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 this is your first time filing H1B, please read H1B Visa Basics – FAQs like Requirements, Quota, LCA, etc.

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 ( 6,977 )

  1. Krishna Lal

    To Admin, Friends

    For an H1b extension, is it true that an LCA can be filed exactly before 6 months and not after it.

    For instance, my H1b extension (6 months before) is on 6th Sept 2018 so can I file an LCA now or I have to wait till 6th to file an LCA. It expires on 5th March, 2019.

  2. FrustratedPerson

    Need consultation –
    – H1 picked in April 2018
    – Received RFE near end of July. Worked with employer on all questions they had.. documents in review with Lawyers to be submitted to USCIS in the next week or so.
    – Currently on STEM CAP – GAP as opt extension expired on May 31 2018.
    – Cap -gap extension till Sept 30
    – Got admission for day CPT for fall 2018 ( I didn’t want to , but had not option so please don’t judge)
    – need to transfer my SEVIS from old uni to new one.

    Question 1 – Would me transferring my SEVIS to the new university impact my current H1 processing?
    Question 2 – The new uni starts from 27th august so i am sure my H1 will not be approved before that so when it does get approved would my change of status be like F1 (original) -> F1 (transfer) -> H1 (change of status)

    **apologies if this question has already been answered as I couldn’t find a question similar to mine.

    Thank you for your responses (in advance)

  3. Cap-gapWAC

    The processing time for WAC has been updated to 5.5-7.5 months. This is ridiculous! I have very little hope now that my application will be processed by Sep 30. I’m in my cap-gap extension period.

    1. 3rd Timer

      Try to upgrade once PP is available. based on last year’s trend it might be available from second week of September. Good luck and all the best for your approval.

        1. Kaveh

          TBH, I feel like many applicants gonna upgrade to PP which makes me think if they can keep up with it the load and respond in two weeks.

          FYI, There is no guarantee that they respond in two weeks. If they won’t be able to make a decision in 2 weeks they just return your money. This happened to one of my friend last year.

          1. Waiting

            Shouldn’t CAP-GAP applications given priority since its expiring on September 30 ? Was your friend on CAP-GAP ? Honestly this wait is really frustrating.

          2. Kaveh

            @waiting She was not Cap_Gap, but she upgraded at beginning of Oct. And she got RFE by end of Oct.

            My recommendation is upgrade ASAP. I think for PP is first come first serve.

  4. Case was Received

    Hi ,

    I need some suggestion regarding CPT and status maintenance. My H1b was picked in the lottery and I have not heard anything back from USCIS. Received date April 12 AD.
    Q1. As I am on cap gap till September 30th if no decision is made by then. What would happen to my Active Sevis?
    Q2. If I want to transfer to a CPT school ( I do not have an option to move to a different country/work offshore remotely and I know you people are not fond of CPT but, beggars can’t be choosers.) should I transfer my sevis in August and start my session in August or Should I transfer my sevis in September and start my session in October?

    My prime goal here is to stay in the US ( maintaining my F1 status) and wait for my application to be process/approved.

    I would appreciates any comments or suggestions.

    Thank you
    Case was Received

    1. 3rd Timer

      Q1. Your Sevis will terminate on October 1 and you have 60 days to leave the USA. This time you are not allowed to work.

      Q2. Any time you get the new I-20 leads to your cap-gap terminated. So, plan accordingly.

      Suggestions:
      1. Upgrade to PP once it is available. It is expected to be available in Spetember.
      2. I am against first day OPT due to recent memo from USICS about maintaining status while in F1. If the case officer finds that first day CPT is in violation of F1 status then you are out of status and they calculate retroactively. If you worked in CPT for 6 months then you are not allowed to come to US for 6 months. And more than 6 months means 10 year violation. I am not scare mongering but these are from the recent memo from USCIS. Choose the best option fits for your case.

      –Good luck and all the best for your approval.

      1. CPT OR NO CPT

        The memo has no language addressing CPT as unlawful . Can you please point out the section describing second masters as unlawful.

        FYI I am not challenging your opinion on it.

        1. 3rd Timer

          @I agree that it is not addressed directly. But as per recent memo and recent RFE reported by some (not all), the USCIS treating this as status violation. Also, it is giving the issuing officer to
          decide the case and if they decide that it is indeed unlawful then they may deny straight away without even issuing RFE. Keep in mind that once it is goes to RFE or NOID then it is very hard to appeal or overcome the decision. As I said earlier it is the choice of the individual and my only suggestion is use caution in joining DAY 1 CPT due to recent policy changes.

