Official News : USCIS to accept H1B Visa 2013 petitions from April 2nd, 2012

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 167 Comments

We have been expecting this official news for about few weeks now, finally USCIS did a press release earlier today stating that it would accept H1B visa petitions for the fiscal year ( FY) 2013 starting from April 2, 2012. It is pretty similar to the press releases of H1B visa 2012 and H1B visa 2011, no big surprises or new rules.

Summary of USCIS H1B Visa FY 2013 press release :

  • USCIS will begin to accept H1B visa petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2013 starting  from April 2nd, 2011 ( April 1st is a Sunday)
  • Congressionally mandated numeric limitation (H1B cap) for FY 2013
    • 65,000 for regular quota
    • 20,000 for advanced degree holders with Masters degree from US or higher.
  • USCIS will inform public the H1B filings count and cap completion date
  • USCIS will consider cases as accepted only based on the date they physically receive the H1B petition (with proper fee), but not postmarked
  • If more petitions are received than available cap on a particular day, there will be a lottery to choose the required petitions for reaching H1B cap.
    • USCIS will reject the applications not selected in lottery
    • USCIS will reject H1B applications received after final receipt date
  • H1B petitions filed by below are exempt from numerical cap:
    • Higher education institutions, related organizations, Affiliated non-profit entities
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Government and non-profit research organizations
    • H1B visa extensions
    • H1B petitions filed for change of employment terms for current H1B workers
    • H1B petitions filed to change employers
    • Second H1B position petitions filed to work concurrently
    • Petitions filed for beneficiaries, who will work only in Guam or Commonwealth Mariana Islands
  • All the employers filing petitions should follow all the requirements to avoid processing delay any request for evidence (RFEs)

Why not check out our H1B visa 2013 Lottery Prediction, Graphs  ?

Reference :
Official USCIS Press Release : H1B petitions 2013 to be accepted from April 2nd

   

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Comments ( 167 )

  1. Chandra

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a passport from Nepal. I have been working in IT company in India for 10 years. I am providing IT support to US company & now company is offering job in the US. Can I apply H1B from India or I need to go to Kathmandu & apply from there ?

    Thanks,

  2. Shashikant

    I got an H1-B RFE and Response has been submitted with USCIS on October 9th, 2013. How many days usually USCIS takes for making Decision on H1B- RFE?
    Note that I am having Regular Processing for my H1-B Visa

  3. Naveen Ranolia

    Hello Saurabh,
    I have not filled any form till yet, what is the procedure and from where can i get the form..? I had completed my B.tech. Kindly reply..!!!

  4. ramesh

    I have received petition no and on my employer’s internal website the current status says pending with immigration authority, what does that exactly mean, was my visa filed before cap count got complete, thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ramesh,
      If you have the petition number, then that’s the proof that it made through the cap. You can look up that petition number on USCIS website to get the most accurate status. Most likely, it will be Acceptance or Initial Review, which means its under process.

  5. rajan

    Hi,
    my petition got filed on June 8th. but still i am waiting for
    receipt#. Could u ps advice anyone on this?

    My friend’s petition got filed on 31st may and he got his number on 19 June.

  6. VAMSI KRISHNA RALLABHANDI

    Hi Sir;

    Please let me know some information about this H1B visa processing.
    I have filed for H1b Visa on 15th May 2012. The status is still under initial review but one of my friend who has filed his case on 21st May 2012 got his case approved. Kindly let me know the possible reasons for this delay. If my employeer needs to give any further infomartion.
    Also please let me know when can i expect(probably) for my case to be approved if everything is correct.

    Finally is there anyway in which we can fasten the process.

    Thanks in Advance,

    regards,
    Vamsi Krishna R.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vamsi,
      As petitions are distributed in batches, it is possible for them to get processed out of order. Processing can take 2-6 months. Your employer can upgrade to premium processing by paying $1225.00 (or you can bear the expense) and USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days in this case.

  7. Manoj Kumar

    Hi,
    This is with reference to my petition that was filed by my employer on 2nd Apr 2012 for H1B cap 2013 but I haven’t received the receipt number yet. I checked with the respective team in my company, they are saying we are still waiting for receipt number from USCIS for my case. I checked the FedEx delivery status also, it is showing picked up from MOONACHIE, NJ on Mar 30, 2012 5:35 PM and delivered at ST ALBANS, VT on Apr 2, 2012 8:13 AM.
    Some of my team mates for them petition was filed after 20th May 2012, they got their receipt number last week.
    I just want to know is there any lottery kind of process in use by USCIS in releasing of receipt number as well. I compared my petition PDF with other team mates as well; but I did not find any gap/difference in my petition and their petitions.
    I have some more queries in this concern, please respond if possible.
    1. Is there any timeline for releasing the receipt after filling the petition? Or it is up to the USCIS only.
    2. Is there any follow up or reminder kind of process for such type of pending cases?
    3. Will USCIS release the receipt number for accepted petitions for H1B cap 2013? Or some petition will not process even if reach before cap close.
    I look forward from listen from you. Any information are also welcome.

    Thanks,
    Manoj Kr.

  8. Sanjay

    Hi,

    This is Sanjaya.
    USCIS received my H1B application on April 11 2012. I filled in regular processing and now its under initial review. Recently i heard of Cap get fulfilled by June 11 2012.

    Can anybody help me if my application will be under processing for this year or not???
    What does Cap fulfilled means??? Do it means USCIS already issue 85000 H1B quota this year???

