H-1B Visa — Approval Notice Sent

The USCIS updates H-1B visa petition status based on your case progress. What does "Approval Notice Sent" mean? Anne Asks:

Application Type: I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER

Current Status: Approval notice sent.

Does it mean my case got approved? I looked at NAFSA website about “Practice Advisory: H-1B Cap-Gap For F-1 Students” and it says in order to get the data fix on I-20 the student needs “For a receipted or approved H-1B petition: A copy of the Form I-797 and/or the I-797 receipt number.”

Where can we get the I-797 receipt number and what is the approval notice that USCIS sent, is it the form I-797?

Some people got their status on USCIS website saying “CASE APPROVED – APPROVAL NOTICE E-MAILED”.

What is the different between the two different statuses?

I’m totally lost now.

H-1B Approval Status

  • Current Status: Approval notice sent.

No worries, your H-1B visa petition is already approved and your immigration attorney should receive your I-797 approval notice in 1-2 weeks’ time. Now you have to get ready for H-1B visa stamping if you live outside the U.S.

You should have received the receipt number as soon as the USCISC started processing your case.

A receipt number has a unique number that will identify your case; it should also be noted that the approval notice is different from the receipt number. The Approval Notice is an official document that states your H-1B visa petition is approved.

Those who received Approval Notices by email will have the status – CASE APPROVED – APPROVAL NOTICE E-MAILED. Others will get the approval notice by snail (traditional) mail.

If you are waiting for approval, then I would suggest that you read the post, Case Received and Pending status.

82 Comments

  1. Prashanth on September 30, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    Hi

    My petition got approved last week but my Attorney hasn’t received the I797 hard copy yet. My case was upgraded to PP a week before the approval, can you please let me know how much time will it take usually.?

    Will it be same for Premium processing and Regular processing.? Thanks in advance.

    • Kirti on November 18, 2015 at 2:25 PM

      Did you received your approval notice?? I m in the same boat as yours

      • Prashanth on November 18, 2015 at 8:52 PM

        Hi Kirti, Yes..My attorney received the approval notice after 10 days.

        Hope this helps :)..

        Thanks

  2. Venky Arun on December 22, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Respected Sir/Mam,

    Had a request ! need some clarification on the below.

    I’m currently in the US on OPT (that expires on 7/5/2013) on my F-1 visa (expires on 5/2015), I also have the H1B approved to start from (Oct 1st 2012) – (currently has my visa status changed just by the approval of H1B ? or is still the same – F1 ? On the I 797 the only thing that was mentioned was the approval and nothing about the COS).

    I need to go to India for a marriage in the family in Jan 2013. Can I
    travel on OPT and enter back into the US without getting my visa changed ? Or is it a must that – in order to enter back in the US I need to have the H1B visa stamped.

    I also read the following that the moment your H1B is approved and becomes active (1st October 2012 in my case), your F1 visa becomes no longer valid as you cannot have 2 visa’s at the same time, is that true ?

    Please could you send some light on the above.

    I sincerely appreciate your help in this regard,

    Thank you,

    Venky

  3. karthik on June 21, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Hi,

    My I-797c Notice of Action for I129 petition was issued on 2nd may 2008 (notice date). I did not stamp VISA in my passport or travelled to USA till date as my employer said it is recession time, and did not send the documents to india.

    I was told that my I-129 expired in 2011 by my employer. I got H1B in lottery in 2008.

    Can i apply again for I129 petition with the help of a new employer and travel to USA?

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Thanks
    Karthik

  4. amit on April 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I am going for h1b stamping next week in delhi. I go all docs from employer. but there sre some errors:

    1. I-129; they coutry name is philipines not india by mistake.
    2. in I-797 same philipnes is going on not india.

    my employer is saying no worry and go for stamping. a day back thy give me new LCA with CA location and previosly it was for VA state.

    in case i got visa approved thn any problem for h1b transfer to another employer or h1b visa extensions.?

    Wht you suggest on this.

    • HSB on April 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Your Attorney is right person to answer this question.

      • amit on April 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        thanks….my employer is saying that it wonot create any problems…

        but what you thought on this.

        Also in case i got visa approved thn any problem for h1b transfer to another employer or h1b visa extensions.?

        amit

  5. zakeTheRipper on March 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Hi,
    Company A applied my H1B and I left the Company A even before my H1B petition got approve.
    After some months I got to know that my H1B petition got approved.
    Company B offered me a job in US.

    1) I don’t have i797 approval notice.
    2) I do have i797 notice of action receipt.
    3) H1B “Approved” status showing in USCIS website.

