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

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

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 1458 Comments

It is a painful wait for many awaiting H1B Visa 2019  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 of the H1B Case 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
  • Withdrawal Acknowledgement Notice Was Sent
  • Case Was Transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction.

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. For H1B FY 2019 season, premium processing was suspended until Feb 19, 2019. So, you may not see below status, if you filed petition for H1B 2019 quota.

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

USCIS H1B Status 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. USCIS Status Withdrawal Acknowledgement Notice was sent I-129 petition

USCIS H1B Status: ‘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. USCIS 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


Comments ( 1,458 )

  1. RFEReceived

    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…

      1. RFEReceived

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

        1. DontwantRFE

          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

  2. Nathan

    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.

    1. some information

      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.

  3. approved

    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.

    1. WaitingForApproval

      Approved – Congratulations…………

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

      PLEASE REPLY

      1. Approved

        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.

      2. RANDOM CHECK

        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!

    2. PJ

      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”

  4. Infy

    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??

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  5. itpraj

    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,

    1. Sri

      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.

        1. AB

          Mine was April 13. Although #148 matches in our cases, I don’t understand how come we have different receipt dates. Anyways, no option other than to wait!!

    1. PJ

      Mine is in the series “WAC151445XXXX” with status as “Case Was Received” ever since April 13, 2015.

      What was the received date on yours. What’s the current state?

  6. RF initial Evidence

    Hi,
    what does the Request for INITIAL evidence mean??

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

    Please clarify.

    Thanks.

    1. waiting for Case Approved

      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.

  7. InfyH1b

    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.

  8. tinku

    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….????

  9. Madman

    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.

    1. initial review

      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

      1. Infy

        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.

      2. ABC

        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..

  10. H1B 2015 - God is Great

    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….

      1. contact attorney

        Not so sure, whether this will create problem or not, but its better to contact Employer/Attorney in this regard.

  11. I797 Name error

    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?

    1. Initial Review

      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.

        1. Initial Review

          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…

  12. Initial review

    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??

    1. Reviewing

      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.

      1. SP

        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.

    2. Regular

      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

    1. Check I-797C

      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

    1. Regular

      Can u plzz tell us ven did u actually receive the receipt ???
      Just want to know if the approval processing is done, in the order of received receipt date .

    2. NonADRP

      PG – Please let me know when did you come to know about your lottery results ?
      I came to know that i am selected in lottery on April 28th still no approval.
      It says they received my application on April 13th.

      Please reply

  13. VK

    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.

  14. prasad

    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…

    1. Yeah

      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 🙂

      1. Ask I-797C

        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.

  15. PJ

    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

    1. Sree

      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.

        1. H1B-Initial

          Hii PJ… it was same for me till Thursday..then i my case status updated as INITIAL REVIEW.That means now they has started work on my case.. i hope u will also get some update in coming week.

  16. Ravi

    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

    1. KS

      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?

      1. Walk the Talk

        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

  17. TCS_chennai

    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.

          1. Vel

            They are not updating the tool, but they update the status if email or check with them in person. They are receiving the list of selected associates on weekly basis…

    1. TCS

      I have got update from Bangalore FDFU that my application got picked in lottery. in VTS no update and they will take some time to get the update from chennai visa team .. may I know any rejection after this ?

    1. TCS_chennai

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

  18. TN

    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?

    1. not so hopeful

      So am I bud..mine was filed on 31 March no update so far..attorneys asked to wait till they actually recv a rejection from USCIS there’s still hope

  19. name was wrong

    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???

    1. name wrong - same situation

      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

      1. name error

        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.

        1. Name Error

          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.

  20. Satish

    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?

        1. vijay

          Did you speak to customer care agent and didnt find your case number .i tried calling but it went to automatic reply where it gave same answer as file number is not found.Telling tenced and no clue what to do .

    1. Same process as correcting anything

      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.

        1. Mistake

          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.

  21. Sri

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

  22. gudluck

    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?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Name Updated

        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.

  23. vijay

    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.

  24. lucky

    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.

    1. same boat

      my case status also saying the same “name updated”.
      what does it mean by?
      I mentioned everything properly. Dont know why?

  25. RJ

    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!

  26. Name Error

    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?

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