Macro economic cycle Growth Trough Recession

H1B visa cap reach dates for FY 2004 – 2011 – H1B 2012 filing decision

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 175 Comments

In general, it is always a good idea to look at past data and understand the trend for future decisions.  Let us look at H1B cap reach dates by year from 2003 to 2011 in this article and analyze on how it can help us to estimate the best time to file for H1B visa 2012.

H1B visa cap reach statistics from year 2003 to 2011

H1B

Fiscal Year

H1B Visa Cap Reached ?Cap Reached Date
2004YESOctober 1, 2003
2005YESOctober 1, 2004
2006YESAugust 10, 2005
2007YESMay 26, 2006
2008YESApril 3, 2007
2009YESApril 7, 2008
2010YESDecember 21, 2009
2011YESJanuary 26, 2011

Analysis of H1B visa cap reach dates for 2012 petition filing :

If you look at the below graph, you can get a feel of the H1B cap reach dates based on macro economic conditions. In 2003 and 2004 the H1B cap lasted till October 1st because of the 2000- 2002 recession period…as recession eased and economy recovered we can see that the H1B cap reach dates pushing closer and closer to April first week, even resulting in lottery. After April 2008, we can see the impact of recession as the cap reach dates are pushed away to December and for this fiscal year, FY 2011, lasting until January 26th, 2011.

H1B visa 2012 cap reach dates Statistics Prediction

In Macroeconomics, after recession, there is a general expansion phase as in above graph (first one under title).  Based on National Bureau of Economic research report, we have hit the recession trough in June 2009 for the recession that started in 2007…technically, we are in expansion phase according to them since June 2009…. but, the growth has been sluggish, which has been a worry…The pace of growth predicted for 2011 seems optimistic and good…If we go by logic, we should reach the H1B cap earlier than this year i.e. FY 2011.  It can be very hard to predict the exact H1B visa 2012 cap reach date right now just by the data at hand as we only have data for one economic cycle.  In general, it should reach earlier than H1B visa 2011 cap reach date. So, if you are one of those people looking to file H1B visa in Fiscal year 2012 quota, which starts in April. Start planning ahead…If you are looking for info prior to 2003, read article : H1B cap reach dates by year from 1999 – Graph

What are your thoughts on cap reach dates and prediction of the same for H1B FY 2012 cap?

Economic cycle Image credit : http://www.harpercollege.edu/mhealy/eco212/lectures/asad/asad_files/0901.jpg

   

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Comments ( 175 )

  1. Xyz

    Hello, I wanted to ask are there any chances of 1st time H1b to be approved without PO but with Client letter? this is from L1b to H1b

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      XYZ,
      If it’s a big reputed employer then it might get approved w/o PO. For small to medium consulting companies it is safe to assume that PO and client letter is almost a must.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          XYZ,
          There can be a chance of approval w/ such employee strength. If there are other employees who have gone for H-1 stamping, then you can know from their experiences.

  2. Shivarao

    Hey Saurabh,

    My US employer said that my docs for H1B are submitted to Attorney. Now, how many days should I wait to hear back from employer about my file number and file status detail ?

    Thanks,
    Shivarao

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shivarao,
      I don’t know how much time the file will remain w/ attorney before it is filed (check w/ employer on that). Once petition is submitted, receipt number should be received within 2-3 weeks (at times it can take up to 30 days).

  3. Surya

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently in OPT stream extension expires on Apr 25th 2013. Can you please suggest me when i need to apply h1b. i mean in 2012 or there is any chance to apply in 2013.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Surya,
      You can apply it in either. One cannot speculate how 2013 filing season will go. So it is better to apply it when you still know that the quota is open. If you want to maximize your time on OPT, then you can have H-1 filed now w/o COS. This way your status will remain OPT even after Oct 1. Later, you can either get H-1 visa stamped from a consulate or file COS from F-1 to H-1 to start working on H-1 (around the time your OPT expires in 2013).

      Makes sense?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Haklim,
      They can try to. They are not prohibited from doing so, but USCIS will like to know why your employer wants to file GC for you when you have never worked for them. In other words, how did they evaluate your performance and found you to be GC worthy.

  4. Tom

    Hi, I am currently here with an OPT and found work at a place that will sponsor me for an H-1B visa. My OPT expires on August 12, 2012, but if I get H-1B visa, I can not work until October 1, 2012.

    What will happen between August 12 and October 1? Will I need to leave?
    Thanks

    1. Tom

      To make clear question, can I stay and work in new job that gets me me H1B visa even after my OPT expires in August?
      or
      Will I need to leave and come back to US?
      Thank you for any reply.

