After H1B Lottery Process Steps and Flow chart details by USCIS Statuses

Steps after H1B Lottery – Processing, Approval – Flow Chart

In Apply H1B Visa by Kumar525 Comments

If you are new to H1B process, one of the many questions you might have is, what are the typical steps after the H1B Lottery happens. In this article we will cover typical flow and steps after H1B Lottery selection all the way through visa approval and put it in a flow chart so that it is easy to comprehend.

Background – H1B Case Statuses :Once you are selected in H1B Visa Lottery, your employer or attorney would get H1B Receipt Notice and it has a number. You can use that to check H1B Visa Petition Status online on USCIS website . Below are the various H1B Visa Case Statuses that your petition can go through, after it is selected in Lottery

  • Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed
  • Case Was Received
  • Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed
  • Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received
  • Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed
  • Case Was Approved
  • Decision Notice Mailed
  • Error : The application Receipt Number is invalid
  • Name was updated.
  • Fees will be Refunded

To know the details of each of the above case statuses, read the article Various  H1B Visa Application Case Statuses – Meaning

Various Steps after H1B Lottery until Approval – Flow chart
“A picture is worth thousand words”, below is that picture on H1B visa status flow ! As you can see in the below H1B case status flow chart with USCIS, the best case scenario after being selected in lottery is to go to approval without any questions or additional information required.  From USCIS Case status standpoint, it would be like below based on premium processing or regular processing.

Ideal flow for H1B Approval Scenario:

  • Premium processing :
    • Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed –> Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed
  • Regular Processing
    • Case Was Received –> Case Was Approved

The key information that you need to be aware of is that for regular processing H1B petitions, USCIS do not have any SLA(service level agreement) or time limit and their processing can take few weeks to few months. I have seen cases being approved after 6 to 8 months at times or more, so do not panic, just stay calm and work with your employer. If you need a result early, you can always upgrade regular processing to premium processing to get the decision in 15 calendar days. But, you can only upgrade, if premium processing is available. If you look at FY 2019, premium processing was suspended until Feb 19th of next year, so you may not have that option for premium processing sometimes and just need to apply in regular processing and wait for the same. Steps after H1B Lottery Approval Flow Chart

Flow after H1B Lottery with Request for Additional Evidence ( RFE)
Not all cases go to direct approval like above. USCIS will ask employers to submit various documents depending on the complexity of the case. Typically reasons for RFE could be for the below reasons:

  • Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE)
  • Specialty Occupation
  • Needs of the Petitioner for the Services of the Beneficiary
  • Beneficiary Qualifications
  • Employer-Employee Relationship
  • Maintenance of Status

Check out the article Some of the common H1B RFE Reasons for details on above listed RFE reasons and why you may get them.  As you can see in the flowchart above, typical flow by USCIS case status for approval is like :

  • Premium processing : Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed –> Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed  –> Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received –> Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed
  • Regular Processing : Case Was Received –> Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed –> Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received –> Decision Notice Mailed

As far as RFE processing goes, it can takes anywhere from few weeks to several months depending on the response time of your employer and USCIS processing times. It is best to work with employer and submit the documents required on time for timely decision and status.

H1B Denied Status – Decision Notice Mailed
Not all H1B petitions filed are approved, some may be denied due to various reasons. In that case, instead of approval you would get denial letter and the final status would be “Decision Notice Mailed”. Also, some of you may see “Name was updated” at times during the flow, it may be clerical updates on your case or some activity happening on your case, nothing to panic.

To put things in perspective, the above case status flow was much more complex in the past with the old system and there were much more statuses. You may read Old H1B case Status flow to get an understanding.

Check out the next article : After H1B Visa Approval – Steps until Stamping 

How was your H1B case status flow? Did you notice any other changes?  Share your experiences and thoughts.

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Comments ( 525 )

  1. Tanay

    My H1B application was selected in lottery this year. But after that I/organization have not received any update about application status. By when I am supposed to receive any update ? My other colleagues have received either RFE or approval for their applications.