  9. H1b

    Hi,

    All those who got Der receipt# applied on 11th June,could you please let me know if they are filled under pp or general as mine was sent on 9th June by UPS,AIR and hopefully it reached on 11th.Please respond.

  10. david

    Hi, Saurabh, My employer said that they sent my package to USCIS on June 8th via Fedex under pp. But till today, I have not heard anything from them, no receipt number. Is it possible for USCIS to generate receipt number so slow on pp case? Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      David,
      Not sure if you know this or not, the receipt number is sent to employer/attorney. Did you check w/ them if they have received the number through email?

      It was sent on June 8th and so probably received on June 11th. It is possible to take 1-2 days more b/c of the huge load of petitions filed over the last few days.

      1. david

        Thanks Saurabh, I checked with my employer and they said they have not heard from USCIS yet. Should I ask them when the package arrived? They actually moved pretty fast on my case and I just do not want to pressure them too much.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          David,
          It is better to know exactly when it reached USCIS to be sure that you made through the cap. FedEx has several delivery options, and it is possible for it to reach after 11th as well.

  11. sameera

    Hi Saurabh,

    having 5+ years of experience in IT Company . but I don’t have any Technical background(B.TECH). I did Automation testing course and I got the job in good IT company.

    Currently I am on H4 visa if next year i apply for H1 do you think they can reject my application because i don’t have any technical degree or they will only consider my experience.

    Please suggest.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sameera,
      USCIS may want to know how you qualify for the offered position. This can be shown w/ both education and experience. If you have IT experience, then it would be better to get experience letters from old employers (or managers) which shows your specific skillset and which matches to the requirements of the offered position.

    2. kk

      Hi David, Please let me know if you received your receipt # from your attorney. If I do I will keep you posted by the when was your package delivered at what time on 06/11 mine reached VSC at 1-26 PM on 06/11. Is there anyone else in this forum who havent received receipt # filed with VSC on 06/11 plese shar information..

        1. kk

          Hi David, wow congrats I did not heard anything from my lawyer yet I tried reaching him and could not get hold of him in evening. At what time your packet submitted on 11th june and at what time you received the receipt #.. your information is very valuable for me..

          1. David

            Hey kk, the lawyer got the receipt at 7:42 tonight EST. I don’t have the tracking number so I am not sure when the file arrived on the 11th. You will be fine. Just give it some more time! Let me know how it goes and good luck, man!

          2. kk

            Ufff long wait cam in favor.. I was told I got receipt # today for my application filed on june 11th late afternoon.. Thanks for all your valuable information..

  12. priyanka

    Hi
    I have filed h1b visa for 2013.My lca got approved on june 10th so i sent my application on june 11th and it reached on june 12th to uscis.but as per recent update from uscis they put cutoff date to june 11th…is there any chances to accept my application?can anyone know about this situation pls help me…..

    1. pp

      Hi Priyanka,

      Mine also reach today morning . I don’t think so they will consider our application.

      They will strict to their words June 11th.

      1. priyanka

        Ok..Thanks for the information and it is much appreciated.But i heard from my employer that sometimes there would be a chance to accept the application arrived on after cutoff date(just next day).let’s hope for the best,if u know anything pls keep posting ur comments.

        1. pp

          okay Sure . Can i know through which Employer you have filled your H1 Because my Employer also told me the same thing we are in same boat 🙁 But i am really sad just beacause of one day i will have to wait for another one year.

          1. pp

            Hi Priyanka,
            okay Sure . Can i know through which Employer you have filled your H1 Because my Employer also told me the same thing we are in same boat But i am really sad just beacause of one day i will have to wait for another one year.

          2. priyanka

            what i have tell about my situation, i even don’t have my visa for next year and no hope to apply h1b next year.my situation is too bad. how would these weird things happen to me only 🙁

          3. kk

            So sorry Priyanka but need to face situations bold.. There are few other ptions as you can try cap exempt companies or Job offerin Gaum and CNMI are cap exempt..or you can enroll for masters if you are aleady in US and have feasibility..If nothing works be bold and work in India and get exp and things might change in your favor next year.. No matter how much u feel bad things are not going to change so be bold and happy you will have smiles soon..

  13. sonika

    hi ,
    my employer had send my h1-b application on 6th june.
    and i don’t know when my application reached USCIS since i don’t have tracker number to track it.
    do you think my application will be considered. because i am just worried since i saw cap count was filled on 11th june.

    what if my application reached on 11th june will uscis consider ??
    please reply i am really worried. since my opt is going to expire on 1st feb 2013.

    1. rp

      Hi,

      Normally petition sent via overnight courier. That should reach next day.. You can check with your attorney/Employer regarding the courier details..That tells u the exact date that USCIS received your petition

      Regards
      RP

  14. P.geetha

    my sons company filedH!b visa on april 9th 2012. there were 5 other h1b visas also filed on the same date from the same company.four of the visas filed have got approval, except my sons. i s that means that his visa decision will be taken at a later date?how long can he wait for the decision he is on opt and his opt expires on august.
    geetha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Geetha,
      As he is on OPT and his H-1 was filed (presumably) w/ COS, so he would be eligible for cap-gap. This allows him to stay and work in US until Oct 1 or H-1 denial date (whichever is earlier).

      As lot of petitions were filed on each day this year, it is possible for them to get approved on different dates even when filed on the same date.

  15. Ravi

    Hi Saurabh,

    Have gone through the posts which are very useful & informative and I wish to humbly appreciate your great job. And my query is as below.

