Jan 10th , 2011 H1B visa cap count – 1400 petitions filed !

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 167 Comments

Updated : Previous content did not had one week data, current updates includes missing week data and correct updates. Thanks to Puneet !

USCIS updated the H1B cap count numbers today. As of January 7th, 2011 the updated H1B petition filing numbers as reported by USCIS are :

  • New 1,400 Cap eligible H1B visa petitions were filed under regular Quota since last  week

January 7th , 2011  USCIS official H1B cap count update:

Regular H1B Cap H1B filings58,700 of total 65,000
Advanced degree cap filing count20,000 of total 20,000 (filled last week)
Total H1B visa petitions received78,700 of total 85,000

H1B filings – Regular H1B cap count

As most of you know, Advanced degree H1B cap was filled couple weeks ago ( by Dec 24th, 2010). USCIS reported that there were about 1,400 petitions filed under regular quota in last week  i.e., between Dec 31st and Jan 7th, 2011. Overall, the total H1B petitions filed decreased consistently in the last two weeks i.e, 1,500 in week of Dec 24th until Dec 31st and 1,400 this week (between Dec 31st and  Jan 7th). The decrease in petitions can be attributed to holiday season and law offices being closed. I speculate that the volume of  H1B petitions that will be filed in the next couple weeks will be very high due to two reasons. Firstly, the outlook for jobs and economy looks very good based on analysts numbers…secondly, human psychology, good number of people (could be employers) tend to do things in the last minute…We are almost at the last few weeks rushing towards the cap completion…In total, we are left with only 6,300 visas…of them, our best case  calculation after setting out 1000 visas for Singapore and Chile trade agreement would be 5,300. As we do not know how many H1Bs were left last year that were related to Singapore and Chile trade agreements, I assumed 2009 numbers and did speculation..Read the H1B cap Analysis on Dec 21st, where I explain the whole scenario. If you are still interested in filing H1B petition for FY 2011 cap, now is the time…Do NOT delay !   (I will try to write economy review later this week.)

What do you think of H1B cap count  reaching cap  ?

Regular H1B cap Count 2011  Trend Graph

H1B visa 2011 January 10th  Update

Change Log : Article updated as per Puneet’s correction. Thanks  Puneet !

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 167 )

  1. Santosh Rao

    Hello Guys,

    I stumbled upon this website and came across pretty factual & eye opening suggestions. I am in rough waters right now and need a clearer picture of actions I should take in future.

    I am on my STEM OPT period which expires on 06.31/2012. My employer has assured me that they would file for my H1B sponsorship since 6 months. Over the past 2 days, I have finally started seeing some movement on the case as, my manager said, I would be contacted by an external attorney for filing the petition(My company has never filed an H1B petition before and hence are hiring an external attorney).

    Please advice me if I have enough time to file for it in the 2011 cap? If not, what would be my choices for between the time my OPT expires and me getting the H1B visa

    Thanks!
    Sincerely,
    Santosh Rao

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      2011 (FY-12 )cap is over. FY-13 filings will start in April 2012, and you have some time in hand to do all the prep work.

      If your petition is filed before your OPT expiration, along w/ COS and requested start date of Oct 1, 2012, then you can continue to stay and work in US even after your OPT expiration date. This is called cap-gap and you can do this until Oct 1, or H-1 denial date, whichever is earlier.

      1. Santosh Rao

        Thank you so much for your quick response, Saurabh! We need people like you running our country 🙂 Thanks once again for your noble deed of helping out the lost ones!

  2. Jean

    Dear Kumar,
    I am currently on OPT and my company was willing to gimme the H1-B but they didn’t have all the documents ready and when they asked the attorneys today the attorneys told them that the cap has being met. I have been reading your posts because I am really freaking out about this. My OPT will expire February 12, 2012 and I just need to stay untill August because then I will go abroad to work for the same company but its an international rotation. What can I do to stay till that time i know the grace period is 60 days but can I work during that time ? please I need some advice thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If your employer is e-verified, then you can apply for OPT extension (provided your education was in STEM).

      If not, you will be on your 60 day grace period. An employer can file H-1 petition for you on April 1, 2012 and you can continue to stay and work on basis of cap-gap. You can do this until October 1, 2012. If your H-1 is denied, then you will have to leave US after the 60 day grace period. You can check w/ your lawyer as well about this option.

      If you want to leave US in b/w in Aug, then you can do so and your H-1 will continue to be processed. You can use it later when you want to return and work in US.

      1. Jean

        Thank you so much Saurabh, the problem is that the lawyers said that I cannot continue to work even after April 1st, because regardless if they approve the visa or not, I cannot start working until October 1st. Could you please explain to me how could I tell this to the lawyers, it will be my only hope since they already told me my last day will be february 12.

        Best regards and thank you

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I am sorry Jean. I was incorrect in my previous post. If you apply for H-1 while you are in 60 day grace period, then you can continue to stay in US but you cannot work. Extension of work authorization is given only if you are in OPT at the time of H-1 filing. Sorry again for providing incorrect information in my previous post.

          1. jean

            Saurabh, thanks man for a moment I thought I had some hope once again but I guess not!, my employer is trying to get me to work in Brazil until I get a visa to get back, I do not need a visa to go to Brazil, however I need a valid contract. Do you know if my contract in the US will be valid to get into Brazil after February 12 that my OPT expires? I will not be getting paid in the US, does that make a difference, is there any suggestions or maybe something I can do?
            Thank you so much man for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions you are awesome
            cheers!

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Once you leave US, it’s ok not to get paid in US but in Brazil. Once your H-1 is filed and approved, you can go for visa stamping and return to US.

            I don’t know if the US contract will be valid in Brazil or not. You will have to check it w/ the employer.

  3. radhika

    I got my h4->h1 approval with an inhouse project at location A in LCA. later I worked for different client at location B and employer filed new LCA with location B . Now I moved to another client at same location where my first LCA is showing . My employer did not filed new LCA and said first LCA is sufficient .
    Is it safe to go for stamping with old LCA and new client letter??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I read few incidents (on this blog and elsewhere) where 221g was issued because I-129 and LCA didn’t match. Talk to an attorney about it. Also talk to your employer if they would be willing to file new I-129 w/ premium processing in case consulate issues 221g related to it. Doing it w/ PP would allow you to get a quicker resolution and return to US.

      As there is no clarity on this from USCIS side, a lot depends upon the reviewing officer.

      1. radhika

        Hi Surabh,

        ThanX for immediate reply one more question

        1. I – 129 and first LCA has role as Programmer analyst with location A in NY and inhouse project
        2. Changed to a different client with new LCA and location B in WA
        3. Now working at new client with a different role at Location C in NY

        So I have to carry old LCA and I -129 but a new client letter with new role in it for stamping.

