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News : USCIS Completed Data Entry for H1B FY 2019 – Next Steps after Lottery ?

Many of you, who are yet to hear back from USCIS on your H1B petition, have been awaiting this news update. USCIS announced today that the Data Entry is completed for H1B Petitions filed for FY 2019 quota. Below is the quick summary and what to expect next.

 Summary : H1B 2019 USCIS Data Entry Completed
This year’s Data Entry Complete press alert is delayed by almost two weeks. Last year, it was released on May 3rd. Below is the summary.

  • H1B 2019 Lottery Selected Petitions : USCIS released a press alert today, May 15th,  that they have completed data entry of all the H1B Petitions selected in Lottery that were filed for FY 2019 quota.  All it means is that, if you were selected in H1B Visa Lottery for FY 2019 quota, your data is entered in USCIS System for further process.
  • Return of Unselected H1B Petitions in Lottery :  USCIS says that they will return all the unselected petitions that were not selected in the total of 190,098 H1B Petitions that were in FY2019  H1B Lottery .  They indicate that due to high volume of petitions, they do not have a specified deadline for the sending returned petitions.  Based on past data, we can expect that this can be around mid-July or early August of 2018.
  • Reaching out to USCIS regarding H1B petition : For now, USCIS  says that you as an employer or petitioner should not reach out to USCIS until you see a Receipt notice or rejected package. They will issue a press release once all of these unselected petitions are sent out so that you as an employer and petitioner would know the time frame and then may contact USCIS after that deadline. Based on historical data, for FY 2018 quota, they announced this on July 19th and gave guidance that employers can contact after July 31st.  If we go by the timeline, this year, the data entry is delayed by about 12 days, last year this was announced on May 3rd.  So, we may have the date for returning petitions to be pushed by a week or two to go to end of July or early August 2018.
  • Workload Distribution – Transfer of Petitions : Similar to previous years, USCIS may transfer some H1B Petitions between Vermont Service centre and California Service centre to balance load.   If they transfer your case, you will get a notification in mail ( physical postal mail ) . You can contact that service centre, if any questions regarding your case. It would look like below, when you check online on USCIS site.  In general, some worry, if it will impact your case approval chances. In fact, it does not really change anything, so nothing to panic, it is just an administrative thing for USCIS to distribute workload.
    • On XXX XX, 2017, we transferred your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number ,to another office for processing and sent you a transfer notice”

What does this Data Entry Update mean to you ?
This press alert is quite similar to the last year’s one, just details on premium processing are missing in it.  But, in general, if you have filed a H1B petition or you are the employee, all it means for you is that you should expect a receipt notice or a rejected petition package soon. It can take anywhere around 2 weeks for mail to arrive. You may see more of the remaining receipt notices sent out in the next 2 to 3 weeks and also expect to receive Rejected Packages soon.  There is definitely no sequence as such.  Based on past data, we can expect that USCIS will update on their returning of all petitions around end of July or early August, so there is a long way to go ! Don’t be anxious, the wait is long. Take it with the flow.

What’s Next Process in H1B Journey ?

What do you think of the timelines ?  Did anyone get Rejected packages or Approval ?

Reference : USCIS H1B Data Entry Complete


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  1. Hello Mr Kumar,

    Thank you so much for such an informative article. My attorney had applied my h1b in regular process master’s quota… I m not based in US right now. Till now my attorney has not received any receipt or rejection package yet…so what should I think? My approval chances r gone? Or I still have a chance as my file was not in premium processing?

    • Unfortunately, you may have missed the boat for this year…you may consider you were not picked in lottery, if you have not heard back yet. You can double check with them again…

  2. Hi,
    This is chetan, i haven’t got any conformation regarding my H1B lottery pick. Is there still a chance on getting my H1B lottery or i just have to wait for my rejection letter.

    • Well, few more days to go, maybe a week or so left. You can wait for reject letter to be 100% sure…the odds get almost nil after a week or so.

      • Hello Kumar,
        My attorney has still not received a receipt number for my H1 B case neither did he receive the petition back. What are the chances of the visa being picked in the lottery?

        • Very low to none…the data entry was complete quite some time ago…so, you would have got, if picked in lottery….Plan for backups.

  3. Hi ,
    My employer(Company A) has filed H1B for me this year( AD/RP) and I have not received any update till now whether my application is picked up in lottery or not. I got the full-time job opportunity with company B and waiting for my lottery decision so that ,I can start working with Company B and my current visa F1 STEM OPT is valid till Dec 2020.

    My employer is not providing any information on whether the cheque is cashed for me or not. Is it advisable to join Company B assuming my lottery is not picked up and continue to work on current visa valid till Dec 2020.

    What are the chance of selection in H1B lottery now and what are the impacts if I join Company B and later I get approval for H1b with Company A?

    • You can join the new employer B, but, if your H1B gets picked and if it was filed as COS, then you should join Company A on October 1st. You have about week to 10 days for lottery decisions to come out…

  4. Hi Kumar,

    I got email today from my employer saying that my case has been selected. I have few queries regarding this and listing below. Your response will be appreciated

    1. What is the probability of getting through final visa?
    2. By when can i expect my visa Interview(Approx)?
    3. Is it ok to to work permit from some other county and join some XYZ company there meanwhile or will it create any issue in my case approval ?
    4. Or should i join any new company in India Itself?

