Plan/ Schedule to apply H1B visa FY 2013

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 229 Comments

If you are planning to work in America on H1B visa, it is very important that you plan the process as it could get hectic at the eleventh hour. If you currently work for a company and the same company is sponsoring your H1B visa, your immigration attorney would be behind you with proper planning and some of the below mentioned activities in plan may not apply to you. But, if you are pursuing your own options of looking for a H1B sponsor and applying for the H1B visa in FY 2013 quota, then proper planning will help you.  Below is a sample plan that is based on my experience. Some of the activities can run in parallel.


Sample H1B visa 2013 Plan


Month & Date in 2012 Activity to be Completed
Jan 1st – Feb 15thBasic research about H1B sponsoring companies. Networking with existing H1B workers to get correct information.  You need to come up with a large list of companies that are in your domain. Check out data at FLCDatacenter website or use our Green Card Database
Feb 15th – Feb 25thYou need to dig into the details of the companies like the number of LCA approval, denials, GCs filed, etc. Check out the article : Things to verify before you choose an employer.
Feb 10th – Feb 25thAccumulate all the required documents required for H1B visa application like below

  • Experience letters from your current or previous employers.
  • Copies of your degrees, professional certifications, etc.
  • If you have a degree from America, request transcripts.


Feb 15th  – Feb 25thYou need to talk to H1B sponsoring companies. Make it a goal to call at least one of the consulting companies in your list to find out the offers.

Feb 25th – March 1stDecision phase : put up all the H1B sponsors offers and decide the company based on the offer and benefits. Talk to few people who work in that company and collect additional information as needed.
Feb 20th – March 1stCollect all the material that is needed for the H1B visa. You only need copies, DO NOT give any originals. Read this article for complete list of documents you need for applying for H1B visa petition.
March 1st – March 5thSend all the documents to employer or hand all the documents to the employer in their office. You only need to give copies.
March 5th  – March 25thYou need to follow up with your H1B employer, if they need any additional documents. They will file for LCA and get other things going.
March 25th – March 27thThe H1B sponsoring companies work with Fedex, UPS or other mail delivery systems to have the H1B petitions delivered exactly on April 2nd ( April 1st is Sunday).

We have put a similar plan couple of years ago, check it out : H1B Visa  Application Planning

Do you have any suggestions for the plan ?
Any lessons from previous experiences related to H1B application planning ?


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Comments ( 229 )

  1. Shailesh

    Hi Saurabh ,

    Please help in my case

    MY h1b visa 2013 get applied by my employer and they said it has been selected in Lottery in JUne 2013 but i never received any mails either from USCIS or my employer .

    Now it is almost march 2014 and no petition recevied as of now .
    My employer did follow up with USCIS and found my petition has been approved but they are waiting for uscis to send mine duplicate copy . and they are saying this is normal SLA of USCIS

    I am bit confused what’s going on with my case.

    I am planning to resign , please help should i trust on my employer information
    and wait for my H1 2013 petition or should i resign ?


  2. Rakesh

    I have H1 B visa that is expired(only 1 year). If i apply for h1b again,will it come under current year cap ? If it doesntn’t come in cap, can i apply it as H1B extension? or will it be new again?

    Thanks for clarifying !

  3. Hari

    Hi All,

    I am going to apply H1B visa for 2014. we submit documents like Degree marks list they mentioned.but we submit consolated marks list is enough rite?? or else we submit semster marks list? please suggest me.


  4. Hari

    Hi All,

    I am going to apply for H1B visa for next year.So we submit Degree certificates means along with semster marks list or main consloated marks list is enough?? Please suggest me.


  5. Priya Prakash Nayak

    I got my receipt no “WAC-13-137-50XXX” was able to see my case status online which was showing as Initial Review but from 29th june am not getting any status and showing as an message “At this time USCIS cannot provide you with information for your case. Please contact the NCSC 1 (800) 375-5283 for additional information”.

    Please any one can answer me why am getting above message.

    1. CD

      As already answered to some members in this forum it seems it might be because uscis is either changing it to approval or rfe. Please wait for some more time . U will see a definite status.

  6. Bala

    I got my H1B Visa stamped in the month of April. I have resigned from the Company. I am staying in India. I am just looking for Job. Will the new Company will be ready for Petition Transfer. Kindly suggest me.


