H1B Visa 2018 News, Lottery, Fee, Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track your H1B Case

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

New President Trump Administration Impact on H1B Visa 2018 Quota?

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

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

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

H1B 2018 - Latest News Updates

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

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

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Comments ( 12,858 )

  1. Alex

    Hi ,
    Need your valuable advice.
    I am on bench since last 3 months and staying in Texas where is my h1b petitioner employer office is located. However my actual client is in New Jersey state. My employer is running my pay stubs and he is mentioning Texas address where I am staying .so
    1. Is this valid or legal to have an address on my paystubs where I am staying in Texas other than for NJ state for which my h1b is files for as per client location?

    2. I am not on project but pay stubs are running so will dis also valid ?

    Please help?

  2. Andy

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    So this is the 13th day since responding to rfe and there is no update on dhs portal or from employer. I read somewhere in comments before that no news is good news until 15th day for premium cases. Is it true that most denials usually come in first 10 days and there is a good chance of approval as it approaches 15th day? Can you please throw some light based on your experience?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Andy,

      These are all speculations. The approval purely depends on if (a) The job is specialty occupation, (b) the employer is not able to find US worker, (c) The employer is paying the minimum or above required salary, (d) the beneficiary (or employee) capable of carrying out the specialty work with required education or experience or combination and (e) There is enough work available for the entire period (SOW etc) requested. My understanding is USCIS look the documents in these order. If your application meets these requirements then there is very high chance of getting an approval.

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

  3. Ganesh

    Hi Ram,

    My case got picked in lottery in may 2017 and got RFE on september 2017 for which we have replied on the same month. Still now we are waiting.

    Is there worth to wait still?

    1. 3rd Timer

      Well, If you and your company believe that the application is genuine (job is available etc) then better upgrade to Premium and done with it instead of waiting. However, if your application is one of the borderline case then you dont have any other option other than wait.

      Having said, I wish you good luck and all the best for your application to be approved soon.

        1. 3rd Timer

          Well, at this point you dont have any other option except wait or upgrade to PP. And, worth is depends on the merit of the petition. If you believe your case is strong enough then up course it is worth the wait.

  4. Naren

    Hi Kumar,Ram,3rd timer and all,

    I went for H1b Stamping recently, Below are the questions asked by VO.

    Who is your petitioner? answered

    Who is your client? Answered

    What is the location? Answered

    Do you have client letter? Answered

    I told I got Statement of work with me, and then I gave and he had a look and asked does it have your name mentioned in it, I told no then he gave it back.

    What is your salary? Answered

    Did you got this pamplet showing Rights to work in US? I told no and got it with me

    After this he handover 221G letter mentioning you need to email the client letter stating your name and they are expecting to work with you. Also he mentioned you don’t need to appear for interview again.

    He then returned the passport saying after reviewing your client letter we will send a notification to drop your passports on the drop box.

    But my client doesn’t provide client letters for contractors, Client is ready to help on verification etc. I am into EC model. Can anyone please suggest what is the alternative we can provide. Also what are all the chances for VO to issue my visa.Many Thanks in advance!!!

    1. Ram

      I would recommend you to talk to an immigration Attorney.They can guide you better.
      From my knowledge, its better to submit what is asked for!

    2. PV

      Hi Naren,

      Dont worry.I got 221(g) blue slip last year (2017) at Chennai consulate.

      After waiting for one year, embassy asked me to submit my passport on mid of April 2018.

      Finally, my visa was stamped in April 2018 itself.

      What were the options selected in the 221(g) slip by VO?

      – PV

      1. Naren

        Options selected were
        * A copy of the contract between US based petitoner and the client company stating terms.timings and agreement for your project
        * A letter (On Letterhead) from the personnel department at the U.S end client company stating there is a vacancy for you.

        1. PV

          Okay Naren –

          VO checked the ‘Administrative Processing’ checkbox is required in the blue slip and VO has retained my ‘client letter’.

          Please check with your client whether they have received any calls or email.

          Thanks,
          PV

  5. Query regarding H1B Amendment

    Dear All,

    I will be filing for location change amendment in my H1B visa immediately after joining in my original location as per petition. Seeing the current trend, are we receiving RFEs in location change too?

    Regards

    1. Ram

      Amendment petitions are also scrutinized in the same way as that of new petitions. So if we miss submitting any documents or if the submitted documents are not satisfactory, there is a chance for RFE.

  6. Varun

    Hi Guys

    Need some help from experts. My H1B visa was filed by a big consultancy last year on 1st Apr, 2017 for the 2018 cycle. I was selected in lottery and I also heard back from consultancy that my visa was approved. I just have the receipt number and when I check my status on uscis site it still says the case was received. Not sure why it is not showing as approved.

