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USCIS News: H1B visa 2014 petitions accepted from April 1st. Lottery Possible ?

As speculated in our H1B Visa 2014 Updates and FAQs page, USCIS released a press note earlier today saying that it will accept H1B Visa petitions for the fiscal year 2014 starting from April 1st.  It is no different from previous year’s press release , but they have added some key piece of information regarding lottery possibility and premium processing service. Check it out.

Summary of USCIS official press release on H1B Visa 2014 filing

  • H1B petitions for this fiscal year 2014 will be accepted from April 1st, 2013
  • USCIS will consider the date the petition physically arrived at their office with correct fee and information, NOT the post marked date on shipping package.
  • H1B numerical cap – Total 85,000
    • 65,000 for regular quota
    • 20,000 for petitions filed for individuals with US master’s degree.
  • Lottery Prediction Information by USCIS
    • USCIS says that based on its interactions with stakeholders they can expect more petitions this fiscal year between April 1st and 5th .
    • If more petitions are received than required, there will be lottery.  Last time lottery conducted was in 2008.
    • If a petition arrives after the final cap reach date, USCIS will reject that petition. Also, they will reject the petition that is not selected in Lottery.
  • Premium Processing  Changes
    • USCIS to work with high volumes of petitions filed between April 1st and 5th, the premium processing will start from April 15th.  It means, premium processing decisions SLA starts from April 15th and NOT April 1st.
    •  Based on above, the latest one can hear back on the H1B petition status is only after the 15 calendar day SLA of premium processing, which would be April 30th.

Check out H1B updates at :   Tracker for H1B Visa 2014 cap count Updates

References  :



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  1. H1B nightmare

    First, let you know my nightmare of my H1B petition.
    USCIS received on April 8 IR
    got a denial on Sep20 saying that I did not reply to RFE. Actually nobody received the RFE and ask my lawyer to claim that to USCIS.
    October my case move to reopen and USCIS admitted that they made a mistake
    Reply to the RFE on Jan 8th and then apply for PP
    At the end of Jan receive the rejection of PP because the system shows that my case was denial.
    Lawyer send a mail to complain the situation to USCIS Jan 31 and still waiting for the USCIS’s reply.

    What should I do? I don’t know how long they could give me the result through the regular RR….

    I almost lose the faith about this, nobody can be so unlucky as me

    • At least you got some RFE. With my case its very strange story. For my case its been in initial review since 8 April hasn’t moved a bit. When I converted my petition into premium processing 3 months back since then status is in Acceptance stage. Don’t know what’s going to happen. And more strange part is my employer’s none of filed cases have moved. Though the employer is not desi and quite genuine.Have lost all hopes.
      Can anyone have experienced the similar situation or have heard any time previously. Don’t understand should I wait or the game is already over.

  2. Hi suarab!!!!!

    For me it is a nightmre!! Until no decision yet made by uscis of my case!
    April 1. – accepted my peition
    Aug. 7 – RFE
    October 30- RFE response review.
    Until now my stautus still RFE rr. No decision yet. But it made me sleepless night, worried of what happing my application. Why others a matter of 2-3 weeks or 1 month its already approved. But i notice those peitions will last long the results are frown to denial. But i hope mine will not turn into catasthrophe. But i still believe and put in the hands of the lord.

  3. Hi,

    I have 8yrs of work exp and I am interested to file for H1B Visa in April 2014. I work on Salesforce platform and based in Hyderabad. Can you please let me know some good Consultants in Hyderabad who can offer me a job in US and sponsor my Visa for 2014.

    I will wait for the response from your end.

    Thanks & Regards,

  4. Hi saurabh

    I work for TCS and could you please let me know when can H 1B intiation process will start.
    I saw in FAQs for Fiscalyear 2014 it starts from oct 1st 2013 to sep 2014 ,is this correct??
    If yes can i ask my manager/employeer to intiate in oct 2013?
    If not please let me know when the the process can start.

    Looking for replies.
    Many thanks in advance.

  5. Hi all,

    I’ve worked for an American company for an entire year on OPT until last July 31st. They actually want to sponsor my H1B visa. I’m a little confused as to… Do I need to wait for April 1st/2014 to get the process going even if I send the documents/papers by next month?

