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 ( 12,372 )

  1. HopeForTheBest

    Dear Freinds,

    I have got my H1B VISA got stamped after looong wait but moved out as company downsized the team. What options are lfet for me to get this transfer to other company and travel. Could someone suggest any link or company where H1B transfer is taken care. Thanks in advance. All the best others.

  2. H1B

    Hello everyon,

    Can anyone help where can I check visa stamping experiences/forum for H1b 2018? I am planning to schedule after approval.

    Thank you.

        1. Ram

          You can see it here

          For more experiences, please browse through the pages of current conversation. You can find many. Good luck!
          All the best for the stamping!

  3. Kumar

    Hi Ram & 3rd Timer,

    I got my H1-B approval notice(currently residing in US), and i filed COS petition for my
    wife separately (from F2 to H4, in Aug 2017) which is still in process. And currently at EAC they are processing for March 2017.

    My question is can my wife travel along with me to India, I know her COS would be abandoned but will that make any issue while applying H4 visa along with my approved H1-B visa.

    Kindly let me know the clarification, as i’m not able to find any resources or help to get this information.

    Thank you.

    1. 3rd Timer

      I don’t think it will be problem. However, I am not once you leaving the country COS petition needs to withdrawn. Please check with your company’s attorney the one who filed the COS. Good luck and all the best for your Visa Stamping and safe travel.

  4. Gautham

    H1B Ammendment

    I currently need to re-locate to a different state to a new project, however i am really worried that i might get an RFE when i file an amendment, My current I-797 is valid until Mar 2020. Can people suggest what is the latest trends for H1B Amendment.

    1. 3rd Timer


      When you file for an amendment (or transfer) then the new job at the new client place needs to be specialty job. The amendment (or transfers) draws same scrutiny as an original petition. So, if the USCIS thinks that the new job is not specialty occupation or the client letter is missing or SOW is inadequate or the wage levels are not meeting the min requirement or the beneficiary is not meeting the job requirement then they issue RFE.

      Keep in mind that when you apply for H1, irrespective of if it is original or amendment or transfer the first and foremost is the employer needs to establish the job they are trying to fill is in fact is specialty occupation and they didn’t find the local workforce. The beneficiary’s skill comes later, ie, it doesn’t matter if the beneficiary is having very high academic qualification or many years of experience. So, if your company prepare the documents according to this requirement then I believe the USCIS will issue the approval without any problem. Good luck and all the best for your amendment approval.

  5. VenkatRaman

    Can someone let me know what this means? I had a RFE and yesterday i upgraded it to premium processing and today i received this message – Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed. Your case status: Acceptance

    Please let me know what this means?

    1. 5 timer

      It means your 15 day clock has started. Usually, it takes around 7-8 days to receive a decision. It’s wasn’t a good decision on your end though

    2. VenkatRaman

      Hi Friends – My Prayers was finally answered and after a long wait my H1B was approved. Here is the timelines

      April 2017 – Case Picked in Lottery
      June 2017 – Received RFE on Speciality occupation
      August 2017 – Responded to RFE
      10 January 2018 – Upgraded to Premium Processing
      11 January 2018 10 AM – Case was accepted
      11 January 2018 7 PM – Case was approved

      Thanks to everyone for your suggestions

  6. Sharma

    Hello All,

    How USCIS is processing Amendments this year? Are there high number of denials/RFE in Amendments as well? If any one has gone for Amendment can you please share your timelines?Thanks

    1. 3rd Timer


      This year the amendment petitions are getting the same scrutiny as new petitions. Many petitions, if not all, which were filed with WL1 wages, insufficient or not clear SOW, lack of proper client letters etc are issued with RFE. Some are are also reporting that USCIS issuing only 1 year extension instead of 3 years etc. Also, it should be remembered that every time someone request something (amendment, extension etc) from USCIS then they will check all the requirements (like the work is specialty occupation, proper wage level, the beneficiary is qualified) even though the petition is approved earlier. Meaning the burden of proof is with the requester and the petition gets fresh look. The only advantage is it is already counted in the lottery. So, if the petition is filed properly with the all the necessary things then I believe the petition will be approved without any problem.

    2. 5 timer

      Not 100% sure but I think there have been more denials compared to the previous years probably because of more scrutiny under this administration

  7. H1B_AmendmentRFE

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    My H1B petition got approved for location A. Due to lack of project opening in location A, before going for stamping, filed an amendment for location B with premium. Got an RFE for the same (Before travel). The client is not able to provide client letter, so my company is yet to respond to the RFE (3 month time period). If I get a project opening for location A now, can I proceed for stamping and travel (ignoring the amendment/RFE for location B)? During stamping interview, will this be a problem?

