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USCIS H1B Visa 2014 Regular Processing Time? Premium Processing ? FAQs ?

Many of you who have applied for H1B Visa for fiscal year 2014 might be wondering regarding the H1B Visa processing times. Some common questions are like below:

  • What is USCIS Regular Processing time for H1B Visa 2014 petitions ?
  • Is there any SLA for USCIS to process the H1B Visa 2014 petitions ?
  • What is the processing time for H1B petitions filed under  Premium processing ?
  • How has USCIS done historically with H1B Processing Times ?
  • Where and How can I look at the average processing times for H1B petitions ?


Let me take some time to address some of the above most commonly asked questions around H1B Visa petitions processing times and how USCIS has done in the past. If you have already received a case number for your H1B petition, you can read this article: Understanding H1B Visa Case Number, Track Status

What is USCIS Processing time for H1B 2014 petitions filed under Regular Processing ?

Well, the typical adjudication (decision making) time for H1B visa petitions filed under regular processing by USCIS can range anywhere from 2 months to 6 months. There are cases where the decision was mailed by USCIS in less than 2 months and there are cases where USCIS took much longer than 6 months too.  Every H1B case is different and the time taken depends on various facts and factors tied with a petition…

Is there any set SLA for USCIS to process petitions filed under H1B 2014 Regular processing ?

There is NO set SLA for USCIS that stipulates them to adjudicate a H1B petitions filed under regular processing within certain amount of time.  So, you would just have to wait for USCIS, there is nothing you can do. Unlike,  USCIS has SLA for premium processing H1B petitions, but it comes with a cost.

How long will  USCIS take for H1B Visa 2014 Premium Processing petitions ?

USCIS has a standard 15 calendar days SLA for premium processing petitions.   Typically, it starts from the day USCIS receives the petition and they issue a case number.  But for FY 2014, due to expected high volumes they have pushed the premium processing clock  for H1B petitions to start from April 15th. So, you can expect a response from USCIS on your case by April 30th.  It can be a decision or an RFE, if something was missing.  Read article: H1B Visa Statuses – Approval, RFE, Denial

How has USCIS done historically with H1B petitions processing times ?

Again, as mentioned above, it has varied from 2 to 6 months. The current national average for processing times that USCIS publishes on their website is about 2 months and it seems to be varying depending on how busy USCIS gets with processing at a particular time.  You have to remember that the reason processing times can vary a lot is because USCIS constantly receives other H1B petitions that are not part of FY 2014 quota, which are extensions and change of employers, cap-exempt petitions, etc. that they would have to process as well. If  some of these mentioned are filed under premium processing, the priority changes from USCIS perspective.

Where can I look at USCIS processing times for H1B petitions ?

USCIS publishes the processing times on their website. The only trick is that that, you have to watch for date that processing times correspond to…All you need to do is select the processing center and it will show the approximate processing times. You can check at here at USCIS website

You can check out some of the processing times at our  H1B Visa Tracker.   Don’t forget to add your case.

What has been your experience with USCIS processing times ?  How long did it take ?


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  1. Hi Saurabh,

    For my petition number it is showing ,

    On August 30, 2013, we mailed a notice requesting additional evidence or information in this case I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow the instructions on the notice to submit the requested information. This case will be in suspense until we receive the evidence or the opportunity to submit it expires. Once we receive the requested evidence or information and make a decision on the case, you will be notified by mail. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283

    Can you please tell me what does it mean,My employer has told that he submitted the evidence for RFE and from past 3 months the status is not changing what should I have to do now?

    Please Clarify

    • August 30, 2013 – November 8, 2013 => 2 months and 8 days..
      but, how you have calculated 3 months.. 🙂

      joke apart.. you cann’t do anything other then believing your employer…
      If your employer has not submitted the required docs… then probably you case would be denied after 90 days…
      I would advise you to contact your employer.. and ask them to confirm the status with USCIS.

  2. I have been a silent follower of this site since last 1 year ……but finally my wait is over after lot many stages……like lottery , submission , rfe , rfe response and finally got the approval……
    Thanks every one…..hope everyone gets their visa’s approved….

