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 ( 12,711 )

  1. Tinku

    Just came across the uscis website and they stated that they are temporarily suspending premium processing for fy2019 h1b cap. Does this mean that people who need to apply for h1 b extension can still use premium processing?

    1. Aspiring

      I think it is for FY2019 cap petition only. So other than 2019 people can still use premium services.

      Ram,

      Could you please confirm.

      1. Ram

        Yes H1B extensions can be filed in premium processing. Only cap subject petitions of FY 2019 cant be filed in Premium processing

  2. Kumar

    Hello Ram/Everyone,
    My response to RFE is submitted on dec12 and status is still showing as RFE received. Its been almost 1 year from the lottery. Can we expect any status change before End Of Month.

    Please reply!!!!

    I am tired of checking the same status everyday

    1. Ram

      We cant say anything for sure. There is no definite deadline set by USCIS for adjudication through normal processing. So if you would like to expedite the process, kindly opt for premium processing.
      Last year too, the previous year cap petitions were still under processing past April 2017. So we cant guarantee anything.

    2. 3rdTimeLucky

      My response to RFE was filed last August (2018 CAP) and still status shows as “Processing”. Really tired of them now.

  3. heena

    I have applied for amendment on 11/01/2017 (Nov) haven’t heard until yesterday, I spoke to my employer today about premium processing, and my employer accepted and forwarded my request to my Attorney, They have filled in the documents and sent to me for review, meanwhile the same team member from attorney firm replied my HR stating the amendment got approved last Monday!! feeling very much relaxed now, gosh took a hell lot of pressure from last few months about my amendment. hoooray it’s approved now and am planning to travel to India after almost 5 years, next big step is getting stamped.

    heena

  4. satheesh

    Hello All,

    I have applied for H1B for the first in 2016 and picked. Unfortunately that was denied due to consultancy issue. Now my question is can i complain on consultancy to US embassy? What action they will take? Will it impact on me for applying H1B in the future?

    Thank you
    SK

    1. Report the Fake

      APRIL 5, 2017 22:33:27 CDTREPLY FightBack
      Hello All! Please use this email id published on USCIS site to report all FAKE consultancies who are asking people to pay for visa and reducing the chances for us genuine applicants (Desi consultancies). I am fighting back and so should you!
      [email protected]

      1. Attorney

        I don’t think companies that do any fraudulent activity or do not have enough documentation can survive in the long run.

  5. L1-H1

    Hello Ram, 3rdTimer & others

    I and my family are on L1B visa and last november my H1-B got approved in h1b consular processing where as my family visa is still in pending

    L1-B visa for me and my family will be expiring in July/2018

    can you please let us know below

    1. My company says as it is h1b consular processing application, it is mandatory to get it stamped in India and move to H1, is it true

    2. If true, then me & my family should be traveling to India,we are planning in the month of June. do i need to consider any other date or is June good to go

    3. As my family visa is not yet approved, how do i apply there visa in India and what are documents required

    4. There are lot rumors going on with policy changes and other stuff, its bring panic situation, do suggest

    i did ask my company on documents required and procedures but as you know there are very slow to answer and mostly inaccurate

    Thanks again

    1. JACK

      Hi L1-H1,
      Here are answers as per my understanding.
      1). Yes, In Consular processing you need to go out of USA, Stamp your VISA and come back on new H1B. Mine was the same case.
      2). This days many people are getting 221(g) despite having all the documents. This is because DOS have started more scrutiny on each application to crack down fake consultancies and projects. In my case I got 221g despite having all docs and I am stuck in india.
      3) Family have H4 VISA, they do not have separate VISA approval. Once your(primary) application is approved they will get their H4 bydefault. am I missing something here ?. Or misunderstood your query ?
      4) Panic is for fake company/projects. if you have everything legit. you don’t have reason to worry.

      On documentation, check with your attorney as depending on the project model EC, FTE, EVC, EVVC the list of the document is different.

      Just plan your VISA stamping in advance so that if you get 221g you have time to clear it before your project start date.

      Good luck.

    2. Ram

      1. You can convert to H1B in two ways, one is to travel out get stamping and come back on H1B else company can apply COS L1 to H1B. Once approved you can start working on H1B and can get stamping when ever you travel out of country.
      2. I agree with Jack.. always have some buffer time.
      3. You need not apply for H4 separately. It is enough if they appear of stamping along with you or with your H1B approved copy. But if you are planning to apply COS without travelling, then you may need to file form I-539 for all dependents, get it approved and then apply COS for all of you.
      4. If you have genuine application, nothing to worry.
      Good luck!

  6. VEENA

    My husbands H1b extension was approved in Feb. He has traveled to south Korea on business this last week. Can he get his visa stamped there without problems? Will it be usual interview for renewal stamping or just finger printing? Pls let me know

    1. Ram

      Yes he can get it done. It would be the usual interview process which he would have underwent earlier. Do ask him to carry all the required documents for the stamping. Also do check with his immigration Attorney/team if any additional documentation is required when getting stamping in the different country. Good luck! Do keep us posted on the outcome!

