One of the most commonly asked questions on the blog related to H1B petitions filings is : “How do I check status of my H1B registration or petition and How does each of the various statuses 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…
If you are new to the process, 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. Let’s look at the new changes to the process by USCIS first.
H1B Registration vs Actual H1B Petition Difference
USCIS has changed the process to apply for H1B Visa from fiscal year 2021 and they introduced the H1B Registration Process as the first step before the actual H1B Petition is filed with USCIS. So, users, would be picked in H1B Registration Selection Process, also called as H1B Visa Lottery and then only the selected applicants should file the actual H1B Petition with USCIS. Let’s look at both of the them below.
How to Check H1B Registration Status ?
Whenever an Employer or attorney submits H1B registration for a H1B Applicant, there is a long 15 digits or so number created in the system. Some employers share that number. But, the fact is, you cannot use that number to check status of your H1B registration online on USCIS website. Only your employer or attorney can check the H1B registration status. For more info, read How to check H1B Registration Selection Lottery Status ?
Now, after the H1B Registration is selected, you would get a H1B Registration Selection Notice and the employer or attorney would file H1B Petition with USCIS using all the relevant documentation like H1B LCA, Client letters, etc.
How to Check H1B visa petition filing status on USCIS website ?
If your employer has filed for H1B petition, after you were picked in H1B registration process, then USCIS would give your case a number called USCIS Case/Receipt Number ( read Understand H1B Receipt Number ). You can use that number 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.
Various H1B visa application Statuses on USCIS
Each of the H1B applications filed with USCIS can go through through many steps and can have various statuses as part of the adjudication process. In this article, we will cover some of the common statuses, such as Case Received, Request for Evidence(RFE), Approved, Decision Notice Mailed. We will look at each of various statuses below
USCIS H1B Status – Case Was Received
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.
USCIS H1B Status – 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.
USCIS H1B Status – 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.
USCIS H1B Status – Premium Processing, Email
If you filed your application in 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
USCIS H1B Status – Decision Notice Mailed Status (Denial)
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.
No, you cannot check it on your own. Only Employer or Attorney can check H1B Registration Status on USCIS website.
No, you cannot use that number to check H1B registration status. That long 15 or so digits number is for internal tracking and used for lottery purposes, it does not any format like H1B Case number to check on USIS case status webpage.
No, there are no other options to check, if your employer is not sharing info. H1B registration and petition are both employer’s and they have the right to share or not share. Most of the employers share the information.
Well, this is unknown…It all depends on the demand and how many actually file the full petition with USCIS. They may run second or third round of lottery as needed from the registrations pool. USCIS will update these details, if something happens.
Yes, you can, if you have the H1B Case Number given by your employer.
No other options, your employer or attorney filing h1B petition has to share that information with you. If they do not, there is nothing you can do. Most of the employer share that info.
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 more statuses that a H1B petition can go through, you can check the detailed H1B Statuses, Flow of Status in USCIS System