    My employer made an H1B application for me with a set of few other colleagues of mine. Everyone got their receipt# generated except me. When I contacted visa dept on this, they said my H1B petition is filed. Until when the receipt number will be generated which means the applications are accepted? Why am I getting it delayed? Is it something like cap is over and I’ll be put into lot system? Thanks a lot.

    Ravi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ravi,
      There is a delay on USCIS side in sending out the receipt numbers. As per USCIS release, it may take up to 60 days to receive the receipt number. If it has been more than 60 days since your petition reached USCIS, then your employer should call USCIS and follow-up. As long as your petition reached USCIS before quota got over, you should be considered in cap.

      1. Ravi

        Hi Saurabh,

        With respect to my last query on USCIS making delays in sending the receipt #, I just want to know whether the delay will have any impact on the subsequent steps of further processing of H1B.

        Thanks again..!!

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ravi,
          I don’t think there will be subsequent delay as there are already petitions that have been processed. In general, processing may still take months due to the huge volume of petitions received and this is no different from previous years.

  16. mehdi

    Hi Dear Saurabh, Hope you’re doing well, i wanna say in (summary of uscis H1B visa FY 2013 press releas)’s paragraph in the end of first line must be 2012 and had tayped 2011.
    sincerely yours,
    mehdi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mehdi,
      I am not sure if Kumar has already corrected it but I am not able to see the typo. Are you still seeing it? If yes, can you paste the exact text.

  17. mit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am recently relocated to US a week back on H1B and have a query on Green Card Processing. My organization told me that they can process for green card only after my 6 months of stay in USA as per the government norms. Is that true? Also what is the eligiblity and minimum years of stay in US once have to go with green card on employment based green card?

    Thanks,
    Mit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mit,
      It’s not a rule but a guideline. When a GC is filed, the employer basically states that they are happy w/ your performance and want to hire you on a permanent basis. The company can also have internal policy to evaluate a candidate’s performance for 6 months before filing the GC as it would cost them financially. That is why lot of employers wait for at least 6 months before filing the H-1.

      You need to be eligible for the offered job. Only the experience and education gained prior to joining the sponsoring employer gets counted towards determining your qualification. In other words, if the GC position requires someone w/ 4 years of Java experience, then you need to have 4 years of Java experience prior to joining this employer.

  18. kathy

    Saurabh,
    I received the RFE notice from USCIS. After I send all the documents how long it will take for them to give any decision ??? I have filed in Premium Process. Would there be any problem ?? I am so worried. Really appreciate your response.

    Thanks
    Kathy.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kathy,
      If filed in PP, RFE response will be adjudicated within 15 calendar days. Chances of approval will depend upon what RFE was raised for and how satisfied USCIS is w/ the submitted response.

      1. kathy

        Thanks for your response. One more question, after receiving RFE can I file again for a different position from same company ?? Or I have wait till I get some answer from USCIS ??

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Kathy,
          Once your receive the RFE, USCIS will stop working on the case until your employer submits the response to RFE. As part of the response, employer can change the position and role, but it may add complication to the case. I would suggest proceeding w/ the original filing, and once it gets approved, your employer can file for new LCA (for new position) and H-1 amendment.

          1. kathy

            Thanks for your quick response. According to your knowledge, what are the chances to get approval on Staff Accountant position ?? because my company is a small company below 15 working staff. And I have Bachlors in Acc degree.

          2. kathy

            Saurabh,
            Thanks for your response. I received an RFE and they have given me time till August 13th to submit the paperwork. My attorney is preparing all the paperwork but before he submits my paperwork if quota gets over, does my case would go in out of Quota ?? I mean they will still reply me yes or no right ??

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kathy,
            You will not be impacted if the quota gets over now. Only if USCIS ultimately denies your petition will you be considered out of quota.

  19. Suresh

    Hi Saurabh,
    i have received the Receipt Number
    But How do i know that this receipt number belongs to me.
    and can i apply for one More H1b From the different employer.
    and what is the Next process after receiving the receipt number.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Suresh,
      Ask the employer for a copy of 797C. That document will have the receipt number and information on who it belongs to.

      Yes, another employer can file H-1 petition for you. Once you have the receipt number, you can track the status online on USCIS website.

      1. Suresh

        Dear saurabh,
        Thanks for the Quick Response and the information will be really helpful.
        i have one more query.
        if 1 petition gets rejected,
        can we go for the second one which is filed from another employer.

        Thanks and Regards,
        Suresh .K

          1. Suresh

            Dear Saurabh,
            what if 1st Petition gets approved that time can we go for second H1b which is filed from another employer.

            Thanks and Regards,
            Suresh .K

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Suresh,
            In short, all this is possible. If both are approved, you can join either. If only one is approved then you can join that employer; and if none is approved – well then you cannot join either.

  20. Nitin

    Hi Saurabh,

    I was stuck with one of my visa issue when i found this website and found that you guys can really help me out here. To give you brief here is my detail:
    1. Visa – Blanket L1B
    2. i-94 validity till May 2013
    3. Visa validity till May 2013

    4. Dates of intended employment given in I-129S is valid till May 2012 only. Since i am travelling to India in another couple of days, can my I129S dates validity pose a problem for me as i return back?

    Also, my I-797C says that my petition is valid indefinitely.

    Your help will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Nitin

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nitin,
      I think you should be fine as your visa is still valid. However, check w/ your attorney as well.

  21. John

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have an URGENT question. Is it too late to file for a H1B visa???

    My company’s lawyers told me that all H1B visas were gone in March??? that’s a lie right? because that would mean even before the application opening on April 2nd, all visas would have been gone!