        Is it really safe to ask my employer to file new LCA and amend my I -129 accordingly or should I go for stamping with old details and new client letter and when asked by VO just inform that position got filled and I started working for new client..Note – genuine client letter and never on bench through out my H1 period till now 🙂

        Regards
        Radhika

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I am not sure if it will work out (as your role is different this time and you had another LCA in b/w). If the old LCA dates are still applicable, then it may work out as well. You will have to check w/ an employer about that – whether one can reuse the old LCA or a new one needs to be filed.

          Good luck!

          1. Radhika

            My employer always saying it is fine with same old LCA as the date is valid till 2012 sep30th , but somehow am not satisfied with it after going through so many cases in various blogs. when client change / same client location change by even 5 miles/when role changes we need to have new LCA and amended I – 129. Am so confused and not able to take any decision

            Anyways I shall keep posted …may be this will set as another example 😉

  4. Pratiti

    Hi Saurabh,

    Heard some good reviews about your website and in the way you guys guide folks like me. I need some advice on my case.

    I initially processed a H1B through an IT consultant. Petition got approved for 2011 quota. But i did not go for visa stamping. 1 month later, my current U.S employer decided to do a H1B for me. I wanted to be honest and told them about the H1 approval i just received. They were still willing support me. There was no H1 transfer but they took a new H1B petition based on my previous H1B approval as reference (saying that i was approved for 2011 quota). The second H1B petition also got approved within 12 days through premium processing and i got my visa stamping as well yesterday. I am now ready to travel to U.S anytime for my current employer.

    My question is, what will happen to the old H1B visa? I have not contacted the consultant yet. Should i inform them that i already got my visa stamped through my current employer and hence will not be using their H1b? How worse can they react and will i be affected in anyway? If they cancel that H1B petition, will it affect my current H1B stamping or any questions on POE? My current employer is ready to do a green card as well for me once am in U.S. Hence want keep my records clean. Please advice.

    Best Regards,
    Pratiti

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It’s really nice to know that word of mouth is helping in spreading awareness about this site 🙂

      It’s your decision whether to inform the old employer or not. They cannot take any action against you. Did you sign any contract w/ them? Even if they cancel the petition, it wouldn’t impact your current H-1 or future GC processing. There shouldn’t be many questions at PoE regarding the old petition, but in case they ask about it you should be truthful. You didn’t break any law or anything.

      BTW, what your employer did was H-1 transfer. In H-1 transfer, a new employer files a petition and submits old approved petition as proof that you have already been counted in the quota and don’t need to go through numerical cap. Same thing what your employer did.

      1. Pratiti

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thank you sooo much for such a prompt reply.

        Regarding my previous H1, i neither signed any contract with that consultant nor paid any fees. But, yes, a copy of my previous approval notice was sent along with the new H1 petition. However, my current employer’s attorney told me that it is not a transfer, but a fresh H1!!!

        Does this infer that the previous H1 approval/petition is no more valid? How will the consultant come to know about this if i do not tell them? Will they ask me to repay the expenses spent on my petition? How do i handle such situation?

        Best Regards,
        Pratiti

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Previous petition would still be valid until the old employer sends a request to cancel it, or it expires on it’s own. Old employer would know about it unless someone tells them specifically. They may ask you to expense for the petition, but legally that should be paid by the employer only, not you. So you are all safe and set.

          1. Pratiti

            Hi Saurabh,
            Thank you for the prompt reply!
            Your guidance is so very helpful. Many aspiring professionals out there are benefiting from your website ! When we log a query, it is being acknowledged quickly and we are sure to get a response unlike many other sites. You really rock !!!
            Best
            Pratiti

  5. Arjun

    Hi Saurabh/Kumar,

    I had my visa stamping interview today morning. I got my visa approved. Planning to do a writeup on the experiences. Its been a 6 month journey :).

    Hope everything else goes fine (PoE)

  6. blrsam

    Hi Kumar/Saurabh,
    I recently went for h1 stamping interview and was issued 221g blue form and also informed the inhouse project i submitted doesnt esxist with the employer and so revoking my petition.
    Now my current employer MNC in india is filing for a new H1, is it legal and possible to file a new H1 when stuck with 221g with diff employer?

    should I inform this to my current employer as well?

    any comments / suggesitons are most appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, another employer can file a petition for you while one is already stuck. You can ask your H-1 employer to voluntarily withdraw the petition, so that it doesn’t impact your current processing.

      It is better to let the current employer know, so that in case complications arise because of your 221g, your employer isn’t surprised/shocked. However, I don’t know how your employer would react to the fact that you filed H-1 through another employer while working for them in India.

      1. blrsam

        Well Anyhow I am drafting that in documents of my h1 filing with current employer, i will request for a withdrawl but the previous sponsorer may not agree, even in that case I wont have any problem right?this is not a denied case yet..what should I say if my visa is rejected or not? i can say no but specify pending in AAP…will that suffice?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, you can tell the employer that it’s under AAP. You can also be asked about the current 221g in your subsequent visa interviews. So remain truthful.

          Also, stay in touch w/ your H-1 employer to know when your visa gets denied.

          1. blrsam

            Hi Saurabh,
            I have mentioned in my co visa app docs that 221g is pending , since technically this is not a rejected I have not mentioned any rejections but given a note that prev app is in 221g and my manager even had a glance over it and ignored.
            Once the new h1 app is filed can I withdraw the 221g stuck petition by myself? once its filed its better i do not have any issues facing at stamping this time… so what best would be the way for successful staming this time.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Withdrawing 221g may be a good option if your employer is planning to file a new petition for you. However, I don’t know for sure if it has any adverse impact. You can check that w/ your company attorney.

  7. Ana

    Hi All,

    Anyone took H1 visa stamping interview in Singapore recently? If so, can you share your experience please / question from VO?

    Thanks
    Anamika

      1. Ana

        Hi,

        My H1 got approved with in-house project. After receiving 747b i attended client interivew and got a client letter now. If i go for visa stamping with a new client letter ( which has different role, job description/salary ect) will it be a problem during visa interview? I am attending visa int in singapore. Anyone attended in singapore?

        any pointers will be helpful.

        Thanks
        Anamika

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I can’t answer your question related to Singapore, but in general it should be ok to carry a different client letter. If the officer questions the difference, you can let him/her know that the old client project was cancelled or position got filled w/ another employee (whatever is the truth), and you have this new client position.

          As long as client project letter is genuine, your proposed salary is more than that quoted in LCA; you should be fine.

          BTW, did you mean 797 instead of 747?

          1. Ana

            Hi Saurabh,

            Appreciate your response to my query. Yes , 747b was a typo and i meant 797b. The client letter is real and the salary quoted by my new Client is more than the what was quoted for my H1 application/LCA for inhouse project. The consultant put me on client interviews as soon as H1 got approved !! Hence, am not sure if that in-house project position was filled/cancelled.

