h1b visa cap count 2018 199000
H1B Visa

H1B Visa 2018 – Lottery Results and Receipt Numbers

H1B Visa 2018 Cap is Reached. Total Applications are 199,000. Details Below in the Timeline section. 

This page you will find the following contents:

  1. H1B Visa Lottery Guide
  2. H1B Visa 2018 Timeline
    1. H1B Visa Lottery Process Timeline
    2. H1B Visa Applicants Timeline
  3. H1B Visa Process Flowchart
  4. First Time H1B Visa Applicants Resources
  5. Scenario Specific Frequently Asked Questions
    1. I’m on STEM OPT and Applying for H1B
    2. I’m on H4 (and other visa status) and applying for H1B
    3. I’m applying for H1B Visa via a Consultant
    4. My current Employer is Applying for H1B from India

1. H1B Visa 2018 Timeline

Expected Timeline: 

  • April 3, 2017: April 1 and April 2, 2017 falls on a weekend. So, I’m expecting USCIS should begin to accept petitions from April 3, 2017.
  • April 3-7, 2017: USCIS accepts H1B Visa Applications
  • April 7 +: USCIS conducts Random Lottery Selection
  • May+: Premium Results
  • Aug+: Regular Processing Results
  • May+: USCIS starts processing and approving H1B Visa Premium Processing Applications
  • Aug+: USCIS starts processing and approving Regular Processing Applications
  • Oct 1, 2017: H1B Visa 2018 Fiscal year starts.

Actual Timeline of H1B Visa 2018 Cap Season:

Expected time is not going to apply because of Premium Processing is suspended, but for most part, I would expect other events (like USCIS announcements, data entry, receipt numbers, etc) to stick to the pattern from previous the years.

  • Mar 3, 2017: Premium Processing is Suspended from Apr 3, 2017 for upto 6 months
  • April 3, 2017: USCIS starts accepting new applications
  • April 3-7, 2017: USCIS accepts H1B Visa Applications
  • April 7, 2017: H1B Visa 2018 Cap is Reached. (News)
  • April 17, 2017: Lottery Complete. 199,000 Applications. (News)
  • April 18, 2017: Lottery Results are Coming Out!
  • May 3, 2017: Data Entry is Complete
  • July 19, 2017: All unselected H1B petitions are returned (News)
  • July 24, 2017 – USCIS Resume Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt H1B application (News)
  • Mar, 2018: Applications are still processed (Approved or Denied)

2. H1B Visa Process Flowchart

Following H1B Visa Process flowchart should give an idea (and warning) about the expected flow of H1B Visa Application to H1B Visa Approval process. You can also find additional resources (Green Boxes) available to educate yourself about the H-1B Visa Lottery Process, Finding H1B sponsors. And if in case you don’t get H1B visa lottery, I have seen students on OPT and STEM OPT scramble to find options to extend their stay in the U.S.A. and there are few courses listing the options for you as well.

3. Resources: First Time H1B Visa Applicants

H1B Visa Application to Approval process goes through various stages and departments. Here’s a list of parties involved in the H1B Visa process:

  • You (Employee)
  • Your Employer (Manager and HR)
  • Your Employer’s Immigration Attorney
  • Department of Labor (DOL) – LCA Certification
  • Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) – H1B Visa Application Processing
  • Department of State – H1B Visa Interview

Here’s additional resources to get educated about the H1B Visa Process.

4. H1B Visa 2018 – Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s some frequently asked questions for H1B Visa 2018 fiscal year.

1. We are in 2017, why is the title named as H1B Visa 2018?

H1B Visa 2018 refers to the Fiscal Year that USCIS follows. A calendar year for us runs from January 1 to December 31. But, USCIS follows a different schedule: October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 (FY 2018)

2. I’m on OPT, STEM OPT and applying for H1B Visa, what should I pay attention? I’m on H4 Visa. I’m applying for H1B Visa through a consultant, what should I be concerned about?

Check out the H4 Visa Career Guide or H1B Visa 101. I have highlighted “The Hidden Challenge ” faced by H4 to H1B conversion via a consultant. Often times, H4 Visa spouse’s think that application to H1B Visa will solve their career problems. I couldn’t discuss those the problems here and you will not often hear about that in public forums.

When H1B and H4 visa applicants run into such challenge, they often do things that is a big no-no in the eyes of the USCIS and DOL. So, you seldom hear about them in forums.

