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USCIS Online H1B Case Status Meaning – Detailed Screenshots

If you were picked in H1B Registration Lottery and applied for H1B petition in the recent H1B Visa 2022  season, you many have receipt case receipt notice. When you check the H1B Case Status online, you may see various status like “Case Was Received”, “Name was update”, etc.. You may not fully understand each of these status meaning. This article is meant to clarify each of those H1B Case statuses meaning and give complete flow of the same.

H1B Registration Confirmation Number for Case Tracking

If you were picked in H1B Registration Lottery, the registration selection notice would have a Beneficiary Confirmation Number. You cannot use that number to track your H1B on USCIS website. That number is only for internal reference and to run the lottery. The USCIS case number has a certain format and the beneficiary confirmation number does not follow that as well. So, do not try to check online on USCIS website and be confused.

H1B Case Receipt Number – Check Online

After an applicant is selected in H1B Registration Lottery, the company or H1B sponsor need to file an H1B Petition with USCIS using form I-129. After the H1B petition is properly filed, USCIS would send out a H1B receipt notice to the employer/ attorney indicating that the application was properly filed on time. The H1B Receipt notice would have a case number and it can be used to track the status of the H1B petition. You can check article : How to Check USCIS Case Status online that covers the details on how you can track case status at  USCIS.gov case status website

What’s the H1B Case Number?  Processing ?

The H1B receipt number is a 13 character alphanumeric string that is given by USCIS. It typically starts with EAC or WAC. You may read Understanding H1B Case Number Details, to know more info.  For high level understanding of how each H1B petition is processed at USCIS, you should read the article H1B processing steps at USCIS adjudication center.

Also, in the past, USCIS used to assign many statuses like Acceptance, Initial Review, Decision, Post Decision Activity, etc.  Some of these have been changed with the new system this year. To get an idea of the past flow and statuses, you may read H1B Old Case Statuses and Flow.  Below information corresponds to the latest H1B statuses available on USCIS website for a H1B petition.

Various H1B Case Statuses on USCIS website

Below are the various Case Status that you usually find on USCIS website, when you Check Case Status on USCIS website.

  • 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
  • Withdrawal Acknowledgement Notice Was Sent
  • Case Was Transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction.

Let us look at each of them in detail

H1B Case Status Text – Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

If you notice any of the H1B statuses’ text below, all of them would say “Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker”. The reason is that, when you file a H1B petition with USCIS, you would use form I-129, thats why you see the status text to indicate the form number. USCIS does not explicitly tell H1B Visa petition in the status as the form I-129 is also used for other visa types as well. It can be confusing, if they put in all visa types in there, so USCIS intentionally does not put in H1B in there and only indicates the form type. Your receipt notice would have “Class Requested” as show in below screenshot, indicating it was a H1B petition.

H1B I-797C Case Receipt Notice - Class Requested shows H1B
H1B I-797C Case Receipt Notice – Class Requested shows H1B

Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed

USCIS emails receipt notices to petitioners, if they filed their H1B petition under premium processing.  The H1B case status “Case was Received and a Receipt Notice was Emailed” indicates to us that the petition with this case number was filed under premium processing with USCIS. A receipt notice with case number and details about processing was sent to the email of the attorney/ employer. Below is the screenshot for the described status.

USCIS : Case Was Received and A receipt Notice Was Emailed Status
H1B Case Status – Case Was Received and a Receipt Notice was Emailed

Case Was Received

USCIS only emails receipt notices for premium processing applications. For H1B petitions filed under regular processing, USCIS will send out the receipt notices via traditional Mail/ Post.  The H1B case status “Case Was Received” indicates is that the petition with this case number was filed under regular processing and USCIS has received the same. The receipt notice hard copy will be sent to the attorney/ employer’s postal address on how it will be processed. Check below for screenshot of the described case status.

H1B Case Status - Case Was Received
H1B Case Status – Case Was Received

Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed

If USCIS wants more information on a H1B petition, they will ask for the same information. The H1B case status “Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed” status indicates the same that USCIS wants more info. As part of the adjudication process of the H1B petition, the USCIS adjudicator of this petition, with this particular case number, needs more information to make a decision on the case. The adjudicator issued a Request for Additional Evidence notice, which is commonly called as RFE (Request for Evidence).

The employer/ attorney will get an RFE notice from USCIS indicating what documents they need to submit for further processing the case.  It has an expiry date and employer/ attorney has to respond to that request by that date. USCIS will NOT process this particular case until they receive a response from the employer/ attorney with the requested information.  Below is the screenshot of described status.