    The consultancy says that they are having lot many candidates and they dont have much of open positions at this moment to fill and they are not certain if they will ever get my visa stamped and send to US.

    I just wanted to check do I have any other options to explore. I heard that h1b visa can be transferred. Is it possible for other companies to transfer my visa. Are any such companies willing to do. What is the process and probability of getting success and where should I look for.

    I have over 8yrs of software development experience in microsoft and open source technologies and worked in Tier -1 companies. I have worked in other countries as well including UK.

    Any help and suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Varun,

      (1) I heard that h1b visa can be transferred. Is it possible for other companies to transfer my visa?
      Yes and No. Yes if it is approved and also the visa get stamped. No if it is not stamped.
      Some people were reported that even without stamping they could able to transfer to other companies. However, based on recent trends and change in policy it is very difficult to get approved if the new company apply for a transfer without valid visa stamped. You can try your luck but success rate is very low or difficult to predict.

      (2) Are any such companies willing to do. What is the process and probability of getting success and where should I look for? Well, you have to apply to other companies and during the interview process pitch this option and lets gauge their response. Also, check with your friends circle too. Since you have 8 years experience you have many IT friends who may guide you better. In side note many due to recent policy change many companies not want to take a chance. However, it is no harm in trying.

      –Good luck and all the best for your future endevour.

    2. EPAT

      @Varun,
      My friend was exactly in same situation as yours. H1B petition approved but not stamped.
      After he cleared Amazon interviews, they agreed to file for his transfer. His transfer is approved and he also got the stamping done last week. And I personally know 2 other friends who got the transfer done without stamping. So keep trying and if your petition is strong there should not be any problem in transfer. Good luck!!

  7. DropBox

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,
    Thanks a lot for your help for all Visa aspirants!!

    what is the approval trend if we go with Drop box option?
    My extention cum amendment petition got approved and i heard i am eligible for Drop box. I would like to know the statistic of approval via Drop box.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Approval depends on the documents submitted. So, if the VO needs additional info then you may be issued with 221G and if they think that the documents are in order then the approval will be given. I guess the chances are higher but again it is depends on the individual case.
      Good luck and all the best for your VISA stamping and safe travel.

      1. DropBox

        I am happy to inform you that My petition is approved through Drop box. Thanks a lot Ram and 3rd Timer for your response for each questions in this Forum… Good luck to all…

  8. Nani

    Hi ,

    I have my h1b petition filed for fiscal year (FY) 2019. my case status (checked on uscis site) showing as “Case Was received” and showing the receipt date as April 12.

    On uscis official website it is mentioned that ” On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select H-1B petitions” . Now my question is how come my receipt date is after april 11th . If my petition is picked in lottery then uscis should have received my petition on or before the computerized lottery selection date(i.e april 11th) .

    Admin can you please clear my doubt.

  9. True Techie

    Hi Ram,3rd timer and all,

    My H1b Stamping scheduled around august 1st week, I got all documents except client letter, it is something like a policy that my client doesn’t issue client letter for vendors, But i got SOW and MSA, So does MSA and SOW can be accepted instead of client letters at consulate. Can anyone shed some light ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, you will have to articulate the same to the Visa officer, if the client has such policy and has preferred vendor agreement or something. It should be in-line with the application submitted by your attorney when they filed H1B and has similar documents without client letter. You can mention the same as well.

  10. 221g waiting

    hello 3rd timer, Ram

    i got 221G in the h1b visa interview, and after 3weeks on friday got a mail for passport drop off.

    Have a question, is there a possibility of denial or further admin process at this state ?

    How long would it take to get the passports back ?

    currently status is : Your passport is still with the US Embassy/Consulate

    1. 3rd Timer

      It is a good news. It is a very remote possibility that they may check additional admin processing but it is very unlikely. I think it wold take a week or two or at the very worst a case 4 weeks. However, I strongly believe it was already approved ad you can relax now. Good luck and all he best for your travel and safe journey.

  11. H1B approved 2017

    Hi

    I need some suggestion on my current situation , I am currently on H4 visa status in USA and my H1B visa got approved yesterday for cap 2018 which I had applied from India last year. Do i need to travel back to India for stamping ? Can i change my status from H4 to H1B in USA?

    1. 3rd Timer

      I think you can try for COS but my strong suggestion is consult with an immigration lawyer to get clear picture. It would cost you $200 (30 min or 1 hr consultation) but it is worth the money spend. Other option is check USCIS about COS options. Good luck and all the very best.