3. I’m applying for H1B Visa for the first time from India, what should I pay attention to?

You have to play to win. To get H1B Visa, first you would have to apply. Give yourself a pat on the back to even have put yours fin a position where there’s an employer who is applying for your H1B Visa. Above two charts should give you a brief idea of what’s ahead. Here’s a few more thoughts based on my past years (9 years) of covering H1B Visa news and updates in here:

  • If there is the H1B Visa Lottery, then this season will be long.
  • You are probably going to have several sleepless nights and uncertainty
  • Very high chances of feeling frustrated because of the nature of the process

4. I’m applying for H1B via a consultant from India. What should I be concerned about?

Here’s some of the issues reported by readers in the past

  • I paid a consultant, they never returned by calls
  • I paid to apply for H1B, they did not apply for my visa
  • I paid a consultant and they are out of business now
  • They are not giving the receipt number or any H1B documents
  • How do I even know my consultant, applied for H1B Visa

These are just to name a few. When you don’t have the access and reach as you would have when applying for H-1B from U.S.A. you have to be extra cautious. I have covered this topic in detail in H1B Visa 101 and H1b Visa Lottery Guide.

5. My current Employer is Applying for H1B from India, what should I pay attention?

  • Biggest H1B Visa users are TCS, Infosys, CTS, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, HCL, Mindtree, IBM India, Accenture, iGate, CSC, etc.
  • Generally, you will not have much control of the H1B Visa Application process.
  • They tend to start the process sometime from the end of January.
  • You may have direct access to your attorney (that’s alright)
  • Make sure to follow this blog and take part in the comments section
  • Understand the H1B Visa application process
  • Be in touch with other applicants from your employer
  • Expect delays in getting updates from your employer about your H1B Visa application status updates.

6. Why would I get frustrated about the H1B Visa Process? Could you explain based on your experience?

When you are applying from India, you may not have a direct access to your Immigration Attorney. Now, let’s fast forward to the first week of May 2017. Some members of the blog are reporting that they have received Receipt Numbers. Now, you want your receipt number. This what you are going to be doing:

  • Call your employer
  • Send an email to your HR
  • Send an email to your Attorney

Let me guess what you will be asking them (via email or phone voice message)

I was wondering if my H1B Visa petition is selected in the lottery? When will I get to know the H1B Visa lottery results? When will I get my H1B Case Status receipt number? Is there a way to know a timeline of H1B Visa 2018 season in detail?

Guess what? You are not probably going to get any reply from your employer or your attorney or from your consultant. Even if you get a reply, it’s going to be not the answer you are looking for.

7. What’s Going to Happen to H1B Visa Program under President Donald Trump?

How would feel if you are not hearing any H1B Visa news or latest updates from your Employer or Attorney or Consultant. That’s my friend is what that will lead you to feel frustrated and helpless.

Yes, you bet. I have two Amazing courses. First one is the H1B Visa Lottery Guide. It’s about a couple of hours long and you will get to know Stage by Stage details on what happens from the day your Attorney mails your H-1B Visa Application package at USCIS. You will see real examples and a timeline of events.

Honestly, we don’t the answer to what President Trump plans to do with H1B Visa. One thing we know is that he doesn’t like jobs being outsourced with H1B program and when H1B visa is used to replace American Workers.

8. Is the H1B Visa Cap going to increase or decrease this year?

We have seen news about the minimum salary for H1B Visa must be $100,000 (or 100k). But, it’s all the talk. Unless there’s a change in the law, we should plan for how this year’s H1B Visa season would proceed as per current law.

People are worried if the H1B Visa program will be canceled. As of now, we don’t know what President Donald Trump is planning to do with H1B Visa process. If there’s any update, I would be the first to write about it.

9. Will there be Lottery this year for H1B Visa applications?

To increase the H1B Quota, new Law has to be passed in the U.S. Congress. As of now, there’s no word on what will happen to H1B Visa Quota.

10. I’m looking for H1B Visa 2018 Sponsors, where can I find them?

  • H1B 2018 Cap
    • General Cap – 65,000
    • Advanced Degree Cap – 20,000
    • Cap Exempt – No limit
  • Application Accepted – Starting April 3, 2017 (April 1,2 is a weekend)
  • H1B Visa Start Date – On or After October 1, 2017

No Doubt. Unless there’s a dramatic change in the H1B Visa law, there should be a lottery process. But, keep in mind, there’s a pending lawsuit about this H1B Visa lottery process. The outcome of that case could have a direct impact on this H1B Visa 2018 lottery process.

11. What’s the expected H1B Visa 2018 Processing Time?

I think I have given a fair warning about applying for H1B Visa via consulting companies when you are not currently employed or located outside the U.S.A.

12. Should I upgrade to Premium Processing of H1B Visa Petition?

Premium Processing is suspended for upto 6 months from April 3, 2017

Just because I’m writing about warnings, 100’s applicants are still going to apply via this route. Check out the H1B Visa 101 course on how to stay safe when applying via consultants.

Refer to the H1B Visa Timeline in this post (above). USCIS is taking a lot longer than their usual H1B Visa processing time due to increase in their workload.

13. When can I upgrade to Premium Processing?

It depends on your current situation. For instance, if you are in the USA and have travel plans before October, then upgrading to Premium would be an option.