    1. administrator

      Yes, new employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. Do you know the old receipt number or have copy of the approval notice?

  7. Anu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a question regarding expired H1B visa. I have a Masters degree from US and I had a H1B visa that was approved during the Oct 2008. I got my H1B stamping in India on 9th Jan 2009. I lost my job in Aug 2009 and returned to India in Nov 2009 itself. Now, I am planning to shift back to US for work reasons, I wanted to know if I am exempt from H1B cap. When can a employer file a cap exempt H1B petition, can that be done throughout the year or only during the month of April?

    Thanks and regards,

  8. rahul krishna

    Hi! Saurabh,

    i’m totally new to this H1 Visa topic,if we file our H1 B in april ’13,From when can i start working for my employer. Do i need to wait for few months or wait till 2014.

    I had one more doubt,if student’s OPT period is getting over 2015,when should he/she start filing – Can we file in april’ 2015 or should start applying in april’2014 ?

    1. administrator

      rahul krishna,
      If selected and approved, you can start working from Oct 1, 2013. This also assumes H-1 was filed w/ COS and the same got approved. You are inside US, right?

      As there was lottery conducted this year, its better to apply in April 2014 and then keep April 2015 filing as backup.

  9. Londonh1b

    How early we can go for h1b stamping once h1b petition is approved? for instance , if petition is approved in may , can i go for stamping in june 1 st?
    any idea?

    1. administrator

      Until some time ago, it was after July 1 (90 days prior to start date). But I don’t see that information on the new consulate website. Call them and confirm.

  10. vinoth

    Hi Saurabh .thanks for giving the feedback .. at what time they can start the h1b filling for the april 2014.. can i wait upto next year .. or they can file the H1B now itself for the next year process?

  11. RAJ

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’ve applied for H1 this year and till now I didn’t get the receipt from USCIS or I’m not sure whether it has been picked up in the lottery or not?

    My company says still they didn’t get any update abput my case ? can you pls tell me how long this process will take or do I have high changce of getting not selected ?


    1. administrator

      There is no official communication from USCIS about this. Some people have reported receiving their packages back. I think everyone should know about the result by mid-June (a guess).

  12. Vinoth

    Hi Saurabh , I have missed to file H1B visa this year . when is the next opportunity to file H1B .. can i get the chance on oct 2013.. or else i need to wait for 2014 april ..

  13. Kishan Tej

    Hello Saurabh,

    Currently my H1 got approved for 3 years for the year 2013 and I am right now at a client location in Austin Tx. I am planning to go India this June and my F1 got expired last year in May but still have my OPT till May 2014.
    Is it possible for me to go for stamping in June 2013 or do I have to wait till October 2013 for stamping ?? I am also aware of the fact that if I go to stamping in June I will not be able to enter the country till Sept 20th 2013.
    So my question precisely is am I atleast eligible to go for stamping in July ??


    1. administrator

      Kishan Tej,
      Was your petition in FY-13 (last year) or FY-14 (currently going on)? If FY-14, then you can go for H-1 stamping in July but you cannot return on that H-1 visa until Sep 20, 2013. As your F-1 has expired, you have no other way to returning earlier (F-1 visa stamping may have good chance of denial).

      1. Kishan Tej

        Hey Saurabh,

        My petition was for FY 2014 i.e it recently got approved in April 2013. Thank you for answering my question :). I am aware that I cannot travel back to US until Sept 20th 2013 but do I need to have a job on the day I go for stamping in July. And if i go for stamping in July what would be the best reason to give in the consulate to stay back in India till Sept 20th ??


        1. administrator

          Kishan Tej,
          You already have the job – its w/ the firm that filed your H-1. So you will not be jobless on the day of interview. You don’t need a reason to stay back till Oct 1. It’s by law and there is nothing you can do about it. I doubt if that question will be asked.

          1. Kishan Tej

            I was filed H1 by my employer with the details of my Client location. So according to what you said is it immaterial even if I don’t have a Job at the Client, but am I good as long as I am employed with my consulting firm ?? I was concerned if the consulate might contact my manager at the client in Austin to check if I was working with them or not at the time of stamping.


          2. administrator

            Kishan Tej,
            So although you have the job w/ the consulting firm, they have submitted the client/project as the reason for filing the H-1 and relying on billing hours from the client site in order to pay you. So the consulate will inquire whether that arrangement is still valid or not. If that project has ended/delayed etc, then it is possible that consulate’s check will return unfavorable results. You need to find a new client and get H-1 papers in order before appearing for interview.

