 2018 (I am not sure whether I will get the response buy that time)

    My F1 visa is going to expire on 6 th of January.

    So, my question is:

    1. Shall I apply for premium? I am confused because my lawyer is not recommending it but considering my CPT end date I think I need to file for premium.

    2. Will there be a denial of I apply for premium processing?

    2. What are the options do I have if I want to continue working on 24th Feb?

    1. Sophia

      I am in the same situation. Same RFE and My OPT ends in January. I am opting for premium, my request for premium is going out today or tomorrow. I need to know what the result is going to be so that I can plan accordingly.


    2. 3rd Timer

      1. Shall I apply for premium? yes I believe. Regular processing would take normally anywhere between 2 weeks to 60 days. But this year it may go beyond that time.

      2. Will there be a denial of I apply for premium processing? Some lawyers (like yours) are recommending not to go for PP because it would be handled by the senior or experienced officers if you upgrade. So they might check the document differently than the initial officer who issued the RFE. However, if you believe that the response is strong then you can go for PP. My opinion is if the rejection will happen then it will happen irrespective of regular or PP. But, I also suggest to wait as late as possible, say till Feb starting, then apply PP. In that way you are not overruling the lawyer’s suggestion as well.

      2. What are the options do I have if I want to continue working on 24th Feb? Unfortunately there is no option but you stop working unless you obtain OPT. If you already exhausted the OPT then I believe you are authorized to stay in US till your case is adjudicated. Also, if it is denied (I really hope it will not) then you can apply again next year and you can utilize cap-gap i-20 period till September. The problem for that option is you gain not authorized to work but only stay.

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

      1. H1B RFE

        Thank you for your response 3rd Timer. It is really helpful.
        I have a question related to your below comment on my third question.

        ‘then you can apply again next year and you can utilize cap-gap i-20 period till September.’

        1. How am I eligible to apply for next year if I am not working? Do you mean that ‘I have to ask my employer to terminate me for now and ask to file new H1B next year and start working after approval ‘??

        2. I am currently on CPT and this is my second masters and exhausted OPT during my first masters. Also, my school is saying that SEVIS is not updated due to glitch in the USCIS status updating system. But my lawyer is saying not to worry about that.

        In this scenario, am I eligible for cap gap ?

        1. 3rd Timer

          1. How am I eligible to apply for next year if I am not working? Do you mean that ‘I have to ask my employer to terminate me for now and ask to file new H1B next year and start working after approval ‘??

          After Feb 18, you should stop working if you didn’t get the approval. If it is denied then you have 60 days grace period to leave the country since your are in H1. Fortunately for you the next year H1 start date of April 1st falls before that 60 days deadline. Also, I believe your company can apply again next year if this year petition is pending.

          2. I am currently on CPT and this is my second masters and exhausted OPT during my first masters. Also, my school is saying that SEVIS is not updated due to glitch in the USCIS status updating system. But my lawyer is saying not to worry about that. In this scenario, am I eligible for cap gap ? I am not sure about SEVIS glitch will affect the cap-gap. But you should resolve that before Feb 18. You are eligible for cap-gap next year from April to Sept end only if your company will sponsor for 2019. In that case you are authorized to stay but can’t work based on timely filing of application of April 1st which falls during your 60 days period. Since you are not working on the date of filing you can’t work but stay.

    3. xxx

      @H1B RFE: My spouse received the Level 1 RFE…My laywer prepared the similar response as you mentioned in the text, but without the expert letter. Also We did premium processing and got approval in three days. BTW, this scenario was for non-IT job (medical field). Hope this helps.

  18. varun

    Hi Guys

    I am in India and one of big consultancy filed h1b visa for me this year and it got selected and then finally got approved in July,2018. But the consultancy is not willing to go for stamping as they say they dont have projects as such and your travel can be postponed till even 2019. What should I do. Is it possible to transfer my H1b. I have not received any document from them except the receipt number whose status is approved.

    Are there any employer willing to transfer my case, or do i have stick with this consultancy and wait till 2019 or may be they never sent me. I have a good job in India with 8 yrs extensive development experience and 25 lac+ ctc, but I am looking for an opportunity in US. My current employer also files H1b, should I approach them to transfer. Will they consider it. Any one faced this problem pls guide me with value suggestion.