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Tom,
      If the H-1 is filed w/ COS and requested start date of Oct 1, then you can continue to work after Aug 12 as you will be in cap-gap status during that time. This status allows you to stay and work until Oct 1 or H-1 denial date (whichever is earlier).

  5. darsa

    hi
    i want know that if i get my h1 b visa,when should i apply for h4,will it take next year?or can i take my spouse with me with in oct itself?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Darsa,
      Once you get your H-1, both you and your spouse can go for visa stamping together. You will be issued H-1, and the spouse will be given H-4 visa. You can then travel to US.

      1. darsa

        but now i applied for h1,didn’t do anything for h4 petition,i thought after getting h1 ,we will go for h4 application,is that enough?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Darsa,
          When the applicant is outside of US, there is no need to file for separate H-4 petition. Only the H-1 petition needs to be filed, and when approved both husband and wife can go for their respective visa stamping based on approved 797.

  6. Karthik

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am in USA on L1B visa with my wife has dependent.
    In next month by May 2012 my L1B Visa is getting expired but I will stay in USA till 2014 with my I94.
    My company is not planning to do L1 extension or apply H1B.

    Due to personal reason my wife need to travel to India end of this year 2012 or beginning next year.

    I have an employer ready to sponsor H1B this fiscal year. Filing petition in premium processing on April 2012 and gets approved.
    However, employment can start only by 1st Oct 2011.
    Planning to go back to India end of this year or beginning of next year and then return to USA with H1B visa.

    1. Got my H1B approved while staying in USA. I am planning to travel to India. Do i need to get H1B stamped in India?
    2. H1B rejected while staying in USA I am not travelling to India. Can my wife alone travel to India and return back to USA.
    3. If I don’t apply H1B and not travelling to India stay in USA with my I94. Can my wife alone travel to India and return back to USA.

    I need to decide on whether to stay here or leave. Since rejection of both H1B and L1B are more now a days.
    Appreciate if you can clarify and share your opinion and suggestion on this.

    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Karthik,
      1. As your L-1 visa has expired, you cannot return on L-1. So you will have to go for H-1 visa stamping and then return to US around Oct 1.
      2. Yes, but she will have to go for L-2 visa stamping. Do you have your employer’s support for that?
      3. Same as (2)

      Based on your I-94, you can continue to work on L-1. However, if one travels out of US, then they need to get L-1 visa stamping done (unless H-1 is approved). Is your employer ready to support L-1 stamping? BTW, are you on L-1 blanket?

      1. Karthik

        2. Yes, but she will have to go for L-2 visa stamping. Do you have your employer’s support for that?

        My visa gets expired by then i will be staying only with my I94. Is it possible for her to go for L2 visa stamping.

        Thank you.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Karthik,
          Are you on blanket L-1 or individual?

          She can go for L-2 visa stamping but would L-1 employment related documents for the same. It is ok to work in US on L-1 based on unexpired I-94, but if a 221g is issued during L-2 stamping (to show that your work really involves use of employer proprietary skills/tools/apps/technology etc) then will your employer be willing to provide supporting documents? I am asking this b/c you mentioned that they are not interested in filing L-1 extension for you.

  7. Rakesh

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am in a very strange situation right now. All these days I was assuming that MIS comes under STEM extension but I just came to know after joining work on my OPT that in my University MIS has no OPT extension and it expires in 1 year. I graduated in Dec 2011 and immediately started working for my employer. My employer was assuming I had the option of extending the OPT for another and promised they would file my H1 when it gets closed. Now when they came to know I have just 1 year and they would have to file H1 in the 2012 quota itself, they are debating if they should or not. They said they need a few weeks to decide. I am in fix now because I do not know when the quota will expire. W
    When do you think the CAP would expire this year depending on the market trend? What is the maximum I can extend the process? It would be great if you answer this for me.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rakesh,
      I think the quota will remain open for at least few months this year. You cannot extend the OPT in case no extension is allowed. So you can work until end of OPT, and then be on 60 day grace period. You can also look at other options (filing through another employer).

      1. Rakesh

        Thank you Saurabh for your quick response. When you say 60 day grace period can I use that period to apply in the next year quota? Like if I wait till April 1st 2013 and then apply will there be any problem because I am on grace period? It would be great if you could answer this because in the worst scenario I was trying to do that.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Rakesh,
          When you apply for H-1 in grace period, you are still eligible for cap-gap. However this allows you to continue to stay in US, but doesn’t allow you to work. In order to work, you need to be on valid OPT and not in grace period.

