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H1B Visa 2019 – Lottery Predictions ? Fee, Quota, News & FAQs

We will look at the 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

Update  : H1B 2019, 2020 Seasons are over, H1B 2021 Season is the upcoming season. Read all details at H1B Visa 2021 – Start Date, Fee, Lottery, Registration – FAQs 

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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 TowardsAmount 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 FeeVaries 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 !

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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  1. Hi,

    I am from one of the WITCH companies.
    I got RFE about specialty occupation and employee employer relationship on 15-September-2018. We submitted the response on 31-Oct-2018. t’s more than 60 days any idea how long does it takes, i heard 88 days is the SLA for USCIS to respond my RFE response. Any idea?

  2. Hi Kumar ,

    I have my VISA interview next week in Chennai , and my work location would be my company head office , do i need to carry/request any supportive letter for the interview ? as i don’t have any client letter and i wont be working at client location .

    • If you are working for your company, then nothing required…If you work for client projects, then you would need one. Speak to your employer / attorney on how your petition was filed and carry relevant documents as needed.

  3. Anybody got RFE for “University/College Transcripts”?

    Non-AD WAC
    Fresh H1B 2019 lottery
    RFE received September 12th
    Response submitted November 15th

    Still waiting ?

  4. My petition states case recieved on may 4th 2018 . Its jan 4th 2019 , havent recieved any update . Going crazy over this wait ….

    Any one on the same boat ?

  5. My husband f1 visa is valid till October 2019. Currently he is working on cpt so his employer filed h1b under normal quota non-advanced. I scheduled f2 visa interview on 11th jan 2019. That time his h1b on rfe received status, but now his h1b visa approved on 27th dec. Can i attend f2 visa interview now? Please suggest?

    • If your husband applied H1B as Change of Status, then he is in H1B now and you can attend H4 visa stamping…If they have applied it as Consular processing, then he is still is on F1 visa and then you go for F2 visa.

  6. Hello,

    Can help me to understand that genuinely how much time it would take to amend the petition. I spoke to my Visa team and they say minimum 3 months and maximum 5 months . The premium is suspended till 29th of Feb and if i apply in March, I need the same set of pain and wait.


    • If you file after premium process is back on, it should be faster and no need to wait that long…as long as your visa team is willing to do premium processing.

  7. My RFE was responded on Dec 12. Still the status is not updated on USCIS website. It says RFE was mailed to my employer. Does it take so long to update the status on the website to ‘RFE response was received’???

  8. Finally after almost 10 months of wait, my Visa got approved for 3 years.

    Non AD
    Received RFE – 6th October
    RFE Response – 10th December

    Approved date : 2nd January 2019.

    Will plan for the Visa stamping in few days.

    All the best to all the deserving people.

  9. My case is showing “We mailed your document for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number******”. what does this mean?

  10. Hi Kumar,

    I know,WAC processing times are usually slow. awaiting RFE response since 114 days. (responded to RFE on SEPT 10) .Is there any maximum time line? Any likelyhood of RFE response by january end or feb 1st week.It would have taken 4-5 months by then

    • No, there is no maximum timeline as such…it is very hard to tell, if you would get it by then…Talk to your attorney and see, if they can raise a service request, if it getting delayed.

  11. WAC
    RFE – October 1st
    RFE Response Received – November 23
    Approved – December 4
    Consulate Interview Approved – December 27

  12. Hi All,

    My H1 is Rejected after RFE ?
    I have heard that there is something to reopen the case for further investigation.. What is that ? is it there ?

    If so what is the % of chances to approved the already rejected petition.

    • you have to go for MTR motion to reopen or an appeal.Both entail submitting string evidence refuting the denial/rejection.Chances are very less but not non-existent.

  13. My lottery select date came on 1st june 2018. I am still waiting. My company says none of the people selected in lottery got approval and all are waiting. i have one question: is it possible that my company is hiding something, and can my H1b post lottery select can be given to someone else. Kindly note i asked my HR whether they withdrew my petition, but they said no.

    • It could be…the only way to verify is, if they share the information like rejected petition letter or your lottery selected USCIS case number for H1B. Ask them to share the receipt notice with you, that way you know you were selected…You can verify the same online once you have the case receipt notice.

  14. Hi Kumar,

    I am from CTS. My H1b got approved today from 23 days … From 12/08/18 to 12/31/18 .

    Please let me know what are my next options if any.

