H1B Visa 2019 Lottery Date Season Start and Predictions

Many of you who were not lucky in 2017 with the work visa lottery in US for FY H1B Visa 2018 may be applying this year to work in US. Below are some of the common FAQs that are tied to H1B work visa for fiscal year 2019.  This article will be updated with latest info as we get more info.

  • H1B 2019 Season Start Date ?
  • H1B Visa 2019 Quota ?
  • Will there be lottery for H1B 2019 ?
  • H1B 2019 Lottery date ?
  • How to find H1B 2019 Sponsors ?
  • H1B visa 2019 fees ?
  • H1B 2019 Latest News

Beginner - First Time H1B ?

If you are going through the H1B process first time, it is good to learn some basics like cap, quota, LCA, etc. Click adjacent button

If you have missed FY 2019, you may be looking for next year filing. Are you planning for FY 2020 ?   Check out H1B Visa 2020 – Start Date, Fee, Lottery – FAQs 

What is the H1B Visa 2019 season start date ?
Update : USCIS will start accepting H1B Petitions starting from April 2nd, 2018 as per their official update on their website. In general, USCIS starts accepting applications for the next fiscal year exactly 6 months before the start of the next fiscal year. USCIS fiscal year for 2019 starts from 1st October 2018, which means they should accept applications for FY 2019 from April 1st, 2018. As April 1st is a Sunday, USCIS should accept applications for H1B 2019 season from April 2nd, 2019.

What is H1B visa 2019 Quota for Regular and Masters filings ?
As of the date of writing of article, the H1B quota is as below. This is also called the H1B Visa Cap. You can read more at What is H1B Cap ? Regular vs Masters quota ?

  • H1B Regular Quota : 65,000 visas
  • H1B Master’s Quota : 20,000 visas. ( only US Masters eligible)

Also, of the overall 85,000 visa cap, every year 6,800 visas are set aside for the citizens of Singapore and Chile as part of the Free Trade Agreement with them. There were few bills part of Comprehensive Immigration Reform that are not active in Senate that were proposed from Obama administration days to change the cap count to 110,000 and Masters to 25,000, including potential to make H1B cap extend up to 180,000. But nothing has moved and all are dormant. Nothing new has been proposed by the new Trump Administration regarding changing cap count. To get a glimpse of historical cap count changes, you may check H1B visa cap count history from 1990 to 2017

Will there be Lottery for H1B 2019 season ? Lottery Predictions ? Filing Numbers ?
Update : USCIS had lottery for FY 2019 quota and received 190,098 petitions.
Looking at the historical trend of H1B filings, cap reach dates, it is quite possible that we would have lottery for FY 2019 quota.  We have written a detail article looking at historical data, Trump administration new policies like ‘Buy American, Hire American’, students on OPT, H4 EAD removal rule, etc. factors. To know the prediction numbers and details, read the article:  H1B Visa 2019 Lottery Predictions – Analysis, Graphs .

When is H1B Visa 2019 Lottery Date ? 
Update : USCIS Conducted Lottery for FY 2019 on April 11, 2018.
There are two things, one is when the H1B petitions are accepted for the lottery and second is when the actual lottery is done. H1B visa petitions for next fiscal year would be accepted by USCIS from April 2nd, 2018 for 5 working days until April 6th, 2018 to be part of the lottery. Now, the actual lottery date depends on various factors depending the volume of petitions and USCIS load. It can be anywhere in second week of April. For FY 2018, the actual H1B Lottery was done on April 11th, 2017 . We can expect anywhere around the same date like April 11th or April 13th.

How to find H1B visa 2019 Sponsors ? 
It can be very hard to find a good employer and convince them to sponsor H1B to work in US with major unknown like H1B Visa lottery. Anyways, you would be in one of the three scenarios, if you are seeking a H1B Sponsor. 