14. I have applied for H1B Visa, but I’m not sure if I’m selected in the lottery, can I upgrade to Premium Processing?

If you are someone who is tired of long delays and sleepless nights, then you can also upgrade to Premium Processing. It would cost additional $1225 in fees for USCIS. Some Immigration Attorney would charge additional fees to apply for Premium after you have submitted the application to USCIS.

15. How long will it take to get Green Card after getting an H1B Visa?

  • While applying for H1B Visa
  • After you have received the receipt number

That’s going to take bunch of years. I have written about Green Card Steps with video and flow chart. In a nutshell, wait time can be like 15+ years for EB3 and 5 to 8 years of EB2. EB1 would be less than 1 year. Don’t worry about what’s the difference between EB1, EB2 and EB3 now. Let’s focus on helping you get your H1B Visa first.

We don’t the dates for H1B Visa 2017 lottery dates, but we do know what happened last year.

16. H1B Visa 2018 Sponsors: Where to Find One?

  • April 9 – H1B Lottery was completed
  • April 12 – USCIS announced that the lottery was completed

Dates for H1B Visa lottery for 2017 – 2018 should follow a similar pattern.

Who are those folks looking for H1B Visa 2018 sponsors? Let me guess:

“I’m not hearing anything about my H1B application status, Raghu, you referred to this sponsor, I think you have to deal with this.”

Ok, you want to know where to find H1B Visa 2018 sponsors. Sorry folks, I can’t be of much help here.

Let’s say I give a referral for a consultant, you are going to ask me this:

Now, you know why I don’t provide a list of H1B Visa sponsors.  I understand that some of you would be in desperate mode to find an H1B Visa sponsor to find a way to try your luck, but you would have to understand that challenge of referring a sponsor.

Consultants normally comes with a baggage of problems, which is discussed in details in several previous blog posts. Happy Schools is not about promoting unethical ways to find H1B. You are getting updates and frequently asked questions and not promoting illegal things.

Here’s a CRZY Story: About 7 years back, there was a reader and he applied for H1B visa via 7 sponsors. He was so desperate to come to the USA, just because he wanted to drive a BMW.

18. Should I worry about $130k H1B Visa Bill?

Absolutely not. Read this  – H1B Visa, $130k in Salary vs Indians and Here’s how H1B Visa $130k salary was calculated.

P.S. How to best this H1B Visa Lottery?

If you are reading this, then you have invested several minutes of your valuable time to get educated about the H1B Visa 2018 process and I appreciate that.

I’m looking forward to helping you navigate this H1B 2018 season just like previous years. Please post any questions you may have about H1B Visa process in the comments section. Let the H1B Visa Journey begin and may your dream of working in the U.S.A. come true.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi ragu,

    My correspondence was received it and USCIS is reviewing it means what…
    They denied my application on nov 6 2017 now they changed the status

  2. Dear All,

    I am living in US with H1 for last two months.
    My H1 visa expires on 27July2018. If I travel during Jan2018 for one week to India will there be any problem while returning back to US.

    I request some one to suggest on this.


  3. I was wondering if have to complete the 3 years provided with H1B visa or can I terminate and return to my country before the 3 year mark?

  4. Hi Folks, I have my OPT until 16th of October 2017 and my H1B got picked this year. I also received an RFE from USCIS, to which my employer has sent all the required documents a couple of days ago. I want to know, will I be eligible to work if my H1B status is still pending even after my OPT expires on 16th OCT?

  5. Dear Shri Raghuram Sukumar, Kindly let me know whether an applicant for H-1B Visa who has studied in an American university and whose name is picked up in the lottery will be informed directly via email:
    If not, how long such an applicant may have to wait and if there is any last date for getting an official communication?
    When is this process for granting the H-1B likely to be completed? Please reply as early as possible.
    Best regards, M.G.N.Murthy,

  6. Thousands of middle class Indian parents have sent their sons and daughters to American universities for education and job opportunities taking huge educational bank loans.
    Many Indian students who have applied for H-1B visas are anxiously waiting to get the visas. Names of some of them are picked up in the lottery and many others don’t know the
    result of the lottery. They hope that the applicants who have studied in American universities will be given preference and visas will be given to them on the basis of qualification,
    experience and merit. If H-1B visas are delayed or denied,
    they will be put to great hardship and loss because they have taken huge educational bank loans. This is an
    appeal to the authorities concerned to expedite the process and issue H-1B visas and inform them via email, as early as possible. It will be helpful if a list of the selected applicants
    is published.Kindly acknowledge and respond.
    Best regards,. M.G.N.Murthy

  7. from 11th April shows status as “Application received” no update. please let me know, what could be issue?

  8. Hi Raghu,

    I am on OPT valid till January 2018. I work on contract basis as I couldn’t find a full-time on my OPT. I applied for H1b (my one ffing last chance, my application was not picked for year 2017) when I was working for Client A in location A . Thank God, I got my H1b got picked for year 2018, I was super happy. Yet, I had some bad news, due to some issues I had to change my client to B and location to B. My employer insisted me on applying for amendment before USCIS sends a RFE or contacts my client A. Now I have two receipt numbers. I know its too late to ask but, was this amendment necessary? Is my H1b at risk? I did a lot of google search, may people are in same situation. I didn’t find a definite answer.

