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H1B Visa 2020 – News, Lottery, Deadlines, Fee – FAQs

This page has all details, FAQs, latest news updates that are related to the H1B Visa 2020 season that started in April 2019. Previous H1B season details are at H1B Visa FY 2019 Quota.

H1B 2020 Season is over, Check out details of current H1B 2022 season at H1B Visa 2022 – Registration, Lottery, Fee – FAQs

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

When does H1B visa 2020 Season start ?  What is the start date ? 

Update : USCIS announced on March 19th that they will accept H1B 2020 petitions starting from April 1st.

Based on past history, it would be Monday, April 1st, 2019.  The rationale is that, USCIS starts accepting applications for the next fiscal year exactly 6 months before the start of the next fiscal year. USCIS fiscal year for 2020 year starts from 1st October 2019, which means they would accept applications for FY 2020 from April 1st, 2019.  This will change for the next H1B FY 2021 Season as USCIS has published New H1B Registration Rule, where employers will register much ahead of the April 1st date and go through process to be able to file petitions on April 1st.

What is H1B visa 2020 Quota for Regular and Masters filings ?

H1B quota is listed below. There are no changes to the cap count, USCIS confirmed that in their press release in March 2018.  Below are the numbers.  For first timers,  this quota 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

H1B Lottery Predictions for FY 2020 ?

Update : USCIS announced on April 5th that they received enough petitions for Regular cap quota and there would be lottery.

We had H1B lottery for the last 6 consecutive years starting H1B FY 2014. Looking at historical trend of H1B filings, cap reach dates, it is very likely possible that we would have lottery for FY 2020 quota.  We have written a detail article on this topic, read H1B Visa 2020 Lottery Predictions, Dates, Results, Analysis.

H1B Visa 2020 Lottery Date ?  Results ?

If we look at the H1B lottery, we have three things, one is when the H1B petitions are accepted for the lottery, second is when the actual lottery is done and third is when the H1B lottery results for everyone are out.

  • Applications Accepted for H1B Lottery : H1B visa petitions for next fiscal year would be accepted by USCIS from Monday April 1st, 2018 for 5 working days until April 5th, 2018 to be part of the H1B Visa lottery.
  • H1B Visa Lottery conducted date : 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 2019, H1B lottery was conducted on April 11th. Similarly, for FY 2018, the actual H1B Lottery was done on April 11th, 2017 . We can expect anywhere around the same dates like April 11th or April 13th.
  • H1B 2020 Lottery Results for Everyone : This is probably the most asked question as many applicants wait in state of uncertainty. USCIS, only informs about actual results for everyone after they completed sending our receipts for accepted petitions.  So, technically, you may need to wait for a long time to get the actual results, depending on if you were selected in lottery or not. For FY 2019, USCIS sent our all rejected applications on July 30th, with a timeline given until August 13th. So, you can hear your lottery results anywhere from April second week to August 13th..that’s a long waiting window !
    • Update : USCIS released a press note confirming that that returned all H1B petitions that were not picked in lottery and you should get a mail by Aug 29, 2019. So, your final date for lottery result date for FY 2020 is Aug 29, 2019.

How to find H1B visa 2020 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.  Depending on your situation, 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 or  H1B Grader – Sponsors Database 
  • 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 2020

What is H1B 2020 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 2019 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.  Also, premium processing fee increased from $1,225 to $1,410, effective October 1st, 2018. Below table is a high level summary from FY 2019 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)$1,410 ( from Oct 1, 2018)
Immigration Attorney FeeVaries from $500 to $3000

What is New H1B Registration Rule ?

USCIS and DHS went through 9 Steps of Federal rule making process to change the H1B lottery process and published the final rule on Jan 31st, 2019.  In the  new registration rule, employers register their potential H1B hires during the H1B registration window in the USCIS registration system.  USCIS will conduct lottery on the registrations and inform the selected registrants to file H1B petition on April 1st. In the new process, the order of H1B lottery is changed to select Regular cap quota petitions first and then Masters quota petitions. For more info, read Summary of New H1B Registration Rule

Will the New H1B Registration Rule be applicable for FY 2020 Season ?

Not fully.  USCIS is suspending H1B Registration Rule for H1B FY 2020 cap season to design, implement and complete user testing of system and make sure the system is ready. USCIS will formally announce this suspension for FY 2020 on their website.  So, for the upcoming H1B Visa FY 2020 season , the current process of accepting H1B Petitions for 5 business days and then conducting lottery from the received petitions will be followed. But, one change to the current process will be done, which is the order of the H1B lottery will be changed, where first regular quota petitions are selected in lottery to fulfil 65,000 petitions cap from entire pool of applications and then master quota petitions are selected in lottery order to fulfil the masters quota cap of 20,000. Read complete info at H1B Lottery Changes for FY 2020 Season

H1B 2020 Processing Timelines – Regular vs Premium ?

