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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. Hi,

    My H1 application picked in the lottery. The status tracker says ‘Case Received’.
    Currently I am in USA since 1 month under Business Visa and gonna stay till June month end. Again I have a schedule to come back to US on July 1st week and leave the country on Sep 09. Again I require to travel back on Sep 22 until October 30.

    All of the above schedules are for Business travel.

    I have two queries.
    1. Can I travel these many times while the H1 is in process?
    2. If my H1 approved, Still can I travel on Business Visa as long as I do not have H1 stamping done?

    Thank you.

  2. It’s been more than a month now still my H1b case status is showing ‘ case was received’. No updates from attorney or employer. People are getting approval from the first week of May. Is there anyone who is in the same boat?

  3. Hi kumar, Please reply,

    My petition got selected in lottery. NON AD. I am a Computerscience engineering graduate from india presently working as Assistant IT networking manager in dubai. But in my Dubai visa my status is sales executive. But i have Proper offer letter. Does it effects my approval.?

    • It all depends on how your case was projected and what role you are positioned for and your credentials for the same. Your current role may or may not have impact…hard to give generic answer.

  4. The company has applied for an H1B on my behalf. I am a bachelors degree holder. The application has entered the lottery, however I still did not hear back on anything. My SEVIS still has an authorized end date of 7/7/2018, when my OPT expires. I asked HR/Attorneys for a case number, but I was told that that’s only given if one is selected in the lottery – is that true? I have been waiting for far too long to hear any news and I am pretty much hopeless at this point as it’s already June 6th and I haven’t heard absolutely anything back on my H1B except that the application went in. Based on the experience, what would one advise for me to do?

    • Yes, you get case number, only if you get selected in lottery. Well, I can imagine the frustration with wait. In general, most cases that were picked in lottery should have got the receipt notice…of course, there are exceptions. As it is already late, there are slim changes, but you can try and wait for some more time until to receive a reject package, just to be sure, if your case was not picked in lottery. Ask your employer to share the reject letter to confirm the same.

  5. Hi All,

    For those who have got “approvals” will help others if you reply to this comment with following details:

    Receipt Date:
    Note Date:
    Approval Date:
    Wage Level:
    Degree (MS/PhD/Double MS):
    Job Position:
    Job Profile:
    Whether on Cos (OPT/CPT/H4/L1) or Counselar:

    H1-B tracker on this website is great, but a bit slow to filter content based on approvals.

  6. 2ndTimerPragmatic
    AD, 2nd timer
    Got selected, got the receipt notice today from my lawyer
    Received date – 4/12/2018
    Notice date – 5/24/2018
    Vermont center

    AD/Non-AD don’t loose hopes yet

  7. How Long will it take for Regular Quota (Non ADV) to get case update, my case was received on 12th May with Receipt num WACXXXXXXXXXX.

    Mayank Joshi

  8. how to know if the petition has been approved. i got to know my petition has been select in lottery and i have EAC #

    • Something really weird happened with me today. I got an email from Do-not reply@uscis.dhs.gov mentioning that the action has been taken on your case but the case number given is an old case number for my OPT-EAD card. When I checked with the tracking number provided, it says label is created, card is produced and will be mailed to your address. I have already received my EAD card last year. Now which card they are sending?
      My H1b is picked up and opt end date is extended to September 30th. I am AD, non STEM. I was expecting the action on my I129 but they re-processed my I-765. What should I do?

  9. How to check if my application is picked?

    #1. Check is cased
    #2. Receipt notice in mail
    #3. Check status on “https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do”???
    (it requires a receipt number)

    Can I check my latest status by myself? If so, which website? ( I do not have a receipt number) Or only DSO can check for my status?

    Congrats for those who got picked!
    Good luck for those who are still waiting!

    Thanks in advance

  10. My H1b case just got approved. I checked my case status on uscis website and it reads

    “On May 30, 2018, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC***********. We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.”

    I am AD working in US.

    Good luck to everyone!

