H1B Visa 2015 Return Package, Approval Rates, Processing Time with Emily Newmann

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 39 Comments


Watch this interview to get the latest information on H1B Visa 2014 Receipt Numbers, Notices, Updates on approvals and several informative statistics.

Emily Newmann an Immigration Attorney based in Houston filed  600 H-1B Visa application for FY 2015.

As you watch this video interview, you can learn about the following latest  updates on H1B Visa 2015 Receipt Number and

  • Approval Rate for Premium Processing based on USCIS service processing centers.
  • Approval Rate for Regular Processing based on USCIS service centers.
  • Last date to receive receipt numbers
  • Number of Premium Processing Approval till date
  • Number of RFE’s received till date on H-1B petitions

H1B Visa 2015 Receipt Numbers, Approval Rates, Processing Time with Emily Newmann

[div class=”content-box-yellow”] About 75% to 86% #H1B approval rates for Advanced Degree Holders. Click To Tweet Me [end-div]


[div class=”content-box-blue”] About 33% to 48% #H1B approval rates for Non-Advanced Degree Cap. Click To Tweet Me [end-div]

Resources Page for H1B Visa

  1. H1B Visa 2015 Daily Updates (from April 1, 2014)
  2. [Video] What Happens Next After H1B Visa Lottery?
  3. USCIS Received 172,500 H-1B Visa Applications
  4. H1B 2015 Cap Reached
  5. H1B Visa 2015 Daily Updates (from April 1, 2014)
  6. H1B Visa 2015 Predictions

Audio download

 Questions on H1B Visa Receipt Numbers?

Do you have any specific questions on H-1b Visa Receipt numbers that you ‘d like to ask Attorney Emily Newmann?

Video Transcript

00:00:03         Raghuram Sukumar: Hello, everyone! Today, I have Atty. Emily Neumann with me today. She is a partner at Reddy & Neumann Law Firm based in Houston.

Hello, Emily. Welcome to the program!

Atty. Emily Neumann: Hi! Thanks for having me, Raghu.

00:00:15         Raghuram Sukumar: Sure. I found you from one of the comments from one of my readers left in the blog that he found a statistic about H1B Visa receipts for ImmigrationGirl.com, which is your blog. Tell me about yourself, your firm, and the blog.

Atty. Emily Neumann: Sure! Well, I’ve been working in the immigration field for 11 years now. My partner started our firm back 1997 as a solo practice, and then I joined it back in—I guess it would be 2005. No, 2003, and have been handling immigration cases. We work only on employment-based immigration, so a lot of H1Bs, L1s, TNs, lots of employment-based green cards. And we’ve run the firm from two attorneys to seven now, and all seven of us handle the exclusively immigration law.

I started my blog about a year and a half ago, because I saw that there’s a lot of attorneys with blogs out there, and most of them are very much theoretical, talking about what they think the law should be, what’s wrong with the law, and how we can make it better rather than talking about what the law is and how we can move forward in the system that we have. So I like to share practical tips from the desk of an immigration attorney. That was the idea behind my blog. I share real cases, real stories about cases that we’ve been successful with, cases that weren’t successful so that people will know what to look out for, what problems they might encounter, and then provide some solutions for them as well.

00:01:51         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. So how did you come up with the name ImmigrationGirl.com? It’s very unique and easy to remember.

Atty. Emily Neumann: I went through a lot of ideas, my husband and I. I wanted originally to do something with my name, but my last name is a little difficult to spell. So then, I was thinking ImmigrationEmily; realized it was too long for a Twitter handle. We were just brainstorming and came up with ImmigrationGirl, and it stuck.

Raghuram Sukumar: Alright. So you have a Twitter handle with the same ID?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Yes. I’m @ImmigrationGirl on Twitter. I’m also on Facebook, just under Emily Neumann.

Raghuram Sukumar: Okay, alright. One of the most important blog post that is probably attracting a lot of traffic for you is the statistics that you have been posting. You’ve been updating daily with the receipt notices and about regular and premium processing. From what I understand, you are a company—your firm has filed 600 applications I believe.

Atty. Emily Neumann: That’s right.

00:02:56         Raghuram Sukumar: Alright. How did you come up with the numbers that you have, 80% approval rate?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Well, we basically… As soon as we receive all the receipts, we enter them into our database, and we have a way that we can export that information to Excel, and we have divided our cases with different codes based on whether it was Vermont, whether it’s California, Masters, Bachelors, or premium, or regular processing. So once we exported into Excel, we’re able to sort all of the cases and then look at each block of cases to see how many receipt numbers we have versus how many we don’t have.

