H1B Case Status Meanings - Case Was Received, Name was Updated, Case Approved, etc.

USCIS Online H1B Case Status Meaning – Detailed Screenshots, Changes Flow

In Apply H1B Visa by Kumar1362 Comments

It is a painful wait for many awaiting H1B Visa 2018  case receipts after the H1B Visa lottery some have been lucky and some not…for those lucky ones, who have heard from their employers or attorneys may be wondering, what does each status mean and what is the typical processing cycle. Every day I see many of our readers asking questions like, “ I checked USCIS website for status and I see the status ‘Case Was Received’,  does that mean I am selected in lottery ?”. This article is meant to clarify each of those status questions and explain the overall flow.

H1B Case Receipt Number – Selected in Lottery
Firstly to make it clear, if you were selected in H1B Lottery for this fiscal year, then your employer/ attorney would have got a case receipt number for your H1B petition. They may have shared that case number with you as well.

What’s the H1B Case Number?  Processing Steps at USCIS, Previous H1B Case Statuses and Steps?
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.

What are the typical Case Statuses of H1B Visa Petition?

  • 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

USCIS Status ‘Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed’
USCIS emails receipt notices to petitioners, if they filed their petition under premium processing.  All this status indicates to us is that the petition with this case number was picked in lottery and was filed under premium processing. 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

USCIS H1B Status ‘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.  All the above status indicates is that the petition with this case number was picked in lottery and it was filed under regular processing. 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.

USCIS Case Was Received

H1B Case Status ‘Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed’
The above status indicates that 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. To get more information 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.

USCIS Request for Additional Evidence Notice Was Mailed RFE

H1B Case Status – Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received
This status corresponds to next status on the case with above RFE notice.  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 their 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.

USCIS Response to USCIS Request for Evidence Was Received Status

H1B Case Status – ‘Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed’:
This case status indicates that the H1B petition with this particular case number was approved and the approval notice was emailed to the attorney/ employer. This case status only appears for the H1B petitions filed under premium processing. Below is the screenshot of the status.

USCIS Case Was Approved and My Decision Was Emailed Status

USCIS Status – ‘Case Was Approved’
The above case status indicates that the H1B petition with this particular case number was approved and they have send the receipt 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 Status  – ” 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 Visa Denied Decision Notice Mailed

Status – Error : The application Receipt Number is invalid
If you do not enter a valid 13 character string, 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. USCIS Status Error - The application receipt number entered is invalid

USCIS Case Status : 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 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
USCIS Status Name Was Updated

USCIS : Fee will be Refunded Status 
One of the others status some of the 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 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.
USCIS Status Fee will be Refunded

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

Related Articles


Comments ( 1,362 )

  1. sujith

    i got an rfe today. I need the final result (case approved hopefully) by Oct 1st. Is it even possible?
    i think it might take 1 week to just put the documents together and answer the questions…..
    is it possible for uscis to process the rfe within 2 weeks ?

    so scared 🙁

  2. Amarjeet

    Hello Friends,

    I need your help on this. On June 9th, I got this status
    Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed
    On June 9, 2017, we mailed a request for additional evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC171455xxxx. The request for evidence explains what we need from you. We will not take action on your case until we receive the evidence or the deadline to submit it expires. Please follow the instructions in the request for evidence. If you do not receive your request for additional evidence by July 9, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    And it’s been the same since that day. I have mailed my employer many times to send the RFE, but everytime I get the same reply that attorneys are working on them. Somebody told me that they usually give 3 months time to receive their evidence and after that they decide. I’ve been very tensed since in few days those 3 months will be completed. Please suggest what should I do?

  3. venkat

    Hello guys do you have any update regarding the status i am worried about this can anyone help me out
    Date of Birth Was Updated
    On August 20, 2017, we updated your date of birth for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number ***********. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

  4. Anusha

    My previous employer applied for my H1 and it got picked and the status was ‘Case was received’. I had to find a new employer and now the application status is ‘Request for Additional Information’. Will my being laid off affect my application?
    What should be my next step?

    1. Ram

      Now your previous employer has to respond to the RFE issued. Please talk to your previous employer and check what they are planning to do. If you are laid off already, they might think to withdraw the petition rather than answering it as they might feel they will never use the petition. If its withdrawn, you can never use this petition again. If the RFE is not responded within the deadline, it would be rejected by USCIS. Kindly talk to your previous employer ASAP and take a favorable decision.

      1. Anusha

        Thank you for your reply.
        My previous employer had agreed earlier to get it approved, so that I can use it for my new employer. Should I continue the application with the previous employer or provide information about my new employer to USCIS ? Which way are the chances of it getting approved ?

        1. Ram

          Right now better to go with previous employer and get it approved. After its approval, you can transfer it to your new employer. At this stage, you cannot transfer your visa to new employer too.

          1. Linda

            Hi Anusha and Ram,
            I’m in the same situation with Anusha, have the same issue. First, thank you two for your conversations. And since you will not be working with your petition employer, if you are approved (hopefully, best wishes) on Oct 1st, when do you plan to apply transition?

  5. sudheer pasumarthi

    about my H1 status that was case was recieved and while i checked it today it shows refund fee was mailed what does this mean thankyou

  6. Gaurav Sharma

    Hi what does this means please tell me so much tension … I am on Student visa as of now before that was on j1 visa for a year.

    Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed
    On August 4, 2017, we mailed a request for additional evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC*****. The request for evidence explains what we need from you. We will not take action on your case until we receive the evidence or the deadline to submit it expires. Please follow the instructions in the request for evidence. If you do not receive your request for additional evidence by September 3, 2017,

  7. Rajiv

    Hello, my case status is recieved and it sats we recieved your i-129 form on 4june, 2017. It is my first time h1b file. So is this possible of such dates? Bcs many people are saying case recieved date must be of april

  8. H1Approved

    I received my I797A (H1B Approval Notice) on June 28th 2017. The date ‘Notice Date’ on the notice in June 8th 2017. It says my COS will occur on Oct 1st 2017 and also the finish date is mentioned.

    Everything looks fine in I797A but my case status on USCIS website is still following:

    Case Was Received
    On April 11, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WACXXXXXXXX, 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 11, 2017, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    Has anybody else has seen something like this?

    1. Ram

      Yes, this is happening for many cases this year. The online status is not reflecting the actual status of the case. If you have the approval notice in hand, then the online status is no longer relevant to you. Congrats on your approval!

      1. akhil

        Ram can you please help me what is the status of these case
        hii this is akhil
        can you please help me what does it mean
        On June 6, 2017, we received your case and waived the filing fee for your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization , Receipt Number EAC**********. We mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your receipt notice by July 6, 2017, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

        1. Ram

          When filing your I-765, did you request for any fees waiver? This status means your fees has been waived. Did you get the notice as stated in this status?
          if your answer is no for all this, please call the USCIS customer care and check with them.

          1. akhil

            Hey ram
            i think i am going get my card.yesterday i again checked the status it say like this and do u think i am going to get it.
            On August 8, 2017, we ordered your new card for Receipt Number EAC17**********, and will mail it to the address you gave us. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

  9. akhil

    hii this is akhil
    can you please help me what does it mean
    On June 6, 2017, we received your case and waived the filing fee for your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization , Receipt Number EAC**********. We mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your receipt notice by July 6, 2017, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

  10. NAVNEET KUMAR

    How much time usually it should take from change of status. Since June 1, 2017 it is showing same status “Your case was received” your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number LIN17XXXXXXXX.

    Anyone have idea on this or have any update?

  11. Sony

    Hello,

    My H1 was picked on may 5th.
    May 20 : RFE
    Today i checked my status and it says :
    “” Case was reopened

    On may 31 we reopened your form I-129, reciept num ######## and mailed you a notice. Please follow instructions in the notice. “”

    Please help me. What could be the next steps(status) ?
    Any chances of approval?
    How long it may take?

    Thanks in advance.

  12. NAVNEET KUMAR

    Dear All, Can any one help. what is the meaning of ” case was received” Does it mean I got selected in lottery and what will be the next step.

  13. Niky

    On May 12, 2017, we transferred your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACxxxxxxxxxx, to another USCIS office. That office now has jurisdiction over your case. We sent you a notice that explains why we moved your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your notice by June 11, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy of the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    This is my case status and still my employer doesn’t say anything about that so what is the meaning for this case?

    1. Sumit

      I had the similar status few weeks back and not it has been changed to :-

      On May 31, 2017, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number LIN1709xxxxx, at your local office.

      How can I know which office ( Vermont/California) it was sent to ? It was filled in Nebraska service center in 06FEB2017.

    1. Dileep

      Hi Nimesh,

      The above status means that your case has been transferred from one SERVICE CENTRE to another may be due to the heavy load of work. Like it might have been transferred from CALIFORNIA SERVICE CENTRE to VERMONT SERVICE CENTRE. Nothing to worry about it.

      Regards,
      Dileep

  14. Simmanna

    Hi Team,
    Today my Amendment case is approved for I-129 , as below :

    Case Was Approved
    On May 19, 2017, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number LIN16XXXXXXXX. We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    What could be the next steps? When can i get the reciept notice to email ?

  15. Manish Gautam

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B petition got picked and today when I checked my case status I found this:

    Case Was Approved
    On May 15, 2017, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXXXX. We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address

    Can you please help what are the next stages and steps for me to check for?

  16. Your friend

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B petition got picked and today when I checked my case status I found this:

    “Document Was Mailed — We mailed your document for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC17143XXXXX. If you do not receive your document by June 9, 2017, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request that we resend the document to you. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.”

    Do you know what it means?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your friend,

      This could mean anything. So I would not speculate and wait for attorney to receive the notice. In the past this status has meant both approval and denial.

      1. Your friend

        Thanks for your response, Saurabh. But based on my understanding which is also supported by the screenshots above, whenever its an approval, RFE or denial, the case status clearly state that, right? So why is there an ambiguity in this case?

        Tisha, No – my attorney hasn’t received anything until today. My status changed from “Case received” to this one on May 11. It’s been two weeks since then!!

        1. SSK

          Hello Your friend & Tisha

          I am in the same situation and suppose to receive the document by june 2nd. However my attorney still didn’t receive the document Please let me know whether you guys received the document or not. If received what is the document?

          Thanks in advance!

          1. Your friend

            No document received. I have no idea what’s going on. My employer and attorney are least bothered to follow up with USCIS even after my repeated requests and reminders. Now I have given up!

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