    1. Ram

      If you wish, you can transfer your visa. If you have your approval notice, it is much easier to initiate the transfer else just receipt number is suffice. You get contacts of different companies through your friends in USA already or check openings in USA through the job portals or professional network.Once transfer is approved, you can get stamping and travel to USA. All the best!

      1. 3rd Timer

        Some people say if the visa was approved as CP then you could transfer your visa to other companies only after stamping is done. However, some people say opposite of that. Since your current company is planning to apply for H1 for your for 2019 it is worth telling them and speaks to their lawyer. Also, as Ram mentioned it is better to have the approval. If they not willing to share then it will not be a problem. You only need the approval number. This I know personally because I have done it myself in this October. Also, update us so that it will be helpful for someone in future. Good luck and all the best for your transfer.

          1. 3rd Timer

            @H1B Aspirant,

            I am not sure in CP cases but for COS cases then it will not be a problem if the company revoked after October 1st.

          2. Ram

            Since he is in India and well past the visa start date, there would be no issues if his employer withdraws the petition.

          3. 3rd Timer

            @Ram and @H1B Aspirant,

            Check this for more clarification.

        1. varun

          Hi 3rd Timer,

          Thanks for your inputs, are you really sure that visa transfer can be just with receipt number and the approval status on uscis site and prior stamping is not required. I have a doubt in case my h1b employer knows about that I am doing any transfers he can revoke/withdraw the case, then I wont be able to do any transfer. Just worried on that before going for any transfer. Can you or Ram or any one else can surely confirm that even my h1b employer revokes or withdraws the case, I can still go ahead for transfer from india.

          1. 3rd Timer

            You can do the transfer ONLY with petition number which I did on October this year for this year lottery selected petition. However my case was COS, meaning I am already in H1 from October 1st and my transfer request reached USICS on Oct 6th with PP and approved on October 20th, on the 15th day. However, for CP cases, as per the link I have provided says that if the petition is not withdrawn then you can request the transfer even without stamping. But it is withdrawn before the stamping then you can’t.

            Also, the company A, who is the sponsored your visa, may not know if the company “B” or “C” initiated the transfer. My suggestion is if you are sure that the petition is not yet withdrawn then initiate the transfer with PP. Other suggestions is consult with a lawyer and clear all the things. It would cost around $100 to $200, which I believe worth to invest. Please update the forum so that some one in future will benefit if you are going ahead with the transfer. Good luck and all the best.

      2. varun

        Thanks Ram for your valuable suggestions. I checked with one of the members in visa team in my current employer which is big US MNC and he said they never do any h1b visa transfers for people who are in India and whose stamping has never been done.

        1. Ram

          Experience of a person who transferred the Visa without approval notice and without stamping

          1. Ram

            As per my understanding, you should be able to transfer it to another company if it was approved and withdrawn after visa start date.

          2. 3rd Timer

            @Ram, My understanding is it is similar to COS transfer before October 1st. Till last year USCIS allowed but this year (or even some cases for last year) they denied with the reasoning that the transfer only approved after the visa takes effect which is after Oct 1st. Similarly I have read that some cases are denied without stamping CP cases. It is risky but worth the try because the alternative is waiting for next year’s lottery.

          3. Ram

            If you try transfer without stamping as long as the original petitioner doesn’t know it, I don’t think there should be any issues trying it. Even if the transfer is denied, the original petition is intact and can be still processed further like stamping and used for travel.

          4. Sam

            I am one of those who is on OPT and ask for consular processing to maximize the time on OPT before starting h1b. But things can happen like getting laid off unexpectedly, and because of that, I didn’t get a chance to stamp for h1b. It is different from other scenario where people didn’t work for the petitioner, didn’t travel to US and switch to another employer.

            I can’t seem to find anyone in a similar situation and see whether cap-exempt petition with a new employer is warranted. I am certain there are some/few people who are in the same boat as me.

    2. Harvey


      Just curious if you have a package of 25lac+ ctc why would you want to come to US just for 10-15 lacs more. In my opinion you would be a fool to leave that job in India and come to US to make your life more complicated and miserable. Only H1B holders know how much pain it is right now to even transfer. Lot of people think life in US must be like “big bang theory” or “how i met your mother” or “Friends” or “game of thrones” but the truth is its not. So why? Why? Why? would you want to do this to yourself. Please tell your side of story.