  14. hary

    Hi Saurabh,

    H1B case status “Decision” approved and i also got mail from USCS on confirmation.

    now what is the next process?

    thanking you.


    1. hary


      can you also asnwer my query?

      H1B case status “Decision” approved and i also got mail from USCS on confirmation.

      now what is the next process?

    2. administrator

      Are you inside US or outside? If outside, then you need to appear for visa stamping after July 1 and can then travel to US after Sep 20th to work on H-1 from Oct 1.

  15. Kumuda


    I am looking for an information that I am not able to find it online so thought that there might be some one to help me out.. I have applied for my H1 visa this year and its picked in lottery. I have my MCA from Indian University and I was working for a Call Center in India ( Technical) and never worked in US. I am not that very interested in coding/Programming. So, what kind of jobs are available without coding and programming in IT that one can work with H1 visa other than testing. Any response to this question is much appreciated…

    1. administrator

      Seriously, is that a question? Your H-1 was applied for a certain position and certain job requirements. You were supposed to be qualified for that job at the time of application. You are expected to enter US and work in that job.

      Are you saying that your H-1 was applied for coding/programming and that you are not interested in that job? Then why did you have that H-1 filed in that job requirement?

      1. Ivanovich

        Hi Saurabh,

        I have been selected in the lottery. Thanks man for your help..
        Mine is RQ/RP/CSC.
        Now, my case status is in “Initial Review” stage. Hoping it will change for good.

  16. Sanjay Kumar

    Hi All,

    All the comments in this blog is very useful,
    I have a question , i have got an offer letter from a premier IT company of USA, they are filing my H1B for 2014, they have given me a fedex courier tracking no. which shows it was picked up from NJ on 29th March 2013 and received on 1st April in California. The HR recruiter is saying this is your fedex tracking no. we are waiting for your EAC. Friends here i have a question, how many dayz it takes to get my EAC#, is my petition filed sucessfully , shall i consider this..? a quick reply is appriciable. Thanks Sanjay

    1. administrator

      Sanjay Kumar,
      Lottery was conducted for the petitions. If you are selected in the lottery, your employer should know the EAC# within next few weeks. If you didn’t make through the lottery, then your employer should receive the package back within few more weeks.

  17. George

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B was issued on Dec 2006 and expired on Feb 2009. I was on H1B in USA just for a month in March 2007 and had to return to India due to personal reasons. The H1B stamp says “PEB Feb 2009” which sounds like petition expiry date and also my ex-employer who applied for my H1B earlier may have “cancelled” the petition as I had altercations during my return.

    Please suggest what are my options to try again for H1B?
    Can I try for H1B transfer / COS now even though my H1B has expired ?
    Am I eligible for cap-exempt H1B this year (2013)?


    1. administrator

      A person is usually eligible for cap-exempt petition if they had H-1 approved in past 6 years. Yours seems like a border scenario. You may be eligible for cap-exempt petition but you should check w/ attorney to be sure. The cap-exempt petition (if filed) can be done along w/ COS.

  18. Ivanovich

    Hi Saurabh, I live outside USA. My company is sponsoring my H1B. This is my 1st time. I dnt know much about the lengthy H1 procedure. I dnt have any US visa earlier. I have 3+ years of RF experience and B.Sc. (4 years degree) in EEE. Last week my company sent me the offer letter and Other related forms (W4, i-9 , Direct Deposit…). I have already sent the scanned offer letter and my all transcripts (Scanned version of the original) to the company’s HR. They said, they will be applying for me within the 1st week of April. I have n’t contacted with the lawyer yet. HR said, I have to give the Lawyer fees and some other fees and costs incurred in pursuing the visa.

    Am I going in the right path ?
    When should I contact with the Lawyer ?
    What should be my next step ?
    If you kindly explain ( in short, if possible ) the whole procedure , I would be grateful to you.