H1B Case Status - Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed
H1B Case Status – Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed

Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received

After USCIS receives a response to the RFE, they will update the same in their online system for the H1B case. This H1B Case status “Response to USCIS Request for Evidence Was Received” corresponds to the same. All the status tells us is that USCIS has received the response for the issued RFE Notice on the particular case with that case number from the employer/ attorney. 

The response from employer/ attorney could be either documents or any other supporting material that was requested by USCIS supporting the H1B petition. If your petition is in this status, it means that USCIS will start processing the case as they have received requested documentation. The status also tells the petitioner that when you can expect a decision/ update on this case. Check below screenshot for RFE response status.

H1B Case Status - Response to USCIS Request for Evidence was Received
H1B Case Status – Response to USCIS Request for Evidence was Received

Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed

Usually, if you file in premium, you would informed by email. This H1B case status “Case was approved and my decision was emailed” indicates the decisions of approval that is sent by email to the attorney/ employer. This case status only appears for the H1B petitions filed under premium processing. Below is the screenshot of the status.

H1B Case Status - Case was approved and my decision was emailed
H1B Case Status – Case was approved and my decision was emailed

Case Was Approved

The H1B case status “Case was approved” is self explanatory. It tells that the the H1B petition with this particular case number was approved and they plan to send out the approval notice to the employer/ attorney by traditional post/mail. This case status appears only for petitions filed under regular processing.

USCIS Case Was Approved Status
H1B Case Status – Case Was Approved

Decision Notice  Mailed

Not every H1B Application gets approved.  Typically USCIS will issue an RFE and then review the evidence before making the final decision. If USCIS is not convinced with your petition’s supporting documents, they will deny the H1B petition and the case status will be shown as ” Decision Notice Mailed”. Your employer will get a notice indicating why the petition was denied and they can act on it as per the instructions, if they want to challenge the decision by providing additional documents, etc.  Below is how it looks.

H1B Case Status - Decision Notice Mailed
H1B Case Status – Decision Notice Mailed

The application Receipt Number is invalid

Error H1B Case Status entry on USCIS website
Error H1B Case Status entry on USCIS website

If you do not enter a valid 13 character H1B case receipt number, USCIS case status website will give you the above error message saying that the application receipt number is invalid. All it means is that, either you have taken the receipt number wrong from your employer or entered it wrong in the box…or maybe your employer did not give you the correct case number.  Below is the error screenshot. 

Name Was Updated

This is one of the very confusing statuses that USCIS online system gives, when there is some activity happening on your case. The H1B Case status “Name Was Updated” can be very confusing and misleading everyone at times. It may be genuine that the name was updated due to a clerical error, but not always the case.  

It definitely means that some activity is happening on your case and your case is being worked on by USCIS.  There is a perception among users that this status will lead to rejection/ RFE, but it is not necessarily true.  So, when you see something like this status, it is best consult your employer/attorney to check further on your case. No need to panic or get confused.  It looks like below

H1B Case Status -  Name was Updated
H1B Case Status – Name was Updated

Fee will be Refunded Status

One of the others status some of the H1B petitioners see is that ‘Fee will be refunded’. What it means is that the employer/attorney has filed extra fees that is not required and USCIS is refunding the same. It can be for a host of reasons related to the H1B fees. As you can see below USCIS would tell that it will not impact the processing of the case, so do not panic when you see this, work with your employer, it will be fine.

H1B Case Status - Fee will be Refunded
H1B Case Status – Fee will be Refunded

Withdrawal Acknowledgement Notice Was Sent

If your H1B employer plans to withdraw your H1B petition or for some reason you believe that you do not want to work for the company and resigned the job, then your employer would withdraw your H1B petition from USCIS. It is not really automatic process, your employer has to request for it. If your H1B case number indicates the below status “Withdraw Acknowledgement Notice was Sent” for I-129 petition, then it means that your H1B was withdrawn by your employer and USCIS is acknowledging the same with the status. 

H1B Case Status - Fee will be Refunded
H1B Case Status – Withdrawal Acknowledgment Notice was sent.

Case Was Transferred And a New Office Has Jurisdiction

Depending on the load of H1B petitions received and processing times at any service center, they are moved to different locations to expedite processing or balance the overall processing loads. If your H1B case was transferred to different location for some of these reasons, you would see a status like below. It tells the date when the petition was transferred and when you can expect a physical copy of notice indicating the same. It does not really change anything in terms of how it is adjudicated, it is just for processing times balancing, nothing to worry. 

H1B Case Status - Case was Transferred and a New office has Jurisdiction
H1B Case Status – Case was Transferred and a New office has Jurisdiction

Did you notice any other statuses for your Petition ?  Any other thoughts to share ?