  7. Status

    Has anyone seen this status message after raising an SR
    On #####, your inquiry about the status of your Employment Authorization application, referral number ################, was completed.

    My employer raised it a while back. No update yet though

    1. Ram

      That’s the usual update given when SR is raised. Kindly talk to your Attorney or employer who raised SR. They would have got an email answering to the query. If not, they may have to call USCIS customer care again.

  8. JACK

    got 221(g) blue slip : March 8
    client got verification email/call on : March 15

    Can I expect something positive from consulate in next 2-3 weeks ?

    1. Ram

      We cant say for sure. If there are other checks other than client information verification, then it can take much more longer time. Don’t worry much, lets stay positive!

  9. Venkat

    Hi Friends – Need your help. I received 221G blue slip during my visa interview in chennai. The VO gave me a case number which is a 11 digit numerical number. I am trying to find the status of my case using this number and it always gives me an invalid application number message. Can some one let me know how many digits is the case ID in general

    1. JACK

      Hi Venkat,
      Also got 221g blue slip last week.

      The number have following format : 2018XXX XXX XXXX

      NOW THE LAST 4 DIGIT OF THE NUMBER YOU NEED TO PREPEND WITH ZEROS.

      YOU CAN ALSO TRACK YOUR APPLICATION BY YOUR DS-160 NUMBER.

      LET ME KNOW IF THAT WORKS FOR YOU.

      1. Venkat

        Thanks Jack for the response. However i added zeroes for the last 3 digits but it did not work but searching my case with the DS-160 application number says it is under administrative processing. I am sincerely hoping my prayers will be answered soon.

  10. 2ndTIMER

    HI RAM/3rd TIMER,

    Case Was received – April
    Case was transferred – July
    RFE – august
    Response received Nov – Till date
    Call my employer – They asked for my communication address to mail my document.

    I’m in mixed feeling – I heard some times back that some VO in Chennai consulate are issuing lot yellow slips.

    where can I find recent trend in VISA interview happening in Chennai.

    1. Ram

      The 221g and administrative processing varies from case to case. Not all cases get 221g. If you have all the required documents and answer confidently, m sure you must be getting stamping easily.
      I know many who got stamping without any issues from chennai. So stay confident and carry all required documents, answer genuinely and I am sure you can get through it.
      All the best for your approval!
      https://www.immihelp.com/experience/view-1-21-h1bvisa_h4visa.html
      https://redbus2us.com/category/visa-experiences/

  11. H1toF1

    Hi Ram / 3rd timer,
    Need your opinion.

    Current situation is

    1. Moved to H1 COS (from Oct1st, 2017 ) from F1 / STEM OPT EAD ( STEM Auth is valid until 2018 Dec)
    2. Due to various issues, moved out of H1 and terminated by the employer.

    Based on the current situation, is it possible to move back to / re-instatement to F1 STEM EAD Unused duration as there is 1 more year unused, essentially from H1 to F1 STEM EAD provided I have an offer from large e-verify reputed employer.

    Your opinion / advise will be highly apprciated.

    1. Ram

      As far as i know you cant. You need to transfer your H1 to the new company and you can start working.

      May be you can try to travel out of company and try to enter on F1 if stamping is still valid. But I would highly recommend you to consult an immigration Attorney before doing this.

      1. H1toF1

        HI Ram, Unfortunately time is too short for transfer option due to fact that my 60 day grace period is over already.

        I will talk to immi attorney on Monday, in the meantime to make me better prepared, what will be the other possibilities to avoid status violations.

        1. Ram

          Its better to travel out of the country and enter either on F1 or H1B stamped(You can transfer it to a different company and get it stamped).

  12. Stamping_Pending

    Hi All,
    My H1 petition was approved on Aug 2017, Will go to stamping on July 2018, because of client letter issues. Will that create any problem in stamping ?

  13. LostSoul

    Any TCS folks here ?

    Last year they filled for me, this year they are not filling..

    But my other friends they are filling.. dont know whats going on…

  14. H1B 2018

    H1B 2018

    I am planning to apply H1B through Peksystems, Can somebody suggest me how the comapny is? Any past experience about the company or can I proceed further in applying H1B through this company?

      1. H1B 2018

        @Peksystem

        Your from which place? I am from hyd and let me know we can talk. Suggest me how the comapny is? Any past experience about the company?

          1. sabreena

            couple of my friends filed thru peksystems last year and they are still struggling a way to recover their money from the peksystems, don’t be a scape goat in those consultancies, this year the scrutiny has been increased and with inhouse project you would surely be loosing 3+ lacs, invest some where you get some appreciation.

            thanks
            sabreena

  15. Shaik

    Hi Ram/3rd Time,
    Thanks for your valuable suggestions. I have attend h1b Visa interview on 6th March. VO asked few questions i have answered properly then he said my Visa approved and safe travel. when i have check status it’s showing administrative processing. VO has retained my passport. No slips were given to me.How long it will take to get my Visa stamped on passport?Can i consider that my Visa is approved or not?Or there any other issues?