    What are my options at this point in time?
    1) Can Company B apply for a transfer (apply for H1B) using the i797 notice of action receipt number ?
    2) Is there anyway I can request USCIS to resend me the copy of i797 approval notice (electronically or hardcopy)?
    3) What are options available to me?

    Regards
    Zake

  6. Elton on October 21, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    H1 B Notice of Approval not received.

    My company had applied H1-B visa for me in the year 2009-Apr-23 which was approved by USCIS in May 11, 2009 but the company never received my I-797 Notice of Approval letter till date.

    Now they are asking me to re-apply for and H1-B visa afresh in the 2011 quota. Can re-apply for fresh H1B.

  7. Azhar Habib on January 7, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Dear All

    I have been approved by OSCIS for H1b. This was done 5 months ago. I havn't got a letter in hand yet because the lawyer said that there was a mistake in my last name, so he would get it corrected and send it to me in India. Also, he said that there wouldn't be any problem in getting the visa as oscis approval was the core step.

    I have a contract with my existing company in India till June 2012 and i don't plan to break this contract.

    My question is, can i apply for visa after 1.5 years (2 years after oscis approval)???

    what sort of problems will i face??

  8. Nitin on July 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Assume a person is working for Employer A [with XYZ client] and he is on status and has valid visa , approval and I-94 till sep 2011. Now the person is trying to do H1 Transfer to Employer B [with MNO client – big company] on premium processing. So he will be providing all documents including client letter and etc. It should go fine. But in the worst conditions, if transfer didn't go well with employer B, can he stay back/continue with the Employer A.( He is not telling the employer A about visa transfer)?. According to my knowledge it should be fine. But I need your valuble response on this, if I am wrong.

    Thanks in advance

    • Jack on September 28, 2010 at 1:26 PM

      Should be fine. I would suggest you to wait till your H1B from Employer B is approved. Once that is done let your existing employer know about it.

      – Jack

  9. bk82deb on March 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Hi

    My H1 got approved in January. But the consultant had told me that they have not received the papers. Now suddenly the Consultant has disappeared. Really – Disappeared. I can't find them. Now it is March. I don't have the H1 in my hands nor the I 797. Nothing.
    I have decided to file for an H4. Prior to this I was on F1. I had asked my international students advisor. She told me that my F1 is over now. My OPT period is also over. It has been over two months since my H1 had been approved. But since I have not been working and not received the H1 papers, am I out of status? Can I apply for an H4 while in the US? Please let me know. I am desperate.

  10. Andy on February 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    I already have H1-B notice of approval from USCIS. I already interviewed from the embassy. My case is pending because they need more supporting documents. Now I already submitted all. How many percent approval rating is my application?

    Note: The company im applying in US is a newly stablish branch of my company here in japan. There is no employee yet.

  11. Rukna on November 23, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    Hi,

    I am really in a bad situation at this moment. My H1b was filed in bachelors degree general quota, and it got approved. i was doing my Masters in Comp. Sci. but didn't completed, as my thesis work is still left. My COS date is starting from December 1st 2009, and I am currently on pre-completion OPT which is expiring on January 2010. Due to an occasion I have to go to India on December 8th 2009.

    Now the thing I am worried of is that My company is laying off some of their employees, unfortunately I am one of them on November 30 2009. My question is that Can I switch to F1 again, before I leave for India, complete my thesis and find a job, so that I can transfer my old H1b visa. Please advice what to do and whats the procedure. I would really appreciate that.

    thanks

    • HSB on November 23, 2009 at 5:35 AM

      @Rukna – You will have to talk to an Immigration Attorney to get answers to your situation. You don't have enough time left, so bets thing to do now is talk to an Immigration attorney. You can either do H1 Transfer to F1 Transfer.

  12. n on September 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    hi can any one response to my question please

    my h4 visa going to expire on sept 30th 2009 and i have applied for my h1 visa its on process and my husband is on EAD is there any possibility of go to india in october month without getting any visa extensions for both of us

    can any one give us suggestions what to do next

    thanks

    • siva on February 17, 2010 at 5:56 AM

      Hi,

      if you husband in H1b and he has valid approved I140 then you guys can extend your H's to next 3 years.. that would not be any problem..

  13. HSB on August 1, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Nothing will happen to your H1B approval. There are readers in this blog who have H1 approval from lats year and still staying outside US.

    • Vikash Kodati on August 7, 2009 at 11:39 AM

      HSB:

      Can one's petition be approved by USCIS w/o having a job/contract in place? I thought proper paper work is needed for both USCIS and VISA Stamping (DOS).

