How long does H1B visa Petition processing Take

How long does H1B Visa Processing take? Petition Premium vs. Regular ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 3546 Comments

We have been writing about H1B visa related stuff for a very long time and tracking H1B visa  updates with graphs and analysis. Some of the most commonly asked question on the blog are around processing times like :

  • I have applied for H1B on April 1st. Still my status is “Initial review”, How long does USCIS take ?
  • USCIS received my H1B petition three months ago, still no response. I am worried. Can you tell me how long will they take ?
  • My employer says they filed in June, still no reply from them? How long will they take?
  • What is H1B visa processing time ?
  • Can I contact USCIS and upgrade my H1B visa processing ?
  • Will upgrading to Premium get me decision quicker? I filed as regular processing.
  • Does USCIS have any turnaround time on regular processing application? Why do they take so long?

I can keep on writing various versions of the questions. Let me share few things which I have replied to over and over again on the blog comments. If you know the answers to above, do not read any further…it is just for those who do not know anything.  In case you do not know how to read your H1B case number, read article Understanding H1B Case/Petition Number . Also,  If you do not the various  H1B application  statues, read :  H1B Statuses RFE, Approval, Denial and How to check

What is Regular Processing in context of H1B Visa Filing ?

If an employer filed H1B petition with USCIS by standard process and does not include extra fee to have the petition adjudication( decision ) to be one faster, then that petition is treated to be filed under regular processing.

What is Premium Processing in context of H1B Visa Filing ?

If an employer pays extra premium processing fee to USCIS to have the H1B petition adjudication to be one ( decision ) within 15 calendar days, then that petition is treated to be filed under premium processing.  H1B premium processing is a way to expedite processing your application. It costs additional $1,440 and the turnaround time is 15 calendar days.  The goal of premium processing is that USCIS will have a decision of your case within 15 days.

How long does USCIS take to process H1B visa petition Regular processing ?

There is no correct answer to this question. The answer to this question depends on the case and filed location. Every case in unique and every location has its own processing times.  The typical duration for processing any H1B visa application can take anywhere from few weeks to few months. The best case scenario is :  H1B  visa approval decision can take less than 2 months. The worst case scenario for the decision from USCIS can be as long as 6 months or more. You can check article  Check USCIS H1B Visa Processing times

Does USCIS have any turnaround time/ SLA requirements for regular H1B processing ?

Unfortunately, there is no defined turnaround time/ SLA ( service level agreement) requirement for USCIS to respond to H1B petitions filed with them under regular processing. Remember, H1B petition is just one of the type of visa application of what USCIS handles. They have lot of activities that they handle and did not set any SLA for processing of H1B visa petitions for regular processing. The 15 calendar days SLA applies only to petitions filed under premium processing.

Any higher approval chances in Premium processing ?

No, applying for H1B premium processing will not increase your chances for getting H1B petition approved.  It just expedites the processing time. So, do not be mislead by the fact that $1,440 will increase chances of approval. Read 5 H1B Visa Myths you need to know

Should you apply for Premium H1B Visa Processing ?

It totally depends on your situation. In recent years, many employers try to file H1B in premium processing because they would know the decision faster and can plan accordingly based on that to have the employee work from October 1st. Having said that, unless there is a need, you do not need to apply for premium processing. Think of it logically, you cannot work until October 1st…why waste money ? I understand the decision part for preparation and other stuff.  Unless, there is a need there is no point. Besides, in the most recent years, premium processing is suspended for cap subject petitions to decrease overall processing times of all petitions. But, unlike new cap subject petition, for H1B Transfer scenarios, employers usually apply for premium because of two reasons, first they can work right away and need not wait till October 1st and secondly they are changing between companies, you do not want to be stuck with old employer during this time. You can consider doing premium, when you are at the beginning of August or early September.

Applied for H1B Petition in April , Still USCIS status says “Case Received ”, What should I do ?

Well, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do but wait for USCIS to process your application. As I said above, it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months or more. All you can do is wait. Do NOT panic that you are not getting any response from USCIS. As long as your application was filed properly and the company is good, you should get approval.

Here are few things  you can do:

  • If you are really curious, you may apply for H1B visa premium processing anytime for general petitions by paying  $1,440 and upgrade your case. Your employer has to do the premium processing through the attorney. You cannot do it on your own.
  • You can ask your attorney to call USCIS and ask the status. In the past, one of our blog readers said, they had success and their application decision was done in a week after calling. Although, there is no guarantee. Worth a shot.
  • You can check the particular service center where your petition was filed and get approximate processing times to get an idea. You can do this on USCIS website it is under bottom where you check your case status.
  • Just wait. I understand the anxiety…but there is no shortcut.

How long does H1B transfer take ? Any difference in processing time ?

