Check H1B visa processing time

How to Check H1B Visa Processing times on USCIS website? Guide Screenshots

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 289 Comments

As I scanned through most of the comments on H1B topics, one of the most discussed topics is “ How long will my H1B petition processing take, I have filed in April  ?”. Some of you may know how to check the processing times on USCIS website, some of you may not know exactly. This article is a guide with screenshots to help some of you how to verusify the processing times of your applications in various centers.

Identify your Processing center from H1B receipt Number ?
Read this article : Understanding H1B Case Number for full details about your case. On a high level first three letters indicate the location name of the service center where the H1B visa petition was filed.

  • LIN – Nebraska Service Center (LIN refers to Lincoln, Nebraska).
  • EAC – Vermont Service Center (old name: Eastern Adjudication Center).
  • SRC – Texas Service Center (old name: Southern Regional Center).
  • WAC – California Service Center (old name: Western Adjudication Center).

Check the H1B Processing time on USCIS website

It  might be pretty obvious link on home page, but in case you have not noticed…on the USCIS Home page Main Navigation under  Tools  –> See Office Case Processing TimesUSCIS Case Processing times Check on USCIS Siste

1)    You can directly click Check Processing times
2)    Select your Form as ‘I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker’ and then Service Center ( shown below screenshot)
3)    Click on button in the bottom ‘Get Processing Times.’

Select the Service Center and Form USCIS processing times

USCIS H1B Processing Times Displayed : 
Look at the screenshots below. As you can see, the system gives a processing time range now in how many months.  In the past, it was different. In 2018, USCIS has embarked on a new project to get better clarity to user and have updated the system. The new system has better user interface and gives you better data.  Also, you can see the date of the petitions that they are processing at the end column.

Also, if you have a case number, you should create an account, so that you can see personalised case completion time for your case. This is a new feature of the USCIS system.

USCIS Case processing times Check CSC and VSC

Look at History of  average Processing times in the past few years  at USCIS H1B Processing centers
USCIS is currently re-designing their page and this is not fully available yet as of writing in April 2018. You can check it once available at USCIS Average Processing Times History

Below is how it used to look in the past, before the launch of new system. They used to give trends by processing center, but not available. You can check the below checking link  Check below for past few years info.

USCIS Average Processing TImes for H1B Visa Across Centers

Also, you can check out H1B Visa Tracker to get an idea from Crowd Sourced Data from users like you !

What has been your experience ? Share your thoughts.

   

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Comments ( 289 )

  1. Gopi

    Hi Saurab,
    Thanks in Advance….you guys are doing great job.
    I attended my B1 visa interview here at Hyderabad US consulate, India, and I got rejected in the Interview three days back..And my company (the company which sponsored my B1 Visa) is planning to offer H1B now.
    So, my questions are
    1. Does my H1B will be affected by the “rejected B1” ? or is there any condition that i shouldn’t apply for H1B?
    2.Is there any possibility for me to re-attend the B1- interview ? If Yes, will you please let me know the process how can i proceed further ?

    Thanks & Regards;
    Gopi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Gopi,
      1. Usually it is not affected, as long as the refusal was not related to submission of fraud/false documents or information.
      2. If you are able to address the reasons raised during B-1 interview, you can go for B-1 stamping again. Otherwise I would suggest not going for B-1 interview again.

  2. pradeep

    Hi,

    My company has filed the H1-b extension on april 9th as regular processing in CSS.Still it shows initial review. Kindly let me know how long does it take to get the update?

  3. Vasanth

    I have question regarding H1B Visa processing.
    My company is rejecting my passport saying that Surname is mandatory and I would need to get a new passport.
    Is the Surname really mandatory to get the visa processed??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vasanth,
      That is not true. If the last name is not mentioned, USCIS usually issues petition/visa w/ first name as FNU (first name unknown) and last name as your given name.

      You can search online about FNU to know more details.

  4. saurabh goyal

    Hi,

    While joining compay A, I signed a onsite offer letter which states following clauses :
    1. My assignment in USA scheduled to be started in Jan 2, 2012 and ended in Jan 2, 2013.

    2. If I want to terminate my employment with my employer before my assignment end date then I will have to pay them visa cost and other related expenses which sum up to Rs 3.5 lacs.

    Company A filed for my VISA (H1B) and its stamped but I am waiting for travel opportunity for past 4 months and still there is no visibility.

    Now I am getting another offer from company B, who wants to get my VISA transfer and send me to US.

    Now I need to know that if I resign with Company A(I am still in India) then would I be liable to pay them the liquidated damages as mentioned in above clause (3.5 Lacs)
    Them-self they have broken the offer by not sending me to US by Jan 2, 2012 as per clause in offer, still will the second clause be applicable to me in this case.

    Kindly help me in this regard.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Saurabh Goyal,
      IMO, you can leave them as your onsite opportunity didn’t start from Jan 2 and so they broke the contract first. However, it may be prudent to get it reviewed by a labor attorney as well in India, to be sure that you can leave them w/o any issues.

  5. var

    Hi,
    New petition filed on 18-Aug-11. Got RFE on 31-Jan-12. Almost 5.5 months after my petition filed. RFE responded back on 5-mar-12. Since d initial processing timeline was nearly 6 months will the uscis officer take more time for adjudicating my RFE also?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Var,
      Yes, the officer can still take long time to adjudicate the petition. I have seen few decisions that were made within 1-2 weeks, while others took 2-6 months.