00:03:41         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. So you reported 80% for premium from Vermont, 86% approval rate for California premium Master’s cap, and regular Master’s cap is 100% both Vermont and California center. Have you started receiving any return packages?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Not yet. We were expecting to start getting them by now, given the latest updates from the immigration service claiming that they had completed, the receiving process, and, “We’re going to start sending rejections.” Based on our experience in past years, the rejections have always taken longer, so it doesn’t surprise me that we haven’t received any yet, but we were kind of expecting to, based on the announcement that they gave earlier in the month.

00:04:19         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. What do you suggest for people who haven’t heard back? Do they have any hopes of getting any more receipts from USCIS?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Well, I think premium processing – probably not. One thing to consider is maybe the application wasn’t actually filed in premium. That’s one thing to hope for, I guess, in the situation. Or maybe, even if it was filed in premium, maybe there was something wrong with just the premium part of it, and it’s actually been processed regular. So that’s something to hope for, probably unlikely to get any more premium receipts at this point.

Focusing more on the regular processing cases, I think it’s still possible to receive them based on the fact that when you kind of look at the difference between the premium processing receipt percentage that we received versus regular processing, the premium processing percentage is higher at both California and Vermont.

For example, Vermont premium Masters, you’re looking at 80% we’ve received so far, but Vermont regular Masters is only 74%. We did have a large number of cases out of that 600 that went to Vermont, so I think we have a pretty decent sample size to where that 6% difference might actually mean something. It might mean we could expect a few more receipts to come.

Same thing on the Bachelors. Well, I guess not so much from California on the Masters as well. There’s a big difference between the premium and the regular – almost 9% at this point. So I think it’s still possible.

And I always tell people, “Until you actually get a rejection notice, there’s still a chance.” And since we haven’t received any rejection notices, there’s still a chance. Individuals can try to work with their employer to see if the filing fee check has been cashed, because especially with regular processing, a lot of times, you’ll see the check cashed before the receipt actually comes in the mail. And you can always get the receipt number off the back of that check so that you can start checking the online case status from there.

00:06:29         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. For folks in premium, have you received any approval notices for…?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Yes. We’ve received about 70 approvals so far. All of them are premium.

Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. And what is the timeline one can expect for regular approval?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Regular processing, part of it does depend on whether there’s an RFE, because then, you have 12 weeks to respond plus 60 days after you respond to get the approval. Usually, we can expect to get almost all the approvals by the end of September, especially the gap ends on September 30th Regardless of whether your H1B is approved by then or is still pending. If it is still pending USCIS is aware that that can create a problem where you would have to stop working on October 1st, so they do try to expedite those particular cases.

I would say the majority of the cases, you will get the approval even in the regular processing by September 30th Unless there’s an RFE where the employer’s taking longer to respond to it. In that case, it’s not really USCIS processing time, but it’s just the employer gathering documents.

00:07:40         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. The other question I have is did you have any RFEs still there?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Oh, yes. We’ve already got about 100.

Raghuram Sukumar: Wow!

Atty. Emily Neumann: Yes. And I would say, compared to previous years, the RFEs are much more aggressive, asking for a lot more documents even for cases where you would feel like it would just sail through. Sometimes, we’re getting requests about whether or not it’s actually a specialty occupation. That seems to be the new buzzword for this year. They’re asking more about the individual’s qualifications. We would normally submit an education evaluation if the person does not have a US Masters.

And even those that do have a US Masters, for example, if you’re filing maybe a software engineer position, and you have a Master’s degree in Engineering but not computer science, they’re questioning, “Are you actually qualified for the position? Because your degree is not related to it,” which typically in the past, we haven’t had too much trouble with Engineering degrees qualifying for software-type positions.

We’re also seeing a lot more questioning of the company, asking more for tax returns, lease agreements, photos of the business location. Even though they have the VIBE system—they should be able to check all of that out. There’s a lot of publicly available information, but still, they’re requesting a lot of documents in that line as well.

00:09:16         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. Because [unintelligible 00:09:18] documents that were like almost sometimes it’s impossible to send the response to some of them, so I’m surprised it’s been more aggressive, as you said, this time around.

Atty. Emily Neumann: Definitely. Yeah. Some of them are eight, nine pages long. Unless they do list what the law is and then they provide a list of documents that they want you to respond, and then they go into the next issue, so they’re very long. So far, we haven’t seen any that are just impossible to respond to, but definitely, it’s going to require a lot more work to get them responded to properly.