You would know about the H1B Lottery result for your H1B Petition filed with USCIS, if you either receive a Receipt Notice from USCIS or a Rejected Package indicating you were not picked in Lottery. The timeline for receiving receipts is different for regular vs premium processing. We have put together all the details in a detail article addressing all of these questions. Read H1B 2020 Lottery Results – Premium vs Regular Processing Timeline 

H1B 2020 Case Tracker  :

Did you submit or plan to submit H1B petition for FY 2020 ?  In general, the wait for H1B receipts, lottery results, and processing is quite frustrating without any status until you receive something from USCIS.  You would be curious to know others status…so, to have a general view on the statuses movement for entire community, 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 !

[prompt type=”left” title=”Track your H1B Case” message=” Anonymously Track your H1B Case – Share and Get updated from Community.” button_text=”H1B 2020 Case Tracker” href=”https://redbus2us.com/trackers/h1b-visa-tracker/”]

What’s the latest news for H1B Visa 2020 Season ?

Below is the list of latest news by date related to FY 2020 season.

  • Aug 15, 2019(Official ) : USCIS released a press note today indicating that they have returned all the petitions that were not selected in H1B 2020 Lottery. They say that, if you do not hear back from USCIS by Aug 29, 2019, you can reach out to them. See below screenshot. You can read the USCIS Press release
  • June 7, 2019(Official ) : USCIS released a press note today indicating that they will begin premium processing for all H1B 2020 cap subject petitions starting from June 10th, 2019.  Technically, now you can upgrade your H1B petition, if you have filed it as COS or Consular processing. All in all, anyone can upgrade their case to Premium processing.  Check the USCIS Official Press Release
  • May 17th, 2019(Official ) : USCIS announced that they have completed data entry and will start sending out the reject notices now…Also, they may transfer some cases as well to balance the load. If you see a status change, nothing to worry.  Check the USCIS Official Press Release
  • April 11th, 2019(Official ) : USCIS announced today evening that they have reached masters cap and also announced completion of H1B lottery for FY 2020. They received a total of 201,011 petitions. Read H1B 2020 Lottery Completed News Summary 
  • April 5th, 2019Official ) : USCIS released a press note that H1B 2020 regular cap was filled. Read H1B visa 2020 Regular Cap Filled News. Check out  Short Video on H1B 2020 Regular Cap Quota reached.
  • April 1st, 2019Official ) : USCIS Launched H1B Employer Data Hub as part of transparency effort to understand H1B employer’s Information on Approvals and Denials. You can check out How to use H1B Employer Data Hub,
  • March 19th, 2019 ( Official ) : USCIS did a press release indicating the start of H1B season from April 1st, and gave out details on Premium Processing that it will be open only for applications filed with COS. Check out all details at H1B 2020 Starts April 1st, Premium Processing Info
  • January 2019 ( Official ) : USCIS Publishes Final Rule on H1B Registration on Jan 31, 2019 and gave guidance for FY 2020 season.
  • December 2018 ( Official ) : USCIS Publishes a proposed rule in Federal Register to introduce the concept of electronic pre-registrations before filing the actual full H1B petition. Currently, it is in process seeking public comments until Jan 2, 2019. Check out details at H1B Pre-Registration New Proposed Rule – Lottery, Process, Analysis.
  • For  FY 2020 season there is an increase in Premium processing fee. We do not even know, if USCIS will have premium processing fee for FY 2020 as they have suspended until Feb 2019 for petitions filed in April 2018 under FY 2019 quota. But, something to be aware of.

You can bookmark this page and check this page for updates on H1B FY 2020 season. Also, you can read H1B 2020 Cap Count Updates Page for up to date tracking of this year’s news and other info.
Do you have any questions on next H1B 2020 season ? Join us on WhatsApp H1B 2020 Group, Telegram, Facebook , Slack H1B 2020 and Community Forum to discuss, ask, share.


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  1. Hi Kumar,

    My case is unique. I got my H1b stamped on April 2018 but unfortunately I could not travel to US because of lack of projects with my employer.

    Please note I’m based out of India. My visa got expired on Sept 2020.

    What are my options ? Am I eligible for cap-exempt ?
    I believe I’m not eligible for visa transfer from India because my visa got expired.
    Do I need to try more considering the current situation ?
    Any other suggestions for me ?

    Please help me with your inputs.


    • PV,
      This is slightly grey area, but as you had stamping done, you have a good chance for getting trasnfer as cap exempt. Usually, they ask for status. You were given H1B status in some form with stamping, so it is a positive thing for cap exempt.

  2. Hi Kumar,

    I filed my H1b extension with my I 94 expired. I got an Request for initial evidence saying: (a) They need all the work itinerary, contract agreements.
    My project: (a) employer -> staffing firm -> CGI -> End client.
    I got the letter from (a) employer -> staffing firm -> CGI (for 4 years project) but the end client policy is they don’t give end client letter or any papewiork.
    I took some email print out stating that I work in end client and a email from my co-worker that I am working on Project X for the end client.

    My request is what is my approval chances and this is in premium.

    • Kanhaiya,
      Well, there are many cases in the past that had similar situation and were able to make it. It is up to the discretion of the USCIS officer, hard to say.