    1. H1bAspirant

      I had my interview on 5th Dec 2017. My visa was approved. When I checked the status on 6th Dec 2017, it was showing as “Administrative processing”. I checked some forums and found that it is normal for the status to remain in “administrative processing” for 2-3 days after the interview . On 8th Dec 2017, the status changed to “Issued”. I got my stamped passport on 11th December.

      In your case, it has been 10 days so I am not very sure.

    2. Ram

      There is no set processing time and can take few weeks to several months. As the officer mentioned its approved, its quite possible that the delay is just at their end and it will be approved within few days/weeks.
      Administrative processing happens for all visas now a days though they are approved. It is just extra scrutiny that USCIS performs on the petitioner and beneficiary. If all the scrutiny is passed, you would get the status visa issued immediately. So please be patient and Good luck!

  16. Malik

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer
    My I 129 petition for H1 B got denied on March 12, 2018. My petition was filed when I was on valid J2 and was expired on 30 June 2017. My lawyer suggests me to go for H4 as my wife got a job in cap-exempt(she got the job in grace period in July 2017) and I applied for H4 in September 2017. My H4 is also pending from September 2017. Both H1B and H4 applied on the change of status from J2.My question is my H1B denied and change of status also denied.My H4 applied after J2 expired and still pending more than 6 months. Is it valid to stay here until my H4 approved?

    1. Ram

      I am not sure how did your attorney suggested to apply for H4 in COS when J2 is expired. For change of status, the current visa has to be active. So I feel its better you fly out of the country get stamping for H4 and come back in. Before that kindly contact an experienced immigration Attorney and clarify on this. Do let us the know outcome so that it would be useful for people who are facing similar situation.

  17. Hopeful

    Hi,
    My employer told my visa got approved and they told they are waiting for client letter to proceed stamping . my questions are
    1. in site it is showing as Case was Received is that possible ? ,

    2. When I go for stamping in June will they ask why you didn’t come to stamping for long time ?

    1. Bhakti

      USCIS site update is not good this year so if your employer is saying you petition is approved then believe them.
      My petition was approved in June, went for stamping in October and traveled in Feb, so it is perfectly fine. Be relaxed. Congratulations for your approval.

    2. JACK

      Congratulations.
      You are all set.

      Following is answer to your queries,

      1) Thats fine. USCIS site is always slow in updating the status.
      2) As long as your petition is valid(start and end date) you can go any time for stamping.

  18. Status Update

    Is anyone still waiting for the status update? I haven’t heard anything after the response was received and that was back in November last year.

  19. BestLuckToFakers

    Whats expert opinion on body shop companies with latest memo’s by USCIS ?

    People are easily able to file multiple applications using the body shop companies. Do you think this year duplicate fillings will drop, thus reducing the number of applications ?

    1. BestLuckToFakers

      http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/new-h1b-visa-policy-to-hit-third-party-supplier-base-of-indian-it-firms-118022400045_1.html

  20. Kumar

    Hello ram & third timer,

    Apr 11 petition got picked in lottery

    Aug 15 got request for additional evidence

    Mar 1 2018 got denied

    I would like to know whether we can transfer denied petition to other employer, apart from filing MTR is there any option to provide evidence.

    Kindly let me know.

    Thanks,
    Kumar

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Kumar,

      Sorry to hear that. At this point you dont have any option except go for MTR, which is time consuming (at least 6 months or more) and also the possibility of getting approval is very low.
      Also, the transfer is only available for previously approved applications at least one time.

  21. New H1B

    Hello All,

    I applied H1B from XYZ company last year and my H1B got denied. Now after requesting to the employer he has raised MTR request against the denial notice. Again I am applying H1B through the same employer for the fiscal year 2018-19. Is there any concerns will be raised? or it ok?

    1. Ram

      If the new cap subject petition is for a different position from the one applied in petition which is undergoing MTR then there should be no issues. Good luck!

      1. 123

        You are just fooling yourself! Don’t waste your time and patience! This year the policy is tighter than last year. If you were not approved last year, there’s little chance you will be approved.

  22. Sam

    Just want to give people a notification. I recently got an interview request from Homeland security even though h1b was approved with COS 3 months ago.

    I was told that this is for verification purpose and it seems Homeland security trying really hard to ensure no h1b fraud.

      1. Sam

        I haven’t have the interview yet, but the questionnaire to the HR was something similar info they requested when applying for H1b like the type work you do, your salary, how much they spend on hiring you, etc.

        I guess the interview will be something similar so they can see if there is any variation with the info. It might be a random spot check, but it doesn’t seem to be restrict to certain employer because my employer is a global pharmaceutical company and I have a US A.D and level 4 wage in Boston.

  23. Anil

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I got 221g during my visa interview last month. My employer has responded with the required documents but iam yet to get a response. For a safer side, shall i apply for a fresh h1b through the same employer for this year. I have the below questions in mind.