      Your well wisher

      1. varun

        Hey Well wisher,

        Well I am being offered a package of 1 lac USD so that makes it around 65 lac in INR. I know the medical, house rent and taxes are high in US but still I believe I will be able to live a good life compared to here in India. Just to have a global work exposure I wish to move to US for some time. I have no plans to settle there.. just stay for 3-4 yrs and come back to our home country. I have many family and friends in US so I wont be an alien there.

        Just wanted to check are you in US currently.

        1. 3rd Timer

          There is no point in not trying to get exposure to different culture, especially when you are getting an opportunity . But, as @Harvey said, dont keep high hope then you will be fine. :)..Good luck and all the best for your US travel after your transfer approval.

      2. The Visa God

        Dude, how do you assume that it is just 10-15 lakh more blindly? And if you are in the US on H1B and feel your life is miserable – what is preventing you from returning back to home country? Is someone holding your back and threatening not to leave the country? Don’t blabber something here for the sake of it.

  19. jack

    I am planning to apply for h1b extension which includes amendment for client and role in us. now i am changing my role and client , will there be any issue. My salary package also changed and it was not as per existing petition.Please let me know if any one in same boat and approved.

    1. Ram

      Amendment and extension can be applied together. I have seen many such applications getting approved. Make sure that all necessary documents are submitted for the extension cum amendment. You are in the right track:) All the best for your extension!

  20. SBSC

    My husband got wage level 1 RFE with programmer role.
    The employer responded the RFE and status changed to received on 29th November. Do you know how much time they take to respond for normal processing?
    What is the success rate for programmer role with wage level 1 RFE?

    1. Ram

      In normal processing, we cant say when you would get an update. We have to wait patiently till the response is processed. If its something you want to get over with, please opt for premium processing of the case, where you will have to pay an extra $1225. Usually the employers may ask the employees to bear the cost which is legally allowed too. In Premium processing you would get an update within 15 calendar days. If you want to opt for it, please ask you spouse to talk to his employer and request them to apply for it.
      I am hearing loads of petitions clearing the Wage level 1 RFE. Some success stories are here

      All the best for his approval! If he has sent the right response, there is no need to worry:)

    2. Kumar

      In our case, RFE status changed to received on 29th November and Visa was approved on 7th Dec. Response was sent under normal processing.
      Hope this helps!

  21. H1-B transfer


    IN oct Transferred my H1-B to MNC with PP and got RFE, my employer replayed for RFE last week.

    My question is this RFE reply will count under PP or it will be normal process again….?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1-B transfer,

      Once the PP is initiated then it will be treated as PP till you get the final decision (approval or denial). So, in your case after you have submitted the RFE then you should expect the reply within 15 calendar days from USCIS and you no need to pay again. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  22. Need Guidance

    My H1b got denied last month. it looks so many denials this year due to trump administration. My company is started working on B1 visa. soon i am going to attend a interview. Will the H1b denial give an impact on B1 visa and the upcoming H1b 2018 cap count.

  23. OneOfDUnlucky

    Hi Everyone,
    My H1b case got denied last month. It looks this year so many denials due to trump administration. My company is started doing the B1 visa for me. H1b visa 2017 will be an impact in B1 visa and the upcoming H1B visa 2018 cap.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Sorry to hear that you are one of the unfortunate one missed out. No, it will not impact your B or next/coming year(s) H1 or L1 visa application because each will be treated as separate. Just prepare well your B visa interview (like what is the purpose of travel, what is your company doing etc). Good luck and all the best for your B visa interview and next years H1 visa selection and approval.

  24. Bharat Mehta

    My OPT Extension got approved in Jul 2017and I have OPT till Jul 2019. I am working for a consulting firm. They applied my H1 and my plan was that I will go to India in January for stamping and attending my Sister’s marriage. Unfortunately, my H1 got denied. It’s an important occasion for me and I need to go to India in January to attend my sister’s marriage. I have latest I-20 from my school, OPT EAD, Offer letter and pay stubs. Is it ok to travel?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Bharat Mehta,

      Yes, You can travel. However, it is always a risky to travel during OPT period. if it is very important then keep all the documents and answer truthfully to all(any) the questions will be asked at the POE. Also, collect all the documents are possible and check with your friends who have earlier traveled during OPT. Good luck and all the best for your travel and also for next years’ H1 lottery selection.