    Please share your inputs. Thanks a lot in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer


      If I get a project opening for location A now, can I proceed for stamping and travel (ignoring the amendment/RFE for location B)? Yes I believe, because even the location B (or company B) is approved you still continue to work for the first location A (or Company A) and ignore the B.
      However, I guess the employer needs to withdraw the location change request with USCIS

      During stamping interview, will this be a problem? No. They ask questions related to the places/company you are going. Keep in mind that they may ask SOW, client letter etc for location A if you proceeds with A.

      –Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and travel.

    1. 3rd Timer


      For 2018, the application documents needs to reach the USCIS on or after April 1st, 2018 for the start date of October 1st. Meaning if the application reaches before April 02, then USCIS will reject the application. Also, based on last years trend if the application reaches after 6th (5 working days from April 02, Monday to April 06, Friday) then it will be rejected as well.

      The application preparation usually takes one month and the worst case it would take 15 days. This is because the H1 sponsoring company needs to obtain Labor Contract Agreement (LCA) from the labor department. LCA could be filed online but it would take 10 working days to issue. Another thing to consider is, this year many are expecting a guideline like online pre-screening before the lottery from USCIS. Everyone expecting the guidleines will be issued on sometime in February.

      Answer to your question, yes, you have a time to apply for October 01, 2018 start date.

      1. 3rd Timer


        The fiscal year 2019 H1 start date is on October 2018 and the deadline to reach the application to USCIS is between April 2 to April 6, 2018.

  8. Swati

    Hi ,
    Is anyone got approval for inhouse project in IT after WL1 and SO Rfe ?
    What are the chances to get approval as for inhouse project there wont be any SOW , client letter and all ..
    Thank you in advance

    1. Ram

      Depends on the company which has filed for the petition with in house project. If the project is genuine and has high turn over and reputation, then chances of getting approval is higher. The documents submitted needs to be authentic and genuine.

      1. Swati

        Hi Ram.
        I got an approval today.
        One thing , I am following this site before getting selected in lottery. You have a very great knowledge and great heart which you always share it with others which helps us all a lot.
        Thank you is less words to say it to you.
        Also thank you to (Third timer 🙂 ).

        Thanks a lot.
        Wish you all the best to others who is waiting for the approval. Its very near to you.. Dont loose your hope.

          1. 3rd Timer


            Congrats for your approval. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and travel if you are outside the US.

  9. OPT extension

    OPT extension
    My OPT expires on Feb 15th 2018, so I applied for OPT extension and USCIS received it on December 4th 2017.
    I’m planning to travel to India around feb 17th 2018, will i get my extension approval before that ?
    Any idea on how many days USCIS is taking to process OPT extensions currently?
    If i don’t receive OPT extension before Feb 17th 2018, Is that risk travelling to India?

    I know I’m posting this on H1 B page, I thought that I would get immediate reply here!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @OPT extension,

      1. Will i get my extension approval before that ?
      Difficult to predict.

      2. Any idea on how many days USCIS is taking to process OPT extensions currently?
      Normally it will take 40 to 90- days. There is no PP and you can’t expedite, but I believe you can contact them after 80 days. Even if you contact them they will tell to wait.

      3. If i don’t receive OPT extension before Feb 17th 2018, Is that risk travelling to India?
      It is always risk traveling during OPT. So, take all the required documents such as your offer letter, i-983 signed by your supervisor, pay slips, W-2 etc. Also, If you are planning to apply for H1 this year then there is possibility of rejection if it is picked in the lottery. This is because F1 is non-immigrant intent. So, when you are coming back, say on March, you are telling the POE officer that your intention that you are planning to go back. But, within a month you are seeking immigration benefits. Hence, some school officials and lawyers advice not to travel within 90 days prior to H1 application and later from April to October 1st. Check with your school official if they have any info on that.

  10. Quin

    Hi All,

    My H1B got approved on December 14th and now my company wanted me to go on the business trip in Vietnam – my hometown. Since my visa has expired, so I have to go for visa stamping. If anyone here has experienced with visa stamping, please share me your advice for questions will be asked and is it easy for visa stamping? Do I need to hire a lawyer for preparing any documents?

    Thanks for reading my questions. Truly appreciate any quick response.


    1. LuckyGuy

      Congratulation Quin! I don’t think you need to hire a lawyer for preparing the documents. You can check http://www.ustraveldocs.com/vn_vn/vn-niv-typework.asp to see what documents you should bring to the interview.