00:09:56         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. One more question that’s frequently coming up is, “Is there a wait list?”

Atty. Emily Neumann: Right. Yeah, I’ve gotten that question a lot as well, and I think it stems from a few years ago. They did actually do a wait list. And they’ve changed that to at least last year. And again, this year, there is no wait list.

Typically, what they’re doing is figuring out based on previous years what percentage of petitions eventually get rejected, denied, or withdrawn by the company or revoked. And based on that data, they actually calculate how many extra petitions they need to accept this year so that by the end of adjudicating all of them, they’ll end up with exactly 65,000 plus the 20,000 Masters. So there is not wait list. They just take extra cases knowing that a certain percentage will be denied or withdrawn.

00:10:56         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. So which means those people who got in that gap or towards the end, probably, they have a longer wait time to know probably what’s going to happen to their applications.

Atty. Emily Neumann: As far as at the time of filing, that if they filed later in that filing?

Raghuram Sukumar: No. Since USCIS would know, “Okay. I’m going to process 65,000,” and probably, let’s say, 10 person is going to be withdrawn or denied, so they’re going to have the buffer of 10 person, right? And so those 10 person might take a little longer to know if they were selected in the lottery or not?

Atty. Emily Neumann: No. I don’t think they process them that way. They do them all at once and send out the receipts all at once. And then just based on their experience, they know that all of them, they have a certain chance of denial or withdrawal later on.

00:11:44         Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. Alright. So that’s all the questions I had for you, Emily. Before we wrap up this interview, what kind of questions can people actually reach you out for and what kind of services do you provide in your firm, so people who are watching this video can get to know if they can reach out to you?

Atty. Emily Neumann: Sure. Well, we handle, like I said, pretty much anything employment-based related, and because we do a lot of H1Bs, we also work with a lot of students. So we do handle OPT RFEs. We handle H1Bs, RFEs for H1Bs, appeals, questions regarding the green card process. I’ve had a lot of people ask, “Okay. Well, I didn’t get my H1B selected. I’m on F1. Can I start the green card process?” And so there are certain restrictions on that for people to be aware of. So any kind of consultation like that, we can definitely do.

I try to post an article every week on my blog about what’s going on about immigration or how cases are going, and so if you have any questions based on that, I try to answer most of the questions that I can on that. If you’d like to see any particular topic on there, you can always post a comment or even just send me an email. My email is [email protected] You can also message me on Twitter, @ImmigrationGirl, and I try to get back to everybody as fast as I can.

Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. Alright. Thanks a lot for your answers, and you had a lot of data to back it up. That was an interesting part of this interview. I wish you luck with your new blog and your firm.

Atty. Emily Neumann: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it!

Raghuram Sukumar: Thank you.

Atty. Emily Neumann: Have a good one.


  1. Thank a lot Raghu. This video is quite informative. I have a question though:

    My employer has files a cap exempt H1b application this time as I have not used my previous h1b approved in 2008. I got the following update from the employer

    “Your cash got debited from the account. We are waiting for the hard copy of the receipt to share it with you. It will take 7 to 10 working days.”

    It is almost 10 working days now and I am freaking out. I have the following questions:

    1. Is it possible to reject the application for cap exempt h1b after the cheque is cashed?

    2. I have never used/never travelled to US with the previous h1b visa. Will this cause a rejection?

    Thanks in advance,
    Best regards

    1. Check is the processing fees. Approval or Denial, check will be cashed.

      Rejection is based on the documents and rules of H-1B not because you didn’t travel to USA before.

      1. Thank you very much for the reply Rahu. Probably my application is rejected as I have not received a receipt even after 10 working days. That is sad, 🙁 Anyway, you are doing an excellent job by educating people. Cheers.

        1. Raghu pardon me answering to his queries.
          Amal, you should receive a receipt number against which your petition will be tracked….. I do not think if you fall under RP it will be rejected by now. Try to contact your consultant to get the receipt number….!
          Raghu please correct me if wrong.

          1. Thank you Joydeep. Yes, it is Regular Processing. I will try to get information from consultant even though he is not responding lately to my calls/emails.

  2. Hi Raghu,

    I applied for H1b this year . But I didn’t get any feedback from my consultant. When will we get the receipt number? Is there anyway to trace my application status?

    Thanks & Regards,

    1. Hi Raghu, I forgot to mention that my application is regular H1B apication. Howlong does it take to know the lottery results for regular H1b application?

  3. My H1B visa approved and received documents yesterday. Can someone tell me what are the important documents and I should collect from my employer?