  25. SS

    I traveled back to India in March 2017 before H1B was filed. But my employer filed for COS and so I received my H1B approval receipt with i94(COS approved). My H4 visa expired in June 2017. Now I have to go for H1B stamping to Consulate. Just wondering can COS case can go for visa stamping to consulate? Is there a probability that officer will question why COS was filed?

    1. Ram

      Not at all. Every COS beneficiary has to get stamping when they re enter USA to utilize the visa intended. If visa is expired no matter whether its CP or COS, everyone needs to get visa stamping. So that’s the usual process and I don’t think there will be any particular question regarding the COS. All the best for your stamping!

  26. Sophia


    I have a question. My h1b was picked in lottery this year and is in status ‘RFE response received’. And also I have an amendment in place as I had to change my end clients and work location (contracting) after H1b is picked.

    I am thinking about opting for premium. Is that a good idea? My employer says I am not in the same project and says no to premium.

    But before they process my ammedment case, they need to approve my actual application, right?

    To my point, its the same documentation, regular or premium USCIS will spend same amount of time for each application, the only difference is when they pick you case for processing. Correct?

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you

    1. 3rd Timer


      Technically you can apply for an amendment when the original petition is not yet approved but in RFE stage. Example take a look at the link http://immigrationgirl.com/premium-processing-is-back-for-all-h-1b-petition-types/#comments posted by @Sai, December 5, 2017. However, if you do that the amendment petition issued RFE or Denail. Better option is get that approval for the first petition and apply for an amendment. After receiving the receipt for the amendment petition you cna join the new client pending the amendment approval.

      For the PP, the documents are same except but you will get the reply within 15 calendar days. Also, once you initiated the PP then it is not guaranteed that the same officer who issued an RFE first time will handle the case. If your employer is not willing to pay the PP then you can pay to initiate the PP. However it has to go through your employer and their attorney, meaning you cant unilaterally initiate the PP on your own. Good luck and all the best for your RFE and amendment approval.

        1. 3rd Timer


          Generally if you upgrade to PP (if it is original or amendment) then the petition will be handled by the new officer. That’s my understating.

          1. 3rd Timer

            No, it should not matter. However, some lawyers, if not all, advised the employers to not to upgrade PP because PP will be scrutinized by senior officers. My personal opinion is if the petition warrants a rejection then it will be rejected irrespective of normal or PP.

  27. First time H1B Extn

    H1B Extn applied and I am waiting on the status. The case received on Aug month and still in received status .
    Hearing lot of news on H1B Extn not getting approved. Any one have any info on this.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @First time H1B Extn,

      The extension application would receive the same scuritiny as original document for this year onward. Take a look at this news announcement from USCIS.

      This means, for example if the extension petition LCA has wage level 1 then most probably RFE will be issued.

  28. srini

    Hi Ram
    I’m currently working in USA on H1b for USA employer from last 3 months , but still continuing my job in India(working remotely). Please advise if i continue job in India as part time would it affect my H1b status? your response is highly appreciated.

    1. Ram

      When in H1B you are authorized only to work for the company who sponsored your visa and not take up any other work. If you are taking up additional work, then you may have to file concurrent H1B. Please check with your Attorney regarding this.

  29. Chanti

    I stayed in USA around 5 years, came to India 3 years ago. Now I am entering USA with H1B again. Will I get USA driving licence (renewal) without driving test? Or it is better to take internatinal driving licence in India?

    1. 3rd Timer


      Only in NJ they will renew if the license is not expired within 3 years. If it is more than 3 years you cant. In other states the expiration is 6 months. More than 6 months means you need to take written, vision and driving tests. So, international driving license is best option. Also, you can check the requirement of the DMV of the state you are coming. Good luck and safe travel.

    2. caad

      For CA, I just had to clear the written exam, but no driving test was needed. My previous DL was from FL and had expired 3 yrs back..

    3. administrator

      It varies by state and hard to tell. You can always share your old driving license details and ask for new one. In general, you can use your Indian license for few months until you get a local one. If you really want, you can also get a international driving license as well, it does not hurt.

