USCIS uses the form I-797 to announce results and decision for a petition submitted for processing. It can be H1B, H1B1 or I-40, etc. Let’s use an H1B Visa as an example in this article.

An H-1B visa approval notice form is called an I-797. It has 4 different types – I797, I797A, I797B and I797C.

So, what is the difference between these H1B visa approval notices –  I-797, I-797A, I-797B and I-797C?

But, in fact, there are few more types issued by USCIS: I-797D, I797E vs I-797F.

Sample I797 Form

Here’s a sample I797 for petition type I-129 (H1B Visa Application).

sample i797, i797a, i797b, i797b, i797c

I797A vs -797B

  • An I-797A is an original approval notice with the I-94 attached.
  • An I-1797B is an original approval notice with no I-94 attached.

If you have received an I-797B, this means that the petition is approved, but the COS/Extension of Stay is not approved.

  • COS – Change of Status (example F1 Visa to H-1B or H4 Visa to H-1B)

If COS is not approved, the applicant would have to do the following:

  • Depart the Univet States
  • Schedule Visa Interview
  • Attend the Visa Interview
  • Get Visa Stamp
  • Reenter the U.S. with new visa status

If the Change of Status application is approved, your status would automatically change to new visa status from the start date of validity period mentioned.

And if you are applied for H1B from outside the U.S.A, then USCIS would issue I-797B.

You can stay in the country until the date written on your most recent I-94. The date on the I-94 is what determines the expiration of your stay in the US.

I797A vs I797B vs I797C

Form I-797A: Is issued ONLY to people who are currently in the U.S. and are undergoing a change of status (F-1-H-1, H-1-H-1, l-1-H-1, etc.).

The “A” is for the change of status approved, which means the applicant can continue to remain in the U.S. and work. Hence, I-797A will have an I-94 attached to it to endorse the status approved.

Form I-797B: Is issued to those who had never been to the U.S. or to those whose change of status cannot be approved.

This means that you are qualified for the job but your change of status cannot be approved. So you cannot stay and work in the U.S. for two reasons:

  • You are NOT currently in the U.S.A.
  • You may have committed an immigration violation; the documents submitted during filing did not provide enough evidence that you were legally employed at all times; you had never been out of status as a student, etc.

Hence, such applicants, if they’re still staying in the USA must leave and apply for the visa at a U.S. consular post.

The officer will determine if you are eligible for re-entry based on the evidence you’ll provide during the interview.

Form I-797C 

This is a copy of the approved petition. This is usually given to the employers for their reference file.

Hence, Forms I-797A or I-797B are given to applicants, while I-797C is given to employers.

For instance, if you didn’t receive the approval notice, then a copy of the original will be provided.

Here are few more scenarios when I-797c is issued:

Issued to communicate receipt of payments, rejection of applications, transfer of files, fingerprint biometric, interview and re-scheduled appointments, and re-open cases.

What About I-797D, E and F?

I-797D Accompanies benefit cards.
I-797E, Notice of Action Issued to request evidence.
I-797F, Transportation Letter Issued overseas to allow applicants to travel.


Next: The Complicated Life of Long Distance H1B Visa Couple


  1. Kris on January 17, 2020 at 9:59 AM

    I am currently on H4(EAD) visa approved and my H1B got approved when i was out of country and so COS was’nt approved, i have I-797B. I am in US currently on H4 (I-94 status H4) , can i travel to other countries and return to US on H4 as its valid until september 2020 and get my H1B visa stamped later ? or do i need to re-enter only by getting my H1B visa stamped because my H1B is approved?

  2. Judy lee on December 3, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    With spouser visa, he/she applied for work permit. If he/she received I-797A said Approval Notice, is that mean he/she is eligible to work in the states, and start working even before he/she received EAD card?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 3, 2018 at 12:08 PM

      Some employer would accept I-797, but for most part, EAD card is required.

  3. Surendra.Yella on July 3, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    What is an i979 copy can anyone please let me know about this…

  4. Porfirio on January 2, 2018 at 6:16 PM

    Does my employer get the forms needed or do I!!!!