            Thanks
            Anamika

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            You can then give a more generic answer saying that your employer informed you that the old client position is no longer available and don’t know more about it.

            As long as your current documentation is genuine, you should be fine.

            Good luck!

  8. blrsam

    Hi Saurabh,
    it is my friend’s story after his visa stamping was surprising, I was there out [email protected] hyd consulate waiting for him last week , the vo asked him some formal questions then he started stating that tps360 his sposorer has no inhouse projects but a fake company/project .actually he had every document with him but (i have submitted in advance the documents at vfs on his behalf)…..vo didnt care , he had all those listed documents in consualte website but vo just saw proj docs and sarcastically spoken later on and gave 221g form and revoked his petition . i am posting this comment coz he was given a chance for l1 where we work but he refused to and if it was about to to go successful i too wanted to approach this company? is this a fraud company really? my frnd says they have provided hin alll the docs so it shud be genuine….but still it got revoked!!!

    here my qstn is
    can he now use this revoked petition to apply for h1 from the company we work now?can you brief out the possibilities

  9. blrsam

    Hi Saurabh,
    it is my friend’s story after his visa stamping was surprising, I was there out [email protected] hyd consulate waiting for him last week , the vo asked him some formal questions then he started stating that tps360 his sposorer has no inhouse projects but a fake company/project .actually he had every document with him but (i have submitted in advance the documents at vfs)…..vo didnt care , he had all those listed documents in consualte website but vo just saw proj docs and sarcastically spoken later on and gave 221g form and revoked his petition . i am posting this comment coz he was given a chance for l1 where we work but he refused to and if it was about to to go successful i too wanted to approach this company? is this a fraud company really? my frnd says they have provided hin alll the docs so it shud be genuine….but still it got revoked!!!

    here my qstn is
    can he now use this revoked petition to apply for h1 from the company we work now?can you brief out the possibilities

    1. Arjun

      Hi Blrsam,

      How the VO know this is a fake project, did you guys submit all the mentioned docs as described here > “http://redbus2us.com/new-h1b-l1-visa-stamping-documents-checklist-by-us-consulate-general-office/”

      Whether its inhouse project or client project, the documents would mention that clearly. Is there something, he asked and you guys didn’t have the document for that?

      1. blrsam

        well i didnt get answer to the question i asked…. btw he told me that he consistently insisited abt that company…. didnt even cared to ask abt docs though he said he has every doc they need….i am seeing him for a year and he is shocked after this event so wanted to help him in someway by knowing abt the petition transfer…..some one put light on this pls ….

        also dude it is not only that client ltr or internal proj it is abt luck as welll…admitted we saw ppl with even worst company profiles got approved….

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      He cannot use the revoked petition to transfer H-1. He needs to probably have it filed through another employer.

      His company might have been flagged as suspicious, and that could have resulted in a stern stand by the officer. Remember, in-house projects are easy to fake and some companies do that. It is not just necessary to have the entire set of documents, but genuine documents.

      1. blrsam

        Thanks for the reply saurabh, HIs petition is not yet revoked but was given a 221g and verbally told by the vo … i believe it has to go to uscis possible review then any decision mean while can we use this petition transfer it to anothr employer… its complicated but ur clarification is most awaited

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          When the consulate rejects the visa, they usually send the petition back to USCIS for revocation. In that scenario, you cannot use the existing petition for H-1 transfer. Your friend’s employer can either appeal against the decision or file MTR. But its a lengthy process.

          The other option is to file a new H-1 petition through a more genuine employer. The quota is still open, so it can be filed anytime now.

  10. Vinu

    Hi Saurabh,

    Sorry for the inconvenience . I have started a new thread.

    If my current employer files a H1 petition along with my existing H1B approval(I797B) that i got through the consulting company, how long will it take for this transfer? It took me 5 months for the previous H1B approval ( H1 Filed on Jan 6th 2011, RFE on Feb 28th, Approval on May 4th, papers received on June 7th ). It’s been a marathon.

    Of course, stamping through a US based well established company has higher success rate than a US based consulting firm but my concern is the time.

    How long will it take for this kind of H1B transfer process?
    This transfer can happen only if I don’t get the visa stamped through the consulting company? Once I get the stamping, then transfer cannot happen. Correct?

    Kindly let me know.

    Thank you!
    Vinu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The transfer may take 2+ months, or you can have it filed w/ premium processing and get the result within 15 days (not counting RFE time).

      Transfer can happen either prior to or after getting H-1 stamped in the passport.

      1. Vinu

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for the reply.
        Do i need to talk to the consultancy company on this transfer or get my employer directly talk to them? Because i just have the following documents with me now? will this be sufficient for employer to initiate transfer?
        a) Original I797B approval notice
        b) Scanned copy of the H1 application sent to me through Email ( LCA, I-129, company profile, RFE…..)

        Thank you!
        Vinu

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It is not necessary to involve old employer when doing H-1 transfer. As long as you have 797B, the new employer can file for H-1 transfer. At times, when you inform the old employer, they may cancel the 797 in anger and then you may be left w/ lesser choices.

          1. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            As a part of H1 application , my consultant sent inhouse project details in place of client letter. My H1 got approved. Should i go ahead and get H1B stamped with the consultant ( with the same client letter stating inhouse project). And on the other hand, allow my current US based company to do a L1 if they need me, so that which ever comes first, i can travel with it? Is this better than H1 transfer?

            Please advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Your Indian employer can go ahead w/ L-1 processing. However, when you go for stamping, it is possible that the officer will cancel the previous visa stamp in the passport w/o prejudice. So if you have H-1 visa stamped, and then go for L-1 visa stamping, H-1 stamp can be canceled and vice-versa.

            It’s just the stamp that gets canceled, and would require you to go for another stamping, if you need that visa stamp.

            In any case, you cannot travel to US prior to 1st Oct. You need to make a decision whether you want to work for current employer in US, or for the new employer, and also would you like to have the flexibility of changing jobs in US. Also, I don’t know if you are married or not, but dependents on H-1 cannot work, while they can on L-1. Answers to these questions should give you an indication whether you should go for L-1 or H-1 transfer etc.

          3. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the reply. But why cannot i travel before 1Oct? My H1B is of 2011 quota which allows me to get my visa stamped and travel anytime. For L1 is there a restricton on time?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ohh … If H-1 was last year’s quota then there is no restriction on time. But you still need to make a call whether you want to work for current employer on L-1, or for current employer on H-1 or for new employer on H-1.

          5. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            You are right. H1 gives me flexibility to change employer. Being single, no worry about dependents. It should be either working on H1 with the consultant or H1 transfer to continue working with current company at their US office. Concern is the time. I would like to get visa stamped and travel asap.
            1. Consultant got my H1 approved by submitting the inhouse project details. He says that, once stamping is done, he will start marketing me. He is pushing me to look for visa interview dates. Is it safe to go with the same inhouse project papers for stamping?
            2. Not sure when my current employer will start H1 transfer process. They have just initiated talks with HR…seems like dragging. And if my consultant pushes me to get stamping….if i delay…he could doubt.