  3. Case details :
    Processing center : vermont (h4 to h1)
    IR : Apr 8th
    Rfe : aug 26th.
    Compy will reply to rfe hopefully in 1-2 weeks.

    Is it advisable to convert it into PP now ?

  4. Hi ,

    My case details:
    Center : vermont
    H4 to H1
    IR : april 8th
    Rfe : aug 21st

    My compy is yet to reply to the RFE. Hopefully it will be done by this week.

    Is it advisable to convert it to PP ?

  5. Its been really a helpful blog.
    My petition is still in initial review…!
    The worst thing is my employer hasnt shared the petition number yet, due to some internal company policies..!
    But i got a response from my employer stating that “tbere is no response on your case, its in IR”.

    I requested them to raise service request but there is no response from them.!

    Is it a normal process for petition to stay in IR even after 6 months from filing date?
    Kindly suggest, what can i do..!

  6. Hi All,

    I received petition approval mail today! Had submitted the docs on 30th Aug, ’13.
    Wish everybody who is waiting “All The Best”!!

  7. done a survey with around 200 cases.. from EAC1313753800 to EAC131375400.
    Below are the cases with RFE and RFERR

    EAC1313753804-RFE-Sep 12
    EAC1313753805-RFERR- Oct 09
    EAC1313753806-RFERR-Oct 16
    EAC1313753809-RFE-Aug 20
    EAC1313753811-RFERR-Sep 05
    EAC1313753832-RFERR-OCT 11
    EAC1313753833-RFE-SEP 20
    EAC1313753842-RFERR-OCT 17
    EAC1313753843-RFERR-OCT 31
    EAC1313753855-RFE-AUG 20
    EAC1313753856- RFE- AUG 13
    EAC1313753860-REF- AUG 13
    EAC1313753861-RFERR-OCT 29
    EAC1313753862-RFE-AUG 14
    EAC1313753870-RFE-AUG 29
    EAC1313753871-RFERR-OCT 10
    EAC1313753873-RFE – SEP 09
    EAC1313753889-RFE-SEP 17
    EAC1313753894-RFERR-OCT 21
    EAC1313753896-RFERR-OCT 29


    EAC1313753905-RFERR – 18 OCT
    EAC1313753914 RFERR- 15 Aug
    EAC1313753919-RFERR -Oct 31
    EAC1313753923 -RFE-Sep 23
    EAC1313753928-RFE- AUG 19
    EAC1313753932-RFERR-Oct 28
    EAC1313753937-RFERR-Sep 17
    EAC1313753938-RFERR-Oct 30
    EAC1313753946-RFE-Aug 16
    EAC1313753947-RFE-Aug 28
    EAC1313753948- RFERR-Oct 23
    EAC1313753968-RFERR-Nov 04
    EAC1313753971-RFERR-Sep 24
    EAC1313753974-RFE-Aug 29

  8. Hi Friends ,
    I got RFE on 25th August my employer responded it on 28th August but still no updates . How much time it will take ?

    Its been more then 60 days . Is there any one like me who is facing the issue.Please advice.


  9. Saurabh,

    Just want to know the H1B visa stamping chance if B1 was refusal 2 years back. Can B1 refusal impact the H1B stamping.

  10. H1b extension
    July 5th – Regular processing at Vermont
    Oct 24th – upgraded to PP
    Oct 25th – Acceptance
    Oct 28th – Cash deducted from account
    11 days over now..Still in acceptance state 🙁 🙁

  11. Hi All,

    I have been a silent follower of this website ever since Feb 2013. I applied for the 2014 H1b quota and my petition was picked up in the lottery. After that I got a RFE related to employer-employee relationship and SOW,etc during late July. Since I work for one of the world’s top MNCs and my attorneys were Fragomen, I thought this should be an easy one but after almost waiting for 3 months I got to know that my petition was denied stating that my role and job description does not match with the contractual agreements of the SOW. The thing that hurts me most is that almost every one from my project has used the same SOW and JD but I was the only one whose petition was denied…..perhaps there a lottery after the lottery too :)……anyways…I have decided to move on with life and try next year(if I get thru lottery again)…wishing everyone else on this forum…Best Of Luck….and thanks to this forum for being my sole companion in this stressful journey.