  5. CASSANDRA C Sandoval on November 6, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    I got my 1797c and all it says its in process what does that mean did i get approved or denied im confused i would think they would put more then being in process

  6. Vinod on April 26, 2017 at 11:34 PM

    Hi ,
    my H1B is picked in lottery on 2015sponserd by company A ., and I traveled to USA on Dec 2016 , immediately Feb I resigned the job in USA & returned to India ??, so my stamping valid still Sep 2018

    Now I got the one more offer so company B they initiated the transfer it is approved,

    So my concern is again I need to go for visa stamping or not required,. Directly I can book the travel ticket to USA is enough???

    I appreciate the valuable feedback from any of them ASAP,

  7. manoj on April 3, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    ISS Staff have received Form I-797A – Notice of Action from USCIS on your behalf.

    Please contact USCIS immediately to change the address for your I-765 application to your personal address, as we cannot receive mail on your behalf in our office.

    I got an Email from my school from above statement what does it mean? Can you please reply me as soon as possible.

  8. Palak on March 4, 2017 at 4:55 PM

    Hello All,

    I am currently in US and working on OPT which will expire in May 2018. My F-1 Visa is also valid till May 2018. My employer will file for my H1B coming April 3rd. I am getting married in July and hence will have to leave country while my H1B gets processed. My initial Plan was to file H1B under Premium Processing and hence my H1B would have been processed by June and I would have received I-797A, allowing me to travel to India for my Marriage. But yesterday USCIS have temporarily suspended H1B Premium Processing.

    So my question is how will this affect my Travel plan as now my H1B will be filed under regular processing. I have been going through online blogs and have found out that if you are not in the country while your H1B is processing than USCIS issues I-797B because of which your Change of Status from F-1 to H1B will not take place automatically on October 1st but you will have to visit a Consulate in India to Change your status and get Visa stamped. In this case do I have to leave country before October 1st and get H1B visa stamped or can I stay and work for my employer since my OPT is valid till May 2018. Will I face any issues while re-entering in USA? I know that OPT gets suspended automatically on October 1st if they issue I-797A, is that the case with I-797B as well?

    Of course this will happen only if my H1B gets selected in Lottery and if they do not process my H1B before I leave the country in July.

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    Thank You,

  9. Premraj Chaudhary on January 18, 2017 at 7:03 AM

    During PA at chennai I have been issued blue form 221g and consulate took copies of every document and put my case on administrative process. Is it a rejection? What all be done from me as I have not been asked to submit any document. What shall be done here? Please advise.

  10. Magizh on January 6, 2017 at 8:40 PM

    In my case I was in US got my H1b after being on f1. I travelled to India for my visa stamping with a I797a. I got a 221g on Nov 12th and it is still under administrative processing. Meanwhile my employer got a I797b approved on dec 13th . Till date I dont see the status change for my 221g. What should I do now. What does receiving a I 797b when I have I 797a mean ?

    Thanks for any help.

  11. SIKANDARALI on December 14, 2016 at 4:58 AM




  12. Sachi on November 16, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Hi ,

    I am working in an MNC in Bangalore.My employer filed H1B for me and it approved on Jan-2016 and
    It is valid till Jan-2017.I have I-797B original copy with me.
    I not yet traveled to US on this petition
    I don’t have visa stamped on my petition.
    In this case if my I-797B expires in Jan-2017 how to go for extension or transfer to other company ?
    Is this H1B petition still valid after its initial approval expiry on Jan-2017 ,though not visa stamped and not traveled on it ?
    Can I go on tourist visa or Business visa and get it converted to this H1B visa ?
    Please advise

  13. Rajesh on October 15, 2016 at 12:48 AM


    While in India my employer applied for H1 in 2014 and it got picked in the lottery and I797 approved but I didn’t attend the Visa interview and left that employer and joined another employer.

    After working with the second employer for an year I came to USA on F1 Visa.

    I have the reciept number and copy of the form I797 with me.