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  4. Hi Kumar,

    We applied h1b through semetrix inc and lottery picked up in august 2020, but in uscis website we dont find any petition filed from that company in last few years and also both companies are dissolved as per


    They collected 50% money and asking to pay remaining. Is this visa fraud

  5. Hi Guys – It seems there is a fraud consultancy/company that is running an H1B fraud racket in Hyderabad, India.

    The employer’s name is ‘Semetrix Inc’. If anyone has fallen into their trap, please get in touch with me at jprai50@outlook.com.

  6. Hi Kumar,
    Currently I’m working on H1B in US in company A. I got an offer from company B. Assuming company B transfer my visa in two weeks. When my visa transfer get approval, but I don’t move to the company B, is there any problem? Can I keep working with company A on my original H1B visa?
    Thank you for your help.

  7. Hi my petition got picked up in lottery 2017 but after that I got RFE, now only(2020) I got my petition approved. but my petition document I could 24 august 2020 is the visa expiration date and when i check in ucics site with my receipt number I could see below status
    On August 31, 2020, USCIS refunded the fee for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number xAxxxxxxxxxxx, and mailed the refund to the address of the fee remitter on file. This refund does not affect the processing or location of your case. If the fee remitter does not receive a refund by September 30, 2020, please call the Burlington Finance Center at 1-802-288-7600. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address

    Is there any possibility for me get visa? It’s very frustrating me after long wait can anyone please advice

  8. My H1b from 2018 got approved in 2020.

    Got picked up in 2018 lottery and had received an RFE in Nov 2018 and the RFE got rejected in Jan 2019.

    Later my employer filed an MTR and after 1.5 years got another RFE in April 2020 and it got approved in June 2020.

    We had lost hope and filed in this year lottery as well and my petition didn’t get picked up this time. However, my previous petition got approved.

    Although there’s still a long way to get into US but just felt like sharing this with everyone who get rejected post RFE. Please take all your chances and convince your employer to file and MTR. You never know it might just get converted.

  9. Hi Kumar/Team,

    I was in US till Nov 2019 on L1A after which, I returned to India. I stayed in US for 5 years 7 months in total on L1A. This year (2020), my company filed H1B (cap) and my case is showing as ‘approved’ in USCIS site. I am yet to get the approved petition copy in this context.

    My questions:
    (1) I think my L1A duration would be counted towards H1B duration of 6 years since I have not yet lived outside US for 1 continuous year. If my petition start date is 1st Oct. 2020, does this mean my H1B will be valid only for 5 months (because I have stayed 5 years 7 months previously on L1A)?

    (2) Currently, visa stamping is not possible till 31-Dec-2020. Can my company apply for H1B extension once I complete 1 year outside US in Nov 2020? Will that allow my clock to reset again for 6 years on H1B?

    (3) Any other advice regarding the best possible solution in this context?


    • H1B_this_year,
      Because, it was applied as H1B and the previous class was different, USCIS may or may not use that as you are not in US anymore. Slightly grey area.
      As you went through lottery and got it picked, it is possible that you may get longer duration…but hard to say…
      Wait for the approval notice, it would have the details. Do update here as well.
      Also, as you mentioned, the best approach is to travel to US next year and then plan for extension, if you get shorter duration.

    • Hi ?

      Had some general questions on travel to US on H1b right now (Sep 2020)

      1) I’m a Canadian resident on h1b here … I heard US-CA border is closed for non-essential travel. Will it be possible for me to get back into US via plane if I visited Canada for personal reasons, during this border closure?

      2) If my current 797 is expiring at the end of Dec 2020 (stamp is valid till next year) and I wanted to visit Canada Nov to Dec (will come back in before 797 expiry), can you foresee any problems or risks with US Customs coming back in so close to 797 expiration? My employer has already started my 797 renewal at his end, so I will continue to be in status at all times while I’m in the country.

      • Hestia,
        1. If you fly, you should be fine. But, double check with airlines. On road, they may or may not…check with CBP post at the border.
        2. They may ask you, if the job would exist after Dec. But, as your employer started extension, you should be fine. Carry that document of receipt notice. Better thing to do is get h1B approved and carry the approval notice. This way you get the extended I-94 too.

  10. Hello Kumar,

    My petition is expiring on 29 Sep 2020 . I am not willing travel due to current Covid situation till end of this year.
    Could you please suggest if its possible for my employer to file my petition extension before 29th Sept 2020 while I am in India ?

    How much petition extension fees will be if I file my extension once current petition will be expired on 29th Sep 2020?


    • Dishi,
      Yes, they can file for extension. It will be pretty much similar to the previous one, except few fee items reduced.

  11. Hi Kumar,
    My H1B application was submitted for 2021 and in my LCA the prevailing wage was 55K which was correct but currently the wage levels have been changed and now the prevailing wage is 70K USD so what will happen now ? will USCIS will approve the same or employer will have to update it

    • Waqas Malik,
      As long as it was correct on the day of filing, it should be ok. But, they will need to file new LCA and then be compliant. Discuss with attorney.

  12. Hi Kumar,

    My H1B Lottery was cleared in 2019 and after that case transferred to another office in Sept 2019 and after that I received RFE on Feb,2020 for which my employer responded and status changed to Response of RFE Received on Apr,2020 .