In fact, there is no difference between a regular H1B petition and transfer except the transfers are not considered towards cap. So, the processing times are same. Anywhere from few weeks to 6 months or more in some cases. For current processing times,  read this article : How to check H1B visa processing times at USCIS Service centers

H1B Visa FY 2021 Processing timelines – Regular vs Premium ?

USCIS Suspended premium processing for FY 2021. They initially mentioned that they would open premium processing in two phases, but later with the COVID-19 situation, they have cancelled Premium Processing for all H1B petitions, both H1B FY 2021 Cap subject petitions and also non-cap subject petitions such as H1B Transfers, Extensions, Amendments or Non-profit Orgs. Currently, there is no premium processing option available from March 20th, 2020. There is no date given yet on when it will be available. Check H1B FY 2021 Premium Processing Status for current info.

Is there any H1B tracker where users added their case and I can get an idea of times ?

You can check out the average H1B Visa processing times using our H1B Visa Tracker ( below link).  All the data on our tracker page is contributed by users like you. Please add your H1B  case by registering and continue to update with your status. It will help others get an idea.

H1B Visa Case Tracker

Check out H1B Visa Processing Times with anonymous data from everyone.

Hopefully, this clarifies most of the commonly asked questions about H1B processing. If you see anyone ask a question on the blog, please point them to this article.

How much was your H1B Visa filing processing time ? Any thoughts to share on the processing time waiting ?

   

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Comments ( 3,546 )

  1. Saravanan

    Hi,

    My H1 transfer was filed on Nov 2011 at Vermont Center. It is still showing as Initial Review. Can you please give me an idea of how long will it take or should I go for PP now?

    Thanks,
    Saravanan

  2. padi

    Hi Saurabh,

    I posted earlier on this forum. My H1 was filed on oct 18; but I haven’t got any decision till feb end.
    So I got it upgraded, and the USCIS site says they received it on march 2nd.

    1. Any thoughts on how long does it take for premium processing? Its more than 12 days, and I don’t see any change in status
    2. Earlier the status was initial review but now (after upgrade) it says ‘Acceptance’, which is like going back a step.

    I am really concerned as its taking forever now 

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Padi,
      It will be adjudicated within 15 calendar days from Mar 2. At times, the status remains in Acceptance and then moves directly to Decision or RFE. Going back to Acceptance is normal when upgrading to PP.

  3. Sravani

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have filed Cap exempt H1B petition in Jan 2012 and upgraded to PP 10 days back. Now it is on RFE. we are yet give reply. Meanwhile i have got another job offer. I want to go with new job and they are going to apply new H1 for me. Can i again file new H1 from new client ? Will there be any issue as already i have filed one H1 through another employer and it is on RFE now? Please suggest.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sravani,
      Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you while the current one is pending RFE. Are you currently in US? If yes, then I-94 needs to be valid for the new cap-exempt petition to be approved w/ I-94.

  4. Vijay

    Hi saurabh,
    My case was filed on 18nov but till date it is in initial review….
    Even cases filed after me got approved…
    My recept no starts with WAC

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vijay,
      They are approving all Oct-Nov petitions together. So you should see some movement within next few weeks, else your employer can follow-up w/ USCIS.

  5. Vijay K

    Hi
    My son is a senior undergraduate student on F1 visa and his I20 completion date is 1st June 2012. However, he might not complete the course by that time, he has 3 more credits to complete and he might not get to complete during this summer (the required course is not offered), this is under his Dean’s review. The question is, can he one apply for OPT now? If he does and does not graduate by 01 June 2012(ie., if the course is not offered in summer), what happens then? He has to register for fall 2012 with new I20 completion dates, then what happens to the EAD start date in the received for the OPT? Pl. Advice what should be his strategy or any other available options etc?
    thanks

    Vijay K

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Vijay,
      Yes, he can apply now. He can work full time during summer break and only part time when school is in session, it is called Pre-Completion OPT. He has to work with Designated School official (DSO) or International students adviser at the school for I20 Updates related to OPT. I would recommend that your son talks to the DSO or International student advisor to understand his current options and proceed further. You may read all the official rules of OPT here at USCIS OPT Rules

  6. Arjun

    is it possible the USCIS To forget or miss any petition number.

    Since most of the petition filled before my date and after my date got approved or went to RFE. Mine is in initial review

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arjun,
      As a rare scenario, it is possible for the petition to have been missed. Your employer can call USCIS to check for the status update.

  7. Vikram

    Hi Saurabh,

    My case was submitted to USCIS on 21st Nov, 2011 and its moved to RFE on 9th March, 2012.

    My case was submitted as Normal processing, can it be upgraded to premium processing while submitting the evidence for RFE?

    Also, generally how long does the RFE process takes?