  30. chinna

    I have been following this group last 5 years. H1b got approved after 5 attempts, need to attend visa in Hyderabad. Attending visa with family along with me (or) attending alone now and process later for dependents, which is best option for approval.

  31. Shaik

    Thanks Ram and 3rd timer for your valuable suggestions
    My case has been approved below are the time lines
    RFE received on wage level 1, 15th Aug
    RFE Responded on 6th Oct
    Approval on 6th Dec 2017
    1.Could you please let me know how much time it will take to reach documents
    2.what is the next process
    3.how to prepare for visa interview

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Shaik, great news. congrats.

      1.Could you please let me know how much time it will take to reach documents?
      It would take 1 to two weeks if the office in US. If it in India it may take more than that, may be 4 weeks I guess.

      2.what is the next process?
      Gather all the documents from the employer (i-797B, i-129 (H1 application copy), LCA copy, education documents, client letter if applicable, statement of work etc). Check this website further what other documents needed. Fill out the DS 160 in US consulate website.
      Pay the fee then book the date for visa interview. Attend the interview. Get the Visa. Travel to US.

      3.how to prepare for visa interview?
      Prepare well about the project you are going to work and try to explain clearly about your experience. also know about the client. Keep in mind that Visa officer may not know about the project and company you are going to work and he/she may be from different background. So, prepare well in terms explain the question in easily understandable terms for them. Good luck and all the best for your visa Interview and safe travel.

  32. Ram

    If you leave USA when H1B COS is in progress, then COS would be abandoned immediately and the H1B is converted to CP.

    Once back you have to apply COS from L1B to H1B again once H1B is approved.

  33. 3rd Timer


    If my H1b gets approved while I am in India or after I come back, will the COS be effective or H1b processing will be moved to CP and I can move to H1b whenever its required?

    My understanding is, if your visa is not approved until you come back to US then COS will be effective. If it is approved while you are in India then it will CP.

  34. 1ofdlucky1

    The moment you leave US, COS will not happen. H1 will be converted to CP. When you will enter again with i-94 number the same will be used in future to apply COS again with a cap exempt petition.

  35. shormila

    Hi Ram,

    I am currently working in USA on L1B for employer A and Employer B filed my H1B in COS. My H1b was picked in lottery this year and received two RFEs since then. First RFE was about specialty occupation and got second RFE recently for role and job responsibilities ( employer to reply soon). I will be travelling to India soon and need to go to Consulate for L1B stamping( got L1B extension approved recently) . My question is, if my H1b gets approved while I am in India or after I come back, will the COS be effective or H1b processing will be moved to CP and I can move to H1b whenever its required.

    Appreciate all the good work and generosity.

    1. 3rd Timer


      1. if your H1 is approved while you are in India, then it will be approved with Consular. If you are not already appeared for the interview then you can choose either one and go for an interview. If you have chosen L1B then you need to go for the interview later again for H1. May be you can try for COS and change to H1 but you need to attend visa whenever you leave the US next time.

      2. If it is approved before going to India then it will be approved as COS.

      3. If it is approved after you came back from India with L1B visa then most likely it will be approved as COS.

  36. Rajesh Matta

    My H1 transfer is in progress. My client is trying to hire me. I am currently on H1 and my H1 sponsorship is from a consulting company. I have stamped visa of consulting company till Sep 2018. Once my H1 transfer is done, can I travel to India? Do I need stamping again for the new employer? If yes, what’s the process

    1. 3rd Timer

      Once my H1 transfer is done, can I travel to India? yes.

      Do I need stamping again for the new employer? Not required till Sep 18.
      After that time you have to appear for Interview when ever you travel outside US assuming your transfer was approved later than Sep 2018.

  37. Gaara

    Ram/3rd Timer,

    Not sure if you have come across such case. I have consular approved H1b and I am in US on H4. I was recently applying for a state id and also got a SSN ineligibility letter. when I went to DMV to get a state id, they tried to do a SAVE check and sent a request to USCIS to confirm my status and if I am eligible for state id. They sent back a letter saying my current status is H1b. Do you think there is a glitch in USICS and I need to inform them to correct it?

