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.

Related Articles


Comments ( 12,872 )

  1. Shruti

    Hi,
    Can you please help with my case, below are the details.
    H1 B issued in April 2012 expired on Dec 2014, transferred by employer 2 in 2015 which again expired in Dec 2016. So does my petition lies in CAP exempt bucket?
    If yes, 6 years will be counted from the year when the H1B was issued to the 1st employer or when it got transferred to the 2nd employer?

    Please help, its urgent.

    Thanks,
    Shruti

    1. Narendar

      It will be counted as per your presence in US, not from start of your petition approval date. Physical present in US will be the actual calculation for 6 years CAP

      1. Shruti

        so, it will remain CAP Exempt till i use my 6 years & stay in US for that period?
        were there any changes in rules recently for CAP Exemption?

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Shruti,

          My understanding is, If your case was approved with consular processing and your never entered US then you may not able to transfer after 6th year, i.e, April 2018. If your case is already activated by entering the US at least once then you can use it 6 years excluding number of years spend outside the US. I may be wrong but do check with USCIS website as well as your company’s immigration attorney.

  2. Sree

    Hello Ram/ 3rd timer & Experts,

    Thank you for the forum and help.
    I got RFE & received my H1 approval in November. I am working as a full time since Nov-2016 in same company as software developer. It’s a small startup company (6years old) with around 15 staff. We have internal products & we work in same office for different clients. Can someone answer below questions for visa interview:

    1) My employer said I don’t require client (since am working as full time with in company). What kind of document is required for Client letter?

    2) My F1 visa rejected 2 Times in 2014 and approved 3rd time. now when I fill H1 DS 160 based on passport details I am forced to use old logins. Will there any impact of previous rejection history.

    3) I am visiting India for marriage. As of now, I scheduled visa interview for myself. Will there any additional advantage if we attend interview together?

    4) Finally, what all documents required for full time employees.

    Thanking you in advance,
    Sree

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sree,

      Congrats on your approval after your RFE.

      1) I guess I-129 and LCA are enough.

      2) I don’t think it will be a problem because your F1 was approved and also both are different visa class.

      3) My personal opinion is if you go with your spouse then the chance of rejection may be less. I may be wrong though.

      4) Offer letter, i-129, i-79, any previous W2s, transcripts etc.

      –Good luck and all the best for your visa interview. Also, congrats and wish you a happy married life & safe travel.

      1. Sree

        @3rd Timer:
        Thanks a lot for your reply and wishes. In DS 160 there is a column for previous visa rejection.
        Can I check YES and the reason for visa rejection as “I could not able to convince visa officer during F1 interview in 2014”?

        Thanks for your suggestions,
        Sree

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Frfe,

      Check this. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.
      http://immigrationgirl.com/detailed-job-descriptions-are-vital-to-proving-h-1b-specialty-occupation/#comments

      http://immigrationgirl.com/rfe-success-story-too-complex-to-be-level-1/
      http://immigrationgirl.com/what-does-uscis-want-in-the-level-1-wage-rfe/

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sandeep,

      Not advisable I guess. Take a looks this post by “JY” on “January 22, 2018” at http://immigrationgirl.com/impact-of-government-shutdown-on-employment-based-immigration/ You may not be allowed to enter back if you plan to file any immigration change (like H1) within 90 days of entering in F1 (OPT is counted as F1). Also, verify with your school and your company’s immigration lawyer. Good luck and all the best for your lottery approval for this year H1.

  3. h1B~~Second Timer

    Hi Ram /Experts,

    I got RFE for my h1B 2018 Case , which was responded by attorney, but my case was denied on 17Jan’2017. Now I am checking the status has changed from denial to “On January 24, 2018, we received your correspondence for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC**********. We are reviewing your correspondence, and will mail you a notice if we need something from you.

    What does it mean, is it some sign for [positive hope?

    Please reply as I am so worried.

    1. h1B~~Second Timer

      Hi Ram /Experts,

      Its about my H1 B case detail:

      Recieved 11 Apr 2017
      Other 19 sep 2017
      REF Req 26 Sep 2017
      Decision Notice 17 Jan 18

      Now I am checking the status that

      “On January 24, 2018, we received your correspondence for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC**********. We are reviewing your correspondence, and will mail you a notice if we need something from you.

      Here I want to know two things

      1-In above statuses RFE Response Recieved status is missing

      2-What does this status mean which is showing currently “Correspondence Was Received And USCIS Is Reviewing It”?

      Please reply me as I am eagerly waiting for this answer.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @h1B~~Second Timer,

        How do you know it is denied? if it was based on web updated then it is better to wait to get the actual hard copy. This year the web update is all over the place. So, my suggestion is to wait for the copy or upgrade to PP to get the quick response if you can able to afford.

    2. Ram

      The status “we received your correspondence for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC**********. ” means the RFE response has been received and they are reviewing it. But how do you know that the case was denied?

      1. h1B~~Second Timer

        Hi Ram,

        I only seen status on USCIS site that case is denied on 17th Jan, no hard copy received till now. then on 24th Jan again status changed to ..”we received your correspondence for Form I-129…”… I got shocked that time but a bit relaxing that they are reviewing my case.

        1. Ram

          That’s different! Did your employer/Attorney follow it with USCIS? Now a days the online system has several glitches, so please do ask them to call USCIS and check on it as may be it wasn’t denied at all!! Hope you get a positive result!Good luck! Keep us posted.

          1. h1B~~Second Timer

            Hi Ram,

            Yes i had words with my attorney they told me that USCIS incorrectly changes the status as denied with reason that RFE response not received on time, while attorney given them fedex proof of receiving by USCIS before time. this was the mistake by USCIS they kept my packet in corner and forgot. But now they are convinced with attorney justification and attorney resend them response copy. On basis of this USCIS now changed the status to “correspondence received…” . But now I am worry how long it will take to take a positive decision. I am putting my finger cross, Wish me for the best.

            Thanks,

  4. Swati

    Hi @3 timer and Ram

    One more doubt for which I need ur guidance.
    In my 12 the marksheet and in few of semester marksheet in graduation my name is mentioned as “Swathi ” while other mentioned as Swati .
    However in passport actual name is Swati and also written in other page with ink dat this person also be known as Swathi.

    In DS 160 also I have given details as another name as Swathi.

    So wil this be a problem during interview ?
    Do I need to bring or mention any other documents like affidavit etc ?
    Please share ur valuable inputs.
    Thank u so much in advance.
    Swatti

    1. Ram

      Well the spelling issues in name can be problem at some places. Please talk to your immigration team/Attorney. They would suggest you to take an affidavit. Please talk to them for format and more clear details. This is based on my personal experience.

