H1B Visa Case Approval Status and Steps for 2015 in Pictures

  • What happens after H1B Visa is submitted to USCIS?
  • What does USCIS H-1B Petition Status mean?

Here’s complete overview about H1B visa application process in flowchart.

Now, let’s take a look at the same in the form of USCIS Case Status.

USCIS Case Status Stages

uscis case status stages

This is the generic USCIS Case Status Steps that you will see when you go to the website for the first time.

Depending on you petition type, you will have various flows. For H1B Visa, here’s one possible stages

  • Acceptance
  • Initial Review
  • Decision
  • Post Decision

If there is RFE, then there will be 2 more additional steps.

Following steps below shows the H1b visa approval steps for petitions approved without RFE.

1. H1B Visa Status : Acceptance

h1b  visa status acceptance

If you have applied via Regular Processing (non-premium) then your application will be in Acceptance Status atleast till all the Premium Processing Applications are processed.

During the acceptance step USCIS reviews newly received applications and petitions to ensure that they are properly filed (i.e. signed by the applicant, appropriate fees, etc.) USCIS issues a receipt number for the application or petition, and sends a receipt notice to the applicant or petitioner.

Applications and petitions that are not properly filed are rejected with an explanation of why the application is rejected and the corrective action needed. Rejected applications or petitions do not retain their filing date.

The acceptance step is typically completed within 2 business days of when the application is received. With mail time it may take several weeks for you to get the receipt or rejection notice in the mail.

2. H1B Visa Status – Initial Review

h1b visa status Initial Review

When USCIS starts processing your application, it till change from acceptance to Initial Review.

During this step, USCIS initiates the background checks of the applicant/petitioner and identifies issues that may need to be addressed either during an interview or by asking the applicant/petitioner to submit additional information or documentation. USCIS reviews the applicant’s/petitioner’s criminal history, determines if there are national security concerns that need to be addressed, and reviews the application/petition for fraud indicators.

3. H1B Visa Status – Decision

h1b visa status decision

I can see several Premium Processing Application in Decision State for those petitions selected in the lottery.

During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision.

4. H1B visa Status – Post Decision Activity

h1b visa status post decision activity

This is when USCIS will print and mail the actual H1B visa Approval Notice.

For approved applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include USCIS sending notification of the approved application/petition to the National Visa Center or the Department of State. For denied applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include the processing of an appeal and/or motions to reopen or reconsider and revocations.

5. H1B Visa Status RFE

 

h1b status rfe

6.  H1B Visa Status  –  RFE Review

h1b rfe review

7. H1B Visa Status – Denial

h1b denial status

8. H1B Visa Status Withdrawn

h1b withdrawn status

 

That’s the list of possible H1B visa approval status for 2015.

Do you have any questions about this H1b Visa  approval process steps and case status?

Next –  H1B Visa 2015 – Daily Receipt Number Status Updates

58 Comments

  1. Sajith on May 30, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    On May 27, 2015, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXXX. We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to http://www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    With this the next step is the interview, or whether USCIS will ask any more documents to be submitted ?

    • Sami ul huda on June 26, 2015 at 6:54 AM

      I have a similar concern:

      My case is approved. I see same status mentioned above. But I have resigned from my current Employer(who has applied H1B). My last working day is 17 of july.

      1. When will USCIS send me the Petition ? (On June 23, 2015, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker)

      2. Can current Employer still withdraw my petition ?

      3. If USCIS sends email notification and the hard copy to my current Employer, how do I get those. Once I leave the company, my email id will be void.

      4. Without interfering my current employer, will I be able to make use of this opportunity with my future Employer ?

      Please advice. Thanks in advance

  2. Maddy on May 12, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    Dear Raghu & Friends,

    I have a question to ask… The Regular Process Application was picked up in the Lottery and we did receive a Receipt Number from the Employer. However when we use the WAC12345678 number to obtain a Status we see the following message… ” Case Was Received ” On DATE, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number WAC12345678, and sent you the receipt notice that describes how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice.