    I hope you to shed some light on this. Also, I have been following your blogs since the day I decided to pursue my career in USA.

    Thank you,

  9. Still I didn’t receive H1B recipe notice and check return then my employer not replaying for this. How I know the current status of my H1b application.

  10. Sir has the results been completed and notified for H1B vid for applicants with MBA I’ve been told by my employer that all MBA results are now complete and have been issued to the applicants.

    Thank you in advance
    Kathy from California

  11. Dear Sir,
    I recently got married and my husband is currently employed with in US on OPT and has applied for STEM extension. I am working in India and my H1B got picked in lottery, still awaiting petition approval.

    I am planning to travel to US in July for couple of months to stay with my husband. I am in a difficult situation here:
    1) Firstly, I was skeptical that a new visa should not affect my H1B processing or they should not reject my H1B visa on the basis of “intent to migrate”.
    2) Secondly, I am not able to decide whether to go for F2 visa (dependent visa) or B2 visa (tourist visa). Since, we haven’t applied for marriage registration yet, should I skip telling them about my husband being in US and go on visitor visa. Or will it increase my chances if I apply for dependent F2 visa? (I can get online marriage registration done in few days).

    Kindly guide me on how to proceed and what will be advisable to do in my case. I would really appreciate if you can provide answer for my queries and help me sort out my current situation.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Tanvi Gupta

  12. Hello, GOT H1 approved. dated may 11th.. received the approval notice from employer!!!

  13. I did not hear anything from my employer. I can still have some hopes?
    Last year it was till June some applicants got lottery status.
    This year, will it be till June or it is already closed?

  14. As today is the May 11 2017 . I din’t get any update on my H1b. So shall I keep my hope for few more days? or its confirmed that my application was not picked in the lottery?? by what time all the applications which are picked will come to know? Please help me to undertsand. Thanks in advance.

    1. As today is the May 11 2017 . I din’t get any update on my H1b. So shall I keep my hope for few more days? or its confirmed that my application was not picked in the lottery?? by what time all the applications which are picked will come to know? Please help me to undertsand. Thanks in advance.

  15. My H1 check got en-cached on 28th Apr, but receipt number not yet received. Any idea how long it will take to get the receipt number. thank you.

  16. Hi All,

    My H1 check got en-cached on 28th Apr, but receipt number not yet received. Any idea how long it will take to get the receipt number. thank you.

    1. Hello I am from PES BU and i have received receipt number on 8th May ..

      Check with HR

  17. applied for h1b2018 still i did not get any information like receipt number etc, can i expect still h1b and how long

  18. My employer had filed my H1B in April. My wife received a fee filing receipt for her H4 application. Does that mean H1 is approved? Thanks

    1. Hi Raghu,

      I have applied for H1 from a Consultancy in US for my spouse and am here in H1B. On 4th May i came to know that they haven’t got any updates on her application.Neither Rejection nor Acceptance has come to their notice. So should i consider her application as a rejection or are there any chances for us to wait till mid May. Please let me know

  19. I didn’t get a receipt yet but my DSO said a cap gap extension was applied until 07/30. Is this a sign that my petition was picked up? Anyone has this experience ?

  20. Finally…got my receipt yesterday from the consultant. I could not really believe it. It took a days time for me to settle. Thanks to raghu & to this blog for constantly posting stuff. This is my second attempt. Wishing good luck to all other applicants.

  21. Hi,
    Please help me clarify my case.

    My OPT is expiring on May 17th and my employer filed for h1b this year. I have not received a receipt number yet from my employer/lawyer yet. However I went ahead and requested a initial cap-gap i20 from my DSO using the shipping label. My DSO generated a new i20 and when I looked at it, it has a H1b mentioned under section “Change of Status/Cap-gap extension” section and it also has a receipt number. Does this mean my petition was picked in lottery?

  22. In the flow chart , after selected in Lottery what is Approved , only after this is approved it says congrats. Pl let me know what is APPROVED after selected in Lottery.

    1. Selected in lottery means that your application is picked. Later visa officials will go through all your documents submitted and check if the submitted documents from your side and comapany’s side are valid. only then will they approve the case, raise any further questions(RFE) or deny the case. Once they approve they will send your petition with which you can go for visa stamping.

      Hope this helps.

  23. happyschools used to be a good website before when there were less pop ups. It’s so irritating clicking on so many options.

  24. Last year I applied for MTR and got I290B filed. Now on my old I129 application status got updated to “Case is approved”, but I290B still shows “Case is Reopened”. What does that mean? is my H1B approved or not?

    Thanks for your help.