    • Can you provide some input on your background and Exp .. Also it could be due to reason that the SOW provided may have 31st Dec end date .. Filing for extension could be an option …

      • Hi Kumar ,

        Mine was a H1B – New cap request for 2019 .Received date was- 4/12/18.

        Receievd the approval notice yesterday .They have approved only for 23 days , Starting from 8th Dec, 2018 and ending 31st Dec,2018 . What are my options from here ? Should I raise an SR with USCIS ? or should I try for Non- CAP ? or anything else ?

        I am NON-AD , ECE background . No RFE , direct approval for 23 days . I don’t think that SOW was submitted originally , so not sure how they came up with 31st Dec,2018 date .

        • Well, it is what it is, speak to your employer and see, if they can file H1B extension quickly so that you can continue to work and leverage the 240 Day H1B Rule . Raising an SR will not do anything, it is meant for requesting for decision, if processing is delayed, not for changing decision. It could be that documents submitted were valid till the date of Dec 31st, so you got shorter approval. You may also find another employer and do H1B transfer, that’s an option too…Again, discuss with your attorney.

  15. Sorry, if it is irrelevant question here. I have H1B & have 6 years boy and 2 years girl baby. Somebody was saying that vaccination chart is mandatory and will be verified on first time entry. Is that so? If yes, what all the mandatory vaccinations that must be completed?

  16. INFY got RFE
    Query received from USCIS 1: Employer- Employee Relationship
    Query received from USCIS 2: Specialty Occupation

    BE production – MBA operations
    11 years IT Exp in Application consulting (ERP)

    any advise ?

  17. Received RFE

    Received Date : 12-April-2018
    RFE Date: 18-Dec-2018


    No Details of RFE Yet

    ToTal IT Exp – 9 Years
    Education – B.Tech Comp Science
    Applied for – Software Developer
    Applied from – IBM
    Client Letter – Yes

    Sharing for others, who all are still waiting in queue, and any idea; what could be the other reasons for RFE if above info is correct. So that, I can prepare in advance.

    • There should be a timeline to issue RFE.
      Almost wasting a year of the aspirant now the consulate is issuing RFE.
      Now they will take their sweet time to respond to RFE and reject it after more than an year.
      Who will account for the wasted year?

      • 1.) Work products like PPT, model pics, designs etc .
        2.) Enhanced job description.
        3.) client letter.
        4.) Expert evaluation letter to prove that you skill is equivalent to specialty occupation.

        These are some stupid ref’s which USCI’s are issuing to buy time or to bring restriction in H1b.

        I got 3 from above and many in october and many of my colleagues got almost the same rfe’s

        Don’t understand those USCIS clerk would unserstand from the work products, enhanced job descriptions.I think USCIS needs speciality occupation for the clerks sitting and buzy rejecting the petitions.

  18. Hi Kumar

    I had an earlier rejection @ Chenna consulate in EVC model last year! I am going for stamping in January ! Can I choose an other consulate ? I am currently from Bangalore ! Is Hyderabad or Mumbai better ? Or going to Chennai is no issue ?

    • You may choose another consulate…Well, it is just perception regarding the consulates based on some very little stats from word of mouth…frankly, it does not make any difference….

      • Hi kumar,

        Thanks.can I choose chennai despite an earlier rejection? I am intending to go to chennai again in case I am asked about earlier rejection,I will be in good stead to explain.

        • It does not matter…Going to another consulate does not necessarily guarantee you anything. It is recommended to go to your base Consulate.

  19. @Badtimer .. Sorry to hear .. can you give some more inputs … regarding your background and reason for denial … Every moment is now passing with apprehension .. such is the situation .. after so much of hard work so much uncertainity ..

  20. Thanks to everyone and timely responses from Kumar. I’m from one of the WITCH companies.
    Just came to know my H1B petition is denied by USCIS. Successfully wasted 1 year of my life time waiting for H1 and dreaming about US.
    Not to discourage anyone here who are still waiting.. it’s pure luck..

    Got good amount of knowledge on H1 process from this group. Thanks to admins.

    Wishing you each and everyone a very happy life wherever you are..

  21. Hi Kumar,

    My H1B got approved recently as COS. I am on L2 visa curently. for how long can I work on L2 now. What is the buffer period to move to approved H1B?

  22. I’m on h1 status and have the following questions:

    1. How long it might take to get the decision from USCIS in current scenario for an h1b amendment filed in regular processing?
    2. Can I travel out of country while h1b amendment decision is pending? If yes, please let me know the list of documents to carry
    3. can I travel out of country while I receive RFE on amendment?
    4. will there be any change in my status when I travel out of country while h1 amendment is under processing
    5. What happens if I receive RFE on amendment when I am out of country. Can I travel back to US?

    • 1. It is very hard to say, can be few months…check USCIS website for processing times.
      2. Well, you may travel, provided that you are still working with the same details as in the original petition. You may be asked questions at POE and they have right to reject, if you have already started working before the amendment.
      3. same as 2
      4. No, there will not be any change in status
      5. As long as you are still working on original petition, it may be fine…if not, can create issues at POE.
      These are very tricky scenarios, you need to discuss with an attorney and make an informed decision.

  23. Finally my H1 b got approved, Non AD,
    Received date —4/12/2018
    Noticed date—11/29/2018
    Receipt number-WAC ****

    Not IT, embedded software,

  24. Hi,

    Last week my employer told me that my case was directly approved.

    However they said it is only approved for 1 year till Nov 2019.

    Any idea why it is approved for only a year ?

    My case is non AD

    Thanks and Good luck to those still waiting !

    • If you are working for a consultancy, your petition will be approved for the duration of the project. If you are full time, it is generally approved for 3 years.

  25. HI ,

    I need information regarding 221G yellow slip. I have attended interview for H1B and officer gave me 221G yellow slip and asked from me to submit the documents on email. I have submitted documents last week.

    How long it take for processing 221G yellow slip as per current trend?

  26. My case was picked up in lottery, and got the receipt notice as well. I am checking the case status on USCIS it giving validation error, however on DHS myaccount the status is “CASE WAS RECEIVED”.


    H1B CAP 2019
    RECEIVED ON MAY, 10 2018
    NON AD


        • No email alert. I check status on USCIS case status page but decided to check on DHS page as well. When I try to “Add a paper filed case,” it doesn’t accept the receipt number so I am unable to add the case number to DHS website and track it. Any link/suggestion other than USCIS (which I believe is not updated frequently) where I can check an updated status?

    • After a long wait I got the update on DHS account yesterday saying case was approved but on USCIS account it still says case is received. I am also confused.
      Btw its WAC****

      • Lot of people are reporting that they are seeing update on either mydhs or egov not both. Same was the case with my colleague. His DHS account got updated as “approved” and egov was still showing “case was received”. He received the physical copy of approval notice within a week from the lawyer. So be positive guys.

    • Received date : May 12, 2018
      Approval date: Dec 14, 2018
      Profile : Software Engineer (Masters in CS from India)
      Well known software company

  27. At-last finally we heard good news this morning .Received email alert 2 hours before and status updated .Submitted RFE response on Aug 3rd after 134 days its approved . I94 is valid until 17th December only, lone more day to go … with god blessings everything went well

  28. I heard from my manager that nowadays completing one term of 1.5 years of h1b is only possible, extensions are very very difficult… Is that true ? Am from IBM…

  29. Question about the 6-years duration

    My H1B case got approved today and so did my change of status.

    Did my 6 years maximum duration start from the approval day or on October 1st?


  30. rfe response reached USCIS on 3rd Dec18 (also last date to submit), still, the site didn’t update as rfe response received.
    is it normal?

  31. I’m on h1 status and have the following questions:

    1. How long it might take to get the decision from USCIS in current scenario for an h1b amendment filed in regular processing?
    2. Can I travel out of country while h1b amendment decision is pending? If yes, please let me know the list of documents to carry
    3. can I travel out of country while I receive RFE on amendment?
    4. will there be any change in my status when I travel out of country while h1 amendment is under processing
    5. What happens if I receive RFE on amendment when I am out of country. Can I travel back to US?

  32. Hi Kumar/Readers,
    I am from HCL (NON-AD WAC center) and selected in lottery but still waiting for further updates and my status is still “CASE IS RECEIVED”. Please find below my queries.
    1) I did not get RFE till now for my case. Can i consider myself safe from getting RFE as its already december?
    2) Tentatively when can we expect a response or updated for further processing?
    3) There is rumour going around that USCIS might reject the petitions from Indian Companies abruptly. Is that true?

    • 1. Once a USCIS officer looks into your case, he will take a decision on whether case can be approved directly or RFE needs to be issued.
      2. No ETA.
      3. If your job is not specialty occupation/education doesn’t align with your job/salary is low then chances of rejection are high. USCIS will never reject your petition just because you work for an Indian company.


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