  12. Shashi

    Hi Ram,

    I have applied visa through a consulting company but since december 2017 case status is received. I asked my employer for PP but they are not willing to. I called and chase them many times but they donot respond . Is it possible to transfer my H1B petition to another employer? If yes can some one tell me the genuine consultant who can transfer my visa which is in received state.

    Thanks

  13. Gaara

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I received a NOID for speciality occupation about how can this position be speciality occupation and why cannot you find local people for it. What are the chances of approval for this type of noid? My employer said they submitted all the required documents, but we still got this after an rfe. I wonder what else can be done now. Are you aware of any approvals after NOID?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Gaara,

      Sorry to hear that your case has been denied. At this point your employer may ask for reconsider the NOID (appeal the decision). If they want to do so then they need to submit additional documents which they haven’t submitted during the RFE stage. They have to appeal within 30 days and also you need to make sure your not in any status violation. I believe it is 3 step process. Once appeal is raised then it will go to the original officer who denied, then to their supervisor and finally to the inspector general overseeing the immigration dispute in state department. Overcoming NOID is harder and the success % is very low. Also, you may not able to speed up the process (PP is not allowed for this) and it generally takes at least a year. My suggestion is check if your employer is willing to take this very time consuming process and also you should plan for any alternate options if any available. Good luck and all the best for your future.

      1. Gaara

        Hi 3rd Timer,

        Actually its not yet denied, its a notice of intent to deny which we should respond within 30 days unlike actual denial which would have to go through appeal process.

  14. Transfer

    Hi,

    Is it possible to transfer H1B from one employer to another without salary slips ?
    I am working and I don’t have salary slips, is it possible to change employer.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      If you are in US and on H1B for more than a month, you need to have salary slips to make sure that you have proper status maintained, not having them can create issues during transfer.

    2. 3rd Timer

      If you are already in US and working in H1B then no. However, If you are an OPT or other visa and your H1 is selected for OCt 18 start date then it no need to provide if the start date of transfer is October 1 (before 1st pay date, i.e, Oct 15). Hope this is clear.

    3. 3rd Timer

      If you are already working in H1 and in US then you need salary slip. But if you are trying to transfer for newly lottery selected petition (from October 1st 2018 is the start date) then you may not required. However, USCIS may request additional documents to ascertain your immigration status to see if you have any status violation.

  15. Pankaj J

    H4 stamping after employer change?

    Hi there,

    I’m in the US on H1B and have changed my employer from A to B. My family is India and their H4 stamping still mentions employer A on the visa. They are now planning to come down to the US next month. Do they need to visit embassy again for stamping so that the visa mentions employer B? Their current stamping is valid till Aug 2020 and they haven’t yet entered the US on H4 visa.

    Regards
    Pankaj

    1. 3rd Timer

      I believe they can travel with old visa but they required to carry the additional documents (such as i-797 of new employer etc) in case visa officer at the POE want to verify.

  16. Gaara

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I received a NOID for speciality occupation about how can this position be speciality occupation and why cannot you find local people for it. What are the chances of approval for this type of noid? My employer said they submitted all the required documents, but we still got this after an rfe. I wonder what else can be done now.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Gaara,

      Sorry to hear that your case has been denied. At this point your employer may ask for reconsider the NOID (appeal the decision). If they want to do so then they need to submit additional documents which they haven’t submitted during the RFE stage. They have to appeal within 30 days and also you need to make sure your not in any status violation. I believe it is 3 step process. Once appeal is raised then it will go to the original officer who denied, then to their supervisor and finally to the inspector general overseeing the immigration dispute in state department. Overcoming NOID is harder and the success % is very low. Also, you may not able to speed up the process (PP is not allowed for this) and it generally takes at least a year. My suggestion is check if your employer is willing to take this very time consuming process and also you should plan for any alternate options if any available. Good luck and all the best for your future.

  17. Latha

    Hi 3rd Timer/Ram,

    My employer is desi consultancy and currently working in EVC model. I got an offer from Indian MNC company. Currently, I have all H1B document and paychecks. If I resign from Indian Desi Consultancy, I am sure they don’t give my relieving letter. My question is can I join Indian MNC just with paycheck and H1 documents. Or relieving letter is mandatory to switch company?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Latha,

      The paychecks are enough to verify (along with previous year W2 ) that you are working with previous employer and not faking your resume. Also, my understating is if any company want to verify your previous experience then the HR must reply to the query. If they are not answering then you always claim your exp with payslips. So, I dont think it will be a problem.