    • Hi

      I have also got RFE and even I have similiar situation as far as RFE desciption goes:

      * Employee employer relation
      * SOW
      * educational eval
      * other company related info
      * Job description

      Mine is a small desi employer, we are yet to send our RFE response. I was just trying to check back to see if there are any documents that we can take care of to reply strong in such a RFE.

      I am afraid as I have a very complex RFE and I have almost lost hope even if we reply in time there are minimal chances of approval. Any suggestions and pointers are appreciated.

      • Are u H4 to H1 COS? I got the same kind of Rfe and still in RFE RR status more than a month.still worried….which service center?

          • Hi,
            My case is same as yours. H4 to H1B.Rfe was about some 10 docs.Wasa little worried.Finally got approved last night.Dont lose hope.You’ll get through it.Mine is CSC.

  12. Hi friends,

    I got RFE on 25th August my employer responded it on 28th August but still no updates . How much time it will take ?

    Its been more then 60 days . Is there any one like me who is facing the issue.Please advice.

    • Jordan,
      I think the best way is to upgrade it to PP.
      Here is what happened in my case:
      RFE on 4th June
      RFERR on 5th July
      PP ugrade on 17th Oct
      Approved on 21st Oct.

      Though I am not sure but it seems they are delaying the processing after that shutdown.
      Please consider it for PP upgrade to get quick response.

  13. Hi i got below status which is something new to me can any one tell me

    We reopened this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER on October 31, 2013, and are now reviewing our earlier decision. We also mailed you a notice describing the next steps in the process. Please follow any instructions on this notice. Our review should be completed within 30 days

      • i am not sure, till Oct 30 it was “REFRR” when i saw on Nov 1 the status was PDA reopen. vermount service center.

        actually in 2008 my h1b was approved and i never took papers and never went for stamping. could be that is the problem?

          • RFE RR – Request For Evidence Response Review.

            @unknown: I think they may have re thought their decision on your case. You may have to wait to see what it is either way. Let the notice get to you and see what detailed information it provides. Never saw this status before so it would be good for all to know about one like this.

          • @kishore, ya myself it’s very strange, i had a call with my employer they says lets wait and see.. .. is this a second RFERR?

          • had u applied for H-1B extension? or is it a fresh H-1B application?

            Did u convert to H-1B from other visa ?
            Wch service center?What PDA on Oct 31?

            Where are u? India or US?

          • had u applied for H-1B extension? or is it a fresh H-1B application?
            A : Fresh Application

            Did u convert to H-1B from other visa ?
            A: Nope
            Wch service center?What PDA on Oct 31?
            A: Vermont Service center, not known

            Where are u? India or US?
            A: India

  14. My H1 petition finally got approved today..

    VSC/ EAC13148*****
    RFE: Aug 14
    RFE RR: Sep 20
    Conv to PP: Oct 21
    Approved: Oct 31

    This forum has been very helpful to me. best wishes to people waiting.

    • @Wating from 24th sept RFE RR vermont EAC1313854***.

      Please update the details if anyone gets approval today. Many Thanks.


  15. Finally my petition got approved after a long wait. RFE RR status on July 25th and approved on Oct 29th. Almost 95 days after RFE RR status. Mine is Vermont. EAC13143**** . My RFE was about client invite letter, payslips and Job description.

  16. Is there any one from EAC13146* or prior ..who is waiting to see their status changed from RRReview to PDA .. mine is in same since 20 sep…hope to get this changed as my Diwali gift 😉

  17. Hi,
    My case is still not processed ..its wac center 143 series anybody else waiting ….
    and is there a time limit for th decion .
    the wait is killing

  18. Hi All,
    Attended the Visa interview on 24 October and its been Approved 🙂 🙂
    Thanks a lot for all in this forum. Its been Very usefule.

    All the very best for all who are waiting !!!