    1. 3rd Timer


      If you are very sure that your H1 approved with CP (check if you have received i-797 B form without i-94) then you can raise a service request. It is possible that USCIS wrongly entered the info in the database. However due to lot of backlog in USCIS I am not sure if you can able to get the update quickly that will help in getting your SSN , State ID or driving ID. Good luck and all the best.

  38. Vishnu

    Thank you all. This portal was a wonderful platform to share all our doubts , anxieties and apprehensions. I have been following this site from the time i submitted my pettition. It got approved after today’s visa interview in Chennai.

    Visa interview expirence:
    Vo : Asked to handover the passports.
    VO : which type of Visa you are applying ?
    Me: h1b
    VO : Are you going to US for the first time.
    Me: Yes
    VO: Any family members Currently in US.
    Me: No
    VO: which company you are working for.
    Me: Told my employer name.
    VO: Are you going to a client office ?
    Me: yes
    VO: client name
    VO: Highest degree
    Me: MCA
    VO: done any research ??
    Me: No
    VO to my spouse : highest degree, are you going to work in US.
    MCA, No

    Finally VO informed , your passports can be collected from your nearest vfs in one week.

    Thank you all for sharing their experience and guiding US Visa aspirants. A big thanks to Ram.

  39. T N S Chandini


    I am working as a consultant with a MNC right now, and this year my H1B got picked up in lottery and was applied by employer in US. I have done my 3 year course of bachelors in statistics, post which i did a 2 years Masters of science in statistics. I got a RFE once, and now the status shows that evidence is received. I am very nervous and hope i get the approval. I have B1/B2 Visa of 10 years, will any result for H1B affect my B1/B2 Visa.


    1. 3rd Timer

      @T N S Chandini,

      I believe that outcome of the H1 would not affect the already approved B1/B2 Visa, meaning you can continue to travel in your already approved B1/B2 visa. Good luck and all the very best for your RFE approval for your H1 Visa.

  40. 221gnew application

    Hi Ram,
    Got 221g white slip asking for Client letter on 12th Sept’17. But as arranging the client letter is taking time, that position got fullfilled. So I have 2 questions –
    1. Can I withdraw the current stamping application so that I can go for stamping when new requirement will come? I have my passport with me,but Consulate has taken my approved I797. So if I withdraw my current stamping application they will return back my I797 or my approved I797 will be cancelled?
    2. If I try to raise LCA for another project, is it mandate to withdraw the current application 1st? Or I can withdraw after getting the new approved I797 after the LCA?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @221gnew application,

      1. You can withdraw by sending a mil to US consulate where you have applied/ appeared for your visa interview. But I am not sure your I-797 will be cancelled or not.

      2. LCA doesn’t depends on I-797. It’s a requirement submitted to department of labor. The LCA document will not ask about I-797 application details.

      1. 221gcts

        So I can raise LCA while having this 221g ? Once I get the approval and new I797 then I can send a mmail to withdraw the current 221g? That will not be a problem?

        1. 3rd Timer

          LCA is job specific, meaning you can raise it anytime. Also, I believe you can apply for a transfer
          with new LCA and other reverent documents. Approval will be given based on the documents submitted, i.e, if USCIS feels that the documents (like wage level, specialty occupation, client letter and job availability) inadequate then they may issue RFE even though you might have received an approval early. Each transfer/ extension will be treated as new petition.

          I am not sure what will happen if you request for withdrawal of already appeared interview, i.e, if that will have an any adverse impact on your later interview(s) or not. Please consult with your company’s immigration lawyers. Good luck and all the best.

  41. CTS_kol

    Hi Ram/Third timer ,

    My h1b got approved this year, but at the time of stamping VO asked for client letter (issued 221g) and they kept my original I-797.

    Now client is not giving client letter as there is no such requirement now, may be in future new requirement can come.

    So I am thinking to withdraw my visa application as it is mentioned need to submit client letter with in 12 months. If I withdraw visa application then they will return back my I-797 ?

    1. 3rd Timer


      I am not sure they return the i-797 also I am not sure the first petition will be cancelled. However, if we assume that they are not cancelled the visa then you dont need the original petition to apply for extension or transfer with USCIS. You only need the copy or the approval number.