      One of my friends attended an interview in Saigon and they only asked two questions: When did you graduate? and What company do you work for?

      I’m coming back too so good luck to both of us 🙂

      I still would love to hear more advice from other people regarding visa interview.

  11. saurabh shah

    Hello All,

    I would like to share my case details:

    H1b files on 1st April
    Got selected in the lottery
    Upgraded to Premium
    Got RFE on specialty occupation
    Got approval in Jan 2018.

  12. approved H1B case

    Hi All,
    I just want to share my case and considerations with you:
    I have been picked in H1B lottery in april last year, than gov have RFE me; my reply was received by USCIS by 15th nov 2017 and my attorney received the approval reply last friday 5th. It was aways under regular process (not updagraded to premium process).
    Just want tell you that my case was level 1 wage (even being for a manager role); also IT .
    So for you which are still receiving RFEs, just have in mind that its not already a DI, reply it properly explaining the specialty of your role properly and I’m sure that probability to get your approval you be drastically increased.

    1. Alex Chan

      congrats on your approved H1B case. I am in the same situation as you. I got the H1B lottery last year and got the RFE. I also sent out the RFE and they received it by 15th nov 2017. But I still have not received any feedback. My lawyer said my RFE was about the job specialty. 🙁 Which California center did you file the RFE?

    2. Omo-Naija-In-UK

      Congrats mate! That’s great news!!

      I also got an RFE. The attorney responded and USCIS acknowledged the receipt of the RFE on December 8th 2017.
      I’m waiting eagerly – hopefully I’ll get some good news too.
      Based on your timeline; perhaps I might hear back in February.

      All the best!

  13. Shaik

    Hi Ram/3rd time for your valuable suggestions on H1b related quesries.
    I have few queries listed below
    i have approved h1b petition with Employer A. I working in MNC so that
    now H1b Transfer for employer B(MNC) is in progress.
    1.Can i go for stamping for Employer A
    2.if my visa stamping rejected then what’s its impact on H1b Transfer for Employer B.
    3.if employer A withdraws Petition in any case(due to 221g) will this have the impact on my h1b transfer.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Congrats for your approval.

      1. yes
      2. I am not sure. But I guess if the rejection is due to the company A’s insufficient documentation and not related to you then you can appear again with company B’s petition once it is approved. It depends on the reason for the rejections cited by the VO.
      3. Not sure about this scenario too. Some people saying if you are not having visa stamped then it is difficult to get transferred and some say opposite.

      –My suggestion is don’t worry much. if the visa officer has decided to issue 221 g then you can’t do any thing except wait for the decisions. So, try to focus on others things which is in your control at this moment like prepare well for the interview. example, know the company or client you are going to work, details about SOW and your resume etc. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping.

  14. 1OFDLUCKY1


    Do you think work is going on in USCIS centers this week because the updates coming in worktheme are almost negligible. Can’t believe they are not updating the website at all.

    1. curious guy

      My attorney didnt receive a decision for 2nd RFE response which was received on december 20. Today it is past 17 calender days in premium. IS it normal? Or is it that i have run into additional checks?

        1. curious guy

          Well my response was in premium category were USCIS have to respond in 15 calender days. Are you telling that there are people in premium filling catgeory waiting for a response for more than 60 days?

          1. 3rd Timer

            @curious guy,

            If the USCIS not responds within 15 days then they refund the amount and process your petition in normal processing. Some cases USCIS would decline PP request and continue with normal processing.

    2. Ram

      @1OFDLUCKY1 I feel either USCIS is not updating their website properly or they were working on minimal work force due to bad weather.Let’s see today’s update and we will know.

      1. Shankar

        RFE responded in Dec 1st week and still no updates for the case on USCIS website.
        How long should we wait for there response ?
        After which date (60days?), USCIS can be contacted for update on processing RFE for H1-B ?

        1. 3rd Timer


          You (your employer or attorney actually) can contact the USCSI after 60 days of submitting the RFE response. But, due to various reasons the USCIS may ask you to wait long for the response. Only option you have to speed up the process is going for PP.

  15. AngrySysAdmin

    For those folks that got denied and want to file MTR
    Be advise that you can not file the same petition with the same employer for the next year.
    There are two options if you submitted MTR and what to apply again :
    1. you can go with the same employer but they need to find for you different position
    2. You can withdraw MTR if you will be picked it lottery if you file again for the same position.
    With different employers it shouldn’t be any problem.

