USCIS Case statuses for H1B Visa – Flow chart / Workflow – Screenshots

In Apply H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 239 Comments

Date Updated : May 2015 ; Note : The below article was written in 2014 and the steps described correspond to the same year. Some of the steps are omitted and changed now. Please check USCIS site for latest case status details.

Some of our readers, who were selected in H1B Visa 2015, started to receive the USCIS case receipts and checking their case status online… They have asked questions like

  • What is the entire workflow of the H1B case status on USCIS website?
  • Can we have a flow chart with the H1B case status for our understanding?
  • What are the various USCIS case status by name for H1B visa petitions
  • What happens at each step of USCIS Case status.

This article will focus on the various USCIS case status for H1B petition and give a small flow chart for the same.

What are the various USCIS Case status for H1B Visa ?  Flow chart / Workflow ?

I am NOT trying to draw a very complicated flow chart here with lot of decision boxes and all. The below workflow or flow chart is indicative and gives you a high level view of various statuses of H1B Visa case and the flow changes.  We will look into each of the statuses below in detail with a  screenshot.  For now

  • If everything goes well and there are no questions from USCIS the flow would be like

Acceptance –>Initial Review –> Decision –> Post Decision Activity

  • If USCIS require some information from your petitioner, there will be an RFE issued and it will have couple more steps

Acceptance –>Initial Review –> Request for Evidence( RFE) –>   Request for Evidence Review –>Decision –> Post Decision Activity

Flow chart of USCIS Case Statuses

USCIS Case Statuses Changes Flow chart

Let’s look at various statuses and how they would look on USCIS website with brief description.

USCIS Case Acceptance Status for H1B

Your case would start with acceptance status on USCIS website. This is when your H1B Petitions is checked for basic things like fees, signatures, etc. and ensure that the application is properly filed. If, it is not filed properly, USCIS will reject and return the petition.  It looks like below. USCIS expects that this step would be over in couple of days, but there is no SLA for this. So, if you see your petition in this status for a while, do NOT panic. Sometimes the system update would also take time, with many petitions.  Usually, the premium processing petitions would observe this status because an email notice is sent with the receipt number. If regular processing petition, you are unlikely to see this status as it should be complete by the time you receive your case number in postal mail.  In either case, do NOT panic, just give it some time and call USCIS, if the status is stuck here for more than 30 days.

H1B Visa Acceptance State

USCIS Case Initial Review Status for H1B

When your case status shows as initial review, USCIS is doing the background checks, reviewing your credentials, validating information, etc.  This varies by case and the time lines can be painful for regular processing petitions.  It can vary from few weeks to even six months for regular processing petitions.  It can be very painful to keep waiting at times, but you need to wait as there is NO SLA, if you are doing regular processing. You may consider upgrading the petition to premium processing, if the status does not change for few months.  The status on USCIS website looks like below.

H1B Visa Initial Review Status USCIS

USCIS Case Decision Status for H1B

Once the petition has been reviewed fully and the USCIS officer adjudicates the petition with a formal decision, your case moves to Decision status.  It is the formal approval/ denial status. You can be informed via email/ physical mail regarding the decision depending on the type of filing regular or premium.  If USCIS does not require additional information for processing, your petition moves from Initial review to Decision status. If they require more info, a Request for Evident (RFE) is issued and USCIS status reflects the same.  Also, If you petition is withdrawed by your employer, your case will be in Decision status.   It looks like below for various case statuses

H1B Approved

H1B Visa Decision Status Approved USCIS

H1B Denied

H1B Visa Denial Decision Status USCIS

 

H1B Withdrawal   

H1B Visa Case Status Withdrwan USCIS

USCIS Case Post Decision Activity for H1B

After the decision status, your case moves to Post decision activity. During this status, the physical approval letter for the case is sent to the petitioner, USCIS will update the consular posts, Depart of state and other Govt. agencies regarding the applications. Also, if someone files a motion to re-open or revoke, etc. this status will include the same.  It looks like below.