    I may just run this by another lawyer then.
    Thank you for your prompt response…

    John

      1. John

        Thanks Saurabh.

        My company’s lawyers said there is another h1b session opening in October? Is that true ?
        I am pretty sure they are wrong, what is your take on ?

          1. John

            Hi Saurabh
            I am about to be promoted to a position (different department and salary) – my company’s lawyers said they are taking care of this but they have not asked me for an updated resume yet since March 2012?
            1- Do they need an updated CV to process the h1 amendment ?
            2- what document do they need besides the new LCA?

            Thanks
            John

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            John,
            1. It would be good to submit updated resume to show how you qualify for the offered position
            2. An accompanying letter stating that there is an open position and how you qualify for that position

  22. Sangeetha

    Hi Saurabh,

    Im working in a MNC in US, i have applied for my H1 B extension 4 months back and my visa got expired by Jan 1st. After my H1B extension filing, i changed my project and moved to a different state in US. Recently i have received a RFE for change of address and Project.They have requested for manager letter and few of my project details.

    Can you please help me to understand whether this RFE will be issue for my extension approval and the duration i can stay in US ?

    Your response will help me a lot.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sangeetha,
      If your employer is not able to provide the requested documents, then this can cause rejection of your extension. Has your I-94 expired? If yes, then you should leave US ASAP in case extension gets denied.

      1. Sangeetha

        Thanks Saurabh

        The Employer have requested for documents for submission and i have shared the same.
        I have heard that i can even apply for extension again if this extension gets denied.Is it true?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sangeetha,
          One can do that as long as I-94 is still valid. Otherwise you will have to leave US and apply for extension from outside US.

  23. Arun

    Hi Saurabh ,
    I work for an MNC and my organization is processing a regular H1B , they did send across the petition on Apr 2nd and the Fedex delivery status shows as delivered on the same date, but i am yet to receive the receipt, some of my friends who applied on the same date have received it. I am getting a little anxios now, is there any way i would be able to get the status of my case?
    Regards,
    Arun

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arun,
      Employer/attorney should receive the receipt number within 2 weeks (at times up to 30 days). If they don’t receive it, then they should call USCIS and follow-up.

      1. Arun

        Thanks Saurabh for the reply,
        I did ask my employer for the status and they mentioned the time frame is 30 business days, but i am not convinced, is 30 business days the time frame to wait before calling USCIC ?? coz people who had their petition sent afer mine have received their receipt. Is there any specific reason why this could be delayed, since i can see the fedex status as petition delivered to USCIC on April 2nd.
        I am just very concerned that the cap might get completed.
        Regards,
        Arun

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Arun,
          Usually they are received within 2 weeks, but USCIS status usually ask petitioner to contact if the document is not received within 30 days (taking postal delay in consideration). It has been more than 30 days since it was reached USCIS. So your employer should be ready to contact them now.

          1. Arun

            Hi Saurabh,
            I have still no received the receipt, when i asked the immigration team within my office, they say that the volume of pettion filed on day one was huge, thus the USCIC has missed the receipt for some of the cases, which they are following up. They also say that if it was a case of missing documents, the USCIC would contact the individuals directly. I am not sure if they are saying is true? Do the USCIC contact the individuals directly in case of missing documents???

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arun,
            They might be saying that USCIS will issue RFE and contact the petitioner (i.e. employer) for the missing documents. It is up to the employer whether to continue to wait, or contact USCIS to follow-up on the receipt.

          3. Arun

            Hey Saurabh,

            Found this @ USCIS,
            Temporary Delay in Issuance of I-129 Receipt Notices

            Due to the high number of recently filed I-129 petitions with USCIS, customers may experience a longer than usual period of time to receive a receipt notice from USCIS. Usually, customers can expect to receive their receipt notice within 30 days of delivery confirmation. However, due to an unexpectedly high volume of I-129 petitions, it may be an additional two to four weeks before customers receive a receipt notice.

            Customers who do not receive notification of receipt of an I-129 petition within 60 days of their delivery confirmation date may contact the appropriate Service Center via the email addresses listed on our Contact Us Web page. This is a temporary situation and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

            My office immigration team is also stating the same reason for the delay in me getting the receipt, think it was just my bad luck i got stuck in that list with delayed receipts.

            But i have a couple of questions… do the cheque get void due to the delay and also, do you think the cap would get closed in case something needs to be modified, coz if they send it back during the inital review due to some missing doc, it doesnt retain the filing date.

            Regards,
            Arun

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arun,
            I don’t know how they handle check validity. If the check bounces or becomes void, then they would probably issue RFE asking for new check. They will also issue RFE for any other missing document. Issuing of RFE doesn’t put one out of quota.

  24. Kathy

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have a question. My employer have sent the file for H1 b visa on 18th April they received it on 20th April still not received a receipt number from USCIS. I have filled in Premium Process so what do you suggest I should do ??? Should I contact them for receipt no. or wait for couple of days ??? Also, in premium process it takes only 15 days for them to reply and it is already been 10 days they haven’t gave me receipt number yet.
    Thanks in advance for your response.
    Kathy

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kathy,
      The employer/attorney should have received the number by now. Did you check w/ them? If they have not received it, then they should call USCIS and follow-up. It takes 15 calendar days from the date receipt number is generated.

      1. Kathy

        Thanks so much for your reply. I checked with my attorney, he didn’t received it yet so he said he will follow up tomorrow with USCIS. Will update later.Thanks again.