  6. Pallavi

    Hi

    Company has filed h1b under pp, response to second rfe was received by California service center on 22nd feb, till date no update on the website. Attorney has sent an enquiry email to pp processing and they have responded stating officer has been asked to check and revert. Will the next update be decision or response review?

    Also the first rfe was about candidate being over qualified and second rfe wants to know whether candidate is required to join immediately and will have work for three years.

    Do you think this h1b is more likely to get approved?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Pallavi,
      The next response should be Approved or Denied. I don’t think it will go to RFE response review now noting how long it has been pending. As for chances of approval, it will depend upon what your employer responded to the asked question.

      1. Pallavi

        Hi Saurabh

        Attorney told us that CSC has not receipted the rfe response! It seems that offlate CSC facility is facing issue in receipting. Attorney has responded to CSC copying the Director. Ours is a PP case and it’s been 16 days since FedEx has delivered the packet comprising of rfe response however CSC got back stating that officer has not received the file as yet! Not sure what lies in the store

  7. Anton

    Dear Kamar/Saurabh,

    I am working with Employer A (H1B, valid until sep 2013); recently got selected by Employer B, I asked them to go with premium processing. Let’s say if the application is filled by March 15th, will I be able to travel to India in April 20th and return in a week a two? Do I need to get new stamping?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anton,
      You don’t need to get H-1 visa stamped as long as current visa stamp is valid. However, your I-94 date issued at PoE would depend upon the 797 shown at PoE. So if your 797 gets approved by the time you return to US, it would be better.

  8. kathiresan

    Hi ,
    My employer got initiated HIB premium processing which got approved and i went for Personal Appearance . VO took my approved petitions along with my passport .
    A week later i got my passport with Visa stamped but didn’t get my approved petition.
    My Employer dropped all the documents with query reg that missed petitions in drop box .3 weeks later got documents which i submitted with out approved petitions .
    With out that i am not able to travel .I don’t have copy of approved petition,
    We verified with our atony also and they are telling that they don’t have that copy .
    Please help me how can i go further .

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kathiresan,
      Call the VFS/consulate and ask them about the approved petition. Usually it gets returned along w/ the passport. You should not travel to US until you have that document. If you do not get any feedback from VFS/consulate your attorney/employer can decide to request USCIS to issue duplicate 797.

      1. kathiresan

        Thanks for the kind reply ,
        We have verified with consulate and got the reply as they don’t have it seems,
        Can i able to travel with copy of the petition and to apply visa to my spouse also with out original .
        If we apply duplicate how long will take it ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Kathiresan,
          I would suggest against taking chances of travelling on a copy. The wife can go for stamping carrying the copy, but do not travel on a copy. Duplicate may take 1-2 months to be issued.

          1. kathiresan

            Hi ,
            My attorney/employer suggesting to travel with copy of the approved petition and no need of Original to travel for me as well my spouse and they are not trying to get Duplicate .
            I am so confused .

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kathiresan,
            Only they can request for a duplicate copy, so unless they are ready you will have to work w/ the copy. Are they of the opinion to never apply for duplicate or just right now? There is not much one can do at this point.

  9. Amrita

    Hello. I currently work in research in the US at a University under OPT. They are currently filling the paperwork to file H1B for me. I found this on USCIS site: “Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap. ” I believe this means that I am cap-exempt. If they submit paperwork this month or early next month how long will it take to be processed under normal processing time? as well as under premium processing?

    Also I have pending adjustment of status for GC. If I later want to go back to school full time and switch back to F1 can it be denied based on my dual intent (for permanent residency)?

  10. Sandeep Kumar

    Hi Saurabh,

    My employer is willing to initiate the H1B application process on 1 April, 2012. I am currently in US and already working on OPT (which began in Feb and valid till Feb next year). If my employer files H1B and it gets approved in 2 months say June, can I move to a new employer between June and Oct 1st? Basically, in the time between the H1B approval and Oct 1st, is one eligible to move to a new employer without any hassles? Thank you.

    Regards,
    Sandeep

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep Kumar,
      H-1 cannot start until Oct 1, 2012. So even if you change employers in June, you will have to work for the new employer on OPT until Sep 30, and then on H-1 (assuming their H-1 gets approved by that time).

      Does that clarify?

  11. Sid

    Hi,

    I have presently applied for a H-1B transfer, and the H-1B petition has been submitted to the USCIS today. I on company A’s H-1B till 21st Feb’12, would want to know am I alright or shall be considered out of status if the USCIS responds/acknowledges to the petition by 24th Feb’12.

    The same has been filed on a premium processing basis.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sid

      1. Sid

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your kind reply.

        Question, the H-1B petition (Transfer) filed with the USCIS has been accepted and have received the acknowledgement receipt!

        Can I commence work with my new employer and if yes, how soon can that be.

        My last working day at my current organization is 21st February’12.

        FYI – My I-94 is valid until 2013..

        Look forward to hearing form you.

        Thanks.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sid,
          You can start working for new employer as soon as USCIS receives the transfer petition. However, in case your H-1 transfer is denied, then you have to go back to old employer, or file another H-1 transfer or file COS to another applicable visa status.

  12. Priya Agarwal

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1-B petition is approved on feb 14 2012.
    I want to know that is it possible to appear for PA Interview 2-3 months after the petition approval.

    Thanks,
    Priya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priya Agarwal,
      Yes you can attend it 2-3 months after the approval. Remember to carry more recent employment documents when going for the interview. If asked about the delay you can cite personal reasons or delay in getting documents from employer etc.