  18. Normal2premium

    Ram/3rd Timer,
    My employer told me that my case is converted to premium on 29th June 2018 as there is no change since 19th Dec 20 but there is no change in my status(checked in Myaccount). i checked with them today again and they confirmed from finance team that check is not cleared yet from USCIS it seems. Does USCIS will take two or more than two weeks to process the check this year?

    They also telling me that there is delay from USCIS this year and this may be the reason the check not cleared like that.

    what would be your suggestion on this?

    1. 3rd Timer

      My suggestion is wait for 15 or 17 calendar days then ask your employer or attorney to contact the USCIS. PP is handled by separate department, so you (actually your employer/attorney) are allowed to enquire about the status.

      However at the very rare cases USCIS opt for not to process in PP and continue to process in regular. If that happens then they will send the cheque back and inform you that they will process the petition in normal processing.

  19. UTDFirst time

    Hi,
    I am on initial opt now and will expire on 5th Sept 2018. My employer applied for H1b this year and they just informed me that my H1b is approved. Do I have to file for opt extension? I am curious what will happen between Sept 5th to Sept 30th?
    Thanks in advance

    1. 3rd Timer

      First check with your employer that if they applied as COS (change of status) or Consular processing.

      If it is applied as COS then you should show the approval receipt (even lottery selection receipt will do) to you college DSO and request the cap-gap i-20. Then give that to your HR so that they will update their i-9 (payroll related stuff).

      However, if your employer applied as consular processing then you need to stop working on September 5th and lease the country. Appear for visa interview (preferably home country) at the US consulate, get stamping and enter and start working from October 1st.

  20. Vaish

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    My H1B case status is “Response To USCIS Request For Evidence Was Received” since December, 2017. It’s more than six months USCIS received the RFE documents. When I enquired with concerned department in my firm they sent me the below response. I tried to get more details from them, but was asked to wait for further news/update.

    “Your case is in security checks pending due some reason or some back ground verification”

    Does this mean USCIS is doing my background check OR something else? Please help me.

    Thanks,
    Vaish

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Vaish,

      Do you know your case number? Try to create an account in using https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/ and see if it shows any update. Usually the back ground checking will be conducted during visa stamping and USCIS just adjudicate the petition based on the documentation submitted. As for as I aware (I may be wrong) they wont do back ground security check. Probably your company dont want to discuss further with you. Another option you could do is go for premium processing which is allowed for last year cases to get the response within 15 days. If you can then tell your employer that you will be paying the PP expenses if they are not willing to.

  21. Byju

    Hi I have got H1B Visa stamped on 2014 and got expired on 2017 September. I have not traveled to US with that visa yet. Whether I can renew the visa and if so what is the procedure. Thanks

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Byju,

      The same company who sponsored your original visa or any new company could apply for renewal/transfer. This will be treated as cap-exempt till September 2020. After that you cant transfer or renewal. If you able to apply for renewal/transfer before 2020 then the USCIS go through the documents. If your documents are in order (specialty occupation, wage level, SOW etc) then the approval will be given.

      Keep in mind that this renewal/transfer will be treated as new petition except it will not go through lottery and you can apply any time of the year and also in Premium Processing. If you get approval then you need to appear for visa interview as well since your original visa issued in 2014 was expired.

  22. 221G

    Hello Ram & 3rd Timer,

    Firstly thanks a lot, You guys have helped me in multiple occasions

    Recently I received 221G from Chennai consulate, No documents were ticked in the 221G form. now i think i must wait for there response

    Meantime if they responds to the 221G who is going to receive it ?
    If USCIS responds will the 221G tracker gets updated, while on H1B rfe, I observed website was not updated
    In case if it gets denied is there a way to reapply ?

    Thanks again

    1. 3rd Timer

      @221G,

      Sorry to hear that your case has been issued with 221G. If there are no documents asked then you just have to wait and track the website. Consulate office comes under state department and USCIS comes under homeland security. So, if consulate wanted to check some info (usually about the beneficiary (you) who they think have some issues about security issues or about the company who filed your petition) then they ask details to different department. Once they get the required answer they update the website tracking. You will not get any update in USCIS unless other wise if Consulate found some extra info about the company (like fraud) then they refer to USCIS to take a look at it. At this point you will get the info first in consulate website followed by new RFE from USCIS. Then the standard USCIS procedure follows.

      If the rejection happens due to fraud by the company then it is not possible for to transfer to other companies. Other cases of rejection it is possible, however, it is somewhat difficult to convince after any type of rejections. Having said that, almost all the cases are updated and approved within 4 to 12 weeks window. So, my suggestion is, this is something out of our hands. Wish you a good luck and all the best for your 221G clearance.