    1. Consider if my current h1b visa is approved and also my new h1b got picked, will it have any impact to current visa?

    2. If my current petition is taking much longer time and new petition gets approved and during stamping will they come to know that my previous h1b visa is in 221g status.

    Since the time is less i have to take a decision. Please suggest what options do I have now.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Anil,

      It is not making sense. First up all your employer may not agree to file again and second it may get rejected or issued another 221g at the embassy for the second one. It is better to wait for the 221g to get approved or some people pointing out you may withdraw the first one.

    2. JACK

      Duplicate H1B filing from the same employer is illegal and will surely get rejected.
      I am not sure how your employer is ready to file again ?

      If first 221(g) is not clear from start to end. 150% you will get 221(g) for all future VISAs with US Consulate and you will invite more scrutiny.

      1. Anil

        Hi Jack,
        I havent checked with my employer yet. But one of my friend in US checked with an attorney and he said that option is possible. Only thing is one will be unused.

        Are you sure it is a duplicate filing even though employer file in different year? I dont think so.

        1. JACK

          Duplicate application is H1B application from same employer for same candidate irrespective of year they filed in.
          I always like to provide straight answers, I told you straight forward the experience I have so that you do not end-up complicating your case.

          Also note, 221g is not bad, its phase where DOS/DHS wants to cross verify information you have provided in your application. Why to worry if you don’t have anything to hide ?.. 221g is the beast you want to clear without any issue.

          Wait 2 months you will get your case through.

          Good luck!.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Query,

      Your Q is not clear. Are you want to check RFE case or 221 G case? For RFE use USCIS website and use the petition receipt number. For 221G cases use the number given at the embassy and the DHS website.

  24. Amendment_Premium

    Hi All,

    Could anyone please share the timeline for Amendment petition in Premium mode?

    1. Timeline to receive the receipt copy
    2. Timeline to receive the decision

    Thanks in advance!

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Amendment_Premium,

      1. One week, but before that you will also receive the receipt details in email since it is PP.

      2. 15 calendar days from the day the petition (fedex/ups) delivered to USCIS. If any RFE is issued then the 15 days clock starts from the day USCIS receive your response.

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

  25. First Time H1b

    HI ,
    My h1b visa stamping is done and I have resigned from my current company . However now my employer in US is asking me to wait till Nov 2018 after that only they ask to travel to US.

    Now I dont want to wait till that longer time. So what are the options are available for me ?
    Shall I need to transfer to other employer ?
    If So will i again need to go to the stamping ?
    What are the chances of it getting it approved ?

    Thank you.
    Sumesh

    1. 3rd Timer

      @First Time H1b,

      1. Shall I need to transfer to other employer ?
      Yes, you can since it was already stamped.

      2. If So will i again need to go to the stamping ?
      No.

      3. What are the chances of it getting it approved ?
      It depends on the jobs. And the documents your employer going to submit.
      The transfer is considered as new petition. So, it is possible that your transfer application get three possible outcomes, (a) may be approved without any problem or (b) you may get RFE followed by approval if the response is satisfactory or (c) RFE followed by denial if the response is unsatisfactory. If it is denied and your original employer is not revoked then you may go back and work for them. If they revoked then they have to re apply again.

      The good news is that since you have already received an approval and also your visa was stamped you will be considered as cap-exempt in future for next 6 years. Meaning you no need to go through the lottery but the transfer and amendment petitions draw same scrutiny as original petition.

  26. Swati

    HI ,
    My h1b visa stamping is done and I have resigned from my current company . However now my employer in US is asking me to wait till Nov 2018 after that only they ask to travel to US.

    Now I dont want to wait till that longer time. So what are the options are available for me ?
    Shall I need to transfer to other employer ?
    If So will i again need to go to the stamping ?
    What are the chances of it getting it approved ?

    Thank you.
    Sumesh

  27. H4 Waiting

    Hello All,

    I am currently in H4 status and planning to file H1B for this fiscal year, can somebody suggest me any good consultancy. Thanks in Advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @H4 Waiting,

      It is too late I guess since because you need at least 10 working days to get LCA approval which you need to submit to USCIS on April 1st.

  28. Gaara

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I am currently in H4 status. I have an approved h1b and my employer has initiated the change of status. There is also another employer who is willing to do change of status for me. If I also initiate the change of status with the new employer, how does this impact me? Say, one of them gets approved first and I will get into H1 status. what happens to the other one- will it cause any issue or will it cause an rfe or is there a chance for it also get approved considering now I am already in H1 before its processed. It would great if you can throw some light on this based on your knowledge.

    1. Ram

      Ideally it should not be a problem and would be considered as separate application but I would recommend you to verify this with an experienced immigration Attorney.

      1. H12018

        Hi Ram,
        I am in a weired problem. My employer has applied for H1 and COS from H4 to H1 in the same application. H4 has expired. Applied for extension at Vermont center and it’s very slow. USCIS is hell bent on H4 approval.
        Would it help if I leave the country? Would they approve H1 and deny COS ?
        Regards,
        H12018

        1. Ram

          Yes they might approve H1 without COS but I will strongly recommend you to talk to an immigration Attorney on this and then take final decision.