    Thanks in Advance,
    Vikram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vikram,
      Yes, it can be upgraded to PP when submitting the RFE response. When upgraded to PP, RFE response will be reviewed within 15 calendar days, else it can take 2-6 months.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      ABC,
      I have seen few decisions over the weekend. But I don’t remember if they were cases filed w/ PP or regular processing. It makes more sense for PP as the 15 day count includes Sa and Su, but I am not so sure about regular processing petitions.

  8. Rohit

    Hi Saurabh,

    Is it possible for an employer B to file an H1B visa on a basis of initial approved but expired H1B visa (used for 18 months) petition copy with cap exempt instead of going for transfer of current L1B to H1B ?

    Would there be any advantages since there was an H1B already approved for the individual ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rohit,
      Yes, that can be done. Technically there is nothing like L-1 to H-1. Any new employer will have to file new H-1 petition for you. What changes is whether it is filed from US or out of US (in your case from US as you are here on L-1) and whether is subject to cap or not (in your case it is not based on your earlier approval). Using the old petition will allow your petition to start early and you don’t need to wait until Oct 1 to start working on H-1.

  9. abc

    Saurabh
    Any idea when nov 21 petitions normal processing will get processed?
    California Service Center
    Date of Filing: N0v 21 2011

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      ABC,
      They are currently processing Oct-Nov petitions together. So you may see some movement in next few weeks.

  10. Narain

    Hi Saurabh,
    My LCA is being prepared. Will LCA approval take only 7 days. Am I good to target April 1st for H1 filing?

    Also if COS is applied and approved, my understanding is that I do not need any visa stamping and do not need to go to US Consolate. My status will automatically change from L1B to H1 on October 1st 2012 (along with my dependents from L2 to H4) Is this correct?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Narain,
      LCA takes around 7 days to certify, and then employer needs to post it on internal boards for around 10 days. So you seem to be still on track for April 1 filing.

      Yes, that is correct understanding for COS. Make sure you also apply for COS for your dependents as it is not automatically granted unless applied for.

  11. Raj

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1b extension was applied at VSC on Sep-29-11 and got it approved on Mar-7th-12 at 2 PM. The same day on Mar 7th at 10 AM my employer said they filed the “Premium processing”. How do i know whether the petition was approved because of premium processing or it went thru regular mode. My employer is not willing to answer this question. Does the premium processing takes less than 5 hours to get approval ? Is that possible ? I called USCIS but they are not ready to answer, since they need employer also in the call. Is there any other way to find it ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raj,
      If the employer filed is on Mar 7th, then I don’t think USCIS would have received it on the same day and processed it the same day. So it might have been approved by itself under regular processing. They should return the PP check now back to the employer. Employer would know the right answer b/c they would know whether the PP check got cashed or not.

  12. cj

    My h1b application was denied. I have decided to go back to my country. How long do I have until I need to leave US?

    Also, if I were to do MTR, can I apply and leave US and wait for the decision in my home country?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      CJ,
      You need to leave US ASAP. I would say 1 week, and 2 weeks would be a strecth.

      MTR can be applied while you are out of US and you can wait for decision in your home country.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          CJ,
          No you cannot wait in US just on the basis of MTR unless your visa status prior to H-1 filing is still valid. What’s your visa status at the time of H-1 filing?

          1. cj

            At the time I applied for H-1B was F-1 with valid I-20.

            Applied on April 11 for H-1b.
            My OPT expired on July11, my I-20 expired around that time but got extension to October since we all thought decison would be made by that time..but took them forever to make a decision on my case for some reason…

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            CJ,
            As your OPT/I-20 have expired, you should leave US ASAP even though MTR has been filed (or will be filed).

          3. cj

            So, there’ s no way to stay in US while MTR? what if I were to go back to school and get I-20 from let’s say language school or something?

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            CJ,
            To get another I-20, you will have to show that you are in legal status, which you are not as your past I-20 has expired. You should also take legal advise from an attorney on this.

  13. Pradeep

    Hello,
    H1 B petiton accepted on Nov 1st at VSC.
    Got approved on March 8th.
    Current Status is Post Decision Activity.

    Thank you Saurabh for all the info on you r blog.

  14. MVM

    I got my RFE (8 march) from CSC for new H1B.mine is a PP case(FEB ) converted from Normal(NOV) .Yet to know what the RFE is about.Can you let me know how long will it take for me to see the final decision on this.I know that from the time of Response to review its 15 days to take a decision.I would like to know the time period and the steps involved for this entire process to get over.Really fed up on this delay.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      MVM,
      Your attorney/employer will receive the RFE document within 1-2 weeks. They will have to then prepare the response and send it back to USCIS. They would adjudicate it within 15 calendar days and provide the final approval or denial. If approved, the 797 will be received by employer/attorney within 1-2 weeks.