  23. Anil

    I applied for H1b in 2015 and the same got approved. When I went for Visa stamping they issue me 221g which was later denied and they have sent the request for revocation. I have never travelled to USA on h1b.

    Question: Can another employer file the H1b again for me? Do I need to go under lottery again or can my new employer file under cap exempt?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Anil,

      Can another employer file the H1b again for me?
      Yes.

      Do I need to go under lottery again or can my new employer file under cap exempt?
      Lottery only and you are not eligible for cap exempt.

  24. H1B Travel

    My H1B petitiom is valid till Aug 31 2018. I have a valid stamp from previous employer.My current employer is asking me to travel to US. Can i travel with just 1.5 months of validaty?..will it create any issues at POE?

  25. Mohan

    Hey Ram,

    My 2018 new H1b cap application is still in ‘Response to USCIS’ Request For Evidence was Received’ status from Dec 2017 (Vermont Processing center), when can I expect status change?

    USCIS website says, the processing time is 12 to 15.5 months.

  26. ram babu

    Ardent Technologies Inc -H1B Fraud
    This is fraud consultancy because of them we faced lot of problems and till facing problem. These guys should have taken money from me for providing H1B visa but they provided me fake project. Because of them I lost my hard earned money spent for H1b visa, time.
    They shown mentally harassment due to their fraud. This consultancy people are trying to threaten me with this legal notice, because I wrote a written complaint to in this form with all the details against the company.
    @Trump/USA GOVT, I am kindly requesting you to investigate all the people who are travelling from Ardent technologies inc. Then you will get more facts about this h1b fraud, and also this consultancy tied up with other consultancies and providing fake resumes and projects and taking money for h1b. I have all the proofs including bank transactions and docs for h1b and fake projects.
    The main culprit person Jasti Srinivas, this guy is the broker of Ardent technologies inc, Please find his address as below :
    Srinivasa R Jasti
    10528 Wallingsford cir,
    Dayton, OH 45458,
    Contact No: 937 681 0548

    Please let me know if you need any further/more information reach out me at +91-9922671249.Again am requesting please stop h1b fraud and save the genuine people life. Because of this h1b fraud people only relation breakup happening between USA and India and also religion feeling happening.
    @Trump: I agree on your point that jobs for usa citizen only, here I am requesting to you, first take action who all are fraud consultancies like this. If you peoples will be taken against them (Fraud consultancies) obviously you will get genuine persons and also maintaining relations between countries.
    @Narendra Modi/India Govt: This fraud consultancy(Ardent Technologies Inc) having branch in India the name is Ardent Technologies India Private Limited at Hyderabad. Ancha Subbarao and Aditya Kumar Muppalla are opened.
    Please find details below
    Bikshapathi Nagar,
    Hafeezpet,
    Hyderabad,
    Telangana 500084.
    @Telngana Govt/KTR Sir, could please take action and stop H1B fraud, because of this consultancys only we are(Indians) getting bad name in front of other countries.

  27. 221G

    Today i went to H1B interview and was refused with 221G blue slip but have a tracking number on it.

    what is my next action point …. not sure what to do

    1. 3rd Timer

      Submit all the documents requested in the form (if any) and wait for the update. You can track your case using the number given along with the 221G form in US consultancy link. It would take anywhere between 4 weeks to 12 weeks (min) to get a response. There is no way to upgrade premium etc and only option you have is patiently checking the tracking number. Good luck and all the best for your 221G approval.

  28. Sarang

    Dear All,
    Thank you so much.
    I am regularly reading posts since 2017.

    On 25th June 18 attend Visa interview in Mumbai.
    Basic question asked
    1. Salary
    2. Location
    3. Job description
    Finally consulate said your visa is approved.

  29. H1B Interview

    I am moving from L1B to H1B and in India for stamping, I have all the require documents including client letter.

    1. What should be the answer for why i am moving from L1 to H1
    2. what are the regular interview questions i can face

  30. Srinivas

    Hi ram 3rd timer and all
    I got 221g on april4th emplyer verification was done on April 28th still no update and am on fte it’s a small consultant company. How much time period it may take thanks in adv

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Srinivas,

      Unfortunately, it is hard to predict the 221g cases and also they dont offer premium processing to expedite. Most of the cases are adjudicated within 8 to 12 weeks once you submit all the documents. However, It is difficult to know exactly when you will get the answer. Wish you all the best and good luck in getting the approval.

          1. Srinivas

            Thanks ram for reply this waiting is killing seriously it’s already 90 days from the date of interview

  31. PV

    Visa Transfer:

    I got the stamping on 19-Apr-2018.

    Another employer is offering me a job and helping me to transfer my visa via premium processing.