  42. H1b visa without stamping

    Hi Ram and 3rd timer,

    I am on H1B in USA currently and my husband has H4 visa approved but did not travel yet. His H1b visa got picked this time but not approved still waiting for the final decision. The current case status is “Response to RFE received” which is updated on Oct27th through normal processing. He is planning to travel in next month so my question is can he come to US on H4 after his H1b visa gets approved without going for H1b stamping in India?What happens to his H4 visa after H1b visa gets approved?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H1b visa without stamping,

      I guess his visa would have applied with consular processing. Also, I guess he didnt have a stamping for his H4 visa yet.

      1. if he didnt get the approval before his traveling date and visa appearance date then he simply appear for his H4 visa interview.

      2. if the approval comes before comes his h4 visa appearance data then he can choose one of the two and appear for visa.

      3. For the first case, after he comes to US he has to apply for change of status once his h1 is approved. Till that time he can’t work. or He needs to go out of the country once more and gets stamped and come back. I am not sure H4 to H1 COS has PP.

      4. For the second case, i.e, if he appear the visa for H1, then he can start working once he come to US.

      –Good luck and all the best for his visa approval and travel.

      1. H1b visa without stamping

        3rd timer,
        He already has H4 visa stamped long back . He is planning to come on H4 visa but meanwhile before his travel, if his H1b visa gets approved, then can he come on H4 visa without going for H1b visa stamping and get converted to H1b visa after coming to US? What happens to his H4 visa after H1b visa gets approved without stamping?

        1. Ram

          Since he is not in USA currently, the H1B would have been filed in consular processing.
          He can travel with current H4 stamping and once in USA, after approval of H1B, he can file Change of status from H4 to H1B.
          Even if H1B gets approved, he can fly on H4. Then file Change of status once in USA.

  43. Anant

    Ram and experts,

    First of all, I like to thank for the wonderful support this forum has extended. Today, I received the approval for my H1B visa. But, its validity is till 09/16/2019 only. I am a full time employee in a well renowned company and all of my friends received the visa for 3 years validity.

    1. Does anyone know what could be the reason for a shorter validity? I know for sure that my attorney used the last year LCA to apply for this year because my petition was not picked last year in the lottery and he said that LCA was valid for this year.

    2. Could I ask for the extension or is it the done deal now?

    3. If I will apply for the renewal in 2019, would I get the renewal for a shorter period again? Or renewal period could be for more time than the original?

    I would highly appreciate the guidance and some feedback here.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. 1ofdlucky1

      Don’t worry too much, it all depends on SOW. You can easily extend next year in September. It’s the same case in many companies because many clients are giving yearly MSA. Take a chill and enjoy the approval happiness.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @ Anant,

        1. As @1ofdlucky1 pointed it it depends on SOW. Did you have the copy of LCA and the work request for that LCA? Even if LCA is requested for 3 years visa officer can give less than 3 years if he/she feels that the SOW not takes 3 years to complete. Also, what is your PP validity period?

        2. You can ask for the extension 120 days prior to the end date I guess. Not before that. But you can apply for extension in 2019. Over all you could work for 6 years based on the approval .

        3. It could be shorter or longer. it depends on the documents you are submitting at that time.

        -As @1ofdlucky1 said, enjoy the approval and dont worry much. good luck and all the best.

    2. Hi

      You may already be staying in the USA on an L1 visa and those days you have stayed here might have been accounted for since H1B cannot go beyond 6yrs. It’s my guess!

  44. H1B_Amendment_RFE

    Hi Ram ,

    I have Filed my Amendment for location change and filed in PP , I have got RFE to submit Employer- Employee Contractual Document, we have the document but it is getting expired and due for renewal by jan 2018 . is it okay to submit that ? what are the chance of approval with the recent trend ? please advise .

    1. Ram

      By any chance can you get that renewed before the RFE ‘s deadline? If you could submit the renewed one, it would give you much higher probability of approval.
      If the deadline is much before the renewal, then you can submit the existing one along with an authorized letter stating that the contract would be renewed by the due date. Please do check with your Attorney on this once. All the best!

        1. Ram

          The original petition is not affected in any way. Only point to note is once the amendment is rejected, you cant work in the new place(The one amendment was petitioned for). You will have to work only from the location, you were originally (initial H1B) petitioned for.

          1. Ram

            I am sorry I didn’t get your question. If there is going to be change in location outside the MSA stated in current LCA, you need to file amendment.
            or Are you asking whether you can file another amendment after denial?? yes as far as I know, you can for different location.