  25. Got selected. This was my 4th and the last H-1B attempt. Good luck to everyone else. Don’t lose hope. If you don’t get it, do not worry, you can always try next time or look for opportunities elsewhere in the world! Ciao.

    1. hey my sponser say application got picked but haven’t given receipt number they said will share in week or two. Is this kind of things happens. Can I trust this message from my sponser.

  26. Last year I applied for MTR and got I290B filed. Now on my old I129 application status got updated to “Case is approved”, but I290B still shows “Case is Reopened”. What does that mean? is my H1B approved or not?

    Thanks for your help.

  27. Last year I applied for MTR and got I290B filed. Now on my old I129 application status got updated to “Case is approved”, but I290B still shows “Case is Reopned”. What does that mean? is my H1B approved or not?

    Thanks for your help

  28. Hi All,

    I just got receipt number. But i have some doubts regarding receipt. In that I-797 receipt form, My first name is considered as a middle name, and my father’s name is the first name. So, Should i request to change name ? Even i have confusion that I did not go back to my country, so is there any chances to change I-94 number with I-797 receipt ?

    Please guideme properly.
    Thanks in advance.

  29. My Sponsor says he got some receipt numbers for 18 out 70 petitions filed . Is receipt number the confirmation of someones application picked in lottery or every applicant will get their receipt numbers

  30. Don’t you worry, its not yet start to send notification. U should be optimistic until end of May, 2017.

  31. I filed H1b for me. I’m hearing that petitions got picked and cheque money was deducted this week. till now I didn’t get any update on my H1b. So shall I keep my hope for few more days? or its confirmed that my application was not picked in the lottery?? by what time all the applications which are picked will come to know? Thanks in advance.

  32. Hi All,

    This is the last chance for me get a H1b, My employer filed H1b for me. many people and some my friends, are saying there application got picked and cheque money was deducted this week. As today is the April 21,2017. I din’t get any update on my H1b. So shall I keep my hope for few more days? or its confirmed that my application was not picked in the lottery?? by what time all the applications which are picked will come to know? Please help me to undertsand. Thanks in advance.


  33. Raghu,

    I don’t want to enroll. I have scheduled a call long back with you and your website sponsored attorney. Trust me. I never get useful information. I get kind of confidence and encouragement. Which is not expected.

    My concern that time whether I can change employer when stem extension is pending. And I never get answer from attorney. Finally after reading USCIS official website. I get to know very good information that I can change my employer during lending stage and no meed to send all documents again. Finally I can say it’s better to read USCIS official website.


  34. I talked to my DSO on my SEVIS record. He replied me saying he didnt see any update yet about H1B. Does it mean my case didnt selected in the lottery. I clearly got to know from friends that usually sevis will be updated with pending with receipt number if the receipt got generated. I cannot get any details from attorney because my company wont agree for asking details like check deposit.

    Working as FTE from two years in Dallas. This is my second attempt. Any advise, please.

  35. Amol
    I have filed for h1b for fy 2018 through sponsor consultancy but till today’s date I don’t get any reply whether my petition is filed or not or whether it is picked up in lottery or not.Even though I tried them calling via mail but not getting reply.

    Please suggest me

    1. Get the H1B Visa lottery guide. I have seen these questions for last 10 years. Same questions, different year and different set of applicants 🙂

  36. Well, I do not know how to say.. My employer told me the checks were encashed FRIDAY 04/14/17.. Just got the news from him today morning along with the information!!
    Is my petition selected? If yes! I have to bloody pinch myself!!!

      1. Master’s Cap with 3 year STEM.. and thoughts about rejection @sashi!! I think i m good there!! Thank You

    1. What was your profile? AD or Non-AD? And are you STEM?

      I have heard a few people getting their checks cashed. I hope that means yours got selected. Congrats!

  37. Hi Raghu,
    If we compare last years Cap count reach news and this years news, it looks like there wont be lottery this year. They havent specifically mentioned about lottery this year. What do you think?

    Last years H1B appl news –

    USCIS Reaches FY 2017 H-1B Cap
    Release Date: April 7, 2016
    WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

    *USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general* category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

  38. Hello Raghu,

    My current status is F1 (STEM OPT) which expires in 2019. My employer applied for my H1-B visa. Is it safe to travel abroad while H1-B application is in process? I’m planning for a 1 month trip and will return by end of June. Please advice. Thanks.

  39. Hi,

    Just an update or rather edit to the above article. There is no premium processing. USCIS has suspended will October 3, 2017 and besides, every time there is a change in administration of government, USCIS cancels premium processing of H1B. So the whole article onlook changes.

  40. Hello All,

    After seeing many blogs and posts, could see that the lottery would happen in the second week of April, is there any way that we can check online whether we are through. Or the employer/consultancy can only inform us about the results along with giving the receipt number.Is it possible for us to come to a conclusion by mid of May that we are selected or not

  41. I have been waiting till this day to finish my observation on h1b quota. As initially expected, the big 5 consulting guys are now filing lesser number of h1b applications from overseas and are now more focussed on h1b transfers with in the US and this is a big trend in the market in the last 2-3 months. A large number of managers from these companies are forcing contractors to convert to full time.