        1. Kathy

          Saurabh,
          Received the receipt number on May 8th now waiting for results.
          If I get my H1 Approved then I know that my start date of working would be Oct 1st but can I apply for my Husband’s H4 before Oct 1st ?? He is in India right now and I am in US. Also, do I need to go through lawyer for his H4 or I can do it myself ??
          Thank you so much in advance for your reply.
          Kathy

          1. VA

            Hi Kathy – Just curious what the receipt date was on your notice. I am still awaiting the receipt notice after having filed on April 23, and I now nearing the end of my OPT.

            Please let me know.

            Thanks, Vishal

          2. Kathy

            Vishal,
            Please have your employer/attorney follow up with USCIS for the receipt no. Because fist time when my attorney send them a file, I didnt get receipt no. for 2 weeks because they have mail back my paperwork. There was an error in the check. So I have corrected the error and send my file again on 4th of May. They received it on May 7th and got the receipt no. on May 8th. Usually it takes only 2 to 3 days to get the receipt no.

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kathy,
            Once your H-1 gets approved, he can go for H-4 visa stamping at most 90 days prior to H-1 start date. So if H-1 starts from Oct 1, he can go for H-4 stamping after July 1.

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kathy,
            There is no need to have an attorney for this. He can complete the DS form, get HDFC receipt and appear for interview carrying all the documents and information. The process is also outlined on VFS site.

  25. Sam

    Hi Saurabh-

    My company is filling H1B (my 1st filling) for me for 2013, I have got few Q for the same.

    1. I have already been to US for 2 months on B1 Visa on a BEP program from my previous company. Now my new company want to process my H1B visa. I’ve been hearing about H1B rejects alot in last year,so would like to know the reasons ? Can you please guide me with all your experience so that I can get “myself” and “required documents” ready by then.

    Since when the interview slots would be open, if they are already open. can you please let me know whats with the acceptance /rejection ratio so far?

    Thanks very much in advance,

    Cheers,
    Sam

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sam,
      There can be various reasons ranging from your profile, qualifications for the offered position, employer credentials and position’s relevance to H-1 regulations. Ratios are not published until consulate reports it. Last report mentioned the rejection rate at around 27%. Documents required from your side include resume, degrees, marksheets, experience letters and certifications (if any).

  26. bala

    Hi Saurabh,

    A very informative website indeed. I have a small concern. My employer (consultant) filed for my H1 on April 2nd and till date he has not received the receipt number. Is this a cause for any concern ?

    1. rp

      Hi,
      Here also the same situation i.e applied on 2nd apr …but my position is full time…not received yet…

      is there anyone on the same boat?? please respond

      Thanks

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bala,
      Wait for one more week to see if the employer receives it. If not, they should call USCIS and follow-up.

  27. Varun

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for your advice with my “peculiar” situation. I had another question. Now the company is applying for my new H1B and they are going to make me start working for them as soon as they get the receipt from the USCIS. My question is – If the H1B is approved before October 1st 2012, I will have to stop working. Will I be in legal status in the US from the date of H1B approval till the 1st of October 2012? Or would I need to leave and travel to India and come back? Everytime I try to speak with the lawyer (company hired) about the entire process all she says is “USCIS has not issued any definitive guidance. So, there remains some risk and uncertainty following approval of the H-1B petition”… Help!

    1. Varun

      Just as an update, I spoke to the attorney in charge of my H1B petition, and she claims that for me to stay here in the US in that gap should not be a problem as long as its within 180 days. But she said this in regard to the possibility of me applying for a green card in the future. I understand lawyers need to keep the best interests of the people they are representing in mind (in this case the company), but I really feel like I’m taking a very big risk here by shifting to this new job. Please advice. Can I stay in the US for that gap? Should I go back to India once my petition is approved, and then come back on the 1st of October 2012? Should I even be taking the risk of joining this new company (they do pay a lot more than my current employer)?……

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Varun,
      IMO, you can stay and start working for new employer once the petition has been approved. So there are 2 things – cap-subject H-1 petition and AC21 H-1 portability. The former states that your H-1 starts from Oct 1, while the latter states that you can change employers on H-1 and can start working for the new employer as long as your previous status was also H-1.

      In your case, your current status is H-1, and so you can start working for new employer on the basis of H-1 portability even if cap-subject H-1 will start from Oct 1. The other folks on this forum who were in similar situation like yours also got the same response from their attorneys.

      1. Varun

        Thanks Saurabh! As many people here on this forum, I would like to thank you for being a reliable source of information regarding immigration questions!

  28. Simi

    hi,

    I m currently working as a math teacher and i already applied this month for my opt. My major include bussiness, it and education also. Teaching job is like temporary, they just give me 1&2 classes to teach. I want to full time job in any field. Could u pls suggest me any consultancy they can trained me and job placement also.
    Thank you.

  29. sam

    Hi,
    I am under opt til dec 2012 since i have no stem extension. I work full time for a large healthcare company, they are filing h1 this year. i sent them the documents they asked for., is there any way to check if they have filed yet?(curious)
    and in a conversation above you said consultant chances of stamping in india is less compared to full time, i am a full time employee but my designation is consultant, does this fall under the same or when u meant consultant you were talking about “consultancy”

    Thanks
    Sam

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sam,
      No, you cannot know if it has been filed or not. Only your employer/attorney can tell you about it. Chances of approval are more when filing through a direct employer than through a consulting company (not a surety though).