    I am currently still on F1 Visa in USA. Can I in anyway use this to convert to H1 directly without the long OPT process.

    Please Advise!!

    Thank You

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 16, 2016 at 7:32 AM

      Yes you should be able to use that H1.

  14. trudis mcdonnell on October 14, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    I recieved I-797C it Looks like its my receipt for my applications. what I dont I under stand, Upon receipt of all required Record Checks ,. you will scheduled to appear for an interview at your local USCIS field office. I thought they will send me another notice for to get fingerprints. Why interview soon. Also said, in the letter, Quick Civic Lessons when you get your fingerprints taken at the Application Support Center. Can someone please explain this to me . thanks

    • trudis mcdonnell on October 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM

      Sir, I received form I-797C it looks like a receipt for my application. are they going to send me another notice to schedule for my fingerprints?. Im just confused because it say they will notify me after they check my records, for my interview.

  15. Than on October 2, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Hi raghu,

    I received I797 B notice of action. The consulate is mentioned as CHENNAI ,so is it mandatory to go Chennai for the Visa interview ?
    Or am i also eligible to schedule visa interview in other consulates in India?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 3, 2016 at 9:23 AM

      Ask your employer. I’m not sure.

      • Alok on November 10, 2016 at 1:44 PM

        even though the I-797 says location as Chennai but the interview shall happen in the location which you selected while filling up your DS-160.

      • Ansh on February 6, 2017 at 8:25 AM

        Hello Raghu,

        My employer has sent me the I-797C i.e. copy of approval and didn’t yet sent the I-797B,
        So is I-797C enough for H1B interview?

  16. Biswadip Seth on September 2, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    I have came in USA for company A on h1b visa along with my wife and kid (they are on H4) in Feb 2015. My h1b and their h4 visa approved till 05/08/2017 Last month I changed my employer to company B and got the new 797 which is approved till Dec 2018.My wife and kid have gone to India for some emergency and they want to come back now.Can they come back with old company visa valid till 05/08/2017 along with new i797 ?? Appreciate your answer on this as earliest.

  17. Sam on August 26, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    I applied for I539 in 2004 never got an answer back I moved from the address I submitted . I don’t know what to do , and in 1994 my parents applied I-131 for me we got approved and I never got anything back because I moved from my parents address
    Please help me !

  18. Prasad on August 1, 2016 at 5:54 AM


    I have applied for H1B in 2015 and got the approval in FEB 2016. I am in india. My employer gave me only I797B bottom part (only half of it). I asked him for full form to attend interview and till now he is saying he ll send it but not sending. He is not responding from a week now.
    So how to handle this situation? since my petition got approved and i have only half of that i797B form is there any possibility to switch the employer with this. please help me.

    • anoop on August 17, 2016 at 1:27 PM

      Hey raghu,

      You need to have the complete copy to change the employer.

  19. VSS on July 6, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I have received a H1B receipt notice from my employer, which is nothing but Form I-797C, Notice of Action.
    This form has:
    Receipt number : WAC-xxxxxxx
    Case Type – I129 petition for non migrant worker
    Notice Date, Received date, Petitioner etc.

    Does this mean, my application has been selected in H1B lottery scheme? What would be the next step now?

    Thank you for your reply in advance.

  20. Creative Artist on July 6, 2016 at 4:00 AM

    The entire I797A form is not given to the applicant. If you read the approval notice you will see that the petitioner keeps the top portion of the form and the applicant or worker who was approved will get the bottom tear-off portion of the form.

    The notice I-797A reads quote:

    The petitioner should keep the upper portion of this notice. theTHe lower portion should be given to the worker. He or she should keep the right part with his or her form I-94, arrival-departure record. The I-94 portion should be given to the U.S. customs and border protection when he or she leaves the United States. The left part is for his or her records. A person granted a change of status who leaves the U.S. must normally obtain a visa in the new classification before returning. The left part can be used in applying for the new visa. if a visa is not required, he or she should present it, along with any other required documentation, when applying for reentry in this new classification at a port of entry or pre-flight inspection station.