  2. kumar

    Hi Admin,
    I got update regarding H1B status as below but consultancy replied they haven’t received any notice from USCICS , is there any alternative way to find out .
    On September 11, 2018, we mailed a request for additional evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC18********. The request for evidence explains what we need from you. We will not take action on your case until we receive the evidence or the deadline to submit it expires. Please follow the instructions in the request for evidence. If you do not receive your request for additional evidence by October 11, 2018, please go to to request a copy. If you move, go to to give us your new mailing address.

  3. Akhila

    I have received H1b ‘receipt notice’on May 10 . Unfortunately, I am getting ‘validation error ‘ while entering correct no in their official site. How can I resolve? Is there anything to worry at this stage? Kindly help!

    1. administrator

      If you have seen/have the physical receipt, it should be fine. Sometimes, the online system can behave strange. Check with your attorney.

  4. H1B Curious

    Hello All

    We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time

    We will notify you when your case status changes. We last took action on your case on July 23, 2018…….

    I had received this mail yesterday. Can anyone have idea what is this about.


  5. Rajendra Kumar

    My H1B Regular petition is selected in draw. Then what is the next process of USCIS. Please confirm me………

  6. Murali

    Hi All,
    I am getting Validation error in CASE status .I have logged into
    below information given.

    May 2, 2018

    We received your case
    Read the notice we mailed you for more information about how we will process your case
    We will begin processing your case and will review it to make sure you have submitted all of the required information and documents. We will let you know if we need anything else from you.

    If you do not receive your notice by June 01, 2018, send us a case inquiry and select that you did not receive your notice by mail.

    Please let me know anyone what to do in this case????


  7. varun

    My wife got her name on lottery for h1b this year and we are still waiting on her approval or RFE. By when should we be knowing one way or the other ? We wanted to travel to india and so wanted to know the decision on this also the dates of travel would be dictated by this decision i believe.

    1. administrator

      There is no set timeline for the regular processing, it can be few weeks to few months…As you cannot do premium until USCIS instructs, wait for that and then maybe do premium processing, once the window opens.

      1. varun

        I dont want to do premium , all i want to know is when we can travel to india to get stamping in sept oct. Lawyer says they cant suggest any dates until they hear from USCIS on the case. So how long do we have to wait to hear something is what I wanted to know.

    1. Java

      My H1B approved recently through Intellitro Inc and they asked me to wait to go for stamping can I fly to USA asap once stamping was done?

  8. satya


    Looks like I am in a pretty messy situation here. I would really appreciate it if some one can help me here!
    My OPT extension expires on may 26th 2018, and yesterday my attorney informed me that my filing fee checks have been cashed. I contacted my school to check if cap-gap has been added! She said my record does not reflect a change of status request at this time.
    Is it common? Or will it take a while for the SEVIS portal to be updated? Should I go ahead and join my masters in a different university or wait for the receipt?
    If I have to join masters I need to do it by tomorrow! Please help me out

    1. Abhi

      If you are sure about checks have been cashed, contact DSO again to make sure the status is “change of status pending”. If it is so, you may sit back and relax. As far as i know, it does take some time to reflect on SEVIS portal. I assume you already know, starting from this year we have access to few details of sevis portal through website. If you don’t have one, ask DSO to provide the registration link.

      1. satya

        I already have the portal, nothing has changed there. Even my DSO does not see ant pending COS. But my attorney is sure that check has been cashed! What do you think is a good idea? Join masters or wait?

        1. Abhi

          Probably, DSO too lazy to check anything. I’ve had experience before and also happened some of my friends. So, i would suggest you to contact SEVIS directly at 703-603-3400 .

  9. VS

    I’m reading the article above and gave me the impression that after being selected in this lottery for FY2019 we could then request for a premium processing in the decision, is this correct? I’m aware that the premium processing was suspended and thought that this was only an option when the case was initially filed.


    1. administrator

      For FY 2019, you may request Premium processing after USCIS resumes accepting premium processing for Cap subject petitions.