            That’s my dilema. Can you please advice?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Even if you get the visa stamped through H-1 employer and enter US, I assume your employer will not pay you until you find a project. This would put your status in jeopardy can cause issues in future (H-1 extensions, H-1 transfer, GC etc).

            The other thing you need to look at is the probability of a successful H-1 stamping. Did your H-1 employer has any success off late (other employees who got visa stamped through him)? It not a 100% surety that they would accept the in-house project and will not question you back.

          7. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            True! Probability of successful stamping is higher when i go through a US based established company than a US based consultant.

            My consultant says they got the H1 approval with inhouse project letter only. Hence should not be a problem for stamping. He added that they have been following the same procedure for all their applications and they have come out successfully. I dono the orginal stats..just telling you what they told me. He added that after sucessful stamping they will put me through interviews. I will not travel to US unless i get a Client. He asks me to continue my current job until i get a client!!! He is pushing me to fix my visa stamping appoitment !!!

            What do i do? Please advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          8. Arjun

            Hi Vinu,

            One of my friend got visa approved, after 221g for in-house project. Yes, chances are more in well-known established company, in-house project can also be successful in stamping, but may lead to 221g if VO is not satisfied with details at the time of interview.

          9. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh / Arjun,

            What is 221g? My H1 employer is a consultancy who sent a inhouse project papers as a part of H1 application and got it approved by USCIS. Now with the same i have to get ready for visa stamping. He is not a No.1 but his employees are working in decent companies in US. I know couple of employees who got H1 approved for the past 2 years but all were already living in US and hence never went for visa stamping. They continued to work as soon as H1 got approved. What is 221g Arjun is talking about? I have all other papers except that instead of client letter, it is a inhouse project letter.

            Kindly clarify.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          10. administrator
            Saurabh

            If the employer is confident that there wouldn’t be any issues during stamping, and you can trust his word, then go for it. Assuming your stamping goes through well, it would be a nice idea (like you said) to not travel unless you have a client ready. Meanwhile if your current employer decides to file your H-1, they can do a transfer. However, I don’t know how your employer will react when he comes to know that you applied for H-1 through another employer while working for them.

            Consider 221g as RFE issued during stamping process. It is issued when the consulate wants to do more processing on your application, and cannot make a decision within the interview time period.

          11. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you for the respose. I had been asking my current US employer for a transfer for quite sometime now. Since thigns were not moving as expected, i decided to do a H1 through the another consultant. Recently my current US employer spoke to me about an opening in US, they also asked me if i have any visa constraints (since many in my company are US citizens). I told them i have a approved H1 through a consultant but never used it. It is upto current company HR to decide if they want to take a fresh L1 ( which is the usual practice) or transfer this H1. I am just keeping it low and waiting to see what HR comes back with. Seems to take time.

            Meanwhile, my consultant has come back asking me to book an visa stamping interview date and inform him.

            This is my situation now. Do you think it is a good idea to go ahead and do stamping with consultant first and wait to see if he is getting me any projects? Meantime, wait to see if current employer wants to take a L1 or H1 transfer. Do you think this will give me some flexibility to take up whiche ever comes first?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          12. Arjun

            Hi Vinu,

            My employer has confirmed that it would be in-house project for me. He has asked me to go for visa stamping. The petition has been approved yesterday. I’m still waiting for my supporting documents.

            My employer is not diversified as other consultants. He’s handling only one area of work/domain which my current company does.

            Please share your VO experience after your visa interview.

            Thanks,
            Arjun

          13. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, it would be ok to go ahead and have visa stamped through this employer. If it works, then you can wait and see what your current employer does about your US travel. Meanwhile, you can start searching for clients.

            If it doesn’t work, you can still pursue your current employer to file H-1 or L-1 papers for you.

          14. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your kind response as always. I guess i should go by your suggestion.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          15. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Quick question. One of the mandatory document requirements specified on passport validity is “A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States”

            I have a passport valid until 10-22-2012. In response to question on DS-156 on the period of stay in US, H1 employer asked me to mention the H1 period which is until 12-19-2013.

            Will this be an issue? Can i go for H1B stamping with this passport? Will there be any questions? What do i specify on DS-156 ?

            Kindly advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          16. administrator
            Saurabh

            That should be ok. They know that passports can be renewed as and when they are about to expire, and a person can have petitions that go beyond passport expiration date (my does).

          17. Vinu

            Hey Saurabh,

            Sorry about the late update.

            Based on your advice, I got my H1-transfered ( US Consultant to current employer) instead of my current employer doing a fresh L1. Luckily my current employer was ok even when i told them about my H1 approval through another consultant. Within 3 weeks i got my visa stamping. Absolutely no questions were asked during the visa interview since my current employer is a US based company ( not a consultant). 2 weeks following that i came to US on my H1B and started working in California.

            I did not contact my consultant after that. Neither did they contact me again. Though i did not sign any agreement still feel little bit bad not telling them. But anyways, I just did not want to invite any trouble during my transfer process/entry into US.

            BTW, on entry into U.S, they gave me a I-94 for the duration of my passport expiration ( Nov 2012) instead of H1 date. I guess it should not be a problem if i renew my passport while in U.S and go to mexico/canada a re-enter. I guess i-94 will then be given as per my H1B date. Right? Please correct me if am wrong.

            Thanks a ton for all your advice and guidance at every step during this whole process. It was indeed a marathon but finally i made it 🙂 Your website is so helpful for people like me who are new and have no one to guide them. I will definitely recommed this site to my friends who aspire to come to US. Its been 2 months now in california and my US company are just initiating my GC processing 🙂

            Will keep you posted on my GC updates…..

            Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas !

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          18. administrator
            Saurabh

            Hi Vinu,

            That’s good news. Hopefully this would be the end of legal woes for you 🙂

            Yes, once the passport has been renewed you can either apply for extended I-94 by going to CBP office or travel out and re-enter US. As you are in CA, passport renewal needs to be submitted in San Francisco. The process is pretty easy and you should have it within 20-30 days (I got mine in 25 days recently).

            Good luck w/ your GC.

            Happy Holidays!

          19. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your reflex response as usual 🙂

            Does it take 25-30 days for indian passport renewal? One of my collegue said we could get it on the same day ! I was not sure about that though but just checking. Is there anyway we can get it faster? Is there any link to see all pre-requisites documents required for that renewal?

            Since my GC process has just initiated, any issues when passport number changes? Do i need to inform the company attorney on this before i apply for new passport?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          20. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, there is tatkal service available for $150 where passport is issued the same day. I think they ask for the reason for tatkal when applying for the same. Document list is available on any Indian Consulate website.