  21. Satya on June 13, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Hi Raghuram,

    I have received an approved 1797-A. My opt expires on 07/13/2016. Do I need to apply for STEM extension or am I eligible to work till october 1st on CAP GAP extension. Also do I need to apply for cap gap or am I automatically enrolled in it.


    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 13, 2016 at 1:28 PM

      I wouldn’t apply for STEM extension since H1 is approved. for cap-gap, talk to your DSO.

      • Sunil on June 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

        Hi Raguram,
        My employer sent me scanned i797 C, and it mentions that H1B is approved for one year only. I am not sure why I haven’t got 3 years. I am worried

        • Raghuram Sukumar on June 14, 2016 at 11:33 AM

          There’s nothing you can do about it.

  22. Nimesh on February 22, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    I have a question here and would appreciate it someone can please assist me.

    I was on my H1b Visa( approved till 2010 Sep) by Company A and i was laid off on Nov 20th 2015 by Company A. However I have been receiving my pay checks till Jan1 2016(Last pay check from Company A).
    Now company B filed for a H1b petition in regular processing on Dec 27th and I received the receipt notice. I have not yet found a client to work for and the petition has not yet been approved.
    Meanwhile Company A applied for revocation of my h1b visa on Feb 10th 2016.

    Now I have got a job offer from Company C.

    What are the steps that Company C can take in order for me to get a valid h1b visa and start working.

    1. File for another petition based on my pay stubs from Company A. (last pay stub was received on Jan 1)
    2. If i get this approved , will i get a I797B instead of a I797A ?
    and would that mean I will have to travel to my home country and get a new stamp or I can stay in the US till my current i94 expiration date(Sep 12 2016) and travel to my home country before that date and get the new visa stamp.

    Thank you for the advise.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on April 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      You should be talking to an attorney. Seriously, you don’t want to few dollars on consulting fees to maintain your status?

  23. omar on February 14, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    i did apply for my wife im U.S citizens i apply i-130 i received the receipt number bout i didn’t receive anything else i apply on October 5th 2015 when i should receive the approval for my wife please let me know what to do we are yemen and yemen has war its really hard for me and i cant live her in yemen

  24. guest on December 22, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    I have a I-797B document and I need to fill in the I-9 Form. Can u tell me where the USCIS number is and which is the I-94 number…

  25. Anirudh Awasthi on November 30, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    My Query is how to apply H1b.
    I am an engineer and working in an administration field(network).
    Also having great Experience in ISP.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 1, 2015 at 8:58 AM

      Check the H1B Visa 101 course.

  26. Srini on November 30, 2015 at 4:52 AM

    Hi. I got I797B and H1B visa stamped. Then I travelled to USA after 9 months of stamping but returned back to India in 15 days due to family medical emergency. These 15 days I was attending interviews through my contractor and no pay. In these 15 days , there was no paper work or documentation or agreement with my contractor. So I believe there is no proof that I reported to them. But we have mail conversations that we had in those 15 days . I don’t have any pay slips for these 15 days which I guess i was out of status. Now im in india and planning to process H4 and travel to USA and later convert to H1. Will No pay slip for these 15 days will create a problem for below cases ?
    1A) H4 from India.
    1B) COS of H4 to H1 cap excempt in USA.
    2) COS of H4 to H1 cap excempt in India

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      When your legal stay/status in USA could be affected, always seek legal help from an Immigration Attorney. You can ask an Immitorney via Ask an Attorney –

      • Srini on December 8, 2015 at 6:36 AM

        Thanks, Will they ask for old payslips when we are doing COS of H4 to H1 cap excempt ?

        • Raghuram Sukumar on December 8, 2015 at 8:39 AM

          I think they would ask for paystubs and approval notice.

        • ALOYS HARERIMANA on September 11, 2019 at 12:32 PM

          i d like to know how can i get a copy of I-130 approval and please a sample or example of I-130 approval

  27. Namoo on November 23, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    I hold H1B stamped Visa valid till August 2017 and in my current employer till no opportunities to allow me travel. So I got few consultant to arrange sponsor in USA .But they are asking me to share copy of I-797B and Visa Stamped Passport page .
    Just wanted to know is it ok to share these details with outsider.
    Advance appreciation for suggestion.


