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H1B Visa 2021 – Latest News, Updates, FAQs

Below article has all details, FAQs, latest news updates related to H1B Visa Fiscal Year(FY) 2021 season that started in March 2020 with New H1B Registration Process. This article is continuously updated as news emerge.

If you are planning to apply for H1B Visa in March 2021 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Season, check out article : H1B Visa 2022 Season News, Lottery, Updates

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

USCIS News : H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached, No More wait list

February 16th, 2021 : Finally USCIS issued a press release today stating that they have reached H1B cap for FY 2021 Season and lottery final decisions are updated in registration system. Below is the summary of update.

  • USCIS held H1B registrations filed in March 2020 in wait list and did not given final “Not Selected” decision until Feb 15th, 2021. They gave final decision on Feb 16th, 2021 indicating that the cap is reached. There is no more wait listed registrations.
  • Back in August 2020, they had second round of H1B lottery done in the wait listed petitions. Since August 2020, there were no additional rounds of lottery done to select H1B registrations to mee the FY 2021 cap.
  • If you are still waiting for final decision, check with your employer, they would see “Not Selected” Status.
  • USCIS also updated that continue to accept petitions for cap exempt petitions like H1B Extensions, Transfers, Amendments, concurrent filings.
  • Below is the screenshot of the news and Official News Release link
  • If you are planning for upcoming H1B season, read H1B Visa FY 2022 FAQs
H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached - Feb 2021
H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached – Feb 2021

H1B Second Round Lottery for FY 2021 ?

Update ( Confirmed ) – August 14th, 2020 : Today firstly, attorney Greg update on Twitter that there was second round lottery done by USCIS and additional applicants were picked. Many attorneys confirmed the same. Also, AILA has given official update indicating the process to check the H1B Second Round lottery details. Below is the update and AILA news screenshot only given to their members.

  • The Second Round registration notices that were selected would say “August 2020 Selection of Reserve Registration”
  • They will have filing period listed as “8/17/2020 – 11/16/2020”.
  • User who are selected in second round can file H1B petitions starting from August 17th until November 16th, 2020.
  • You need to include your second lottery selection notice and send it to the same location that is listed on the Selection notice. The start date of the petition has to be October 1st, 2020 as this is still for FY 2021 season.
  • Many of our users also confirmed that they have got selected. So, this news is real and confirmed. If you are still waiting, you should check with your employer and ask them to verify.
  • As of now, there is NO official announcement from USCIS on the second round lottery and how many were selected.
  • Also, this second round H1B lottery is only for someone who already submitted their registration in March. It is not for anyone new. They should already be in queue.
  • The Second round lottery selection includes both US Masters quota and regular quota.
AILA - USCIS Second Lottery H1B 2021
Second Round H1B Lottery News Alert by AILA for FY 2021

Update (Unofficial) – Aug 11, 2020: There was an update on Twitter by attorney Greg Siskind saying USCIS may run second round of lottery for existing H1B registrations that were filed in April. This update by him is probably based on some insider information through his contacts or through AILA.

But, as of today, there is NO official update either on USCIS website in their news alerts or any official communication sent by them to the stakeholders. Below is the tweet for your review. In the past, as per some other attorneys inputs, there are no decline in filings, but again, every law firm seem to have different volumes….So, do not get too excited by this news, take it with pinch of salt.


Many are speculating or asking, if there would be any second round lottery. The reason is, if many applicants did not file in FY 2021 season due to the COVID-19 situation. In reality, some of the applicants lost their jobs and some were not able to file, but for the most part based on information from many attorney, most of the H1B applicants selected in initial registration lottery were able to file the H1B petition.

The reason is, the job losses due to COVID-19 are very less in the Computer Science sector, where most of the H1Bs are filed. Also, usually USCIS would usually select about 12% to 15% more applications in lottery to factor in these kind of non-filings & denials. So, the chances of second lottery are low and as of July 20th, 2020, we do not have any official update from USCIS on the second round lottery.

If there will be a second round lottery, it will be very likely published on USCIS website or at least your employer would be notified electronically. So, always check with your employer. Do NOT go by any rumours. We will update the article as we hear any update.

Trump US Entry Ban Applies to H1B Visa 2021 Holders, Exceptions

President Trump signed an Executive Order on June 22, 2020 that bans entry of H1B Visa holders to US until December 31, 2021. If you are a new H1B Holder planning to enter US from your home country with stamping, it impacts you and you cannot enter US as per the Executive order, unless you qualify for National Interest Exceptions.

On August 12th, 2020, US State Department gave additional guidance indicating the National Interest Exceptions for the H1B holders. You need meet at least two of the five criteria they have listed for Critical Sectors and doing Critical work for them same sectors. You can check all details on the same at H1B Entry Ban Exceptions – Aug 2020

Also, this entry ban does not apply to any other visa holder who file H1B 2021 application as Change of Status (COS) with USCIS. Check complete details at original executive order at : Trump H1B Travel Ban Executive Order until Dec 31, 2020

New H1B Registration System

USCIS launched New H1B Registration System for FY 2021 Season. Below were the dates for the FY 2021 new registration system that was held in March 2020.

  • H1B Employer Account Registration : From Feb 24th, 2020.
  • H1B Registration Period : March 1st, 2020 through March 20th, 2020.
  • H1B Registration Selection Results : Latest by March 31st, 2020.

You can check the complete details at : USCIS Update on H1B Registration Process for FY 2021. The details shared are inline with most of the details shared in December 2019, you can read the previous update at H1B Registration Dates Confirmed by USCIS

H1B Registration System, Lottery Order

USCIS, with the new H1B registration system has introduced two fundamental changes: one is related to the H1B petition filing process and second is to the order of H1B Lottery in the process.