            GC process shouldn’t get impacted by the passport renewal. Once your passport renews, you should send a copy to the lawyer as well for their reference.

          21. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks much! I will refer to the indian consulate website on pre-requisite documents for passport renewal.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          22. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            On PoE I-94 was given until passport expiry date instead of H1B expiry date. Now, got my indian passport renewed in San Fransisco Indian embassy. Now, do i exit and re-enter US to get my I-94 extended? Or should i do it through my company immigration attorney ? Which one is safer and a better option?

            I-94 valid until Oct 2012. H1B valid until Sep 2014.

            Pls advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          23. administrator
            Saurabh

            Vinu,
            You should contact your attorney and ask them to submit I-94 extension application w/ USCIS. Based on new passport, and existing 797, USCIS will issue an I-94 valid until 797 expiration date. You don’t need to travel out of US (could be expensive based on your location in SF Bay Area). If you have some upcoming international travel, then this option is preferable.

          24. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks again for your response.

            I shall contact the attorney if thats the best option.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          25. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Based on your suggestion, i did contact our company attorney to submit a I-94 extension application w/USCIS ( since my earlier I-94 was given upto my Indian Passport expiry date and i renewd my passport now). They applied on May 21. However, until now the online status says “initial review”. My current I-94 expires Oct 22. Does it take this long for I-94 extn (SF Bay area)? Just FYI, my company has simulataneously applied for my GC as well ( PERM application filed on Jul 30). I did talk to the attorney and he just responded saying they are yet to get an update.

            My passport did have a valid H1B stamp for until Sep 2014. This I-94 extension is being done only due to passport expiry. Does it take this long for such I-94 extn cases (SF Bay area)?

            Thank You!
            Vinu

          26. administrator
            Saurabh

            Vinu,
            I don’t know the processing times. Your attorney can follow-up w/ USCIS about it. As long as your I-94 extension was timely filed you can continue to stay in US even after current I-94 expires.

          27. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,
            Thank you for your response. I have requested my company attorney to follow up on my I-94 extension. Meantime, today i received by PERM approval ( GC processing) and they have asked to apply for my I-140. My PERM was applied in Aug 2012 and got approved in 1 month. They mentioned that in case i wish to choose premium processing option ($1225) for my I-140, i have to pay from my pocket, otherwise company will take care of regular processing charges. I understand that even though i choose to pay for premium processing and get my I-140 approval, i cannot apply for I-485 until my priority date becomes current. Is there any other advantage of going for premuim processing for my I-140 in my case?

            Kindly advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

  11. priyanka

    Hi

    My employer filled for my H1 on 27th December under premium processing and I got a RFE stating to provide more details. We are in the process of reverting back to USCIS.
    And my employer requested a H1 validity period of Dec 27th 2010 to Dec 27th 2013 . Now my OPT ends in July 2011. My project with the Client ends in May 2012.
    Now my question is if my H1 gets approved when will my H1 start date will be ?
    Will it be from December 2010 or sometime later in 2011?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 start date would be the date it is approved by USCIS. Typically they don’t set it in the past, but as the actual approval date.

  12. SVS

    Hi,
    I have received my receipt number for H1B VISA on July 28th 2010.Its 6 months now.Still,in USCIS website,the status is ‘Initial Review’.I came to know that the maximum time required for H1B regular processing is ’2 to 6 Months’.Can anyone tell me like why the delay is happening ?

    As the cap reached,now it will go through the lottery process ?

    Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.
    SVS.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You will not have to go through lottery as your petition was received well before the last date of quota.

      Your employer should follow-up with USCIS and inquire about the delay. 6 months is too much.

      1. SVS

        Hello Saurabh,
        Finally I have got an RFE on 28 th Feb 2011.
        It took exactly 7 months for a status change from ‘Intial Review’ to ‘RFE.
        Any idea like how much more time it will take after submitting required details to USCIS.

        Thank you,
        SVS.

  13. Ashish

    Hi,

    My employer filed H1B petition in August 2010. I haven’t received the receipt number yet. When I inquired with my employer, they told that even they haven’t received any update from USCIS so far but they also said that USCIS should have received my application. Now they have filed a complaint with USCIS on 07th Jan.

    Is it any other way to check the current status on the petition filed? How much time does USCIS takes to reply for a complaint?

    I am little worried now as the cap count is almost over. If there is a mistake from USCIS side then will they consider my petition as a fresh application?

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I have hardly seen cases where USCIS received the petition but didn’t generate the receipt number. There are few things that could have happened in this case:
      – employer never filed H-1
      – petition was lost in transit
      – USCIS forgot to issue the receipt number
      – USCIS did issue the receipt number, but it never reached your employer

      If it’s USCIS’s fault or if it was lost when USCIS sent that information to the employer, then you are still ok (i.e. reasons 3 and 4 above). Your employer should be able to successfully argue that you should be considered in the quota. However, for other reasons, you won’t be considered in the quota for FY-11.

      1. Ashish

        Thanks Saurabh for the info. I am pretty sure that the petition was sent to USCIS. I can try getting the fedex delivery number from my employer, if possible.
        My employer said that they have around 60 cases for which either receipt number is not received or approval notice is not received (though it shows approved on USCIS site) from USCIS.

        Keeping my fingers crossed. I hope USCIS replies back quickly. Any idea how much time USCIS takes to reply to the complaints?

  14. Mary

    Hi Saurabh,

    In continuation to my previous questions I’ve one more doubt here.Suppose if my employer does H1B Filing today then I’m already in the quota or it would be considered once my petition is approved.I’m expecting my LCA today or tomorrow and with 62800 already filled will my petition be considered or not..I’m worried.Please help

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You are considered to have made through the quota based on when USCIS receives your petition, and whether they generate the receipt number or not. So, if your H-1 is filed today, USCIS receives it tomorrow (while quota is still open) then you would have made through the quota.

      However, if your petition gets denied in future, you would not have H-1, and would have to re-try in another quota later.

  15. Arumugam

    Hi

    I am asked to process for h1b visa and i am ready with all the documents.Is it possible to apply it now and get the petition by april?… i need to travel by July.
    I heard that “We can file H1B but this will go under current year 2011 quota and it will be valid from Oct 01, 2011. If you wanted this case to go by july then it is suppose to be filed under last year quota ie., we should have filed this case atleast Oct/Nov, now it is too late”

    Is there any chance to make this happen?

    also can i process both l1 and h1 together?.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your employer can still file the H1 petition now (not many petition numbers are available though), and can expect the petition to be approved by April. If it doesn’t get approve by then, you can opt for premium processing.

      The quota open right now is for FY2011, and once this is exhausted, you can file in FY 2012 quota for which earliest filing date is Apr 01 2011, and earliest start date for H-1 is Oct 01 2011.