    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 24, 2015 at 6:20 AM

      Yes, you can share those details. I would share only the copy of I-797 first, then send the passport stamp page.

      • Namoo on November 25, 2015 at 3:48 AM

        Thanks Raghuram for your quick reply.
        But my current company is planning to process my travel in next three months but I dnt have faith on them and will it be problem for me if I shared with outside consultant.


  28. Laxmi on November 21, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    I have applied for H1 B in 2008 . I have I-797C .
    Did not go for Stamping due to unavoidable conditions.
    I am in USA on L2 .

    Can I initiate H1 B now ??

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 22, 2015 at 5:43 AM

      You can use it till 6 years. I think you are past that.

      • Laxmi on November 22, 2015 at 7:33 AM

        RaghuRam , appreciate you immediate response .

        Can you please provide me the attorney details , I have few questions to be clarified in this regard.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on November 23, 2015 at 6:48 AM

          Here’s the link –

  29. Harini on November 12, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    I applied for an H1B in this year and got approved. I got the original I-797A from my employer says its been approved for Change of Status and i got a I-797A with an I-94 attached instead of I-797B.

    I did not apply for a change of status and i was not even present in the US during the application. Is this a mistake on USCIS end?

    if this is going to create any problem or is an error at USCIS end. Please advise. Can I attend the Visa Interview with I797A?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 12, 2015 at 10:47 AM

      Post your question to an Attorney – This affects your status and I can’t answer questions affecting your stay/status in USA –

    • Ashish on December 29, 2015 at 6:25 AM

      Hi Harini,

      Same is the case with me too. Did you get any information if this could create any problem or not. Is this error from USCIS?

  30. Balu on October 17, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    Hi ,

    I have I-797C in the year 2007, will this be usefull for employement in USA with other employers, please suggest and help me what to do..


  31. Ramky on October 14, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    Hi, I am from India. I received RFE on July 23. My attorney still has to reply for that. I have 2 questions
    1) With in what time(maximum time allowed), the RFE response must be made ?
    2) My employer did not provide me the original copy of I797C till now. Do I need to wait till the RFE response comes ? or shall ask for original I797C copy ?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 14, 2015 at 10:24 AM

      I think it’s 60 days. I797 will be issued only after approval.

      • bau on October 19, 2015 at 8:07 AM

        Hi Raghuram sir ,

        I have applied for H1B in 2007 and I have recieved I-797C in the year 2007, will this be usefull for employement in USA with other employers, pleaseeeeeee suggest and help me what to do..


    • H1bstatus2016 on November 16, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      Within 90 days ur RFE response must be given.

  32. radha priya on September 27, 2015 at 2:11 AM

    My H1B approved with i797B. Today is september 27. Will I be out of status from OCt1?? How many days can I stay in USA with i797B

  33. jUSTICE on July 16, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    Called USCIS and was told that Form I-797 has been mailed to me as regard my citizenship processing. Please what does this mean ?

  34. Scorpiodreams on July 1, 2015 at 11:39 PM

    My L1b expires July 3rd, 2015. My H1B applied this year in April, was selected in lottery and approved on June 17 2015. The very next day my employer received Form I797C from USCIS.

    Notice Type: Approval Notice
    Class H1B
    Valid from 10/01/2015 to 06/30/2018

    The above petition and change of status has been approved. The status of the named foreign worker(s) in this classification is valid as indicated above, The foreign worker(s) can work for the petitioner but only as detailed in the petition and for the period authorized.

    It talks about the I-94 , arrival departure record to be handed over to the employee(me) but does not have the same in the lower part of the form.

