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 ( 12,715 )

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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/

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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….

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