    • Lucky,

      Congratulations! When did you get your lottery receipt? When did you get your SEVP portal update?

      Thanks in Advance!

    • Congrats. What is your receipt notice date and when did your sevis portal get updated?

      It would be really great if you share your timeline.

      • Thanks. I was informed by my employer around May 12th. The initial status before approved read that my case was picked on April 12th (that could be case with many others). On May 30th case status updated to approved.

  11. Hello All, I came to know from my employer that my case was picked in lottery for this fiscal year and I got the receipt number WAC XX XXX XXXXX but when I tried to check the status in USCIS I am getting Validation error, can some one help me how long I need to wait to get the status in USCIS

    • It happened to me too. I received my receipt number last month around 20th and it still says that Validation error when I type in my receipt number in the USCIS website. I talked to my lawyer and she said that she submitted a request to USCIS regarding the issue

    • Me and my few other friends are also waiting for the same.
      Got receipt numbers and no updates in uscis website (getting VALIDATION ERROR).
      As per my attorney sources, “California Service Center” data entry work is not completed for new H1’s. Came to know that, it will update by July 2018 mid or Aug 2018.

      Be patience to get status online from uscis website.
      All the best. Thank you.

    • Same with me RK. Anxiously waiting for status update in USCIS website.
      My employer told me to wait till july to get updates. Seems like, nothing is in our hands except waiting 🙁

  12. I work in a MNC company and my HR says still there is no update of my case.When i enquired of my H1-b Status. few already got congratulation mail from HR department in the second week of may saying her Name got picked in the lottery. But regarding mine still don’t have any update.How long i can expect? And what are the chances from now to get picked?

  13. Hello,
    I Am on Stem opt and Got selected in lottery this year and cap-gap Extended to 09/30. I am working as Full time in a Big Company. What are my Options if My case didnt move anything or in Rfe by 09/30.

    Thank You in Advance.

  14. All,

    My OPT will be expired on 5/31, but was extended to 6/1 (status “Filed”). I hope to hear back from USCIS soon, but am assuming that it will take some time to receive a rejected package.

    Some say it may be late July ~ August to receive a rejected package or some kind of notice from USCIS. But I do not think I am allowed to wait/stay that late because of my grace period ( 6/1 + 60days = have to leave by the end of July…) In such case, my understanding is to leave the US even though I do not hear back from them. Correct?
    I am thinking of the worst scenario.
    Any feedback/advice will be appreciated! Thanks,

    • @Confused.
      If you are not selected, you have to stop working on June 1st. Regarding your departing US, the grace period is 60 days from the rejection notification date. There is nothing to be confused about, as it is clearly specified on the USCIS website. You just need to Google to find out.
      You have to inquire from your employer, HR or lawyer about when they receive the rejection notice date (it’s stamped on the notice of action form- pg 1 – and has the rejection case number).

      Here you go about when the 60-day grace period starts:
      https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/extension-post-completion-optional-practical-training-opt-and-f-1-status-eligible-students-under-h-1b-cap-gap-regulations –
      “If an H-1B petition filed for an F-1 student with a cap-gap extension is denied, rejected, revoked, or withdrawn, the student will have the standard 60-day grace period (from the date of the notification of the denial, rejection, revocation, or withdrawal of the petition) to depart the United States.

      The 60-day grace period does not apply to an F-1 student whose accompanying change of status request is denied due to a status violation, misrepresentation, or fraud. In such cases, the F-1 student is ineligible for cap-gap extension of status and the 60-day grace period. Similarly, the 60-day grace period and cap-gap extension of status does not apply to an F-1 student whose petition was revoked based on a finding of a status violation, fraud or misrepresentation discovered following approval. In both of these instances, students are required to immediately leave the United States.”

        • @Third & Last Attempt
          Thanks for your comments! I appreciate it 🙂

          Sorry I wasn’t very clear what I was asking, but I am aware of my grace period. My question is how long I should wait until I receive something from USCIS…
          Maybe no answer for this, but I am allowed to stay in the US until the end of July. Hopefully, either a receipt notice or a rejection notice will come before that.