          1. H12018

            Hi Ram,

            Thanks for your response. I checked with an attorney and he confirmed that when they have given 4 RFEs on the same status query , they would want to approve the visa. But , my employer says he isnt sure what would happen if I travel out of country.
            Really confused what to do.
            Regards,
            H12018

  29. Venkat

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer – I attend the consulate interview on 1st march and got 221G blue slip. I have sent the documents to the email ID mentioned on 8th march. Whenever i try to check the status of the case using the case ID mentioned on the blue slip it says invalid application but when i use the DS160 application number it says it is under administrative processing. Is this a problem?

    1. 221g

      no friend you are not able to figure out how to give case I’d. follow the instructions bellow the text box. use the same format take care of spaces

  30. JACK

    Hi Ram, Admin,
    When VO issues 221(g), Whats the logic /idea behind VO keeping passport for some people and returned the passport for some people.

    Is this the indication on faster VISA processing for passports that VO keeping it and long processing time for other case ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @JACK,

      I am guessing that if VO feels to check for minor things but already convinced to issue the visa then they usually keep the PP. If the keep it then almost if not all the cases visa will be approved. If they have given the passport back then they want to verify some major things (like fraud or some security checks (usually happens if you are going for F1/Phd Visa)) etc.

      1. JACK

        Thanks 3rd Timer.
        Mine is M.S in software from India. I have all documents client letter, employer verification letter, MSA, employer-client agreement.

        I did travel on L1B for 3 years earlier.

        Still got 221g 🙂

  31. Raksha

    My H1b visa originally approved for XX state and i have 797 copy with me. Now got a project in the state YY. My employer filed the location change amendment, Meantime, I got an offer from employer B

    1. So in this case, will i get new receipt number and new 797 copy for state YY ?
    2. Employer B requested Immigration document. I have original 797 copy and dont have LCA change amendment receipt number or 797. Original 797 is sufficient to do h1b transfer ?
    3. Location change amendment is in progress with employer A. If employer B initiated h1b Transfer at same time. will it be fine or any issues with this?

    1. Ram

      1. After amendment is filed, you get a new receipt number and on approval a new 797.
      2. Its enough to provide the 797 you have. When the amendment is in progress its receipt number/797 is not required for transfer. The LCA you have is never required for a transfer.
      3. Amendment doesn’t affect your transfer in any way. But once your transfer is approved, kindly request company A to withdraw the amendment petition if you have decided to go with company B.

      Good luck!

  32. Deepak

    Hi Ram,
    My current H1B is till 4th June 2018 and H1B extension was filed with USCIS on 23 Feb for Client A. But as per current circumstances Client A may close it’s business in near future ( Max in 3 months) . so If i get a new project (with new client) in US before any decision by USCIS on already filed extension, then do i need file amendment with filed petition or i need to file new application altogether. Please advice asap.

    Note: My Employer is not changing, only client is changing. problem is my extension has already filed with A client, but now they may close their business in near future and my employer is ready to move me in new project but since extension already filed with client A that’s the confusion.

    Should i upgrade in Premium?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Deepak,

      I think you need to file an amendment again for client other than A.
      So, you could upgrade to PP for A and do the amendment again for B. Else, file amendment for B in PP and withdraw the “A” s amendment. I think your employer’s attorney will suggest these options. Good luck and all the best for your amendment approval.

      1. Deepak

        Thanks for the response 3rd timer.

        Is there any impact on my H1B extension petition (filed for client A), because my client A is shutting down?

        1. Ram

          If direct approval is given then there wont be any issues, if there is any RFE related to client letter/ SOW or project details. You must be in a position to provide them if at all you are questioned about them. This is the only hurdle i could think of.

  33. Hopeful

    Hi ,
    My case got approved in Aug 2017 my employer gave receipt number but not approval notice . Can I transfer to other employer with the receipt number ?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Hopeful,

      Yes, It is possible. However, if your case was approved with consular processing and you are currently staying outside the US then SOMETIME USCIS may reject the transfer based on it was not stamped.

      Having said that, SOME people (not all) successfully transferred without having stamped previous years. I would say it is 50-50. It really depends on the strength of the new petition and also the interpretation of the USCIS officer about the cap-exempt.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Surya,

      I am guessing it will be below 150 K or even less than 125K. I may be wrong but that is my guess based on RFE’s and other factors (more evidence, 221g etc).

  34. Pushpa

    Hi Ram,

    I got my H1b approved in Sep 2017 . I got two payslip for Oct and Nov 2017 . I delivered my baby in Dec and I took off Dec,Jan and Feb . Now I got an offer from different company and planning to transfer my H1 , however I have only two months payslip(Oct & Nov) not last three months payslips. Is it going to be a problem ? Many thanks for your response .