  • F1 Student in US : You can find an internship or co-op at an employer who can sponsor H1B visa and ask them to sponsor your H1B. You can continue to work on OPT once you graduate as well. You find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool
  • International Professionals  : If you are outside of US, it can be tricky with all the latest rules by Trump administration. Your best bet is to find an multi-national company ( MNC) and work through them to sponsor H1B visa. You may have hurdles inside the company with all the internal process, many waiting, etc. But, it is up to you to negotiate and ask them to take a chance. Many try the IT body shop route, where they ask them to file H1B. Rules have changed in the last few years and it is very risky move and can jeopardize your US hopes. Read comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article  to get an idea and  beware of such consulting companies to avoid fraud.
  • Important Note : We, as RedBu2US, DO NOT Provide any H1B sponsorship or guide anyone using professional services or fee. If anyone approaches you by saying our name, it is pure FRAUD…beware !

If you are looking for more details, check out Guide on How to Find H1B Visa Sponsors 2019

What is H1B 2019 Filing Fee ? 
H1B visa petition filing involves USCIS fee towards certain things and attorney fees, which varies by company size, and attorney involved for the case.  As of FY 2018 season, it can range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $7,400 USD + Attorney Fee.  In year 2016, for FY 2018, the H1B base filing fees, increased from  $325 to $460. Below table is a high level summary from FY 2018 quota as of writing, it maybe subject to change as we approach towards the filing date.  If any changes, we will update this accordingly.    Also, you can Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee – Who pays for What ? .

H1B Fee – Paid Towards Amount 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 2019 Case Tracker  :
Did you work with attorney and sent all documents to apply for FY 2019 ?  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.

What’s the latest news on H1B Visa 2019 ?
Below are some of the major news updates on H1B 2019 season. You can check H1B Visa 2019 Cap Count Tracker – Latest News Updates for full details

You can bookmark this page and check this page for updates on H1B FY 2019 season.
Do you have any questions on next H1B 2019 season ?

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Comments ( 7,725 )

  1. Waiting for the update !!!

    Hi Kumar,

    I have received RFE on September 18 th and it is updated in egov.uscis and in dhs site show still the case received. Also not yet received the notice yet. Can we request the uscis to send the RFE notice or it is a computing error so that we can still wait further ? Could you kindly help me with your suggestion.

  2. H1b seeker

    If it shows approved in myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov, does it mean the case is approved since egov still shows rfe response received?

  3. H1aspirant

    Hi everyone

    I received below as case status after I responded to rfe. Is USCIS still reviewing my case or they already took a decision?
    Notice of Representation Was Updated
    On October 09, 2018, we received notification that there was an update to your Notice of Representation for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC****. Your representative will receive copies of all official updates and correspondence relating to your case. Your representative will keep you informed about actions we take on your case.

  4. Dr Strange


    I got an RFE, to which my attorney responded and sent documents on 8 october 2018. Its been more than 10days, I don’t see any update on USCIS websites egov & MYUSCIS. It shows RFE was emailed. Did someone else have seen similar issue? How long can we expect an update on websites.


    AD – CAP GAP
    WAC (california center)

    1. Czaxch

      They are not updating the portals for most people. If they were sent Oct 8th, I’m sure they got it by now. In my case only egov shows RFE response received. Myaccount.uscis… still shows RFE sent

  5. dd2018

    Hi guys,

    Can you let me know by when USCIS will be responding to H1-B lottery selected petition? I was told by my employer in July that my petition has been selected in lottery and by September a decision will be made. It is now October and they are saying that till now there is no update on the petition. They have also got an affidavit signed by me saying that if my petition is selected and H1-B is granted and then I refuse to join(or leave within one year after joining), I will have to pay them few lakh rupees. I was expecting a decision to be made by September but it is already October and I can’t wait for so long. I have already started looking for job in Singapore but if I get an offer from Singapore and after that they come to me saying that my petition is selected, then I will have to pay them the money. So can I expect decision to be made by December, January, till when should I wait ? and can I refuse to pay them the money

    1. Dreamer

      There is not ETA. With the current pace of adjudication, it can very well spill over to next year. If you have an offer, suggest you ask them to Withdraw you petition and move on.

    2. administrator

      It is hard to say anything regarding processing time, it may or may not be complete by Jan…USCIS does not have any SLA. H1B filing fee is employer expense, paying for it is not legal.