H1B Visa Post Decision Activity Status USCIS

USCIS Case Request for Evidence ( RFE ) Status for H1B

After USCIS starts to review your application and they realize that some information is missing or they need clarifications like client letters, education certificates, etc., they will issue a Request for Evidence, everyone calls simply RFE, and your case status will be updated on USCIS website with the same.  Your case would move from Initial review to RFE. During this status, your employer/immigration attorney would get the reason for RFE and they will need to respond.  USCIS will not process your petition until they hear back from your employer/attorney.  It looks like below.

H1B Visa RFE Status USCIS

USCIS Case Request for Evidence Response Review Status for H1B

Your case status moves from Request  for Evidence to Request for Evidence Response review after your attorney/ employer responds to the RFE issued by USCIS.   Depending on the type of RFE, USCIS can take time and your case can stay here for some time, until the processing is complete. After this status, your case would move to decision status. It looks like below.

H1B Visa RFE Response Review Status USCIS

We have written a similar article in the past, some of the statuses are not available today. You can check it at How to Check USCIS case Status  – Screen Shots

Any other questions? Comments to add ?

Stay tuned for more information on the above…

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Comments ( 239 )

  1. Krish

    On January 5, 2017, we received your response to our Request for Evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number *********. Our Vermont Service Center office will begin working on your case again. We will mail you a decision or notify you if we need something from you. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Any idea, what would be time duration for next status? How much % chance for approval?

  2. Kavya

    Hi, I am waiting for my H1B approval. In the website it says:
    Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received
    On December 29, 2016, we received your response to our Request for Evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number ************* . Our Vermont Service Center office will begin working on your case again. We will mail you a decision or notify you if we need something from you. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Will it get approved? How long will I have to wait for the decision?

  3. Sai

    Hi, I got an RFE on September 7th and posted the required documents on November 5th . Till now the status is not changed to RFE review . Last date of submission for RFE is Nov 28th.
    How long does it take to change the status after submitting the documents. It’s only one week left …. so will it be a problem

  4. Devayani

    Hi,

    My husband’s petition received the status as “Withdrawal Acknowledgement Notice Was Sent

    On July 21, 2016, we received your request to withdraw your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker”. When we checked with the consultancy they said for now they have withdraw because they are not able to provide client letter. But we can use this petition after October once he could get a job and will provide the client letter and process this same petition. Is this valid or the consultancy is try to fool us?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Devayani,

      Was this petition ever approved? If not, then it cannot be used in future. It is as bad as never applying for H-1 or not getting through the lottery.

      1. Devayani

        It is just picked in lottery and we are waiting for the approval. But the consultancy is still saying that after October if we can find a job then using that client letter we can submit the application using same receipt number and process it in premium. Can you confirm that whther this could be possible or not ?

        1. Devayani

          Any chance to wait till October that we can use the same withdrawn petition number to proceed further by providing the new client letter ?

        2. administrator
          Saurabh

          Devayani,

          The company is either unaware of immigration rules or trying to make a fool out of you. Once it has been withdrawn and was never approved, you are out of lottery. You will have to go through the cap again next year.

          Ask the employer that you want to talk to the attorney and then ask the attorney to provide this response in writing. He wouldn’t do that as that would be providing false legal advice.

    1. Shrimp

      I dont know about you, but I am looking at other options, These applications might as well been abandoned, or they will be in this mode and USCIS will just say, oops, sorry we forgot about you, If we can get through, life’s will change and it will be perfect, else life still goes on.

  5. ramky

    Hi,

    I received RFE on July 21 and my employer still did not respond to it.

    My question is In how many days should the RFE response be made ?

    Thanks

  6. Consultant

    Hi,

    At Accenture, many of my friends were today informed of their acceptance in the lottery for H1B 2016. However couple of other friends, that also unfortunately includes me, were told this:

    This is to inform you that we are still awaiting the lottery status of your H1B application from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Though we started receiving the acknowledgement receipts for few applications (lottery acceptance confirmation), your case is still pending with the USCIS. Since the lottery status is announced only in batches, we may have to wait until end June 2015 for an appropriate update from the USCIS.

    What does this mean in simple meaning? Rejection? Waitlisted (i know there is no waitlist as such in H1B). If this is not rejection and there are fair chances of getting an H1B acceptance, what are the typical prbabilities to get this? I have almost lost my heart today of getting an H1B this year.