    Thanks. Looking forward to your kind response……

    1. prince

      Sir i wsnt to apply for h1b visa. Help me please. Do you sponcer me. I am hardware technician . I have 4years of ecperience with techno computers

  19. Rangan

    Dear friends,
    I have completed my 10 + 2 + 3 year polytechnic Diploma with 10 + years of experience in System Administration .
    Please let me know i am elible for H1B

    1. administrator

      You may be eligible for H-1. However, you should get your degrees and marksheets evaluated by an education equivalency agency in US who can tell the US equivalent of your education. You will then need to have at least 3 years or relevant work experience to compensate for each missing year of equivalent education (you need to have at least 4 years of equivalent education).

  20. Punit Patel

    What is the meaning of ” Decision” in case status? I have not been interviewed yet but my application status shown “Decision” wha it means?

    1. administrator

      Punit Patel,
      Are you referring to the status on USCIS website? If yes, then it means your petition has reached a decision. If it doesn’t say approved/denied, then you will have to follow-up w/ employer who will receive the judgment in a written notice.

  21. Sathya


    I have valid h1b visa with a reputed company and i had applied visa for my kid and got it today. But since there are no onsite openings immediately, i am planning to process dependent visa for mysself and for my kid with my husbands h1b.. my husband has h1b and is in US currently.

    Now will there be a problem if i apply for h4 visa for my kid (with my husband’s employer) within a week of getting h4 for her from my employer?

    Also my husband was in new jersey till february 28th and from march onwards he is in minneapolis, and has LCA processed , now while going for the visa interview should i be taking payslips from both new jersey and minneapolis locations (in case if it is generated?) or can i show the lca for minneapolis and payslips for new jersey (if his payslips are not generated by the time i go for interview). Please let me know as how i can proceed.


    1. administrator

      IMO, it should be fine to apply for H-4 for the kid through the husband.

      He should send you a copy of the updated LCA and 3-4 most recent payslips. If these payslips fall across the two states, then also its fine. Just ensure you have the most recent ones. Also, if the employer is planning to file for H-1 amendment (recommended) then you should carry copy of the amended petition as well.

  22. Sudha

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working in well known IT company in Hyderabad. My company have initiated H1-B for me this year and I have applied for it. Its still in document review and filing with my company.
    My question is How this year would be to get H1B visas? If I clear the visa interview, can I get it easily? How about the demand for H1B this year(2013)?

    I have 6 years of total experience. Please provide your suggestions. Thanks


    1. administrator

      Chances of approval (petition and visa stamping) depend upon lot of factors including your profile, employer, offered position, client/project, employer-employee relationship etc. I don’t think they will be leaner/stricter than last year.

  23. Amruta


    I am currenlty in US on H4 Visa. I am planning to file H1 in next year. How to find consultant who will file fresh H1? Should I need to post my resume on Dice or similar sites?

  24. ritu

    hello all,
    I recently returned from USA. I was on J1 exchange student visa. I finished my course of 4 months and an internship on a valid J1 visa.

    I found a job with a company who is willing to sponsor my H1 Visa. Since the applications are processed only until April, can I start working for the company before the Visa is finalized?
    Can I go to USA on some other work visa and then transfer to H1 after the company files it?
    I wish to start working ASAP, so that I can understand the company and they can understand me, for better understanding and decision of H1 filing.

    please guide me.Thanks a lot.


  25. Neeraj

    Hello Saurabh,

    First of all, many thanks to you for this great help to we people. May this seems to be a silly question, I need to know the answer as I am very newbie to H1 Visa. I had been to USA two times on L1B visa. Now I am in Noida(India) working for a IT company. My L1 has already got expired and my employer doesn’t look keen to file H1 for me. Now I am thinking to get H1 Visa through my own efforts.

    1- Can I file H1 Visa while I am in India right now? is it absolutely legal?
    2- If yes for Q-1, what is the process for it?
    2- My daughter is a USA citizen (she was born there). Will this be counted in any form to get me H1 to USA?
    3- A friend of mine in USA provided me the contact of a company which is located in USA. I talked to them and the guy told it would be difficult to generate Work Order and PO while I am in India and he would check with his legal advisory. He didn’t give the details on these jargons. Is he correct?
    4- What should I keep in mind, be careful or having tips to ease to file for H1 from India?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  26. Naidu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am Naidu working as java professional in Malaysia .
    Do know any consultancy’s who will do H1b for USA or any sponsor for me plz .
    Thanks in advance for u r valuable information .


  27. Satish


    My H1B visa expired on 31-Dec-2011. Would my application be subject to the 65000 cap should I reapply in the future (through a new employer)?