    I’ve heard that for 2013 the visas are all gone and I would have to wait for 2014 and probably get my visa back (if I ever get it) by no later than October/2014.

    Any help would be very much appreciated or a phone to call for some info as well.

    Thank you.

    • Rafael Castagnel,
      The cap is done for now. They can now file only on April 1, 2014 w/ an employment start date of Oct 1, 2014.

  6. Hi suarab!

    At least my long time waiting, the status of my son move from initial review to RFE. How sad? I have some concerned that you only suarab can enlightened this concern. Is it true that once your status got RFE, it will take us for another 1 year or more waiting to be approved? Even if we submitted the required documents on time. Im so felt disgusted with my consultant who is asking some huge smount on this petition. We only know that our company is a small company , and its on the facility services. So if we have lack of requirement, so its their responsibility. So next time, this can be charge to experience and we will not even trust to some consultants who are only after of our money. When they recruited us, plenty of asssurance that our petition will be spproved even they know that our petition in high risk of denial considering of small company.

    • Rfe waiting,
      They will have to respond to the RFE and then USCIS will start the processing again. Most petitions are reviewed within 60 days of RFE response submission, but there is no SLA and so it can take longer as well. 1 year is unlikely. I think average would be 3-4 months.

      Ask the employer what the RFE is about and what they are asking.

  7. Hi suarab!
    Good day,! Thanks for your colums. Its a big help to us. Im so worried because the prior and after receipt number of mine have already decision . Some are approve and some are rfe while mine is still initial review. Im a registered nurse and applying in the facility services, a small company. But what worried me so much is my tourist visa is already expired last August 2, 2013 and im still waiting the approval of my student visa as of now. Maybe thats the reason why my status as of now is still INITIAL REVIEW coz of my residency here in america is in question. Can you help me mr. Suarab to enlightened my case? Your advise is of great help to me. Thanks in advance and god bless!!,!!

    • Algon,
      You need to talk to a good attorney about this. Like you said earlier, you paid for PP but the petition is still in Initial Review. So looks like something is not right w/ your case or your company. That is why I suggest talking to a good independent attorney and discussing your case.

  8. Hi suarabb!!

    Just inform if the facility services has less chances to be approved by the uscis compared ifmyou are in the IT industry. I am a registered nurse applying the facility services, inc. but i wonder why until now my status is still Initial Review!!!,!

    • Bisaya,
      I am not aware of chances of approval in facility services. As long as the job requires specialized knowledge w/ at least Bachelors degree, it should be fine. In either case, your attorney should have reviewed the documents before sending and can update you on the chances of approval. The current status being IR doesn’t reflect anything on the probability of the outcome.

  9. Hi Saurabh,

    I am on L1 and got selected in h1b this year , not yet approved though. Once my h1 gets approved when is the last possible date for changing my visa from l1 to h1b , I would like to delay this to whatever extent possible. Can I do this in Jan 2014?
    Also meanwhile can I travel to India and still be back on my current l1? when would be the recommended time for travel? is it after h1b approval?

    • Ruchi,
      Do you know your H-1 was filed w/ COS or not? If filed w/ COS, you need to join H-1 employer from the COS effective date (typically Oct 1). If filed w/o COS, you can continue working w/ L-1 employer until L-1 employment allows.

  10. hi suarab!! I really dismayed of our situation as of this time because my son status in his h1b is still INITIAL REVIEW as of this time despite that we applied him to upgrade his status from regular to premium processing last june 17/13. I don’t know if my consultant applied the premium processing of my son. She always said that posting on the online status are quiet delayed. for heaven sake its almost 18 days to go. Our problem is his tourist visa will expire this coming August 4/2013, can we apply for a student visa so that his stay in America will not be illegal. Please advise us if its possible or may be conflicting because he is waiting the result of his h1b status. Is it ok rather than to go back to our country, a matter of two months to wait for the effectivity of h1b is oct. 1. please advise us what to do mr. suarab!!!