    Good luck

  16. CTS_CBE

    Hi Ram,

    My H1B is filed in 2017 April and picked in lottery and is approved till Sep 30, 2018.

    My base state from where H1B filed is MA, which is no more have any onsite requirements.

    From Feb 2017 onwards, I am with another project operating from OH state. We filed amendment for OH state project and with the Receipt notice of OH went for stamping and VISA is stamped.

    Now it came to know, no openings for OH Project also till April 2018. So I started to looking projects outside and cleared interview with another project from WI state.

    In the meantime, my Amendment with OH went RFE and we are yet to submit the response.

    My queries,

    1. Can I withdraw the OH amendment now? Keep in mind that VISA is stamped with OH amendment receipt number, please advise.
    2. What are other possible ways to overcome this?

    Please help on this ASAP

    1. Ram

      1. If you are sure that there is no openings in OH, you can withdraw the petition. It will not affect your stamping in any way.
      Once you get a project, you can file amendment and travel with the receipt number of amendment and you can start working. For start of work and travel approval of amendment is not required, receipt number is enough.

  17. GodBless

    Hi Friends,

    Just wanted to Thank you all for sharing your experince and this keep all of us updated all time. Here is my history.

    Applied for H1 for 5th Yr. Approved, No RFE..was waiting for long to get the approval, finally apporved on Nov 17 end and Visa stamping interview done with status issued.

    Thanks Ram and 3rd Timer for suggesting to all our queries and help us.
    God bless you both and stay healthy.. Best of luck to all candidates still waiting..good news is on the way. All my best wishes to everyone.

  18. H1B

    Hi Ram/3rd timer,
    Have a question for you experts. Thank you so much in advance.

    Have got a RFE [2nd]. Not sure what was asked as my company[One of the top IT service providers] wont share these details.
    My company’s immigration team asked me to submit 1)Onsite manage letter and 2) SoW for response preparation.

    What difference it will make if we share PO or MSA instead of SoW?
    The reason i am hesitant to submit SoW is, The project used for my H1B filing has a SoW that ends in March18 and that SoW dont have my name as i was not working for that project when it was signed earlier in 2017.

    1. Ram

      More than the difference between all this, look for what is being asked for. If USCIS asks for SOW, please submit that. Please ask them to share the RFE letter and check what they are looking for. Submit exactly the same document. If you don’t submit it, then there is a high chance that VO wont be convinced and the visa can be rejected.
      If the validity of the document is less, check if it can be renewed within the deadline of your RFE. If not, usually you can submit a letter signed by authorized person stating that the agreement would be renewed at the end of the current one. You check for its format and contents with your immigration team.

      Coming to the difference MSA would be very generic. It contains generic terms such as payment terms, product warranties, intellectual property ownership, dispute resolution, and the like.
      Where as SOW is more specific. It defines project-specific activities, deliverable and timelines for a vendor providing services to the client. The SOW typically also includes detailed requirements and pricing, with standard regulatory and governance terms and conditions. It is often an important accompaniment to a master service agreement or request for proposal (RFP).

  19. Change client with amendment RFE

    Hi, my H1b amendment got RFE and my employer submitted the response recently. I heard that amendment processing takes a lot of time without PP. My question is : Will I be able to switch to a new client project with same employer while it is under process without PP?

    1. Ram

      Yes but that might require filling of another amendment all over again. If another amendment is decided to be filed, it is better to withdraw the current on going one.

  20. Vee

    Hi Ram and 3rd timer…

    Do you know that on the day of premium processing request, the application status changes to Approved or decision notice mailed.?

    Did you see any such cases before? Thanks

    1. Ram

      Did the case change to premium process request was received and then to case received and finally to approved? If yes then it was approved via premium processing. If not, may be the case was approved in normal processing it self. If the second scenario happened, then the premium processing check and form would be returned to the employer. Yes, I have heard of cases being approved as soon as PP was sent. Another way to check whether PP was invoked is to see the status of check that was sent with PP form. If it is en-cashed then it was approved via PP else it was approved in normal processing. In the later scenrio, check would be returned. No worries:)

  21. Saurabh shah

    My online status shows “ case has approved and decision was mailed”

    How long the H1B visa is valid for?

    Will the bill that seeks no extension for H1B visa see daylight?

    I want to thank you for this wonderful blog. It has been really helpful to me and other applicants.

    1. Ram

      Congrats on your approval. We will know the validity of the visa only after you receive the approval hard copy. The Visa validity would be mentioned there. We are not sure of the H1B extension bill. We would know only as days progress. Please don’t worry about it now. You have full 6 years now if you had cool off period or never been to USA on L1.