      1. sam

        I had another question,
        My Opt ends dec 2012, my employer started h1b process already,
        if my h1b gets approved by september, when is the earliest i can travel to india, are there any constrains on travel after approval:? Do u suggest i get my w2 next year before i go to india and go for stamping?
        Thanks.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sam,
          You should not travel while your H-1 is under process. Once approved you can travel to India, but may have to go for H-1 visa stamping if you are travelling after Sep. If you are working for a big reliable employer then you can travel in Oct itself. If it’s a small consulting company then its better to delay it (although even that doesn’t guarantee approval).

  30. janny

    Hi Saurabh,
    I got an offer letter from xyz company and they are filling my H1B for 2013 quota.In their agreement they have mentioned if I leave the company or if they remove me before the contract gets over I will be liable to pay all expenses they have spend on me.If I dont pay them the said amount are there any US laws by which they can sue me?Currentely I am in US and have not given any documents.Just will be signinging the documents/offer letter.
    Thanks in Advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Janny,
      As per law, they cannot ask for H-1 filing fees from you. However, they can still sue in a court. Even then they cannot demand any amount – they will have to show reasonable business losses and can demand only those losses. Lot of times, companies add such texts to instill fear among new hires.

      BTW, it’s funny that they mention that you will have to pay even if the company let’s you go. In other words, heads I win and tail you lose.

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Janny,
        Forgot to add – if you want to really play safe then get the document reviewed by a labor attorney who can specifically tell you what can be asked from you and what cannot be asked.

  31. CSR

    Hi Saurabh,

    You are doing a great job helping here.

    I have a question: My OPT extension is expiring Dec 2012 and my employer is willing to file for a green card, what do you suggest? Should I apply for H1 and green-card both or I will be okay if I just file for Green-card? How are the chances of getting H1 approved? I worked full time ( Direct Hire)

    Thank you for your time and help.

    Best Regards,
    CSR

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      CSR,
      I don’t know your GC details, but it can take several years to approve. So it’s not recommended to just rely on the GC, and I would suggest starting the H-1 filing as well. Chances of approval vary from case to case and depends upon your profile, employer credentials, offered position etc.

  32. R

    Hi,

    My company is applying for the H-1B, can I still be in the US while this is being processed? Or still travel while I wait? How long can a CDN stay in the US for?

  33. Varun

    Hi,

    I have been working for a non-profit organization for the last 2.5 years – 1 year of which has been on a Cap-exempt H1b visa. I just received word from a “for-profit” company that they are offering me a position there, and that they are going to apply for a H1b visa on my behalf. They seem to think that I can start working there on May 7th, but as far as I knew – I could start working only from October 1st 2012. Is there something I am missing here and they can see? or are they wrong and do not know that they will have to wait until October 1st 2012?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Varun,
      Your case is one of those exception cases. The new H-1 cap-subject status will start from Oct 1 (like w/ everyone else). However, your current visa status in US is H-1 and you can use H-1 portability to work for new employer on it’s basis. So even though H-1 status would start from Oct 1, you can work for them even earlier.

      We have had this discussion on this forum few months ago and USCIS documents were posted that suggested the same. Here are the links (originally posted by Kaushik)
      http://www.globallawcenters.com/polmem/25599.pdf
      http://www.globallawcenters.com/polmem/22436.pdf

      1. Varun

        Thank you Saurabh! So that would mean that I will be subjected to the cap while the new company applies for my H1b? Also, once my petition is approved, I’d have to stop working and then restart again following Oct 1st 2012? These things are really confusing.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Varun,
          As per those documents, although your H-1 will start from Oct 1, you can start working for new employer once the petition gets approved (even if it is before Oct 1). You can check w/ your attorney on this.

  34. Lalit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have completed about 4 months on B2 and i-94 is valid for next 2 months. I came for CPA exams. An employer is ready to sponsor H1 and file the petition now. I intend to go back after present i-94 is over and reenter with H1 stamping from India. Should I file H1 petition now while I am in US or after 2 months when I go back t0 India ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lalit,
      First thing is not to stay close to 6 months on B-1/2. You have already spent around 4 months in US on B-2, and should plan to leave ASAP even if I-94 is valid for another 2 months. As you have to eventually leave US and get H-1 visa stamped, you can have it filed while you are in US. This will not give rise to any questions that H-1 was filed while you were in US on B-1/2.

      1. Lalit

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for the reply. I have my CPA exams scheduled in next two months and so it is difficult to leave now. Please help me understand why staying 6 months is an issue and whether my CPA exams are valid reason for that ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Lalit,
          When a person stays close to 6 months on B-1 it leads to lot of questions from USCIS/consulate side to know what you were doing in US and whether you were involved in any productive work which would constitute as misuse of B-1 visa. That is why is recommended to not stay for the entire term. If you have valid reasons to stay and if they are still within the scope of the originally approved B-1, then you can stay. Later on, if questioned about the same you will have to provide them the explanation for the same.

  35. Sneha

    Hello,

    I have applied for H1B visa (Premium processing) on April 2nd 2012 and waiting for the receipt number. I am currently on H4 status and it is valid till Aug 2013. I am planning to travel to India after I get my H1B approval (approximately by May 1st week) and return by July 2012.
    1. Will my trip affect my visa status? Once I return to US, on which status I will be? on H4 or H1?
    2. Do i need to get H1B stamped before I return?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sneha,
      1. You will return on H-4 visa and will be on H-4 visa until Oct 1. After that, you will be on H-1 visa. This is assuming your H-1 gets approved w/ COS before you leave US.
      2. Not required as long as (1) is satisfied and you return prior to Oct 1.

        1. Pravin

          Hi Sneha,

          Did u get your H1 approved? Me too is in similar sitution so the question. I have filed my H1 under premium just today so want to know how much time it would take to get approval as I also need to visit India in July.

