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.
- 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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…