    2. Peter

      H1B extensions decision doesn’t need a bill. It is at the discretion of DHS to decide if they want to give extensions or not. Right now they want to make sure that the law allows them to make the decision so that they are not vulnerable to lawsuits and since that seems to be the case you can expect shortly that extensions will not be automatic but will be given discretionary.

      1. Truth


        Not true. I agree that it is discretionary but they would not deny everyone. What I understand from AC21 is DHS may deny 3 years extension but they cant deny 1 year due to the law. Also, as per the term discretionary means, DHS can easily deny even second 3 years H1 extension as well with the interpretation that the job the beneficiary seeking not adequate or many other reasons. For that matter, even first time H1 is at the hand of DHS discretionary and during visa stamping the VO can deny most of them based on discretionary option.

  22. Pavan

    Hi ,

    We have sent RFE documents before due date, any idea how many days it will takes to update the acknowledgement in USCIS site ?

    1. 3rd Timer


      It would take a week or two normally. But this year the update in the website is not up to date. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t get updated at all. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  23. Geoff

    There seem to be more ‘included the lottery, then rejected’ cases this year than in previous years. If 1,000 H-1B applications were accepted for the lottery, but rejected after investigation, are these 1,000 added to the pool of 65,000+20,000 for the next year’s lottery?

    1. 3rd Timer


      Yes. Looks like this year more RFE and more denial after lottery. However, it is rumored that USICS normally pick more than 85000 application in lottery by anticipating the rejection based on previous year’s trend. May be the next year the buffer size will be more.

  24. MAHESH

    Ram, 3rdTimer,

    i got 221 with “Additional Admin Processing” 🙁
    and VO took my client letter n gave me passport back. And told me that you will get email and it takes weeks or month.

    I am really tensed……
    What will happen???
    What are the next steps??
    Normally how long does it take?

    1. 3rd Timer


      Sorry to hear that your case went in to RFE.

      What will happen???
      Based on your interview performance the visa officer identified the points which require clarifications. Once they receive the clarification then they approve or deny the visa.

      What are the next steps??
      Nothing. Just submit the all the documents they asked (if you didnt do so till now) and wait.

      Normally how long does it take?
      It would take at least 6 to 8 weeks for most of the cases. Some cases may take 4 to 8 months or a year too. It depends on the clarification the VO seeking.

      –At this point there is nothing you or your employer/lawyer to speed up the process. There is no PP for admin processing. Just wait and hope it will be approved at the earliest. Good luck and all the best.

        1. 3rd Timer


          Some time they ask extra document and some time they won’t. Unfortunately, either cases you have to wait only and there is no option to speed up the process.

  25. Anil

    Hi Ram,

    My H1B petition got approved after RFE. I have the below questions when I go for stamping.

    1. I recently switched company in India 2 months back. Will that have any negative opinion when VO asks how long that iam working in current company?

    2. If so, can i just mention them my previous employer company name and experience. how will they verify which company iam working.

    3. Does H1B salary have an impact during stamping?

    1. 3rd Timer


      Congrats for your approval.

      I am assuming that the company that sponsored your visa, the company you left 2 months back and the company currently you are working are all different.

      1. No

      2. It is better to answer truthfully to VO.

      3. No.

      –My suggestion is prepare well about the company you are going to work including the details of SOW and the client if it is applicable for your case. Also prepare well about your experience and resume and up course answer truthfully, the visa will be approved. Good luck and all the best for your visa interview.

  26. Nayana Mistri

    Hello Sir,

    I was on valid L2 status till 05-Nov-2017.
    My I-94 got expired on 05-Nov-2017.

    Before I-94 expiry, we had applied for L1 and L2 extension. We received an RFE for L1 extension. During that time, my spouse status got converted from L1 to H1 (different employer).

    On 10-Dec-2017, i filed L2 to H4 COS (I-539).

    On 28-Dec-2017, the L1 employer withdraw the L1 extension petition (as H1 COS was approved with another employer), so I received denial for L2 extension petition.

    Question: I am still awaiting L2 to H4 COS. Can I still stay in US after the L2 extension denial as I have already applied for L2 to H4 COS?

    I can still wait and stay legally in US until I receive the decision for L2 to H4 COS. Is that correct?

    1. Ram

      Since you have a pending petition, yes you are legally allowed to stay. But since your L2 was already rejected, there is a high chance that COS can be rejected too. So it is better for you to travel out of the country, get H4 stamping and travel here. Please do verify this with an Attorney once.