  4. Hi Raghu, I Got an email from my employer saying that ur status is still pending with USCIS. Employer says, USCIS is sending the names in batches. Few ppl hav got info that der application is accepted. and few have got pending as der status.. So does it happen this way. PLease provide your inputs. Should i still keep my hopes up

  5. Hi Rahgu…About 33% to 48% #H1B approval rates for Non-Advanced Degree Cap

    Is it means that NON Ad degreeg guyz has rare chances of getting approval done

    AS i can’t access video or can tweet, pls reply in brief….
    m waiting ur response… plsssss reply


  6. Hi Raghu,
    I have got receipt number and it’s approved also.Nothing beyond that.How can i check if the receipt corresponds to my name etc.?

  7. Raghu,

    I have been following the posts, quite regularly (twice a day), but I have to ask this question, as it is still nagging me and I am still unclear on it inspite of the tremendously informative video sessions that you do.

    I had applied H1B under PP, with AD. I haven’t heard anything yet Unfortunately. I just wanted to ask, if Lottery selection and premium processing are tied together or not. So if I did no get selected in lottery and still had filed under Premium processing, should I atleast expect a response in the promised 15 calendar days? (or the 15 day reply applies only to people who go selected in the lottery regardless of premium processing or regular processing? or awaiting further response) I had called USCIS yesterday… and their call centre just said that due to high volume it will take another 2 – 3 weeks? but nothing is mentioned in the news update section of the USCIS website… (it was a generic call centre reply and I did not find it very trustworthy – or informative). I know the applications increased by 40% so we all should expect some delay… but how much?

    P.S: You are doing an awesome job, I hope your website and web traffic only grows, and helps thousands like me in the future as well)

    Plz start a go fund me page as I would like to donate towards your website and the cause.

      1. Let me rephrase. Does that Mean, anyone who was not selected under premium processing…. will not receive any response (except when the response is receipt or approval) like refusal, denial, RFE etc. Please reply in Yes or No so I am ultra clear.

  8. Hi,
    My employer filed for H1B visa on 2nd april. Still not got any notification. Whether it has been rejected or approved. Just know that cheque which my employer deposited has not got cleared yet. So what does this mean? Should I wait for some more days.. is there still any hope?

    1. No, your petition was not selected. It’s time for Plan B.
      If your check wasn’t cleared by May 9th, then tough luck!

  9. Hi Raghu,
    We have applied for H1B this year and we also have got our receipt numbers. My question is related to education background, both self and my wife are commerce graduates and we have 12 Years and 7.5 Years of experience respectively. We have been working with reputed company but filed the petition through a consultant as our company did not sponsor our visas.
    Could you suggest what kind of RFE we might get or our case might go through without any RFE given the education background?
    Thanks you for your help

  10. Hi Raghu;

    I got my H1B Receipt from my employer on 25th April. My Receipt Number is EAC14141501XX. Received Date as per the Receipt is 10th April 2014 and the Notice Date as per the Receipt is 22nd April 2014. I had filed my Petition under Regular Category in Vermont Processing Center.

    The Current Status as per USCIS Website is INITIAL REVIEW.

    Please let me know, when can I expect the result of this Initial Review.

  11. Hi Raghu,
    Thanks for posting this video… The questions answered by Emiley is quite informative, and clarified most of concerns. I appreciate your help on this.. Keep going..

  12. Hi Raghu… I applied in premium for H1 and received the receipt number but the package was returned 2 days ago. When enquiried with USCIS they informed that it was an error my case was not selected in the lottery.

  13. Hi Raghu,
    I need a clarification about I-797A. Is this every student will get or student from H4 to F1 will get. Thanks

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  15. Hi Raghu,
    Its already Mid July and my employer says he hasn’t heard any thing on my case yet. No rejection nor approval. Its confusing and a lot of decisions are waiting on this. Could you please tell me if this is normal or am I overreacting? Thanks.

  16. Hi Raghu,

    My consultancy firm says still they had not received the update on lottery status, are there any packages still not returned from USIC?. Where can we check those details. Please suggest how to follow up with them.

    Thanks you for your help


  17. Hi Raghu, I need a consultant to apply H1B for me. Please suggest me what next steps need to be taken for the same.

      1. So, Raghu could you please guide me what approach need to be taken to get a job in US?

      2. Hi Raghu,

        What approach should I take to get a job in US as I have around 6 years of experience in IT. Do help me.


  18. Hi ..h1b status 2015 result is pending ..is there any chance to successful status in final result..

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