          —Having said that, I wish you a good luck and all the best in getting approval before Oct 1st.

        2. H1breeze

          USCIS has weird operating procedure. Same CPT case from same college is being treated in different ways. I know 6 such people 1 has direct approval, 3 have RFE, 1 has NOID and 1 has no action so far.
          God knows what criteria do they use on different applications. it is quite possible that it depends if the assessing officer is having a good day or a bad one.

          1. 3rd Timer

            @it depends if the assessing officer is having a good day or a bad one.
            This statement is also applicable for visa interview too.

  5. blah

    Typical Case: I am on H4 now and I have a valid H1 looking for an opportunity but every opportunity needs an SSN which I don’t have with me, can we get an SSN with the future employment letter

  6. WhichIsAccurate

    egov.uscis.gov VS my.uscis.gov – does anybody know the difference between these two sites? They show different status.

      1. VL

        Status is updated in https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov around 6:30 Am EST..
        If the decision is made on August 15th 2018 by uscis officer, you will see status update in dhs site on August 26th morning around 6:30 EST

  7. H1b Interview

    Hi Guys ,
    My H1 Visa was approved on last year . I will attend the interview on next month . Will there be any problem because of going a year late? FYI my approval is valid up to 2020

    1. GeethaGovindham

      Bro .. It doesn’t Matter.. As per your statement you are a master’s student. Please read some basic information on H1B . That will really help you.

      For your question, all the best for your stamping. and prepare well .. No one asks such type of questions.

  8. non ad

    I checked my case status today (EAC)and I see ‘RFE’ being issued in egov site and in the my.uscis.gov site, the status shows ‘case received’.

  9. NeedSixRunsInTwoBalls

    To People referring to some sites where they are scrapping results from egov case status site, please note that the results are not real time indicators of approval or RFE rates…

    1. The site owners run the scripts to fetch status of all the cases according to their availability.. meaning they might have run a particular series of case status(EAC1814853***) like 5 days ago, and didn’t refresh it again.

    2. Egov site is lagging behind myaccount DHS site. I have approval on DHS site for my case but egov still shows case received.

    So don’t come to conclusion about rate of approval/RFE based on those tree maps on those sites.. they indeed are good indicators but not very real time.

    Note : I am not at all criticising those site owners at all… They have done a really good job to put it all together.. just don’t hit panic button looking at those numbers…

  10. Anand

    To ALL my friends here in forum whose receipt number is/was “not recognized” in USCIS website, Please share your experience if you received any approval/RFE ?
    It will be a great help to understand whats going on with USCIS.
    My case receipt date is may 1, WAC center and my receipt number not recognized.
    I just can’t wait to hear an update on my case 🙁 this is so frustrating.

    Please friends share your updates.

  11. EAC equal RFE

    https://h1bstat.ru/all-stats/

    Look at randomly @ WAC status, most of them are GREEN or RFE vs GREEN are relatively equal. Other hand EAC status are terrible…only very few GREEN.

    Why this difference? Any Clue?

  12. Sam

    My attorney is not replying. I have been patient enough but till date I have neither recvd receipt nor there is any update in my peition being returned. What can I do in this situation please advice

  13. H1b Interview

    Guys I am attending H1 visa interview by next month … My mother is currently in USA on B2 visa with my sister .. Will it create any problem during stamping ?

  14. Dwarakamayi

    Hello Everyone!!! My case got approved yesterday. Got notification from my DHS account.

    EAC Non-AD Regular
    Receipt Notice Date: Apr 26
    Approved Date: Aug 9

  15. CTSH1BTracker

    Still I’m getting this below error, Did anyone facing this issue,Please let me know what needs to be done.
    Validation Error(s)
    You must correct the following error(s) before proceeding:
    •My Case Status does not recognize the receipt number entered. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance, please call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283.

    1. CTS

      I faced same issue . Please create a account in myaccount USCSI which is new portal and Link your receipt number . You should be all set .

  16. Frustrated

    My lawyer just informed me that I was selected in the lottery, but I was rejected because my lawyer forgot to include the check in the application.
    Is there anything that can be done?

    1. Ramesh

      It looks like your employer is cheating you.. if there is no check then USCIS will reject the petition before even including it in the lottery. Did they give you a receipt number? If so, get that and check the status.

    1. Ramesh

      It looks like your employer is cheating you.. if there is no check then USCIS will reject the petition before even including it in the lottery. Did you give you a receipt number? If so, get that and check the status.

  17. Pooja

    Hi guys,

    I have a question about the current USCIS policy regarding STEM OPT students working at a client’s location if working through a staffing agency.
    The USCIS website clearly states that a staffing company shouldn’t send an employee to work at a client location and that the training for the STEM OPT candidate should be provided at the staffing company’s workplace.
    In january 2018, USCIS updated it’s rule for unlawful residence in the U.S. stating that we will start accruing unlawful residence if authorized practical training ends.
    Considering the fact that I have been working at client’s location for the past 6 months, is this considered unauthorized employment? I have my EAD card until 2020 for the same employer and client.

    1. Haneesh

      The current STEM policy definitely does mention not to work at third party sites. But the recognition of this as unlawful activity depends on two circumstances.

      1. If the new memo of unlawful presence is in effect from today i.e August 9th, which means if it is found that you are doing an unlawful activity, then you are subject to this memo’s consequences.

      2. The memo applies only if USCIS has an official finding that you are engaged in an unlawful activity that violated your F1 status. Meaning, if on August 20, USCIS found that you have been violating status and are unlawful, according to the memo, you will accrue those days from August 9-20 which is 11 days. If it crosses 6 months then you have a 3 year US entry ban and if you have crossed an year, its a 10 year ban.
      Another example is, if USCIS found that you have been violating status and considers this as unlawful presence in March 2019, which means you already crossed 6 months from August 9th, 2018, then you will have a 3 year ban.

      Again, do remember this applies only if the unlawful memo goes into effect today, and USCIS has an OFFICIAL finding that you have violated the F1 status. Also, if the NTA memo goes into effect after unlawful memo, then you might have to appear before a judge for deportation process in case of OFFICIAL violation findings by USCIS.

      It all depends on unlawful memo, NTA memo and USCIS official finding on case by case basis. Same applies to Day 1 CPT school if it is considered as a violation of status.

      Hope this helps and is clear.

      1. Pooja

        Hey. Thank you for the clarification.

        If you look into the USCIS’ STEM OPT page, they have made a very clear update to the terms saying that Staffing agencies SHOULD NOT engage STEM OPT students for work at client sites. All their activities should be within the worksite of the direct employer. You can find this information in the following site in the “STEM OPT Employer Requirements and Responsibilities” section.

        https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/students-and-employment/stem-opt

        So according to this, irrespective of whether USCIS find out about a particular person, if we are working at a 3rd part site, wouldn’t that be considered “unauthorized?”

        1. Haneesh

          Yes, technically it would be unlawful. But it also includes consulting firms where students work at third party employers just like how staffing firms place you at client sites.

          The problem is I am seeing cases where people who work at third party sites are getting H1B approved without a problem, hence I said case by case basis. I don’t know what they are looking at to approve petitions although there is a rule that exists.

          But even if you change to full time later but have previously worked at third party site on STEM extension, they can still find it unlawful later on if the memo is implemented. Makes sense?

          1. Pooja

            Yes. I understand that. That is exactly what I ma worried about. My understanding was that since I am working in the same field as my study and haven’t faked any experience, I was safe. Apparently, now I have a 180 count down starting today before I get deported. This makes no sense at all!

  18. Kiran

    HI @Ram ,@Third Timer,

    My case is H1B transferred in normal processing and received RFE.
    It is responded by my employer.

    Can you I know the current time line for RFE response in normal processing.

    Thanks

    1. JustHaveToWaitAndWatch

      This year USCIS selected significantly higher buffer of pettitions..

      They probably didn’t ramp up the resources(employees) but have more number of selected petitions to process this year…

      Also they now have additional steps to identify fraud, so number of RFE’s will be higher…

      Having said that, everything including processing RFE is going to be very very slow…

      Can’t skip the system in place, just have to wait n watch..

      1. USCIS-Insider

        We actually tried to increase our staffing, but only a few of them got selected in the H1B lottery. And they can’t start before the upcoming FY anyways so it didn’t really help.

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