    1. Ram

      Congrats on your baby!
      The maternity leave policy varies from company to company. I am not sure how your current company is handling it. It can be either paid leave or unpaid leave(loss of pay) . Both these cases, pay slip would be generated for you. If not, it means you are out of status. As in H1,you need to have pay slips to maintain status. Hence please talk to your company and check on the payslips and your current status.
      If you are trying to transfer, then there is a chance that you might get RFE asking you about the maintenance (Recent payslips)of current H1B.
      Kindly talk to an immigration Attorney for more info and on how to handle the situation. Good luck and enjoy your new phase of life!

  35. Finally Approved

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I have below queries, kindly help me to answer them, based on your inputs I will be taking decision.

    After long waiting and in the queue, finally my H1B got approved and Visa has been stamped on Feb 27 2018 from Company A for Client C1. my petition expires on Oct 2018.

    1) Company A is not willing to send me as there are no work in Client C1. What are all the options I have in Company A before my Petition Expires
    2) Company B which is product based Organization is offered my job directly and willing to take me in – What is procedure I need to follow to take the offer and fly before Company A for Client C1 applied petition expires.
    3) Excuse me asking more on these things.
    Transfer – When do we go for.
    Amendement – When do we go for.

    Thank you all for your valuable inputs.

    1. Ram

      1. Option 1: You can ask Company A to find another client. Apply amendment for it and travel with receipt number of it and work for the new client.
      Option 2: Transfer your visa to new company and travel for the new company.
      2. Company B has to file for transfer of your visa and once approved you can travel for Company B.The transfer can be initiated by company B only and hence talk to the company’s Attorney/immigration team. They will explain the process to you.
      3. In order for the H-1B holder to change employers(The one who runs your payroll in USA), the new employer is required to submit an H-1B visa transfer petition with the USCIS. This process is called H1B transfer.
      You must file an amended H-1B petition if your job location is going to change outside of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or an “area of intended employment” (as defined at 20 CFR 655.715) covered by the existing approved H-1B petition. Not only location, if there is change in salary or designation, then amendment is required.

      Note: Once you file the amended petition, the H-1B employee can immediately begin to work at the new location. You do not have to wait for a final decision on the amended petition for your H-1B petition to start work at the new location.

  36. JACK

    Hi Admin, Ram, 221g, PV, All,
    I need urgent help.

    My OFC : MAR-07
    VISA Interview : MAR-08

    I got 221(g) slip at the end of my interview and VO asked me to track on CAES website using the case number on 221(g) slip.
    When I am checking CAES State department website I am getting status as “Administrative Processing”.

    but details populated are littlebit different,

    It shows CASE CREATED DATE as “MAR-06” – The fact is I have no work/appointment with Chennai Consulate on MAR-06. I am not sure why its showing case created “MAR-06” , it should be MAR-07 as my OFC date.

    If anyone have received 221(g) can confirm if they have CASE CREATED DATE (on CAES state website) matching their OFC date Or something else ?

    Really appreciate your help.

  37. Query

    Hello,

    1. My H1B petition got approved post RFE recently. Now, since the time of filing to present, i have been promoted in my Org hierarchy in the company which has lead to a change in designation and salary (hike on Indian salary). The salary and designation change in India will have impact on my salary which i will get in the US, hence it will not be the same as filed. Please advice whether amendment is needed is such cases or not ?

    2. In case, my visa is approved after interview, i’ll be travelling to the US. Later after commencing work, if my company decides to change my location to some other state, is that an easy task or will it affect my approved visa and a rejection is also possible ? Alternative to this can be, going for location change before travelling to the US. Does that have chances of rejection of an approved visa ?

    Please help. Thanks so much.

    1. Sri

      Congrats on your promotion.. I believe you don’t have to worry as the wage paid can be different from the one on LCA. Say your H1 is filed in wage level 1 and still you can be paid more.. much more than the prevailing wage.. Does your designation change.. It matters.. again you don’t have to worry… since.. Once you report at Onsite your employer will file an amendment and in the same amendment even a new LCA can be included. (I’m not sure of new LCA in amendment.. Guys,Please correct me). Good Luck!!

    2. Ram

      1. Your promotion and increment in India doesn’t affect the visa stamping/interview process in any way. The employment terms for your US job is dictated by LCA. Only if there is a change(Promotion/hike) once you are in US, amendment of H1B petition is required. In US petition, none of the Indian salary and designation would be mentioned.
      2. If there is a change in location, a new LCA would be filed and subsequently amendment of H1B is required. Once you receive the receipt number of amendment you are legally allowed to work in new location. The amendment of H1B is treated like a new H1B application and same scrutiny process is done again. Hence the company is expected to submit the same amount of documentation which was submitted initially for a fresh H1B application.
      The amendment can be filed before or after stamping. If its done before stamping, then you can go for visa interview only after approval of amendment. If its done after stamping, you can work/travel with the receipt number of amendment petition. So depending on your requirement/circumstances of when you have to join and client requirements, you/Attorney can decide when to file amendment. Mostly all companies would prefer to file amendment after stamping only as it saves loads of time.
      If the documentation of the amendment is not proper, I have seen applications which has got rejected. This amendment petition’s rejection doesn’t affect the original petition in any way.