    3. Czeach

      Having to pay back money to the sponsor?! What a sh*tty employer you got.

      Why not find a legit employer? Microsoft, Apple, Google, Autodesk, Mastercard, Adobe, Facebook all sponsor H1Bs.

      I work for one of these companies actually and none of them would ask me for any money.

      1. dd2018

        You are right, if one lands a job with one of these tech giants, then one does not have to worry about anything. But I applied through a small mid tier IT company headquartered in India which has offices in US, so they asked me to sign affidavit saying if I don’t join after H1-B approval , I have to pay them money. The solace is that they did not ask for money before applying for H1-B. There are many companies which ask to deposit some amount even before filing the petition ! 🙂
        Also these tech giants do not hire directly from India, either you have to join India offices first, or have to be selected through campus placements in IITs, NITs, IIITs.

  6. 1st timer non ad

    How long USCIS takes to respond to Withdraw request? Is it processed on same day they receive it? Anybody with experience please explain.

  7. vera

    Really need help from you guys. Wife is on H4 and working full time on H4-EAD. Her employer filed for H1B and petition got selected in lottery however, there are no updates on case yet.

    We are eligible to apply for our H1B/H4/H4 EAD extension by OCT-31st. My question is if we apply all H1B/H4 and H4EAD together in premium processing [to beat H4 EAD revocation rule publish date in November] and if H4 and H4 EAD is approved before her H1B is approved, would this cause any issue with pending H1B petition?

    Appreciate your help.

    1. H1b Helper

      Not at all. In that case you only need COS, nothing else. By the way H4 EAD can’t be applied in Premium Processing. and forget about H4 EAD revocation in November, it will take atleast 6 months from now( may be even more but sure) Cheers!!!!

  8. CTS

    7.14 million jobs which is more then unemployee 6.2 million . will it make any difference in h1b approval rate .


    1. Details

      In a specialty occupation RFE – one has to prove that the job description indeed requires an employee with a bachelors or an advanced degree, preferably STEM or Financial degrees .

      You need to sit with your lawyer and your employer and proceed accordingly with supporting evidences that can help prove the above statement. This kind of RFE is sometimes very hard to prove using the importance of professional experience alone as a criteria.

      1. 3rd Timer

        @Details, You are partially correct. My understanding about “Specialty occupation” is it requires special skill to carry out the job listed in the application. If the RFE was issued means the USCIS officer deemed that it is just a routine job and doesn’t require special skill. Usually in that scenario the employer needs to gather info from similar jobs advertised, expert testimony of industry people etc.

        The qualification of the employee will not be taken in to consideration in that stage. That comes later,i.e, if the job is indeed could be classified as “specialty job” but the “employee” doesn’t have necessary skill. The RFE will explain about what they are looking for. If the RFE is about the earlier one then the attorney’s usually will not ask any additional documents form the employee. If it about the later they they may ask to get documents related to education, experience or both. But the most of the times the RFE is about the earlier one.

  9. anand

    Hello Friends,

    Are there anyone who used to get USCIS notification once in every two weeks as they took last action on june 26, 2018 and received somehow any update as approval/RFE?

    Please share your updates,

  10. Sherman

    My EGOV status shows cased approved Oct 15, however the DHS account still shows “received on April 24”. I think it is an interesting data point since it seems people have been reporting the other way round.
    Notice date: April 24
    NO RFE
    OPT expires in Nov, 2018
    May luck be with you, guys!

  11. Waiting

    My case was approved on Oct 3rd on egov (no update on myaccount). My attorney and employer haven’t received the approval document yet. Is anybody else having a delay in receiving the approval notice?

    1. Galti Se Mistake

      Double confirm receipt number with attorney. It happened to me, they gave wrong number and egov said approved. I kept inquiring for 4 weeks. Later I asked them if the receipt number was correct ? They then admitted that they had given me wrong last digit.