  13. GVK

    Hi Saurabh,

    This is my first time H1B.
    Petition submitted in october 2011, status: Initial Review.
    I guess it will take one more month to process.
    1. Can I go to US immediately (after stamping) or should I wait until Oct’12.
    2. Before stamping(after approval) can I transfer it to another employer?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      GVK,
      1. You can go soon after visa stamping
      2. Yes, you can do that. Another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you

  14. Santosh

    Hi Saurabh,

    I had applied H1-B petition on my old passport which had name as

    Surname :
    Given Names : xyz pqr

    The petition has been approved.Now I am going for Visa stamping on new passport which has name:

    Surname: pqr
    Given Names : xyz

    I still have the old passport ( extended till issue of new booklet stamped).

    I know I need to carry both when i go for visa interview ,but at what point do i have to show the old one. When they ask or proactively?

    Thanks,
    Santosh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Santosh,
      The old passport should be shown only when they ask for it. They can ask the old passport to know which countries you have visited in the past, and if there any notes added in the pasport.

      1. raghunath

        Hi Saurabh,

        Surname :
        Given Names : xyz pqr

        The petition has been approved.Now I am going for Visa stamping on new passport which has name:

        Surname: pqr
        Given Names : xyz

        May I know if I have to carry some extra documents for my surname thing. Also, my passport no. is changed. Would that be a problem.

        1. Mohammed Abdul

          Santosh/Mohammed,

          You have to put info in ds160 form as in new passport. And in your visa it will come as
          surname : pqr and Given Names :xyz

          Even i have had problem Surname : blank and Given Name : Abdul Mohammed. After getting visa i did corretion in passport office and they added new hand written lines by writing Surname/Family Name : Mohammed , First Name : Abdul . And this took 2weeks from India Passport office (process is call Name Correction).
          Then later i sent passport again through vfs for correction of Visa with proper names.

          Thanks,
          Abdul

    2. Mohammed

      Hi Santosh,

      I too have the same issue with surname being blank in my passport and i need to get it changed before going for stamping.

      Could you please give me your contact number or email as i have some queries in this regard?

      Thanks,
      Mohammed

    3. raghunath

      Hi Santosh,

      Can you please give me your contact no. or mail ID. I too have the same issue. I have to go for VISA interview with my new passport.

      1. SUNNY

        Hi Raghunath,

        In my passport also the surname was blank. So I have cancelled this passport and applied for new passport with the correct surname and given name. After that I gone for visa stamping.

        I dont think now there is no other option other than to cancel the old passport and apply for the new one with the correct names.

        1. raghunath

          I got my new passport with the changes done having surname field with my name. I have to go for interview though. I had my petition approved with surname empty. I would like to know if that would be of major concern during interview time as my I797 and I129 have my surname empty and added to given name as per old passport.

          1. SUNNY

            Raghunath,

            So whether they have canceled your old passport when you got the new passport with the correct surname? If they have cancelled the old passport, then in the new passport they have written as “old passport cancelled and returned” Please check it and let me know.

          2. Raghunath

            Yeah I got the data corrected in the new passport. They had given reference of old one in new one. Can you share your no. or mail ID pls so dat I can bug you over there ?

  15. Krishna

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a question regarding the H1B transfer.
    My petition is submitted on Oct 6th at VSC.
    If it is processed within one month.
    1) Am I eligible to work immediately or should I wait until Oct2012?
    2) Can I transfer it to another employer immediately(by applying for new H1B under cap exemption etc.,)?

    Thank you for your time

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. You are, as it’s a case of H-1 transfer
      2. Yes you can. You would need last 3 months’ payslips which can come from old employer and/or the new employer.

  16. prashanth

    Hi,
    I got H1B visa from company A & i travelled to US and returned back to india recently.Now Company B is applying for H1B transfer through premium.Company B has already applied for LCA on Feb 7.
    My question is “can i resign from Company A right now?As my visa transfer is under process, will it create any problem if i resign from my current employer who holds my visa?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Prashanth,
      I assume you are in India right now. Yes, you can resign from A right now, but there is no surety that B’s petition will get approved. So if the only reason for resigning from A is the H-1 filing through B, then I would suggest staying w/ A at least until B’s petition gets approved. Once you resign from A, as part of their exit policy, they may send a letter to USCIS to withdraw your petition (doesn’t impact B’s processing) and/or send the passport to consulate to cancel the H-1 visa stamp (you will have to go for H-1 visa stamping again through B).

      1. prashanth

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for the reply.
        In continuation to my previous question & your answer i want to clarify following things;
        1. My LCA got approved on 13th feb & when i ask company B to send the approved copy,they have sent a PDF in which no where i can see my name.i got doubt whether the lca copy really belongs to me or not.
        2.Company B asking me to enter into USA with company A stamping.is it legal to do like that(if company A does not cancel my visa)?
        3.How to know whether company B is really applied for H1B petition or not. Because company B is asking money for H1B petition submission.so i want to make sure that company B really applied for H1B.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Prashanth,
          1. I checked a sample LCA and didn’t see any field to enter beneficiary’s name. So it is ok if your name is not there.
          2. You can travel using A’s visa stamp and B’s approved petition. However, you cannot travel using A’s approved petition w/ intent to work for B. You will have to use the petition of the employer you plan to work for in US, but the visa stamp can be from any employer as long as it has not expired.
          3. Until you have the approved 797 (which has your name) you will never know if the petition approved is yours or not. I-129 also contains your name, but just having that document doesn’t necessarily imply that it was filed w/ USCIS.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Magesh,
      VSC is currently processing Sep-Oct petitions. If it doesn’t get processed within next couple of weeks, then you should ask the employer to follow-up w/ USCIS.