  19. Hi guys,

    My employer changed by H1 petition processing to Premium on October 16 2013. Since then the status is like this:


    On October 17, 2013, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER and we e-mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow any instructions on this notice. This case is being processed at our VERMONT SERVICE CENTER location. You will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something from you. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.

    Can someone tell, what is this? Thanks.

    • Its pretty much the same for me. Vermont center, though i got another 5 days to stop the clock.


      Does it make sense to check whether the cheq is en cashed to see if they are working on it?

  20. Got my approval… H1-RP/RQ

    receipt: apr 8
    rfe: aug 12
    rfe reponse submitted at USCIS-sep 9
    The status didnt change to rferr
    My onsite HR called USCIS officer to chk for RFE response aknowledgement USCIS officer raised a service request on our behalf of us on sep 25th
    Status directly changed to PDA from RFE
    PDA: oct 10
    RFE was about speciality occupation

    All the best to everyone… thanks to this forum…

  21. Hello People,

    Need some quick advice,

    i am filling up DS-160 and there is a question on, “Have you ever been refused a U.S. Visa?”

    This would be a Yes , L1B was refused last year. VO quoted “the specialized skills are insuffient and are granted to someone with rare skill set in specific fields. Please check for an alternative for travel”.
    My employer has applied for h1b. Should i mention the same in the form? does it have any -ve impact? does in general L1b refusal has any impact on current h1?

    Please advice.

      • Thanks for your response. Should i just say the same that i have mentioned here. i hope it doesn’t sound too negative.

  22. hi Alll

    i applied my visa in my I129 from 1/10/2013 to 1/10/2016. but my post my approval i have visa valdity as 1/10/2013 to 1/10/2014.

    1. if i can extend this psot 2014, until how many years do i get to extend it ?
    2. i heard that h1b can be extended for 6 years, so in my case is it inly 4 years ?

    i am newbie, so please explain

  23. My case is still in IR.
    Its already October, and still in the same step since April. No RFE so far.
    Will there be any deadlines for USICS to process these petitions.? or it will be turned to rejected state directly?

    Will usics gives RFE before rejecting its petitions or it can directly reject the petitions.

  24. Hi All,

    My petition got approved on 22 Oct.

    Petition # EAC131445***
    Notice date : April 18th
    RFE – 6th September
    RFERR–30th September
    PDA–22nd October

    Keep faith .. you all here good news.

  25. Hi All,
    My petition got approved on 21 Oct after a looonnnnng wait !!!

    Petition # EAC131465#$%^
    Notice date : April 26th
    RFE –4th June
    RFERR–July 5th
    PP upgrade-17th Oct
    Decision(approved)–Oct 21

    Rfe reason-
    2.Appraisal process
    3. Reporting chain
    4. Roles
    5. Offer Letter.
    I know how waiting sucks 🙁 My employer didn’t want to wait any longer so they upgraded it after almost 104 days of RFERR status.

    I will pray for all whoever waiting for their result … All the best guys!

  26. Hi Saurabh/Others,

    My H1B was approved by the end of September.
    I came to US with my husband on 19th Oct on H4 visa.
    Since I have not yet received H1B petition docs from my employer, I was not able to get my H1B visa stamped in India.

    Here is my question:

    1.) I have got an offer from another company. Can I apply for H1B trasfer now?
    2.) How long will it take for H1B transfer?
    3.) Are there any chances of rejection?
    4.) My H1B is approved, but not stamped. Will this be of any problem for applying for H1B transfer?

    Kindly reply

    • your new employer can apply for a h1 anytime, since you are cap exempt. it will take 6 months , based on current waiting times. you can have any no of h1 s applied.

      and curious to know if you were given a H4 even though you had a H1 approved.

  27. Hi All,

    My petition got approved on 21 Oct after a looonnnnng wait !!!

    Petition # EAC131435#$%^
    Notice date : April 18th
    Rfe –sometime in May
    RFERR–June 18th
    PDA–Oct 21

    Rfe reason- Education- Speciality occupation

      • I am a production engineer with 11 years of experience in IT. I work for one of the leading IT company in INDIA and the education evaluation part was taken care of by my HR team. Additionally, i was also asked to prepare a document on my overall experience and the kind of activities i would be performing in the US and get it vetted from one of my manager.