    I was in the Impression that we will be able to see the case stage by stage like Initial Review, RFE, Decision.

    Just curious when will we be able to see the status. This is a Regular Process.

    Thank You and God Bless!

  3. linus on May 12, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Hello Raghu,

    When will an updated status approval steps be available.

    Thanks!

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 12, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      For the new case the message are the same just new interface 😄

  4. suparno pal on April 23, 2015 at 3:30 AM

    Iam sharing my case.
    I got RFE on ammendment filing.can anybody tell me how much it may take to get approved petiton?

  5. Chanda on February 17, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    I wish USCIS would deny H1b visa to every one who is coming from consulting companies and working as “QA with 6 years of experience”
    These people are ruining chances for the rest of us working honestly.
    If you cant find a job the right way, please go home.

  6. srinu ijjada on November 7, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    I have applied for H1B in 2013 through a consultancy..

    I applied H1B in 2013 through a consultancy and I went for Visa stamping in Singapore in Nov 2013. My visa got rejected in June 2014 ( received a revocation letter below). My case status is in – Post Decision Activity from 2nd Sep 2014. Now am I eligible to apply for new petition under H1B CAP exemption?

    —–
    Thank you for your nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application.
    We are sorry to inform you that you have been found ineligible for the nonimmigrant visa category
    for which you applied under Section 221(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A
    denial under Section 221(g) means that your application was determined to not meet the
    regulatory requirements of the INA.
    Based on the documents you have submitted and the information elicited during your interview
    with the Consular Of1icer, U.S. Embassy Singapore will be returning your petition to the Department
    of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for
    reconsideration.

  7. Narsi on October 27, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    Raghu

    On July 14 I got RFE on my case. RFE has been responded on Step 4th.

    Today, I got denial Notice on my case.

    I am still waiting for Denial notice. Please suggest What is the next step ?

    Does this affect my next year H1B Application ?

    Please help.
    h1b
    denied
    2015

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 5, 2014 at 6:08 AM

      Sorry to hear your denial notice.

      Impact on next year depends on why your H-1b application was denied – your credentials or company’s failures to respond to RFE in right way.

  8. Raghuram Sukumar on October 17, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Nope.

    • Marina on October 25, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Thank you. So I am good?

  9. MEENAKSHI JINDAL on October 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I am on F1 visa nad workin gon OPT. I applied for H1B through an employer in Apl, 2014. It got selected in lottery and received RFE in Aug,2014. But, my employer lost their client. I changed my employer. I requested my employer to reply for RFE and they replied in Oct.
    Is it possible to transfer the visa to the current Employer without payslips or payslips on F1 with current employer.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      You should be able to transfer. Talk to an attorney.

      • MEENAKSHI JINDAL on October 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        Hi Raghu!

        Thanks for ur suggestions. Employer B has talk with some attorneys and they mentioned I can continue my job on F1 till the time H1B is transferred from Employer A to Employer B. Is it correct after H1B petition approval, can i continue my job on F1 OPT till the time H1B transfer is done for Employer B.

  10. H1Dream on August 6, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Hi folks,

    i have gone through the H1b visa lottery pick(got mail from employer on May mid) and today i got update
    from my employer stating ‘Awaiting the H1b visa decision status from
    USCIS’ im bit tensed whether its denied coz some of my other frnds got
    approval mail today and sme others got mail 2 weeks ago for RFE. For me i didnt received any RFE mails but as per my employer update its still awaiting decision. Any inputs

  11. Schandalia on August 6, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Hi Raghu,
    My daughter applied for H1b visa & she first got RFE. She submiited all the required documents & then she got approval. But 2 days ago she again got the notification that her visa in under initial review? We are totally confused. Pls tell us how’s it again changed to initial review from the already approved visa

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Don’t trust the online case status system. Wait for further decision from USCIS.

      • Schandalia on August 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        They first informed us about approval then got mail for initial review. its not online status but by mail we got this

  12. James on August 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    At what stage, The background check of the Employer will happen.

    I got I-797.
    My current emmployer doesn’t know that I applied for H1B.

    While filling the ds-160. It is asking the current employer phone number. Will they do background check after this stage(after submitting ds-160) or is it already done as I got I-797.

    Please clarify..

    • Mahesh Kumar Reddy Y V on August 5, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      I don’t think they would do any background check as such.

  13. Waiting for Approval on June 25, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    Hi All,
    My case number is EAC14148***** and its still under initnal review (It was an RP/NON AD process). Can anyone let me know how much time it takes for the status to change or for the case to get approved… I received an email from my employer on 6th May 2014.

    Appreciate your help!!

  14. Bond_Bhai on June 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Hello All,

    I got my H1 petition go thru the 2014 Lottery successfully. The case status shows “Initial Review” with “On May 14, 2014, your Alien Registration Number was changed relating to your I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. ”

    It has been this way from the date – May 14th. Any idea how long it takes for it change? What should i be expecting next? Any help/suggestions guys?

    Thanks!

    BB

  15. Ritesh on June 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Hi Raghuram Sukumar
    I got my receipt no. EAC 14 146 XXXX. however, status is showing Initial Review since the day I received receipt no. Could you please share the details that how much time will it take to change the status. What will be the timelimit in which i get the final status.

    Regards
    Ritesh

  16. Taran on June 13, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    Hi,
    I applied H1B through an employer with premium processing. And it got approved on 14th May and my attorney also got a notice on email regarding the same.
    But its been a month and no update so far. The status is still “Decision” (not updating to “Post Decision activity”). Since I applied in premium, I want to know when can I (i.e. my attorney) expect to receive the documents by mail?

  17. Amy on June 2, 2014 at 5:31 AM

    hi my H1 was filed in April, it use to show initial review till last week, then the statues showed that my alien registration number is changed and now it shows back to the acceptance stage and states that they received my petition in may, what is it, i am fully confused,please help

  18. Renu on May 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Hi @happyschools:disqus,

    I am on H4 visa. I have applied for a fresh H4 to H1 COS and it got picked up in lottery. My H4 is expiring this Aug 25th and my hubby’s employer will only start his H1/my H4 extension in around June. What should I do while my H4 to H1 COS is in process? If its get approved before Aug effective from Oct 1st, can I stay in the country without applying for H4 extension??Or should I file for H4 extension along with my hubby’s H1? What will happen if I don’t file for H4 extension while my H1 is approved? Should I leave the country and get stamped to comeback or can I stay in the country with a valid H1 effective from Oct 1st? Will it be consider as out of status? Please help.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Let you husband’s employer know that your H1B is in process. I think if H4 gets approved after H1B approval, then H4 will stand.

  19. Jatin on May 8, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Hi Raghu,
    I have applied through two employers to increase my chances. I got update from both the employers that both the applications got selected in lottery. I prefer one particular employer. Is there any way to get the application of one particular employer approved?

  20. nk on May 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    I
    currently have a H4 visa. I am staying in US from 15th April2014. I
    have filed for my H1B in April 2014 from India. My H1b has been
    selected in this year lottery.When my H1B petition is in process, I plan
    to remain in US on H4 and wait for my H1B approval. Upon approval I
    plan to apply for a COS while I am in US from H4 to H1B, and begin
    employment from Oct 1, 2012. Is this possible . If yes please let me
    know how to proceed further with COS. If NO what are the options left
    once my H1b is approved. Please help me . Thanks in advance.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      2 ways for you.

      File COS from H4 to H1B.
      Go outside the country and get stamping and enter with h1b. See what your employer prefers.