      Yes, both H-1 and L-1 can be filed simultaneously, but one may override the other when you go for visa stamping.

      1. Arumugam

        Hi

        You said that we can apply for L1 and H1 parallely.When i ask here at my office, they say we cant apply for L1 and H1 parallely.

        I dont have proof for this in any authorized site to show them.Do you know any site to justify them?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If you are original question was to apply H1 and L1 from same employer in parallel, then that’s not possible. USCIS will wonder why that person needs both H1 and L1 from same employer for same job, and may issue query against both.

          However, what you can do is have your current employer file your L1 and find another employer who is willing to file H1. As these will be filed for different jobs by different employers, you should be fine.

  16. Vinu

    Hi,
    I am trying to get my H1B done through a CA based IT consulting firm. I sent them all the necessary documents during Dec first week. When i contacted them during first week of Jan 2011, they told me that my H1 is filed. I requested for the receipt number/ file number, but they replied saying they will give it when they have it. I do not know the exact data on which my H1 was filed. But can someone please tell me how long does it take to get a file number or a confirmation that our H1B application is has been accepted by the department of immigration services?

    This is the first time am applying for H1B. Appreciate your guidance!

    Thank you!
    Vinu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Typically it takes up to 2 weeks to receive receipt number (from the time package is received by USCIS). If it has been more than that time, you should ask your employer to follow-up with USCIS. You can also ask the employer about the fed-ex/ups tracking number that shows that petition was actually sent to USCIS and received by them (it won’t prove that the package contained your petition).

      Did you vet the employer before filing H1 through them?

      1. Vinu

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thank you for the response. Yes, i did some research on this employer. They are one of the leading provider of IT Consulting and Staffing Solutions, headquartered in CA and have local offices in Chicago and New York. They are also preferred partners to F2000 companies like Cisco, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and a number of startups.

        Since am not living in USA, i talk to them through emails and phone. As suggested by you, i shall again ask for the receipt number and request them to follow up with USCIS if they still dont have it. Really appreciate your help in taking time to respond to my question. Will let you know their reply.

        Thank you!
        Vinu

          1. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Checked with my employer. They in turn checked with the attorney and said they have not yet received the receipt numbers? I have requested them to check on the timelines. Are you aware of any delay that could be from USCIS side? Mine is regular processing only. However, irrespective of regular/premium, does it take more than 2 weeks to get a receipt number? I am a bit worried.

            Kindly advice…

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            No. Considering that there were lot of holidays in December, receipt number should have been received within 3-4 weeks max.

            There are other cases in this forum where the petition was applied in Jan, and the person has received the petition number.

          3. Puneet

            For what it’s worth, my H1b visa petition was received by USCIS on Jan 10th (Monday). I still haven’t received the receipt from USCIS and am still waiting. I have already started at my new employer (you can start based on the Fedex delivery notice). I hope I get the receipt soon. I shifted from a university (non-profit H1b) to a company, so am subject to the cap.

            Waiting for the receipt is a test of nerves at this point. USCIS should not take this much time. When my university applied for my H1b, the receipt came back in a couple of days. Right now if the lawyer has made a mistake and the petition is rejected for any reason, there might not be time to refile before the quota closes.

            Puneet.

          4. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            My petition was sent during Dec last week. When i asked employer how long would it take to get a receipt, they told me 2-3 weeks but still as of today the attorney has not received the receipt number. I can only request them to follow up. Not sure what else i can do.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          5. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            I received my receipt number from my employer today through email. They sent me the scanned copy of the I-797C. I see that USCIS received the application on Jan 6th that was filed at WAC. I did check the processing status online with the receipt number and it says “initial review”. Thank you very much on your prompt replies and guidance. Is there anything more i need to check with the employer now?

            Kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Vinu,

            There is nothing else to follow-up right now. You can create an account for yourself on USCIS website and add the petition number for automatic updates. Going by recent processing delays, it may be a while before you see any movement.

            Good luck!

          7. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the response. Sure i will do as you suggested. I work in Singapore and procesing my H1B thru a CA based IT consulting. I have requested Singapore as a centre for stamping. Is the processing time different when you file within US or from outside US?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          8. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            The consultancy told me that the moment my H1B is approved they will start making me attend interviews. The client could be the same US company am working for now or any other client. But they said there are high possibility of client being the same company since there few openings with them on hand.

            I have not told my current employer that am doing a H1. Since am a full time employee with them and they prefer only contractors for US openings. I have just requested them to let me know if i can get a transfer to US office or if they can do a L1 for me. They are yet to get back. I thought, if i get my H1B approved, i can approach them again.

            Thank you !
            Vinu

          9. administrator
            Saurabh

            There is no difference (time-wise) based on whether the beneficiary is outside of US or within US at the time of filing.

          10. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks again for your reply. This question could be silly but still would like to clarify. Pardon my ignorance. As a part of H1B documents requested by the employer, i sent scanned copy of my passport pages. My H1B processing is in progress now. Is there a problem if i travel to US on B1/B2 in the meantime? or any other?

            Kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          11. administrator
            Saurabh

            Actually, it’s a pretty valid question 🙂

            There shouldn’t be any issues w/ your B-1/B-2 travel.

          12. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Processing time on wbesite is 2 months for H1B but can they approve it in less than 2 months with regular processing?

            On what basis they give the approval? I mean, if all documents submitted are fine, will they just approve it? is it like only people who have more than 8-9 years work experience or those studying in US universities have better chances?

            This is my first time applying for H1B, hence quite anxious on approval criterias.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          13. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, although the website says 2 months, they can approve it in less than 2 months (the other way round is also possible).

            While adjudicating the petition, they will look at your profile, your employer’s credentials, job description, client/project information etc.

          14. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the reflex response. My employer is a IT consultant having good credentials. Employer and their attornery prepared the H1 petition papers. Is client letter mandatory for H1B approval?

            Please let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          15. administrator
            Saurabh

            Client letter is not mandatory, but it’s best to have that especially if the company is a consulting one. This would prove that the employer has projects where he can place you immediately, and the cash flow would allow him to pay you the salary etc. So it’s much more safer to have that information.

          16. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the prompt replies. I dont think my consultant applied with a client letter. I currently work for a US based company in singapore. It was hard to get my current company sponsor H1/L1 and they prefer to hire contractors in the US office. The consultant through whom i have applied for H1 is one of the official vendor who provide contract employees for this US based company am working for now. Many of my collegues working in US office are from this consultant. Do you think this point can work in favour for H1B approval?

            Kindly let me know your views.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          17. administrator
            Saurabh

            If I understand this correctly, you will be employed under this vendor and your client would be the company you are currently working for?

            If yes, then arranging for client letter should be comparatively easy – it would be a letter from your current employer to this vendor stating that they want Vinu to work for their xyz project in US. So if an RFE is issued, the same can be submitted. Do you see any issues in arranging for such a letter?