  14. D on July 28, 2009 at 5:29 AM

    Hi,

    I am in strange situation. I have to get my H1B visa restamped but the problem is I am in US from 2 years, certain employment data like work experience, the information i gave to my previous employer was different than the current employer though both have got them happily evaluated. Now I am worried that if the consultate will check the previous records while restamping I can be in a problem.

    Please suggest what can I do.

    And more does that really matters while GC processing?

    Thanks

    D

  15. H1-b on July 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    I got my H1-B approval July 2, 2009.
    But have emailed to my employer but not responding.
    also tried to call but fail to connect.
    Question 1. Any Idea? why they are not responding?
    Question 2. How can i make sure that given Receipt no. by Employer is Mine?

  16. lifeonh1b on July 5, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Please let me know what the best time to go for visa stamping this year!!!!

  17. Happy Schools Blog on June 11, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    H1 Visa Approved, OPT Expiring & Out of Status 5+ Months…

    You got to read Sherry’s situation. She’s in very desperate state and need help from Immigration Attorney to sort out he current status. Her H1B is approved, OPT is expiring, but her school says she’s been out of status over 5 months….

  18. ghan on June 6, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    i show my case status online .it shows that approval notice sent

    three month has gone but i cant recieved my approval

    plz give me some information what should i do ?

    • MR on July 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

      ask your employer or attorney…..

  19. Bill on May 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    My lawyer told me today that she recieved the approval letter of my H1B application. But my online status is still "Request for Additional Evidence Sent"

    My application is regular process with master degree. The date of application submitted is April and the reciept date is April 7. The date of RFE sent is April 29. We submitted the additional evidences on May 9, 2009.

    Is there any other way for me to confirm the approval? Thanks in advance for your help.

  20. pop on May 25, 2009 at 8:41 PM

    i got an email from my employer saying that they got my approval notice and asked me for my complete address and full name

    but i need to ask about important questions

    1- i am married shall i take my wife with me when i am going to take visa stamp from embassy in our country ?

    when shall i travel after getting stamp of visa ?

    thanks

    ehab

    • Trisha Nicole on May 26, 2009 at 7:34 AM

      hi pop. congrats! were u filed under Regular processing, non-masters?

      What service center?

      Congrats again

      • pop on June 1, 2009 at 9:57 PM

        i applied under california center

  21. pondzz on May 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Hi,

    I'm in a strange situation.

    I'm currently working on my post completition OPT(expires on Oct-2009) in a very good and established company.My employer filed H-1B for me under bachelors degree, regular processing. But the main problem is, i havn't graduated till now, as my masters's thesis is undone. So, now whether there will be any problem with my H-1B. My employer has no problem with the degree.

    I'm worried, whether any querrys from USCIS will be there regarding my master's degree.

    Kindly somebody reply me.

    Thanks.

    • Amit on August 15, 2010 at 11:03 AM

      Hi,

      I am in a same situation like you.

      Can you tell me more on how it worked out with you.

      Thanks for your reply.

      Regards

  22. bobby on May 1, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Receipt number for my petition came on April 13th and approval on April 16th. My case was masters with premium processing (CSC). The CIS online case status still shows the case as pending. So I am thinking that it is not updated real time.I got the Approval notice from the attorney today. And it showed date of April 16th as the approval date. So guys keep checking with your attorney or company about it.

    Happy School Blog has been a very useful and helpful resource.

  23. Still on May 1, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    Hi,

    anyone got receipt for premium processing(not masters).. if so please post here..

    Thanks.

  24. Tra La La on April 27, 2009 at 5:02 AM

    Applied under normal processing masters quota on april 1.

    Receipt number received from lawyer on april 21.

    Case approval notice sent april 24th.

    can you believe it? normal processing. feel sorry for those who paid for premium.

    Looks like the USCIS ddnt have any RIFs. YAAY.

    • K on April 27, 2009 at 7:35 AM

      Congrats! Did you apply through Vermont Service Center? I applied there under master/regular and got my receipt notice on the 21st but still waiting for an approval…

      • Tra La La on April 27, 2009 at 10:22 AM

        yea mine was through vermont. i still cant seem to believe it. wake me up if i am dreaming.

        • K on April 27, 2009 at 1:01 PM

          I know there is someone else whose H1B got approved at Vermont and the person applied under master cap and regular processing like you. I hope I hear some good news soon too…!!

          • Tra La La on April 28, 2009 at 11:50 AM

            i am sure u will. good luck.



          • Anoop on September 7, 2009 at 8:14 AM

            Hello, you have to be in india to get your visa stamp.