    I was expecting lesser number of applications as the big 5 themselves scaled down on the applications. But there is a different pattern emerged out of the stricter h1b norm and its really scary and alarming and once can expect lot of lawsuits on such employers in the days to come.

    First observation was that small and medium scale companies are now filing heavy number of h1b’s from India. Companies like itc,,l and t, birlasoft,mindtree etc, the medium sized companies are planning to file h1b’s in large number than they used to in earlier years and literally, the numbers are shicking. I know a guy who has been working for a reputed med size firm and he has only 2 years of experince and his company is now filing h1b. the fears of h1b actually taking a wrong turn now.

    Second observation : The local employers in USA, are now charling premium prices to file h1b. I came across 5-6 employers who quoted 6k to 7k to file h1b with client letter and if its in-house, then terms are horrible. Most employers are filing h1b only if the consultant is on project at the time of filing. There is a mad business going on under the carpet.

    Apart from these observations, if the small and mid sized companied decide to file h1b in huge number fearing stricter h1b from 2019 and cheap skilled people a deciding factor for the revenues of these companies, these firms feel this is the last attempt to push in as many people as they can on site and they can run their business for another 1-2 years irrespective of crackdown.

    I presently put my number at 150k applications. Unless if there is any trend which I could not observe or failed to gauge, the numbers expected to be around 150k.

    every 3 in 5 regular applications will be successful and every 4 in 5 MS quota will be successful in the lottery.

    1. Good piece of information Dinesh. It will not be anywhere close to numbers we have seen in past years. But interesting to see how Raghu came with 230k to 250k. Will have to wait and watch

    2. Dinesh – Thank you for your detailed comment explaining the trends for this year’s application numbers.

      Based on what I have gathered, I agree with you that the Indian big outsourcing firms are almost reducing their number of applications by 40-50%. I think you are missing the fact that many people are going to go for multiple petitions seeing the uncertainty around Trump’s presidency and the talks around using salary as a basis for deciding merit of a job. My research puts the number of applications are going to be between 200k – 230k with a >90% certainty

    3. I saw one prediction website which showed there has been 195K new LCA petitions filed till date. Any thoughts on that?

      1. That count increased to 215K as of 3/29. I predicted my number partly based on that as well and hence my estimate is between 200K and 230K

  42. Hi! Where can i find a website with available H1B job listings? And today I called Infosys Limited ( did the biggest amount of petitions last year) and they told me that they no longer sponsor H1B, they stopped in April because of new immigration policies. So, is it true? Thank You!

  43. Hi Raghu,

    I was trying with consultancy for H1b but they are not processing at last moment.

    Do you have any consultancy contacts.

  44. “The simple math, logic applies here. There’s 10 entries for a raffle ticket. It costs $1 per entry. If the winner gets $20. What would you do? Now, you know how to beat the lottery ?”

    Raghu, I’m rather appalled by your suggestion to beat the lottery by applying via multiple consultancies. If you’re a socially aware and responsible person, I don’t think you will be encouraging people to exploit a loophole and game the system. While I agree that it is totally legal to submit multiple petitions via multiple employers, we all know how that cause a massive disadvantage to candidates who are “truly employed” at a genuine company. I’m sure you’re aware that multiple h1b petitions from the same individual not only clogs the system but the already scare h1b visas also get wasted if more than one petition of the same individual gets picked. What will be your response to someone who lost their job because someone else did something that is not fair by listening to your suggestion? As you have taken on the role to offer information about studying and settling down in the US, I expect you to be more responsible in the information you give out through this medium. Thanks you!

    P.S: There’s a high probability that you won’t let this comment go public as I see you heavily moderating the comments section. But I just wanted to point out what I felt was wrong so that you’ll take appropriate action now and in the future.

    1. Shiva,

      Irrespective of what I say, desperate people are going to apply. I do consulting and I speak to people who are applying multiple petitions. Someone who spent, money for 2 Masters and traveling in the weekends to attend Day 1 CPT school is going to try every possible way to compete with Infosys and TCS, etc. Reality Bites. If this has to be stopped, then USCIS should take action, else people are going to find ways to game the system.

      1. Nothing can justify what you said because of this mentality and screwing the visa system with all these innovative ideas has lead us to today’s situation . People who came up with fake universities to screw the system might well be justifiable as per your logic .You might be very good at predicting numbers but do not give any more suggestion to people on how to screw the system .