    1. I came to know that premium processing will take 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks, I will be getting an update ( visa transferred/ still in progress) from the relevant team?

    2. Let’s say I have travel to US with new USCIS application number but visa transfer got rejected or the status went in RFE. Am I eligible to stay in US with this status?

    1. 3rd Timer

      @PV,

      1. You will get the email communication at the start of PP (within a week, saying they received your case in PP) and at the end of 15 calendar days you should receive an approval or RFE. Once you submit the RFE documents (in case if it went in to RFE) then the 15 days clock starts again till the case is adjudicated one way or other. In case if USCIS unable to proceed or not able to respond within 15 days then they will refund and also they try to treat as PP (ideally as per USCIS website).

      2. I believe you cant but you are allowed to work for first company if they haven’t revoked the petition or you will get 60 days to get the new job and apply again. Also, this 60 days thing allowed once in 3 year period. If that happens I suggest you to consult the experienced immigration attorney which will cost at around $200 for an hour of consultations, which I believe worth to spend.

      –Good luck and all the best for your transfer to go through without any issues.

      1. PV

        Thanks 3rd Timer.

        Regarding point number 1 – Some are saying that USCIS have revoked PP for visa transfer. Is that true ?

        – PV

        1. 3rd Timer

          Only for people who were went through lottery in this April 18 with the start on Oct 18. All other cases PP is still available. (Source: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-will-temporarily-suspend-premium-processing-fiscal-year-2019-h-1b-cap-petitions)

  32. H1B_TRANSFER_FROM_INDIA

    H1B_TRANSFER_FROM_INDIA
    Dear Friends,

    Need your quick opnion. I have a valid stamped H1B VISA and I am still at India. I got offer from USA consulting company with MNC company as end client. Consulting comapny is going start my VISA transfer, mostly on Premium mode, Once Transfer is initiated a USCIS application number is generated, And I read with application number Candidate is eligble to work for new employer. Since I am at India,
    1) Am I eligible to travel with new Petition transfer (USCIS) Application number and old stamped VISA while transfer is in progress?
    2) If my transfer gets approved while I am in India (as case being Premium), Do I need to go for Stamping again with new Petition?

    Please help providing on this scenario and how people are travelling from India. Thanks in advance.

    1. 3rd Timer

      (1) Am I eligible to travel with new Petition transfer (USCIS) Application number and old stamped VISA while transfer is in progress?
      Yes. Some people reported that they successfully traveled as you have described.

      (2) If my transfer gets approved while I am in India (as case being Premium), Do I need to go for Stamping again with new Petition?
      No. You still use the old stamping. The expiry date is the i-94 date which will be given at the port of entry in USA.

  33. jaisai

    Hi Ram,

    i have a question , regarding VISA interview.

    Have filled DS-160 and have LCA with me.

    In LCA my “Place of employment” is my company’s (employers ) Onsite address.

    but i have a petition for client X.

    Client X work site address is within MSA ( which will not trigger for change in LCA / Amendment i believe ) .

    I will be working at client address which is 5-8 miles from my company’s onsite address.

    Now if Visa Consular asks what should be my reply .
    * who is your client?
    * will you be working in client location?
    * if i tell No , what would he ask further
    * if i tell Yes , what would he ask further
    * what would be the correct answer

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You should tell what is the truth. I suggest you check with your immigration attorney on the LCA thing to make sure, you have the right answer and you know the rule as well.

      1. jaisai

        Thanks kumar .

        But what is the correct ans for this ?

        if i tell him i will working for my client from my onsite office address ,
        * will this be an ans which can be correct ?
        * will he not ask then why travel there , when you can do it from here ?

        Do they ask exact address , as the client and my office are both in Seattle will that not be enough ? within MSA limits

  34. Amendment Query

    Hello Ram, 3rd Timer.

    I am yet to travel to the US on H1B (got stamping done in May). My location has changed from California to Texas. Kindly suggest whether filing an amendment while being offshore is a good option or after joining in California and then filing is better? And will these amendments have any wrong implications on consulate later when we apply for extention (after 2 years)

    Also, i recently traveled on B1 (while still holding H1B) for a week to Texas location and now filing an amendment to same location , any red flags ?

    Thanks so much for all support. You have been guiding since a long time 🙂

    1. 3rd Timer

      1. Whether filing an amendment while being offshore is a good option or after joining in California and then filing is better?
      Filing Amendment after joining California is better option.

      2. And will these amendments have any wrong implications on consulate later when we apply for extention (after 2 years)?
      No. The extension depends on the new documents (details of the project extension requested, client letter and wage level etc for the extension job).