  17. Saju

    Hi Saurabh,

    I applied for my H-1B extension (Non premium), My I-94 is valid till 31 July 2012 1) what is the approximate time to get the extension?
    2) Is it possible to travel to India for a month? And can I return to US with the current H-1B petition?
    3) And is it possible to transfer my Visa to another company while the extension is in process and initiated my current company?

    Please advise me.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Saju,
      1. It can take 2-6 months for it to get processed
      2. If you leave US while extension is pending, then your extension of status will be abandoned. If your extension is not approved by the time you return to US, then you would be issued I-94 until current petition expiration date and will have to file for I-94 extension once the new petition gets approved. If your extension is approved by the time you return to US, then ask the employer to send the extension copy to your home address, and then show it at PoE and you will receive I-94 based on the extended expiration date.
      3. Yes, it is as long as your I-94 is valid. If I-94 has expired, then transfer will be put on hold until extension gets approved.

  18. Monica

    Hi Saurabh,

    My husbands Visa extension was filled on 1oth August 2011 and he got extension Receipt from USCIS in a week. Its been more than 6 months, his status is still showing as Initial Review on USCIS website. His friends whose extension was filled after him have got there status.Can you please suggest me what can be done in this situation.
    He is currently employeed with a consultant (holds his H1B) who is not a direct vendor of the client he is currently working with, are there any chances of getting RFE at this time?

    Regards,
    Monica

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Monica,
      It should have processed by now. Ask the employer to call USCIS and follow-up. When did the I-94 expire? Working in an EVC model always has an associated risk of RFE.

      1. Monica

        Thanks Saurabh for the reply.
        Sure we will ask his employer to follow up with USCIS.
        His I-94 got expired on 25th Sep 2011.
        I still have few queries mentioned below:
        1) Now its been more than 6 months, do you think still there are chances of getting RFE at this point of time / visa denial.
        2) After applying for visa extension how long one can stay in the US.

        Regards,
        Monica

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. There is always a chance of RFE/denial until the petition gets approved.
          2. You can stay for 240 days after your I-94 has expired, provided extension is still pending. PP is always an option available to you guys to speed up the process.

          1. monica

            Hi Saurabh,
            Thanks for the valuable information.
            Sorry to bother you but if you could help me with following queries:
            1) In case the visa gets rejected, can we immediately apply for the new H1B from some other company.
            2) how long does it take
            3) After the visa denial how long one can stay in US

            Regards,
            Monica

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Monica,
            1. Yes
            2. Regular processing can take 2-6 months, while PP will take 15 calendar days (any RFE issued would increase the processing time)
            3. One needs to leave ASAP after the denial, as the I-94 has already expired. So even if another employer applies for cap-exempt petition, it will be processed w/ consular processing which means going out of US and entering US on stamped H-1 visa (visa stamping would be required if the current stamp has expired).

  19. Pavan

    Hello Saurabh,

    Here is my situation; I am working for company A, and got the offer from company B, and they want to start H1B transfer process. I have already planned my travel to India. My question is: If they start H1B transfer when I am not in US, will it cause any issue? When I am back, I will still be working with employer ‘A’. Also what happens on I-94 as my employer ‘B’ will file based on my current I-94, and when I am back from India, I will have different I-94. Will this cause any issue in future?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Pavan,
      If you leave US while your H-1 transfer is in progress, USCIS will still continue to process it but would abandone extension of status i.e. no I-94 is issued along w/ B’s approval notice. When you enter US again, your status and duration will be determined by the I-94 issued at the PoE. If B’s petition has been approved by the time you return, you can also decide to enter on B’s petition, in which case you will be given an I-94 based on B’s petition and expiration date.

      1. Pavan

        Thanks Saurabh, sorry I am asking another question on my dependents. My dependents have visa stamp till October, but my current petition is approved till June 2014. When I enter US next month, will get get I-94 as per my petition date or as per current visa (current visa stamp is with my first employer, A is my second (current), and I will be applying for ‘B’ employer)

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Pavan,
          The I-94 will be issued on the basis of the petition shown at PoE. So if the petition expiration date is June 2014, then they would be issued I-94 until that date.

  20. Vivek

    Hi there,

    I have received my RFE response and USCIS has approved my petition, but there is NO I94 in the bottom of approval notice (They issued I797B).
    I am still in USA and my stay was never illegal (applied extension before my I94 expiry).
    Now what does it means as I do not have I94 and I am still in USA, does I need to leave country? and if so re-entry will be issue?

    Also second question – With my Approval notice without I94 in it can my wife apply for her H4 VISA in India? or she needs my I94 before she can get her dependent VISA. Thanks for answering both the question in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You should leave US ASAP as your 797 was issued w/o I-94. Re-entry should not be an issue as long as you carry information that your extension was timely filed (along w/ extension of status) and that you regularly got paid.

      Yes, your wife can go for H-4 visa stamping. Again, she should have proof that you maintained legal status in US and left US before going out of status.

      If possible, talk to a lawyer also about your case.

  21. Rahul

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B Extension got filled under non premium processing on 4th October 2011, but the status is still showing as initial review. But some of my team mates who are working in my company only at same location and there extension got filled after me have got there approvals. I am a bit worried. I contacted my employer but they say that you need to wait until USCIS responds on your case. Please suggest me how can I know the reasons for the delay in processing.

    regards,
    Rahul

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I can’t comment on the reason for your delay, but your employer/attorney can call USCIS and ask for the status. I don’t think USCIS will provide any meaningful information though. You also have the option of upgrading to PP.