  28. All,
    Finally I got my H1B petition approved. I got the status changed email today indicating my case approved on Oct 18th. Details Below
    RFE Date : July 2nd
    RFE Response Review : Aug 29th
    Approved : Oct 18th
    Center : Vermont
    Receipt No : EAC13148*
    Process Type : Regular quota / Regular Process

    • Can you share your background pls. I am in similar situation working on the RFE resoponse. Also can you tell us what all you did to counter the RFE


  29. All,
    Finally I got my H1B petition approved. I got the status changed email today indicating my case approved on Oct 18th. Details Below
    RFE Date : July 03rd
    RFE Response Review : Aug 27th
    Approved : Oct 18th
    Center : Vermont
    Receipt No : EAC13148*
    Process Type : Regular quota / Regular Process
    RFE : Education Evaluation

    Thank you all & will pray for everyone who is expecting their approval news!!!!

    • Can you share your background pls. I am in similar situation working on the RFE resoponse. Also can you tell us what all you did to counter the RFE

      Thanks! (This post was supposed to be for you)

  30. Hello,

    I got RFE for my CPT approval from day 1, vendor letter and my educational background. We replied on October 8th with all the documentation. Premium processing clock started on the same day. Today is the 14th day and still no reply. I know they normally take 15 calendar days but i am really worried. Moreover, my case is still in “Acceptance” status.

    Anyone has got there approval recently? I am just trying to understand how long do they (vermont branch) normally take?

  31. Hello Saurabh,

    I need to ask something very important from you. I have moved to US on H1B recently and in my I94, my –
    Passport Country of Issuance: India

    But, my passport was issues in Madrid, Spain (It is a normal Indian passport though, place of issue being Madrid. My Indian passport was lost in Madrid and hence i was issued a new passport from Embassy Of India,Spain).
    So, my concern here is that should i get my I94 corrected as Spain from Customs and Border Protection( deferred inspection) or the Passport Country of Issuance is correct as India.

    Please let me know. Thanks for your help

    • Important_Query,
      I think it is ok. It just means that you have an Indian passport. Doesn’t matter where it was issued. You can run this by your attorney as well.

  32. Hi Friends,
    I got RFE on august 20th (Exactly 60 days by today).
    They have not submitted response as of now. They were telling due to Govt shut down we could not proceed with the response as of now. we will do it soon like that..

    Is there any time limit for RFE response? If the limit exceeds what will happend to my case? I am really worrying alot.

    Kindly provide me some information regarding this..


    • Hi ,
      Nothing to worry about . I think the consultancy is taking time to arrange the documents. The duration to reply to the RFE with a response is some where near to three months. Do not worry they will send it at the last moment. If they do not respond USCIS will evaluate the application without the documents they asked for and more often it will lead to rejection. I believe the consultancy will reply well within time limits.

  33. I got an H1-B RFE and Response has been submitted with USCIS on October 9th, 2013. How many days usually USCIS takes for making Decision on H1B- RFE?
    Note that I am having Regular Processing for my H1-B Visa

        • Shashikant,
          PP upgrade can be done even now. Once USCIS receives the PP request, they will review the RFE response within 15 calendar days.

    • Myself responded on oct 4th status changed to response review on oct 9th . Hope we can expect update on or before end of nov . But as saurabh said they had 60 days SLA for it .

      I think u an upgrade to premium now . From CLOCK starts it will take 15 days to get update from them ..


  34. Hello,

    My case went to RFE and my employer responded back in two months. Now it has been sent back again and my employer has responded back again yesterday, though he has not given any details on what are the questions.

    Since my employer is a small company, is my application heading for rejection?


    • As of my knowledge answer is NO … because my company also a small company …. but my case got approved and VISA approved .. So do not think in that way ….. you are already saying that your employer responded to the questions asked by the USCIS …. so hope for the BEST … All The Best

    • Nirvaan,
      At times the 2nd RFE is issued. It doesn’t necessarily lower the chances of approval. What matters is what was asked and what your employer response. Stay hopeful.