    • KOOL on May 7, 2009 at 12:37 AM

      I NEED YOUR ATTENTION GUYS:

      Feb 17 NOR

      Feb 27 RFE

      up to now same status…this is under PP non-capped!!! pls help me

  25. A on April 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    I finally got the form I-797 from my lawyer…It took awhile to receive the form (like almost 2 weeks)

    Now I have a question about the valid dates for H1B visa.

    I'm wondering if everyone who got the H1B starting 10/01/2009 has the same end date or not. Mine is 10/01/2009~07/21/2012

    I always heard H1B last for 3 years. But to really count the dates, it is not really 3 years. Is there a specific reason why they chose the end date not to be on 10/01/2012 or 09/30/2012?

    Is it going to be difficult to renew the visa once it expires? Is it going to have a quota limit like when applying for a new H1B? Hopefully it is not as stressful as applying for the new visa.

  26. ARQEV on April 26, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    I have a question….

    I got my approval under premium process. I'm living in US but I applied under consulate stamp. I'm from Venezuela but I also have Spain citizenship. Can I go to Spain instead of Venezuela to get the stamp on my passport?? I have heard that you need to go to your country to get the stamp. Did anybody have a similar case (stamping in Venezuela). Thank you!

  27. Sachin on April 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    I got a receipt number from lawyer today, applied in masters quota but regular and not premium. I checked online and it says APPROVAL NOTICE SENT. omg ! did i get so early

    • Raghu on April 25, 2009 at 5:38 AM

      Yes Sachin,

      Its little early for regular processing.

      But, can you brief us about the size of the employer.

      I guess there was no need for RFE, so you got it quick.

      Congrats!!

      Raghu.

  28. Neha on April 24, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Thats really not a great news for everyone..

    But if u just elaborate your case like

    1) experience

    2)employer

    it l b easy to give suggestions so that it gets approved the next time u apply.

  29. Neha on April 24, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Hi,

    Congrats!

    i think evryone is anxious to know abt your case.plz tell ur

    employer and experience and current visa status.Did u apply thro a small consultant

    /

  30. SHREE SWAMI SAMARTH on April 24, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    MY EMPLOYER HAS MADE AN APPLICATION THROUGH LAWYER ON APRIL 1ST 2009. BUT YET NOT RECEIVED ANYTHING

  31. zeebaby on April 24, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    Received notice that case received and pending (April 24th, 2009).

    Applied in Vermont, regular processing, Bachelor's degree in BA/Finance.

    Happyschoolblog rocks!

    Keeping fingers crossed.

    BTW, I am on OPT which expires Mid-June. If H1-B goes through, my lawyer said that the OPT gets extended till end Sept. 09. OPT cap-gap extension.

    • sneerpeer on April 24, 2009 at 7:02 AM

      i am in the same boat as yours, my lawyers told me that we need to get a new temp I-20 from our schools since the gap is more than 60 days, that process is straightforward and wont take much time. all the school requires is the approval proof

  32. Snowbro on April 24, 2009 at 6:12 AM

    That sucks.

    I am pretty sure you can re-apply with another employer. From the numbers, it looks like you have some time still.

    42,000 applications –> 44,000 applications

    So, There are still about 20,000 or so application spots left with the numbers getting smaller everyday.

    So hurry!

  33. Anand on April 24, 2009 at 5:39 AM

    Hi HSB,

    I have done my MBA from USA. I applied for the H1B on 1st April 2009 through consultant in ragular processing. My student visa expires on 30th June 2009. Can i get my H1b approval letter before that? and if not than can i leave usa and come back in october after my h1b get approved or i have to remain in usa untill i received my H1b approval letter. please give me suggession about what should i do?

    Thanks,

    Anand

    • A on April 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM

      I think you can request to update your I-20 once your petition is receipted by USCIS. It will extend until Sep 30.

      • K on April 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

        Mine got extended only through June 2 with the receipt notice. I was told it could get extended through September 30 with the approval notice…does that seem right?? My lawyer told me otherwise.

  34. Jon on April 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM

    I got my receipt on 4/10 (and the online status shows the notice was sent on 4/9). But till now, the online status is still "Case received and pending.".

    Since the 15-day time window was over, I had to contact the law firm for checking the update of my case yesterday.

    And I was notified that my case has been approved!

    My experience shows that you cannot only reply on the online status. It is not updated in realtime!

  35. Yuri on April 23, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    Viv,thru which processing center where u filed and on what profession?im still waiting for mine and alil bit anxious now abt the approval…DV

  36. Anna on April 23, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Dear HSB,

    I'm on OPT till Aug 1, 09 and if my H1 B gets approved, it'll start from October.