          • @Confused,
            Your grace period is NOT 60 days from June 1st but 60 days from the notice date stamped on the returned package which would be sent from the lawyer to your employer. Hence, you may stay on after July if you intend to wait for the package to be returned.

            This year’s data entry is late compared to last year’s. There is no way to tell when you would receive the returned package or the notice date. Is there any purpose in waiting for the returned package if you can find out that you are not selected via Sevp portal, I-20, uncashed checks, etc, and if you plan to leave US for good?

            If your employer is cooperative, you can try to ask him/her to send you a scanned copy of the notice of action (pg 1) which has the reject case number and notice date when the unselected package returns – if you plan to leave at the end of July and still have not received news. Hopefully, it comes before you leave.

  15. Hi,

    I received conformation that my check has been cashed but haven’t gotten receipt yet. How long should i be waiting for the receipt ? And any guesses on why i haven’t gotten receipt yet ?

    Thanks for reading.

    • You won’t get receipt. Your lawyers will so follow up with them. So law firm have transparent process, so they will share all documents with you. Some don’t, so you will be in dark until you ask.

      Another possibility is that the document is lost due to snail mail.

      • What I’m saying is my emplyer didn’t get a receipt. They’re pretty transparent with me. Its been 4 weeks since i got to know that my check has been cashed and i’ve been following up with the person that hamdles company mail and so far nothing from USCIS.

        I also think that the USPS messed up( It happened to me before with my EAD card) If so, how long should i wait until i report something to USCIS ?

        • @1stAD,
          When was the confirmation? Do ask your employer to inquire from the lawyer. Try to find out if the receipt number is at the back of the checks. Do you have Sevp portal? You need the receipt number to inquire: https://egov.uscis.gov/e-Request/Intro.do

  16. Got Receipt num today with below mail sent by my office only(not from USCIS):-
    What are the possibilities after this ?As, this is my first attempt.

    Received the notification from the USCIS which indicates the petition that Immigration Services recently submitted on your behalf has been received by them and is in queue for review (this notice does not mean that your visa petition has been approved yet, just confirmation it was received).

      • Thanks,

        Mine is Non-Adv, regular Quota. I wasn’t aware of this portal , i think we don’t have access to check in SEVIS since this is all managed by our Visa filling team. I have only received Receipt and my case status says :-

        Case Was Received
        We received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number XXXXXXXXXXXXX, and sent you the receipt notice that describes how we will process your case.

        I am little confused with your second question ‘Did your sevis get updated regarding extended employment end date? ‘ And if needed, what should be my next question/action to my Travel team; so that i can get confirmation if all is going on track or not.

        Thanks Again 🙂

  17. i didn’t get any response from my employer about any H1B status whether its picked or not. Can i wait for it or try for next year 🙁 ?

  18. Now that lottery has been completed, and people are getting receipt or other type of notifications. That means USCIS is going through the selected applications to see if they meet the requirements.

    Assume that there will be couple applications that got rejected, does that mean there will be second round of lottery to fill the gap?

    I am a non-AD, and still haven’t heard anything yet..

    • No, they already select more applications than quota allows during lottery to compensate for rejections based on previous years stats.

    • No. Lottery is done and won’t happen until next year.

      USCIS has already selected enough petition for 85K year quota. Also, they added backlog or freed (withdrawn in case of two lottery for same application or rejected/denied) to this year and also some more petition were selected in case backlog is zero or they anticipate rejection out of current years selected lottery pool.

  19. Okay so chance of getting selected in lottery was about 38% (Non-AD). Now that I have been selected, what are the odds I will get a visa? is it 60%? 70%?
    I am a software developer with job offer of level 2 wage.

    • Software developer title is attracting more scrutiny since last year.

      All those got receipt have equal chance of accept and reject. All the best.

      • @Jai Can you keep quiet if you dont know nothning?