  45. NeedGuidance

    Hi Ram,

    My L1B blanket visa extension with Employer A got denied in April 2017 and I had to return to India . Meanwhile my H1B petition with Employer B got picked in lottery and currently in RFE status. The employer called me this week to update me that many cases (similar to my case) are getting denied due to the new administration. The employer also stated that some of the documentation asked in the RFE is difficult to obtain/provide as they are a small consultancy firm. Based on the above factors, the attorney has suggested to withdraw the petition as any denial would mean 2 denials within a period of 6 months for me.

    Before I get back to my employer, I wanted to clarify the following questions

    a) will 2 denials (one for L1 and one for H1) within a short period affect all my future US visa petitions?
    b) If I get a denial for my H1 petition say in Jan/Feb 2018, will it impact my H1B petition filed in April 2018(FY 2019) with any other employer?

    Can you please help with the above.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Ram

      1. The H1B petition’s denial will not affect you in any way. This denial affects the petitioner(employer) and not the beneficiary(you). I am not sure about L1 though.
      2. This H1B petition will not affect next year’s petition in any way. So no worries:)

      1. NeedGuidance

        Hi Ram,

        Thanks for the quick responses.

        I wanted further clarification on the same points

        1. If the visa denial reason (for current H1 petition) is related to specialized knowledge/duties OR something specific to the individual, does it affect the future H1 petitions filed for me ? If yes – what are such denial reasons.
        2. Is there any maximum limit on the number of petition denials for an individual after which the individual cannot apply for any future US work petition/visa?

        Can you please help with the above.

        Thanks again.

        1. Ram

          1. Even if the reason is based on specialty occupation, the denial doesn’t affect you in any way.
          2. Not that I know of. Only when there is a rejection during the visa stamping interview, it counts to you. Otherwise, I think it doesn’t count to you. Please do confirm this with an Immigration Attorney.

  46. Stressed

    I went for visa stamping and was given 221g yellow slip and asked to email to the Mumbai embassy my LCA, I -129 and petition and also detailed description of my job duties. My passport was returned back. I wanted to know what are my chances of approval now? My employer said he will email them the necessary details they have asked.

    1. Ram

      oops, Don’t worry! Once your employer submits all the requested documents, embassy would start scrutinizing them. Once all the background checks and scrutiny are over, they would email you asking to submit your passports. So if you can submit genuine documents to embassy, you have nothing to worry about. All the best!

    2. 3rd Timer


      Usually the response for 21(g) takes 4 to 8 weeks after submitting all the documents. In most of the cases it will be approved in that time frame and some cases it would take more than 8 weeks. In very rare cases embassy could recommend for revocation to USCIS if they found or suspect that the company filed the petition is fraud.

      If that happens then USCIS will send you/employer the RFE/NOID. If your employer could able to send the response and USCIS satisfied with that then it will come back to the embassy and Visa will be issued. If USCIS is not satisfied with the RFE response then the petition will be revoked. if any of the candidates from same company is denied like above then it is possibility that other candidates also from the same firm get denied.

      Also, if the Visa officer determines that the candidate documents (like his/her education credential is fraud etc) then they may refuse after the admin processing time. However, as i said earlier almost all the cases will eventually approved. Denial happens in only rare instances. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  47. Worried

    Can you please advise on the following:

    I am currently on a h4 visa and working on a H4 EAD which is valid till 2019. This year my employer applied for my H1b visa and got picked up in the lottery. However, I received an RFE to which my employer responded on Sep 21st. I haven’t heard back from USCIS so far. I have planned a trip to India this December and will have to go for stamping this year on H4. Is it ok to travel when you have a pending application with USCIS? Thank you.

    1. Ram

      I am not sure if your H1B was filed in COS(Change of Status from H4 to H1B). If it was filed in COS, it is not recommended to travel when the H1B petition is pending. If you travel, then COS would be denied but your H1B would be approved as Consular processing. In that case, you may need to file COS again to use the H1B or get stamping for H1B and enter USA on H1B. If it is not filed in COS, then you have no issues in travelling. Please check with your Attorney on how the visa application for H1B was filed and then decide on your travel plan. All the best for your Approval!

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