    • Bisaya,
      I am pretty confident that your employer/agent is taking you for a ride. There is no way that the online status hasn’t been updated by now. Even if it has not been updated, still they should have processed the petition within 15 calendar days. I think you have paid for the PP. Is it possible that the employer/agent took that money and never applied for PP?

      • suarabb,
        yes, we pay the PP fee and she is also said that we have to pay the attorney’s fee equivalent to the PP fee. Meaning i’ll pay her double but in vain no result made the status of my son as of this time. Imagine its almost 20 days. I decided to upgrade the premium of my son in order that we will know immediately the decision made by USIS wether it is approve or denied coz i’m so worried that his tourist visa is nearly expiring this August 4. but I don’t know. There are some people are opportunist especially to those people who are looking for greener pasture. So our next move is to apply the student visa so his stay in America is not illegal while waiting the result of his h1b status. How many days will uscis approve if we apply the student visa of my son. please help us to enlightened our mind what to do because this is our first time coming here in America.

        • Bisaya,
          Your case is getting complicated. Your son should hire an attorney ASAP in US and discuss the case. Its not that easy to get student visa and you don’t want to start all this visa processes in parallel w/o knowing the consequences.

          Has your son met anyone in the employer’s company?

          • suarabb,

            no we don’t met the employers nor the attorney only the consultant or agent. We trust them because once we applied the h1b and pay the amount of attorneys fee and application fee, after one month we received a receipt number. but to our agony, until now the status of my son is still INITIAL REVIEW. I don’t know why my consultant/agent dint even advise us to get the premium processing considering that his status is tourist visa. and then after 2 1/2 months we decided to upgrade the application from regular to premium but to no avail until now no changes in his status son still initial review. I think its almost 20 days now after we applied for premium. thanks suarab for the very informative advice.

  11. Hello Saurabh,

    Thank you for your article.
    My company applied for H1B for myself and a couple of other foreigners on April 1st and we all got our I797C receipts soon after. They said we did premium processing but not sure if they did that. None of us has heard back yet and the USCIS website still says it’s under initial review. Now we are in July – is this normal?
    We are a relatively small company with 150 employees with previous history of getting a few H1B’s approved in the past years.
    All my friends at big corporates have heard back – whether they were accepted or rejected.
    What would you suggest that I should do? I am really anxious to hear back.
    Thank you!

    • Alex,
      If you know the receipt numbers, then it means it has been accepted. If the petitions are still pending in Acceptance or Initial Review stages, then they have not been filed w/ premium processing. In the years when lottery happens, most of the petitions are processed in 2-6 months. So it is still ok.

      • Saurabh,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. I really appreciate it.
        I called USCIS earlier today and the processing time in CA offices (where I submitted) is 2 months. 2-6 months is such a long time! Does that mean it’s possible that I will get the answer AFTER October 1?

        • Alex,
          They say 2 months and that’s what published on their site as well. In reality, most of them get processed by Oct. Few are processed after Oct.

  12. Hi Saurabh,

    I am on L2 EAD and applied for H1B this year under Regular Quota and did not get through lottery process.I paid my employer 4100$ for the same.
    Now I have changed the job and have moved to different location.I asked him to do final settlement of the amount and he says he will refund only 1550$ from 4100$ as rest has gone into Attorney and Employer fees.Pls suggest is it fair because my application was Returned not rejected.Pls assist.


  13. Hi suarab!

    Is it ok that according to my agent/lawyer that they have already applied the upgrading of my son from regular processing to premium processing of his h1b working visa last june 17/13 to uscis. But im so worried because its almost 11 days had passed, but still the status of my son is still ” Initial review”. No changes in his status which supposed to be as “Acceptance” now as to date. My question is in posting the status online is sometime quite delay although they already received the application and process. Please enlightened me some issue like this mr. Suarabb! Thanks and god bless.

    • Romy torralba,
      They applied on 17 Jun, but do you know when USCIS received it? If USCIS has received it and it is not yet upgraded to PP, then only your attorney can help by following-up w/ USCIS. Also, it is possible that online status has not been updated promptly, but best thing to do is for your attorney to follow-up w/ USCIS.


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