  10. north-India

    Your English is rather poor. Would it not be better to improve yourself first before asking others and blabbering out the prejudices that you have? You do not know the proper use of articles, punctuation, or even have a basic understanding of clauses. Additionally, unless you do masters in English, write a thesis, publish peer-reviewed papers, or do a doctorate, your English is not going to improve.

    “With this English, how do you expect to work in the USA? It is important to improve oneself for getting the better opportunities. Unfortunately, many north-Indians (Delhi, MP, UP, and Bihar residents are the worse than the others) and people from Andra and Telangana villages don’t think that it is important to improve their English. This is one is the reasons, Americans feel, that unworthy-Indians steal their jobs. Get a masters degree and improve your English, your prospects will improve. There are a lot of intelligent educated Indians out there.”

    From a north-Indian.

  11. Shivani

    I have applied my L1 visa but due to some issue that got rejected in 23 march 2018.
    Now can i apply my H1 visa.


  12. Jayadeep


    On December 19, 2017 I have received an email from USCIS stating that,

    1. Receipt Number: XXXXXXX


    Your Case Status: Decision

    We approved your Form I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, Receipt Number XXXXXXX, and emailed you an approval notice. Please follow any instructions on the approval notice. If you move, go to to give us your new mailing address.

    During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision.

    2. I have also checked on the USCIS website and there it was mentioned as ,

    Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed
    We approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number XXXXXXX, and emailed you an approval notice. Please follow any instructions on the approval notice. If you move, go to to give us your new mailing address.

    I am a bit confused as in mail it was mentioned Your Case Status: Decision – During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner.

    But on website it’s, We approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

    Also, I see that in Case History I don’t see the approval date.

    Can you guys explain me the current status of my H1.


  13. SanathP

    Hello, My H1B visa application was selected in the lottery in April 2017 but my employer did not reply to the RFE before the deadline(Dec 6) and also does not want to continue with the visa application.
    1) Can I get it transferred to another employer?
    2) What is the way forward?
    3) Do i need to go through the lottery again?

    1. editor

      Since your employer is not willing to proceed with the application and has not taken steps to respond to the RFE, the petition would be rejected automatically.
      1. You cant transfer the cap subject petition in the RFE state or after denial
      2. This petition once rejected, cant be used again. You will have to undergo the visa lottery process once again and get a petition approved.

    1. Ram

      Does it say Approval notice has been mailed or emailed?
      If its mailed it would come in normal post.
      If its emailed a soft copy of the approval notice could be emailed to Attorney.

  14. Gayathri


    I got an RFE in August and sent the response in Nov 1st, before the deadline. The status got updated as , ‘Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received’.
    After that I upgraded to Premium Processing and on Nov 21st, it said ‘Request for Premium Processing received’. Then when I checked during thanksgiving, it said,
    ‘Case was received and receipt was emailed’. But when I check now, it is saying ‘Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received’ again. I don’t understand and I’m worried. Please clarify!!

  15. Vivek Ramji

    H1B petition which was in premium processing, got approved yesterday. The status online says “Case was approved and my decision was emailed”.

    I want to know how many days USCIS takes to mail the I797 itself. It looks like the USCIS e-mails only the decision of yes/no. Not the i797 itself. So how long would USCIS take to mail the i797 given that it’s premium processing?


  16. Vivek Ramji


    I upgraded my H1B petition to premium processing and they received it on Nov 17th. The status currently says “we received your petition on Nov 17th and emailed you the receipt notice”.

    By when can I expect a decision? It’s almost close to 15 calendar days, but I’m not sure if I should be counting thanksgiving holiday and weekends.

    1. Ram

      Its 15 calendar days. You need to include the holidays and weekends in that. Probably your attorney received an update already. It happened to one of my friend, the USCIS site never got updated till now. So please do check with your Attorney once.

      1. Vivek Ramji


        H1B petition which was in premium processing, got approved yesterday. The status online says “Case was approved and my decision was emailed”.