    What happens if I have to change employer? If I terminate my current job, do I have till August or Oct to file a H1 transfer petition?

    Sincerely,

    • HSB on April 24, 2009 at 6:09 AM

      Anna – I'm not sure how the H1B transfer process works even before you start working in your approved H1B. I will look around to see if I can find any usef links related to your situation.

      • Anna on April 25, 2009 at 2:35 PM

        Thanks for your prompt response, dear HSB.I'll be waiting to hear from you.

        I am nearing 6 months observation period at my H1 sponsoring company.

        My employer wants to get me into a long term career track involving expensive training and is asking if I am willing to stay with the company for a long time.

        Just wanted to know if I really have an option of switching to another company without losing H1 this year. I havent got my receipt number yet but am very hopeful(undergrad standard processing).I am presuming it'll be tougher to reapply in coming years even for genuine candidates because of upcoming changes in regulations.

        And thanks again for the wonderful work you're doing!

  37. KA on April 23, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    I have a question…if anyone could answer this for me I'd greatly appreciate it. Does anyone know whether the automatic cap gap extension will be applicable or not for those who exceeded the unemployment period of 90 days during OPT? In my case, it took me 120 days to find an employment from the date my OPT began.

    • A on April 23, 2009 at 5:03 PM

      I'm not sure about this but did you try to talk to your school's DSO? They might be able to try to update your I-20 and see what it says.

      • KA on April 24, 2009 at 3:37 AM

        I just dropped off my I-20 at my DSO yesterday. I didn't mention anything to them about the situation. Hopefully there won't be any problem updating my I-20…

        • A on April 26, 2009 at 11:11 AM

          Hi KA,

          Did you hear anything back from your school's DSO regarding your updated I-20? Did you give them the scan of proof of delivery to the service center or the receipt number or approval notice when you ask them to update your I-20? You will need to provide those before they can update. You can look at

          http://www.nafsa.org/regulatory_information.sec/r

          for more info

          Good luck!

  38. Anna on April 23, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Congratulations to Viv!

    Many of us who applied through regular processing are wondering if

    it would have made better sense to spend that additional $1000 for premium processing.

    Hopefully, we'll also get our receipt numbers soon like you.

    By the way, did you apply for the undergrad or masters catagory?

    Thanks!

  39. m on April 23, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    nice, which process center did you go thru?

  40. m on April 23, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    yeah i haven't received my receipt notice yet…Is it normal to take this long just to get the receipt notice??

    • Xin on April 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

      My lawyer said it is normal since there're 45,000+ applications need to be processed. They can't just cash all checks and send a receipt without any further processing.

      • m on April 24, 2009 at 4:05 AM

        so when would we get the receipt number by latest?

  41. A on April 23, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    This is awesome! Thank you for answering the question 🙂

  42. pop on April 23, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    Did anyone get the recepit notice from reqular processing not master degree , i am waititng

    thanks

    • Xin on April 23, 2009 at 9:24 AM

      I'm still waiting.

      • S on April 23, 2009 at 10:21 AM

        Mee too…

    • Y on April 23, 2009 at 10:33 AM

      still waiting.

      little bit worry..

    • nemo on April 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM

      same here…. still waiting..!!!

      • KOOL on May 7, 2009 at 12:41 AM

        MY STATUS:

        Feb 17 -NOR

        Feb 27 -RFE

        This is under PP non-capped….i was filed at Cali Service Center..Pls help me guys…its been 2 and half mos nothing happened yet!!!

  43. Raghu on April 23, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Did anyone get receipt thro regular processing from Vermont center?

    The number should start with EAC i guess.

    Do post, if you have received response from USCIS.

    Thanks

    Raghu

    • K on April 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM

      I got the receipt notice from VCS 3 days ago. I applied through regular processing and under advanced degree cap.

      • Raghu on April 25, 2009 at 5:42 AM

        Thanks K,

        I guess, overall the processing has been little faster this year.

        -Raghu.

  44. j0e on April 23, 2009 at 4:23 AM

    I wanted to ask you guys if i have to go home to my own country to have my visa stamped? I know some other people that went to canada for it, but im really not sure what the new law is. Thanks to hsb for doing a great job.

    • KA on April 23, 2009 at 6:43 AM

      From what I know, as long as you remain in the US you will not have to go to your country to get stamped. If you are planning to travel outside the US, you will need to do so in order to come back to the US.

      • RPS on April 23, 2009 at 9:01 AM

        Hi

        I got my H1b approval this year, and i am going for canada for some family reason .Can i stamp my H1b visa in canada or i have to go in india for stampin????

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