  5. OPT extension

    OPT extension

    Hey I have applied for OPT extension and USCIS received it on December 04 2017,
    my current OPT gets expires on Feb 12th 2018, I have to travel out of country around feb 24th 2018.
    I’m not sure if i’m going to approval before i leave.

    1. if I don’t get any update, can i raise a service request, if yes how many will USCIS take to give an approval ?
    2. Is there anything i can do to get OPT extension approval before feb 24th 2018(it will be 83 days)?
    3. IF i don’t get any update, can i still travel outside ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @OPT extension,

      1. if I don’t get any update, can i raise a service request, if yes how many will USCIS take to give an approval ?
      No. For OPT you can’t.

      2. Is there anything i can do to get OPT extension approval before feb 24th 2018(it will be 83 days)?
      No. Only thing you can able to do is after 70th day you can contact them. But thay may ask you to wait till it gets approved.

      3. IF i don’t get any update, can i still travel outside ?
      Yes. But to enter you need OPT card and all the relevant documents (H1, offer letter, i-983 , transcripts etc). If your visa is already expired then you need to get a visa as well.

  6. CapH1B

    Finally got my H1B Approved. Thank you all for support the valuable information. Kindly let me know how long does it take to receive approval notice and respective document from US team to our Emmigration team.

    Thank you all.

    1. Raj

      HI CapH1B,

      Congrats for your approval.

      Can you let us know your timelines like RFE date, RFE respond date, is it premium or regular, what type of RFE.

      Thanks

  7. Gus

    Hi everyone, I need some help. I am currently on H1B Visa, occupying Cost Estimator (I am a civil engineer). Now another employer contacted me for a job as a Field Engineer. Although both are civil construction, they are different areas, is it possible for me to accept this opportunity?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Gus,

      If the field engineer position is requested for transfer with company B then USCIS will first check it is indeed comes under (a) specialty occupation, (b) the wages offered are on par or more with current wages at that county/place, (c) shortages of work force based of DOL statistics etc. If the officer conclude that it is meeting all the above requirement then they see the beneficiary’s qualifications to carry out the required job. The qualification may be obtained through education or experience or combination of both. So, let say if you have taken some courses during your education then that can be highlighted during initial petition or later during RFE stage if RFE is issued for qualifications. The application only denied if they didn’t meet those requirements. In safe side you may join the new company after the approval. To speed up the new transfer petition you may go for PP to get the result within 15 days. Summing up, you can try new position with new company if the position offered is (a) specialty job and (b) you have documented evidence to meet the job requirement requested. Good luck and all the best.

  8. Swati

    Guys ,need a help..
    I am very much confused with few interview questions during stamping which is scheduled in next week.
    Currently I work in one of d IT MNC in India . However my petitioner is small consultant from USA for which I m going to work for his one of d client in US.
    So if VO asks following questions wat wil be my ans..
    1. Who is ur current organization ?
    2. Whome you works for ?
    3.b brief about ur job description / responsibilities.

    So will it be related to my current organization whr i m working now which has no relation with my petitioner or my petitioner ( US consultancay) ??

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Swati and 1OFDLUCKY1,

        1. Who is ur current organization ?
        (a) If you are working currently for company A but appearing for company B then you can say about company A and then explain you are going to join B in future.

        (b) If you are already resigned from company A but appearing for company B then you can say you are not working for (whatever may be the days) and then explain you are going to join B in future date.

        2. Whome you works for ?
        Same as above

        3.b brief about ur job description / responsibilities?
        If the VO already realized that you are working for A but the visa is for B then the question will be asked accordingly. If not then you can still say about current position with A very briefly and move over to the new job responsibilities at B.

        Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping.

          1. 1OFDLUCKY1

            Don’t you think saying that we are working for company A and will join company B will create doubt in VO’s mind.

    1. Ram

      I don’t agree with @3rd Timer in this regard. @Swati Please stick to the details provided in your form I-129 and the position and roles and responsibilities stated in the LCA and I-129. They mostly ll be questioning only about your role and company details of the work that you will be performing in USA.
      If asked about current organization you can tell about your current employer but for the rest of questions related to job/position must be from your LCA. They will be more interested to know what you will do in USA rather than your current job as the current job scruity will be taken care in administrative processing.

      1. Ram

        If you have doubts you can check with people who has already appeared interview through your future employer. They would have done the same.

  9. LuckyBunny

    Hello,

    Thanks a lot to the folks who have been sharing their experiences in this community. Especially I have to thank @Ram and @3rd Timer.

    Here is my Interview Questions from VO on 24th Jan, 2018.

    VO : Good Morning
    Me : Good Morning
    VO : What is your current organization?
    Me : <>
    VO : Who is your client?
    Me : <>
    VO : What kind of projects your client handle?
    Me : <>
    VO : What are the technologies?
    Me : <<Replied
    VO : How did you know about this employer?
    Me : <<Replied
    VO : What is your current salary?
    Me : <>
    VO : What is your current salary?
    Me : <>
    VO : What is your US salary?
    Me : <>

    – Your Visa is approved, here is your i-797.
    Me: Thank You ma’am, you have a good day.

    I will you all the best and God Bless You..!

    1. Still Waiting

      Curious about the following question: “How did you know about this employer?”

      Are you going to US for a diff company than the current one ?

    2. H1B

      Hi Lucky Bunny,

      Could you help me share which link I can read to get information about H1B 2018 Visa Stamping Experience. I am planning to schedule my stamping this coming month.

      Thanks for your help.

    1. 3rd Timer

      I would not say that all the consultancies are bad but if any consultancy who say they don’t have a job/client currently but want to do transfer then you should definitely avoid those consultancies.

  10. HopeForTheBest

    Dear Friends,

    This is regrading H1B transfer. I have visa stamped and have 14+ year experence and some company are ready to transfer. They say I need to pay premium charges $1400 and initial flight charge and fin client once I land states.
    Offer may
    1) Salaried fixed like around $70K/annum
    2) Consulting like 70% to me and 30% to consultant
    What you say ?
    3) How do they manage bench time?
    4) Can I switch to other company if I get good offer?
    5) Will there be any bond with company afteer transfer?
    6) Any restriction if I travel vacation within a year.

    Kindly provide your opinion and suggestin. Thanks in advance

    1. 3rd Timer

      @HopeForTheBest,

      The details described are what many consultancies used to do till now. But in my opinion it is highly risk at this moment due to increased scrutiny. Also, finding jobs on your own when you are in US is difficult. So, please do consult with your friends (since you have 14 years exp you may know many people) before deciding for the transfer. Good luck and all the best.