  27. Anonymous

    Hi All – Can someone explain me the below status :-

    Notice Explaining USCIS’ Actions Was Mailed
    On December 26, 2017, we began reviewing your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC******. We mailed you a notice informing you of the action we intend to take on your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice and submit any requested materials. If you do not receive your notice by January 9, 2018, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    1. Ram

      It means a NOID has been issued in your case. It is kind of severe RFE. Your Attorney will receive a notice explaining what they need from you. Please read through it and work with your Attorney to prepare the best response for it. You will have 4 weeks of time to respond to this. All the best and prepare a response which would convince the VO to give your approval.

  28. Kumar

    Can i change my employer (H1b transfer) from A to B, if my visa extension is in progress with employer A?
    Visa extension under normal process is taking in excess of 8 months so don’t want to wait that long.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Yes I guess. However,I believe the transfer should be initiated before the dead line. Example, if your visa is expiring in Jan 31, 2018 and your company already initiated the extension within the 120 days (or applicable) time line, may be in Dec 20th, 2017, then the company B can initiate the transfer before Jan 31, 2018. If the visa already expired then it may be a problem. Anyway, when the new company B will immigration attorney advise you better. alternate option is upgrade PP to the extension, get approved and transfer to B.

  29. Help


    If an H1B amendment is filed with company A and decision is pending, can i file an H1B transfer to company B when amendment is still pending?

    1. If my H1B transfer is approved can i with draw amendment
    2. When company B applied for H1b transfer do i need to inform bout amendment while filling?
    3. I got receipt number for amendment with company A, can i start working in new location? before filling for H1B transfer?
    4.Will there be a consequence of the H1B transfer?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Help, based on my understanding the following are the answers,

      1. If my H1B transfer is approved can i with draw amendment?

      2. When company B applied for H1b transfer do i need to inform bout amendment while filling?
      I dont think so. You just need the approval copy of your I-797. Assuming your company A approval is still valid, meaning your amendment with company A is related to the location change and not the extension.

      3. I got receipt number for amendment with company A, can i start working in new location?
      Before filling for H1B transfer?
      You can file transfer anytime.

      4.Will there be a consequence of the H1B transfer?
      No. But you should remember that the company B needs to establish the job they are offering to you is specialty occupation and they are not able to find the suitable workforce. Also they are offering wage level more than WL1. If they not able to establish then you may receive RFE. Each petition is different and they will be treated as stand alone. Petition through B (transfer) will be treated as new petition, only thing is it will not go through lottery.

      –Good luck and all the best for your transfer.

      1. Help

        Thanks for response sir

        can apply h1b transfer when amendment is still pending.

        Long story shot.
        for company A i was working for client XXX and company A raised amendment for client yyy.
        i got recipit number for amendment and started working for client yyy with employer B

        now client YYY(my new employer) is offering full time and thy are planning to apply h1b transfer.

        1. Help

          corrected typo

          for company A i was working for client XXX and company A raised amendment for client yyy.
          i got recipit number for amendment and started working for client yyy with same employer A

          now client YYY(my new employer) is offering full time and thy are planning to apply h1b transfer.

  30. Hitarth

    Hi 3rd Timer/Anyone.
    How much time it is taking for decision after RFE is submitted. Its been 1month i am waiting for the decision.

      1. 3rd Timer

        Usually it will be 60 days. However, this year due to various reasons (no PP till October 17, increased scrutiny etc) the regular processing taking long time. So, it is hard to predict. 120 days is reasonable assumptions. But, you may get the response earlier or later too. Only option you have to speed up is upgrading to PP. It costs extra $1225+lawyer fee. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  31. Help

    If an H1B amendment is filed with company A and decision is pending, can i file an H1B transfer to company B when amendment is still pending?

    1. If my H1B transfer is approved can i with draw amendment
    2. When company B applied for H1b transfer do i need to inform bout amendment while filling?
    3. I got receipt number for amendment with company A, can i start working in new location? before filling for H1B transfer?
    4.Will there be a consequence of the H1B transfer?

    1. JC

      Dear Ram&3rd Timer,
      I have couple of doubts – At present my case is in AP state and they issued 221g white form last 2 week back only. As of today i didn’t get any update, now it’s a waiting time very very panic… Can I consider my Approved I-797 is still valid & am I eligible for CAP exemption?

      And another doubt is – Am I eligible to transfer my petition to any other employer ? And then getting approval again from uscis and go for stamping with other employer. Else do I need to wait up to getting status update on my existing 221g form?

      Please provide your valuable suggestions on this….waiting for your response!