      2. Individuals for selfish motives gaming the system is one but a popular blogger like you abetting people to do so is another. Isn’t the responsibility of the fourth estate (and it today’s context it includes bloggers and internet personalities like you) to propagate only the fair information and act as the check and balance rather than expecting regulatory authorities such as USCIS to play its role? Then what is difference between an onlooker with pedestrian views on the society and you? Don’t underestimate the impact you can create. I am sure you are aware of the role of Internet and social media in swaying US presidential elections. Hence, me asking you to be sensitive and responsible in expressing your views. I hope you think about my suggestion in the broader context of things.

        P.S: And, thanks for discussing this issue with me in the forum. I appreciate that!

        1. Thanks for your feedback. I do know the impact very well. I just came to know someone apply via 3 employers!!

    1. If you read the comment, there’s a few discussion on the same topic. Check that. I’m still waiting for few more data sets to predict.

  45. Hi guys,

    Filing deadline is nearing. Any predictions on the number of petitions for this year based on what you guys are observing?

  46. Hi All,

    I am a Masters Degree holder employed in a reputed organization and have been anxiously waiting to hear the good news in the last couple of years. I see different reasonings / perspectives for predicting the number of H1B applications this year in various other forums.

    I am curious to know the current trend and it will be helpful to get your thoughts on the same.


  47. Hi Raghu,

    Is there any update on predictions for H1’s this year, the talk is the applications is going to be less this year?, is that true

  48. hello Raghu

    currently i am on OPT stem -i completed my masters in 2015 and started working on OPT –my OPT expires in 2018- now i planned to apply for H1B .can i apply on masters cap or thru my employer ? kindly give your opinion

    1. There is nothing like applying on your own. Only an employer (or consultancy) can file H1. Regarding Masters cap, you can use Masters cap if you studied from a public university or non-profit private research university.
      The employer (or consultancy) don’t need to be your current employer.

  49. Hi Raghu,

    Its been two weeks, Trump has taken over charge and we can see many changes in the foreign policy.
    Can this effect the number applications for the H1 B 2018. I heard from couple of consultancies, where they are saying there won’t be any lottery this year since number of applications will be less than 85k.
    Is this possible?
    What are problems in the future if we file multiple H1 ?
    I really appreciate if you could answer these questions.

    1. I am quite sure that there will be lottery this year. But I don’t think the total number of petitions will go beyond 150k, which is actually the number of genuine H-1B petitioners. All these years the number of petitions exceeding 200k was mainly getting pushed by the big 4 outsourcers and consultancies in the US. It makes only logical sense for these guys to lie low this year and not abuse the system which could send wrong signals to USCIS that may end their fate once for all. These guys are smart enough to not do anything stupid that will kill the golden egg laying geese. What do others think?

  50. A new development in the H1B pattern.

    The big guzzlers of h1b, the big 4 outsourcers, Spoke to few of them in India and have been getting calls from these big 4 companies for FT offers like never before and OPT hiring by these guys seems to be in rising. And back in India, many people who are working in these Big 4 companies getting no clarity on h1b filing this year. I got a call from Infosys and I pretended to be on OPT and this is the offer I received.

    They will file h1B next year and no assurances on h1b. They will not file GC and after 6 years of H1B, One has to leave back to India and can come back after applying fresh h1b again and if the h1b program is scrapped or made changes, accordingly their terms will change and If the employer is willing to relocate to India after the 6th year, they should be willing to relocate to any of the development centers in India. Pay offered was $58,000 for 2 years experienced guy with an MS degree.

    There was a second case, I knew few guys who work at JPMC through TCS as contractors on C2C. Now, these TCS managers are insisting these guys become FT on TCS before April or their contracts will not be renewed. I heard these kinds of offers from TCS from 3-4 locations.

    It seems these big 4 giants finally trying to change their strategy on hiring and reduce the dependency on h1B and reduce abuse of the visa. It should have happened long back as h1B was becoming more like cheap labor import visa than specialized occupation visa. If periodic changes were made to this visa category, there would have been lesser abuse and lot of things unethical things would have fallen in place or at least would have been better than what it is today.

    These trends just started coming and maybe we get to hear more about these trends in the next 2-3 months or before April and that can actually have a huge impact on the number of applications for this year’s H1B applications.

    With these developments, I put the numbers at 220K from my earlier prediction of 300k.

    1. Raghu/Dinesh, Any predictions on number of petitions for H1B this year – based on the recent developments, executive orders, potential EOs?

      1. My earlier guess before Trump took over as a President, the number was 150k to 175k. But looking at present scenario and with the behavioral change pattern in the big outsourcing giants and a recent statement by one of founder of one such company has any weight, then the number can be much lower at 100k and chances are that 4 out of 5 people might get lucky at h1b in general quota and 9/10 will be lucky in MS quota. I still think there would be lottery and I presently estimate the numbers at 100k-125k.

        There is another situation too. The big outsourcing companies are really notorious and dynamic when it comes to h1b and sensing this might be the last chance to push in maximum number of employees under h1b, they might reach to new levels and file as many as possible applications and we might get to see some shocking numbers never ever seen. the big four might file combined 100k LCA’s is also a possibility.