  11. MAHESH

    Ram,
    3rd Timer,
    i got 221G on 3rd Jan which was applied by EMP-A, and this year EMP-B is ready to appy my H1b. What do you advise??? should i go for it or should i wait for the 221G clearance??

    My CEAC status shows me AP, but Last Updated Date was changed once 10 days back.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @MAHESH,

      I am sorry to hear that your case went in to 221g. I don’t thing that is possible but I am not sure though. Please update here if you are successful in getting visa transfer and stamping through the Emp B when EMP A visa is under 221g. That will help some people in future. Good luck and all the best for your 221g approved soon.

    2. Ram

      Well, when Emp A’s petition is in 221g, it is possible to transfer and get stamping through Emp B. But you (Attorney/Employer)may need to notify the Embassy that you are withdrawing the previous petition. So please talk to your employer/Attorney and get to know the procedure. Good luck!

  12. Priti

    @ 3rd Timer

    Thank you for your prompt response.

    I got RFE after submitting my Education Evaluation document and the experience document. As you know that our Experience document doesn’t provide the roles and responsibility, is it required to submit all my Employers experience document in detail?

    Also do we have to provide any other document?

    Thanks for your response

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Priti,

      I think whatever your employer/attorney submitted were sufficient. In case if the USCIS ask, which is highly unlikely, more document then you may submit the offer letter of the jobs and performance reports of previous experience if you have.

      As I said earlier the documents you have submitted looks sufficient. I suggest better to wait for the outcome instead of worrying about something which is not your control at the moment. Also, if possible consider to upgrade to PP because that will reduce the anxiety to 15 days instead of waiting for months for the outcome. In my opinion it is worth to spend that money and up course it depends on the employer as well.

      Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  13. H1B Finally Approved !!

    Hello All,

    Finally my H1B Case got Approved today after 2 RFE’s.
    All the Best for all your Approval.
    Thanks for all the support from this group throughout the roller coaster 🙂

    1. H1bwaiting

      Hi H1B Finally Approved,

      Congrats on your approval!
      Which service center was your petition filed? And how many days it took after the 2nd rfe?

      1. H1B Finally Approved !!

        Hi ,

        It was California Service center.I submitted the RFE response on Dec 19th.
        Upgraded to Premium on : 29th Dec 2017
        cheque was encashed : 11 Jan 2018
        Got receipt on : 19th Jan 2018
        Got Approval on : 22nd Jan 7.30 pm EST

        Hope this helps .

  14. LuckyGuy

    Hello Ram, 3rd timer and friends,

    I’m coming back to my country next month for interview and visa stamping. On my I-797A Approval Notice, they said “The I-94 portion should be given to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection when he or she leaves the United States.” and on the back they also said “When you leave the United States, you must turn in the right half of your I-94 to the officials at the airport, border or seaport.”

    Is that the airport official who check our passport before we go thru TSA?

    Thank you,

    1. 3rd Timer

      @LuckyGuy,

      Congrats for your approval. Regarding i-94 you need to hand over to the airline official (the one who give you the boarding pass) before entering the TSA check post. Good luck and all the best for your stamping and safe travel.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Shan,

        Yes. But for someone who haven’t travelled outside US for more than 5 years then they may not have e-copy. So they may need to submit the paper copy they received when they entered along with the I-797 paper copy.

  15. Information about Transfer

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    Hope you are doing well. Thank you for constant reply to each and every post. Appreciate it.

    I have few questions related to transfer of H1b in US.

    1. Can i transfer my H1b from one employer to second employer?
    2. What if during transfer and the application gets denied with second employer, whether still I will able to work with the first employer?
    3. What if during transfer and the application gets approved with the second employer, whether in future I will able to work with the first employer with same application filled by them?
    4. What if during transfer and in the middle you get RFE . Can my first employer revoke H1b in that time?
    5. If during transfer with second employer application gets denied and first employer revoke your H1b then what will be your status?
    6. what do you think which is the best way for the transfer of H1b should be followed i.e get the approval with the second employer and then leave first employer?
    7. What are the current cases with the transfer of H1b i.e approval , denied , RFE with normal processing and premium processing.
    8. What is the time line for the application with transferring in normal processing and premium processing ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Information about Transfer,

      I assume the original H1 is approved with COS (meaning the beneficiary was in US at the time of approval and H1 was changed on October 1st).

      1. Can i transfer my H1b from one employer to second employer?
      Yes.

      2. What if during transfer and the application gets denied with second employer, whether still I will able to work with the first employer?
      Yes. Assuming you are still working with the employer 1 and they didn’t withdrew it.

      3. What if during transfer and the application gets approved with the second employer, whether in future I will able to work with the first employer with same application filled by them?
      Yes. But when you move to second employer you need to inform to the original employer and they needs to withdraw their petition as per law. So, in that case if you want to go back to employer 1 then they need to apply one more time as a transfer.

      4. What if during transfer and in the middle you get RFE . Can my first employer revoke H1b in that time?
      Scenario 1: You are working for employer 1 and you haven’t joined employer 2. Now Emp 1 revoked your application then you will have 60 days to find a job. In that case you can join emp B even during RFE is progressing.

      Scenario 2: Once employer 2 applied for transfer and the application has been received by USCIS you are allowed to join employer 2. You can continue to work for 2 during RFE.

      5. If during transfer with second employer application gets denied and first employer revoke your H1b then what will be your status?

      Scenario 1: You are working for employer 1 and you haven’t joined employer 2. Now Emp 1 revoked your application and also employer 2 application denied. In that case you are allowed find 60 days to find a job(S).

      Scenario 2: You are working for employer 2 based on receipt and emp 1 revoked their peitition. Now you received a denial means I believe you are allowed to find new employer within 60 days and apply again. However, if you are already used 60 days grace period previously (within 3 years) then you can’t use it again. In that case you are out of status and need to leave the country within 10 days. You can apply again with new employer later as Consular Processing.

      6. what do you think which is the best way for the transfer of H1b should be followed i.e get the approval with the second employer and then leave first employer?
      Yes. That is best option.

      7. What are the current cases with the transfer of H1b i.e approval , denied , RFE with normal processing and premium processing.
      When you do transfer then the transfer is considers as new petition. I.e, the new job with emp 2 needs to be specialty job, in that job not much US workforce available, they are offering wage level equal or better etc. Only advantage is it will not undergo lottery. So, the approval or denial depends on how strong the documentations are. Based on this year it is hard to predict.

      8. What is the time line for the application with transferring in normal processing and premium processing ?
      a. Normal processing : 2 to 8 months (without RFE). With RFE it would take more time
      b. PP: 15 days without RFE. With RFE it is difficult to predict, meaning it depends on the RFE and documents you are submitting.

  16. Priti

    Hi Ram,

    I got RFE on Beneficiary Qualification.Education evaluation document was submitted by the employer. Can you let me know what are the other documents which needs to be submitted.

    I have 13 years of work experience and all my experience documents were also sent. Is there any thing else which needs to be submitted on experience front?.

    Thanks for your earliest response.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Priti,

      I believe “RFE for beneficiary qualification” is sometime issued if the officer is not able to correlate the beneficiary’s educational degree with job requested (like Electronics Communication degree holder wanted to work in computer software etc). I also believe this RFE is easier to address compared to others (WL1, SOW etc). It looks like the educational evaluation document and experience documents submitted by your employer is enough to overcome the RFE and get approval. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  17. Preethi

    Hi Friends,

    I am working in a MNC company in india. I applied H1B with new employer and My case was approved on December 2017. But the new employer is asking me to wait 3-4 months for interview since they are hearing that lot of cases are given 221G. They are not sharing more information but just asking me to wait. But my guess is that the employer is being scrutinized and they think that the case will be denied if gone for interview.

    I just want to know if there is a possibility of changing the employer (the one who sponsored me H1B) in this stage. I have original I797 with me. Please advise.

  18. Mj

    I applied for H1b through employer1 and it is approved but there is delay in visa stamping from them due to prject delay. I only have the receipt number and my employer1 didnt share anything else with me. Can i now transfer my h1b to a different employer2 ? What would be the timeline for the approval? Do i need anything else from employer1 other then receipt no? Is there a chance that my employer1 can cancel my h1b

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Mj,

      1. Can i now transfer my H1B to a different employer ? Since your case is approved with CP, it is may or may not possible. Meaning, in some cases (not all cases) USCIS denied the transfer with the reasons that since it was not stamped it would not considered as counted in lottery, i.e, not cap-exempt. But some people claiming they did transfer without stamping successfully. So, it up to you or your new employer’s discretion if you want to take a chance.
      keep in mind that you are requesting a transfer that means if the USCIS refuse or deny then you will not get any money back.

      2. What would be the timeline for the approval?
      The new petition require LCA. After submitting all the necessary documents including new LCA it would take minimum 60 days. However, due to long wait time we are seeing this year it would take any time between 60 days to 6 months. But if you wish you can upgrade to PP. Up course if it is denied then you will loose this money too.

      3. Do i need anything else from employer other then receipt no?
      Receipt number is enough. I did it last October for change of status case. But if you able to get the approval copy that would be great if not receipt number is enough.

      4. Is there a chance that my employer can cancel my h1b?
      Yes if they are come to know that you are planning to leave. If COS cases if they withdraw after October 1st then it will not be problem. However, I am not sure CP cases if withdrawal happen before stamping make the original petition non cap-exempt. Please check with your new company’s immigration attorney to get their opinion as well.

      -Good luck and all the best.

  19. 3rd timer

    Hello friends,

    Finally my h1b petition approved after RFE. Now my question is : can we wait for stamping for 2 months as I want to apply for dependants visa for my family along with me and my son’s passport is still awaiting?

    Thanks
    3rd timer

  20. 3rd timer

    Hello friends,

    Finally my h1b petition approved after RFE. Now my question is : can we wait for stamping for 2 months as I want to apply for dependants visa for my family along with me and my son’s passport is still awaiting?

    Thanks
    3rd timer

  21. abhiraj

    Hello experts
    I got my h1b approved with sow and client letter for client a. Now due to visa delay i had to move from client a to client b. I dont have my visa stamped and just have approval notice, can i transfer my petition for client b? How to do and what is the process and what are approval chances?

    1. Ram

      Are you planning to change just your client or the petitioner/employer who sponsored your visa?
      If its just change of client, you(Your employer) need to file amendment. To get stamping, you have to wait for the approval of amendment. Approval in normal processing can take 4-6 months of time.
      If not, your employer can file it in premium processing in which you would get result in 15 days. If you are in USA already, you can file amendment for new client and start working with the receipt number.

      If you are outside USA, Mostly what people do is, they get stamping with existing petition and then later while travelling they apply amendment and travel with receipt number. Travelling and working with amendment receipt number is completely legal.But in this method, be sure that you have all the required documents of client A.
      Depending on your situation please choose the right method for you.

      If you are planning to change your employer it self, then your new employer has to file transfer of petition. You can work for new employer after obtaining receipt number or approval of the transfer of petition.

      I have an question for you, are you currently in USA? If yes, why are you worried about stamping now?

    2. Ram

      One more point to add, as of 01/21/2018 US government is shut down. Due to this shutdown, Department of Labor would be shutdown. This would delay the new LCA processing. Due to this amendment and transfer can be delayed. So please consider this point too. We are currently not sure how long this shutdown is going to go and what would happen in next couple of days.

  22. NK

    Hi All,
    I had stayed in USA from Nov-2012 to Jul-2017 on L1B. In 2017 i had filed H1B and it was approved in Nov-2017. But i had left USA in Jul-2017. Now using approved H1B if i enter in USA in Aug-2018, will my time counter reset or i will get only remaining 1.3 years? I had applied as COS, but on my exit from USA i assume its automatically converted to counsler processing. Your inputs on it will help me. kindly suggest. Thanks.

    1. Ram

      @NK To retrieve the 6 years you have to file H1B after 365 days of stay outside USA. But since you have applied it without cool off period there is a chance that you would get only 1.3 years. But please do confirm this with an immigration attorney once. Good luck! Happy and safe travel to USA!

      1. 3rd Timer

        @NK,

        I think Ram is correct. You are only eligible for 1.3 years. If you have applied and approved on or after August 2018 then you could able to use 6 years. Realistically in some years (like Y2010) you can apply around August. Nowadays it is filling up faster. So, to get 6 years then that is possible only if you would have applied in April 2019. Also, as Ram suggested check with your attorney too.

  23. H1B RFE

    My employer responded to rfe 2 months ago..The status is still rfe response received..Is USCIS taking more time this year?…is there any one waiting from 2 + months post rfe submission?

    1. JJM

      RFE submitted on 31/10/2017. Not heard anything yet. Attorney submitted a service request yesterday. Hopping to hear some response in next 30 days.

      1. 3rdTimeCTS

        My RFE was responded to by mid-August. Still didn’t receive a response from USCIS. My employer filed for a service request to seek more info on my case. Hoping to hear something by this week.

    2. Ram

      There are many who are waiting more than 4-5 months after RFE response. This year there is a delay in processing of cases. If you want to know your result faster, better to opt for Premium processing.

      1. waiting

        i am also same waiting for approval, employer says that we have to first give them 60 days, then make a service request by attorney, so in that case how long it will take to respond

  24. WorriedFellow

    hi!! My OPT extension is valid till May26,2018. My H1 was filed in Apr2017 and got denied on Nov 6, 2017 due to lack of client letter. I work for consulting firm. My father is sick and I might need to travel in last week of January 2018 to India. I have 2 questions:

    1) I got my latest I-20 with travel signature yesterday. That means I am in valid status and my SEVIS is active, right??
    2) I have OPT extension EAD card(valid till May 26,2018), offer letter, pay stubs. I can carry these and safely travel and come back, right??

    1. 3rd Timer

      @WorriedFellow,

      1. yes.

      2. Yes. Also carry i-983 form you have submitted to get an extension, transcripts etc as well. Usually they allow but remember that there is always element of risk involved during OPT travel.

  25. Gayathri

    I was in cpt when I applied for h1b , got my masters after applying so unfortunately I dint submit my masters while responding rfe coz my employer said so.1.will tat be a problem 2.i submitted SOW for 1yr,i couldn’t get more than tat will I get approval for 3yrs. Tis wait s already irritating.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Gayathri,

      1. No. Almost all the specialty jobs require only 4 years degree after K-12 school. Masters and Phd will not give an added advantage during adjudication process except US Master’s and PhD holders are eligible for extra 20K quota. That means you are eligible for two times/year in a lottery if your case is not picked in first 20k lottery. Since your’s was already picked in the lottery in general quote it doesn’t matter.

      2. It depends on the VO officer. If the VO decides that the work available for only one year and all the other cafeteria’s are met (like job requested by your sponsored employer is indeed specialty job, not much US work force is available for that job and your offered equal or more than the required wages for that job and you have minimum qualifications (4 year degree)) then he/she gives an approval for initially one year. Then you can renew it latter for remaining 5 years. You have to remember that getting first time approval is harder. Once it is approved then it somewhat easy to get an extension later.

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

  26. Wage Level1

    Hi All,
    Wanted to share journey for my case on Wage Level-1 RFE which got approved this week.
    Education : BCA & MCA from NIT
    Expr : 9+ years
    Technology : ERP ( Application dev and testing )
    Employer : Level B with ~1000+ employees around the globe and 200+ employees in USA (Most of them are citizens though )
    Salary : $30K more to level 2 required salary

    I was completely down when when i got this RFE , the SOW was direct contract & customer was in top 5 companies of fortune 100 listing & I was only one in my company who got this RFE.

    My HR supported beyond the company policy of “Not Sharing” such details with beneficiary.

    So in parallel with my attorney , I reached out some immigration attorneys located in SF and got some very important inputs ( It costed me around 1500$ which i spared out for spending it for PP ) to understand how case can be documented when you are not college out or fresher and i am telling you all this was very helpful in preparing supporting documents from my end.

    Below are the documents which we filed as response of RFE.
    1. letter from authorized person (I am not sure who signed it , My HR took care of getting it signed ) in my company detailing my roles and responsibilities on day to day, broke in percentages , work review mechanism , performance appraisal process & communication methods when i am located at customer site.
    2, Letter from HR confirming salary difference ( More than level 2 ) and describing reason given was experience with skillset and showcased other employees salary located in different customer locations (w/o mentioning names ) and also education with expr. for each of them. couple of screen prints of hiring process followed in my org and listings for such job positions in company’s website.
    3. OES wage calculation for which sum was 0.
    4. org structure–> Reporting to account manager but no employees reporting to me.
    5. Attorneys case buildup by showcasing DOL guidance and pointing out designation or expr.
    doesn’t matter if activities performed at worksite falls under wage-1. and salary is no how barrier for employer to pay , 4 DOL indicators ( supervision, experience, education, certification ) supporting documents, Comparison of my roles with OOH and ONET activities ( which were fortunately matching with my roles and responsibilities documented earlier )

    6. Some survey & legal documents were submitted ( Which i tried but never got access on contents of same )
    Though outside support was helpful but at same time my company attorney was not bad and he pulled those Laws strings correctly.

    Since i spent my PP money for gathering stuff from additional legal advise, I stayed back for normal processing and it took 2.5 months to get final decision.
    Hope this may give some idea on how to deal labour-1 if you are experienced candidate and your salary is more than required by law.

    Thanks
    Syam

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Wage Level1,

      Congratulations for your H1 approval after long wait. Also, thanks for posting your experience and I am sure it will be helpful to many people who are/were/will be in similar situations.

  27. Green2018

    Hi,
    Last week I received my green card. Before that I was on H1B for only one year. Do I need to do anything with my H1B paperwork? I am not sure if I need to return it or maybe keep it just in case? Does anyone know… Thank you so much!

  28. Confusion

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer

    Recently filed H1-B transfer/extension, in this process i was traveled to india for emergency and recently got RFE and replied to RFE with PP, and it got denied, instead of filing MTR can you please suggest any ideas.

    1. Brausa

      Hi,

      I got my H1b denied on December 30th and received the notice on January 8th. I’ m currently living in USA but coming to my home country beginning of February.
      I will try to come come back in July to do my Masters Degree. I was accepted at school for the Spring semester but couldn’t start because I was waiting for the H1b results.

      Questions:
      What are my chances to get the F1 visa to come back? I have lived here for 12 years but always on visa. Do you think having H1b denies will affect their decision. Has anyone here had the same situation?
      My attorney says I need to leave soon so they let me come back without any problems. Do you know how long after having a denial will be conseideref out of status.

      Please any feedback is appreciated.

      Thank you

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Brausa,

        Sorry to hear about your denial. Since F1 is non-immigrant intent VO may deny issuing a visa to anyone who he/she think may stay in USA and not come back. Having said that if you able to convince the VO that with plan like after graduation you will go back to go home country then the vis will be issued. So, i suggest you to prepare well for the questions like what will you do after completing your studies and why you are planning to go for masters degree. Good like all the best for your next options including student visa interview.

    2. 3rd Timer

      @Confusion,

      Sorry to hear that your application is denied. If the reason for the denial is due to SOW or job related then you can switch to new company and try again if you dont want to appeal for current denial.