      1. Satish

        Thanks for your reply Saurabh. However, I forgot to mention in my previous post that I’m now in India. Does the cap-exempt status still apply to me even though I’m no longer in the US?

  28. preethi

    Hello Everyone..

    I have one question regarding H1B process please help me.

    I got my H1B approved for 2012 and will be travelling to my home country this year end , during which i will be needing an H1B stamping to come back.

    My question is , if in any bad case my VISA gets rejected , and if i come back on H4 .

    Is there any way that I can rewoke my H1B again and start working with my employer who filed H1B for me (OR) do i have to wait until H1B for 2013 quota opens and then apply for new h1B ..

    PLease help regarding this..

    1. administrator

      You can return on H-4, and then file COS from H-4 to H-1 to the old employer. If you want to go w/ new employer then they will have to file cap-exempt H-1 petition along w/ COS. You will be cap-exempt.

  29. Saikiran Boberoi Shaik

    Hi Guys,
    I have been searching internet for all day to find a correct answer but couldn’t find a right one so here is my situation.
    Currently I am working on OPT for a company in Houston.My OPT will end on next year Aug 2013.
    As I joined the company on second week of Feb I was little too late to apply for H1 for this year as my company wanna wait for 3 months to evaluate my work progress.I got a mail from my Hr that they would like to have my service for a long time and they are willing to apply for H1B visa for next year.

    So am I safe applying for H1b for next year?

    I am planning to get married this on November 1st week so what is the best option to bring my fiance to US till my OPT ends.Do you guys prefer F2 or Visitors visa?
    Please let me know as I need to talk o my University about this.Once again thank you so much for actually having a forum like this.

    1. administrator

      H-1 can be filed in April 2013 w/ start date of Oct 2013 and you can continue to work beyond Aug 2013 on the basis of cap-gap. So you look all set.

      As for fiance, there is a possibility of F-2 denial. Look at other visa experiences in your country. You can try for F-2 or wait and apply for H-4 (too long a wait though).

      1. Saikiran Boberoi Shaik

        Thank you Saurabh,

        Thanks for the info about my H1B situation.Coming to my Fiance.I am from India and actually I thought to apply for Visitors Visa but if she stays for more than 5months,she may risk her dependent visa when I apply for H1B.So I guess I need to apply and just hope everything goes fine.If you don’t mind can you please show me the way to the forum that I can follow to know the paperwork needed to fill the F2visa.

        1. administrator

          Saikiran Boberoi Shaik,
          You can look at past articles in the archive section at the top to see if there are any other articles on F-2 (I don’t remember them from top off my head).

  30. Aby

    Hi Saurabh

    I am getting married in July. My company is applying for a H1 now (June). However I want to apply for a H4 in July and leave with my husband in July.

    Can I apply for a H4 while the H1 is still being processed? I can come back after October, or whenever the petition is accepted and get the stamping done in India.

    Please let me know. Many thanks in advance for your help!


    1. administrator

      Yes, you can do this – go for H-4 visa stamping while H-1 is under process. Once approved, you can either go to home country for H-1 visa stamping or file COS from H-4 to H-1 and start working on its approval (no need to leave US in this case).

  31. Raji

    Hi Sourabh,

    I am right now on L2 and couple of months back applied for EAD. It looks it going to take another 1-2 months to complete the total EAD process. As I already applied for EAD, Can I start work in US on this basis or just before start working itself need to show EAD approved letter to employer.

  32. Suja

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently on H4 visa and need your help in deciding between the following options for H1 B filing this year.

    1.Going thru a established consulting company with group filing with master service agreement (no client letter).
    2.Going thru a small startup company for inhouse project for a product development.There is no end clients for the project now.

    Could you please let me know your thoughts on the chance of success for these 2 options.

    1. administrator

      It is not possible to say which one is a more safer option. You can do online search to see if they have filed H-1s in the past and what happened to them (FlcDataCenter website). If you want, you can have both employers file the H-1 for you and then decide to join the one which gets approved. If both get approved, you can join either but they you will have to make one of them unhappy.

  33. sateesh

    i am sateesh i have 6 years of experience in pharma field can i apply h1 b visa for the month of may and june


  34. Akila

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently holding a H4 visa and have around 5 years of IT experience. Can you please let me know ifyou are aware any H1 sponsoring companies?


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