  15. Vaishnavi

    Hi,

    Want to communicate that my H1B extn approved on 8th Mar.
    My receipt no WACXXXXXXXX
    My current status shows as : Post Decision Activity
    Receipt date: 20th Dec 2011.

  16. Pradeep

    Hi Saurabh,

    Recently my petition has been approved as per USCIS site and I am yet to get my approved petition copy.I just wanted to know if there could still be any rejections at interview during stamping or once the petetion is approved the process is cleared and Visa is approved.

    Regards,
    Pradeep

  17. j

    is it true that 180days duration applies to H1b denied individual? is so, does it start the date of denial letter sent? My h1b application was denied last week, opt and 1-20 expired already.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      J,
      In general, when the H-1 is denied and the applicant is already in US, then they will have to leave US ASAP or move to another visa status (if applicable and permitted).

  18. Rashmi

    I have got my H1B visa stamped from Company A, but due to some reasons i am not going to join that company. The Company A is asking me to return all the petition papers and all. How this documents would help the company now?
    Also if i want to go to USA on my Visa from Company A would i be eligible on this visa or i need to take a new visa ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rashmi,
      They want to cancel the H-1 petition and visa stamp and that is why they are asking for their return. If really needed, you can send them the 797 and keep a copy for yourself. Passport it’s up to you whether to return them for visa cancelation or not.

      In future, another employer B can file cap-exempt petition for you on the basis of already approved petition. Once approved you can travel to US and work for B. No visa stamping is required if A’s visa stamp is still valid and unexpired; else you will have to go through visa stamping through B.

  19. rohan

    Hi Saurabh,

    On USCIS website it shows this” I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER was approved and we sent you an e-mail notice” ans the status is in Decision. Can you please tell me what are the further steps involved in this and also how long it will take for an interview? Currently iam based in India.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rohan,
      The employer/attorney will receive the documents within 1-2 weeks. They can then them to you along w/ other documents and you can go for the visa stamping.

  20. Anand

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got RFE (H1B, PP case) and finally got the decision of denial. My employer is filing MTR. I want to know more details of MTR.

    1. After denial decision- What is the time duration in which we can reopen the case.
    2. Once filing MTR, how much time it will take for USCIS to give post decision.
    3. Did you see any case -who got RFE due to education (as I am a Mech Engr), and in post decision activity it got approved( after filing MTR).

    Regards,- Anand

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anand,
      1. Usually 30 days
      2. It can take few to several months (2-6 maybe)
      3. It will depend upon how your employer is able to convince that you qualify for the offered position

      1. Anand

        Hi Saurabh,

        I have got another employer whos wish to file my H1B.
        Please let me know whether its safe to file again. I dont want to see the RFE again. Please suggest.

        Regards, – Anand

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Anand,
          Chances of RFE/denial will depend upon employer credentials and the job arrangement. If you will be working in EVC model, then chances of approval are less. EC model has better chances of approval. You also need to check w/ employer about employer-employee relationship.

          1. Anand

            Hi Saurabh,
            Attorney filed I290B motion last week.
            1. Will i get the new receipt no or my previous receipt no WAC XXX will get updated.

            2. What would be the good idea.
            a. wait for I290B decision
            b. file a fresh H1B for 2013

            Regards,- Anand

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Anand,
            It would depend upon how confident you are about 290B’s approval. If you and employer are confident then you can wait for it’s approval. Else, you can go for new H-1, which will not get approved until Oct 2013.

          3. Anand

            Saurabh,

            Pasting the exact denial feedback from USCIS. Attorney says this happen to one in 10000 cases or more.

            “Your Service Center denied the case on the basis that the Evaluation provided by Professor XXXX XXXXX, XXXXXX University on the letterhead of the XXXX XXXX agency is not acceptable assessment of the beneficiary’s work experience and other training because foreign credentials evaluators are not qualified to make that assessment and that they are not considered as recognized authorities for the purpose of qualifying aliens under recognition of expertise”.

            Can you please explain it to me. I didn’t get this

          4. Anand

            Missed one more para.

            “The one and the only issue that is presented is that the earlier submitted evaluation by the Professor was not on the University Letterhead rather it was on the letterhead of the Evaluating Agency (XXX XXXX)”.

          5. administrator
            Saurabh

            Anand,
            So they are questioning the credentials of the person who did the evaluation. You can get your education evaluated by another agency and submit it to show that are really qualified for the position.

  21. ggerasimmos

    Hi Saurabh,

    My wife has J-1 status that will finish at 6/30/2012.
    If my wife apply for a change of status from J-1 to H-1B then what is the appropriate time that she has to apply for COS (is it 4/1/2012 ?) and how much time needed to have the answer of the Immigration Office?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ggerasimmos,
      She can apply for COS along w/ her H-1 petition filing. So if the petition is filed on April 1, then she can file for COS along w/ it. In the I-129 petition, the employer will have to select the Change of Status option and not consular processing.