  29. KanuB

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    If I am in US working on H1-B and my H1-B is about to expire, my company files for extension before the expiry date:-

    Query here:
    If my H1 approval gets expired, Can I continue to work in US for my employer till the time my H1 extension gets approved or denied? or do I need to stop working in US and come back to India till my H1 extension gets approved?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Kanu,

      Yes, you are authorized to work for 240 days pending the extension application. If you want to speed up then you can go for PP in that 240 days. I guess, if you do not get any response then you raise a service request and continue to work. If that happens or the denial happens then you should consult with your employers and their attorneys about how to proceed. Also, I believe if the case is denied then you should stop working.

  30. krishna

    HI ,

    I have my I797 Approval and i am going to raise amendment for my new client, as i have already stamped, can i travel to US with my amendment Receipt?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Krishna,

      Yes. This is according to some other people who did the same and they didnt face any pbs at the POE. However, you should carry all the relevant documentations during your travel.
      All the best and Safe travel.

  31. Prajith

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    I have interview scheduled in another 2 weeks. I am currently working with employer1. My H1B petition was processed by employer2. Employer2 has sent all the documents to me. The documents are LCA, roles and responsibilities letter, offer letter, employer tax return, org chart, salary information, employer business operations, certificate of existence, project details, sow.

    They have also sent the I-129 form which they submitted. My application went for RFE and then approved. When I asked employer2, they specified the RFE is related to employer and they will handle it. Now they have not sent any document about RFe and the response they submitted.

    Will there be question related to that in consulate interview? The employer says there will be No. I am little bit worried. Please help.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Parajith,

      Congrats for your approval. It looks like the employer 2 has given all the relevant documents and you will be fine. Please prepare well, example, you may asked questions about new company, how you know about this company and your new roles& responsibilities, your experience (resume) etc. Good luck and all the best for your visa stamping.

  32. SA

    Hi Ram & 3rd Timer,
    I have applied for PP on Jan 2nd. On Jan 2nd the case status changed to ‘case was received and receipt notice has been emailed’. And today is my 15th day i.e 16th Jan. Can you guys say whether we need to count 15 calendar days or business days? And also if i do not receive any update from USCIS in these 15 days, what should be my further steps?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @SA,

      USCIS uses calendar days for PP request. So, you should expect a reply, initially by mail and later by hard by from them on or before 15th day. I suggest just wait for couple of days then ask your attorney to email them. PP cases handled by separate dept so you can contact them by email. However, some very rare cases USCIS may decide to refuse PP and continue to do normal processing. If that happens you will get the PP fee back. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

      1. SA

        Thank you 3rd Timer.
        My 15 calendar days are finished, dint get any response.
        My lawyer will call tomorrow to USCIS and initiate a refund.
        After the refund is done, will my case be again processed as a Normal processing? or do i need to re-apply for PP to get faster response?

        1. 3rd Timer

          @SA,

          As per USCIS, they still treat the case as PP. Please read below,

          “Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. If the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing”

          Link (First para): https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service

          — Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  33. H4toh1

    HI ,

    My spouse h1 got approved after rfe .Meanwhile we had applied for h4 EAD as well but still that’s in recieved status .

    Could you please let me know the process to withdraw EAD application ?

    1. Ram

      Please call USCIS customer care and check with them. They will help you with that. For H4 EAD, principal applicant can directly contact USCIS with queries.

  34. saj

    Hi,
    My H1 B is expired on 07-Nov-2017. And have applied for visa extension and LCA (as it was different client). Now I want to move to different client. Is that possible?

    Thanks and Regards
    saj

  35. Shri

    Hello Ram,

    Today I got the news from my employer regarding my h1b petition get denied.please let me know any chance to reply denied USCIS

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Shri,

      Sorry to hear that your case is denied. You have the option to appeal the the MTD (Motion to Denial). However, it is hard to predict the success rate. Also, your employer and their lawyer needs to convince that appeal could be successful. Meaning, the appeal depends on the reasons listed in the denial.
      ———————————————————————————-
      Check the following link for how long it would take,

      http://immigrationgirl.com/can-trump-eliminate-h-1b-extensions-beyond-the-six-year-limit/#comments.

      ImmigrationGirl
      January 15, 2018
      An appeal is first reviewed by the service center which takes about 2 months. If the decision stands, the appeal will be forward to the AAO which starts a 6 months processing time from that point. We have not heard back on the appeals our office has filed.
      ——————————————————————————————————————
      — Good luck and all the best for your appeal to be successful in case if you have decided to appeal and also for other options.

      1. Shri

        Hello Ram and 3rdTimer

        Today I check with my employer regarding appeal condition but they are not ready. Please let me know what are other options so I can used current selected petition.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Shri,

          Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, you didn’t have any other option for last year lottery selected petition. However, you can try this year again but the downside is it first required to be selected in the lottery.

  36. Swati

    Hi ,
    1. How much time will it take to get the hardcopy of approval letter ?
    2.Almost Everyone is getting 221 g after interview , is this good time to go for it ? or Shall I wait for few more months ?
    3. I heard that after interview if VO handover the passport there are more chances of getting visa denial ?
    4. After approval can I directly change my employer ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Swati,

      1. How much time will it take to get the hardcopy of approval letter ?

      One to two weeks. However, if you or your employer not received it more than 4 weeks then your employer or their attorney can contact the USCIS to send the duplicate copy. If you try to contact them before 30 days then USCIS ask you to wait for 30 days and contact.

      2.Almost Everyone is getting 221 g after interview , is this good time to go for it ? or Shall I wait for few more months ?

      It looks like lot of 221g is issued this time. I believe it is depends on the individual cases and also it depends on VO. So, if you are planning to India trip then go for for it. Similar to lottery it is hard to predict the VO’s mind.

      3. I heard that after interview if VO handover the passport there are more chances of getting visa denial ?

      Whenever the VO is satisfied with the interview and the documentation provided and he/she decided to issue the VISA then they keep the passport. Once they keep the passport that means visa is almost issued, however, in very rare cases they still ask you to submit some documents. If the VO felt that they want to verify something (it could be many things. like the company you are working has some red flag which may or may not have etc) then they give you 221g and give the passport back to you. What that means is, you have to answer the questioner asked in the 221 g form along with any supporting material like resume to submit online. Then you have to wait for 4 to 8 weeks. Some takes longer. There is a case number given in the 221 g. After submitting the details you can track the number online. Once it is approved then you need to submit the passport to nearest VFS center. Then they take 3 days to paste the visa on your passport. But, I suggest you not to worry about the 221g because it is something, like visa lottery, not in control. Just answer truthfully to VO questions then the rest will take care itself.

