The H-1B 2010 season is on its way. Still, a majority of the applications are yet to have their receipt numbers.
If you happen to read the comments in some of the H-1B Visa 2010 related discussions going on here at HSB, you will see that first time H-1B visa applicants are quite happy because there will be no lottery to be held.
Likewise, they were thinking that receiving an H-1B Receipt Number from USCIS is equivalent to getting an H-1B visa petition approval. But is that true?
H-1B Receipt Number
After USCIS gets the H-1B visa petition from the attorney, they will assign a unique number (alpha numeric) to each petition.
That unique number is called the Receipt Number. A receipt number will start with the codes EAC, WAC, LIN or SRC which stand for the visa processing centers.
USCIS will send the Receipt Number (a two page document) to your immigration attorney.
You can get the receipt number from your attorney. By only using that number you can check the status of your application from USCIS Case status online webpage.
If your H-1B visa petition is approved, you will receive an H-1B Approval Notice I-797, which comes in different versions.
I-797A, I-797B or I-797C will be issued based on your individual case. So receiving an H-1B Receipt number is not equal to an H-1B Approval. It’s just the first step towards an H-1B visa approval.