    Neither I nor the attorney has received the I797A yet and I am kinda curious to understand what might have happened. Can someone shed light on the following —

    1. What does ‘above petition and change of status’ mean. I will be out of status long before the H1 start date.
    2. Does this mean I already am on H1B but can only work after October 1st 2016.
    3. Do I need to leave the country and go to a consulate to get my visa stamped. Not sure I have the complete documentation to approach any consulate.
    4. Should I be expecting additional papers coming my way in the next few days. What would these be.
    5. Should I work on getting my status moved to H4 in the interim (My wife is already on H1B).

    On May 20th, my company also field for my L1A visa which currently shows in Received status — Does this keep my status valid. Should I consider filing for H4 as my wife is currently on her own H1b.

  35. Sharmam on June 19, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    My employer has told me that my case has been picked up in lottery. I m currently on L 2 and working with a good company. My employer after so many duscussions agreed to share eac number. How can i make sure that he is not lieing . I am suspicious becuase he hasnt shared any doc. I have also got a project through him n now he is behind me to resign. But i want to make sure that my case is picked up and he really have i 797 c notice. I am asking him to share 797 c but he is very adampt of not sharing it with me. I am really frustrated.can you pls help

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 20, 2015 at 10:38 AM

      ​I know its frustrating. But, its between you and your employer. No one can help you here. YOu need to keep asking for receipt. ​

  36. Nidhi on May 28, 2015 at 10:41 AM


    My employer just received the form I-797C, Notice of Action as a approval notice. Do I wait for I-797 form to be mailed to me now?

    I also wanted to ask if I can go to Canada to get my visa stamped. If yes, how long will I have to stay there and what’s the earliest date, I can go?


    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM

      I can’t advise on where to go for stamping and your attorney should answer.
      But you do need original i797.

  37. Jodith Toves on May 25, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    I’ved sent my I-130 petitioning my daughter at USCIS last March 25,2015 until now I didn’t received the I-979C. I’ve tried tracking it and informed me that my noticed was returned to USCIS because they cannot mail it. Can someone enlighten me what should I do with this situation.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 25, 2015 at 2:57 PM

      Talk to an attorney.

  38. Aruna on May 7, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    My employer sent me the I-797C Notice of action scanned copy to me but i am not able to believe that document because i think they may edited that document. Is there a way to find the truth using the receipt number. Please help me. I am waiting for your response.


    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 7, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      Another comment with trust issues. Check the status in USCIS site. What do you see?

      • Aruna on May 7, 2015 at 4:06 PM

        I have checked the status in USCIS but its not giving the petitioner name just its giving the current status. Is there a way to find that this receipt number is belongs this petitioner (name). Actually my last name doesn’t have any letters like i ,j but in the form is having dot(.) above my name. So i am thinking that they edited the name(they might replace someone else name with my name) and i am seeing straight line throughout the form. Please help me, i am really confused and depressed.

      • krishna on May 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM

        Hi Raghu,

        Is there a way to check the genuineity of the I797 . I have checked the USCIS website with the receipt number, but its only showing the status as approved. How to find if the receipt number belongs to the correct petitioner and beneficiary?


        • Raghuram Sukumar on May 22, 2015 at 12:07 PM

          You can’t find from receipt number. Once you get approval notice you can Verify the names.

  39. karthi on May 6, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    i hold valid H1-B Visa till Sep2015 filled my current employer with I-797B. But i still stay in India. Now i got new job offer and new employer filled I-797C and it is approved. Please advise whether i need to go for Visa stamping again with new I-797C or i can travel with existing VISA stamping. Also my passport is getting expire & have no blank pages so can i get new passport and go for stamping on new passport.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      You maybe able to travel but consult an attorney.

  40. YRK on August 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    I was on H1 for 5 yrs in USA. In March this year (2014) I applied to change status to H4 and immediately left my job. (probably a mistake in hindsight). H4 approval came 3.5 months later. So unintentionally I was out of status for 3 months. Now when I will apply for H1 again, Do you think I will get visa? if I do will I get I-797B and have to go to India for stamping?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 21, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      I don’t think you were out of status. You can consult an attorney about this.