      1. Query

        Hello Ram. Thanks for a detailed reply.
        Few queries and concerns based on your response:
        1. Your promotion and increment in India doesn’t affect the visa stamping/interview process in any way. ——– Any hike in India is directly proportional to salary increase for my US role. Hence, the salary which was mentioned in the original petition a year back doesn’t hold anymore. Does this amendment required to be filed ?

        2. If its done after stamping, you can work/travel with the receipt number of amendment petition. ———— In how much time can we expect to receive a receipt number ?

        If the documentation of the amendment is not proper, I have seen applications which has got rejected. This amendment petition’s rejection doesn’t affect the original petition in any way.—————— If amendment is rejected, does that cancel the visa too ? Or amendment is irrespective of original approval/ visa granted ?

  38. OB

    Hi,

    I got an appointment. This is my first time for H1B. I read some interview questions (thanks to all of you for sharing over here), one consistent question I have seen is “What’s your salary”. Why do they want to know our salaries? I mean dept must have seen numbers that why they approved our petition.
    Anyways, I just want to know what’s their purpose of asking this question and they look for this.
    what is average pay if the working location is in NY.

    1. Sri

      Did you file H1B on your own or by paying some third party employer..
      If not you would have definitely known that with the LCA both the wage paid and the prevailing wage.. They want to know the salary coz they want to make sure you are communicated and paid the prevailing wage as in the LCA. A genuine employer would transparently provide all the details. Most MNC’s brief their employers on the client, work location, title, roles and responsibilities and few details like immigration attorney who filed the petition on your behalf besides giving a copy of your H1b.

      1. Sri

        CTS is getting screwed… I’m not sure why they still file in wage level 1 when they can file with wage level increasing the wage by just 5,000 dollars. They have to realize that the extra 5,000 is worth to secure a petition than getting it screwed. They have COLA which they can get rid off for certain locations and include it in the wage. I know they have best strategies but it’s too late before they realize their situation has changed in the United States.

        I feel pity when my friends have to leave home when the H1b rejected and in some cases even they were sent back with rfe/rejections in amendment.

        Guys, They don’t file your extension from here and they don’t do green card for you in the current scenario. They even have sent an official mail (heard from my friends in CTS). Wakeup early if you have dollar dreams and switch to a better place.

        1. H1baspirant

          After new rules introduced by USCIS which targets IT consulting firms, most of consulting firms are now hiring GC/citizens and getting rid of H1Bs.

    2. Ram

      VO does know every detail that has been entered in the application. Its to verify whether you know the details and if any deviated answer is provided then the petition would be put into further investigation. I agree with @Sri too.

  39. Aspiring

    Hi Ram,3rd timer,

    My H1b Petition got approved by June 2017, Now i need to make an amendment because the project thru which is applied Visa is not more with my company. Just wanted to know on the basis of the current trend what is the possibility that my amendment will be successful, Also the roles and responsibilities which i applied while initiating the Visa should match with the current roles and responsibilities? I have around 12 years of IT experience and working in an reputed India MNC.

    1. Ram

      Amendment applications will be scrutinized the same way a new H1B application is done. Hence the approval completely depends on the documents submitted. If all the documents are genuine and meets the expectation of the VO officer, then approval would be given
      Amendment is done when there is a change in role or employment location or salary, in short if there is any change in the employment terms then the amendment is filed.
      Hence if there is change in role, there is nothing wrong in changing it during amendment. In case you are changing it then clearly send the new roles and responsibilities and do send the documentation to prove the specialty occupation. Basically all the documents which were sent for initial H1B application, has to be resent with amendment application.

      All the best!Work closely with your Attorney to build the appropriate application and send it to USCIS to get the direct approval.

      1. Aspiring

        Thanks a lot for your valuable reply… I have detailed and proper documentation in place. So i hope there wont be any issues.

  40. JACK

    Hi Ram, Admin, Friends,
    I had very unique experience @Chennai consulate. despite having all genuine documents my VISA was not issued.

    I got 221g Blue slip for H1B Visa stamping @Chennai consulate mentioning they need todo administration processing.

    VO asks for following documents:
    – All Passports
    – i797 petition
    – Client letter
    – Employer verification letter

    VO asked following questions.

    VO: Who is your petitioner?
    ME: Answered

    VO: Who is your client ? Is there any vendor inbetween ?.
    ME: Answered

    VO: What is the work location?
    ME: Answered

    VO: What is your highest education ?
    ME: Answered

    VO: What if your salary ?
    ME: Answered

    Despite giving all answers, VO gave me yellow slip which he mentioned it will allow me to remain in the building and I can wait in the waiting area while he checks my documents. I waited there for around 15-20 minutes.

    After that one Indian lady called me on one of the VISA counter and asked my project documents. She said she dont want anything but LCA and i-129 copy. They scanned all my documents and made a copy. And she asked me to wait again in the waiting area.