        @first timer It depends on SOC code (Yours should be 1132 or 1133 These are far better than 1131 and 1121), wage level ( shoudl be aprropriate to the position) and if you work at 3rd party / client expect more scrutiny

  20. Attorney confirmed that my case was received but provided a 14 letter receipt number whereas i heard it would be of 13 character length. Is something wrong ?

  21. The Check to UICIS is not withdrawn but my lawyer informed me that he got receipt and I got selected to the lottery.
    How is it possible to receive recipe when no payment is made?

      • Got Receipt num today with below mail:-

        Received the notification from the USCIS which indicates the petition that Immigration Services recently submitted on your behalf has been received by them and is in queue for review (this notice does not mean that your visa petition has been approved yet, just confirmation it was received).

  22. Hi Redbus,

    My petition is picked in lottery ,came to know from my employer,. how many days its will take to get the approval from USCIS. What are the next steps to be followed. your help is much appreciated.

  23. I got picked in lottery. But i have few questions. NON AD, level1 pay for system & network admin job role. Bachelor degree with 4 years of experience. What are the chances of approval.

  24. my H1-B receipt date is 04/17 and still status showing as “Case Received”.
    any one else is in the same situation?

    • If your application isn’t fraudlent and it’s for skilled work you shouldn’t have anything to be afraid of. If it’s for base level IT consulting work, it’s a different story. The current administration is questioning whether this fits their definition of skilled labor.

      • Actually current administration feels base level IT work do not need outsourcing more americans can fill those job.

  25. I got picked, non-AD, receipt 5/9, was updated on 5/15. Receipt says my case is in Vermont, and current processing times for I-129 in Vermont is 10-13 months. Does it really mean it’ll take around a year to adjudicate status? How come some people have their case approved within a few days/weeks after the lottery?

    • The cases are picked and processed in random manner. We cant say for sure when a case would be picked for processing. If you are lucky it would be processed earlier if not it might take time. Unfortunately we cant predict and we got to wait for the update. Good luck!

      • Are you sure? I thought I read somewhere the USCIS would prioritize petitions for the current fiscal year ?

  26. Hey everyone!

    If you have H1b case number with you, there is another way to check it. Usually, the regular h1b case tracker doesn’t work or, it takes a lot of time to have it updated.

    Other way:
    Go to https://my.uscis.gov , register and add your case number there. It should give you appropriate status.

    @Kumar, Maybe you could mention this trick/idea in your next post.

    • I’m not sure this is a good idea. From a post on IG:

      “I don’t understand the link being shared here. It states you can use the site under one of two conditions:

      “…you received either a Case Passcode from your attorney or accredited representative or an Account Acceptance Notice from USCIS”

      I have a receipt notice but neither of those items. Emily, can you comment?”

    • I just checked it, I do not see an option to register case here. In general, we have the option to register an account and track your case by signing-up at : https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/displaySignUpStep1.do

  27. When I tried to check my receipt number online case status through USCIS, getting the validation error. how much time it will take to update ?

  28. My STEM OPT is expiring June 9th. Haven’t heard anything from the lawyer or the USCIS about the H1B. Thought 3rd time would be a charm.

    I would like to get a masters degree in Computational Science and Engineeeing. I have a chemical engineering bachelors degree.

    Wondering, Can I transfer my i20 to a community college to take some computer science classes or Associates and stay in the states legally? Just until I get into a Masters program Fall 2019.

    Any comment would be much appreciated.


  29. Hi All,

    I tracked my case putting the LCA number. It said “ Certified”.

    Any idea what the hell does that mean? No updates from my employer yet.

    • That means your privilege wage meet the condition. Next step is wait for Receipt# from either employer or Lawyer or frequently check with HR Manager if check is clear.

  30. I didn’t see anyone saying their OPT extended to July which happens when the petition is waitlisted. Not sure if USCIS has waitlisted any petition’s this year.

    Kumar, Any thoughts?

    I am on STEM OPT and this is my last chance. My OPT is expiring this June. No SEVP update. So wondering if there is any hope left or I should assume this is the end of this year H1B for me as the data entry has completed.