  22. saurabh goyal

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have got H1B from company ‘A’ 2 yrs back, I never used it.

    I joined company ‘B’ recently and they filed for my H1B in PP category. Its been approved but not stamped yet.

    I want to join company ‘C’ by absconding from company ‘B’, so wont be having experience letter with company ‘B’, If company ‘C’ files for my H1B then would it be problem not having experience letter from company ‘B’, I can remove company ‘B’ from my resume but still is there a way that consulate will come to know that I was with company ‘B’.

    Kindly lighten up my path by clearing this confusion so that i can decide which way to go.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I assume you are not in the US right now. In my opinion, you should not get rid of B’s experience for following reasons:
      – you have an approved H-1 from them. So if C wants to file cap-exempt petition using B’s approval, then it would be prudent to show B’s experience
      – having that experience will help in long run especially when filing for GC

      Even if you don’t have experience letters, it can be substituted w/:
      – letters from colleagues
      – payslips

  23. Sam

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1 Transfer was filed on 3rd Jan 2012 with Premium Processing and my employer received an RFE on 9th Jan 2012. They responded to the RFE on 19th Jan 2012.
    1. So considering premium processing when should I expect to see a decision or by when ?
    2.Also would it change from RFE to Decision on the USCIS site or there would be another status in between ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Once they receive the response to RFE, they would adjudicate it within 15 calendar days
      2. Usually the next step is RFE response review and then Decision. At times in case of PP petitions, it can jump directly to Decision stage.

      1. Sam

        Thanks Saurabh!

        If in case it gets rejected for some reason,
        1. Would the rejection reason be specified in the documents they might send to the lawyer ?
        2. Can another employer initiate H1 Transfer ? If yes within how many days it should be initiated ?

        Thanks in Advance!

        Thanks in Advance!
        Sam

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. Yes, they would mention the reason in the denial letter
          2. Yes, they can. You always need to be continually employed when on H-1. So either you need to go back and work for old employer, or immediately have a new employer file H-1 for you.

  24. VB

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have got my H1 approved on 28th Jan, and my employer has forwarded me the email he got from USCIS (Premium processing), I it is now more than 25 days and my employer did not receive i-797 original copy, can you please let me know know what should be my next steps?

    Can my employer contact and check with the Premium processing team?

    Thanks in Advance,
    VN

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If the employer/attorney doesn’t receive the physical copy within 30 days of approval, they should contact USCIS and follow-up.

      1. VN

        Thanks Saurabh!

        Since the original application was done thru premium processing will they respond to quickly?, I need to travel to India in week or two, I am just waiting for these documents. and I have completed 2 weeks of employment with my new employer.

        I was on L1 with company A earlier (until I got H1 approved by new company B) and can I go to India w/o these documents now and ask my employer to send them to me, after they receive it. In worst case if the I-797 gets further delayed and I wait in India without stamping, will there be any issue when I go for H1 Stamping?

        Thanks,
        VN

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          They can either email or call USCIS number. The response over phone should be instant, while I don’t know how long will they take to reply to the email.

          Yes, the employer can send the documents to you while you are in India. When going for stamping, one needs to carry recent documents. So if it gets delayed too much, then ask the employer to send more recent dated documents including employment verification letter, client/project details. There is no set definition of how recent the documents should be, but 1-2 months old should be ok.

          1. VN

            Thanks Saurabh,

            Sorry for one more question, Since I will be working for one month and then go to India, and i797 gets delayed, will they consider as discontinuation in employment with new employer?

            Thanks,
            VN

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            It should be fine, as it can be treated as a vacation from the current employer. Carry a letter from the employer stating they want to hire you once you return to US, and that should address any such concerns.

          3. sai

            H1B applied nomral process aug2011
            Received RFE jan3rd 2012
            company upgraded to Premium and send the RFE. Jan 12th

            the website shows RFE received review Jan 19th ..but no update on the premium is showing on website.
            Need to travel next week …what are my options. I-94 expired.
            1. what to submit if approved but new I-94 paper not recived by next week?
            2. If not approved before next week what to submit at airport..so overstay is not consdiered?

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            You can submit your existing I-94 while departing from US. Overstay will not be considered as your petition was timely filed.

            Once it has been approved, your employer can send you the 797 for visa stamping.

          5. sai

            If I get the Approval but not the papers in my hand by next week…
            Is it okay to submit the old I-94 at the aiport?
            (though I was approved with a new I-94 which I cannot have in time nextweek).

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, it should be ok to drop just that I-94 at the airport. You can check w/ your attorney as well.

  25. Rahul

    Hi Saurabh,
    I got my receipt number on the 22nd of september 2011 , 4 months are about to pass but till date there has been no news about the petition.Also my case status is showing as ‘not found’ right from september till now.My petition was filed at the california centre (wac). Any idea how long it would take more ?

    Thanks
    Rahul

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      At least the receipt number should show up correct information online. Ask your employer to see if you have right petition number. If they are also seeing same status, then they should call USCIS and check the same.