    I studied somewhere that timelines for responding to RFE is 30-60 days and its almost 90 days, can you please tell
    a) if the processing is stopped for this year and the next update will be after this year ?
    b) if no then what more time USCIS may take to respond?
    c) what are the chances of approval?
    d) in case of rejection, is there any other step my employer can take to challenge the rejection?


    • Rajat,
      a. No, they will process, only stampings are stopped
      b. no one know, if not in premium, they can take their own time.
      c. it is hard to say, it varies by case.
      d. they can appeal, if they believe, it was not right…but it will take a very long time…

  13. Hi Kumar,

    I got h1b petition approval only till 3/31/2020 . But I didn’t go for stamping since employer me told to wait till they file extension. But, they couldn’t file for extension due to this corona issue and Now h1b ban in USA till December. My question is , am i eligible for cap exemption , In case if the ban is lifted next year?

    • H1B Visa,
      Well, if this is your First H1B and not got stamping, then you can file for cap exempt extension with the same employer, but transfer to others is slightly grey area.

  14. URGENT : :
    Hi Kumar,
    I have been selected to apply for H1B and I have submitted all the requested documents except the client letter and SOW. I am get released from previous project due to ramp down so they are not providing SOW and Client Letter.
    I have couple of questions.

    1.how to file without sow and client letter ?

    2.can i file H1B only with sow letter of previous project even i am not a part of project.

    3.what is date of H1B filing process ? is there any changes after suspending H1B visa for rest of the year by Trump.


    • H1B Query,
      1. You may be able to file now without them as there are changes in some rules with new memo. Check with your attorney.
      2. Check with your attorney.
      3. It is not suspended for USCIS filing, it is only for stampings until end of year.

      • Hi Kumar ,
        My H1b visa is stamped and i am having visa upto sep29 -2020. Currently i am in india. First Time travelling to US

        Can I travel now. Or the new h1b ban(up to december) applies to this also.

  15. URGENT ::: I have couple of questions related to wage level and SOC code , can some one please clarify.

    Back ground : 6 month back i have joined in big MNC as FTE. During H1B transfer i got Specialty occupation RFE and later its approved for 1Year. Now i am planning to for extensions and i have below queries.

    1) new LCA is required for extension with same client and location ?

    2) previous LCA procured with wage -2 and SOC code (15-1199.02) and i felt the SO – RFE is because of SOC code only what’s your thought?

    3) currently i am getting more than wage -3 salary, so can i change wage level During extension ?

    4) if SOC 15-1199.02 is a problem what is best SOC code for RPA Senior software developer ?

    • Veena,
      1. It depends on, if you have an existing LCA that is valid or not..You need a valid LCA for the entire duration of what you are requesting for.
      2. We cannot say just like that. It all depends on the job and duties.
      3. Salary does not matter, what matters is the fitment.
      4. Your attorney is the person to tell what fits the job code. Title means nothing.

  16. Hi Kumar,

    My H1B petition selected lottery last year and Visa stamping was done on Feb 2020.
    However due to current Covid -19 pandemic situation I could not travel to USA .

    My Visa is getting expired in Sept 2020 and US consulate is closed for Visa extension as of now and not sure when it will open .

    Will I be eligible for Visa extension if consulate will open post my Visa expiry date i.e. Sept 202 ?
    What is the chances of Visa extension considering same client and job location .
    Will I be eligible for drop box or they will ask for another interview ?

    Thanks in advance!

    • 4th Timer,
      You will need to first apply for H1B extension with USCIS before you go for consulate.
      Talk to your employer and have them file the extension and then you can go for stamping.
      Yes, you maybe eligible. I am not fully sure how it would work as you never traveled. The system will prompt for dropbox, if eligible and then consulate decides the next.

  17. Hi Kumar! I’m a H1B1-Singapore applicant who is waiting for my cos to process but my visa ends this month with two months of grace period after.

    I know all visas get processed at Vermont, and the cap gap extensions right now typically only apply to H1B as opposed to H1B1

    Problem is my visa may not get processed in time! Do you know anything I can do?

  18. Hi!
    My friend, currently staying in USA was laid off in March and his H1B grace period is ending in a few days. Since, now there is no option left but to convert to B2 to ensure further stay in USA, Could you please guide me through the possibilities of B2 to H1B or F1 visa conversion within 6 months period?
    [Her H1B was already picked in lottery just stamping was left].

    • Ananya,
      Well, the COS again from B2 to H1B is very tricky, the reason is the time it takes for approval of B2…Unless they get approval of B2, they may not be able to do the other COS again back…If lucky to get B2 COS done before 6 months, then maybe an option…

  19. Helo Kumar/Admin,
    My amendment application is applied 1.5 months back as per my employee, in that case, Does USCIS will send a receipt number? How long it takes to get receipt? Or send a email to attorney as I haven’t yet got any communication on this. What is your view, is USCIS totally stopped sendning receipt email too? Please reply. Thanks

    • patil,
      They are sending receipts. Talk to your attorney and employer. Nothing has changed. There maybe some delays, but not sure, if that long for amendments.

  20. Hi Kumar,

    I got my H1b stamped on April 2018 but unfortunately I couldnt travel to US because lack of projects with my emplyer

    What are my options ?