  7. aspirant

    Hi…my status showed..that case is approved.but no email is received. How long I need to wait for the approval notice and other details via email .
    Thank u

    1. h1b-case

      same here showed as approved on may 12, today june 2 they updated the case again as On June 22, 2015, we began reviewing your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
      I didnt receive any mail between this updates.

  8. BS

    Hi,
    Am on h1b visa and working with company A. and I initiated h1 transfer process with company B.

    My query is, Company A is not paying offered amount. Offered amount is included in LCA, petition at the time of filing. Now for H1 transfer am submitting my pay stubs with less salary. Company A is not filed any amendment for this.

    1. Will USCIS people cross check pay stubs with old petition / LCA?
    2. if yes, how can we answer them?
    3. will it create any problem to my status?

    I really appreciate if you revert to this as early as possible.

  9. Abhisek

    I have an approved petition but my client changed before travelling so had to apply for an amended petition. I checked the status in USCIS and its saying “Your case is received”. How many days will it take for Petition amendment??Please help

  10. rohit

    My case of H1 transfer(under regular processing) is in “Initial review” since Sep 29, 2014. when checked with USCIS, this is what we received the response:” A decision notice should be sent out as soon as clerical has processed it and the fees will be returned”. any pointers on clerical process ans the processing time associated with it.

  11. Angel

    Hi,
    My husband went to Canada to get his H1B stamping and they have taken the passport and and sent e-mail requesting RFE, which we have fulfilled. After given the RFE requested how long do they normally take to respond back and say if they gave you the visa or denied it?

  12. Sairam

    Hi,

    My H1 was approved and withdrawn from my employer. But they dint not share any details with me. Because I was unable to work when my H1 was approved due to personal reasons, so they had withdrawn it, in the year 2013.

    Now I want to work and a new employer is ready to reopen the h1,but I don’t have any details. When my new employer tried to Uscis, they say there are no records of my previous employer applied petition.

    H1 approved on oct 2012
    H1 withdrawn in 2013

    From Oct 12-oct 13, I was in India,, Now when filing new H1B will I get cap exempt?

    If my H1, is withdrawn, then will there be no records of my H1B?

  13. GoodGuy

    Hi, Need Help !!!
    My new H1b petition L2 to H1b COS, got RFE on Jul 17 2014,(Regular)
    RFE responded on 15 Sep 2014 – upgraded my H1b to PP on the same day
    Status changed to RFE Response for review – 17 Sep 2014
    Status changed from RFE Response For review to Acceptance – 17 Sep 2014
    Still my status is in Acceptance stage…
    waiting or my approval befire sep 30 2014..
    Any idea When it will get approved ?????
    Will i be in valid status to stay in US if my COS is pending after sep 30???
    my Spouse is getting converted to h1 on oct 1st 2014.
    Should i apply H4 before Oct 1st 2014 is my H1 status is still pending as i will not have valid valid L2 on Oct 1st?

  14. aspirant

    Dear Friends,

    I need your suggestion.

    I have got below response from USICS as below:
    we mailed a notice acknowledging withdrawal of this application or petition I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. If you have not received the notice within 30 days, contact our customer service at 1-800-375-5283. If at some point in the future you wish to pursue the benefits provided by this application or petition, you must file a new application along with all applicable fees and evidence.

    Can I reinstate above application ? and what i can do to get it approved !!!

    Please help me !!!

  15. Subbu

    Hi,

    My scenario is little different. H1B 2014, I did receive RFE for additional documents related to project & SOW. The deadline to respond to RFE is on Aug 30th, my employer is still preparing RFE response.

    But Surprisingly yesterday i got an email from our US immigration team with the subject: Work Permit Application Approved H1B
    Approval Notice has been received from USCIS.

    I checked in USCIS case status, still it is showing as RFE. Not sure what is happening. Is it possible that a petition can be approved without responding to RFE when RFE is raised? Is anyone faced this before?

    Thanks,
    Subbu.

  16. ABC

    Hi Experts,

    I did applied H1B through employer A in 2013, the petition was denied in Sept 2013, and we went with MTR. The case was re-opened and approved today.

    Initially the H1 was applied for 16 months (since I already spent 4 year and 8 months on L1B with another employer B) specifically from 01-Oct-2013 till Jan-2015.