Check out the next article that articulates the flow of the above statuses After H1B Visa Lottery Case Status Flow

   

Other Articles

1,554 Comments

  1. Am from WIPRO Technologies, today I received an email telling an RFE (Request for further Evidence) was received in my case.
    They have asked the same documents as submitted earlier.

    Is my case going to get rejected ?
    Please suggest…

    Reply
      • Actually they have asked the entire set of documents again.
        These I had already submitted earlier.
        Hence I was a little worried

        Reply
        • Hi,

          For MNC we can not do any things regarding documents.All in the hands of employer.After getting RFE 90% applications will go to approval status.Unless you have blackmark in your project after applying visa.
          Chill out.will get through

          Reply
  2. I received H1B RFE on May 14th 2015 with regards to CPT employment. My current CPT is valid till September 15th. I have applied for change of status. If I get my H1 approved for Consular Processing (Lets say around June 25th) due to not maintaining status, do I have to leave the United States immediately ?. Can I continue to work on CPT until September 15th and then leave the country to get stamped for H1. Please advise.
    Any valuable input is appreciated.

    Reply
    • AS per my knowledge your h1 get activate from oct. So, you can work on cpt until its valid. I am not sure about it.

      Reply
  3. Just to help those who are wondering if case approval are going on.. My case got approved today, RP/non-adv Cal centre…
    Case received (13th Apr.) -> Approved (4th June). No RFEs etc. as mine was genuine application with a top US company. No contractor / consultant.

    Reply
    • Approved – Congratulations…………

      Whats ur case no. series? Mine is WAC1514152***……RP/Non-Adv/CA center

      PLEASE REPLY

      Reply
      • Mine is WAC1514450XXX , but believe me, approval is not sequential so do not derive anything from it. You case may or may not get processed before others in your sequence.

        Reply
      • Friends, to check a series why don’t you randomly check. Key any number and see the result!

        Anyways, the applications are not reviewed SEQUENTIALLY.

        All the Best!

        Reply
    • Me too is keen to know WAC number series you are in…
      Hope u don mind sharing it.
      mine is in the series WAC151445XXXX and the status is still showing as “Case was received”

      Reply
  4. How do I authenticate the receipt number which I got yesterday. I got fed up n filed my papers and next day I got my status updated with receipt number. Number is WAC. So it’s California and is it dat still we are getting approved status for calif??

    Reply
    • Well, unfortunately, USCIS website will not tell you any name or anything as such. You have to ask your employer to send you a copy of the receipt notice, it will have the name and your petition number on it for validating it.

      Reply
  5. Hi All,

    My case was approved on 28th April EAC15138514**. it was permium processing . So after Approved will my employer directory get the document or there will be any other status change before dispatch of document like post decision Activity.
    Thanks,

    Reply
    • There wont be any status update, you can get the documents from your employer and can start for scheduling the interview. In the interview, if they find any issue they may either reject it or place in admin process status.
      But as of now there wont be any status, follow up with ur employer to get the documents and schedule an appointment for interview.

      Reply
  6. Hi,
    what does the Request for INITIAL evidence mean??

    Just got an email alert and it doesn’t say much..

    Please clarify.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • It’s meas the officer is reviewing your case and they might need more docs from your side or from your employer to give decision on your case.

      Reply
  7. My ref no is EAC1514354XXX. It is under initial stage “My Case is received from May 1st”. Any idea when the next stage will be changed.

    Reply
  8. Hello All,

    Still my employer is saying that there is no update on my h1b lottery status till now ….do we have any chances still….????

    Reply
  9. My application package is returned back. I am happy that the wait is over and look for something else. God is great!! i I expected this after May 1st week and it turned TRUE.

    Reply
    • Congrats friend…was it in intial review stage before approved?mine is in initial so want to know how many days it will take to approve…pls revert

      Reply
      • It depends on the center, order of application picked and documents to be verified. Tentatively it can vary from 1-3 months.

        This is email i received for change notification:
        Application Type: I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER
        Your Case Status: Post Decision Activity
        On May 27, 2015, we approved your Form I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, Receipt Number WAC15145XXXXX We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

        Reply
      • Normally 1-4 months.. But it is based on your luck.. dont keep much hope.. it is luck… Sometimes randomly they will run security check.. God Bless you..

        Reply
  10. This is a weird question… How is everyone’s name mentioned in the I797C form??

    Is it
    First Name , Last Name (or)
    Last Name , First Name
    ??

    Can some one plz help me….