      1. 3rd Timer


        Sorry to hear that your case received 221g. Your case is still valid and cap exemption if the original petition was approved with COS and the petition was used. If the initial petition was approved with CP then it may or may not considered as cap exemption. That’s most of the time 221g cases will be approved. Some take 2 to 4 weeks and some takes more than 4 weeks. Very rare cases they deny if they thing that the original petition was applied with wrong information. In that case, they recommend the USCIS to withdraw. If USCIS agrees with embassy’s finding then they ask for additional info. If your employer not able to provide the documentation then they withdraw. However, if you already used the petition (stamped previously in case pf CP) or used as COS then your case is cap exempted and you can recover the remaining 6 years with other company. Hope my explanation is clear. Good luck and all the best for your 221 g approval.

  32. H1B Aspirant

    how to fill multiple children in DS160.
    Please guide. I am getting the error message “Duplicated Purpose of Trip to U.S. provided.”

  33. STEM OPT

    I’m on STEM OPT. I am a full time employee of a consultancy at California and working at New york for legit client. Right now, I came to India, while returning back, should I represent my self working at consultancy or client name ?
    Which other questions would I expect at immigration ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      If you have all the required documents then it will not be a problem. Like client letter and agreement etc. Also job offer letter. At the POE, they can ask any question. Best option is answer them truthfully. Please carry all the relevant documents. Safe travel.

  34. Sameer Ali

    Hi All, I’m working with a Atlanta based company for 4 years and now they are offering me to come to them to work with their team. I have a little problem, I’m still studying in BS Software Engineering and its my 5th Semester, and i have 5 years of Working experience. Can anybody tell me the employer can still file the petition for me as the requirement is to have minimum 16 years of education? If so by when they can? What’s the starting Date?


    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sameer Ali,

      Your info is not clear. How old are you? You are into your 3 rd year of studying but saying you have 5 years of exp. What kind of experience you have? What is your job profile? Yes. you need 12+4 years education to apply H1. ELse you need 12+3+ significant work experience. Based on this years lottery and approval your case may have a strong case to receive RFE.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @waiting for a RFE Decision,

          Yes. That’s is sufficient in term of beneficiary’s qualification. However, the employer still has to established that the job the advertised/requested is specialty occupation and they didn’t find or shortage of work force in US. Also, they need to pay the prevailing wages. Looks like this year WL2 or more is better. If they satisfy these conditions then thereafter USCIS will look for the beneficiary’s skills. So, most of the denial (or I would say most of the denial) is related to that the employer are not able to establish that (a) the job is not specialty occupation and (b) they wage level they offered is too low to be a specialty occupation.

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

  35. Gaara

    3rd timer/Ram,

    Do you know or heard about what happens to employees of desi consultancies which have been closed due to fraud? Does their h1b gets revoked? what happens to their h1b if they are in a different company now and not with the original employer anymore? Can they transfer their h1b? I am asking because I see in the news a lot about these cases lately and not sure what happens to employees.

    1. 3rd Timer


      I am not sure, but I am guessing that if the visa is already approved but not yet active (meaning stamping is not yet done in CP cases or COS not yet effective etc) then the approved visa will not be valid. However if the visa stamping is done or COS already carried out or the employer already moved on to new company then the beneficiary could retain their visa. I do not think USCIS will revoke retroactively. I may be wrong though.

    2. 2 timer

      The employees are given royal treatment at a 5-star hotel. They are given paid vacation with family until their next job, movies, parties and much more…

  36. Kavi

    I have filled my H1B through a small consultancy company and got RFE for Wage level 1, Specialty occupation and availability of work for the requested period. Initially the firm agreed to respond to the RFE with a huge attorney fee and said they are working on the documentation. I have only few days left to respond RFE but suddenly the firm saying the other H1B’s filled for the same project got NOID and they are going to withdraw my petition since they believe mine will also get NOID and get bad name to the firm and they won’t refund and stopped responding to mails and calls. Is there any option left out for me now ?

    1. 3rd Timer


      Sorry to hear that your case went in to RFE and the employer who sponsored your H1 is decided to withdraw. Till you get first time approval all the decision is with the employer (example responding to RFE/NOID or decided to withdraw).

      So, unfortunately you don’t have any other options expect requesting your sponsor one more time to respond to RFE. The USCIS will not respond to your queries because H1 is employer dependent hence they are answerable only to the employer. Good luck and all the best for your other options including applying H1 next year with other employers or any other alternate options.

