How long does H1B visa Petition processing Take

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

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 3530 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 $1,410( fee increased in October 2018)  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 H1B processing?

Unfortunately, there is no defined turnaround time/ SLA ( service level agreement) requirement for USCIS to respond to H1B petitions filed with them. 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 SLA applies to only 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 $1,410 will increase chances of approval. Read 5 H1B Visa Myths you need to know

Should you apply for Premium H1B Visa Processing ?

Honestly, 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 couple of 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 end of 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  $1,410 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 2020 Processing timelines – Regular vs Premium ?

If you filed your H1B visa petition in Premium Processing in April 1st week, your 15 days SLA clock started on May 20th, 2019 and you should hear back on the decision by June 4th, 2019. If you have filed in Regular Processing for FY 2020, then there is no estimated SLA and it can take anywhere from few weeks to few months..so, you need to wait… It can be very frustrating and may seem like you have no hope, but that’s how it works, you just need to wait… Also, if you are really worried, you can upgrade your H1B petition to premium processing. USCIS announced that starting from June 10th, you can upgrade your petition to premium processing, if you want to.

H1B Premium Processing for FY 2020 Season

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 ( 3,530 )

  1. Pratima

    hi.., im on h4 now.i got a job in a company, n dat company applied for my h1.on my request, they upgraded my application to premium processing.when i checked on the USCIS website, my status says RFE.Will my application still be considered as PP or will it be considered regular.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your petition will still be considered as premium processing petition. However, the PP clock stops once RFE is issued. Once they receive the response to RFE, they would adjudicate it within another 15 calendar days.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It has been a while since I did it myself, but AFAIK it is done when submitting the form online. But that may have changed since DS-160 has been introduced. Maybe someone how recently went for interview can comment w/ a more concrete answer.

      1. Biswajit

        After a successful stamping, you have 2 options to get your passport
        1. collect your passport at a VFS collection center. You will get a sms telling you when to collect and where from VFS. Usually VFS sends the sms the day after your interview. The collection time frame is usually 1 hr.
        2. If you donot collect within the VFS suggested collection time frame (which is usually 1hr the day after your visa intv), they courier it through the bluedart courier service and ppl usually get passport in 2 working days.

        Thanks
        Biswajit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Any H-1 petition may take 2-6 months. If filed w/ premium processing, it would be adjudicated within 15 calendar days. In case USCIS issues the RFE, the process could be further delayed. This is true for any petition irrespective of whether it is filed while you are outside US, or while you are within US on a different visa status (like H-4, L-1, F-1, F-2 etc).

  2. Rock

    Hey Saurabh,

    I came to US with a F-1 Visa in 2004. I got my undergraduate degree in Marketing from a university in Arkansas. I used my OPT for a year after my graduation. Since my employer didn’t sponsor me for H1B i decided to go back to school to remain on status. I joined a community college for two semesters. After two semesters i joined a colleged in California, which unfortunately got shut down. My visa was terminated immediately after the closure of the university. I had an option either to join another university and apply for reinstatement or to go back to my country. I chose to stay and apply for reinstatement with another university. I applied for I-539 in April of this year and since then i have been waiting for the decision. The case status still says “initial review”. At the mean time i have this company that has filed for my H1-B visa, premium processing. The LCA has been approved already and the lawyer is about to file the petition anytime. I am 99.99% sure that i will be getting an RFE on my case because of my status and i am also very sure that my COS wont be approved. Assuming that my H1b will be approved without the COS, i will have to go back to my country for stamping. However there is a slight problem, i have a minor misdemeanor on my record which has been cleared. Could you give me some insight into what are my chances here???

    Thanking you,
    Rocky.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Are you referring to H-1 stamping chances or H-1 approval chances w/ COS? If USCIS determines that you didn’t maintain status and doesn’t approve the COS, the same question may be raised during visa interview. It is better to talk to a good lawyer and consult on how to tackle such questions during interview. I assume your H-1 employer already has an attorney to help you out w/ possible H-1 RFEs.

      1. Rock

        Thank you for your quick response. I am talking about H1B stamping and yes i do have a lawyer who is willing to help me with the RFE.

      2. Rock

        If the H1-B is approved without the COS? How soon would i have to go back to my country to get my stamping done? Also is it compulsory to go to our own home country for stamping? Can’t you go to Canada or Mexico?????

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          You need to go for stamping when you decide to start working on H-1 (the other alternative is to file COS again later). For 1st time stamping it is always recommended to go to the home country.

  3. Sriram

    Dear Saurabh,
    Thanks for the instant reply.
    1. What i wanted to know is only the initial joining preiod (grace period) on approved H1b for the person already in US on F1 – that too not even a week but only 3 or 4 days.
    2. The leave I mentioned is not the planned vocation- tbut the one on a “suddenly developed problem” (on health or due to inclement weater). This too for only one or two days- not a week or so.
    3. What is the ‘pay cycle’ – you refer – i want to know this also.
    Thanks once again
    Sriram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. If there is a delay of 3-4 days before starting to work on H-1, that’s not a big deal and can be reasoned later w/ USCIS (in case it is questioned)
      2. Same as (1)
      3. Pay cycle is the time within which your salary is given out to you. It can either be 15 days or 30 days. Staying w/o pay for one or more pay cycles (or pay periods) can raise serious questions.

  4. Sam

    Hi Saurabh,
    First, I think this is really cool what you are doing.
    I am currently in the US on F1 and doing some CPT and I have a post masters degree. I just got an offer to work for a University starting July, 2012, but not as s professor. I am not sure if I understand correctly, but do I need to apply now or wait until it is closer to my start date? Also, do university position count in the cap-gap or are they exempted?

    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Certain university positions are cap-exempt and not subject to numerical quota. What that means is you can start working on H-1 as soon as your petition gets approved and are not bound by year’s quota count or 1st Oct start date. You will have to check w/ university whether the position is cap exempt or not.