    Reply
  11. Hi
    There is an error in my name( 1 character extra) in I797 copy. My employer said that he submitted Name change Amended request.
    Yesterday when I track with my receipt number, I am seeing new update in case history,
    “On May 22, 2015, your request to correct an error on your document or notice, referral number SRXXXXXXXXXX, was completed.”
    What does this actually mean? Is name updated by USCISC?

    Reply
    • Hii.. Yes it was updated by USCIS, but they will not issue updated I797 , you can get corrected name once you will get final I797 after decision on your case.. my employer also communicated me same.

      Reply
        • Congrates man…!!! could u pls let us know what is received date & Notice date mentioned in I797? its give some idea about processing time. Also service centre mentioned at end of notice in bare code box. Pls share info…

          Reply
  12. Hiii Anyone got case status ” Initial review” ?? If yes pls let me know what is the meaning. how much time it till take for approval then??

    Reply
    • It means they are reviewing ur case, ur documents, everything pertaining to it. If they dont see any issue with whatever they find, then it will change to approval in a week or a month or two months.
      There is no particular timeline as give in PP.
      Mine is also in initial review…waiting for approval.

      Reply
      • Hi, for me it is showing “my case was received” … does that mean it is in initial review status or later it will change to initial review status from my case was received. Thanks.

        Reply
    • Hi , Fr me it says ” we received your form I-129 ” , is that the initial review status ???? or later it changes to initial review ???
      plzz clarify . TIA

      Reply
    • Check the I-797C document, I-129 somewhere there should be mismatch, hence they have corrected the same.
      The status is updated the same even if DOB is also corrected

      Reply
  13. My Status is “Name was updated” and is indeed genuine. In the receipt notice there is only last name and I contacted my attorney to correct it.

    Reply
  14. Any one waiting for Receipt Numbers after selecting in lottery. It has been more than 3 weeks since my employer notified me that I was selected in lottery. I am still waiting for receipt number..

    Anyone in similar situation. Appreciate if someone clarify this…

    Reply
    • Hi Friend,

      Even i was in same boat till yesterday but they have shared today.
      However, it will take some time to share. Good luck 🙂

      Reply
      • If your employer shared the receipt number, try to ask I-797C notice of action form too as they would have received that too.
        Its better to check the details like DOB, Name being correct or not before hand.

        Reply
  15. Folks need a little guidance.
    I got picked up in the lottery for H1B FY2016.
    Its more then a month now and the case status show as
    “On April 13, 2015, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC15144XXXX3, 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 13, 2015, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283.”

    Is there any timeline for the papers to be validated? and
    If all fall in place how long does it take receive approval I-797??

    Any information will be highly appreciated

    Reply
    • I would like to share some info which i gathered from different sources.

      If it is Premium, then it would have approved already.
      If it is Regular, it will take two months to approve the case.

      Reply
  16. Hi Everyone,

    Could you please check my scenario and please update me on what’s going on if you have an idea?

    Thanks for answering all the questions. I got the status change to approved on my case and my case was moved to premium on May 8th. I got the email regarding my approval from my attorney. Here is my email:

    The Vermont Service Center has approved the following
    I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
    that had been filed under the Premium Processing Service:

    Receipt Number: EAC15*****
    Petitioner:***************

    Beneficiary: **********************
    DOB: *********
    Classification: H1B
    Starting Validity Date: 10/01/15
    Ending Validity Date: 09/28/18
    Consulate notified (if applicable): MUMBAI
    I-94 # (if applicable): **************

    The form I-797 Approval Notice will follow in the mail.

    I have never violated any F1- rules and I will be on valid OPT till Oct 10th,2015. My OPT EAD card expires on Oct 10th,2015. I started my job soon after my graduation and I have never been in US without payroll in OPT. My OPT start date is on May 10th, 2013 and I have started my job from May 13th and I am continuing the job without any break in the payroll. I didn’t take any CPT from day with any college and worked. I am on OPT from the day I was employed till Oct 10th, 2015. I am just wondering why Consulate information was mentioned as “MUMBAI”.

    a) Will my change of status gets denied?
    b) As I am on valid OPT from May 10th, 2013 till Oct 10th, 2015, Can I reach out to USCIS to let them know that I have not violated any rules like staying illegally here, nor worked on CPT?
    c) Can I do the H1- B Amendament? If so, Can I apply in premium?
    d) What do you think the reason for my Change of status denial? I didn’t receive any mail from USCIS regarding my Change of Status. I am just assuming that my Change of Status might got denied as “Consulate: MUMBAI” was mentioned instead of blank. Any inputs or suggestions?
    e) I have also heard from some of my friends that USCIS sometimes clicks consulate information – by mistake and if I receive copy of my I-797 approval notice with the attached I-94. Do I need to worry again if I receive both I-797 with the attached I-94?