    After around 20 minutes, same VO comes back to same window and called me there. He handed me 221(g) blue slip(With administration processing option ticked) and told me that they are refusing my application for administrative processing and need more time to make decision on my application. They said they have all documents and I will be contacted if they need anymore documents/information.

    He returned my all documents and passports and ask me to leave for the day.

    Status on the CAES state department site shows “Administrative processing”.

    Any one got the same 221(g) blue slip experience or in the same boat.

    Cheers!.

    1. PV

      JACK

      My case was similar to yours except VO retained my client letter.

      I’ve attended the interview on 20-Apr-2017 and VO issued me a blue slip.

      Its been in admin. processing mode from 20th April onwards 🙁

      PV

      1. JACK

        Hi PV,
        Yours is about to be 1 year next month. Did you try contacting consulate through your attorney about the update on your case ?

        Also As I mentioned, VO took copy of my following documents.
        – All Passports
        – i797 petition
        – Client letter
        – Employer verification letter
        – LCA
        – i-129

        1. PV

          Hi Jack,

          My bad – you were right.

          Yes, my company has contacted USCIS through attorney and update from them was to wait till administrative processing has been completed.

          No documents were asked in my “blue slip” form. Only the checkbox “administrative processing” has been marked.

          What are my options?

          1. Is it possible to transfer the visa to new employer? I’ve all the relevant documents for the transfer
          2. I ‘ve contacted the embased through support email but no use. I’m getting only the default replies from them. Is there any escalation email id to reached to USCIS ?

          Thanks,
          PV

          1. JACK

            Hi PV,
            As far as I know you can go ahead and transfer your H1B to another employer for sure.
            Also Following/escalating with USCIS/DHS will not have any effect as you cannot expedite the processing and they will take their time to complete the process.
            As per my guesstimate, you should be response in 2-3 week time.

    2. 221g

      I recieved 221g in chennai on 30th January. No documents required. Still no update. Please keep on posting your updates here.

      1. JACK

        Hi 221g,
        Sure will keep posting information here.

        Yours is 221g blue slip?

        Did they keep your passport or returned it to you during visa interview ?.

        Also what 221g blue mentioned?. Admin processing?. Documents needed?..

  41. Raj patiyal

    Hi Ram & 3rd Timer,
    I am in very unusual situation. I got approved petition from company A in 2016 but not able to travel and got another petition filed from company B last year in 2017 which also got approved last month and going for the stamping soon. So got two approved petition valid for three years. Recently a reputed company C in US decided to hire me.
    Questions:
    1) Can they file cap exempt petition PP against the one which was approved in 2016 and also I go for stamping for B simultaneously as a backup plan?
    2) Or I should wait for B stamping and then ask them for h1B transfer ? Shouldn’t there be an issue for such an early h1b transfer ?

    Please help.

    1. Ram

      a. Yes can be done. Both the petitions would be considered separate.
      b. On the grounds of professional ethics, better to go for stamping with the petition which you would use for sure. After stamping, you can initiate transfer too. Transfer immediately after stamping or without stamping is not something that’s impossible. Though we cant say about sure approval, you can give it a try as this will not affect the initial petition in any way.
      All the best!

  42. H1b amendment with second query

    Hi admins,

    I have been working in USA since May 2017 on h1b visa(2016 petition). I moved to a diff client and location in July so my employer filed an amendment before I started working there. It went to rfe in Oct for which my employer responded back in Jan 1st week before deadline. I again got an rfe for that amendment recently on specialty occupation. I do not know the details of my first rfe. During my first rfe, I have sent vendor letter, co-worker affidavits,work station details, manager details etc except client letter which was not available at that time. I have client letter now. So, Could you help me in knowing how to prepare my second rfe response and the documents needed for it?

    1. @H1b amendment with second query

      What’s your education?

      Did you had any computer related courses/subjects when you were studying?

    2. Ram

      Since your second RFE is on specialty occupation, please work on responding to prove that your job is speciality occupation. Please verify the article
      http://immigrationgirl.com/detailed-job-descriptions-are-vital-to-proving-h-1b-specialty-occupation/
      This would be useful for you to prepare response ! All the best and prepare your response well. I am sure you would clear this:)

  43. H1B

    Hi All- My case has been approved but Employer haven’t received the documents yet. Its been Two months waiting for the documents. Employer requested the lawyer last week to do the followup but still not received. Is it normal this year to receive the hard copies on this much delay. I am very tensed about it and only option for me is to wait and only wait. Please suggest!

    1. Ram

      This is something unusual. Probably it was lost/misplaced. Please ask your attorney to raise a request for duplicate approval copy through USCIS site or ask them to call USCIS customer care requesting the same.
      Nothing to worry, you can get it done. Meanwhile get prepared for the stamping if required and rejoice your approval news.

  44. Venkat

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer – Last week during my visa interview i got 221G – blue slip. Today i have emailed them the documents. I would like to know if there is any way to track the case status. Please let me know. Thanks, Venkat

    1. JACK

      Your 221(g) slip will have a case number on top(&center) of it. that number you can track at state department website : https://ceac.state.gov/ceacstattracker/status.aspx

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