          18. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Having said my scenarios, without a offer letter, do you think if my consultant prepares a petition projecting that he is capable of placing me….will my H1B get approved?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          19. administrator
            Saurabh

            It’s difficult to answer that in yes or no, as lot depends upon the company profile and how stern USCIS would be about the client letter. If USCIS needs that client information, they would issue the RFE and then the approval/denial will depend upon your employer’s ability to provide that information.

          20. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            I understand. I’m quite nervous , but i hope they approve my H1. Thanks for patiently responding to my queries.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          21. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,
            My H1B status online today showed RFE updated on Feb 28. I inquired my employer requesting them to share the details when they receive the notice. But they say they will share RFE details on need basis only. RFE’s are usually standard and their attorney will address each of them individually. If its related to the candidate then only they will discuss that with the individuals. This is the reply i got from my employer.

            What should i do now? How else i can know?

            Kindly let me know.

            Thank you !
            Vinu

          22. administrator
            Saurabh

            There is not much you can do here. The information is sent only to the employer and/or attorney. You can be in touch w/ the employer to know when they have responded to the RFE or wait for the online status to change.

            At times, employers don’t want to share RFE details w/ the employee (they are not bound to do that) and in most cases, RFE is related to employer and/or prospective work (something that employer needs to take care of).

          23. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you for the response. How much time does an employer/attorney usually get to respond to an RFE? I mean how soon should they respond?

            Can you please let me know?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          24. administrator
            Saurabh

            The RFE letter typically comes w/ a date mentioning by when it needs to be responded. I don’t know for sure but it can be something b/w 1-2 months.

          25. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            My US employer and attornery say that they have responded to the RFE this week. However, the status online still shows “Request for Evidence” only. How long it takes for the status to reflect as “RFE review” and how much more time it takes for the approval to come?

            Can you kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          26. administrator
            Saurabh

            It may take a week for them to receive the actual RFE response and then they will update the online status. I think your petition wasn’t filed as premium. So it may take another few weeks for the actual approval. Actual timelines may vary.

          27. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the response. The status now shows “Request for Evidence Response Review”, however it says that we can expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date they received the response! ( California Service Center). Does it take that long?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          28. administrator
            Saurabh

            They usually put in the outer limits. It can happen well before 60 days but in worst case scenario it can take that much time as well.

          29. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            I got an email from my employer today saying they got a notification that my H1 is approved and it will take close to 3 weeks to get original notice on hand. However, on the website it still shows status “Request for Evidence Response Review”. How is that? What notification are they talking about?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          30. administrator
            Saurabh

            At times the online status is not updated correctly. If your employer says they have received the approval notification, then that must be true unless you have reasons to not believe your employer. Employer should receive the physical copy of the notice within a week or two, and then they can share it w/ you.

          31. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            I was just curious how come the employer gets a notification even before the website is updated. Usually, a week after we see a change in status, the employer receives the notification.

            BTW, my H1B was applied on Jan 6th 2011, it went through RFE and finally got approved last week (regular processing). If am right, this should be previous year quota. Do i have to still wait until September for interviews or travel? Or can i get visa stamped and travel immedietely?

            Kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          32. administrator
            Saurabh

            Typically USCIS is prompt w/ updating the status on the website. But that’s not 100% true. That’s why I said if you have no reason not to believe your employer, then you may fall into those few cases where status is not updated promptly.

            Yes, this was filed in FY-11. You can go for stamping anytime after you receive the documents and can travel prior to 1st Oct as well.

          33. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you for the reply. Since the employer says they have received an approval notification on Friday, i shall then wait for the original papers in the next few weeks. But the online status has not change yet 🙂 However, just wanted to know if we need to start attending client interviews from now on or wait for original papers?

            Through my contacts/friends if i find a good opening or client, can i inform my employer? Or do i have to wait for them to arrange client interviews for me? My H1B employer is a IT consulting firm.

            Since this is my first time, request you to kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          34. administrator
            Saurabh

            If I were you, I would start working on my resume first (if you haven’t done that already). Format and modify to make sure it highlights your skill set and especially those that are currently in demand.

            Once you have done that, share it w/ your employer and discuss w/ them how they want to market your candidature. Make sure there are not different versions of your resume floating in the market as it’s not a good thing for a company to receive different versions of your resume.

            Once your employer has agreed, you can start applying through your network and keep your employer in loop for each application. As it’s a consulting company they also need to be involved in market rate negotiation.

            BTW, I think you also need to get your H-1 stamped as you have filed it from outside US. Discuss w/ your employer when they will have the necessary documents that you can go for visa stamping. At times, it’s best to go for stamping after you have a project/client in hand.

          35. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you so much for your guidance.

            Yes, i have reached out to my recruiter with an updated Resume requesting for a call to discuss about the next step. I shall wait for their response. Meanwhile, I shall also ensure that different versions of my resume is not floating around.

            After receiving the original notice on hand, how much time we have to get the visa stamping done? I am asking this because, you said it is best to go for stamping with a project/client on hand. Also, within what time we need to travel after stamping? I need to also give a 2 months notice to my current employer if i have to travel, hence want to plan accordingly.

            Kindly let me know.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          36. administrator
            Saurabh

            You can go for stamping once you have the necessary documents including client/project details. This document is not a must but it’s highly recommended to carry them when applying through consulting companies. Talk to your employer if they already have those documents for you, and if they were indeed asked for it when other employees from their firm went for stamping.

            Once stamped, you can travel to US anytime after that as long as your petition and visa stamp is still valid. Once in US, your employer needs to pay you all the while (no benching). My recommendation would be to travel only when you are sure that your won’t be benched in US.

          37. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your response again. That means , after getting the necessary documents also, i can wait till i get a client and then go for stamping…no time constraint that i need to go for stamping immedietely after receiving all the papers!? I was under the impression that if we are outside US, we need to get stamped within certain amount of time.

            Thank you!
            Vini

          38. administrator
            Saurabh

            No, you are not required to go for it within a stipulated time. However, if there is a long delay, you should carry a recent employment letter from your employer to show that employment is still valid. Same goes for travel to US. If you wait more, you may be required to show that employment is still valid.

          39. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks again for your kind responses. Like you suggested, I shall first wait for the H1B original original papers from USCIS. Meanwhile, i shall sync up with my employer for client interviews.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          40. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            The USCIS website still tells my status as “Request for Evidence Response review” . But almost 3 weeks ago, the employer said they got the H1B approval notification and they will Fedex me the papers today(6/6). But little worried about the status still shown on the website. However, can you please let me know the key documents i should expect from my employer now ? So that i can ensure i have them all before scheduling the H1B stamping interview.

            This is my first time H1B. Please advice.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          41. administrator
            Saurabh

            Online status is not always the updated information. Once you receive the approval notice, you no longer need to worry if the online status has been updated or not.

