One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “How do I check status of my H1B petition and How does each of the various status look like”. 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…
How to Check H1B visa petition filing status on USCIS website ? Case Number ? Receipt Number ? EAC or WAC Number ?
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 government entity 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 your employer has filed for H1B petition and you were picked in H1B Visa Lottery then USCIS would give your case a number called USCIS Case/Receipt Number ( read Understand H1B Receipt Number ). You can use that to check your H1B petition status online on USCIS website. If you do not have it, you should ask your employer or attorney to share you that information so that you have it to check on USCIS.gov website.
- Go to USCIS Website direct link link : USCIS Check Petition Status.
- As shown in screen shot below you enter the H1B petition Receipt number and click on Check Status, you will get the status of your H1B case.
- You can also go to the menu and go under Tools > Case Status Online to get to the same URL and enter Case number.
H1B visa application Status Screen shots – Approval, Premium, RFE and Denial
Case Was Received 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. All it means is that USCIS has got your application and they have just receipted the application, next step is to process the petition and then adjudicate the case.
What is an H1B RFE or Request for Evidence ?
For some cases, USCIS asks for more info called Request for Evidence (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.” If your H1B petition is going through RFE, it would look like below.
H1B Visa Petition approved by USCIS it would say ‘Case Approved’ for regular processing petitions.
If your H1B visa petition was approved, the system would show a status saying “Case Was Approved”, when the application was approved and when they mailed you the I797 decision. Here is how it shows on USCIS site for approval.
H1B Visa Premium Processing USCIS Status – Email ?
If you have done premium processing, you may see different status update, because the initial update is communicated via email, it would say “Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed”. 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 H1B visa petition denials, here is how USCIS would show the status “Decision Notice Emailed” and tells that your H1B was denied. 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.
Also, there are many other status that a H1B petition can go through depending on the type of the case. All those various statuses are at in article : H1B Statuses, Flow in New USCIS System