      4. After approval can I directly change my employer ?
      There is two scenario. (1) Lets say you are currently in USA and your status already changed to H1 due to COS requested when you applied last April. If that is the case then it densest matter with stamping. You can change employer any time and because you are already in H1. (2) However, if you have requested CP then some people are saying you will become cap exempted only after visa approval. Some people are saying it is not the case and you cn transfer to other company. As a safe side it is better to get visa stamping approved for CP cases to facilitate the smooth transfer.

      Also, keep in mind that when you attempt visa transfer for COS cases USCIS require you to prove your status from visa approved time to visa request time. That can be done by W2 or pay stubs etc. One or two pay stubs are enough. For CP cases you can request visa transfer without any pay stubs just after the visa stamping because you are not yet started to work in the intended company in US.

      But, for both the cases (COS or CP), when you request visa transfer it will get same scrutiny as a original petition. Meaning the new job require to meet all the criteria, if not it will ended up with RFE.

      —Anyway, good luck and all the best for your visa stamping and transfer later.

    2. 5 timer

      1. Should get within a reasonable time frame.
      2. If you have all the documents and you can clearly express your intent, it should be fine regardless of what time you appear for the interview.
      3. Obviously. no brainer
      4. Yes

  37. imcool24

    Hello,
    I am still waiting for my RFE response decision . If there is no decision till March then can i refile a new petition through my existing petitioner(for 2017-2018) in the 2018-2019 quota ? I am aware that the lottery system may go and will be replaced by an online system which will allow petitions to be filed only for eligible ones.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @iamcool24,

      I guess it is possible. But instead of paying extra $6k for a new petition why dont you/your employer upgrade to PP and see what happens? Also, I believe if the new one is picked then USCIS may ask to withdraw earlier one or recent one. To avoid these conflicts your best option is go for PP.

      1. imcool24

        @3rd Timer — thanks for the guidance. There are high chances that before USCIS starts processing the new petition( if picked up) , the previous petition result will be out. If previous petition is denied then i will have the new petition as backup.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @imcool24,

          As per USCIS, they still treat the case as PP. Please take read below

          “Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. If the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing”

          Link (First para): https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service

          — Good luck and all the best for your approval.

  38. Riyaz

    i Have approved petition and i never went for stamping So my employer withdrawn my petition..
    Is another employer can apply fresh H1B Petition with Cap Exmpt?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Riyaz,

      Some people are saying unless otherwise it was stamped then USCIS may not considered as the petition counted in lottery, meaning it is not cap-exempt and they won’t transfer. But others are claiming opposite, ie, you can transfer to new company once it is selected in the lottery and approved.

      So, if the opportunity arise in your new company suggest to your new employer and get their immigration lawyer’s opinion. Other option you have is schedule a 30 min consultancy with some experienced immigration lawyers and clear your doubts before you speaking to your new employer about the transfer. It may cost you from $100 to $300 rang but it is the best option I believe and also worth paying the money.

  39. Akki22

    Hi,

    I have been waiting for more than 5 months now after response to RFE was sent. I was picked in lottery in April and then in September the response was sent for RFE which I received in July.

    I am filing H1b through a consultant and this is my first H1 processing. Never applied for L1 in the past. My consultant is not sharing any details with me and my visa application is in a complete black box. I have lost hope as it’s been really long with the same status on USCIS site.

    Experts please suggest on my case. Is it safe going through a consultant looking at the current situation in USA?

    1. CapG

      I am on similar situation perhaps my response was sent a month earlier than yours in August. It’s annoying already.
      I just have a question for experts here, my employer is nominating me for H1B visa this year. Is it possible for nominations if one is already pending?

      1. VenkatRaman

        Hi CapG – I was in a very similar situation. My RFE was sent to USCIS in august and the decision was pending for a long time. Last week i took a decision to upgrade to premium processing and it got approved within 2 days. So my suggestion is if you have funds then better go for premium processing though there is always a risk involved in premium processing

        1. 3rd Timer

          @CapG,

          Since there is no decision yet, yes it possible to apply next year (October 2019 start date) from the same company. But, the new petition costs at least $6k so why can’t they go for PP and done with it? Anyway, Good luck and all the best for your approval for this year application.

    2. VenkatRaman

      There is always a risk involved if going through a 3rd party consultant. I suggests you thoroughly do proper background checks of the vendor before taking a decision.

    3. 3rd Timer

      @Akki22,

      If I read it correctly, you have applied through consultancy but working for different employer. The application was picked in lottery but waiting for RFE. So, if that is the case then you just need to wait for the approval due to slow process this year. Other suggestion is to upgrade to premium processing if you are able to afford $1225 fee. That is the only way at this moment to get the reply quickly from USCIS. It will not guarantee the approval but at least it will speed up the process. The approval depends on if the job applied is really specialty occupation and the Wage level quoted in LCA.

      Also, if you are planning to apply next year then I suggest you to wait one more month because the current administration going to announce the procedure for lottery, meaning they are going to propose a procedure to reduce the number of applications prior to lottery.
      If you plan to apply this year (Oct 2019) then take a decision after that. Based on the chatter it looks like it going to be more scrutiny in coming years.

      1. Akki22

        Thanks 3rd Timer!

        Do you think going through a consultant can be troublesome considering the current scenario?
        Also, is the new increased minimum wage has become a law?

        1. 3rd Timer

          @Akki22,

          1. Do you think going through a consultant can be troublesome considering the current scenario?

          I would not say it is troublesome to file through all the consultancies. However, the project availability is genuine, the projects falls under specialty occupation, the wage level offered is at least 2 or more, strong & detail SOW, client letter etc then it is easy to get approval. Else, it will end up in RFE and long wait. So, I am guessing many (small) consultancies play it safe meaning they wont file unless they feel also the same. For big MNC’s, I am not sure how they approach this year.

          2. Also, is the new increased minimum wage has become a law?

          I dont thing it will become law in near future. This opinion is based on how the law is created in USA. But, executive branch can come up with the policy guidelines saying for a given job (software developer) if more than one application is received from the same county then the high paying job gets priority than the lowest one. Or other words not all the pay’s treated equally. This is my assumption. May be we come to know next month. But, arbitrary wage like minimum $90K etc require law that will not going to happen in near future.

    4. consultant

      And while waiting patiently for the RFE decision, I am sure you have mocked up your resume with multiple bullet points & years of onsite experience. right?

  40. Vinoth

    Hi Ram & 3rd Timer,

    I am waiting for my H1B Approval, if it get approved how long it will take for my spouse to get H4.