      3. I have recently traveled on B1 (while still holding H1B) for a week to Texas location and now filing an amendment to same location , any red flags ?
      No. The amendment depends on the job availability at the Texas location and providing the related documents.

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

  35. syam

    Hi, Ram/3rd Timer,

    My H1b was picked in 2017 April after that I got RFE on my case. On 31st October 2017 my employer was responded to my RFE…It’s been more than 7 months till now I don’t get any update from USCIS .can I know the how many days it will take for further process.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Shyam,

      It is difficult to predict. If you and your employer have submitted all the relevant documents requested in the RFE and you are confident about the documents & response then it is better to upgrade to premium. It will cost additional $1300 but you will know the response within 15 days. If your employer not willing then they are not either not confident or they dont want to spend additional expenses. If the later is the case then USCIS allows the beneficiary to borne the expenses, meaning you can pay from your pocket. If the they not confident then unfortunately you have to wait and it is very difficult to predict of the time frame.

  36. Sam

    My petition is approved on jan 2018 and my stamping is not yet done as my employer is not willing to do, pls let me know any suggestions or other ways to make it happen

    1. editor
      Ram

      You can try transferring your visa to another employer. But we are not sure of the probability of approval. You can give it a try!
      The transfer petition’s outcome will not affect the original approval in any way. Meanwhile its better to convince your employer for stamping. Good luck!

  37. First timer

    Hi,

    My H1B was file this year ( April 2, 2018) under Non AD and i have still not receive any reaponse regarding my case. Can I expect any receipt notices now or should i loose hope now as it is june end? I would really appreciate if someone can shed some information on this.

    Thanks

      1. First timer

        Hi Ram,

        Thanks for the reply.

        Also I want to ask that if I can go to India before getting my result and come back on my OPT which starts in July? My attorney said that it will change my application to consular processing if my case gets selected and approved. So that means if it does get selected and approve, would I be required to go immediately to India for stamping or before october 1?

        1. Ram

          When your H1B is in progress, generally its not recommended to travel. Yes, the H1B would change to consular processing. To use H1B, you have to travel out of the country, get stamping and enter on H1B. So as your Attorney said it is recommended not to travel until you get result.
          Even if you have to travel when your H1B is in progress, if your H1B gets approved in consular processing, its not required for you to get stamping immediately.
          You can go for stamping when you wish to switch to H1B. Until then you can be in OPT if you have enough validity for it. Good luck!

          1. 3rd Timer

            @First timer,

            if you are in active OPT but applied H1 with COS and it is picked then you are not allowed to enter with OPT but only with H1 after October 1st. So, before making travel arrangement please consult with the lawyer which is worth the money to spend.

  38. STN

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,
    On April 19th, 2018, 2nd RFE raised against my case EAC17147XXXXX.
    My employer says RFE details not received yet and they crated service request.
    Almost 2 months over , would it take such a long time to receive the RFE details ?

    Thanks
    STN

    1. 3rd Timer

      Your employer or their attorney should have received their RFE within 2 -4 weeks. Normally USCIS ask to wait for 4 weeks and if not then you can ask them to resend the copy of the same. Some time they send by email for regular cases but if it is PP then it will be send by email. So, my suggestion is to ask your employer/attorney to contact USCIS immediately because the response to RFE is within 3 months. So, you will be having only 1 months to prepare the response. If possible consider to upgrade to PP. Good luck and all the best for your RFE approval.

  39. Gaara

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    If a H1b COS is denied, possible due to insufficient documentation, does this need to be mentioned to the new employer if we try through a different employer about this denial? I understand that denials are mentioned in DS160 form, I am not sure if an employer needs to know about that. Kindly provide your feedback.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Gaara,

      I believe it is not required to divulge to the new employer. Good luck and all the best for your transfer to go through without any pbs.

    1. 3rd Timer

      No. Once it is withdrawn then you need to apply again to make it live. If you have not utilized 6 years of your H1 then you can transfer to new employer without go through lottery.

  40. Varsha

    Hi All,

    Please help me to respond to my RFE for Specialty Occupation. I know that each person job duties were unique. But for reference purpose, if someone help me to answer below questions. What points mainly we need to highlight to get this approved. Thank you.