  22. yfastriver

    I need your help!

    I got my H1-B denied on 2/9/12 and I am going for MTR and my lawyer is going to submit the paperwork today.

    My OPT expired back in August 2011. I told the school that I attended that I was applying for H1-b and got extension on I-20 til October and when I contacted them again in October they told me that no need to extend I-20 since I’m still applying for H1-B. I have been working all this time and paying the tax and everything.

    While MTR, can I keep working legally for this company that I am applying H1-B for? and without going to school?

    I don’t want to go back to school nor stop working while MTR.

    What do I need to do to keep me staying in US while MTR?

    Thank you for your reply in advance!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      yfastriver,
      I don’t understand how you can be working. Your OPT has expired and you are no longer in cap-gap. You should have stopped working once cap-gap seized in Oct 2011. The right thing to do would have been to upgrade the petition to PP so that you would have known about the decision before Oct.

      IMO, you should consult a good immigration lawyer. AFAIK, filing MTR doesn’t provide you legal status to stay and work in US.

      1. yfastriver

        When I asked my lawyer, it was Ok, he said fine…

        Was I legally allowed to stay in US all this time after my OPT expired and 1-20 expired since I was applying for H1B? I asked my school cuz I thought I needed to extend my 1-20 and they told me that I didn’t need to…

        I can go back to school if that’s what I need to do to stay here until there’s a decision for MTR.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          yfastriver,
          You should not have been working once your OPT expired and Oct 1 had elapsed. That’s when cap-gap provision stops. Also, IMO filing MTR doesn’t give one legal status to continue to stay in US.

          I would suggest consulting an independent lawyer (not your employer’s) for a better legal opinion.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            yfastriver,
            You should talk to an experienced immigration lawyer about this. I think you cannot stay in US based on pending MTR.

  23. Karthik

    Hi,
    My wife is curently on H4.Her petition was filed with USCIS on 15th of November.
    Her employer says they did receive neither an acknowledgement nor the cheque back.When can she expect a reply?Also will there be an issue in her h1 processing when she is already in US on h4?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Karthik,
      They should have received the acknowledgment by now. They should call USCIS and follow-up. Are they sure that it did reach USCIS on Nov 15?

    2. sat

      karthik,

      I am also in the same boat 🙁 no receipt or no updates from USCIS ..can u pls let me know if u get any updates on your application.

      Thanks

  24. Rajagopal

    Hi Saurabh,
    My visa applied on 22nd nov CSC . ON Feb 25 its upgraded to premium processing . On March 5th I have got RFE from USCIS.
    I havent got the RFE notice yet so I dunno what are the questions. In how many days we will receive the RFE documents and also I wanted to know if i have submitted the RFE documnets in how many days i will get the status ? its in Premium processing

    1. Bebu

      You would get RFE printed document within 3-5 days.

      And once you submit your documents related to RFE, it would take maximum a week for your final response. (if it is premium processing)

  25. Anand P

    Hi ,

    I had H1B which got expired in July 2011. I never used this visa mean I never went USA on this visa.

    Now there is an oppertunity in my project for USA. My company has applied for H1 Transfer or exempt ( my existing expired H1B visa). My company has submitted all my docs at USCIS and I am waiting for approval. Now I want to go for premium process… can anyone tell me how much it will take..one more question can I work immediately once I get H1B..I need not to wait till october..
    Kindly advice..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anand P,
      PP costs $1225.00 and USCIS will adjudicate it within 15 calendar days.

      I assume you are currently out of US. You can go for H-1 visa stamping once petition has been approved and then travel to US anytime while the petition is valid. You are not subject to Oct start date.

      1. Narain

        Hi Saurabh,
        In the scenario above, is Oct start date not applicable for cap exempt H1b petitions?
        In my case I am on L1B. If H1 is approved, can i work for the new employer immediately or should i wait till Oct 1

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Narain,
          Oct start date is not eligible in case of H-1 cap-exempt petition. In your case, they will have to file COS from L-1 to H-1 along w/ cap-exempt petition and you can start working on H-1 from COS approval date (which can be earlier than Oct 1).

          1. Narain

            I am clear about the oct start date. Thanks. But I do not think I can apply for a cap exempt as this is the first time I am applying for a H1 and my employer is not a cap exempt employer. In this case, shouldn’t I wait and work from Oct 1?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Narain,
            You mentioned cap-exempt petition in your earlier comment and that made me assume that this is a cap-exempt scenario. If you are not eligible for cap-exempt petition, then Oct 1 is the earliest start date.