  37. AAV

    Hello Ram,

    I had stamping interview at Mumbai and my visa has been approved. My LCA was filed wrongly for less salary (60K) than my original salary. I was in US for last 5 years on L1 visa till Sep 17 on 85K salary and will be getting same on H1 as well.
    I will be travelling back to US in a week. My company has given me salary letter for 85K and mentioned that they will be filing amendment later.
    Will the officer at Port ask me about the salary Or ask me to show the salary letter? If so what should I say? 60K or 85K? and which letter should I show. I have an offer letter for 60K that was prepared for LCA.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Ram

      @AAV has your amendment been filed already? If yes, then you can say your salary as 85K. If not stick to the one in LCA. Safe journey!

  38. Second time

    Hi Everyone,

    Can anyone let me know what is the current available date for H1B stamping at Mumbai!?

    Or guide me with a link where I can track the current available date without login.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. NIMS


      Please follow this pdf…and once u login to ustraveldesk website, u will come to know the first available date for interview(left side).


  39. LuckyGuy

    My H1B petition was approved with COS since I’m in the U.S. I’m now coming back in February and will go to an interview.

    Is there any difference for visa stamping with COS compared to CP?

    Thank you everyone!

    1. 3rd Timer


      Congrats for your approval and there is no difference in interview procedure between COS and CP. Good luck and all the best for your visa interview and safe travel.

  40. AngruSysAdmin

    Does any one know
    If employer can file new petition for the same employe for 2019 visa while MTR is pending. I heard that MTR can take really long time.

    1. 3rd Timer


      Yes I guess. Each petition considered as stand alone and it will be treated differently. If the new petition in 2019 has all the required documentations then it will be approved. The USCIS will check the following and int hat I order I guess,
      (1) The jobs is specialty occupation
      (2) The LCA wage level is same or more than the prevailing wage. WL2 or more is better chance.
      (3) The employer proven that they didn’t find the suitable job applicant or shortage of people to carryout the specialty occupation claimed in point 1.
      (4) The beneficiary has the required specialty skill to carry out the job specified in point 1. This skill can be proved with education or experience or both.
      (5) The beneficiary has any status violation if he/she is in US while applying
      (6) Any previous violation commuted by the employer etc

      –If the documentation proved all the above points then the H1 will be approved. Unfortunately in your case your employer not able to convince the point 1 and 2 for this year’s petition. Wish you a good luck and all the best for your next year’s success.

  41. Ankit

    My status on USCIS site still saying “Case was Received”. My employer confirmed me in July only that my case is approved. They shared the receipt number but when I checked on site it is not showing approved. What could be the reason.

    1. 3rd Timer


      The website is not up to date.Mine also approved in June but the website still shows the case received. So, what is your issue if your employer is confirming that your case is approved?. If you are outside India then appear for visa interview, get stamping and travel. If you are in US and applied COS then you are already in H1 visa.

  42. Angry SysAdmin

    End of story
    My application got denied.
    Here is some timing
    April 11 picket in lottery
    May 5 transferred from Vermont to California
    August 8 RFE
    November 3 RFE response received
    December 21 Denied
    Reason no evidence to establish position as a specialty occupation.
    We did submit all evidence that required for specially occupation 3 out of 4 criterion for it was matching
    but that was no enough 🙁
    Haven’t decided yet about MTR
    Good luck for every one that still waiting

    1. H1B RFE

      I am sorry to hear about that. It is ridiculous and very surprising they are denying application after fulfilling three criteria.
      I will recommend you to file for MTR and submit more documents.
      Are you full time employee ?

      1. AngruSysAdmin

        The position was full time.
        My RFE was for 3 points
        My Qalification
        Cpecial occupation
        An LW1

        We submitted expert letter only to establish my qualification I have a master in Electronic Engineering not from US.

        We did not submit expert letter for special ocupation cos of the LW1 so it won’t contrify each other. You can’t say that position is so specialized and complex with LW1 wage. So we tried to establish another tree criterion.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @saurabh shah,

      I guess you can apply but you can’t do Change of Status from OPT/L to B1 visa. The visa will be effective/valid only if you go out of the country, get stamped in the embassy and show proper B1/B2 visa documentation at the port of entry.

    2. H1b Denial

      My H1b case was denied after the RFE. My company upgraded in to premium processing. I don’t know the reason for denial. Yesterday went to the b1 visa. it was approved. i thought h1b denial will give impact on b1 and next year h1b cap. Theoretically there is no impact. it looks there are some possibility to deny but it depends on consular. I am hopeless just went to the consulate. Didn’t have any hope for B1. But it was approved.

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