          Thanks in advance.
          Pravin

  36. Ashish D

    Hi Saurabh,
    Need your suggestion on my case.
    My wife is working with cognizant and her H1 is getting filed this year on April 2012. Earlier I was planning to go with her on H4 if her H1 gets approved ( She will fly in April 2013) . But after discussion with few of my friends I came to know that I may have to sit idle in US for 3,4 months From April 2013 till the time my H4 to H1 conversion is in process or till the time it gets approved.
    However on the other hand now I have decided that I will apply H1 by my own through one of the consultancy in US. But if support my H1 get rejected. Then I have a 2nd option that is I can go with my wife on H4 and apply for H1 again again.

    1) But the real question is some people are telling me that once my H1 is rejected now. Then it may be possible that in 2nd case if I go with my wife on H4 and when I will try to change my H4 to H1 it will also get rejected??(As previously my H1 is rejected) Is it is true?

    2) On the other hand my consultancy is saying that if my petition get approved till Oct month this year for my H1. Then I can come with my wife on H4 (May be in next April )and once I am on H4 in US I can tell them that I have my H1B petition approved and I can work their on approved H1b petition.

    I would like to know are these two things are correct or not? plz suggest.
    I would also like to know what is your suggestion on this?

    The consultancy by which I will be applying has 100% approval last year and as per my friend that consultancy is expert in approving their H1. Hence please suggest.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ashish D,
      1. Previous H-1 rejection will not impact the new H-1 processing. It will impact only if it was denied for reasons related to you.
      2. What you will have to do is file COS (change of status) from H-4 to H-1. This takes around 2 months, and you can start working on H-1 once it has been approved. You cannot work on H-1 while this COS is pending. Also, this requires the H-1 to be approved in 1st place.

    2. Kumar

      Dinesh,
      I am also searching for a good consultancy for a job in US and who can sponser my H1 visa. Could you please suggest the consultancy details which you are referring as 100% approval last year. I have 5 yrs experience in a MNC in Hyderabad after my masters.

  37. Dinesh

    Hi Saurabh,

    Iam basically from chennai working for an IT MNC and deputed in London for the last 18 months. I was looking for a job in the US and got an offer from a consultancy (however they are asking me to bear the cost of H1B, got to know through ur site that it should be the employer’s expense only).
    Since iam staying in london the consultancy is asking for my location preference to get my visa stampted (either london or chennai). I read some reviews on this and the recommendation is to get it stamped in the home country rather than a host country (major reason being the home country counsulate will be able to understand/analyse my documents better than a host country counsulate)
    Where do you think i should get my visa stamping done (chennai or London) and why (advantages/disadvantages) ?

    Many Thanks
    Dinesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dinesh,
      You should email US consulate in London and ask them about their policy on TCN (third country national). If they say that you can attend visa stamping in London as you are currently working there for 1.5 years, then you can submit London as the preferred consulate. If not, go for Chennai. Remember, filings made through consulting companies are often subject to close scrutiny in India.

  38. Divya

    Hello,

    Can I get my H1B visa stamping done in Canada or Mexico or do I have to go to India? If yes, how long does it take?

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Divya,
      If you have done Masters in US or if this is not your 1st H-1 stamping, then you can go there. Else home country is recommended. Even when going to CA/MX make sure to have contingency plans.

  39. sandeep

    Hi,
    I used to work for Employer A and got my H1B renewal stamping done in Aug 2010 and have a valid visa stamp in my passport good until Aug 2013. I changed to Employer B (both full time) in DEC 2011. Do I need to get my visa stamped for rentry or am I good to carry my new I-797?

    Please advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep,
      You can travel using the old visa stamp and new 797. No new stamping is required as long as the previous stamp is valid.

  40. samba

    Hi Saurabh,
    I heard from tomorrow, one can submit applications for new h1b.
    I will be completing 3 months on B1 on April 31st 2012. I want to apply then.
    Is that best time for me to apply?
    Where can i find the petitions received by USCIS daily. Is there a website for that?
    I have to exit in july 15th as my I-94 expires. What is the probablity of me securing h1b by then? What happens if I exit on july 15th and my h1b result is not yet declared?

    Please let me know as its v much imp for me to know the best possible actions to take.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Samba,
      If you have an employer ready to file H-1 for you, then yes they can file the petition for you. USCIS updates weekly counts, which can be tracked on USCIS website or here on the blog.

      Even if your H-1 result is known, it will not become effective until Oct 1. In addition, they may not approve COS (change of status from B-1 to H-1) as your I-94 is expiring in July and H-1 will start in Oct (so there is a break in continuity). You can either file for B-1 extension (not recommended in the long run and no guarantee if it would get approved) or leave US and then go for H-1 visa stamping. You can then return on stamped H-1 visa. If you stay close to 6 months on B-1, then it may impact your future H-1 stampings.

      1. Samba

        Hi Saurabh,
        I will exit before in june 1st week only. NO issues in that. Were u saying COS cant happen ?
        Is that what you mean?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Samba,
          Yes, that’s what I am saying. As your B-1 is expiring prior to Oct 1, they may not approve the COS.

          1. Samba

            well I can exit in July, get my H1b stamped and return back if stamping successful isnt it? I dont understand why COS cant happen?

          2. Samba

            Saurabh,
            What should I do in my case? Do you mean that people who are on B1 ie who cant stay till Oct 1st their COS will be rejected?