  26. Vishal

    Hi Saurabh,
    My visa applied on 17th nov VSC normal got RFE on 6th March.
    I havent got the RFE notice yet so I dunno what are the questions. I wanted to know does the RFE mean more chances of rejection?
    Also can I upgrade my petition to PP when I respond to RFE?

    1. Bebu

      Hello Vishal,

      RFE does not mean rejection.

      It means that they need more documents from you to take decision regarding the case.

      Dont panic and wait for the RFE document which would give you details of the documents which they have requested from you.

      If you are not in hurry for change of status, you can go with normal processing.

      1. Vishal

        Thanks bebu
        I will just wait for the RFE notice then its just that mine is a small consuting company n have heard that USCIS targets them specially for RFEs n denials thats y i got worried but then unless i see the questions no.point in making assumptions

        1. Bebu

          Yeah, that is the biggest fear for everyone who get RFE, not just the small or mid -size consulting firms.

          Just look for the details and work out with the lawyer personally.

          Dont leave up everything on lawyer to do your processing, you have to put ur efforts too.

          All the best !!!!!!!!!

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vishal,
      Agree w/ Bebu. RFE doesn’t mean less chance of rejection and it would depend upon what has been asked in RFE and what your employer responds. RFE can be for trivial reasons as well (like missing employer tax id number).

  27. A.Wrrh

    Hi, Saurabh
    Just out of curiousity, I was checking the Green Card (PERM) Petitions Data page and typed my company name (which filed H1B application for me on Nov. 1st @ VSC but it’s still under Initial Review), to my surprise, the case status shows “CERTIFIED-EXPIRED”. What does that mean? Is it still possible for them to sponsor me with GC in future?
    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      A.Wrrh,
      This happens when DOL approved the PERM, but the employer didn’t file I-140 petition w/ USCIS within 180 days. The PERM petition expires in this case. I don’t think it’s a reason to worry as employer could have valid reasons to not file the petition w/ USCIS.

  28. Loic

    Hi,
    I got the approval on my H1b visa,and got the appointment with the embassy, they don’t ask for medical visit, should i got one before the interview since they ask me last time for my last visa?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Loic,
      I haven’t heard about cases where one is required to go for medical visit prior to H-1 interview. What was your last visa category?

      1. Loic

        It was a h3 visa,prior that i did had a dwi case who was dismissed.For now they didn’t ask me but I was wondering. Should i contact the embassy where i got the appointment?
        Thank you for you time and help.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Loic,
          You can contact consulate and ask, but usually I don’t see them asking people to go for medical test prior to H-1 stamping. Maybe it’s a requirement for H-3, though I am not sure.

  29. Manju

    Hi Saurabh,

    I was working on H1 and then got convert to H4 last year. Now i again applied H1 in Jan2012. Its in initial review now. But i have started working for a client as part time remotely from feb. Will this a problem? planning to upgrade to PP and can my payroll get started as once my H1 gets approved and can i continue working now?

    Thankyou for ur time.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Manju,
      If you are currently in US, then you should not have been working even remotely until your H-1 gets approved w/ COS. This is breaking the law. If you want to start early, then upgrade it to PP so that you can work for them legally.

  30. Sat

    Hi Saurabh,

    Once a H1b petition is approved by USCIS, will there be an intimation through mail or post that the petition is approved before the I797 document is sent to the applicant?
    Or is that only after the I797 document is received the applicant will know that the petition is approved.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sat,
      I think they (i.e. employer or attorney) would directly receive the 797 document and not any other intimation in b/w.

  31. Amit Kumar

    Hi Saurabh,
    I got RFE on 2nd March, Right now I have moved to some other client but in the same company. I have few queries —
    1) Should I ask my attorney to prepare new LCA .If yes how much time does it take for preparation of new LCA.
    2) How much time do I have to submit the document related to RFE.
    3) How long will it take for petition decision after the documents are submitted.
    4) Will this have any impact when I go for personal interview.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit Kumar,
      1. I don’t know what the best course of action is in such a scenario. I don’t think it is possible to change the underlying LCA while the petition is pending, and if new client details are submitted then USCIS can deny the petition stating the difference in client information (I have read one such case recently). Please co-ordinate w/ your attorney on this, as they may be able to provide more guidance. Also, it would be helpful if you can share that information here for the benefit of others.
      2. Usually it is 60 day, but the actual timeframe will be mentioned in the RFE notice
      3. It can take 2-6 months, but can happen earlier as well.
      4. RFE itself will not have any impact. However, the fact that your client has changed and is different from what’s there in LCA and I-129 can have an impact.

      1. Riku

        Hi Amit – My case is similar. We are about to file an RFE response citing a different client. Can you share any updates from your side? Did you file a new LCA as well as amendment? Or just an LCA?