    1. Sadly my visa got expired on Sept 2019.
    2. Can I file for amendment from India with an help of an employer ?
    3. Am I eligible for visa transfer (normal or premium visa transfer) process?
    4. Any other valuable inputs from your side ?


    • PV,
      This is slightly grey area…As you had vista stamping done, you have very high chance to be considered as cap exempt. So, if you have an employer willing to file H1B, you can give it a try and apply for Transfer.

  21. hi Kumar,
    i have h1b approval till this year end and currently im waiting for stamping. my question is if im not making travel before the validity what would be the case? can i apply extension from India with 2019 lottery approval. or should i apply for new h1b next year and face lottery again? please help with my questions.

  22. Hi Kumar,

    Need you assistance,

    I was selected in h1b lottery for multiple employers , Does all the employers should file h1b for me?. If yes, what is the process and how they will justify.

    Thank you!.

    • SK,
      Legally, they are supposed to file. If they are bonafide offers from companies like Google and Microsoft, there is no need to justify, they both will file normally…If it was done to game to system by IT bodyshops, then it may create issues…

  23. Hi Kumar,
    Last year my employer raised H1B . I got RFE and then my RFE gets cleared and petition approved till 2022 but company say allocated work permit was valid till 31st March 2020.

    My LCA location was shutdown by our client in US hence my employer raised H1 amendment request to obtain new LCA for other location. But in all these process time lapsed and I didn’t get Visa appointment before 31st March. Now my employer is saying your petition is not valid anymore and either you have to raise cap exemption which has 95% chance of rejection or fresh applicaton. Could you please suggest is there any way to safe my H1B ?

    • From the very less details provided , you can apply for H1B amendment. Not sure why your employer is not willing to amend it for you. They can easily provided the existing petition is approved and valid till 2022.

    • Harry,
      I am assuming you have not traveled to US and have not worked on H1B yet. In such case, it is really a grey area…Work with your attorney and try to file it as extension and see, we do not know how USCIS would look at it. If it is same employer, then they may consider.

      • Neither I traveled nor I have Visa stamped. Current Employer just mentioned your petition is valid till 2022 but since allocated work permit after RFE approval was given till 31st March hence H1B cap exemption to be filed. They also mentioned since visa stamping not yet done hence rejection of H1B cap exemption is more.
        If USCIS reject employer will not get refund in this case hence better to apply fresh H1B.

        Please suggest should I insist them to file H1B cap exemption ?

        • Harry,
          Then, it is grey area…hard to say…Usually, the same employer may file as extension after the expiration, that’s the normal practice. For transferring h1B to other company, definitely, it is more difficult and much more grey area as you do not have stamping. Yes, there is no refund as such…
          Well, this is up to their attorney, you can ask them to file, if they are willing to take the chance and go for it.

  24. Hi,

    one of the consultant registered H1b form. Yesterday he sent Form I-797C and confirmed my registration was selected. Seeing my name and Confirmation number in document. Employer is asking me to pay money to apply for further H1b process.

    As this is new to me, wanted to double check how can we track with this Confirmation number OR if employer is cheating.


  25. Hi Kumar,

    Unfortunately, the status an additional Evidence was sent is a denial as CO doesn’t consider the position as speciality occupation. Now, I need for your advice as the employer asked me to re-apply again but I see that it is in vain as nothing will change and my documents will remain as it is. Secondly, he offered me to apply for EB3 ( green card). It is a logic to be refused for H1B and then apply for EB3? …. your advice is highly appreciated…. thanks

    • Moses,
      It is very hard to give generic advise. I suggest you speak to your immigration attorney at company or outside the company and seek advice on how best you can fix the issue with job or job role details, etc to fix the potential chance for denial.

  26. Hello Kumar,
    Small question , As per your old ping you said March 31st will be the first set of results. What does it mean ??All lottery results will not come at same time ??

    What do you mean first set and second set

    • Venkat1,
      Yes, the first set would come by March 31st. The second round may or may not happen, it all depends on USCIS, if they believe, they have got enough petitions or not. We do not know at this point, if they will do second round…

  27. Hi Kumar,

    I applied for H1B / regular/ non advanced and being picked in the lottery. Then I got RFE and before sending RFE response, upgraded to premium process. My question is my case status was as the following:

    —> case received
    —> Request for additional Evidence was sent
    —> Name was updated
    And now again —> request for additional request was sent

    I’m asking , what it means. Is it another RFE or what. I asked the lawyer and she said that she didn’t receive any email and she doesn’t understand this status on USCIS system and we should wait until we receive a notice( hard copy)..,, please advise if you know similar cases… thanks

    • Moses,
      The Name was updated status can be misleading, so do not worry. Yes, you need to wait until the physical copy arrives, do not worry. Stay positive. They are yet to get your documents I guess, so it is still showing old status…online status cannot be trusted, you need physical copy.

      • Thanks Kumar for your swift reply. They already got my documents as the status before ( name was updated) was ( response for RFE received and notice was mailed)… so it is not NOID and may be system error.., is it right?