      • nk on May 6, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Hi Raghu,
        Thank you very much for the quick reply. I have checked on this with my Employer before filing only but he said there is no option of COS if you are filing from India. COS can only happen if you file staying in US. In my case I have filed H1b from India and travelled on H4 to US. So my question is: Can I file Change of status right now so that I dont have to travel back to India in Sept for stamping.If yes please let me know the process . Thanks in advance

        • Dan on May 6, 2014 at 10:42 PM

          You can stay in US and amend your H1B once it is approved. Apply the Amendment petition in Premium that will expedite, so you can start ur wrk on Oct 1st. Chk with your attorney.

          • nk on May 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM

            Hi Dan/Raghu,
            Thanks for the reply. As per your reply I checked with my attorney, they are saying COS amendment is not possible as I have reached here after my H1 visa filing. They are not agreeing on this thing , according to them COS is not possible. I have to go to India for H1 stamping and come back. So is there any way I can show them like its valid filing amendment . Is there any site or something where I can show them that we can do the amendment.. And could you please let me know from where I can get more information about the amendment thing like Fees, procedure etc. Please share me the link. Please help me with this . Thanks



          • Raghuram Sukumar on May 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

            Talk to an attorney. Spend 10 hours searching and you will end up more confused than before. Spend some $ for consultation.



  21. PK on May 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    AD/ PP but still my status is in Initial review. any idea??

  22. sharath on May 4, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Hi all,
    i wanted to say that my petition was approved. mine was applied in non-AD/premium. the online status on USCIS website was pretty accurate in my case.

  23. h1 on May 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I read that the H1B processing time for Vermont is 2 Months. When do they consider start of processing? From 10 April (lottery day) or when they generate the receipt number (notice date)?

  24. mani on May 2, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    My status is in Initial review. I am not sure wether its a premium or non-premium as my employer didnt mentioned it to me. How can i find if its a premium or non-premium?

    • Jeremias on May 10, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      I think that if the processing time since the date of approval is over 15 days, I would assume it’s non-premium/regular. In addition to that, I personally think the employer wouldn’t bother paying extra thousands for PP and not let you know, but that’s definitely not true for some cases.

  25. Non-AD/PP/CA on May 1, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Anybody got approval for Non-AD/PP/CA? My status still says Acceptance.

  26. Vamshi on May 1, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    My application was approved today, when will my attorney receive the confirmation documents?

    • Non-AD/PP/CA on May 2, 2014 at 2:56 AM

      AD/PP/CA? Or Non-AD/PP/CA?

      • Vamshi on May 2, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        AD/PP/VSC

  27. SJ on May 1, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    @happyschools:disqus
    Hi Raghu, the current status shows RFE for my H1b application. I had filed under the following AD/PP/CA. My attorneys havent heard yet from the USCIS. I had also applied for a STEM extension during the same time. I recvd a receipt for STEM extension at arnd Apt 20th. Can applying OPT and H1b at the same time affect your applications?

  28. LB on May 1, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Raghu, my case was AD/PP and my notification was received on Aprill 11th. As of today, May 1st, my application remains on the “Acceptance” stage. Any ideas on why this may be?

  29. siva kumar on May 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    The above information is good. but we I have seen few receipts which are directly to post decision activity from not found status. What does it mean?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Don’t expect USCIS website to be work as you expect 🙂

      I have seen folks get approval notice in hand and still status says Initial Review.

      • JP on May 3, 2014 at 1:33 AM

        Hi Raghu,

        I got the 11 pages of RFE. is it common for some cases? Mine is AD/PP/CA.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on May 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

          Do you have the RFE copy? Can you send it without any personal details in it?

          • jigar144 on May 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM

            @Raghu..what is your email ID?



          • JP on May 6, 2014 at 5:31 PM

            Hi Raghu,
            from the RFE doc: do you have any suggestion for me?
            like have you come across similar kind of RFE in the past or current and how to resolve?



  30. chandana dinesh on May 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Thanks Raghu, this video cleared some of my confusions

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