        Again, this is a wait and watch game and this h1b season is going to be most exhaustive and most scrutinized season. Have to avoid layers if working EVC model, be ready for site visits, extra effort on documentation part and have to be very careful on that part, must establish that our job is a speciality occupation etc.

        1. Dinesh, I completely agree with your first part. 100k is the number I guess. I too heard that 3 of the top players will be filing minimum number of petitions this time (reflection of statement from one of the founder). Personally I feel hopeful as my LCA will be in advanced degree quota from a full time direct employer

        2. @Dinesh, dont you think 100K is a bit too optimistic? What are you basing this estimated number on? I still feel ~180K-200K will be the final number. Do share your sources and insights on this.

        3. Hi Dinesh -Are you still sticking to 100-125 K as I was reading in Red2Bus that it will be same as last year ?

  51. Raghu,

    While applying for new STEM OPT extension, we filed form i-983 training plan which has current employer, manager etc information. Now while on that STEM opt EAD, how can anyone submit multiple h1 applications from different employer/consultant?

  52. This year H1B is going to be a game changer.
    This year H1B numbers will trigger a debate and change the way we used to get things done and the way things would happen in the future. and with the number of applications filed, will force the Trump administration to look into why so many applications are being filled for just 65,000 quota and once if an investigation is ordered into this, rest assured of a very tough h1B 2019 season if any.

    With so much uncertainty, there is a huge demand for h1b for various reason. Trump effect, fears of h4 EAD roll back, etc lot of factors will contribute to the mad rush in the applications and even an OPT guy who is filing for the first time, will file 2 applications from two different employers.

    Last year, I predicted the final number of applications at 220,000 and it turned out to be 227K. My prediction was the only one closer to the actual number although many claims were at 250k to 300k.

    This year, I put the number at 300k and a commerce of $1Billion to be spent in the next 5-6 months. And one can expect a lot of rejections on H1B and very strict H1B process ever.

    So, Guys, Do not wait until March to file the petition but Hurry up from now itself. Concentrate on the employee-employer relation, end client, work location, job responsibilities, specialty occupation are some of the areas which need extra concentration. If you are trying to follow the age-old model of filing H1B’s you might not be lucky this time as with the last year’s H1b and OPT’s scrutiny, One can say USCIS is going to be tough and will be going by the book rigidly this time.

    Good luck.

    1. Hello Dinesh – Thanks for commenting. Insightful thoughts. One more thing to consider. USCIS said that STEM OPT Extension is not applicable to consulting employers. But, DSO’s issued new I-20 and STEM OPT extension. We have to wait and see how USCIS is going to adjudicate such H1B Visa 2018 petitions. But, overall, this year should to bring Change to H1B Visa system.

      1. I too read that USCIS will not issue STEM Ext to consulting employers but now, after seeing many people getting their OPT extensions working as consultants at client sites, I think there needs to be more clarity on this or maybe we all did not interpret the actual rule properly. I spoke to attorneys on the same issue and they were of opinion that nothing as such was mentioned.in the rule book.

        Either way, This is just one of the issue contributing to the 300k factor apart from so many. Probably the worst h1B season since this program was implemented. In fact, I do not see this as an issue as there are enough 20,000 quota people here in the USA already and even if people go for quota petition or general petition, chances are 1 in 2.5 for MS quota and chances are 1 in 4 for General quota.

        All other factors are now negligible. ACICS accreditation, MS quota, From India, MNC’s, blah blah…The reality is 1 in 2.5 for MS quota and chances are 1 in 4 for General quota. Uncertainty in the administration and so many recent rule changes are creating a panic and thus driving an abnormal rise number of applications. unknowingly, this panic itself is going to create troubles for 2019 H1B season if exists.

        Here is the logic. Every year no matter how many numbers of applicants file, only 85,000 get their petitions. This is not the core issue. But the number of applications is becoming the scarier part psychologically. When it is reported, media says 300k applications…250k applications in just 5 days…reality is no matter how many applications are being filed but only 85k get lucky, but that number doesn’t figure when media reports. Certainly, the total number of applications is a huge number and that is creating a panic to the administration which is already screwing up and tightening the norms of H1b. And things like filing multiple applications from different employers, etc, by doing so, we are sure to hit the number 300k this year raising the eyebrows and initiating a further deep investigation into the h1B program.

  53. Hello Raghu,

    Recently DOE removed ACICS board from accredeting agencies So my university accredation falls under ACICS,now my universty is no longer accredited now . Currently i am on OPT STEM extension can i apply for H1B 2018 under Masters Cap even though my university lost the accredation.I was graduated in April 2015. Please need your help on this situtaion. Thanks!

    1. When your status is going to be impacted, you don’t need my help first. You need to talk to an attorney 🙂 I’m aware of this. Do you have the email you received from your USCIS/University about this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *