FAQs on H-1B Visa Applications, Interview and Processing

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 33 Comments

Most of the comments made during the last few days were about H-1B visa lottery results and about RFE response deadline.

Yesterday I started writing about U.S. universities Q&A and thought this will be a good way to answer some of the questions on H-1B visa related comments.

Rasesh Asks

My wife is here on H4. I filed her H1B, got selected in lottery. Now she got RFE.
Info requested was some company info and my latest paystubs…we got RFE on date 25th Jul 2008. We asked employer, he forwarded the courier details sent to VSC. it’s sent on 19th Aug…but her status is still same as previous one.
Do you have any idea , about this…as for this already replied…any guesses about time frame…to get approval…i really appriciate you reply…thanks..

I guess you missed the update from USCIS about remaining H1B Visa petitions processing status. You can read about H1B Visa approval deadline and processing update from USCIS.

Rahul  Asks

Can you please tell me how can we actually track the processing based on processing dates?
How can we get to know when will our series start processing? My receipt number is of the series EAC08151XXXXX

You will have to know which service center your H-1B visa petition was submitted to. Here’s how you can find it.

  • EAC – It is being processed at the Vermont Service Center
  • WAC – It is being processed at the California Service Center
  • LIN – It is being processed at the Nebraska Service Center
  • SRC – It is being processed at the Texas Service Center

If you go to the USCIS Case Status Online website, look for Vermont Center Processing time. From your receipt, you can see when application was submitted and compare that date to date displayed in processing time for Vermont center.

Please read the link from Rash’s response.

Prakash asks

Do USCIS ask for photograph in RFE? In my case they have asked for my photograph. This was told to me by my employer.
Any one ever asked for their photograph in RFE? I got my RFE request on Sept. 19. And my employer is not giving my case number as well.
How long will it take for RFE to be processed?

You are the first person to ask regarding photographs for RFE. But again it’s the USCIS. We don’t have any say on what they would ask from us.

They will be trying to verify some information. If your employer is not giving you the receipt number, then there is no way you can track your H-1B visa petition status. Do read any updates from USICS.

Jatanthi Asks

My application got an “APPROVED” status on June 4th but ’till today, I have not received any documents. Whenever I call up my consultancy they say that I will get them but I haven’t seen anything ’till now.
A bit frustrated and worried now. Is it possible that we have such cases where there is a delay in sending the documents?

So many comments posted here are about employers not sending them documents after they got their H-1B approved status. There is not much you can do about that.

If I was in such situation, I would keep on asking them ’till you get the approval letter and other related documents for your visa interview.

Deepak – What does “Case Received and Pending” mean?

I got my approval notice…but the online status says “Case Received and Pending.” What does that mean?

That’s a very interesting question. Please see the comments written to my previous article that explains what “Case Received and Pending” means.

Nitasha from H-1B Visa 2009: “Case Received and Pending”

Hi Raghu,

Please let me know what does “Duplicate Notice Sent” status mean. It’s been written under this status: “…as your case is still pending” and “we will send you an update via email when your case is processed.”
One of my friends got this as her status. Please help us know what does that actually mean.
My case is still pending and we have observed one trend…
Maximum of the applicants whose receipt date is May 5th has their case as received and pending. Do you have any comments on this?

Please let us know

It’s my understanding that “Duplicate Notice Sent” means one of two things:

  • A new copy of approval notice was sent to replace a lost copy, or
  • Your H-1B approval notice was the original notice of approval and was never received.

There is no way you can observe any trend with respect to H-1B approval. In fact, I don’t think other than USCIS can know how many receipts were sent on a particular day.

I suggest you read the update from USCIS from H-1B Q&A Part 1


Even my case was picked in lottery around mid May, and it’s still pending. Ask your employer whether he/she has received any communication.

Sometimes it can still be pending…while an approval/decline notice is sent.

Other than waiting, do we have any option?

I don’t think there is any other option, since the few cases that were selected in lottery are going to be rejected because they selected extra H-1B applications from the lottery.

Dames From H-1B Visa 2009: “Case Received and Pending”

Hello friends,

We should not worry as most of the pending cases will be cleared by mid of October. I am not sure but this was the information given by my consultant.

Be cool and have fun.

Rightly said, “Be cool and have fun”. There’s really nothing more we can do until we hear from USCIS. Hope we get to hear some updates from USCIS very soon.

Vidhya From: What does “Case Received and Pending” mean?

Hi! My H-1B was picked on May 6th still it shows “Case received and pending”. What does it mean?
It’s almost 5 months now. Will I get an approval or not? Kindly assist.

“Will I get approval or not?” That’s a hard question to answer. Getting selected in lottery is luck, but getting approval is pure luck.

However, the only thing you can do now is to wait and hope for the best. There are chances you might get rejection, too.

max From H-1B Visa 2009: Case Received and Pending

Hi Raghu

I am in advanced degree H-1B quota…I think the cap is 21,000…it is mentioned on this site that according to last update 19,500 have been approved..and 2,100 are pending.
Now, 21,000 – 19,500 = 1,500 and 2,100 – 1,500 = 600, this leaves 600.
So does this mean that, in all, 600 people who have been selected in lottery in advanced degree quota will be rejected.

Please correct me if i’m wrong. Thanks!

The advanced degree cap is 20,000 and only 500 is remaining to be approved. So, 2,100 – 500 = 1,600 will be rejected.

That’s what I have learned from the respected immigration sites, where my posted comments were answered.


  1. Hi All,

    My H1b Visa Expired in Nov.2010, Now I am interested to renewal my Visa.

    Now I am eligible to renewal my expired visa Or Either I have to submit New H1B Application with New Employer and new scratch processing?

    I really appreciate your valuable inputs.


  2. Hi Friends,

    My H1b Visa Expired in Nov.2010, Now I am interested to renewal my Visa.

    Now I am eligible to renewal my expired visa Or Either I have to submit New H1B Application with New Employer and new filing process?

    I really appreciate your valuable inputs.


  3. A quick question for you, I am MCA grad and i did appiled for h1b in 2013.
    My question is my name is misspelled in my degree certificate, will it be a problem?
    Do you suggest me to get it corrected?


  4. I am currently working on H1B with a company in US. I have received an offer from another company which operates out of Dubai and Malaysia but doesnt have any registered company in US. Upon asking the company officials as to how will they apply for my h1b they mentioned that they have a partner company who can apply for my visa, but I will not be working for that company. Is this possible under the current H1B law..? Please let me know.

    1. I wanted to clarify, that my new company which is based in Dubai has operations doen in US but they dont have an office in US, instead they mentioned that they have a partner company which is registered in US and can file my H1B visa.

  5. I was working in India in Railtel corporation of India Limited Hi I need to find the employers who sponsors H1 visa.Is somebody gives me thier list I can get in touch with them.Please Help Friends..Believe me it will be a great help

  6. Hi.
    I was working in India in Infosys and I broke the bond before coming to US for my MS. Now I have to submit a background check form for a company I am interviewing with. Is it ok to mention Infosys as my previous employer. I worked there for 6 months as a trainee before quitting in 2006.

  7. Hi I need to find the employers who sponsors H1 visa.Is somebody gives me thier list I can get in touch with them.Please Help Friends..Believe me it will be a great help.

  8. Hi Freinds

    I got an RFE asking my company to provide client/vendor details, project details, location etc. My employer is IT Consulting/Staffing Company and does not have project agreements in advance. Expecting projects by year end or begining of 2010.

    It does not seems positive to me. Could you please answer the following question for me?

    How and what is the best way to answer this RFE/Query and what are the documents need to submit.

    Thanks for you help and time sparing in advance,


    1. well you clearly need to show documented evidence that you are being put at a client location on specific duties. i dont know how ur consultant is going to come up with that. try to get OPT extension so u can stay on and try next year as well.

      1. Can my company submit existing contract/agreement copies of project in support of query/RFE. My Employer is saying he can’t submit client/work order in advance, as it hired for Oct-09. Wht is the best way to answer USCIS as they have given 25th July,2009 for reply.

        Please advice.