          42. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your response again. Can you kindly let me know what all documents i need to be ready with for the Stamping interview? Is there a checklist i can refer to? Being first time H1B stamping, just wanted to ensure i have them all and if something is missed out, i can request my employer for it before the interview.

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          43. administrator
            Saurabh

            There is an article on this blog on documents required for stamping. You can go through it.

          44. Vinu

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you. I received my H1B original approval notice (I797B) through the CA based IT consulting firm. I live outside United States and hence need to prepare for visa stamping interview now. Meantime, my current employer, who is a US company, is offering me a fulltime employee position in our US head office. There is a legal line that a current employee cannot rejoin as a contractor within 6 months of resignation. Hence i cannot rejoin them as a client with this H1B approval. They may take a L1 for me but instead will it be possible to transfer my H1 from the consulting company to my current US employer, before even going for the stamping interview?

            Can you kindly advice?

            Thank you!
            Vinu

          45. administrator
            Saurabh

            Yes, the current employer can file H-1 petition for you and submit the existing petition as proof that you have already been counted in the quota. Once approved, you can go for H-1 stamping through current employer (unless you have already got visa stamp through consulting employer), and then enter US and work for the current employer. BTW, stamping through an established employer is always has more success rate than stamping through a consulting company.

            Also, can we start a new conversation thread instead of replying back and forth on the current one. I hate to scroll all the way up to find the reply button :).

  17. WaitingForLCA

    Hi, Thanks for these awesome updates. Do you think H1B quota for 2011 will still be open for coming 2 weeks.. starting from 17th Jan? My employer is waiting for LCA and the moment they get it sometime next week they will file my H1B in Premium category.
    Request your guidance.,.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      My guess is that it would be filed in another 1 week or 2 weeks max, but it’s hard to put the finger on an exact number when everyone is rushing to make through the cut.

      1. calmet

        Regarding to H-1B. I have applied last week. I didn’t send any 4×3 photos (didn’t see any request in instructions form. I’m not quite clear if H-1B needs employment authorization card or not? If so will USCIS send you one if H-1B approved or that’s something you apply separately later?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Employment authorization cards are not issued once the petition is approved. So no photos are required. The petitioner will just receive the approved 797 document, which doesn’t have any picture of the beneficiary.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Typically, when you start the employment, the employer will ask you to complete I-9 form. As part of this process, someone from the employer side will look at your 797 to verify your legal presence and work authorization (797 in this case), and then submit the form to USCIS. When your 797 is about to expire, the employer will reverify your 797 (you will apply for extension at that time).

            Other than that, one doesn’t need to carry 797 all the time. If questioned by law enforcement officers, one needs to prove their legal presence and not work authorization, and this is done by I-94.

  18. V

    Kumar,
    If you assumed that only 1000 C/S cap used last year, that would add 5,800 extra to this year general cap correct? So the total cap this year (FY2011) would be 65,000-6,800 (C/S exclude)+5,800 (C/S remainder last year) = 64,000
    Correct me if i’m wrong. I’m waiting for my petition last week, so really hope this is true.

  19. Puneet

    Kumar,
    I assure you that 57,300 figure was directly reported by USCIS on their website. Due to new year/christmas break USCIS was slow in updating their counts on time, and so they showed counts for Dec 24th and Dec 31st on consecutive days. Due to this many people missed either the first update or the next. Not really your fault that you missed one update, since the gap between the two was less than 24 hours (If I remember correctly). I have been following visa numbers every day directly on USCIS website, since I’ve been fretting over visa quotas (because of my filing; my company’s lawyers finally sent the package on Friday). Trust me, the numbers I quoted are from USCIS website, and you can use them for analysis without worry.

    In any case, keep up the good work with the analysis. I have been following your articles for the past month or so, and they have been quite informative, and one of the best resources on the web.

    I think you might want to correct the article again since you left the statement, “Overall, the total H1B petitions filed increased by 700 from 2,200 two weeks ago to 2,900 this week”. Filings have actually gone down in the last two weeks, and some readers might get confused with conflicting data.

    Personally, I think last week’s count was less due to low filings in christmas week, and this week’s count is less due to low filings on new year’s week. Many law offices were closed for 2 days on both weeks, and lot of staff was on leave. My guess is due to postage delays & initial processing times, petitions posted by lawyers in a certain week are actually reflected in next week’s count. So count should increase next week.

    Another reason why count MIGHT increase is that students who graduated in Fall 2010 and immediately got a job (or had a job lined up after graduation) will try to push their employers to file immediately. In the past, such people could file only when the quota opened in April. This of course, is just conjecture, and the filings may still be slow.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Puneet,
      I trust you and have updated the prediction as well as article analysis to reflect the right numbers and decrease in petitions filings.
      Thanks for closely watching and updating us right numbers !

  20. Puneet Khanna

    Dear Kumar,
    It seems you have not been following the visa count closely at all. There were only 1400 visas filed last week. The visa numbers you quote (2900 visas) were filed in the last TWO weeks. You skipped the count on 12/31/2010. Even if you missed reporting that count, how can you not realize that the current count is for 01/07/2010 which is 14 days after 12/24/2010 (the date for the previous count you mention). Please refer to your own link on your website for the correct date to the 55,800 count .

    Here is how the count has progressed in the last few weeks –

    01/07/2011 – Regular 58700; Advanced 20000 (Total 1400 visas filed)
    12/31/2010 – Regular 57300; Advanced 20000 (Total 1500 visas filed)
    12/24/2010 – Regular 55,800; Advanced 20000 (Total 2200 visas filed)
    12/17/2010 – Regular 53900; Advanced 19700 (Total 2100 visas filed)
    12/10/2010 – Regular 52400; Advanced 19100

    As you can clearly see that based on the above numbers, your current analysis is quite baseless, and you would do your readers a great disservice if you do not update your article with appropriate analysis. Instead of the headline (‘1000 increase’), you should perhaps acknowledge that the filing rate has slowed down (maybe due to christmas and new year). I do agree that it quite probable that the rate will increase in the coming weeks.

    Finally, various sites are reporting (though I am not sure of the validity of this claim) that according to AILA, last year 450 visas were filed from Chile and Singapore, and thus 6350 visas from that quota have been transferred to the open quota. And so the total quota count left this year is 5850 as of Jan 7th 2011.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Puneet,
      I apologize for miscalculation. I have corrected the article to reflect 2 weeks. In fact, USCIS did not report data in the middle for one week, thats why I missed the calculation and did like every week without paying close attention. My mistake. Thanks for close attention and correction, it helps our readers and keeps me on track ! I have corrected the article… In fact, the 57,300 was not directly reported on USCIS website but updated by some attorneys. My source is USCIS and I do not write anything without USCIS update. Thanks again !

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