  12. H1B - Out Of Cap

    Hi All,

    I was in US for an year with my H1B for employer A, my extension got denied and i traveled back to India. Now i am planning to move out of employer A. I still have a valid approved petition till Sep 2019. My questions are

    1. Am I eligible for cap exempt, if so for how many years i am eligible to apply for cap exempt petition?
    2. Any employer can apply for cap exempt?


    1. 3rd Timer

      1. yes. 6 years minus number of years spend already in H1.

      2. yes. You are eligible for full 6 years without having to undergo lottery. But, that doesn’t mean your petition will be approved. It only allows to file any time of the year. After that it will be treated as new petition. That is, your new employer needs to prove that the job they will offer to you is falls under (a)specialty occupation, (b) they could not find US person and they spend reasonable time to find that person, (c) they are offering same or higher wages for that position for that place/county and finally (d) your qualified (by education or experience or both) enough to do that specialty job. Usually USCIS looks the documentation in that order , meaning even if you have PhD and 10 years of experience but the job is not quality as specialty job then it will be denied. Also, most of the time USCIS asks for additional documentation if your employer not submitted the required documentation during the application before issuing the denial. Some time it will be approved straight away and some tine it will be approved after RFE. One more thing to consider is if your employer sending you to work for 3rd party client then the additional documents such as duration of contract, statement of work, detailed work plan for you may be requested.

      –Good luck and all the best for your approval of new petition.

    2. administrator

      1. Yes, Unless, your extension was denied for fraud reasons. Usually H1B cycle is for 3 + 3 years. Whatever is left on the overall 6 years.
      2. Yes.

  13. Chris


    I’m a Singaporean, can I apply for H1B and H1B1 at the same time? In case I’m not selected in the loterry, I still can work under H1B1.

    If the answer is no. The best practice is applying H1B1 first and apply H1B the next year?


    1. administrator

      I am not sure, if you are eligible to apply at the same time. I would check with an attorney or USCIS on the same. You can apply for H1B1 anytime and start working in US and then decide the other H1B part later I guess.

  14. JK

    I received an email from school’s DSO stating my h1b was denied in my SEVIS record, and a day later the SEVIS automatically became “completed” status at DSO’s end.
    USCIS website says the case is still in pending, same in my.uscis site…
    Does anyone know what is happening here? Please advise, thank you.

    1. administrator

      Sometimes, these systems may or may not show same information due to the update cycle times and issues in updates. You should check with your employer/ attorney and then come to a conclusion. Online USCIS system sometimes can show different results due to system issues.

  15. Vamshi

    Urgent help Needed,

    H1B expiry date May30th 2018.
    Applied H1B extension and packet reached California service center on May 20th 2018 (10 days before my expiry)
    Received Notice of action receipt from Nebraska service center on June 6th 2018.
    Status changed to RFE on October 2nd 2018 and received RFE saying “this instant petition was filed on june 6th 2018 making the beneficiary out of status at the time this petition was filed. Therefore additional evidence is needed. submit evidence that shows the beneficiary had been maintaining a valid non immigrant status as an H1B at the time of filing this petition”.

    I am totally confused although my packet reached USCIS office before my visa expires and they are saying that I am out of status. Am I really out of status ? or If I submit USPS tracking number as proof of delivery will my H1B get approved ?

    Thanks all for your valuable comments !!

    1. administrator

      Don’t panic. I am sure you have proof that your package was received on May 20th, check with your attorney and work with them. It would be fine.

      1. Ramya

        kumar bhayya, may i know how much time is there for rfe to respond? in website they mentioned one month..but my employer says its 3 months time to respond

  16. 1st timer non ad

    Received this in email. any body have any idea what it could be?

    There has been a recent processing action taken on your case.

    Receipt Number: EAC18151*****


    Your Case Status: Decision

    On October x, 2018, we began reviewing your Form I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, Receipt Number EAC18151*****. We mailed you a notice informing you of the action we intend to take on your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice and submit any requested materials. If you do not receive your notice by October 23, 2018, please call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision.

  17. HCL

    Guy’s Anyone from HCL got any update either RFE or Approval ? Status still shows Case received. Be honest while sharing the update. Thanks in advance

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