        I want to know how many days USCIS takes to mail the I797 itself. It looks like the USCIS e-mails only the decision of yes/no. Not the i797 itself. So how long would USCIS take to mail the i797 given that it’s premium processing?


  17. Brijesh


    My H1b petition was selected but soon I received an RFE notice. So, my employer and lawyer send the necessary documents sometimes at the end of the October. Now, it’s just a waiting game. But my OPT is going to expire at end of January coming year, so should file for OPT stem extension or wait till I get the decision for my H1B?

    Thank you,

    1. Ram

      If you wish you can expedite the H1B process by upgrading it to premium processing. If not its better to apply for OPT extension so that you will not lose your work authorization.

  18. Sachu


    I got RFE on Oct 12th, mentioning beneficiary qualification. My BTech was in Applied Electronics and Instrumentation. I have been working as a Software Engineer for almost 6 years now. And for the past 3 and a half years I have been working for the same end client and project, which I have been leading. They are saying in the RFE that my degree is not related to the designation. They have also mentioned that I can show a combination of educational qualifications and work ex to establish my credentials. My end client badly wants me working in the US and they would give a strong letter of recommendation if needed, detailing why its necessary for them that my petition is approved. Will that help my case? Anything else in particular that I can do? My employer’s attorney would be preparing the response and most probably, but just wanted to know if there is anything that I can/should do. Thanks in advance.

  19. melbs


    I got an email stating that i was picked up on the lottery since May and also received a receipt of it starting with EAC17XXX . But they also said that they transferred my case to another USCIS. That office now has jurisdiction over your case…

    Its now October and I have still haven’t heard if i got the visa or not.. I am currently on my OPT which expires next year on May. HR also doesn’t know whats going on..Can you please help me and elaborate what do you think is happening?? Do you think i got the visa?

  20. Vibhu

    Hello ,

    1. My H1B application has been picked up by USCIS for H1B FY17-18 [known as lottery picks] and the status on the USCIS website is ‘ Case was Received’
    This status doesn’t seem to change for the last 3 months.. Can some one help with what should i be doing? Is this delay normal?

    2. As per my employer, My case is approved – what if i change job is H1B case approved transferable among employers?

    3. The LCA petition is valid till 2020 – How long should i wait to see the case getting approved and passport being stamped?

    4. suppose the LCA is for X client How can i get my passport stamped for a Y client?


    1. Ram

      of course yes. All cases are filed in normal processing. This year there seems be tighter scrutiny of applications. So its normal that process is getting delayed. There are many petitions still pending with USCIS. Please be patient and wait for an update.

      1. Geetha

        Thanks Ram . But Many people were telling this year processing is fast even without premium processing. That’s probably false news I guess my friends who ever have applied from big mncs are also waiting.

    2. Tanvi Garg

      My name is Tanvi,
      I have applied for H-1B visa and my name got selected in the lottery process, after that i didn’t get any update , I’m afraid as everyone was expecting that we get the approval letter by September end , its almost end of august and i didn’t get any update .
      Is anything to be afraid of, or its their way of processing the visa’s

      1. Ram

        Tanvi, Have you received your receipt number? Are you tracking it in USCIS site?
        This year please do expect delays in processing as there is a strict scrutiny of applications. There are thousands of applications still pending with USCIS.

  21. Rony

    My Case Status is still as below?

    When can I expect some action? Please let me know

    Case Was Received
    On April 11, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC1713650257, and sent you the receipt notice that describes how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your receipt notice by May 11, 2017, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283.

    1. Rohan

      Hi Rony, I am on the same boat , “case was received” , this is the status online. Did you find any way to know what is happening ?

      1. Ram

        Rony and Rohan, there was many others like you with case received on April 11 and still waiting for an update. As all cases are in regular processing, we don’t have a deadline from USCIS. So please wait patiently unless your case is picked and processed. All the best!