      Also, H-1 can be applied 6 months in advance. If you want employment start date of July 2012, then it needs to be applied in Jan 2012 w/ start date of July 2012. Though, you will have to maintain valid F-1 status until July 2012. When are you graduating?

      1. Sam

        Thank you. I can either graduate in May or June of 2012. Do you have any suggestion on what to choose and not fall out of status? By the way, I have my degree already as of now, I am currently doing a certificate program.
        Last question: if I wait until Jan,2012 and the position is not exempted, is there a risk that the cap number is reached and I cannot apply?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If you want to start working on H-1 from July, then it’s ok to graduate in May or June (later the better) as you have 60 days grace period where you can stay in US after the end of your graduation.

          Yes, it would be an issue if your job is not cap-exempt and quota gets exhausted by the time your employer files the petition. Get in touch w/ employer/attorney to figure out if your position is cap-exempt or not. That could provide direction on future course of action.

  5. vicky

    Hi Saurabh,

    First of all thanks for replying queries to so many people.

    I have few questions for you:

    1.I am going to get approved h1b petition in few days.I wanted to know should I get H1b visa stamped for my myself and then have an appointment for my wife for H4 or we both can take appointment on same day even my h1 interview is not done?

    2.We did court marriage so we donot have wedding card and wedding album .We do have reception picture.Will it be enough?

    Thanks,
    Vicky

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. You can schedule an appointment for yourself. I think towards the end it asks if you want to include any family members, and at that point you can include her. You would still need to fill separate DS-160 forms and separate HDFC receipts.
      2. Court marriage document, marriage certificate and reception photo should be sufficient. You can let the officer know that you did court marriage and don’t have formal wedding card/album.

      1. vicky

        hi saurabh,

        thanks for the reply…but I could not get the first point clearly?

        should not she schedule for h4 appointment seperately?

        thanks,
        vicky

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          She will fill her own DS-160 form, but you go for interview together. For this, you can schedule the appointment date and add her as a family member when scheduling the date and time.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            I regularly visit this blog site almost on a daily basis. If you have any urgent needs, you can still post them here and mark them as urgent, and I would reply to them. My response time would be the same whether you email me or post it here.

            Thanks

          2. vicky

            hi saurabh,

            are you sure I will need 2 hdfc receipt while scheduling h1b and h4 interview together?

            thanks,
            vicky

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            As far as I remember, 2 HDFC receipts are required for H-1 and H-4 interviewee. You can call VFS and confirm.

          4. vicky

            hi saurabh,

            generally in interview they as whether it is love or arranged marriage? what is the best answer and what they really wanna know by asking this q?

            vicky

          5. administrator
            Saurabh

            I haven’t seen that love or arranged marriage in any of the interview experiences I have read online. I don’t think that question will be asked.

  6. Loic

    My case was filed the 12 july 2011 and my case it still pending , the lawyer told me they have some delayed, how long more could it take knowing my starting day would be in february 2012.
    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Processing may at times take 6 months or more. You always have the option of upgrading it to premium processing, in which case USCIS would adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days. You may want to use it if you start cutting too close to your start date and have an urgent need to travel to US and start working on H-1.

  7. Kc yumul

    Hi! I would be filling for h1b this October. Its past October 1 already. I have been reading the entries regarding h1b. I do not understand the cap- gap matter. Does yhat processing time changes if i applied past Oct1. I would appreciate it if you would explain it futher. Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your employer can file H-1 for you as the quota is still open. Cap-gap is applicable only to candidates currently in US on OPT/F-1 and filing prior to 1st Oct. Are you within US at the moment? If yes, then what’s your current visa status?

    2. allan

      You still have plenty of time to file for H1B. There are almost 40,000 caps available for undergrad and 900 for grads. What is your current situation regarding the cap-gap? Are you on F1? Working on OPT? etc?. Processing time doesn’t change really, but it does depends on the volume of applications and how many people working, say if they receive all 40,000 petitions and half of the staff take vacation, then yes, it would take more time. You can perhaps expedite by paying Premium Processing, which will guaranty to deliver the decision within 15 days.

  8. Barbora

    Hello Saurabh,

    First of all – it’s great you’re helping people out so much. Thank you!

    I’m currently in the US working part-time for a non-profit on OPT. My OPT expires in February but there’s a position within the same organization (it’s a non-profit affiliated with a university) that I was recommended for and am going to interview for.

    Having the feeling that the HR people are not very willing to deal with the paperwork, I’d like to get some info on this to be “ahead of them”.

    1. Is it too late to apply for H1B visa when my OPT expires in February? I can work with them under OPT while my H1B is being processed, is that correct?
    2. I know you’ve written about the cap-gap, but I still don’t really understand it (sorry). Does that apply only for the end of the fiscal year? Or is there a way that I could possibly get an OPT extension after my OPT expires but my organization applies for my H1B? Or would I have to stop working and wait until the H1B is approved and received?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Barbora

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. It’s not too late, yet. There are around 30K open slots still in this fiscal year’s quota. You can work on OPT until your OPT expiration date even if your H-1 petition is pending. Once H-1 is approved, you need to work on H-1. If your OPT expires and your H-1 is still not approved, then you will have to stop working on OPT.
      2. Cap-gap rule applies when
      – petition is filed w/ COS (change of status)
      – requested start date is 1st Oct
      – OPT expires b/w April and Oct of that year
      As your H-1 would be filed after Oct, you are not eligible for cap-gap. You can couple of options
      i. If you are eligible for 17 month OPT extension, then apply for that. Later apply for H-1 petition which would give you more breathing time (these days H-1 petition may take 2-6 months to approve)
      ii. Have the employer file H-1 w/ premium processing. Although it costs $1225 more, but USCIS would adjudicate your petition within 15 calendar days and provide more surety that it would get processed before your OPT expires.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. Barbora

        Thank you, Saurabh!

        The 17 month OPT extension is only for certain fields, right? I have a degree in Public and International Affairs and since that’s not a technical field, I think I’m not eligible for that. However, there is a chance of getting things done by February so now I just have to work on that.

        With the premium processing – does that mean that with that, I could get the H1B much faster? In under 2 months?

        Thank you!

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, OPT extension can only be filed for STEM category and your’s doesn’t seem to be in that category.

          When a petition is filed w/ premium processing, USCIS would adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days. If they have to issue RFE (for additional documents or information from you or employer) they would stop the process. Once the response to RFE is received, they would commence the processing again and would give the final judgment within another 15 calendar days. So yes, it can be approved in under 2 months.

  9. Ashish

    Hi Saurabh,

    What’s the chances of getting a Permanent position job in US. Also, if H1b is provided by the company whats the chances of getting an H1b and within how much time if they r processing through premium processing.

    Thanks
    Ashish

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chances of getting a permanent position depends upon your profile and requirements that match your skillset. Chances of H-1 approval depend upon your profile, employer credentials and proposed job offer. When filed as premium processing, H-1 is adjudicated within 15 calendar days. In case RFE is issued, USCIS would take another 15 calendar days once response to RFE is received.

  10. Bella

    Hello,

    I just got my H-1B approval notice from the USCIS. Then I was required to fill in the DS-160 application online before setting up the interview with the US Embassy. After I submitted the application online, I realised that I put the wrong information on the followings:

    1) Working phone number in the US
    2) Petitioner (I put the lawyer’s name that helped my employer organising the petition. It should be my employer’s name which is the right petitioner)

    Will this prevent my entry to the US since I unintentionally gave the wrong information? Do I need to create another new DS-160 application or I just tell the US embassy about these matters during my interview with them?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I think you can make the changes when attending the interview. Call VFS and ask them if the changes can be made on the interview date (before attending the interview).

  11. Shankar

    Hi ,
    I had been rejected twice for B1 Visa this Year and My Current Employer is ready to file H1B Visa, Does those rejection of B1 Visa has their effect while going for an H1B visa Stamping.

  12. PRIYA

    Hi,
    I had filed my H1 B visa in premium to Vermont center and its been more than 15 days now and I did not get a reply from USCIS.

    Can you pls suggest what I need to do?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      USCIS should have adjudicated the petition within 15 calendar days from the date receipt was generated. Has it been 15 days since petition was filed, or 15 days since USCIS generated the receipt number?

      If latter, then your employer should call up USCIS and follow-up for an update.

  13. Amit

    Hey, my I-129 was filed on 24th of August on California Center. Any idea on what are the current processing times. I heard they are taking about 4 months for the current cases.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, it is typically taking 2-6 months (or longer) these days. If you want faster processing, then you can opt for premium processing (costs $1225 more) and your case would be adjudicated within 15 calendar days.

  14. Rashmi Surana

    Hello,

    I have applied for my H-1B Visa and had applied for my Premium Processing. My cap gap is over. When it was in Premium Processing I got a query and I submitted the respective documents. I have 2 questions?
    How long will USCIS take to reply to my Query? Will it yet be processed in Premium Processing or the normal time period?
    Can I work while my H-1B is in process (but my cap gap is over)?

    Appreciate a quick response.

    Thank you

    Regards,
    Rashmi Surana

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      USCIS will still adjudicate it as premium processing, so you should receive the judgment within 15 calendar days (days start when USCIS receives the response). You cannot work once your cap-gap is over and OPT has expired.

  15. Vishnu

    HI Saurabh

    Presently I am in J-1 visa which expires on 8th Feb 2012. I am already looking for jobs and one company is interested in offering a job in Nov 2011.
    Is it possible to apply for H-1B visa after 1 October 2011 to work from Nov 2011? Or do I need to wait till next Oct 2012 to start my job?

    Thank you in advance
    Vishnu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I don’t know if you have J-1 waiver or not. Assuming you have, an employer can file H-1 for you w/ COS. Once approved, your status would be H-1 and you can start working on H-1. However, if RFE is issued that could delay the process. You don’t need to wait for next Oct to start working and can start working on H-1 from the date mentioned in the H-1 approval notice.

      1. Vishnu

        Thank you Saurabh.
        I don’t have any any 2-year home rule. so I don’t need to apply for any waiver.
        My contract is till 8th Feb 2012 in J-1 Visa. I know that there is 30 day grace period for J-1 visa holders. What will be the situation if my next employer applies for H-1 processing in mid-January in PP which may approve after feb 8. From 9th Feb, I will be on grace period. Can I join the new employer when I stay in grace period for few days.

        Thank you
        Vishnu

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I don’t know about the grace period, but if you are eligible for one on J-1, then you can stay during that period while your H-1 gets processed. However, you will have to leave US if your grace period expires, but H-1 hasn’t been approved yet w/ COS. You always have the option of upgrading it to premium processing in order to get quicker result.

  16. Deepak

    URJENT QUERY………………………….

    Hi Guys…..,

    Please help me to know how i can get a H1B Visa where i have my previous employer wants me to join in US. Right now I am working in India with different employer.
    Also i do not have H1B Visa and My previous employer can not hire me as on permanent role, it should be from a consultant.

    FYI.. I was working in captive unit of my previous employer 2 months back. Now they dont have any permanent position in any of the location. They can hire it from any of the preferred vendor. But Not sure how soon Vendor can get me a H1B Visa.

    Please help me on this………
    Regards,
    Deepak

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      One of the preferred vendor needs to file H-1 for you and submit the old employer as prospective client. Once H-1 gets approved and you get H-1 stamped, you can enter US to work for that employer as a contractor through the vendor (who would be your actual employer).

  17. Krupa

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thank you for all the comments received. Can I go for H1-Stamping with the soft copy of I-797 approval notice? Also kindly let me know the major docs from USCIS point of view that are important for H1-B stamping. Is LCA posting proof required for H1-B visa interview?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You need hard-copy of 797 when going for stamping. Soft copy won’t be sufficient. Major documents required for stamping are:
      – your documents (passport, resume, experience letters etc)
      – employer documents (tax returns, wage reports, employee information etc)
      – job documents (client/project letter, SOW etc)
      – other documents (797, I-129 etc)

      LCA job posting is not required, but copy of I-129 is.

  18. virani

    Hi Saurabh,

    I had got B2 visa from Mumbai along with my wife & son in March 2009. I had come to US in May 2009 with my son & returned in Oct. 2009.

    I had again come to US with my wife in May 2011. My wife returned back in July 2011. I have now got H1 visa but my wife does not want to come to US.

    I want to remarry, will I be able to get H4 visa for my 2nd wife. I am a Muslim and can remarry without divorcing the 1st wife & the Nikah can be done on the telephone also, kindly advise

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Once you are legally married to the 2nd wife (have marriage certificate, wedding card/album etc), she would be able to apply for H-4 and join you in US.

  19. Anush

    Hello Saurabh.

    I am on an H4. If I receive multiple job offers now, can all my employers file for my H1?

    To be clear: this is an H4 to H1 conversion. This is my first H1.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, they can do that. They can file it either w/ or w/o COS. Once the 1st petition is approved w/ COS, your status would be H-1 and you need to start working on H-1 for that employer. If multiple H-1s gets approved then you can decide to work for any one of those employers.

      1. Anush

        OK.

        2 scenarios:

        1. If I have started work for employer 1, and after a few weeks – employer 2’s H4 to H1 also gets approved. Can I shift to employer 2?

        2. If I have started work for employer 1, and if employer 2 files for my H1 now – will it be an H1 transfer?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. Yes
          2. Yes. Legally/officially there is nothing called H-1 transfer. When you already have an existing H-1, and another employer submits H-1 petition on your behalf, they can make it cap-exempt by showing that you have already been counted in the quota. This is what people loosely refer as H-1 transfer. Once approved, you can decide whether to continue working for employer 1 or employer 2.

          1. pooja

            is people coming forward to offer job on h4 ,i actualy had my H1b viisa on 2008 and changed to h4 after 6 months ,but now i want to work and if i apply for H1b transfer they will ask for client letter ,so how can i convience them for the letter ,how did u get the offer and did u get any client letter to apply for h1b…. i really dont know what to do ,please help me ….are pepole calling u for interview if u say that u are in h4….u can send me an private email if u want @ pooja.asd at gmail dot com

  20. Steven

    Hi,
    Am in a B1 in Lieu of H in US. I came here during may end and I have i94 till dec 1st. My company is trying to do a COS to H1, They filed the petition , they got the LCA approved yesterday. What can be the approximate time I will get my COS to H1 since I have only 2 months before I return back to my home country?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Processing may take 2-6 months. If don’t have the luxury of time, then you should file it w/ premium processing so that USCIS adjudicates the petition within 15 calendar days. However, it would cost $1225 more.

  21. Bella

    Hello,

    I would like you to know that my employer from the US upgraded my H1B visa to premium processing like 2 weeks ago. It is still pending for approval. I have following questions:
    1) What is the chance that my H-1B petition will be approved? I just graduated in Bachelor of Engineering from Australia and have a good background.
    2) Once it’s approved, how long after that I can get to apply with the US embassy in my country? How long do I need to get my working visa from that US embassy?

    Thank u.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Not possible to put a number on the chance. It depends upon lot of factors including your profile, your employer profile, proposed job etc.
      2. You can go for stamping soon after you receive documents from the employer. If stamping goes fine then you could receive the approval within days. If your case is put into administrative processing (221g) then it may take weeks or months.

      1. Sriram

        Thanks Saurab,
        I am still unclear. Please do needful
        Can you please clarify if one on H1B visa (just got)- working fiull time with a company can also work on part time (teaching) job with some university holding H1B-
        Will it be considered as a concurrent option? Or cumulative action?

        The main scenario is one is allowed 6 years of H1B and within that he needs to apply for Green card to stay longer, so in this aspect if one works for 3 years in full time H1b and with concurrent part time on h1b, then what happens to his 6 years?

        Will it be counted as 6 years at the end of 3 years OR is it counted as 3 years only.

        OR altogether he has to i apply for concurrent h1b to work part time.

        Would this affect his 6 year period of total H1b reduced to lesser time equalant to the part time period he worked?.

        Thanks and Regards
        Sriram

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, part-time H-1 can be filed and it will be considered concurrent.

          If you spend 3 years working both full-time and part-time simultaneously, you are still considered to have used only 3 years against your 6 year clock. Does that clarify?

          1. Sriram

            Dear Saurab,
            What is the joining time one gets immediately after getting H1B approved (COS from F1) ?
            Another issue:
            I understand, one should not be w/o salary even for a day on H1B – Right?
            If so, what about the days one couldn’t reach office due to ill -health (may be a day or 2 or inclement weather- excessive snowing and road not cleared) ?
            Please clear
            Thanks
            Sriram

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Once the COS has been approved for H-1, one should start working on H-1 from the date mentioned in the approval notice. Generally, there is no grace period given, but one can delay it by a week or two and if asked later by USCIS, then reason the same w/ them (it will be USCIS’s discretion whether to accept the reason or not).

            The scenario you mentioned would be ok. One can take paid vacation when on H-1. Also, if one can doesn’t have any accrued paid vacations and has to take a break for personal reasons, the same can be explained later to USCIS. What the law means is that there is no benching allowed on H-1 i.e. you cannot be w/o pay for 1-2 pay cycles.

  22. Tapasya

    Hi,

    Currently I am working on L2 EAD for a consulting firm.This firm has applied for my H1B visa on regular-processing on July 25th,2011. Till now my case status is showing “Initial Review”.

    My husband is going to apply for his H1B from another firm on premium-processing.

    If his H1B result(acceptance) comes out before mine, in that case will i be able to continue my job with my valid EAD for this period where my result is still pending and L2visa is out of Status? Note:- I still have a valid I94 and EAD.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Once he moves to H-1, your L-2 will not be valid anymore. You need to move to H-4 along w/ him. That means you will have to stop working. Once your H-1 gets approved w/ COS, your status would become H-1 and you can start working again. To avoid the period b/w H-4 and H-1, you should upgrade your own petition to PP so that you can get your H-1 before his status change puts you in H-4.

      1. Tapasya

        Thanks Saurabh for you suggestion. I have one more query:-

        If I upgrade my petition to PP, do I still need to file H4 along with my husbands H1?
        If my H1 (PP) gets approved and then H4 gets approved, will that void my H1 status? Or Is there a process where I can call-off my H4 application after it has been submitted to USCIS (after I know that my H1 has been accepted)?
        As per my understanding, a person can either hold H1 or H4 but not both, am I correct?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If you receive your H-1 approval prior to his H-1 filing, then you can skip the H-4 filing. If it doesn’t come through, then you should file H-4 along w/ your husband’s H-1. Once your own H-1 gets approved, you can request to withdraw H-4 processing.

          If H-1 gets approved and then H-4 gets approve, your status would be H-4. H-1 won’t be void but you can say it would be dormant. You can go back to H-1 status by filing COS from H-4 to H-1 or going out of US and get H-1 visa stamped in passport.

          You can only have one status at anytime while in US. But you can switch from one status to another by filing COS.

  23. HJ

    I already graduated from MBA and worked on CPT. Currently i am on CPT with a new employer. The employer is ready to file for my H1B.
    Can i file for it right now?
    Should i go for a PP since my current CPT is till Dec and then i have to register for Spring sem. in order to get another CPT.

    What do you think is the best option?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The employer can file for H-1. Once your H-1 is approved, your status would be H-1 (assuming it is filed and approved w/ COS) and then your primary focus should be maintaining full-time work status. You can still study on the side, but that needs to be done on H-1 and not F-1. PP sounds better option so that you can enroll on H-1 for your next semester.

  24. Sujata P

    Following are my concerns that I would like to discuss:
    1. H4 status:
    I-94 Expiry date: August 18, 2011
    2. H1b status:
    I-94 Expiry date: September 30 ,2011
    I have applied for my H1b visa extension on 21st sep 2011 under premium processing. I am hoping to get it approved by 5th Oct 2011.

    I plan to travel to India on 6th Oct 2011.
    1. Do you think it is wise to travel?
    2. Will my receipt for extension filing be good enough to travel?
    3. What issues I might face if I plan to travel?

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Thanks
    Sujata

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      To return back to US you need an unexpired approved petition and an unexpired approved visa stamp. So if you travel while your extension is pending, then you have to wait for approval to come through. You should then go for visa stamping (assuming your current visa stamp has expired). This holds true for both H-1 and H-4 visa holder.

  25. Madhu

    I was working for different University (onH1B) and have joined new University. My H1 was filed on 29th June at the CA center, and we did not hear until 22 Sept. My University filed for premium processing, as the case was due past their normal processing time (2 months is the normal processing time for CA, when called they said it was past due).The question I have is this is a transfer of H1B rather than new H1B? Or will it count otwards new H1B quota?

      1. Madhu

        I have been told that H1B is filed as cap exempt. The premium processing was filed on 23 Sept, so 7th Oct (15 Calendar days) is the deadline for the premium processing. I have not heard from USCIS as yet . Should I just sit tight or give USCIS call on Oct 8th ? This 15 days period response is for email based repsonse or paper mail response? Do we see a delay in premium processing response also?
        Thanks is advance. Madhu.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          When did USCIS receive the request for premium processing? 15 day window starts from that date.

          USCIS will not respond to inquiries but only to employer’s inquiries. Ask your employer to follow-up w/ USCIS. You are using the receipt number to track the status online, right?

  26. Amit

    Hi,
    My H1 processing is going on. Suppose I get my H1 visa from the current employer and then switch to other company before going Onsite then what will be its impact on my visa?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nothing. You can still use that visa stamp to travel to US. Visa stamp is not specific to employer (unlike 797) and can be used even after one has left the employer.

  27. Rajesh

    Hi,

    I have my LCA certified and i am told by my employer that my H1B petition will be filed by 8th Oct. Can you let me till when will i get my Visa?

    Thanks,

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      First USCIS would adjudicate the petition which may take 2-6 months (if filed w/o premium processing). Once approved, you can go for visa stamping which may take as less as 1 week, or as long as 1 year. If RFE is issued during petition processing or 221g is issued during visa stamping process, then it would take even longer.

  28. rupesh

    Hi,

    I am working for a client through a consultancy. I have aproved H1B from oct1. I am intend to change the employer bt will remain with the same client. they will do a H1B transfer with PP.

    My question is ,

    1. if USCIS rejects my new H1B petition, then will my old apporved H1B be still valid with my old employer?

    2. can my old employer know that I tried to change the H1B if i jave not inform them before the transfer?

    Thanks

  29. Priya Vishwanath

    Saurabh,

    My on-site team has told me that tentatively it would be one year but extend-able based on client’s projects. The 797B duration is little more than two years. My immigration team said that even though it is for 1 year, the company has many clients in US, so even if the project ends within a year there will be chances to move to some other project in US. Do you have any comment? What should I do to go with a smooth process?

    Thanks
    Priya.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priya,

      That is true in consulting world. Projects end and new ones start. When you go for stamping, you will show the current 797 and project information. Based on that, VO may either grant you visa for 2 years (based on 797) or for 1 year (based on client letter). Usually they approve it until 797 duration. Even if they approve visa for 1 year, you would need it only while entering US, and once in US you can continue to stay even beyond visa expiration as long as your 797 and I-94 are valid.

      I am not sure if that answered your question or not. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  30. Shelly

    Hi Saurabh,

    My visa was supposed to expire in dec 2011 and I got the extension done as I have to leave for India in Oct. I got the extension for 3 years from Dec 2011 to sep 2014. My question is :

    1. When I go to India for stamping Interview which I797 should I show them the latest I797 which is valid from Dec2011 to Sep 2014 or the old one and till when will I get the Visa.

    Thanks!

  31. JHK

    Hi Saurbh,

    I finished my OPT on July 4th (which was national holiday) in 2011.
    My attorney filed out my application for H1B (nurse practitioner at nursing home) on July 1st but USCIS issued the receipt notice on July 5th. My attorney quoted from the immigration statute below and said my status still fell in the category for Cap-gap.

    1.1 (h) The term “day” when computing the period of time for taking any action provided in this chapter including the taking of an appeal, shall include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, except that when the last day of the period so computed falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the period shall run until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, nor a legal holiday.”

    Per my attorney, I am still under Cap-Gap extension until 30th of September.
    My status on USCIS web changed from ‘initial review’ to ‘request for evidenct’ on 9/16 and my attorney is waiting for the mail notice from USCIS.

    Please please give me some advice on the questions below ! Thank you so much in advance !

    1) About the holiday exception thing, is my attorney correct?

    2) Do you think USCIS could process my additional information,that my attorney will send on 9/23, by 9/30 ?

    3) what if USCIS does not give me the final dicision by 9/30 on which my Cap-Gap extension expires ? Legitimately speaking, should I stop working and go back to my country?

    4) Is there a possibility to get approval of my h1b from USCIS afterwards october 1st? or if I don’t get it by october 1st then I won’t get it forever?

    5) My employer (nursing home) designated this attorney to me since I started working and my employer payed for the pitition for me. Because she is not specialized in immigration field, should I trust what the attorney say or should I try to look for another attorney specialized in immigration for myself ?

    Really appreciate your advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. I think so.
      2. I doubt. USCIS at times takes months to go through RFE response.
      3. Yes, you should stop working and go back to home country
      4. Yes, your H-1 would be processed even after you leave US. Once H-1 is approved, you can go for H-1 stamping and then enter US to work on H-1.
      5. I don’t have any inputs for this. It’s something you will have to figure out, but you can definitely ask for 2nd opinion.

  32. chakra

    Hi Saurav,
    I got laid off yesterday by employer. I have an approved H1B, which would have gone into effect from Oct1. Currently i am in last few days of my OPT. My old employer has promised not to report the revoking of H1B for a month to USCIS.
    My spouse is in H1B, and i have a phd from US university. I guess it can take me upto a month to get a job.
    what should i do now to keep things legal ? if i transfer to H1B, will there be a wait time before i can start working again ? if i have good chance of getting the job in 10 days, should i wait for 10 days before filing for H4 ?

    Your response appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      As you can have up to 90 days of unemployment on OPT, so you should be fine till 30th Sep 2011 (assuming you haven’t already spent 90 days on unemployment). From 1st Oct when your H-1 kicks in, you are supposed to maintain H-1 status which means getting paid all the while. It doesn’t matter when your employer sends cancelation request to USCIS, if they are not paying you, then that’s bad. You need to find an employer and have them file H-1 ASAP (you can work for the new employer based on transfer receipt) or move to another visa status like H-4, if you don’t find suitable employment.

      Also, as this is too close to D-day, it would be nice to consult an immigration lawyer to explore more options as well.

  33. Munira

    Hi Saurabh, I’m on H1 here in usa starting from Oct 1 2011, My Daughter is in India and i wanna call her on H4 do u know the question list they will ask in interview???? (Daughter Age 15 year’s and 11 months) and I’m planning to do the H4 interview b4 OCT 1 2011….

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They would ask for documentation related to you (your payslips, resume, experience letters, 797 copy), employer documents (wage reports, employee list etc if small employer) and client documents (project, SOW etc). She may also be questioned what she plans to do in US while on H-4.

      1. Munira

        We are sending the following documents for her H4 visa

        Copy of I797A
        Copy of I129
        Copy of 1907
        Copy of Degree Evaluation
        Copy of Support letter giving the details about the Petitioner, the
        position offered with responsibilities & minimum job requirements &
        terms of employment.
        Copy of ETA Form 9035 & 9035A
        Copy of passport showing my B2 visa & I-94
        Copy of Evaluation of Academic Credentials with copies of my MBA
        diploma & BSC degree passing certificate & transcripts

        Kindly let me know if she will require any other documents

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If the employer is a consulting company, then it’s better to carry client information and project/SOW details as well. Other than that it looks comprehensive enough.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            You have to go to VFS site and find the appointment dates there. You can select the consulate center as Mumbai to get dates for that center.

  34. raju

    Hi,

    I have a few questions?
    I am an F1 student. I had CPT. In that cpt i used to work. My employer is desi consultant. And i work at client location. Up to this part everything is good. 2week back my cpt was done, for OPT i need to complete my course work . My desi employer told me that he will apply for H1b so that you can continue your work at client location. Now he said he didnt applied yet. he will apply my H1 ASAP.
    My questions are
    1) Tehnically i have to stop work. but i am still working. How can i ask my manager client letter.?
    2) He will give the client letter but in that he will state i started work at this date.
    3) how can i ask my manager to give a letter stating that i am going to work his company from OCT 1st.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. It’s illegal to work. You can ask manager to issue client letter so that your employer can file for H-1, but that would mean a break in b/w as you cannot work while H-1 is being processed.
      2. Yes, he will provide a genuine letter w/ genuine dates
      3. You can ask him to provide a letter stating their intent to retain your services as contractor from 1st Oct onwards, which you can use for H-1 filing

  35. Sreedhar

    Hi,

    I have received the H1 extension documents, but my wife I didn’t receive the document. How long it will take for dependent to get the extension?

    Thanks,
    Sreedhar

  36. Sriram

    Dear Saurab,
    I have two queries.
    1 Application for H1B submitted in last week of Sept- 2011 (as normal processing) be treated for 2011 quota or will it get spiled to 2012 quota.
    2 In such case if application being submitted as PP on 28 or 29 Sept 2011 be treated in 2011 quota ? or it will get spilled to 2012 quota. Please clear my doubt.
    Thanks
    Sriram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. FY-12 quota. Filing for FY-12 quota started on 1st April 2011 w/ earliest start date of 1st Oct. When the filing starts next year, it will be FY-13 quota.
      2. Same as (1)

    2. Sriram

      Thanks Saurab,
      So September month is not a deadline for submitting H1B for that FY (for eg FY 2012), I supoose?
      Another doubt: In Indian University in all the transcripts, it is mentioned
      name. initial (first letter of Father). But in US university (MS) transcripts, the name is followed by expanded initial (name of father).
      Will it be a problem while USCIS process the H1B application?
      Please clear this doubt.
      Thanks
      Sriram

  37. Dharam

    Saurabh ,

    I am working with Wipro and this is my third business trip (B1 Visa) in last 3 year. I was in USA in 1-Jun-2011 to 31-Jun-2011. Again I came here on 29-Aug-2011 and I have I-94 Valid till Feb-2011. Now I have got good offer from one of the US based MNC and they are filing my H1B in Premium processing on 25th of September . I read your comments about filing H1B after 90 days helps. But this company has immediate requirement and not ready to wait for 90 days. Can you please tell me Success ratio of B1 to H1B if we file it before 90 days. ?

    Thanks a lot for your help.
    Dharam

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Well, the company can definitely try to file your B-1 to H-1 w/ PP so that they can start ASAP. However, you and your employer should be aware that USCIS can issue RFE questioning your intent. It would be better to be ready w/ a response so that your employer or attorney can address this potential RFE. It’s also possible that USCIS approves the H-1 but w/o COS, in which case you will have to get the visa stamped from a US consulate and re-enter to work on H-1.

  38. Varun

    Hello Saurabh,

    Is there any need of current employeer experience or relieveing letter in the H1B visa processing?

    Please find my earlier post below..

    Thanks,
    Varun

    I have an 3.5 years of experience in IT industry.
    Some company is offering me the H1B. I have sent them required documents for the petition. They are telling I need to travel in November some where.

    1. Is it possible to get the H1B Visa in this short time(around two months)?
    2. Is USCIS accepting the appication in September/October?

    I am apprehensive about it. Not able to take any decision. Please help me out. I need to resign from my current employeer to be relieved by November.

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Varun

        Hello Saurabh,

        I have got my petition for H1B visa.

        Kindly guide for the steps further for visa interview preparation.

        Actually, My current employer is relieving me on 8th/Nov/2011 or before.

        What are the question consulate may ask in the interview related to the employment. Because presently i working with some XYZ empoyeer and some ABC company is sending me to United States.

        Thanks in advance..
        Varun

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          There are few posts on this blog related to interview experiences. You can go through them to see typical questions asked. Usually they include:
          – your profile (skill set, expertise, experience etc)
          – employer credentials (wage reports, employee info etc)
          – project/client information

          Once you have the petition, you can get the HDFC receipt and schedule interview at the consulate. The process has been elaborated on the VFS site.

          1. Varun

            Yes…You are right….Just one question i have..

            What can be the question related to the employement change.
            As I have said in the previous post that Presently I am working with XYZ employeer and another employer ABC is offering me the H1B.

            I am currently under notice period of the employer XYZ. And have the H1B visa interview(Have not joined the ABC employer yet).

            Please help.

            Regards,
            Varun

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            They might ask how you come to know about ABC, and how the interview process was like. I doubt if they would ask about why you are changing employer, but if s/he does then you can answer as better opportunities, career growth etc.

          3. Varun

            URGENT QUERY

            Hello Saurabh,

            I have checked all the post of urs but could not find any case related to me. I have the H1B stamping interview this Monday, 7th Nov, 2011 with chennai consulate.

            Please help me out with visa interview prepration.

            Some US employeer(ABC) has filed my petition and it got approved.
            US employeer does not have any office in India.

            My last day in the current employeer(XYZ) is Friday, 4th Nov, 2011. And I am attending the visa interview on 8th Nov.

            Please help me briefly
            1. What are the documents specifically I need to carry because employeer I am directly joining the company in US. I have collected all the relevant documents as mentioned in the chennai consulate website.

            2. What are the question consulate might ask during the interview?

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            1.
            – Your documents (resume, experience letters, marksheets, degrees)
            – Employer documents (wage reports, tax returns etc)
            – Job documents (client/project details, SOW, I-129, LCA, 797 etc)

            2. Questions range from employer to your profile to your job duties at employer site (including how your work will be managed etc)

            You should go through interview experiences posted on this blog.

  39. Shelly

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have had a COS from L2 to H1B. My H1B is not stamped. I have not stepped out of US.Can I call my husband on h4 or do I need to get my visa stamped to call him on h4.

    Thanks,
    Vaishaly

  40. Priya Vishwanath

    Saurabh,

    Now that my client has changed, when I go for interview, the consulate would be having information about the old client when H1 was filed. Currently, the client information is different. So what type of questions should I be prepared apart from the one you had mentioned?

    Thanks for the great service
    Priya.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priya,

      You may be asked about the discrepancy. You can let the VO know that your client has changed since the petition is filed, and you now intend to work for the new client. Carry the documentation related to the new client. How long is your SOW w/ the new client? Is it smaller than 797 duration approved w.r.t. old client?

  41. love

    Hi, To share my recent H1 PP case, my employer sent the docs on 8th, got back an mail saying that docs were received on sept 9th, case showed Initial review on 14th and changed to “Acceptance” on 15th sep. Approved on 16th, shall be receiving the 797 in mail by next 3-4 days… it fast…

    1. love

      To add, i got the form to be filled from my employer on 1st of sept, completed all docs + sent all scanned copied by 4th, They filed LCA i think on 4th or 5th and it got approved in 2-3 days… so the whole thing frm my filling the form to getting approval was done in 16 days…

  42. Shanku

    Hi,

    I have a question on H1-B Premium Visa.
    I am going on H1-B-Premium Visa(ABC employer) from L1 Visa.
    Once I get H1-B Premium Visa from ABC employer, can I change a job on that Visa after 3-4 months by transferring that H1-B to XYZ Employer?
    Will there be any problems while transferring H1-B Premium Visa from ABC to XYZ ?

    Shanku..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It is doable only if you are maintaining legal status while working for ABC i.e. getting paid all the time as per the salary mentioned in the LCA. If you don’t maintain status, then XYZ’s approval is difficult.

      1. Shanku

        Thanks Saurabh !!

        Another question 🙂

        My (would be) Employer is telling me that, he is going to file LCA for me.
        I haven’t attended any client interview yet, so I am not sure where I will be working and with which client.

        My(would be) Employer is asking me $1200 for H1B-Premium Processing and he is saying that – he would start with LCA first.

        I am not comfortable with this scenario and I have some doubts with that Employer.

        Can you please throw some light on this?

        – Shanku

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          An employer can ask the employee for the premium processing ($1225) but the remaining fees needs to be paid by the employer (except for attorney fees). Before handing over the money, you really need to be sure this is the employer you want to file through and will be able to get the petition processed.

          Usually companies schedule client interviews once the H-1 has been approved. However, for approval USCIS asks for client information and it’s better to have a client ready when filing for H-1.

          1. Shanku

            Hi Saurabh,

            My new employer is planning to file my H1-B Premium in the week of 17-Oct to 21-Oct.

            I am planning to travel to India on 28th Oct for two weeks.

            Currently I have L1-B Visa which is expiring on 22-Nov-2012.

            I want to know, can I come back to USA after two weeks of vacation, on L1-B ?
            What if my H1-B Premium processing gets completed before me coming to USA?
            What is my H1-B Premium processing gets FAILED before me coming to USA? ( I guess, I will be okay with this scenario)

            Thanks,

            Shanku.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            To return and work on H-1, you have two options:
            1. Get H-1 stamped from India and return on that visa stamp. For this, your petition needs to get approved by the time you go for interview.
            2. Enter on L-1 visa stamp and then file COS from L-1 to H-1. For this, your petition needs to get approved by the time your COS is filed.

            Depending upon when your petition gets approved, and what confidence level you have w/ stamping, you can go w/ either option.

  43. seema

    Hi,
    I am in serious problem. USCIS received my H1B petition doc on September 6, the day my sevis got auto-completed. Now when ask my company lawyer, she says that I am not of status as I am in petition pending but when I ask my college adviser she says that i have to do reinstate to get back to college. I have not received my receipt yet. Am I already out of status? Is doing reinstate a good idea? What are the negative points of doing reinstate ?

    Thank You

  44. Priya Vishwanath

    Saurabh,

    My company is filing a new LCA now. They said it would take 2-3 working days to get a revised one. After this, I should enter information about the new project in DS160, right? Usually, how long does it take to get a revised LCA? And how should I be prepared for the PAI?

    Thanks very much for the great service you are doing.
    Priya.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priya,

      I think the LCA gets approved within a week, unless there is a delay on DOL side. You seem to be working in an EC or EVC model. These days most questions for such employment structure are around employer-employee relationship (who manages your work duties, who do you report to etc), employer’s credentials (wage reports, tax returns etc) and you (education, experience, payslips, W2s). Ensure you have all the required documentation for these and be confident. However, always have a back-up plan in mind, so that you can put it into motion in case you are stuck w/ 221g administrative processing.

      Good luck!

  45. seema

    What is the difference between normal H1B processing and premium processing apart from providing fast processing time? Some say that even though premium processing is fast , it is more hassle then normal processing. They ask for lot of different documents.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, there are people who believe that petitions w/ PP often undergo more scrutiny. However I have found no information that substantiates this claim and it looks more like personal experiences. As long as you have all the right documentation, you don’t need to worry. A person w/o proper documentation can invite scrutiny irrespective of whether petition is filed as premium or not.

  46. R J

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a dilemma here. I am currently employed on H1b with employer A. I am planning on switching to employer B, who have filed an H1b COE petition under Regular Processing on my behalf. They expect me to start before we receive a decision about the transfer. I do have an option to switch to Premium Processing, but I will need to pay for that. Do you think I should pay the fees or is an H1b transfer a straight forward process and I should not expect any issues?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Well because this is H-1 transfer, you always have the option to work for B on the basis of H-1 receipt. Personally I would avoid applying for PP unless there is urgent need to do so. If B is ready to wait for few months and you don’t mind working for A for few months, you can wait; else PP is the option.

  47. Sriram

    Dera Saurab,
    I have a few more clarifications from you.
    1. Is OPT an essential requirement for applying for H1B?
    2. With out OPT, are the chances lesser for H1B approval?
    3. B Tech + 2 year work experience in majot IT company in India + completed 30 credits in MS+GA+ 3 CPTs during MS—– are these sufficient to apply for H1B without undergoing OPT?
    4. What is COS and what is cap-gap?
    Please answer.
    Thanks
    Sriram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. No
      2. Approval chance of H-1 depends upon your profile, employer credentials, proposed job and your adherence to immigration laws
      3. Legally you are eligible, but a lot depends upon the employer as well.
      4. COS stands for change of status. Your current status in US is F-1. When you plan to work on H-1, your employer needs to apply for H-1 along w/ COS so that on approval your status becomes H-1 and you don’t need to get H-1 stamped in order to work on H-1. Cap gap is a provision that allows a student on OPT to continue to work until 1st Oct while his H-1 w/ COS is pending. You can google these terms to know more.

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