  8. darsa

    I am working in banglore ,i got my first visa(L1) at 2008 nov,and i return back to india at 2011,
    now am going to file for H1B visa 2012 april
    can you tell me how long does it take for the processing? i mean will it take time?can i go by this year?

    pls reply..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Darsa,
      Petition processing can take 2-6 months (premium processing takes 15 calendar days). If RFE is issued, then both can take longer. The you appear for visa stamping. If everything goes well, you can have the passport in 1 week, else it can take several months. You can be in US as early as Oct 1 or as late as never.

      1. darsa

        then what is this fiscal year,when i fill form one first week of april when will the processing starts?does the process starts only on October month only? if everything is going fine when can i get visa stamped?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Darsa,
          USCIS fiscal year runs from Oct 1 to Sep 30. However, they allow the petitions to be filed at most 6 months in advance. This means petitions can be filed in April but cannot start until Oct 1 (USCIS fiscal year’s start). USCIS will start processing the petitions in April, but even when they approve it, they will mention the start date as Oct 1. You can go for stamping as early as 90 days prior to H-1 start date, which comes out to be July 1.

          Does that clarify?

  9. Lalit

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am in US on B1/B2 till 30th May 2012. I have an employer ready to sponsor H1B. If he files petition in premium processing on 1st April 2012 and it is approved, do I need to go back to home country (India) before I-94 expires (30th May 2012) and later on get H1B stamped in India. Pl. guide.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lalit,
      IMO, you should leave US as there is a break b/w your B-1/2 I-94 expiration date and H-1 start date.

      1. Lalit

        Thanks for the reply, Saurabh.
        My employer is asking to extend my B1/B2 first and then file for H1B. But is it sure that COS is also approved together with H1B.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Lalit,
          If COS is filed along w/ initial petition, then it will be processed along w/ H-1. So it will either get approved or denied, but you will know the decision along w/ H-1 petition.

          What reason will your employer give for B-1/2 extension? Be very careful when going this route as you will be using B-1/2 for a intent different from the original purpose.

    2. faizii

      hi Lalit,
      i m also in the same boat. do u mind sharing whether the employer was a consultancy or a direct employer? mail me if you can, will discuss privately faizii at me dot com

  10. Ramya Priya

    Hi Saurabh,

    My employer is filing my H1-B on April 1st and I was wondering how long it would take before getting the approval notice as well as the approval documents respectively. I have to be added to my husband’s green card I140/I484 in May and need to have an H1-B approval by then (the priority date is current for his country category). Would premium processing be the best way to go? Or will the decision be known by May as the filing is being done on day 1. Thanks for your response.

    -Ramya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ramya Priya,
      Did you have H-1 in the past? If not, then your H-1 cannot be active until Oct 1 even if it has been approved earlier. However, if you want to know the decision ASAP, then file it w/ PP where USCIS will adjudicate it within 15 calendar days (unless RFE is issued).

      1. Ramya Priya

        Thanks a lot for the response Saurabh. It’s my first time filing for H1-B. I realize I cannot start working on H1-B until October 1st, but considering it’s approved, will I be able to continue working after my July 27th 2012 OPT expiry date until October 1st? And if so, will it be possible for me to switch jobs based on the approval letter and having a prospective employer file a transfer?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ramya Priya,
          Yes you can continue working after OPT expiration date based on cap-gap provision. To qualify for this, your H-1 needs to be filed w/ COS and w/ start date of Oct 1 and you need to be in valid F-1/OPT status at the time of filing. Yes, the new employer can file H-1 transfer for you, but it also cannot start until Oct 1, and can be filed only after the 1st petition has been approved. If the 1st petition is still pending, and the quota is open then the new employer can file another cap-subject petition for you.

  11. venkat

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1b visa is approved on Feb 2nd but the decision documents are not reached our attorny even after 5 weeks.Generally how long it would take to reach the documments? Could you guide us how to know when the documents are dispatched and track them.(H1 is approved in California office)

    Thanks,
    venkat

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Venkat,
      Generally it takes around 1-2 weeks, and at times up to 30 days. 5 weeks is too long. Ask your employer/attorney to call USCIS and follow-up on the case.

  12. Hardeep

    Saurabh,

    I am scheduled to travel to Spain for a business conference on April 21st. I am currently on my OPT STEM Extension. My company was planning on filing for my H1B on April 1st but since I have a business trip coming up, they plan to file it by April 29th (which is when I return). I know there is no accurate answer to this but do you predict 65,000 H1B caps to fill in a month this time around? I am debating between either risking my visa or the conference for which I have already booked everything. Thanks for your time.

    Hardeep

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Hardeep,
      I don’t think the quota would get exhausted by then. Also, you have additional 20K numbers available to you as you have done Masters in US.