    • Still long way to, get approval first and then visa stamping…cannot give generic answer, but if all good, you should be fine. It can take few weeks to few months…
      3. Yes, you can do all of that, no impact.

      • Hi Kumar,

        My company initiated my H1B this year in Feb 2019, but till today July 4th, there is no update from USCIS. Is there any minimal chance of still getting good news?

  5. On my account; Receipt date-10/May.WAC-Non AD
    Case number could not be recognized on status update website.
    Anyone with the same issue?

  6. Dear Friends whose receipt number is not recognized. Did you get any update either approval or RFE?
    I can see my status as “case received” in myaccount website and error in e.gov website
    Receipt date : May 1
    WAC Center.

    Also please feel free to post suggestions. It will help everyone a lot.


  7. Hi, I am trying to set up an interview for my visa stamp in my country of origin. I plan to do this in December when I go visit my family (my change of status already happened in the US, where I live). However, they only seem to have appointment openings for the current month (September). Nothing after that. I am wondering if this is because they won’t open the appointment dates until the actual month starts or gets closer (the other option, that everything is taken from October to December, but there are openings in the current month, doesn’t really make sense). Can anybody confirm this? Thanks.

    PS. I contacted the embassy but they didn’t clarify anything.

  8. Wife got RFE; can I ask her to travel to US on h4 .” I am in US with h1. She works for CTS full time: proper US client. Can she work later once h1 is approved ?

  9. Hello everybody,

    receipt date: May 1 & WAC Center
    I cannot able to see the status (https://egov.uscis.gov) online as it shows “Receipt number not recognized” then I was able to create an account (myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov) and can see “Case is received”
    Till today, case number has not been updated in (https://egov.uscis.gov) website. ?

    Is there somebody with the same situation and got approved?
    Please share your experience on this. It will be helpful

    • I received a confirmation from my employer today that my H1B petition was approved. Status on the USCIS website is still “Case was received”. So I guess it will be updated in due course.
      First time applicant – so I’m guessing visa stamping is the next step.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        No update brother!

        But from past few weeks I’m receiving the below email from USCIS for every 2 weeks,

        We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time
        We will notify you when your case status changes. We last took action on your case on June 26, 2018.

        Not sure what they mean. 🙁


        • We are not even getting any mail from US IS, still showing status as Case Received. Not sure when it will update.
          I got my case on May 9th from California. Still waiting for approval.

  10. Hi Kumar,

    Can you please publish a detailed article on this?



  11. The Case Tracker shows my “Case is Approved” as of July 28th. But I have not received the approval notice. Can anyone tell how long it usually takes?

  12. My attorneys received the case receipt document in May but the online tracker does not seem to be working with my case number. Is this normal? I still cannot track my case, just waiting for approval.

    • Hi Dana,

      Just wanted to ask if you have any latest update.
      My case is similar to yours.
      my receipt notice is may 12 and i m unable to track the status online.
      I have created an account in this myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov website where I see the case status as “case received”
      now its already august 1, did you receive anything?
      please share your update.

  13. I have not received approval or rejection for my case. Should i expect approval for my case anymore ? Is there a way from where i can check my case’s status?

    Appreciate your help !

    • I think it’s too late to receive the lottery select result. Please check with u r attorney if the cheque submitted with u r h1b petition is encashed or not. If it’s encashed, u can still HV positive hope…
      BEST OF LUCK!!!!

      • I think his question is, he received H1B receipt but status not changed still showing Case received. how long will it take to approve or reject the case?
        Generally case rejection will not happen until your documents are not correct, if all the documents that you provided are correct it will be approved.

        As per me it will take around 3 to 4 months, we need to wait until that, I know this is a very painful waiting.

  14. By when can we expect receipt notices to get delivered ? It is almost 2 months since I am informed that my application is picked in lottery. But looks like they are yet to receive the receipt notice.

    • You should have got it by now. Wait for two more weeks, if you don’t get it please ask your attorney to follow it up with USCIS. Good luck!

  15. I got my Receipt notice on 2nd week of May, still my case is not Reflected on USICS Site, i get Validation Error when i tried to check the status.

    Anyone else facing the same problem?

  16. My was “Received” on 12-April-2018 and it is still in the same status. Could anyone please advise by when can one expect any movement in the status.

  17. My H1B got picked in lottery. Once stamping done, I want to travel along with my family but my daughter passport is going to expiry in 2 years.
    My question is, I will get the Visa for 3 years and due to my daughter’s passport expiry she will get dependency visa for 2 years only. So, can I renew my daughter passport before I go for my H1B stamping, so that even she will also get 3 years dependency visa.
    Please suggest me on renewal on my daughter passport.

    • No, if you all get 3 years, she will also very likely get visa for all 3 years along with you. Visa is not linked to passport. You can use unexpired visa on an expired passport after you renew passport to re-enter US on a visa. Read Expired Passport visa Valid Article There is no reason to renew passport as it has still two years on it

  18. My case was very weird. Online case status remained “case was received”, but both of my employer and my lawyer already received my approval notice… Is this ok?

    • Yes, fine. Sometimes online system is not updated…if you can see the approval notice and has it on your name, nothing to worry. You can call USCIS to check regarding the issue on the system.

  19. My case status is changed from “case was recived” to “document was mailed”. What does this status mean ? My employer didn’t get the document yet.


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