  • H1B Filing Process with Registrations : As per the new filing process, first USCIS would have a H1B registration period for employers to submit registrations using an online system with very minimum information related to their H1B application related to a candidate and their company. There is a $10 fee per H1B registration submitted by the employer.
  • H1B Registrations Lottery Order : After the registrations are closed, USCIS will run lottery on these registrations in a new order, different from previous years’ H1B lottery.  They will first select applicants to fill the regular quota cap and then the unselected master’s petitions are selected again to fill the master’s quota cap.  The change is intended to help the Masters quota petitions have higher chances. After the lottery is done, employers with selected applicants in lottery should submit the full H1B petition with USCIS.

New H1B Process Flow from FY 20201 : Below is the high-level process with H1B registration System.

H1B Visa Registration Process Flow Final Rule

For complete details like what details to submit for lottery, how they will select, etc. read H1B Registration Process, Lottery, Info

H1B Registration System Online Tool

USCIS released the final version of the H1B registration online system with final flow of screens and what all information is required for applicants on Feb 6th, 2020. It is pretty much same as the preliminary version that was released in late 2019 for user testing. For details on the tool, complete flow, screenshots read H1B Registration Online Tool – Flow, Screens .

Now that we know the registration system, let’s look at the dates.

H1B 2021 Season Start, End Dates

The dates for FY 2021 season were slightly different from previous years as we had new H1B Registration system for FY 2021 season. We had two dates : One for the registration period and second for the actual filing of the complete H1B package. Let’s look at those dates.

H1B Registration Period Dates

USCIS had H1B registration Period open from March 1st through March 20th, 2020. It was technically open for 3 weeks and was closed on March 20th. USCIS announced that they have closed the initial registration period on March 20th in their press release

H1B Registration Results, Sample Notice

USCIS announced initial set of H1B Registration results on March 28th and they indicated that initial set of results would be notified to all employers by March 31st. Employers or attorneys would need to login to the H1B registration Online system to view the results. If the applicant is picked in lottery or initial registration selection process, their status would be changed to “Selected”. They will be able to download a selection notice and that has to be used to submit the actual H1B petition. Check out Sample H1B Registration Selection Notice.

H1B Petition Filing Dates fir FY 2021 Season

All the applicants selected in the H1B Registration Lottery Process in March, were given an option to file for FY 2021 season starting from April 1st until June 30th. All the applicants got exactly 90 days. The filing option for FY 2021 season is over. Technically, if you have missed to file during the time specified in the H1B Registration Selection Notice, then you cannot file the petition anymore.

In short, H1B visa FY 2021 petition filing dates are from April 1st, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

No H1B filing Deadlines changed with COVID-19

There were no changes to the filing deadlines for H1B petitions with COVID-19. June 30th, 2020 was the last date to file. If you have missed the deadline, you cannot file H1B Petition. You lost your chance for FY 2021 and need to apply for FY 2022 Season that starts next year.

H1B 2021 Quota Cap – Regular vs Masters

If you are new and hear the word H1B cap, don’t be confused. It is just the maximum number of available H1B slots for a category. There are two categories Regular and Masters. You can read more at What is H1B Cap ? Regular vs Masters quota ? There were no changes for H1B regular or masters cap for FY 2021 and they stayed the same like previous years.  Below are the quota numbers :

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

One small caveat, 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 was 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 Visa 2021 Lottery Predictions  

Update : As predicted below, there was H1B Lottery for FY 2021 season and about 275,000 H1B Registrations were filed.

Looking at the extreme demand in the last few years, we can very likely assume that there will be H1B lottery. If you are new to this process, read What is H1B Lottery ? Process ? We had lottery for the past 7 consecutive years. Check History of H1B Visa Cap Reach Dates, Lottery.  Now, the question is how many petitions will be filed. Last year, with so much of upfront investment from employers, there were about 200K petitions filed. Now, with the low bar of just $10 per registration, there is not much burden for employers. They may be willing to file more registrations.  It could be USCIS trap as well to weed out the duplicate petitions….We have written a detail article on the same, read H1B Visa 2021 Lottery Predictions to get idea on the predictions and numbers.

 H1B Visa 2021 Lottery Results Dates

In previous years,  USCIS would take a very long time to return the H1B packages that were not selected in H1B Lottery. For FY 2020, it was August 29, 2019, when they were returned. So, some were waiting from April 1st through August 29th, 2019 for about 150 days to know their final lottery results with hope.

  • Initial H1B Lottery Results : This year for FY 2021 season, with H1B registration system, the whole process was electronic and they announced results much earlier. USCIS announced H1B Registration Lottery Results for FY 2021 on March 28th and they informed that the results for the initial round of registration selections will be informed no later than March 31st. The remaining registrations that were not picked in first run of lottery will be in waitlist or pool for future lottery, if needed.
  • Waitlisted H1B Registrations : USCIS said that they will waitlist the applications that were not selected in first round as “Submitted” until the end of fiscal year. They said that they will make the H1B registrations results for everyone, who were not selected in registrations lottery as ‘Not Selected’, only at the end of the fiscal year. Now, the end of fiscal year is usually September 30th for USCIS, but it is not clear, in what context USCIS is referring to for end of fiscal year…if they mean, end of H1B fiscal year 2021 quota or end of USCIS fiscal year. Worst case, you may need to wait until September 30th to be very sure that you were not selected in H1B registration lottery.

What is H1B Visa 2021 Filing Fee ?

H1B visa petition filing involves two things, one is the fee your employer pays to USCIS, second is the fee that they may need to pay an Immigration attorney, if they do not have in-house immigration team. The overall fee can vary anywhere from $1,720 USD to  $7,910 USD + the Immigration Attorney Fee.

Below is a table of the summary of the H1B visa fee. For complete details on H1B fees, Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee – Who pays for What ? 