    Thanks in advance!

    Thanks
    Ravi

    Reply
    • Why don’t you talk to the lawyer, who filed the case?
      Firstly, why do you think COS was denied just because the consulate section is filled?

      Reply
      • Hi Ravi,

        Consulate must be mentioned in one of the forms submitted . Check you form I-129 , you should get mumbai as consulate mentioned there.

        Thanks,
        Samaj Sevak

        Reply
  17. My first post 🙂
    thank god. Finally I have got an update from fdfu that I have through the lottery and now awaiting for the Receipt number. Friends Don’t loose hopes and have faith on god and you will make it.

    Reply
    • Received means you are picked up in lottery, approved means your application and docs were validated and approved.

      Reply
  18. For RP, until now I haven’t received any information from my attorney, she said that we have to wait for updates from USCIS because I submited on the first day of filing. Is there anybody same my situation?

    Reply
  19. There is also mismach in my name on i797.i mailed my attoreny and after few days he told me that USCIS has updated the name. How can i check that it has been updated???

    Reply
    • Hi, even i m in the same situation, if you want to know the referral number of the request, you can create a profile in USCIS and add your receipt number in cases. Clicking on the receipt number will give u atleast the referral number which says USCIS acting upon it.
      My attorney said it may take 30 days to resolve it but what I am not sure is whether this will hinder or slow down the approval notice process or not. Thats confusing and irking

      Reply
      • Hii i again contacted my attoreny and he sent me snap shot which mentioned that name was corrected and also having referal number..but the same status is not showing when i am checking my case on uscis.

        Reply
        • This is the status i m seeing in USCIS under my case history left hand side bottom –
          “On May 11, 2015, your request to correct an error on your document or notice, referral number T1DXXXXXXXXXX, was assigned to an officer for response.”
          I m not sure what screenshot your attorney shared, you can check urself in USCIS website.

          Reply
  20. Validation Error(s)
    You must correct the following error(s) before proceeding:

    At this time USCIS cannot provide you with information for your case. Please contact the NCSC 1 (800) 375-5283 for additional information.
    I received by receipt number and I have been trying to check for the status for the past 1 week and have been getting the same error.Can you guys please tell me what that means?

    Reply
    • My name in I-797C typed wrong, hence i searched lot of forums and its the same process even for DOB.
      The error could have been done by your attorney or USCIS data entry error.
      If its later, USCIS will correct it by comparing with I-129 within 30 days (as I was informed)
      If its former, that is the error was done by Attorney, then it will be little lengthy process of attorney submitting documents and some fees too. I m exactly not sure what document number or amount.

      Reply
        • I m not sure how it is found, but if u can have access to the employer’s I-129 and if they date of birth over there is right, then its mistake of USCIS.
          Usually Attorneys will know as they will have copy of I-129 with them, hence you can ask them but you should be subtle in asking as u dont want to offend them if they havent done any mistake.

          Reply
  21. Thanks a lot for your detailed post, this helps all of us in understanding the process involved. Really appreciate your work.

    Reply
  22. what is the status
    ————————————-
    My Name was updated.
    On April 22, 2015, we updated your name for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXX. If you move, go to uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.
    ——————————————

    what will be the next status?

    Reply
    • It is hard to tell as it depends on previous state of the case. This is not part of the standard flow. You need to check with your attorney.

      Reply
      • In my I-797C there was a mistake in name (a letter missing), hence attorney raised a request and after 12 days, the status was updated to
        “Name Was Updated….”
        May be this status is part of correction of any error in the name.

        Reply
  23. Validation Error(s)
    You must correct the following error(s) before proceeding:

    At this time USCIS cannot provide you with information for your case. Please contact the NCSC 1 (800) 375-5283 for additional information.

    This is the error i am gettng when i check my receipt number.

    Reply
  24. to @ Name Error: Name Updation, “My Name Was Updated”.

    My Name matches in both petition and passport, as per your comments i understood that there is something we need to wait for approval,

    what does it mean exactly.

    does anyone has any idea on this ?
    what will be the next status.

    Reply
  25. Same question 🙂 wondering what the status “…updated your name for your I-129…” mean? If checked in USCIS with my receipt number, I get to see the above status!

    Reply
  26. Name in the I-797C notice has a letter missing in it, attorney has raised a request to change it and I see the same under Case History Section of my case.
    Will they take up the approval process only after resolving the name or Will they go in parallel?

    Reply

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