    And is there any way that I can take my Spouse and Kid for H4 dependent visa interview , when I appear for H1B interview. If so can you please detail me the procedure for the same.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Vinoth,

      Since it is consular processing for your spouse and children, I believe you can apply for a visa interview when you appear for the interview. But I am not very sure though. Please check with your company’s lawyers and get their opinion as well. Good luck and all the best for your approval and visa stamping.

    2. Nimesh

      HI Vinoth,

      Yes you can go for stamping together. I went with my spouse and kid for stamping together and also traveled to US together, its easy you get stamping together. Thanks Nimesh

  41. Duong Vu

    Hi all, my case finally got approved. So much thanks for the great effort from the Admins especially Ram & 3rd Timer who kept our hope alive for such a long waiting time. Here’s my case timelines:

    April 2017 – Case recevied
    May 2017 – Case transferred from Vermont to California center
    August 11th 2017 – RFE on both WL1 & SO (computer programmer)
    November 8th 2017 – Response received
    Jan 12nd 2018 – Case approved (got approval PDF from company’s lawyer, website still not updated)

    So don’t lose hope if you’re getting RFE, stay positive and things will come out just the way it should be. I still have the stamping interview ahead but I hope they will be easy on me.

    Thanks all, btw, I’m from Vietnam.

  42. Sabitha

    One of my colleague had interview on last week of December. He was asked very usual questions.
    Who is your petitioner?
    How did you know this job exists?
    What will be your salary?
    Who is your client?
    Where will you be landing?
    Roles and responsibilities?
    Nothing very specific.
    But after 20 minutes of answering to the usual questions, he was asked to wait. The lady consulate then discussed about his case to some co-workers (he was able to see that) and after 45-60 minutes, he was called again and was given 221G. That had very confusing reason.
    “Your case is refused for administrative processing. Your case will be reconsidered only when administrative processing”

    Even attorney has no clue about it. Does anyone had same experience?.
    Any idea why his case was not approved irrespective of answering all questions right?

    Some info: He has visited US multiple times already with B1 and L1. He has 12 yrs of exp. He had not got RFE.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Sabitha,

      It is unfortunate that your friend’s application went in to admin processing.

      (a) Any idea why his case was not approved irrespective of answering all questions right? It is not necessary that the VO needs to issue visa based on the answers. Also, the answers to the questions if they are right or wrong is subjective. So, if the VO feels sees some red flag like in the answers even though it is technically right answer, they will issue 221 g to verify further.

      Example if some one applying for PhD visa and the visa officer not sure it is sensitive they simply issue 221g to see if that is the case. We have to remember that they don’t know all the answers. In that situation they check further. I do hope the visa will be issued to your friend unless other wise the company who sponsored him/her under red flag. Also, similar to regular H1 approval process, administrative processing takes some time and hard to predict. And, there is no way to upgrade like PP for admin processing.

      1. Pavan

        I know few cases got rejected due to person working with the same company for long time under L1 and same company applied for H1. think that way once.. it may wrong also

  43. 1st time h1b stamping

    Hi Ram,
    I just got my H1b petition approved, May I know when is the earliest that I can apply for this interview process? I would like to get it done and over with. Can I apply for the interview now for a December date?
    What are the documents that we need for the VISA filing? Could you please share the H1B Visa Stamping Documents list if possible ?
    The I-797 Approval Notice has any validity period ?
    Do I Need a Medical Examination?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @1st time h1b stamping,

      when is the earliest that I can apply for this interview process? Any time after you receive your approval.

      Can I apply for the interview now for a December date? Yes. But VO may ask you to show the client letter. If the client letter is saying December 2019 then you may ended up in denial or Admin processing or ask you to apply later date.

      What are the documents that we need for the VISA filing?
      Applied 1-129 copy (if possible), the approved i-179, SOW, client letter, experience letter, Resume etc. Check this blog and I am sure find separate forum for this.

      Could you please share the H1B Visa Stamping Documents list if possible ?
      Please check/browse this forum.

      The I-797 Approval Notice has any validity period ?
      Yes. It will be written in the notice.

      Do I Need a Medical Examination?
      No.

  44. 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

      1. VenkatRaman

        This was filed at Vermont Service Center…..Looks like USCIS is holding the RFE decision so that people will upgrade to premium and they can earn extra money. My case was approved within 12 hours after it got upgraded to premium

        1. Raj A.

          Hi Venkat Raman
          I am going with same situation. I got RFE for speciality occupation and my lawyer said not to put it PP as it might cause rejection. Just want to know what documents you submitted for speciality occupation to see if i have similar case and I can upgrade to PP.

  45. KanuB

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    I have received H1-B approval way back in September 2017 but for due to first missing petition and then some information missing information in petition I haven’t been able to go for stamping. Unfortunately I have received approval of petition only till September 30 2018.

    My queries are:-
    1. What is the impact if I am unable to go for stamping before petition expiry date?
    2. Do I still remain Cap-Exempt after petition gets expired i.e. 30 Sept 2018?
    3. For how many years one remains cap-exempt after getting selected in lottery and getting an approved petition?
    4. What is the usual timeline for getting petition extension done? For Sept 30 2018 expiry, what is the latest that I should ask my company to file for extension ?
    5. Can I still change my employer and transfer my H1-B after petition is expired?

    Thank you

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Kanu,

      1. What is the impact if I am unable to go for stamping before petition expiry date?
      No impact.

      2. Do I still remain Cap-Exempt after petition gets expired i.e. 30 Sept 2018?
      Yes.

      3. For how many years one remains cap-exempt after getting selected in lottery and getting an approved petition? 6 years from date of approval. Lets say your is approved for a start date of October 1st, 2018 then you will be cap exempt until September 30th 2024. You can use anytime with this period. Example, if your first entry to US occurring on 2021 then you can work till 2017 continuously. If you take a break then that unused time you can recover too.

      4. What is the usual timeline for getting petition extension done? For Sept 30 2018 expiry,
      what is the latest that I should ask my company to file for extension ? I think it is 120 days before the expiry date.

      5. Can I still change my employer and transfer my H1-B after petition is expired?
      This part is not clear. Some people suggesting if the original (Company A’s) petition is not stamped then the transfer is not possible. Some say it is possible. So, It is unclear to me.

      1. KanuB

        Thanks a lot 3rd timer.

        Follow up query:-

        1. If I get my H1 visa stamped from Company A which filed my original petition, in this case Can I transfer my petition to a new employer after petition is expired?

  46. Vinoth

    Hi Ram and 3rd Timer,

    I am waiting for my H1B Approval, if it get approved how long it will take for my spouse to get H4.

    And is there any way that I can take my Spouse and Kid for H4 dependent visa interview , when I appear for H1B interview. If so can you please detail me the procedure for the same.

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