H1B Fee – Paid Towards Amount in USD
H1B Registration Fee $10
 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) $1,440 ( from Dec 2, 2019)
Immigration Attorney Fee Varies from $500 to $3000
H1B 2021 Fee Details

Though USCIS has published Fee Increase Rule in Federal Register, it was not implemented for FY 2021. Also, it is not effective yet and still in rule making stages.

How to find H1B visa 2021 Sponsors? 

If the current company that you work at does not sponsor H1B, it can be difficult to find a good sponsor. Due to the cost involved and process overhead, many small companies stay away from filing H1B petitions.  With unknown factors like H1B Visa lottery, it gets even more challenging to convince an employer. In any case, depending on your situation, you would be in one of the three scenarios to find a sponsor. 

  • F1 Student in US, OPT holders: The best option for F1 students in school is to 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. If you are on OPT, make sure you work at an employer, who can sponsor H1B. If not, switch your employer to a H1B sponsor.  Find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool or  H1B Grader – Sponsors Database
  • International Professionals  : If you are outside of US, your best bet is to find an multi-national company ( MNC) and work through them to sponsor H1B visa. Many try the IT body shop route, but it is subject to lot of fraud and you need to be careful. Many rules related to H1B are enforced more with Trump Administration now and you need to be careful. 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 !

Read step by step guide for finding sponsors : Guide on How to Find H1B Visa Sponsors 2021

H1B 2021 Registration, Case Tracker

Did you submit or plan to submit H1B Registration for FY 2021 ?  In general, the registration process is new and also during H1B application processing, the wait can be long and frustrating to see your status not move….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 ! Add your case on H1B 2021 Tracker

Processing Times – Regular vs Premium

In general, you can file your H1B petition in regular or premium processing. If filed in premium, you will get your decision in 15 days and it costs you additional $1440 USD. To understand differences, read H1B Regular vs Premium Processing Timelines.

In short, if you file in Regular processing, there is no estimated SLA set for it. It can take anywhere from few weeks to few months. But, if you file in Premium processing, you get the result in 15 days.

As in previous years, for FY 2021 USCIS has suspended premium processing from April 1st for all petitions until early June. But, with the COVID-19 situation, USCIS cancelled premium processing indefinitely. Finally, they opened up premium processing starting from June 22nd, 2020. Now, premium processing is available for H1B 2021 season applications. Check more at : USCIS Premium Processing Opens in June 2020

Latest News Updates for FY 2021 Season

Below is the list of latest news by date related to FY 2021 season. We will update here as we have new updates.

  • Feb 16th 2021 ( Official ) : USCIS updated that they have reached the cap for FY 2021 season and no more wait list or lottery would be done. Read USCIS news
  • August 14th, 2020 ( Confirmed) : Today, USCIS ran second round lottery for H1B visa 2021 season. It was run on the existing H1B registrations that were filed for FY 2021 back in March. Many attorneys confirmed the news and also AILA issued practice alert. Many of our users confirmed too. Check above section on H1B second lottery for more info and alert details.
  • August 11, 2020 ( Unofficial) : There was a tweet by Attorney Greg Siskind saying that there will be second round of lottery. As of now, there is NO Official news by USCIS or any communication to stake holders. We need to wait and see.
  • August 9, 2020 ( Unofficial ) : There are delays in getting H1B receipt notices. Some are taking over 30 days to get receipt notice. So nothing to panic, if you have not received the H1B receipt notice.
  • June 22nd, 2020 : Trump signed an Executive Order that bans entry of H1B holders into US. If you are someone planning to get US visa and enter US, you cannot enter. Check more at Trump H1B US Entry Ban Details
  • April 13th, 2020 : USCIS issued alert for stakeholders regarding delays with processing of data entry, receipt notices today. Check H1B 2021 Delays with Receipt Generation, Data Entry – May 1st
  • March 28th, 2020 : USCIS updated that the H1B Lottery for Registrations is completed and employers would see results in the online portal by March 31st, 2020. Read full details at H1B Registration Lottery Completed
  • March 16th, 2020 : USCIS confirmed that premium processing is not available from April 1st for FY 2021. For full details read H1B Premium Processing FY 2021 Updates
  • Feb 21st, 2020 : USCIS again confirmed the filing dates for registration and the submission dates for registration in a press release. It is same as before and nothing has changed. The above article covers the same dates and info. You can read USCIS press release
  • Feb 7th, 2020 : USCIS Stakeholder call with updates on upcoming Registration process. Read Latest Update on H1B Registration Process, Info
  • Jan 10th, 2020 : USCIS publishes federal register notice confirming the registration process for FY 2021 H1B season. Read H1B Registration 2021 – USCIS Notice, Period, Fee
  • Dec 6th, 2019 : USCIS Confirms the launch of H1B Registration System for FY 2021 Season. Check H1B Registration System Dates, Info
  • Nov 7th, 2019: USCIS finalizes to charge $10 Fee for H1B Registrations. Anticipated to be effective for FY 2021 season. Check USCIS press release

Common FAQs

Can I still file H1B petition after June 30th, 2020 ?

No, if you were selected in H1B Lottery in March 2020, your deadline was June 30th, 2021. You cannot file past that date.

My company did not file with COVID-19, Can I transfer Registration ?

No, you cannot transfer the registration. To be counted towards cap, you should have filed H1B petition by June 30th, 2020. If you missed to file, you need to go through lottery again next year.

When will the second round H1B Lottery be done ?

No official update, if there would be second round lottery from USICS as of July 20th, 2020. We do not even know, if there will be second round as USICS always selects 12 to 15% more entries during lottery to factor in non-filings, denials.

I have a job offer now, can I apply for H1B still for FY 2021 ?

No, you cannot. Your next option is to apply for H1B FY 2022 season that starts in March 2021.