        Thanks again

  28. Finally, My H1 got approved .. 🙂

    Thanks Kumar for all your comments …

    Was waiting to write this feedback from the last 6 years

    Received RFE Oct 19
    RFE Sent on Jan 20
    Got Approval in March [it took ~45 days to get result]
    SOW ( till April 2020) however got approved for almost 2.5 years

    All the best for Others .. Hope for the best

    • Great, Congratulation Bro.

      What all other Document submitted with SOW ( till April 2020) ..?
      You got 2.5 years of duration, really superb..What was other document, which duration based

  29. Hi Kumar,

    I am trying h1b this year .. i meat one consultancy.. as discussed with them I am waiting for mail from there lawyer. Still I didn’t get any mail.. I would like to know when is the actuall start date for this year..

    • Venkat,
      The registration is already open for FY 2021 from March 1st. It will last until March 20th. You need to reach out to them quickly.

  30. Hello,

    I was on Cap-exempt H-1B, never held regular H-1B.

    Lost job on Dec 20th, 2019. So by Feb 17th, it would be 60 days of unemployment. I-94 until Oct 2021.

    My question is :

    1) I’m currently in India, I plan to wait until the new employers’ H-1B petition is approved, with that approval notice can I come back to US WITHOUT going for a visa stamp? (I have H-1B visa stamp until Oct 2021 from my previous employer who revoked visa)

    2) Or is it absolutely necessary get new visa stamp with new employers’ I-797?

    • Dexter9129,
      1. Well, I am not sure, if that would work or not as your previous one is for cap exempt one…So, discuss with an attorney on this or email embassy to get confiramtionn,
      2. I dont know, speak to an attorney and write to US embassy.
      Do update it here for community benefit.

  31. Case History, H1B picked in lottrey for non ad for 2019 and got rfe during october. Responsed to RFE and upgraded to PP, case was approved .

    The catch here is, the case was approved only from December to February (which was the contract end date in sow)

    So applied for cap exempt extension(for same employer and client)with revised Client letter stating they will extend the contract for a min of 3 years ..(New SOW still in progress and not signed yet)

    Filed in Premium Processing in Nebraska center and got approval on 12th day without RFE.

    Thank you god.

    Wish everyone good luck here

    • What all document you have submitted..?

      My case is also same, got approval from Dec 2019 to Feb2020 and yet stamping couldn’t done due to less time(got only few day when i received) and now preparing document for extension(same Role, Customer, Location etc)

      • Client Letter(Most Important) , Right To Control Letter by your employer(Very Important) , New SOW( if it is not yet signed , it has to be mentioned in your client letter that the contract will be extended from this period to this period).
        A document from your employer which says, as a matter of practice when a contract expires with the client and the new contract is still in progress we as an organisation continue to provide services and dont wait for the new contract to be signed.(Rythym Of Business).

  32. Hello,

    I have a quick question: My h1b application has been picked up in the lottery for 2020 fiscal, but I did not hear any news from the USCIS (I mean RFE or approval), even it has been almost a year. I am wondering why my petition is stuck. Could anybody explain that is it a normal procedure or something went wrong with my case or employer?
    Thank you

    • Xulfi,
      The only person to tell the update on your case is your attorney or your employer. You can ask them to follow up or expedite it to premium processing. The normal process is to work with your employer and they follow up with USCIS.

  33. Hello,

    I am currently working on H4-EAD and have H1-B approved with consulate process. As of now, I have not moved to H1-B and still on an H4 visa. If I plan to change my employer , what will happen to my H1-B approval? In future will I able to apply for H1-B with new employer as transfer with new employer if I decide to do so. My concern is in such case do I have to go with the lottery system again or can I just apply for H1-B as transfer or change of status .

    • Well, this is slightly grey area…usually they ask for status during transfer….there are cases that are successful and some with failures too..so, hard to say….If you have a choice, apply for H1B transfer and test it out, if it works then work on it for few days at least so that you will be cap exempt in future…This way, you will be sure that it will be always cap exempt…talk to an attorney as well.

  34. Hi Kumar

    We have received H4 visa with gender error. I have contacted support team and they suggested to go any drop off locations of India and submit two copies of ‘ CGI submission form’. What does it mean? Is it ds-160? or payment receipt or something else? Could you please help me with this?

    • Well, CGI is the agency, I am assuming they have a form at the location that has some details. I dont know what that form is too. The guidance on this page https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-gen-faq.asp is that you email them. Try calling them or visit the location immediately and sort it out…Do update here for community benefit on what was done.

  35. Hi,
    Response to my RFE was sent in Dec 2019. Status was updated from Response to RFE was received to NAME WAS UPDATED. It’s at same status from Jan 23’20. Are there any delays of RFE processing? How much time should I wait?

    • Peter,
      There is no SLA for processing, unless you have filed it in premium processing. So, you may have to wait…If you need faster decision, you need to upgrade to premium processing.

      • Hi Kumar,

        My H1B Visa got denied. Message was : We sent you a denial notice that explains why we denied your case and your options. Please follow the instructions in the notice.
        Can you let me know what will usually be next steps ?


    • Yes, you cannot search in iCERT system anymore. They will be only available using disclosure data. You need rely on sites like https://h1bgrader.com/ which publishes that data in readable format.