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Samba,
            If you leave US before H-1 gets processed, then COS will be abandoned. Even w/o that, they need to know how you will maintain status within US b/w B-1 expiration and Oct 1. As you don’t have any such continuity of I-94, COS is not applicable.

            If you are planning to leave US, then why file w/ COS. You cannot return on B-1, and have to go for H-1 visa stamping. COS is applicable only when the person is staying in US until Oct 1, which you are not.

  41. Dm

    Hi Saurabh,
    Currently I am working in USA for a company(X) in L1 visa. I have started applying for H1 visa through another consultant(Y).

    1) Is there any rule that i should stay in USA till i get my H1 petition gets approved?
    2) I know that i need to get stamping if i want to come back aggain.
    In case if my H1 gets approved after i go back to India, how long the H1 petition is valid?
    3) If i move from company(X) to company(Z) in india, can i transfer my H1 from consultant(Y) to consultant(Z)? If yes, is there any time limit before which i should do this?

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dm,
      1. If you want your COS (change of status) to get approved, then you need to stay in US while H-1 is under process.
      2. If COS is approved, you can start working on H-1 from COS approval date (usually Oct 1). No stamping is required. However, it will still be required when you travel out of US next and want to return to US on H-1.
      3. Petition can be valid for 1-3 years depending upon what employer requested and what USCIS seemed appropriate based on submitted documents.
      4. Yes, it can be transferred once the petition has been approved. There is no time limit.

  42. krishna

    Hi All,
    I am on my 17 month STEM extension OPT which will expire on July 15th. My employer is filing for a H1 this April.

    Can I travel to India on my cap gap extended i20 on August 1st and still return to the US with my cap gap i20 on August 10th?

    My F1 is valid until October 28th, my EAD expires on July 15th. Also, my employer states that he has consulted an attorney who says I can travel while on cap gap. But my research on the internet so far indicated the other way. Please guide me.
    Thanks for your time and patience. I really appreciate your input.

    Regards
    K

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Krishna,
      If you leave US while in cap-gap persion, then you cannot return to US. If you leave US while in cap-gap then you cannot return to US w/o getting H-1 visa stamped. You can get it stamped as early as 3 months prior to H-1 start date, and can return to US as early as Sep 20th (10 days prior to H-1 start date).

      1. krishna

        Saurabh,

        Thank you for your timely response. I have one more question. How are the chances to get a H1 stamped in India these days? Just give me your personal perspective. I’ve been hearing many people getting stuck in India for a long time because the embassy is asking for RFE’s lately.

        Once again, I appreciate your patience and help.

        Regards
        K

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Krishna,
          If someone is working for consulting company, then there is a strong chance of 221g being issued. When working through large companies as full-time employee, then there is a better chance (although still not 100% surety).

          1. krishna

            Thank you Saurabh. I appreciate the input.
            My brother is getting married in the month of August and now I don’t know what to do. Currently I am working with a client and they can not send me off on a 2month vacation/WFH. It’s like either I need to leave my job, go attend my bro’s marriage, get H1 for Oct (fingers crossed) and pray OR leave to India for good. We’ll see how it goes.

            Have a nice day.

            Regards
            K

          2. Krishna

            Hey Saurabh,
            Just now realized that I did not give latest I94 & I20 copies to my employer while filing my H1. He has sent my docs to USCIS last week with old I94 & I20 copies he had on file. I’ve traveled to India last month and did not send him this new I94 and I20. It’s quite dumb on my part for not noticing this sooner.

            1.) Will this be an issue?
            2.) Can I do anything now to rectify this?

            Regards
            K

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Krishna,
            1. Yes, it can be an issue as those I-94 records are closed now. Probably USCIS will issue an RFE about this
            2. Check w/ employer if they have already filed the petition. If not, then send them the updated I-94s. If yes, check w/ attorney if you can correct it now. If you cannot correct it now, then wait for USCIS to issue RFE (if any) and then submit the updated I-94s.

          4. krishna

            Saurabh,

            Thank you for the prompt response. I appreciate it.
            I checked with my employer and he said he can send an amendment through the attorney.

            Regards
            K

  43. Krishna

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have one question regarding H1B sponsoring. Can two employers can file different H1B’s for a single candidate?

  44. Bijay

    This is a great website.
    If you could please help me with this question, I would really appreciate it.

    I am on OPT STEM extenstion. It expires on July 2012. My current employer is going to file my H1B April 2nd and do a premium processing.
    I am planning to visit back home NEPAL, as soon as I get H1b approval because of family problem. If I go back in June or July, can I return back stamping my H1B at that time or do I need to wait until October? (since the H1B kicks in on OCT 1st 2012.)

    Thank you
    Bijay

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bijay,
      You will have to ensure that your H-1 gets approved w/ COS before you leave for Nepal.

      If you want to return prior to OPT expiration, then you can do so w/o going for stamping. Then continue to work on cap-gap and be on H-1 from Oct 1.

      If you want to return after OPT expiration, then you can go for H-1 stamping at most 90 days prior to H-1 start date. Even then you can enter US at most 10 days prior to H-1 start date.

      1. Bijay

        Saurabh,
        Thank you so much. But the thing is: even my OPT expires in July, my visa is expired already. In such case even if I go and return before OPT expires, Don’t I have to get some kind of visa?

        Coming back to USA with OPT card is almost impossible from Nepal.

        Looks like going after October 1st seems to be good idea you think?

        Thank you much again.

        Bijay

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bijay,
          Yes, then you will have to get F-1 visa stamped as well. In that case traveling after Oct is preferred as you will have to get H-1 visa stamped and not F-1.

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