  22. Shankar Velli

    I have done my masters from US (in May 2017)and mine is a STEM degree. My OPT start date is 26 June 2017. I have a job offer but my employer is not e-verified, though he is willing to file my H1B. So I will not get OPT extension. My question is that if I get selected in 2018 lottery, I may get a decision around May/June 2018 but I will be entitled to work from 1 Oct 2018. My OPT will expire on 25 June 2018. How can I continue to work/live in USA from 26 June 2018 to 30 Sept 2018?

    1. Tejaswi

      If your H1-B is picked, your Employment Authorization will be automatically extended until 30 Sep 2018, It will be updated in your I-20. I suggest, Google about “Cap-gap” when you get a chance. Thank you.

  23. Yashaswi Dotiya

    I have got “Decision Notice Mailed” status after which MTR was filed to challenge the decision in Mar 2017. But till now, there are no updates on the site. Could anybody help me in tracking the status or where can I follow up on this ?

  24. Your friend

    Hi Friends,
    We received receipt notice from USCIS. But, there is no update after that.

    Can you please help what are the next stages and steps for me to check for?

  25. Kishen

    My employer submit application for H1B visa on Sep 30, 2016 but still he is saying that he is waiting for decision. Can anybody tell me How much time will this application take? My employer saying that every thing is Ok in case but decision is still pending. Please guide me what should I do?

    1. Shruti

      How come the employer filed on 30th Sept? During April-May 2016 itself, there were around 2,36,000 applications already with USCIS. Only 65,000 applications get picked every year. Then why did your employer file on Sept 20th when the applications were already full in Apr-May itself? I think he is bluffing. (Though I’m not very sure if it’s still possible to file in Sept after knowing that the applications were full already). Please check with someone who has proper knowledge about it. FYI, my employer filed on April 1st 2016 and by end of May, I got mail that my visa didn’t get picked in the lottery.

    2. Daisy

      With this English, how do you expect to work in the USA? It’s important to make yourself better to obtain better opportunities. Unfortunately many North Indians (Delhi, Mp, up and Bihar persons are the worst) and people from Andra /telangana-villages don’t think it’s important to improve their English, this is one is the reasons, Americans feel, unworthy-Indians steal their job. Get a masters degree and improve your English, your prospects will improve automatically. There are a lot of intelligent educated Indians out there.

  26. h4toh1

    Hi ,

    We have received i797 C receipt after lottery But we have noticed that last name has been misspelled where as I 129 application has the correct name , Please suggest what we can do in this case

      1. h4toh1

        Hi Saurabh ,

        Thanks for your reply . We went for cruise trip and we were not aware that our I 94 changes . Now we see I 94 has been changed . Does it affect anything on my h1 since its still in process?

  27. Faz


    My H1B was selected in the lottery. It is for digital marketing analyst role. I did master’s from US. What are my chances of getting H1 and when should I know it?


    1. administrator


      No one can speculate your chances of getting H-1. Once you have the receipt number follow it online on USCIS site.

  28. Raf

    Hi Priya,

    Quick question. How did you find out that you were picked on the lottery? I am still waiting my result, but don’t know how to check for the result.
    Thank you,

  29. priya


    My H1 got picked yesterday in masters quota. My question is I checked my LCA today and there is a mistake in zipcode of my client location. will that be a problem? Do I need to change it now or I should wait for the receipt number and if I get any RFE then need to proceed with the change?? I haven’t informed to my employer. So please let me know what are the steps I need to take.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. administrator


      Too late to change the LCA. How big is the typo? Is it still in the same MSA? Did you contact your employer/attorney about this?

      1. priya

        Hi Saurabh,

        if Zip is 12345, in LCA its 12435. My question is how does this affect me like will I get any RFE regarding this? I didn’t contact my employer or attorney reg this. As I am waiting for my receipt number.

        Another Question is,
        Currently I am on opt and going to end on 22 june 2017. so, Currently on which status I will be?? Do I need to update anything in college? what are the next steps do I need to take if rejected?

        Thank you.

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