We will continue to update this article as we have more updates. You can bookmark this page.

   

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1,072 Comments

  1. Hello kumar,

    Documents received to USCSIS on June 30th and no update on receipt till now .
    Can do premium even without receipt number ?
    any thoughts ?

    Reply
    • American MNC employer applied from India first time regular process
      Lottery applied date 17th March
      Lottery pick date Mar 27th
      Unofficial lottery Notified date April 1st
      Case received date May 19th
      Case Notice date Jun 5th
      Case transfer date Jun 10th (Vermont to Nebraska)
      Case approved date Aug 6th

      Awaiting for Slot booking when embassy opens in India for stamping . Finally happy ending for now .

      Reply
  2. My case status has been stuck at “Name was updated” since June 16th, any idea why is it not changing. The status i know does not mean anything since we ( me or the lawyer) did not ask for any change in name or address.

    Anyone in the same boat ? Its already been 48 days.

    Reply
  3. Hi Kumar,

    There was a surprise visit of immigration officer at my workplace. Had an hour long discussion on my projects, job duties & responsibilities, policies, hours of work, Task assignments. Salary details, start date….etc
    Asked to send DL copy, timesheet of one week and project details along with manager contact details.

    Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      I submitted my H1B documents with regular processing to California on end of June and still waiting for the receipt.

      I’m concern that the H1B process (including RFE if any) might take longer than September 30, and if the H1B got denied I will accrue unlawful presence immediately. Please advise if we should submit a Premium Processing or if there’s any other back up plan..

      Thanks

      Reply
      • If you are still waiting for a receipt then you cannot upgrade as you need a receipt number to upgrade your application. If you check has been cashed then ask your lawyer to get the receipt number from the back. You should have your receipt by now since its been more than 30 days,call USCIS and they will disclose the receipt number, they talked to my manager and gave her the receipt number after 20 minute of conversation.

        You should upgrade to PP and invest whatever 1200 or 1400 something dollars, looks like you are being cheap here thinking about the money. Also Why do you think Kumar designed a specific back up plan for you ? Come on dude – a statement like this from a skilled labor ? Use your head. If your H1b is denied, you will be in the same status as you are in now.

        Reply
        • Assuming the denial was not based on a failure to maintain F-1 status, he is still in his grace period at the time of the denial after September 30 and he can remain in the US until November 29. During this time, he can now file a change of status before November 29 to some other visa type. Or, he may be able to enroll in a new program with classes starting in January to continue his F-1 status and obtain a new I-20 before November 29. This will depend on whether his SEVIS record was terminated when the H-1B was denied.

          Reply
      • James,
        No, you will not as long as the petition is pending with USCIS. It is better to go for premium processing to avoid the wait.

        Reply
  4. Hi Kumar,

    I would like to share my happiness with you.
    My petition got approved yesterday, 4th time its got approved.
    I have a doubt regarding my passport, can I want to change the address in my passport but if I get a new passport my passport number is going to change right. All the places my current passport number is updated, will there be any problem?

    Reply
  5. Hi Kumar ,
    My is h1 transfer case .. We have sent the response around a month ago but in case status page it is not yet updated as Response received is this common ? (EAC center) ..

    Reply
    • H1 Hopeful,
      With the pandemic, there are many delays with notices and processing, so do not worry, it can take time. You can try to upgrade to get faster result.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        Initially while applying for H1B cap regular, the attorney has submitted my documents to Vermont Service Center and received the receipt notice from Vermont Service center. But, recently it was upgraded to premium processing and my employer has sent i-907 and check to California Service center. Is this correct? can they sent it to a different service center(as I see that my case is still being handled by Vermont service center and also my employer have not received any transfer notice). I’m just wondering if the address that they need to send depends on my current work location/employer location…as my work location and my employer location both are in florida. Please confirm. Thanks!

        Reply
          • H1B premiumquery,
            The general guidance is to send to the same location where they sent the H1B. But, nothing to worry, usually, they will forward the premium processing request to the correct center. The only issues is the 15 days clock only starts after the original location receives it. You can read alert info on this page : https://www.uscis.gov/i-129-addresses

  6. Hello kumar,

    Is there anything like H1b receipt are not getting for the people who are applying from INDIA ?

    I have applied for H1b CAP from INDIA , Submitted all docs but still my employer didn’t confirmed me the receipt number .

    Submitted docs 3 weeks before itself .

    Reply
        • Don’t worry guys there is a lot of delay in getting receipts. EAC received my documents on May 12th, generated receipt on May 17th and my employer got it on June 8th. This was the case in May itself. Now it will be more delayed. I also applied from India.

          Reply
      • Even my h1b application was submitted (reached California Center on June 29) till now the employer has not received the Receipt Notice nor has the check been cashed. Any one on the same boat ?

        Reply
        • Hello raju,

          Yes , I have Submitted documents almost 4 weeks back . Still no response on receipt number .

          any one on same boat ?

          Kumar@ Can you please shed some light on this ? Do we need to worry about this ?

          Reply
          • enam, raju,
            Nothing to worry. Many are in the same boat, so do not worry, there are delays with getting receipt notices. As long as USCIS has received the documents, you are fine.

          • Hi enam,

            People are waiting here for receipt from more than a month. I completed one month also this week, hoping to get it this week or next week.

            @All, please keep updating here about your receipt status, that will help other a lot.

          • I am also waiting more than a month , I haven’t heard any one receiving receipt numbers who have submitted their documents on or after June 28th .

  7. I have been trying for H1B from 2015 every year my petition was not picked in lottery. My Employer really supported me and applied every year till this year ( 6 th time ) finally got selected in Lottery.

    This years Quota I have been selected for 2021 H1B and today received the H1B Approval. Excited to share with you ALL. As I use to see the comments every year to see the latest.

    Finally what I want to say is that Don’t loose the hope you will definatly will get your time.

    All the very best. Thanks for Redbus2US team.

    Reply
  8. Did anyone hear re-lottery results after June 30th for FY21 ?!
    Most of the applications are still in submitted status and wondering if there is any news about that.

    Reply
  9. Hello Kumar,

    How many days it will take to get the receipt number after submitting documents through normal processing .. I have been waiting for more than 2 weeks .
    Is the beneficiary will receive or we can get the information from employer/attorney only.

    Many Thanks

    Reply
  10. Hi Kumar ,
    My petition will expire this august yet to stamp .. Can my current employer still has the possibility to withdraw the petition ? I am fearing that they will withdraw the petition

    Reply
    • It is not your petition, its is your employers petitions so he does have the freedom to withdraw it. Technically employers can withdraw anytime before approval. Why don’t you talk to your employer instead of speculating whether they will withdraw or not ?

      Stamping has nothing to do with it, even after stamping an employer can request USCIS to revoke the petition.

      Reply
    • Eagerly Waiting,
      Yes, they can withdraw anytime. Also, if you do not get stamping or extension done with them, you may or may not be counted towards cap. It is a grey area.

      Reply
    • Can you please let me know how many days to get case receipt number. I am waiting for more than 3 weeks now

      Reply
  11. hi, i have worked in US, have I-140 and 1 year left in my 6yrs.

    I am back in India working with a Indian company for a US client. Looking for sponsors who can help me find job in US and sponsor H1B Visa. I am ok with transferring my I-140 to the new employer. Any leads?

    Reply
    • ” You are okay with transferring my i-140 to the new employer” – Do you know that you don’t have a choice here right ?

      Also good luck with job search when 25 million US citizens are unemployed, H1B Banned along with few other visa categories till December and F1 visa student asked to leave.

      Why would someone want to come here when US is having mass protest, Covid is all over USA, Trump is on coke, ………..desperation among Indians is sorta amazing.

      Reply
  12. My application is selected in lottery. Petition is filed on 15th Jun. And is received / acknowledged at USCIS on 29th june. How long will it take for them to process and give the result.

    Reply
      • hi racha,
        our company does not give those details. our company files for employees in bulk. They dont give us the receipt number. I hope waiting is the only option. Anyways there is no consulate for stamping and projects are dwindling too.

        Reply
  13. My H1B got selected for this year and case got approved. As stamping is not possible in current situation,I am planning to switch employer. Can I use same approved petition for different employer or I need to do the stamping to be eligible for cap exempt?

    Reply
  14. I field my case on May21st and upgraded into PP in June 23 rd .I didn’t get status change after that almost 12 days over .still PP not yet upgraded..Anybody having same issue with Vermont center ?

    Reply
  15. Hi Guys,

    Currently I am in USA, My H1B consular processing got approved on June 3rd and H1B CoS petition filed on June 18. Now waiting for the result.

    Is any one received the H1B CoS result? Did USCIS started approving the CoS petition?

    Reply
    • Wait4JoinIn -H1BCoS,
      So far, no one has updated. Hopefully you get it soon. Do update us here. Also, usually they submit the entire petition for these kind of cases…Was it done the same way for you ? Regular processing ?

      Reply
          • I have asked them to do premium processing. waiting for attorney reply. My case is L1B to H1B .

          • Hi Kumar,

            My case was upgraded into a premium on July 10th and approved on July 20th. Now am waiting for the approval notice I 797. How long usually will take to send this copy to the attorney?

          • Wait4JoinIn -H1BCoS,
            Usually it takes about 2 to three weeks. With current delays, it can take longer, so do not worry if delayed.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Thanks for your reply. My case is L1B to H1B. My dependents are waiting for H4 status. As of now, we are in “Case Received” status for them and scheduled for biometrics in the coming week. My understanding is that they can stay in the USA even though H4 is not approved before Oct 1st. Is it correct?. Considering this COVID situation I don’t want to take the risk of sending them to India.

          • Hi Kumar,

            My COS was approved and today I have received the approval notice I 797-A with I 94 copy. Is there any other process pending to join on Oct 1st? Or good to go on Oct 1st?.

        • My new h1b petetion was received by USCIS(California)on 25th june..we have not received receipt notice yet 3rd. Is there any delay in processing receipt notices? How long it might take?

          Reply
          • Hi Newh1b,

            My application also received by USCIS on 26th June, I am also waiting for receipt number. Based on other I can say it is taking 30 days now so we can except next week or after that.

  16. Hi
    I have a comment rather than question
    Why the immigration system in US doesn’t support workers from outside US ? For example if an employer in the US want to recruit NOW, and a suitable candidate is selected from outside the US ( not a US citizen or resident) then the candidate as well as the employer must wait until Oct-2021 to get h1b visa and might be dropped by the lottery !!!

    I mean what kind of system is this ?! It is redicilous

    Reply
    • Salom,
      That’s how the immigration law is written and works right now in US…it was created many years ago and in the past, there was no lottery and so much demand, so this was not an issue….now things changed and now it has become a political topic too..

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar
        I know but how the government can support the economy and companies if it does let them wait ages for the right candidate?

        Reply
        • Salom,
          The reality is, H1B is a very controversial topic now with current administration…In fact, they want companies to hire local talent…They have an initiative called Buy American, Hire American as well for the same…

          Reply
  17. Hello Kumar,

    How many days it will take to get the receipt number after submitting documents through normal processing .. I have been waiting for more than a week ..
    Little tense about it ..

    Reply
    • Usually 15 days to receive the receipt number but now days taking longer time then expected you don’t want to worry about that.

      Be calm you will get soon.!

      Reply
      • Thanks Kettvan

        But for of my friends got the receipt number very soon , is there any difference between premium or normal processing to get receipt number ?

        Reply
  18. Hi Everyone

    I applied for premium on June 24th , still its showing under process. Is it good indication ?because normal process getting approved little faster then my premium process. Document sent on Jun 2nd. Feeling nervous day-by day. Please provide some suggestions.
    This is my 5th time applying for H1B.

    Reply
  19. Hi Kumar,

    Once my H1B is approved, when can I book my appointment for stamping?? (I am outside the us!)

    I understand stamping is banned currently so do you suggest I reach out to my home country’s embassy and try to book an appointment for early January? My job starts mid-January!!!

    Best,

    Martha

    Reply
  20. Hi Everyone

    Currently I’m on cpt, my CPT going to expire by this December, applied for H1-B 4 times in last 5 years , only two times got selected and reject due to Employer-Employer relationship, This year my application got selected and document sent on Jun 4 and upgraded to premium Jun 25th, still it showing under process, feeling little bit nervous because employer processed 7 application in premium on same day everyone got approved except me.

    Reply
  21. Today , i received my H1B Receipt number with status ” Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction” . This transfer of case happened on 2nd June 2020. Earlier service center was Vermont. I am bit worried why case was transferred and why there is no update after 2nd June . Do you think all will be good here.

    Reply
  22. Hi Kumar,
    I just got an online update on my case
    “Request of initial evidence is raised”
    What does this mean .. is it same as “request for additional evidence” ?
    Have they verified all petition at this stage or just stopped after seeing some gap and I may get “request for additional evidence” latter if they feel so ?

    Reply
    • AnotherH1BGuy,
      Initial evidence is something that is missing for the basics requirements. The additional evidence is for cases, where they need more info or clarity. They would have just check basic requirements and seems something is missing. Check with attorney.

      Reply
      • Does it mean they have not reviewed the full case yet ?
        I am still waiting for notice to arrive .. it was premium processing still need to wait for mail for notice.

        Reply
  23. Hi Kumar,

    My STEM OPT expired on June 20, 2020. My H1b packet (New) was delivered to USICS on 15th June. However, its been 15 days still there is no update on my SEVP portal regarding cap-gap till Sep 30. My Status still says INACTIVE STEM in the portal.
    Anyone facing a similar situation like this?

    Some of my friends are getting receipt number/SEVP update in just 1 week.

    Please clarify:

    1. How much time usually USCIS takes just to send out the I797 Application received notification form to Employer?

    2. I can still work right? Payroll can be generated? since my application is filed and delivered to USCIS before my STEM Expiration.

    PS: Submitted to California Center

    Reply
    • Racha,
      1. There is no fixed time as such. It can take few weeks sometimes as now with COVID-19
      2. Yes, technically you should be as the Cap Gap Extension is automatic and you filed it ahead of the expiration. Do check with DSO and get the I-20 for you to give it employer for I-9 compliance.

      Reply
  24. In this article, it says June 30th is the deadline. Does that mean that June 29th is the last date to send it in or June 30th?

    I am currently waiting for approval on my LCA application and need to file it last minute. Any reply is highly appreciated! Thank you.

    Reply
  25. Hi Kumar,

    I have filed my extension on May21st and for receipt notice date on June 2 in a normal processing mode .Later I upgraded into Premium mode on June23rd .After I have not seen any changes on my case and case history as well.

    That means still my case in normal? How we can confirm about PP request ?

    Anybody facing the same issue after upgraded into PP but no change in the status .

    Case status : Case was received

    Reply
  26. Hi Kumar,
    Need your inputs on my queries, please.
    I am currently on H1b in USA and my wife is in india and have H4 visa stamped already with validity till Dec 31 2020. She never entered in USA on her h4 visa.
    Her H1B got selected this year and filed from USA.
    -> Is USCIS process the H1B applications as usual or it wont process till Dec 31 2020?
    -> If USCIS approved the petition and my wife enters USA on H4 by end of the year, how can she get stamped after Dec 31 2020? Can we file COS once she is here?

    Thanks in advance !

    Reply
    • Gowtham,
      USCIS is processing normally, no impact.
      She cannot get stamped.
      She may file for COS in US after she enter US on H4, discuss with attorney.

      Reply
  27. Hi
    I have a question please,
    I am now in the job interview process with an employer who is capable of providing H1b visa for me.

    I expect the job offer will be given to me in one month’s time( ie. August)

    I am outside the US and never been there, what to do in this case ? Do I need to wait till March 2021 to register ? I am so confused!

    Reply
  28. Hi,

    Is there any way to extend the deadline to submit petition documents if we are unable to do so by 30th June 2020. Ours is already picked in lottery and do not want to let it go wasted.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  29. H1B Transfer (Cap exempt Sponsor)

    Hello Sir,

    I have an H1B visa stamped in my passport and was able to work in the US from June 2019 to end of January 2020, I resigned from my hospital employer for personal reasons so I left USA and came back to Canada. I just discovered recently that my visa was not revoked since I left because I checked my case status in the USCIS website. I was thinking of going back to US probably after this ban, after December 2020 under another employer through a “transfer” of sponsorship. My visa is good through 2022, so I thought of using this “unused” portion for another employer. My case was not through the lottery because my former employer was “exempt” from the cap.

    I would like to ask if this plan is feasible, transfer of sponsorship so I could used the unused portion of my visa until 2022.

    My second question, if I can find a cap-exempt employer who is willing to sponsor, can we process this transfer of sponsorship before December 2020? What would be the impact of this recent ban on this filing for new sponsor?

    I would like to ask your services to discuss this further, my options for a “cap-subject” employer.

    Thank you for your time.

    CE

    Reply
  30. H1B Lottery picked for Y20-21 in the month of march. Now after E.O any chances will they consider this applicants after Dec 20?

    Reply
      • How can we apply now when there is a ban?? Is it confirmed that stamping is stopped?
        Or they can give new stamps but travel is banned.

        Reply
        • By Applying he means filing a petition at USCIS before jun 30th, he is not talking about stamping which is banned. You first file a petition with USCIS and they review it and make sure everything is good and then approves it after which you get a green signal to apply for stamping.

          Only stamping is on banned, rest of the operations will work normally. Have your petition approved and good to go, you can also schedule interview in January once petition is approved. Book a slot as soon as petition is approved as its gonna be a rat race all over the world when they start stamping again.

          Godspeed my friend

          Reply
  31. is there any update from tcs? anyone who was picked up in lottery,,filled petition or got recipt notices.any update post lottery selection??

    Reply
    • Hello Kumar

      I need your advice.
      I am currently in the US on a visitor visa.I was supposed to travel back in April but couldn’t because of Covid & hve filed for an extension of B2 visa.
      Also my H1B petition has been filed under the Advanced Degree category.
      Now my question is If by God’s blessings if my H1 goes through, would I hve to travel back for stamping or i can avoid that.
      Also since Consulates are closed, how are they going to do the stamping for h1b visa holders??
      Thanks.Will appreciate your help.

      Reply
      • Mostly people who are in US and got selected in H1b lottery will filed under COS which means their status will automatically change on October 1st if petition is approved by USCIS.

        Most people who file H1b with counselor processing have pretty much violated their status at some point or are enrolled in CPT program which is the reason why they don’t file for COS because its guaranteed denial. These lot will continue working on their current status like CPT or something and can start the H1b after ban is lifted. For counselor you status does not change automatically on October 1st. It changes on the day you get the stamp.

        Ask you lawyer to apply for Change of status once your petition is approved and you can start working on H1b from October 1st. You can get the stamp anytime you leave country, be it a year from now or two years or you can work the entire duration of 3 years and not get a stamp. You will be fine in all scenarios.

        Reply
        • So lawyer can apply for COS after the petition is approved ?After the ban was really worried if the lawyer should hve filed the petition as COS
          Thanks a ton for answering my query?Highly appreciated Stay safe & stay blessed

          Reply
    • Does Trump’s executive order ban the issuance of new H-1b visas? I’m in the US and have filed my petition for change of status, will I be affected?

      Reply
      • No you are good, your status will change automatically on October 1st given that both your H1b petition and COS is approved. You just can’t leave the country until ban is lifted.

        Reply
  32. Hello Admin,
    I got lottery and am in the process of H1B file petition by my employer and I know June 30th last date and mostly it will be complete by this weekend. In worst situation Trump cancel the whole h1 process can we get USCIS fee return?

    Reply
      • Thank you, Kumar! Given that some company will not proceed with the application due to COVID, hopefully, there will be second lottery. For the past, have you seen got selected at later time?

        Reply
          • Hi Kumar

            The filing company has told me that the registration has got selected in the last week. (not in March 30th lottery). and I-797 C is attached whch says received date as 20th march, notice date as last week date. Also it is mentioned that eligibile to file H1 B petition between 1st april to 30th June. as the notice date is mid of June month, can’t we get 90 days period from the date of notice, do we need to file before 30th june in this case also.

            Is it happened to anyone like this this year.

            Thanks

          • Hello , one person in this thread only has posted something . Does this mean second round of lottery is happening or happened . I am providing his text for reference “ JUNE 22, 2020 14:58:55 CDT
            Anonymous
            Hi Kumar

            The filing company has told me that the registration has got selected in the last week. (not in March 30th lottery). and I-797 C is attached whch says received date as 20th march, notice date as last week date. Also it is mentioned that eligibile to file H1 B petition between 1st april to 30th June. as the notice date is mid of June month, can’t we get 90 days period from the date of notice, do we need to file before 30th june in this case also.

            Is it happened to anyone like this this year.

            Thanks”

  33. Hi,
    My application is under processing this year, filed under ‘normal processing’. It was submitted at Vermont center but now transferred to some other center. I received the Receipt notice one week back. Anyone knows how long it is taking this year to get I-129 approved under normal processing?

    Reply
  34. Hi Kumar,

    My application got selected in this year lottery
    As my client letter say i will work there for at least 31 Dec 2020 with possible extension for 2 more years. If approved, Will I get H1 visa for 3 years or just for 3 months that is till Dec 2020 and then have to file for extension again?

    Reply
    • saroj,
      In the past, you would only get until Dec 31st, 2020…But, there was a court case that came in favor or not having full employment until all 3 years. So, this may change…Discuss with your attorney on this.

      Reply
  35. Hi Team,

    I have valid visa until 26August 2020. I have applied my extension on May21st in normal processing .I have planned to upgrade premium processing now ,incase if we got any rejection within valid I94 can I stay here and can I re apply the new extension with normal processing .

    Please tell me the alternate way to stay here

    Reply
      • Thank for you reply .If that is the case once re applied can I stay here ? Can re apply in normal processsing and stay here …?

        Reply
          • I have H1B and still case was received .But I heard within valid I94 incase case got rejection ,I can reapply but can’t stay with receipt number after I94 expiry.

  36. I got selected in 2021 H1b lottery, my attorney is filing my petition now.
    1. How much time it will take to get the petition approved.
    2. Can I file the dependent visa along with my H1b petition for my wife or is it like, first I need to get my petition approved before applying for her h4.

    Reply
    • Subodh,
      1. If premium 15 days, if not it can take anywhere from few weeks to few months
      2. Yes, you can apply in parallel. But, she may or may not get it by October 1st.

      Reply
  37. Hi Kumar ,
    My case is H1 transfer without stamping
    Sorry for posting again my Employer received RFE for Employer Employee relationship in that they have mentioned that ” You have submitted a copy of I797 but our system shows no records ” . They have asked to submit the I797 copy .

    Problem is i797 I have given is just a screenshot of approval they showed in meeting not a full one since my employer is not sharing . In case status tool also it is as Case was received not updated as approved . What could be the reason for that issue I mean “not in our records ” ? My attorney told he will get sealed copy and submit the copy . Is that possible ?

    Reply
    • Eagerly waiting,
      I am not sure, what it means. It could be there is a typo or they are not able to get the actual file for some reason…he may request for FOIA and try it out that way….Not sure, how it will work. Talk to him on this and do update here on what he means ? is it FOIA or anything else..

      Reply
      • Also my case status is as received is that the reason why RFE tells no records on the system ? Because based on receipt number they should know the approval right ?

        Reply
          • It was approved we even submitted the partial approval copy(i797) my old employer shared with me in hangout. It was approved in 2016 . in USCIS case status it is as “Case was Received” but in their new tool DHS website “https://my.uscis.gov/account/applicant ” it is showing as approved . still donno whats happening .

  38. Hi Kumar,

    Currently, I am working in the USA as an L1B visa status. I got approved H1B from a different employer. I would like to join on Oct 1st, 2020. My question is that should I need to go home country for visa stamping? and when is that change of status will happen?

    Reply
    • Wait4join,
      No need to travel out. You can apply for Change of Status (COS) from L1 to H1B, when you apply for H1B. That way you dont have to travel out.

      Reply
  39. Hi Kumar,

    I am currently in USA. I on H4 and have EAD and I am working here in US.
    My company applied for H1B and it has been selected in the lottery.

    So to start working on H1B, do I need to travel back to India to get the passport stamped or can I start working without traveling/stamping.

    Thanks

    Reply
  40. Hi Kumar,
    Does premium filing can have a direct rejection as well for an extension? or RFE is usually the worst case if not a straight approval?

    Reply
  41. Hi Kumar

    Please clarify my below query…
    My application got selected in this year lottery
    My employer *** says they’re not going to process any H1 application this year due to current situation… I am yet to check with my top management… Is there any chance that the due date will be extended after 30th June?… If my application is not filed before due date, do I have to go through the lottery again next year?

    Reply
    • Raghu – You are right, since you won’t be able to file this year they will be extending the due date just for you. Please suggest a date you like so you don’t have to go through any trouble.

      Reply
      • Where to check whether the deadline is going to be extended or not? I did not find any source. Please let me know. Thanks.

        Reply
        • Usually you can check the USCIS website for updates related to H1b visa but unfortunately the deadline was not extended. IF not applied within the window you spot will be given to an individual in the wait list. IF you missed you have to go through lottery again next year. Hope this helps.

          Reply
  42. Hi Kumar,

    My employer has mentioned the prevailing wages in the LCA but the salary offered to me was higher than what has been mentioned in LCA. I am a bit worried if this is fine or he is going to pay me the prevailing wages mentioned in LCA and not the salary , we agreed upon, please clarify and suggest my options.

    Reply
    • AA,
      They should pay what was offered in offer letter. In general, the LCA wage is base salary and may not have all aspects. Check with your employer and attorney on this.

      Reply
  43. Hi,

    I am new to the H1B process. I am in several selection processes with US companies (PhD computer science). None of them mentioned any trouble with H1B visa, but I see in your website that it is quite a long process. If I would manage to land a job offer (they are happy to sponsor), how long would it take for me to obtain the H1B visa and start working there (from nothing to the first day in the office)? I thought this would be a 1-2 month paperwork process but it seems way longer (I’m from Europe).

    Thanks a lot!
    David

    Reply
    • David,
      If you are going to work on H1B for a normal cap subject H1B sponsor, then you need to plan it. The next year H1B season start in early March 2021 and the earliest you can work for them on H1B is October 2021. If you are going to join Universities or nonprofit research entities, then you can join anytime and apply anytime and there is no timeline as such.
      I suggest you read How to apply for H1B Visa Process

      Reply
    • David, it makes better sense for you to immediately go for Green card instead of applying for H1. You can do it only if you have enough “legal time” on your F1 or OPT. All you will need to do is get good lawyers and jump from F1 to Green card. Since everything is “frozen” now, you can do it after it all restarts. But you’ll definitely save time.

      Reply
  44. Hi,

    My employer submitted my I-129 H1B petition on June 3rd, 2020 at Vermont Service Center. When i looked up on the website, it shows that processing time would take 9.5 to 12 months for VSC. Is it true that it would take almost 1 year to get approval. How long would it take usually to get approved? I am currently on my OPT which has validity until September 30, 2020. Should I apply for STEM OPT extension or should I wait for my H1B approval?

    Reply
    • Jay,
      It is likely that it can take that long. We know many users, who are waiting for months. It is better to upgrade to premium processing to know the decision soon and plan your options.
      You should apply for STEM OPT irrespective of the H1B approval as a backup. Ask your employer to upgrade to premium processing so that you have enough options to plan out, if something goes wrong…

      Reply
      • how long do I have to upgrade to premium processing? And does the premium processing in any way affect the approval decision?

        Reply
        • Jay,
          It will not affect the approval decision. If you have the receipt notice and premium processing is available for your type of petition, then you can upgrade.

          Reply
  45. Hi team,
    I am on H1b visa which expires on July 31st 2020. I have already filed for extension in April, this is my first extension. Now that premium is open, should i upgrade to premium or stay in normal? Please guide.

    Reply
  46. Hi ,
    My FOIA h1 request for I129 is in process .. Can I know in that I129 what all the information I can see apart from h1 filing information . will it contain any approval related info ? any receipt numbers like that ?

    Reply

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