  36. Finally my H1 got approved today.

    Received RFE by Dec 1st week
    Upgraded to Premium & RFE received by Jan 20th
    Got Approval today. [it took ~20 days to get result on premium]

  37. Hi Kumar,
    In 2019, My fresh H1b lottery picked up and later received RRE.. Replied RFE with CL, SOW(3 month valid) and MSA, now got approved but only i797 is valid for few days (approved based on SOW),
    So now if go for extension for the same employer,customer, location and roles then again new LCA is required..?
    1. or I have to go with same old LCA
    2. How about the total cost for H1b extension, if all same(Employer, Client, role and location).

    Because if I get long duration in i797 then only I can go for stamping and can travel

    • 1. If all same and LCA valid, you maybe able to re-use it…I would say check with attorney on this.
      2. It will be lesser as it is extension, some fees are not required.

  38. Hi Kumar,

    I got my fresh H1B petition approved, Now looking for Stamping. But my clients are moving to nearby location in same town (Minneapolis) by March 30. So If I am going for stamping after March 30, will it be a problem ? What should I do in such scenario ? It would be great if I get any help soon. Thank You

    • Allu123,
      If it is within the same MSA ( metropolitan statistical area) and nothing is changing, then there may not be need for anything like Amedment or new LCA. Only your attorney would be the right person to tell on this. I suggest you check this with them, if they both are in same MSA.

  39. Bachelors in Tech: CS
    Exp: 15 yrs

    The application got picked and was notified in May 2019(Non-Premium).
    Got an RFE regarding occupation speciality in last week of August.
    Attorney responded in Mid-Oct.

    No change in the status since then, should be worried?

    • Well, there can be delays during processing. Not necessarily you need to be worried…If your employer is ok, you should upgrade to get the result soon. No point in waiting…

      • Hey Kumar & other,
        I received RFE by Dec 1st week. Replied to RFE & RFE Received on Jan 20th [ It was upgraded to Premium on replying to RFE]

        Still yet to get response on my RFE !

        Is there is delay in Premium response as well?

        • 4thTimer,
          Well, hard to say, if there are delays. I would suggest, you check with your attorney…They can follow up on the premium processing requests.

  40. Case Denied:
    My case is denied on 31st Jan 2020.

    Lottery picked in July.
    RFE in August.(EE/SO)
    RFE response received in Nov.
    Denial Jan.

    Regular/Non-AD/California Center. Disappointed but all’s for good.

  41. Hi Kumar,

    I am on valid H4 Visa. My H1B is picked last year(Applied on change of status) and its still under processing, recently we answered RFE on H1B. I am planning for India travel. My question is do I need to go for stamping if H1B is approved when I am in India? My worry is I am returning back in a month by Feb end, I may not get stamping dates if its approved around Feb 20.
    Do they allow me in the port of entry if I do not go for stamping in India and come on H4 even though my H1B is approved.


    • Transition,
      If it was filed as Change of Status, the COS will be abandoned, if you travel out…Discuss with your attorney and plan accordingly.

  42. Hi All,
    what all documents I can provide to response 221G form query ” submit documentation from USCIS showing you were in status from Jan 30 2012 to Feb 26 2013 ” .
    I was on L1B Blanket Visa during this time in USA.

  43. Hi Kumar,

    MY lottery was picked up in May and got RFE in September regarding Specialty occupation and right to control. We responded to RFE on 24/Oct/2019 with all the documents. That time we responded with SOW with expiry of 31/Oct/2019 and a draft version of SOW which was set for renewal next month.

    Then i got NOID stating that SOW is expiring on 31/Oct/2019 and there is no proof for the next work available. I was given time till 25/Jan/2020 to respond. We have provided renewed SOW with validity till 31/Oct/2020. We provided this SOW and MSA agreement in response to that.

    My response was received on 22-Jan-2020 by USCIS. Just wanted to know is there any timeline for USCIS to address NOID response as they gave only 30 days to respond which we responded.

    How much time they will take to respond now as the initial RFE was issued on September.

    • Nishant,
      It is USCIS discretion, they give shorter duration for NOID..it is very common, I have seen many. You should upgrade to premium and get results faster, if you cannot wait…there is no SLA for them to judge, so you need to wait.

    • hi kumar

      I am in h1b visa. my spouse is planning to convert his h1 to l1 in premium and apply l2 and l2ead for me.

      1. what’s the timeframe for receiving ead upon l2 visa is approved for me ?. we are in texas with Vermont as allocated center.

      2. Can I still work in h1 until I receive the l2 ead card ? I think I cant but want to confirm.

      3. what’s the best way to receive quick processing of ead? do I need to mail everything or do it online?

      please advise.

      • 1. It is not visa, rather your L2 approval notice. The processing times are really long as well for the L2 and L2 EAD due to the Biometrics thing…hard to say. You can check H4 biometrics experiences to get an idea.
        2. Yes, technically you are in old status until the COS happens.
        3. Well, not much…Unless you have lost job or having medical bills to pay and then you can try to expedite…but, it may or may not work.