        Thanks in advance.

  32. Arjun

    Hi Saurabh,

    When my petition was filled the client address was in location x and the base client office is in location y.
    Now the client address in location x has changed the address but the base client is in same location y
    My petition was filled on oct 11 and still in initial review . Do we require any change to be done. please help

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arjun,
      What was the location mentioned in I-129 and LCA? If they have changed, then new LCA needs to be certified and H-1 amendment may be required in future.

      1. Arjun

        Hi Saurabh,

        in the i-129 it is mentioned as location x and the base client office is in location y .

        now for client location changed after my petition was filled 3 months should i ask my employer to for the new LCA and H1 Amendments

        Note: My petition status is still in Initial review

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Arjun,
          IMO, they should get new LCA and H-1 amendment. However, not all employers are willing to file the amendment (as it costs money), so you will have to check this w/ them.

          1. Rahul

            Hi Saurabh/Arjun – My understanding is an H1 amendment comes into the picture only after the petition is approved. Since Arjun’s was still not approved at the time of writing this post, would he still need an amendment? Obviously, i do stand corrected.

            Thanks,Rahul

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Rahul,
            You are right. If the petition is not approved, then H-1 amendment is not required.

  33. Rams

    I have 8+ years experience it IT Can you please let me know the list consults who can do the H1B process for 2012 quota

    Thanks

  34. Bhargavi

    Hi, I am working for a well know Indian company. My husband’s and mine extension has been received two years back. We didnot go for stamping since 2010. we are in need now to go to India in April. But I hear people getting visa rejections during stamping. What do you advise? Is it safe to get stamping in India/Vancouver or any other place?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bhargavi,
      It is ok to go to CA or MX for stamping if it’s not your 1st H-1 stamping. However, people going to those countries are also issued 221g and may face rejections as well. Chances of approval will depend upon employer profile, job you are doing etc. If you are working for consulting company, then chances of rejection are higher.

  35. Deep

    Just an update!!!

    CSC has started processing Nov 21st proposals!!! Few people from my company got RFE and Acceptance.
    Now again as it is processed from different ques, it is quite possible that Nov 1st petition is not processed but Nov 21st has been processed.

  36. MVM

    My new H1B case got upgraded to premium)(CSC) on 25 FEB (online acceptance status date).Waiting period is 15 calendar days or Business days ? I mean shld we include sat and sun ?Will it not move to the next state as per guidelines.Its seen as acceptance from the time it got upgraded to PP.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      MVM,
      It is calendar days and so includes Sa and Su. Lot of times PP petitions stay in Acceptance and then jump directly to RFE or Decision.

      1. nitesh

        My Visa got approved. it was submitted on 21st Nov 2011 in normal process. Do you know how much time it will take to get I797 copy?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Nitesh,
          Employer/attorney should receive it within 1-2 weeks. At times, it can take up to 30 days due to postal delays.

  37. Sharan Saikumar

    Hi. I am sorry if you have already answered this.
    But I have a question on filing the H-1 visa. I have heard that if one applies for H-1 in April, the start date ideally would be from October. I am on OPT currently and my OPT expiration date is June 17, 2013. So if I apply for H-1, say suppose in April 2013 and if the start date of my H-1 visa is from October would I be eligible to work between June(when my OPT visa expires) and October?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sharan Saikumar,
      You can work b/w June and Oct on the basis of cap-gap. One is eligible for cap-gap if:
      – H-1 filed w/ COS
      – H-1 filed w/ start date of Oct 1
      – you are in valid F-1 or OPT status at the time of filing

  38. SV

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently working for L1 Employer , New company filed H1B with COS and it got approved in Dec 2012 , My L1B still valid till 2013 .Also New employer filed L2 to H4 for my wife . It also got approved.

    Now my question is here .
    1. She is going to india , can she come back on L2 as i am working on L1B Employer.
    2. I am working for L1B employer and H1B employer looking for new project as the last project where i had to join gets over because i got H1B approval notice very late ?
    3. If she can come back on L2 , will there be any immigration issue or anything else ?

    Thanks in advance

  39. Vaishnavi

    Hi,

    I submitted my H1B extn on 20th Dec 2011. Service Center is California (WAC). Tentatively when can I expect and also current process date

  40. Ashutosh Singh

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’ve got approved petition of H1B for 1 year.And my interview date for the may be decided in the next few days. I’m confused that if my stay in US goes longer than 1 year then does it my employer have to file a new petition for the H1B or is there any other way to extend your visa.

    Regards,
    Ashutosh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ashutosh Singh,
      Your employer will have to file H-1 extension petition. It’s the same process like your current petition. The difference being that you will have to submit copy of current 797 as proof that you are cap-exempt and recent payslips and W2 (if applicable) to show that you have been maintaining proof in US.