      • Thanks all, my petition was finally approved. I wish the best to all on this forum and thanks to all for their support and help through this period.

        Can someone please let me know how much time does the whole stamping at consulate take? Thanks.

  35. hii..

    need a small info..
    for filing h1b i have given only b.tech qualification….
    and i did MBA in distance education..so i didn’t add in while filing…

    is ther any impact on this in future.
    some one told if u have MBA u would have get the chacnce to go has BusinessAnalyst..

    can u pls any one help..

    • h1b help,
      If your current H-1 position requires only B.Tech, then it is ok. In future, if you opt for a position which requires MBA then you can include that MBA degree as well. The company will have to decide whether they recognize the MBA degree and it may be prudent to get education evaluation done for the MBA degree.

  36. got the approval email yesterday at 11 pm . Best of luck to others. matter of time only i think. my series was 13155*****( apr 30 normal process)

  37. Finally Aprroved!

    Regular Processing.. WAC131375***

    RFE received – 18th July
    Reason for RFE – Offer letter
    RFE response – 29th Sep
    RFE RR – 01 Oct
    Approval – 17th oct

    Best of luck for who are waiting still!!!

    Just one question.
    I want to process the H4 for my wife along with me .Can someone help me understand the process required documents.

  38. Got Approval on 10th oct

    Regular Processing..Vermont Center.. EAC13142***

    RFE received – 18th Sept
    Reason for RFE – employe-employer relationship
    RFE response – 28th sept
    RFE RR – 01 Oct
    Approval – 1oth oct

    Best of luck for who are waiting still!!!

  39. Hi,

    My Receipt number is WAC1314******, I got RFE on 22nd July and replied on 30th July, its still in RFE review.

    Its almost 75 days and still no update, does this mean I am going to get denial


    • Nope. But you can ask your attorney to raise a service request. Last year my wife got approval after 80 days. Could you please share the reason for RFE ?

  40. Got Approval on 11th oct 🙂

    Regular Processing..Vermont Center.. eac1314254***

    RFE received – 29th july
    RFE response – 20th sept
    RFE RR – 25 sept
    Approval – 11th oct 🙂

    Keep faith … you all would hear a good news soon 🙂

  41. Need help from the forum.

    Is there any impact of US Shutdown on H1B stamping. My immigration dept is not accepting any fresh visa interview requests because of this. Not sure if the Dept of Labor is working or not? Anyone from the forum has any experience of the same. I am in the verge of loosing a project.

  42. Hello All,

    I just want to share my Stamping experience.

    US Embassy/Consulate Place : Hyderabad
    Scheduled Date & Time : For Finger Prints : 9/Oct/13 11AM Interview : 10/Oct/13 10:30 AM.

    Conversation between me & VO:

    Me: Good Morning
    VO: Very Good Morning. How Are You Doing?

    Me: I am doing Good. How about you?
    VO: Doing Good. Give me your passports/
    Me: Passed
    VO: Give me your I-797
    VO: Left the little one at home ?
    Me: Yes Sir
    VO: Gave a break to the baby from dad & Mom?
    Me: Yes Sir
    VO: madam can i get your left hand 4 fingers
    Wife: Given
    VO: Sir can i get your right hand 4 fingers.
    Me: Given
    VO: Is your arranged or Love Marriage?
    Me: Arranged
    VO: Who Arranged?
    Me: Parents
    VO: Who is your employer?
    Me: XYZ
    VO: Who is your client?
    Me: I am directly working with the Employer only. Because its a Product based company and there are no clients.
    Vo: What is your project?
    Me: and its not a project..its product.
    VO: Salary in US?
    Me: 000000$
    VO: How did you find this job?
    Me: I am already working with this client since 2 years from ABC company. So they offered me.

    Me: Thank You Very Much 🙂 🙂 🙂

  43. Anyone went to Initial Review after Getting approval notice ?

    My case was approved on 8/22 and I also received approval notice soon after. Now today all of a sudden my case went into Initial Review. This is really weired and I was wondering if there is anything to worry.


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