  44. Hi Kumar,

    Working for Indian Consulting Company. In regular quota, got RFE on 17th Sep 2019 and submitted RFE Response on 12th Dec 2019(Last date was on 14th Dec 2019 to submit RFE) and received notification from USCIS to RFE Response Received on 14th Dec 2019(also in USCIS website updated for the same on 14th Dec 2019).

    Now got approval on 21st Dec 2019(In regular quota).
    But here, now got approval only as per SOW (Provided direct Client letter for 3 years with MSA and others doc).

    My SOW was only for 3 months(its only update after 3 month), so got approval till Feb 2019(Dec 2019 to Feb 2020).

    So what can be next here..? I have copy of my Form I-797C
    If i change my Client(with same employer and internal other client )….?
    If change both(Employer and Client)

    So now, according to you or some expert here…what can be better options..?

    • It is up to their discretion to give validity. The option is to file an extension immediately so that you can get more longer duration. If you change client, you may need to file amendment, depending on how it was filed…talk to your attorney. If you change both, you can file for Transfer…assuming you had H1B status and worked in US in the past, otherwise it is slightly grey area.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for your quick response.

        I don’t have H1B in past and this is fresh/new H1b Visa and still Stamping is pending (Consular Process, India)

        My concern is here:

        If go for Extension(again SOW for 3 month, CL-3 years with MSA and other docs) then what is chances for longer validity…?

        1. How much is current cost for every extension(all same- client, location, etc)…?

        2. How much cost for Amendment(For client and Location changes with same Employer/Consulting, India)…?

        3. How much cost for Transfer, If change all(Employer. Client, Location, salary etc)…?

        • Well, only USCIS knows and your attorney maybe
          1. It is same as normal application. Read H1B filing fee
          2. It is same as normal application…does not matter..
          3. Transfer is a new application, so same…

          • Hi Kumar

            For extension , only $460(total cost without Attoreny fees) is required and not the whole other fees(Public Law, ACWIA, and Anti-Fraud) like fresh/new H1B.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Still not cleared from below table list, how much total cost will be for extension:-

            From USCIS website as you shared
            The table below explains when a petitioner must pay the ACWIA fee.

            Type of Filing Requires ACWIA Fee

            1. Initial H-1B petition on behalf of a particular beneficiary: Yes

            2. Change of status to H-1B or change of H-1B employer: Yes

            3. First petition requesting an extension of H-1B stay by the same petitioner filing on behalf of the same beneficiary: Yes

            4. Amending H-1B petitions of the same beneficiary not requesting an extension of H-1B stay: No

            5. Second (or later) petition requesting an extension of H-1B stay by the same petitioner filing on behalf of the same beneficiary: No

            I am getting confused from point 3(yes, Need to pay for ACWIA) and point 5(No Fees)

            Please elaborate in details, like below in point :
            1. Base filing fee $460
            then what is next fee…?

  45. Hi Kumar and Admin,

    I m working for a leading Desi IT Consulting Company, I came to US on Nov 2018, Now i am changing my client from Chicago to Texas, I have 13 yrs experience and getting 90K salary and my degree is in non-IT background, and the SOC code would be 15-1142.What are the chances of my Visa amendment getting successful. Anything i should consider before filing.

    Many Thanks in Advance!

    • sacred techie,
      It is hard to say just based on the SOC code alone, it all depends on various factors like the role and how well you fit, including the client info and work there…So, your attorney is the best person to say that…

    • It’s so surprising that you have 13 years of experience and still you receive 90K per Annum.Does 15-1142 come under Specialty Occupation ? Desi IT MNCs are not good to work for !!!

  46. Hi Kumar,

    I am planning to go to stamping in India. I have my wife and 2 kids with me, but my younger one(4 years) was born in US. Do they allow him into US consulate? Please let us know so that we can think of an alternative?


    • Transition,
      I am not sure, if they would allow or not. As the baby is US citizen, it maybe different. I would suggest you email the embassy and check with them. Try calling UStravelDocs as well and ask. Do update here for community benefit.

  47. Hi kumar,

    Is it possible to update ds 160 number after booking the visa slot. I can see the field is editable but it was told update option is no longer available. Is it true? can we attend the same slot if I am able to update or should I reschedule it? I have submitted ds 160 but need to update again. Could you please suggest ?

    • In general, you cannot update the filed by yourself, not sure if that has changed. The usual practice is that you fill in a new DS-160 and carry the updated one to the visa interview and tell that that you have another DS-160 and to use that, they use the new one that you have and update it for you…Maybe, it has changed….if you can update, you should be fine to update…Just take print out of the before and after for backup purpose. Yes, you can go for the same slot. Call the customer service, if you are in doubt. Also, do update here how it goes for community benefit.

      • Thank you very much for your suggestion Kumar.

        Yes. I was able to update the ds 160 and it got updated automatically for the appointment and slots I have booked remain the same. So the conclusion is now we can update the ds 160 even after booked the visa appointment.

          • Sure Kumar. Now I am in other confusion to enter the details for the section of present employer or school name. I have completed my notice period by 24th Jan in India and now it has become as my previous company. Could you please help me out what should I enter here since I need to go for visa interview in Feb first week?

          • The details must be relevant on the day of your interview. If you don’t work for them, then you need to update accordingly on DS-160.

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