        1. "can" is a subjective question. only an experienced attorney can explain the inner workings of the USCIS. you can submit existing agreements, but then will those have your person in there anywhere? if not how does the USCIS know that the documents are for your case and not just some agreement pulled out of somewhere. i suggest you contact an experienced attorney and they can tell u what exactly is a good document and what isnt.

          remember to extend your OPT.

          1. Do you have any idea..till know anyone replied to RFE/query regarding Client Letters/Work Orders and got approval.

  9. Can anyone please let me know whether I797C is equivalent to approved H1b or still its in process which can be denied?

  10. Hi RAghu

    I just want to find out whether the 2010 H1B vissas are closed or open.

  11. Hii,

    I have applied for my H1B visa this year,2009..

    And I have got my reciept number,but before 3 days I got the document by an email saying that you should tell where,when or from whom the applicant will work.You should specify this information.This notice was sent to my consultant.I really want to know what my consulatant should do now..

  12. My H1B renewal status is 'Request for Additional Evidence'. I need to go to my marriage in India in 2 days. Can I go before I get my H1B approved? If I go, will this H1B renewal processing get void? I know I need to have petition and stamped visa to re-enter in USA.

    I am so worried about this status because I can not postpone my marriage and I can not come back without new H1 petition. What should I do? What is the law?


    1. hi

      I am confused with the whole multiple employer thing.

      My former employer applied for my H1B in 2008 and the case is still pending. But my current employer wants to file for my H1B in 2009. Will this be considered as multiple employment?

      My former employer has been totally non responsive and has not withdrawn the petition despite my notice, not to opt for his employment offer.

      Please help me out!

      Thanks a bunch!

  13. Hi Raghu, i got my h1b approval notice last monday do u have a idea am eligable to apply for social security and also for work permit ? plz advice me.

    thank u

  14. @Reeta: I'm sorry I cant help you with your question. You will have to talk to some immigration attorney to find details.

  15. Hi Raghu, i got approved my h1b last week so, my question is my husband and me we are here in united state but, my legally adopted chid is still in my country who is now 15 year old. I really want to bring here so, is it possible i can bring him here or not? If i can plz plz advice me for a require document.

    Thank You

  16. Raghu, thank u so much for reply so, if i decide to wait for there final hearing do u have any idea approx. how long i have to wait? it already 8 months past isn't it .Do u think still i have chances to approved?


  17. Hi Raghu,

    My case is also pending. My question is, how does the USCIS short the list? Is there any relation to being late and chance of being rejected?



  18. @Reeta: I guess we don't have any other option, but just wait be hope RFE will go through. Its not just you, so many are still in same situation.

  19. Hi Raghu,

    USCIS recieved for evidence and still case is pending am just frusted so plz kindly advice me i should give up or i have to wait ? still is the any hope about it?

    hoping hear from u.



  20. @Chintan: Many are in that case. Follow all the articles I have written about H1B. Check out within H1B Visa category form sidebar. Until we hear back from USCIS, we have to wait.

  21. Hi Raghu,

    I have been informed by my attorney that my case was selected in lottery; he has given me receipt which shows following status. I am not sure whether it has been approved and since then there is no communication from USCIS.

    On June 13, 2008, we received your response to our request for evidence. We will notify you by mail when we make a decision or if we need something from you. If you move while this case is pending, call customer service. You should expect to receive a written decision or written update within 60 days of the date we received your response unless fingerprint processing or an interview are standard parts of case processing and have not yet been completed, in which case you can use our processing dates to estimate when this case will be done.

    Thank you

  22. @Lokesh: Ask your employer for a scanned copy of your receipt. That will have you name.

  23. If I get receipt number of H1B visa lottery picked, How can I make sure ie my receipt number. Pls clarify

  24. Hi Raghu,

    First of all, I have found a lot of good information from your blog!

    Thank you a lot!

    Second, I have some questions for you.

    I am currently a senior at 4-yr university, I am graduating next June (2009).

    Since it is extremely hard to find a job that is related to my major so that it would be hard for me to use OPT with the job that is related to my major.

    So I wonder it is possible that I get a job that is not related to my major by this December or early next year and then apply for H-1B in April

    ( I kind of got an offer from the company I did internship last year, but this company has nothing to do with my major) . However, I won’t finish school until June.

    Thank you a lot!!!


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