One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “ How do check status of my H1B petition and How long does it exactly take ?”. Also, many people are worried about their status and some say “It has been 4 months since I filed, no reply from USCIS or still my case is in initial review status”. If you have filed a petition, you would be curious to know how the various status on USCIS would look…I think it is hard to know how it exactly looks because I do not think anyone posts the screenshots online…. Finally, I am able to take some time to search and do this. Let me share some of my thoughts here with screenshots.
Check H1B visa petition filing status?
Though this question may seem trivial for someone who is America, it is not as trivial for someone in other country. The simple fact is, one may not know the visa filing system in America and the H1B petition might have been filed by their current company, some consulting company or a big corporation. In any case, there is nothing wrong if you do not know this. Anyways, USCIS is the US Govt. Org that accepts H1B petitions for any fiscal year and they count your application towards a cap that is allotted for a year, which is 65,000 for regular quota and 20,000 for advanced degree quota. You can check the status of your application online on USCIS site.
If you have petition number, you can check by this using link : USCIS Check Petition Status. As shown in screen shot below you enter the H1B petition receipt number.
H1B visa application Screen shots – Approval, Premium, RF, Denial
Initial Review Status of H1B visa application
As soon as USCIS receives your application, they will update their system and it will show initial review status in their online system. Here is a sample screenshot. Click on screen shot for bigger image.
What is an RFE or Request for Evidence ?
For some cases, they ask for more info called RFE and send a letter to your employer/ attorney. Here is how USCIS defines RFE. Many refer to this as H1B query too.
“A request for evidence is made when an application/petition is lacking required documentation/evidence (initial evidence) or the officer needs more documentation/evidence (additional evidence) to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the benefit sought. We may send you a request for evidence at any stage of our review. The request will indicate what evidence or information is needed for us to fully evaluate your application or petition.”
H1B approved Status by USCIS , regular filing
If your H1B was approved, the system would show a status saying when the application was approved and when they mailed you the I797 decision. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval.
H1B Premium Processing USCIS Status?
If you have done premium processing, you may see different status update, because the initial update is communicated via email. Check below screenshot for approval status on USCIS for a H1B premium processing application
H1B visa petition Denial Notice status on USCIS?
Unfortunately, some people get denials, Here is how USCIS would show the status. Check the screenshot.
Also, you should check article on How to check the online USCIS processing times explaining how the number helps you get an idea of approximate time and how you can do it on USCIS site.
NoteThe screenshots in article are from Old USCIS system. Some of the info has changed. You will need to check USCIS website. We have written another article with update info. This is left for reference
The Screenshots and Status are from Old USCIS System. Check : H1B Statuses, Flow in New USCIS System