  41. sarika

    Hi Saurabh,

    When my employer filed my H1B I was working with (another project)X-client.After filing the Petition I join Y-client(new project),although for both the project client location is same.I got petition approval now.
    Now LCA is required in my case?want to mention I will not be working on client location in US,as I will be working from my employer location in US.Also let me know how many days it take for LCA approval? Please guide !!Wating for your reply.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sarika,
      When you go for visa interview, you will be asked about the client which you would mention as Y. The officer can then ask for I-129 and the letter which the employer sent to USCIS at the time of filing. These will be mentioning the name as X. This discrepancy can cause them to issue 221g and ask you to submit amended H-1 petition. Off late, I have seen an increase in number of such 221g cases. To be on a safe side, you should get both LCA re-certified (10-14 days) and H-1 amended (2-4 months under regular processing). What’s your employer opinion on this?

      1. sarika

        As I mention earlier my both client location is same.can I go for stamping with my previous client,without filing LCA for new client and after entering in to USA start working from my employer location(As I mention I will be working form Employer location and not client).is this option available for me?please advice .

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sarika,
          Was client information submitted w/ the petition? What did employer mentioned in the letter to USCIS and I-129? If they have mentioned the old client and now you carry new client documents, you may run into 221g issues. Talk to your attorney about it, as I have seen some recent 221g which were issued b/c of discrepancy in client information at time of petition processing and during H-1 stamping.

          1. sarika

            I discussed with my employer today and they said they will file LCA for new location.I am still worried if last moment any issue arise…for H1B amendment.I have no idea about either client information submitted w/ the petition or not.they said my case is very common and they offen file LCA in such cases.please guide.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Sarika,
            If that’s what your employer wants to do, there is not much you can do. Talk to the employer if they are willing to file amendment on priority if 221g is issued for the same, and will continue to support you during the 221g processing. Once you have that buy-in, you can go for the interview and remain confident.

            Good luck!

          3. sarika

            Thanks saurabh for your prompt reply.does 221g means denial of H1B?Lets hope for the best .Tomorrow again will confirm this with my employer ,will share same with you.Once again Thanks so much for your help

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Sarika,
            221g means visa rejection. Consulate will ask for more documents or clarification and will do administrative process in the b/g before finally approving or rejecting the visa.

  42. Ram

    Hi,
    In 2004, my H1B petition got approved and at the time of applying for a visa the local US embassy in my country had rejected and put a stamp in my passport saying application received.
    Now i have an offer from an other employer and he is ready to file I -129 for me, pls advice am i eligible to file or they will accept the application and refuse??, i am really worried pls clarify

          1. Ritvika

            Mine was filed on 14th Oct and still its showing Initial Review…..any idea how they are processing …..I am now worried…..

            Ritvika

          1. Sudhir

            Hi Saurabh,
            My friend’s petition has moved to RFE, he applied at VSC on 15thNov.
            I have applied on Nov1st Still initial Review .
            Will there be no order for processing the petitions?
            Should i wait for some time or contact our company’s immigration team.

            Regards,
            Sudhir

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Sudhir,
            At the moment, they are processing all the petitions together. So petitions filed on Nov 21 and in Oct are getting processed on the same date. They don’t seem to be following the FIFO logic at the moment, to clear out as many petitions as possible before April 1. Wait for 3-4 more weeks, and you should see some movement in your petition as well.

          3. Vishal

            Hi Saurabh,
            My visa applied on 17th nov VSC normal got RFE on 6th.
            I havent got the RFE notice yet so I dunno what are the questions. I wanted to know does the RFE mean more chances of rejection

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Vishal,
            Employer/attorney should receive the RFE notice within 1-2 weeks. Chances of approval will depend upon the complexity of the RFE and the response your employer/attorney prepares. At times, RFE can be for trivial reason.

  43. Raj

    Is there any one who applied H1b extension in last week of Sep-2011 @ VSC and still waiting?
    My extension was applied on 29th-sep-2011 at VSC and still status shows “Initial Review” ??

  44. Bhuvnesh

    Hi Saurabh,
    My Visa got approved. Thanks for your help.

    My petition was based out of Client A, Location X but now am going to travel for Client B, Location Y.

    I spoke to my Logistics, they said, they would provide some documents/papers to carry along with it for this change and probably once am there, they will be filing the amendment.

    What do you suggest on this, what docs are required and how much time does it take for amendment..

    Regards

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bhuvnesh,
      I haven’t heard cases where PoE officer refused entry b/c of missing amendment. Usually it’s USCIS and consulate that have raised that concern. So it may be ok to travel this way and then file for LCA certification and amendment. It may take 2-6 months to process.

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