  26. Reena

    Hi Saurabh,
    Firstly, thanks for all your great work here!
    My company has applied for my H1 in mid-November in general processing. I realize looking at this forum that it is too early to expect an answer by now. However, my position in my US office is ready and we are just waiting on the visa. Hence, can I foot the bill for Premium Processing myself through the company attorney? My company seems to think that I cannot push this for Premium Processing even if I am ready to pay the fee. Do you think that’s a valid comment, or do you think anyone should be able to push their application into Premium Processing if they are willing to pay the fee to the attorney? Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Only the employer/attorney can upgrade the petition to PP, but anyone can foot the PP fees – you or employer. If the position is ready in US, then you should discuss the priority of the same w/ your employer and emphasize that fact.

  27. Ashwin

    Hi saurabh,

    My H1b case was filed on Aug,2011 under normal processing .USCIS RFEed my petition in Dec,2011 and the status in USCIS website was turned to “RFE” tab.My company’s paralegal team replied to the RFE ,along with a request to process my case in premium mode.Now if i check the USCIS website for status – I see it’s in “Acceptance” tab and it says –
    On January 12, 2012, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER and we e-mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. This case is being processed at our CALIFORNIA SERVICE CENTER location

    It’s been 7 days and still the status has not changed from Acceptance tab.

    My question is –
    1) Should not my status be in “RFE REVIEW” tab ?
    2) Is it because my case was converted to premium mode , the status has shifted to “Acceptance” tab ?
    3) If so, how long would it take to get a decision, it’s been more than 7 days and still there is no change in status and it’s still in Acceptance tab.

    Please clarify

    Thanks

  28. Rahul

    Hi Saurabh,

    My Visa extension was filled on 3rd October 2011 and on 4th October I got my extension Receipt from USCIS. Its been more than 3 and half month, my status is still showing as Initial Review on USCIS website. My friends whose extension was filled after me have got there status. Please let me know if I need to followup on this with USCIS. Since I am working for an Indian MNC, I may not be able to call them as I am not the petitioner or employer. Can you please suggest me what can be done in this situation.

    Regards,
    Rahul

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ask your employer/attorney to call USCIS and ask for an update. Legally, you can continue to stay in US for up to 240 days beyond I-94 expiration date based on a timely filed extension petition. So you are ok on that front.

      If you want to get an early result, then you have the option to upgrade it to PP.

      IMO, it would get processed in another month or so.

  29. MJ

    Hi,
    Is the H1B visa for FY12 is still open? Can I apply now?
    If yes, How long will the visa processing take for H1B Regular Processing and how long for H1B Premium Processing?

    Cheers,
    MJ

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      No it is not. FY-13 filing will open in April 2012. Regular processing can take 2-6 months, while PP will take 15 calendar days. If RFE is issued, then it can take longer.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      No. A new petition needs to be filed for FY-13. Also ensure that employer takes corrective actions for the denial reasons before filing the petition.

      1. raja

        Saurabh,

        My question is employer filed the petetion on october 2011 can i get the visa on the same petetion before march 2012 once it is approved because i doubt already FY2013 drive nomination started .

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          USCIS will continue to process your petition even after FY-13 petitions have been filed. As the petitions are processed in the order they are received, they will process your’s before FY-13 petitions. Also, they are not required to complete all the processing by Mar 31 as their fiscal year starts from Oct 1 and not April 1, although they would like to process as much as possible before the next chunk of petitions start coming in.

  30. raja

    Hi,

    My employer applied for H1B and petiton filed on October 10th 2012 and petion approval is still pending.

    Now i have converted my visa process into premium.

    i have the following doubts,
    1. H1B of FY 11 capped on Nov 22nd 2012 is will this cap is going to impact my H1B process??
    2. i have to apply for LCA as well is that possible to apply for LCA before the petion approval??
    3. Can i attend the interview without LCA??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. No
      2, 3. Why do you have to apply for LCA? Your LCA would have been applied when original petition was filed. No separate LCA needs to be filed when upgrading to PP.

      1. raja

        1. My corporate Office in US is shifted to new place after filing petition. i amthinking is that possible to apply for LCA while converting my normal visa process to Premium process or do i need to wait till the filed petition approved??

        2. As my corporate office shifted we mentioned the old address in the petition is this is going to affect my petition approval??

        3. can i go for visa interview without applying for LCA once the petition is approved??

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. Did your work location changed? If yes, then new LCA needs to be filed along w/ H-1 amendment. Your employer can do that even after the petition has been approved. You can check w/ your attorney if they can do so while the petition is pending, as that might save some filing fees.
          2. It won’t. USCIS needs to be communicated about the new location if there is no attorney involved and all communication is being sent to old officer. Also read (1) regarding LCA and amendment.
          3. Are you working for a consulting company? If your LCA was filed for client location and that hasn’t changed, then you can go for stamping even w/o LCA change. Else you should go after LCA and amendment.

  31. Mikha

    Hi,
    I received my H1B petition on March 2011 shows that my contract from Feb 2011 after interview in May 2011 I didn’t receive any feedback till now.
    PS. case statues says that case is Post Decision Activity ( review ).

    Please help me to know what can I do to harry up?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When you went for H-1 interview in May 2011, was your visa approved or was 221g issued for administrative processing? Also, I assume your petition is still approved (as per the online status).

      1. Mikha

        I get 221g issued for administrative processing after interview in May 2011. It’s now over 7 months and I want to know how long could I wait specially that I get engaged. And after marriage, how could I get my wife to US?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Unfortunately, there is no set time-period for 221g processing. One may have to wait for several months to see any updates. Once you get married, and assuming your H-1 visa has been stamped, you can send your wife for H-4 visa stamping. She can then join you in US.

  32. Varun

    Hello Saurabh,

    I landed in US on H1B on 19th November, 2011. And I would like to change my employeer here? Am I eligible for H1B transfer? I heard that I need the last 3 months pay stubs in order to file H1B trnasfer and its only 1 and 1/2 month with the current employeer. Is that OK to take this decision?

    Please provide me the details of documents required also..

    Thanks,
    Varun

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You can transfer your H-1 to another employer using the payslips from Nov till now. 3 months payslips are required when one has stayed in US for at least 3 months. If one has stayed in US for less than 3 months, then the person needs to submit all the payslips for that period (which is your case).

  33. Rahul

    Hi ,

    my H1-B Non premium Extension has been filed on first week of October at CSC center . I checked the online status and its coming as Initial Review from around 2 and half month. When checking the processing time at USCIS website, it says that extension process should be ideally completed in 2 months. By Any chance you have any idea if because of holidays in US in the months of December, processes takes longer than normal timings? Ideally how long does it takes for a normal extension case.

    Regards,
    Rahul

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Although they mention 2 months as the processing time, in reality it can take easily much longer. It can take as much as 6 months.

      1. Rahul

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the update. Actually I want to have my wife travelled to US. Is there a way if she can travel on H4 when my visa extension in progress. Also if that is not a possibility than is there some other visa on which she can travel to US which I can later on convert to H4 once I get my H1B extension approved.

        Regards,
        Rahul

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          You can upgrade your petition to PP so that you can get the result within 15 calendar days (assuming there is no RFE). She can then go for H-4 stamping carrying your extended petition. If she goes now, then her H-4 visa stamp would be valid until current petition’s expiration date. They will not issue her a longer visa stamp based on pending extension petition.

  34. Santosh

    Hi,

    My employer has applied for H-1 B visa for me.The petition has been filed on my old passport where my name was printed as :

    Surname : Blank (nothing in surname)
    Given Names : xyz abc

    In my new passport the name is printed as :
    Surname : abc
    Given Names : xyz

    Will there be an issue in petition approval ,and if it gets approved,will there be any issues during visa stamping because of this?

    Please reply.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I think you should put information as per your latest passport. But I am not sure. Check w/ your attorney as well and see if they can contact USCIS now to modify that information.

      You can also email VFS folks and see if they can help you w/ this.

  35. Jayes Joshi

    Hi,
    I got H1 stamped thru Company “A” on 2007 November but never got chance to travel. Meanwhile I joined another company “B” and I got B1 stamped but I got cancel stamp on H1 by visa officer.
    Now after 4 year my company “B” is looking for H1 transfer, as they have urgent requirement. Visa desk team in my company told me that I still can use H1 petition even the visa got cancel stamp.
    Please suggest if I can go for H1 premium transfer (non cap) or file a new H1.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They can file a cap-exempt petition for you based on your old petition (even if it has expired). Once B’s H-1 petition gets approved you will have to go for H-1 stamping. Once stamped, you can travel to US and work on H-1.

  36. yassir izzaki

    hi , please help me me and my fiancé we was repplay for visa fiancé and we did by loyer and we send everythings to vermont centere and after 2 days they sand a letter they say they are recived ours documents and they give us a number casesse and ours status was changed to unitial review and after 5 mhonts they changed to Requeist for evidence and they say on 09 september they send a mail to my fiancé she live in jersy and we was waiting moor than 10 days and we my fiancé she did not recived any things till now .omg we are worry if is somthings gona happend and we lost and we are looking if is normale this things and what is mean that and why just after 5mhonts they ask about R for evidence and we are worry if ours casesse gona denied omg can some one help please and thank you so mutch

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      What visa did you guys apply for? H-1?

      If it is H-1, then they would have send the letter to the employer or his attorney and not to you or your fiance.

  37. Vivek Sharma

    Hi Saurabh

    Please help me in getting my answer. I came recently to US and already filled extension documents (my H1B is expiring in next 4 days). I heard it will take 2-6 month time to get approval.

    Now can my wife apply for H4 after my VISA is expired and with Just USCIS receipt number of filled case.

    OR
    she has to wait till the time I get my extension approved? and can apply for H4 only with new I94 date?

    Does I need to go India and stamped new VISA after getting extension and then only she can apply for H4 or she can apply H4 even on new I94 which I will be receiving after 2 months?

    Please Help saurabh.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The rule isn’t very clear on this. As one can legally stay in US based on pending extension, one would expect same to be true about dependent visa stamping and travel to US. However, I didn’t read anywhere which explicitly says that this is allowed.

      She can try to apply for H-4 visa stamp based on your expired petition and pending extension receipt. Your company/attorney can submit a supporting letter explaining the situation.

      You don’t need to get H-1 stamped immediately after extension for her to get her H-4 stamped.

  38. ces

    Hello, how will I know if the receipt number given by the agency is filed under premium processing.Based on the receipt it is filed last June 7, 2011, I was wondering why it is still initial review until now. Is there away for me find it out at the USCIS because the hard copy of the receipt is not given to me only the number.

    Please help me to find it out. Is there a situation that the premium is not accurate in releasing the decision withiun 15 days?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The online information doesn’t tell if the petition was filed under premium or if it belongs to you. If your petition has been filed under PP, and hasn’t be adjudicated within 15 calendar days, then your employer/attorney should follow-up w/ USCIS to get an update.

  39. Jo

    RFE Sent — January 2011

    H1B replied to RFE. It’s now been 60 Days still no response. Worried 🙁

    Response to RFE sent — February 2011

    It’s now been 60 Days (2 Months) and I still have not gotten a reply. Is this normal or if their reply takes too long, should this be considered a bad sign?

    I am really very worried because I came across a post somewhere that if the H1B is approved, response time is short. However, if it’s a disapproval, response time is longer. How true is that? Really very worried at the moment.

    1. tba

      Check on the uscis website if you have case number. Usually they will update the status, something like they “received” the RFE response or “being reviewed”. There is no proof that longer time will result in a denial. Some people get denied just after 1-3 weeks. If you case is Premium, it should takes less then 2 weeks. You can also call USCIS 1-800 number to check, sometimes it will get their attention.

  40. Sv

    Is there any way to track passport/ visa status after submitting documents as asked by 221 g blue slip during visa interview of h1b. What all process they perform post document submission

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      There is no tracking possible, unless they provided a tracking number on 221g slip. Once they process the documents, they would return your passport and originals – either w/ the visa stamp, or w/o the visa stamp.

  41. Vinoth

    Hi,
    I am working with an employer in India, who has filled H1B and I got the petition last year – 2010. Now, I am likely to get an offer from an U.S.A based company. Unless, I get the visa stamping from the new offer I cannot resign my current job. Since, I already have a petition, what are the constraints that I need to face for getting H1B visa stamping to work with the new employer?
    All the process, until stamping has to be done without the knowledge of the current employer. Please kindly provide your inputs.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your new employer can file H-1 petition for you, and submit the old petition copy as proof that you have been counted in the quota in the past. This way you are not subjected to quota.

      I don’t know if you have an unexpired H-1 visa stamp from your old employer. If you have unexpired visa stamp, then you don’t need to go for visa stamping and can travel to US based on that visa stamp and new approval notice from the new employer. If your visa stamp has expired, or if you don’t have any visa stamp in your passport, then you need to go for H-1 stamping after receiving the approval notice. Once stamped, you can travel to US and work for the new employer.

  42. Abin

    Hi Saurabh

    I attend visa interview at chennai consulate on 10-feb-2011 , after interview they give me a blue slip ( 221g, because client letter was missing ) and asked me to submit documents including PP, I 797,I129& Client letter on VFS drop box . I dropped all requested documents on 15-02-2011 .
    On 18-02-2011 I send one email to consulate asking the status , they replied your case is awaiting for PIMS verification ..

    But during interview VO didn’t give any information on my visa status ( approved/denied)

    How I can check my visa is approved /Denied ?

    Regards
    Abin

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Abin,

      Approval/denial will be known only after they complete the processing. When they issue 221g, they typically don’t inform their decision outright, but only after completing all the checks.

      1. Abin

        Hi Saurabh

        They Issue blue slip on 10-02-2011 , and I submitted all requested documents on 15-02-2011 ..

        Still I didn’t receive any information from chennai consulate , how much time will take for PIMS verification ..?

  43. phani

    i submitted all the documents which visa officer has asked for 221 g blue slip.i submitted documents on 2 nd of feb with out passport . when i need to submit the pass port and what will be the approx timelines for h1b stampping

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Unfortunately, there is no specific timeline for this. You will have to wait for them to complete their processing and notify you w/ the next steps.

  44. Anil

    I have an emergency to visit india, My company has applied extension of h1 b on Feb 3rd (in Preimum Process), and my visa expires on Mar 4th 2011, now i am planning to visit india on Feb 6th and come back to US on Feb 26th.
    Is it possible to go back to india while h1 B extension is pending.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Looking at it’s an emergency visit and the dates posted it seems you have already booked the tickets. So the question is not whether you can go or not, but what you can do to ensure smooth return.

      Here is my advise – as your petition was filed under premium processing, your employer may receive the result by 17th (assuming no RFE is raised). Ask your employer to FedEx the receipt to your Indian address overnight, and carry that receipt while returning to US. The other question is the closeness of your visa expiry date and your arrival date. As long as you have the new 797, you should be fine. A visa stamp is only required for entry, your actual stay period (which is then stamped on I-94) is determined by 797.

      However, if your petition runs into issues, you should consult an immigration lawyer.

      Good luck!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It can take few to several months depending upon your case. There is no “one size fits all” answer to your question. Best case scenario 2-3 months. worst case scenario up to a year.

      1. Abin Jose

        Hi suurahb

        Thanks for the reply

        My LCA got approved last month( dec -28-2010) and my employer filed H1B pettition ( with premiun processing) on jan -07-2011 , still it is not approved from USCIS .
        What is the expected time to get the approval ?
        How I can track my status ?
        once I get the approval what is the next procedure ?
        Regards
        Abin

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          USCIS must have issued form 797C and send the same to the employer or the attorney. You can use the receipt number quoted on that form to track your petition online on USCIS website.

          You can create an account for yourself on USCIS website and add that receipt number to receive automatic updated. At the moment, processing times are 2-3 months, so you would have to wait patiently (unless you or employer plan to upgrade it to premium processing).

          Are you filing from within US or from outside US?

  45. Prabjot

    Hi, I am working as an Associate Business Analyst and my employer wants to fill my H1B in Feb’2011.

    Please help me to know that is it possible to fill H1B now? and how much time it will take to get it?

    P.S. I am working for Microsoft client.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      FY2011 quota is about to get exhausted, probably in another 1-2 weeks. If you want to apply in this year’s quota, then your employer needs to file the petition ASAP. Once the quota gets exhausted, next filing date will start on 1st Apr 2011 (for FY2012) w/ start date of at least 1st Oct 2011.

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