  31. My employer is applying my H1B from past 5 years still my luck is not getting my address I feel 🙂
    This year also still I did not hear anything my lawyer, If this time it is not happened even my employer will stop applying for me 🙂
    I think this will be my last attempt and still hoping for Good news.

  32. As of May 16, 2018, I still do not hear anything from my lawyer about H1B receipt notice and any information about check being cashed. Do I still have hope that my case was selected in the lottery? Thank you in advance for sharing your information!

  33. Hi everyone! I just heard back from my lawyer that I was picked in the lottery and they received the notice today. Non-AD and my OPT expires at the end of May but NO change on SEVP. So hang in there and don’t lose hope!!

  34. Hello,
    I am on Stem Opt expires on 06/04 And I got My Receipt last week. I got New I20 Updated with Cap-Gap 09/30/2018. I have few questions here.
    AD – CA
    1. Let say My case still shows pending by sep 30th what are my Options here to stay and work ?
    2. Let say if my case is rejected by sep 30. what are the other options here. Do i am like out of status. how does it work. Can I join college again after rejection.
    Please much needed Suggestions.

    • IMHO, As they clearly said, do not contact them for an update or we do not have to “assume” anything until the rejection notices are delivered. Also, just like many other inconsistent updates with this H1 B processes, give it at least a good 3 weeks before settling down.
      Best of luck everyone!

  35. Current Status: Post Completion STEM OPT (2018-2020)
    Receipt Notice: May 14th (lawyer)
    SEVP Update: No update to SEVP portal profile
    Approval Notice: May 16th (as per USCIS website).

    • This looks interesting. So are you saying that even now there is no update on your SEVP portal? The reason being I have my post completion date from June (and no update on sevp portal) and was thinking if it is done or should I get a notice from my employer about rejection.

      • I’m on Post completion STEM opt. So end date was in 2020. No update when I got receipt notice and no update now when USCIS website says it’s updated.

        SEVP portal update would only happen for people whose expiry is before Oct 1, 2018. Also, SEVP and USCIS are 2 different systems being maintained by 2 different government agencies. There is no guarantee that a SEVP update will happen if your application was picked.

        • Oh, I am currently on OPT and end date is in June and then post-completion STEM OPT starts. So generally in my case the end date should change to Sept if it is picked right? I am just trying to see if there are any cases where the post completion is not approved yet, with no change in date on sevp portal and has been picked up in lottery. Yours was the closest that I could find.

          • Keep waiting until you actually receive your rejection package from USCIS. Until then, it’s in the game.

    • Your case was approved within 2 days of receipt. Which is really fast.

      Can you please share your profile: Major. Job Profile, Position, Company, Wage Level, MS/Phd?

      • MS – MIS
        Not entry level position
        L2 wage
        Job profile identical to course of study
        Company – Not a consultancy or mass H1-B applier like Infosys, Accenture, etc.

  36. Guys, Case approved today when checking status. So here is my time line-

    Apr 14 – SEVP status changed
    Apr 18 – Attorney confirmed that the case has been picked in lottrey
    Apr 23 – Got copy of receipt from mail
    May 16- Case got approved as per online status.

    Still waiting for approval documents.

    AD/CA/3rd attempt – L2 wage and non- IT field.

    Thanks for the help and good luck to rest.


  37. I am not sure if this is the right platform but I will ask anyway.

    I have graduated from US univ in 2004. Moved to India immediately and worked in India ever since. I am wondering if I can apply for H1B next year under AD quota or not. I see everyone talking about i20 (which I still have)and sevis updates (i don’t have any access to it) and would like to know my options.

    • Raghav,
      If you have a US Masters degree from good school, you are eligible to apply for AD. The I20 thing only relevant for current students. For you, it should not matter as you have your degree awarded. Usually, you will be asked to submit transcripts from school as part of application from University, that will be sufficient to get you classified as AD.

    • While it sounds logical, unfortunately, USCIS stance is that, the petition is owned by employer, so they only update employer.


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