    A. Brief Description of Your Job.
    B. Tools/Languages Used in Your Job.
    C. Detailed Job Duties.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Varsha,
      Check these to get some idea,
      http://immigrationgirl.com/h-1b-rfe-request_for_evidence/

      http://immigrationgirl.com/why-is-uscis-issuing-rfes-when-the-lca-indicates-a-level-1-prevailing-wage/

      http://immigrationgirl.com/what-does-uscis-want-in-the-level-1-wage-rfe/

      http://immigrationgirl.com/rfe-success-story-too-complex-to-be-level-1/

  41. Unknown

    My current employed filed for extention, we got RFE and response filed. I 94 expired in March 2018. Since there is a chance of rejection I applied for job in a Product based company in US, I was selected after long interview process and they filed new petition as Consular process instead of Extension of stay because they suspect current extention will be rejected. Now I am waiting for H1Transfer and H1Rfe response. They both filed in premium mode at same day. My question is if my extension is denied before my transfer approval do i need to travel immidiately ? or wait till my transfer is approved? If I wait for couple of weeks will that be a problem once I go for Stamping?

    1. 3rd Timer

      I guess you are out of status once your i-94 is expired. I might be wrong. However,

      (1) if my extension is denied before my transfer approval do i need to travel immidiately ? Yes

      or wait till my transfer is approved? No

      (2) If I wait for couple of weeks will that be a problem once I go for Stamping? Yes. You might be in status violation.

      Please check withe experienced immigiration attorney asap.

  42. Aspiring

    Hi Ram/3rd Timer,

    I have my H1b stamping interview scheduled in 2 week, In my i797 approval is for 3 years, But in Deputation letter i can see only 13 months. So whatever date i m mentioning in DS160 form is going to determine my visa duration or its i 797 form.
    Because as deputation letter is for 1 year. I have mentioned assignment dates for an year. Could you please let me know which confirms my visa duration.

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Aspiring,

      I am not sure but I believe the visa will be issued for a duration of i-797 form. However at the POW the i-94 is given for the client letter/deputation letter. I may be wrong.

  43. GreatfultoGod

    Dear All – I would like to share with you my H1B journey which has been very long and painful. I had so many sleepless nights and finally my prayers were answered. The journey was so long that in the last few months i completely lost interest in H1B and decided to let it go the way it wants since i don’t want to spoil my health. Here is the timelines.

    I work for a major IT company in India and i had tough time within my company in getting the required documents to submit to USCIS at various stages.

    Here is the timelines and different hurdles i went through:

    1. Applied for H1B in April 2017 (This itself was a big challenge convincing my company to file my petition)
    2. May 2017 – Got to Know from my HR that my petition was selected
    3. July 2017 – Received RFE on Speciality occupation
    4. August 2017 – Responded to RFE with all documents
    5. The case did not move forward until March 2018 even after raising multiple tickets with USCIS
    6. Feb 2018 – Finally decided to upgrade my case to PP spending money from my pocket (terrible)
    7. End of Feb 2018 – Petition was approved within 24 hours after my PP request was received by USCIS. Looks like USCIS was waiting for me to take this decision so that they can earn more money.
    8. March 2018 – Went for H1B stamping interview. Since i was going for a in-house project requirement i did not have any client letter. The visa office issued me 221G asking me to submit client letter
    9. March 2018 – After lot of struggle i received a letter from my HR stating that there is no client and i am travelling for a in-house project requirement
    10. March 2018 – Sent the HR letter and responded to the first 221G
    11. Beginning of April 2018 – Received another 221G asking me to submit the project details. Submitted the documents within a week.
    12. April 2018 – Received again a 221G asking me to submit detailed project description
    13. May 2018 – Submitted the documents for the 221G
    14. June 2018 – Visa issued.

    The journey is so long that eventually you will lose interest to relocate to US if USCIS is making the process so difficult.

    1. Still waiting for RFE Approval-200 days

      congrats…its really feels good to read your post…..because i am also currently going on with the same situation….

  44. H1B round-n-round

    Hi Ram, I have a question. I applied for H1B lottery 3 times and and this was third time and I got selected but unfortunately got rfe too. Attorney is in process to reply on rfe. My question is can I apply for H4 visa and travel on H4 when my H1 is in process?

    1. 3rd Timer

      Yes, I believe. Once your H4 is approved then you may try to convert to COS when you are in US if your H1 is successful. Wish you a good luck and all the best for your H1 and H4 visa process.

  45. Urgent Query

    Hi Ram, 3rd Timer,

    I have stamped H1B in my passport (new one) which i recently got last month and i also have my business visa (old passport). I have not yet moved to the US on H1B (expected to move next month) but now i am required to travel on business visa next week for 5 days.
    Is it completely okay to travel on BV while you still hold H1B but haven’t travelled on it?

    Also, i will be filing amendment to change my location to Dallas where i am traveling next week on BV

    Please guide

    1. 3rd Timer

      @Urgent Query,

      I guess it will not be problem. Carry both the passport and explain the same to the officer at the POE. Safe journey.

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