  13. laasya

    Hi Saurabh,

    My Employer filed for a regular H1 for me on Nov 18th. I received the receipt number. I checked the status and it is still in Initial Review,Approximately how long would it take for a regular visa to get approved? and when can I expect my VISA approved?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Laasya,
      If it was filed at VSC, then it might take another 3-4 weeks. If filed at CSC, then it might take another 1-3 weeks.

  14. Rinks

    My employer is looking to file my h1b on april 2013 and my opt expires on june 2013. So will i be out of status after my opt expires , coz i will be able to work from october1st only with h1b right?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You will not be out of status if:
      – H-1 is filed before your OPT expiration
      – H-1 is filed w/ COS
      – You have been maintaining legal status until the date H-1 is applied

      Once these conditions are satisfied, you will be granted automation extension of stay and work until Oct 1, 2013 or H-1 denial date (whichever is earlier). This is called cap gap.

  15. Arun

    Hi Saurabh,

    I would request you to guide me through CAP exempt H1B petition. Here below the details of my first H1B (already expired) –

    Filed at USCIS – 20-May-2006
    Work permit approved – 12-Sep-2006
    Visa stamping approved – 3-Nov-2006
    US entry date – 29-Jul-2007
    US exit date – 15-Jun-2008 (approx 11 months of stay)
    Visa expired – 2-Sep-2009

    Now my same employer has filed a new H1B petition on 25-Jan-2012 under CAP exempt quota, regular processing.
    Do you think that my case is a valid CAP exempt case for USCIS to approve?
    How long it might take roughly to get the work petition approved?
    If processing time for such CAP exempt cases during this time of a year are lesser compared to CAP cases?

    Appreciate your response.
    Thanks,
    Arun

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Yes, they can file it under cap-exempt. Make sure to provide them w/ a copy of your old 797, payslips for the time you were in US and also the W2 for those years.
      2. Processing may take 2-4 months
      3. Typically processing time is lesser than compared to cap-subject petitions.

        1. Arun

          Hi Saurabh,

          As stated above my H1B was filed on 25th Jan, 2012. It’s almost 1.5 months and I haven’t received my acknowledgement receipt number yet. My employer is saying that there is no lead time for acknowledgement receipt number so I’ve to wait.

          Kindly let me know if such a delay is normal.

          Thanks,
          Arun

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arun,
            Delay of 1.5 months is not normal. It is possible that receipt notice got lost in transit, or it never reached USCIS. It’s up to employer/attorney to call USCIS and follow-up.

          2. Arun

            Thanks Saurabh for your prompt reply.
            Just one more clarification – how this receipt number is generated post filing and how it’s shared with the employer.
            Is it instant or take few days post filing?

            Regards,
            Arun

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arun,
            Once the package is received by USCIS, they would enter the information and generate the receipt number and send it out to the employer/attorney. It might take 1-2 days to get this done depending upon how many petitions are received on that date.

      1. Gurpreet

        In my case i have been out of US for 1year (since Feb 11) and i have 13 months left on my prev H1B.
        1. Can they file my visa (expired July 2011)? Is there a timeframe within which (after expiry of visa) this has to be done?
        2. Once in US if possible can someone file a new H1 petition for me ? (For 6yrs – time i spend on this visa now)

        Appreciate your help.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Gurpreet,
          1. Yes, they can file a petition for you. There is no set timeframe.
          2. Yes

          As you have only 13 months left on your H-1, you may want to evaluate whether it is better to file a new cap-subject petition now and get a new 6 year term on H-1. The only disadvantage is that you will have to go through the cap and cannot start to work until Oct 1, 2012.

          1. Gurpreet

            Thank you Saurabh – couple of more queries:

            1. Can some employer in US (not the current one who had applied this) petition for this remainder option?
            2. With about year left is it possible to start GC processing (by new employer if 1. above is valid)?

            Yes, pretty much don’t want to use this option with current employer. Doesn’t seem convinient. It was just thrown at me (i wasn’t even aware its possible to do after visa expiry). They won’t mind getting it used till the last day. :). Not sure how the fee structure is for both.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Gurpreet,
            1. Yes, they can
            2. It would be an agressive timeline. Lot of employers want you to work for them for at least 6 months before they file the GC. In addition, either your labor of I-140 should have been pending for at least 365 days to be eligible for 7th year extension.

          3. Gurpreet

            Hi Saurabh – one more thing – my H1 visa was applied in 2003 Oct. Is it still valid for the above scenario? (i read somewhere that you have to be counted against cap in the past 6 yrs to be eligible for this.)

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your clock will not be reset if the employer filed cap-exempt petition for you (aka H-1 transfer or H-1 extension). You have to go through the quota system again in order to reset your clock.

  16. Narendra

    My L1 B Visa is under extention and I got RFE last month . I have submited RFE waiting for the final answer from USCIS . If my Visa gets rejected how long i have to wait for applying H1 visa from the same company ?

  17. KumarY

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thank you for answering so many questions. My Status is as follows;

    1. I got H1B approved on 2007, but entered US on 2008 June.
    2. My employer applied for H1B extension on 2010 June, got a RFE about 2 months later ( I didnt know what RFE was about, although I had all required pay slips) , and replied by my employer.
    3. My H1B extension was denied about 1 month later ( my employer didnt tell me why it was rejected, neither I could get to know what really happened ) and I left to India within 2 weeks.

    I have a few questions.
    1. If an employer apply for a new H1B, will he have to state anything regarding my previous H1B rejection?

    2. If so, what will be the impact on new application?

    Appreciate your precious time. Please reply.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. You need to make them aware about the rejection and it’s reasons to the best of your knowledge. This will keep the employer and attorney informed and be prepared for any questions from USCIS.
      2. It should not impact you as long as you maintained legal status while in US, and have valid documents for that period. Have the payslips, proof of arrival and departure, proof of when extension was filed, and when it was denied.

      1. KumarY

        Thanks a lot Saurabh,
        One more question please,
        Is there anyway that I can directly get to know the real reason for the rejection of H1B extension, directly from USCIS?

        Rgds,

        KumarY

  18. Hariharan Mani

    Hi,
    I had valid H1B visa till March 31 2011 and been US for 2.6 years within that duration. Due to family reasons I returned and not able to travel back to extend my Visa before 31 March 2011. Now again my same employer applied H1b Visa for me around Dec 20th 2011.Will be considered for fresh H1B count or I will be considered for earlier count. Also currently its in filed @ USCIS stage. When I can get appointment to stamp Visa

    Regards,
    Hariharan Mani

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      From your post it seems that employer filed a cap-exempt petition for you (as the quota was over in Dec, and the only way to file a petition in that month was to file cap-exempt petition). So your clock has not been reset and your earlier term will be counted in the 6 year period.

      Processing can take 2-4 months, and once approved you can go for visa stamping.

  19. MOHAN

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got my receipt on 14th November 2011. The current status is showing as “Initial Reviw” . How much time it will take to get the petition approved. When can I expect the approval from USCIS.

  20. prasad

    hi saurabh,
    Thanks for your reply to my earlier post.i had completed my master of computer application in 2010 and joined in hcl.Now i want to apply for H1b individually not from company.is there any chance to apply H1b staying in india and aftr getting i will search job in usa?when will be the H1b quota starts for the year2012 and how much time it will be open?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 is always applied by a company. An individual cannot apply for it. What you are referring to is finding a consulting company and having them file H-1 for you. Even in this scenario, you will be considered employee of that consulting company and need to get paid by that company when in US.

      H-1 filing will now start in April 2012, and will remain open until quota is available, which I guess would remain open till Sep-Nov 2012.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Do you have 16 years of education including 4 years of college degree equivalent to US Bachelors? If yes, then you are eligible for H-1 visa.

  21. Anita

    I am just confused on the concept of the cap and deadlines. I have just received my OTP with three months left to find a H1b sponsor in 2012. What are the likelihood that I can find on, considering the cap and the deadline?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Few things you need to know about dates and deadlines:
      1. You can stay only unemployed only up to 90 days when on OPT. After that you have 60 day grace period to leave US
      2. H-1 can next be applied on or after April 1, 2012 w/ start date of Oct 1, 2012. H-1 can be applied as long as the quota is open, and going by this year’s filing trend, it may remain open for few months at least.

      So your plan should be to find an employer on OPT first, so that you don’t remain unemployed for more than 90 days and then have H-1 filed through the same or different employer.

  22. Roshan

    Hi
    I recieved a RFE for my H1B and my employer responded to it last week.The status in USCIS website shows that they have recieved it and that I can expect a written update in 60 days. But my employer says that it was filed in premium mode. Wont the premium processing time be 15 days?
    Please confirm…thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Usually w/ RFE response they put the standard status on the website. If it has been filed w/ PP, then it would be adjudicated within 15 calendar days of receiving the RFE response.

  23. confused

    I am totally confused right now. I was planning to apply for H1B petition with start date October 1st 2012 around March 2012. I crawled out of my self-built foxhole and realized what I have missed in the past few months. Is the cap already reached for that start date?? The cap that has been reached on Nov 22nd 2011, is it being referred to this years H1B cap or for 2012? Do I stand no chance of dreaming to have a H1B start date of Oct 1st 2012?? I am in India right now after using up upto 8 years of my previous H1 and biding my time to stay out of the country for an year so that I would be eligible for a new 6-year H1b term. I have a PERM petition on file that I am hoping would get approved. If that happens and my I-140 gets approved would I be eligible for applying H1b at any point in time?? Thanks in advance !

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The quota you are looking at has not started yet. You are aiming for FY-13 and petitions for the same can be filed after April 1, 2012 w/ start date of Oct 1, 2012.

      1. confused

        Thanks Saurabh. I was totally confused but after I posted and read through all posts and your replies then it all made sense to me. You are of great help with the replies you post to every one.

  24. Ankit P

    Hello,

    I am F1 OPT right now…My lawyer/employer submitted my H1b petition on 25th October ( Receipt date ). and I am still waiting for it..Its almost going to be 2 months..My current OPT EAD is going to expire on 17th of January. I know I can stay legally in US until I receive the result of the petition but I can not work after that…in that case my employer said he will give me off from work till we receive the result of the petition and I can start as soon as I receive the document.

    Should I get an admission in college to be prepared considering the worst case )..or it is not advisable to do so at this moment… ???

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When is your I-94 expiring? You may want to evaluate whether to upgrade the petition to PP or not, as that would allow you to continue working (speedier decision).

    2. Extreme

      Hi Ankit,

      I am in the exact same boat. My petition was submitted on 28th Oct and my OPT runs out on 11th Jan. Have you got any updates about your case ? The holiday season sure isn’t helping. Do you know the current processing times ?
      All the best !!

  25. Anisha

    Hi!! My husband is planning to apply for a H1B visa sometime next year,would u pls advice which month wud be advisable for filing n also cud u pls suggest which one will be a better option H1 or L1.Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 can be filed anytime after April 1, 2012 until the quota remains open. Choice of H-1 vs L-1 will also depend upon what your husband is doing for the employer (not all kinds of jobs qualify for L-1). Is he using employer specific tools/applications/technology which is not known commonly outside the employer. If yes, then L-1 can be filed else L-1 is not an option.

      1. Sandeep

        Saurabh

        Thanks a much for your prompt reply. As per discussion with my employer, They submitted my file after April 2011. They got some queries in the file in month of September or October (not sure why it took so long). As per current status company resubmitted the file with solved queries. Employer says my file is not rejected/denied and soon it should be cleared.

        I don’t have my file number/receipt or anything. Will my file be considered for for 2011 or 2012 ? What do you suggest me to do in this situation?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It would be considered in FY-12 quota (which runs from Oct 2011 to Sep 2012) and just got exhausted. If you can get the receipt number from the employer then you can track the status online.

  26. eichpee

    The Employer says he submitted my file on the 18, and that it is received on 19 according to usps tracking #.

    1) is it normal that I dont receive the ECA number as of today 10 december 2011

    2) the USPS receipt says it is a premium processing service …, but since my name is not mentioned I could think its for somebody else and that the employer has actually never filed one for me. how would I ask uscis to know if there was an application with my name.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. This is not normal. Your employer should call USCIS and ask for an update.
      2. This is possible. When USPS receipt says premium processing service, it may be referring to USPS’s own premium service (one day delivery etc). Where exactly are you seeing the word “premium processing service”?

      1. eichpee

        RE 2)
        in the FROM form:
        Name/Address of the employer

        in the TO form:
        Premuim processing service
        USCIS, Vermont Service cener,
        St Albans, VT

        The copy of the USPS receipt that I have said Date accepted 18th November , and Scheduled date of delivery 19th; and using the USPS tracking number the website said delivered 19th November and I had signature showing reception on 19th at 12 PM.

        This is a proof that that mail went on time , but it just doesn’t have my name on it , neither do I know what was in the mail,
        thinking that the employer has not filed H1 for me and that the receipt might be for another employee, how can I check with USCIS.

        What made me suspicious is that the employer said couple times that some people got some cases rejected even though they were received on the 18th and that the quota ran over before the 22nd.
        so he said my chances are 50 50 even if USCIS hs received my case before 22nd and he also said that I might get approval directly without ECA

        Please advise and Thanks

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          You cannot check w/ USCIS directly. Employer/attorney will have to do that. Based on your last post, it is possible that employer is making you go rounds.

          1. eichpee

            thank you for the quick reply,
            Question : your advice is welcome coz I feel I was screwed.
            I am still wondering what extra information can employer/attorney have other than the postal receipt?
            can I have an attorney do this for me ?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            You can ask them if the checks have been cashed. In addition, in case of PP USCIS provides updates and receipt number through email. So employer/attorney will have that information as well.

            You cannot hire another attorney to take care of this. In the end, it’s up to employer whether they want to file the petition and hire you or not. If you have paid for H-1, and they duped you by not filing the H-1, then you can hire an attorney and go after them.

          3. eichpee

            I was surprised to receive my case back today
            even though it shows it was received on the 19th of November

            I have never received any H1 tracking number..
            any advise ?

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ask your employer/attorney to call USCIS and ask why it was returned. It shouldn’t have been returned if it reached well before quota was reached.

  27. DC

    HI, I’m on my H-4 visa. If I’m selected for a job when can they able to file for my H-1? I Have Masters degree from US. I heard that H-1 quota for MS student’s is already over. please reply me ASAP since I’m going to speak with HR tomorrow.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 cannot be filed until April 1, 2012. The employment cannot start until Oct 1, 2012 even if H-1 gets approved before this date.

      1. RK

        I am on L1B visa and it is valid till July 2012. If i apply for H1b in April 2012 or in June2012 and if it gets approved before July.
        1. Would my l1b be still valid till July2012?
        2. Can I file extension on L1b as I need to stay in US till Oct2012.
        Later I can cancel my extension on L1b and continue on H1b?

        Please help on this.

        Thanks

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. Yes
          2. When is your I-94 expiring? IMO, you can continue to stay in US until your I-94 expiration date even if your L-1 gets expired. Otherwise, you need to file for L-1 extension and then continue to stay while that’s under process. Once H-1 gets approved w/ COS, you can request cancelation of L-1 extension. As there are lots of moving targets, you should talk to an immigration lawyer as well.

          1. RK

            My I-94 is expiring on same date as Visa in July 2012. So as you said I need to apply for l1b extension.
            What will happen if i apply h1b in April or May -2012 and if it get approved do I still need to file l1 extension to stay in US?
            Or first I need to file L1 extension than H1b?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, you would still need to file L-1 extension to continue to stay in US (even after your H-1 gets approved). L-1 extension can be applied either prior to after applying H-1, but it should be applied before I-94 expires.

  28. Anu

    Hi,
    My h1b visa just got submitted on 22nd nov deadline.Will my file be considered?
    My employer havent received any receipt yet.If not,wht is cap exempt quota.can i apply for the same to obtain the visa.please advice!!!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If your petition reached on Nov 22, then it will be considered to have made through the quota. If it reached after Nov 22, then you missed the bus.

  29. Charan

    Hi,
    How quick do you think the H1B Visa cap for the year 2012 will reach? I already missed my chance for the year 2011. So i am worried about the next year’s trend.

    Thanks.

  30. Ashish

    If I am already working in US WITH L1 visa & want to apply for H1 when can I do that ?
    Also if visa approval comes can I work for new employer before stamping is done provided my l94 is valid for 1 more year ? Expecting quick response , Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      That can be done anytime quota is open. So it can now be filed as early as April 1, 2012 w/ start date of Oct 1, 2012. If your H-1 is approved w/ COS, then you can start working for H-1 employer from the mentioned approval date w/o needing to get H-1 visa stamped in the passport.

  31. prat

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have a question regarding H1B cap exempt petiiotns.
    If i have had H1B in last six years, I am able to apply in cap exempt. Is it true?
    If assume I have only had a H1B petition approved and didnt get H1B stamped in last six years, am i still eligible to apply under cap exempt ? Please reply me.Thanks in advance.

  32. vidya

    Hi Saurabh,

    My Employer filed for H1 on Nov 18th, and the application would have reached USCIS on Nov 21st. I know that the qouta got closed on 22nd. I am a little concerned as my employer did not receive the receipt yet. I heard from others who had applied on 17th, that they had received the receipt on 21st. Could you tell me when I am supposed to get the receipt?.Since I applied in the last, is this why my receipt is getting delayed?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      At times, it can take 1-2 weeks for the employer/attorney to receive the receipt number. If they don’t receive it by end of this week, they should call USCIS and follow-up.

  33. Salil Nanda

    Since H1B cap has been reached for FY 2012, would it be advisable to wait for FY 2013 for new H1B petition? Also, what should be start date for USCIS to accept H1B applications for FY 2013?

      1. Salil Nanda

        Saurabh,

        Thanks for quick reply. My LCA was approved on 30th November with requested start date as 25th Nov. Now, I have two quick questions:

        1) Can my employer use the same LCA for FY 2013?

        2) In LCA form, there is a section with “Prevailing Wage Information”. The information was filled according to 2011 online FLC data center. Does it need to be updated for FY 2013 filing, i.e., refile LCA?

          1. Salil Nanda

            Saurabh,

            Thanks very much. I will request my employer to refile LCA. May be refiling should be done by 1st week of January? What would you recommend the start date should be? Also, the start date for LCA should be same as H1B start date?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            LCA certification take 1-2 weeks. So they can do it in Jan-Feb and then apply for H-1 in April 2012.

  34. Nikita

    Hello,

    My LCA has been filled by my Employer on 18th Nov 2011, is there a chance that my employer be able to file my h1b petition before the Cap closes. As of today the count is 61800 (by end of 18th nov). will H1 count remain till next week? Any Idea?
    Saurabh, you provide valuable suggestions to every one, what do you think …. am I safe?
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Unfortunately it might be too late for you. LCA takes 5-10 business days for approval. Quota may get exhausted by Wed Nov 23 or Fri Nov 25 (Th is a federal holiday).

    2. Drusa

      Wish you luck Nikita. I am just nearing the stage to get the final job offer and learnt of the new update of H1b reaching 61,800 at Nov. 18th. My LCA is still to be made and filed. It is still in best your case.

      I wanted to know does this cap of 61,800 include the Last Year’s Non-used Chilean and Singapore Visa numbers avaialable for use for this years quota ? It would be nice if those numbers are still available beyond what I see now only less than remaining 3200 visas which I am sure used pretty well in the days of 21st and 22nd Nov. Or before Thanksgiving !

  35. George

    What do you think about this year Quota ? My employer filed my LCA on 30th March and still waiting for it to be approved ? Do you think that quota will run out within this week ? I am so worried about it .

  36. Sreekanth

    Saurabh,

    My wife(Pursuing Ph. D) is already having B2 Visa(tourist visa) , now i would like to know, whether she can attend seminars/conferences (in her research field) in USA on same Visa Or does she needs to apply for B1 visa a fresh.
    Her current B2 visa is expiring in July month of this year.Her seminar is in the month of May (2 months before visa expiry).Suggest which is the right way to proceed in order to attend the conference in USA

  37. Khan

    we are hearing that consulate might go on strike in april due some budget issues. if strike is on how much delay is expected in processing of the LCA’s , satmpping process etc.

  38. DK

    As per my knowledge, H1 quota may fill early this time, 75% chances are more. Just within 2 months. Cs lot of jobs are coming up this year. In last four months its increased in a better way.
    If people keep track of job openings, then they gonna apply for this yr for sure.
    Five-six months back whoever applied for job, hardly getting interviews scheduled. one in fifteen days. And now if you upload resume in job sites , you will get plenty of calls. And at least two interviews in 10 days. Again it varies technology to technology. But this is an average rate.
    And six months back term of contract was jus 3 months or max 6 months. Now we can see long term, 1yr and estimation of extending upto 2-3 yrs. But again going yrs is matter of luck.
    Hoping that US economy will be stable and not affected by other global issues.
    All the Best.
    Regards,DK

  39. Taj

    Very good information. However, it would be interesting to split this by masters quota and non masters quota. Did the masters quota fill up early – especially interested in the years 2008 -2009?

  40. Shashank

    Hi,

    I had my L1-A rejected this week, and I believe I still have the option of applying for H1B. Would be great if you could answer the following queries:

    1. Since the cap for FY2011 was reached on Jan 26, 2011, can I apply for H1B under the 2012 quota now?
    2. If yes, when is the earliest that I can apply and get the stamping?
    3. When can I start working on H1B?

    Thanks,
    Shashank

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. The employer can apply for H-1 on or after 1st April w/ employment start date as 1st Oct 2011.
      2. Earliest date to apply is 1st April 2011, and stamping can be done anytime after petition is approved. However, employment cannot start until 1st Oct 2011.
      3. See answer above.

      1. Shashank

        Thanks for the response Saurabh. Appreciate it!

        I ‘ve held L1-B and B visa in the past and have travelled to the US twice. This is the first time that I’ve had a visa rejected (which was quite unexpected considering I’ve got visa’s approved earlier and have even been to the US). Will the L1-A rejection affect my chances of getting a H1B?

        Thanks,
        Shashank

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I don’t know the reason for your L-1A rejection, but the consulate has started scrutinizing job duties for L visas. Most of the L rejections these days are related to specific job duties.

          It won’t impact H-1 approval/stamping unless rejection was due to false documentation (i.e. forged mark sheets, degrees etc)

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