    I left USA post H1 Denial (Sept 2013) and came to Canada. Now by the time the H1 petition is approved its very close to Jan 2015.

    Can someone tell me till when the new H1 will be valid, whether it will be valid till Jan 2015, or they will count the 16 months from today and approve it till Nov 2015.

      1. PN

        Mine is AD/RP/CSC. My online status is still in “Initial Review”. But when my lawyer created an e-request they responded saying my petition was approved. But I never received an approval notice. So they are going to send another notice. You may check with your lawyer to create an e-request to know the status.

        Thanks & Good luck

  17. Ali

    I have a valid H1B visa and stamp but I am waiting for my employer’s call to fly to US and join the company in US for last 4 months. What are my options if my employer don’t allow me to fly anytime soon? Is it legal for him to delay my joining after visa stamping is also done? Is there anything I can do to get out of this wait situation? Is it legal for the employer to delay the joining of H1B employee for indefinite period of time? please help me. thanks

  18. Another_H1b_Aspirant

    Hello All,

    I am currently based outside US and My employers filed my petition under CA/Adv/Reg processing. I received my case number on 3rd May and got the petition approved ( it is in ‘post decision activity’) on 13th May. My employers imformed me that they would contact me as soon as they receive the approved packet from USCIS. Since then, for more than a month now, there is no update from them and this is making me a bit uneasy.

    Does USCIS take this long to mail the packet? Or is the ‘approved’ status not the final approval confirmation? Are there people in the same situation as mine?

    1. justanxious

      Hey Another_H1b_Aspirant ,

      Am in same boat. My employer too had the approval notice(not sure which notice DECISION or POST DECISION ACTIVITY).They informed me that they will get the formal approval packet soon.I did not hear anything from them for a month now.

      As of now did u get ur approval package from USCIS?
      If yes,when did u recieved it?

      Thanks..

  19. just curious

    Are all mail inquiries made by the office during the initial review stage mailed to the employer’s business address? … or could I expect mail at home? Just curious. Thanks everyone 🙂

  20. Initial Review

    Guys,
    I am AD/RP/VT and my first five digits are 14137***. My case is still in initial review but all my friends who are from the same categories got either approvals or RFEs already. My status is stuck and doesn’t move. Anyone in the same boat as me?

    1. PN

      I am in the same category too…My case is still in Initial Review..I am AD/RP/California. All my friends even in Regular processing got approvals as early as May. I checked a few case numbers in my series and they are either Approved/RFE. I am not sure whats with my case…By the way my series is, 14136****

  21. Vas63

    My employer in US is mid size genuine company working on Federal and cooperate projects and products.I am in India,never been to US.
    They have applied for my H1b this year under Non-AD ,premium processing category.
    On May 5`th 2014 they informed me that they received the receipt notice and am selected in lottery.
    On May 16`th they informed me that my petition is approved and they received the notice.
    But later by end of May they informed me that my petition is still not fully approved and is still pending(Technically).They say USCIS means it is just formality (as good as it is approved).
    Am confused what is happening? They have not shared (bit reluctant don`t know why ) the receipt no. to me ,so I can track or check the status online.
    So I believe after reading http://redbus2us.com/uscis-case-statuses-for-h1b-visa-flow-chart-workflow-screenshots/ that the notice they received is of Decision(Approval) and It may be mentioned in that notice that the few other formalities are pending(Post Decision Activity).So they are calling this in their terms pending (Technically).
    I am going to have a call with my employer on this soon,but before that I would like to know
    1) The name,informations and content inside the notices send by USCIS during Decision(approval) and Post Decision activity.
    2) What are the names of the Forms(notices) send by USCIS during Decision(approval) and Post Decision activity?
    3) Which Form/Notice (Decision(approval) and Post Decision activity)I should have for visa stamping?
    4) If its still pending in this way ,then does not this exceeds the PP processing time by USCIS?

  22. Sweta

    Hi,
    My case is stuck in Decision stage since one month.It says it got approved a month back, but not moving to Post Decision stage.Anyone facing same situation?

    1. h1b application

      Hi, i am in the same boat, my attorney said USCIS will send the approval package soon. The Status does not need to move to post decision as such.

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