      • YRK on August 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Thanks. Told the attorney my situation. He didn’t seem to care. He is filing my H1 next week. Will find out in 3 weeks what happens. Will post here for education.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on August 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

          You can stay in USA while your application is pending. So, I’m pretty sure you were in status.

  41. Fenji on August 21, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    Help pls my fiancee submit a petition for fiancee visa last month and he recieve I -797C form . Does it means that our paper is already been on process and that will be my notice of action 1.?
    And i can recieve my notice of action 2 after 5 months for fiancee visa in states?

  42. Raghuram Sukumar on August 5, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Call Traveldocs for getting right case number.

    Approval chances – Only consulate can answer.

    • vukr on August 6, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      I am not aware about the Traveldocs. Can you help me to get that number or how to call them?

  43. visahelp on August 4, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks Raghu… we will go together. Will update you after the interview

  44. visahelp on August 4, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Hi all,
    My husband & myself applied for h1b this year. My petition got picked in lottery but my husband’s petition was not picked in lottery. Now I am planning to go for stamping along with my husband & kid (husband, kid for h4). Is it good idea to go together for stamping? Will they ask any questions for him, about his job ? or shall i go first & send them later for h4?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      I think you should go together and expect questions about your husband’s job and what he’s doing.

  45. Questionbearer on August 1, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    Hi Raghu ,
    Here is my scenario :
    I have an approved valid H1B Petiton from company A and staying in India. Since my spouse is travelling on h1b soon,I am looking to transfer my h1b to another company in US . What are the documents needed for transfer ? All I have is the soft copy of I-797B Form .Will this do ?
    Also ,Please let me know the procedure for h1b transfer . Do i travel along with my spouse on h4 and then get my visa transfered or do i need to het h1b visa stamped from my new employer and then travel
    Waiting to hear back at the earliest . Fingers crossed! 🙂

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Question – It will be easier to get H4, come to USA and then do H4 to H1B, since you already have an H1B.

      Soft copy of H1B approval notice should be enough.

      If you plan to get H1B stamping in India and come to USA in H1B, then you need additional documents form your Company A.

      You can take that route as well. But, by coming in H4 and then new employer doing H1B transfer, you can avoid H1B interview now.

      New employer can assist with the transfer.

  46. fhf on August 1, 2014 at 6:21 AM


  47. Deepak on July 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Hey Raghu,

    I have my first time h1b interview scheduled on 15th July, 14. I have all the original documents (including I-797B and I-797C). I just checked that my receipt number at USCIS showing changed status to ‘Initial Review’ due to some undelivered document at my employer’s address. My attorney has called 10 days back to resolve this. Employer had not moved anywhere and has been all other documents regularly at that address.
    My Question is will I have to reschedule the interview or I can still attend because I have the original approval notice.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 14, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      What is your employer’s attorney recommending?

      • Deepak on July 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        I called at ustraveldocs and the lady there told me that I can attend the interview because I have all the documents. I mailed to ustraveldocs and I was told that they can not suggest anything 🙂
        My attorney is not sure about indian consulate 🙂 . She is going to call uscis again and will try to find out if I should postpone the interview. My interview is tomorrow. I got the OFC done today.
        Not sure what’s in the bag of future for me.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on July 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

          Good luck. come back to share your experience.

          • Deepak on July 15, 2014 at 9:41 AM

            Visa Approved ! 🙂 USCIS status didn’t matter once I had the I-797

          • Raghuram Sukumar on July 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM

            Awesome Deepak. Can you submit your interview experience via the this form –

          • Deepak on July 16, 2014 at 8:38 AM

            I did but not sure if it is published because every time I click on submit it takes me to next page with blank title.

          • Raghuram Sukumar on July 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM

            Got your experience. Will be publishing it later today. You have very good overview of what to expect when going to Delhi embassy.

  48. h4 to h1 on April 29, 2014 at 4:28 PM


    im on h4. my h1 got picked in the lottery. bt i have 2 go to india for 1mnth in may. what will be the consequences if i go in this situation?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on April 29, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Travel after approval or COS will denied. which means, you have to travel outside before Oct to change to H1.

      There is one instance where travelling while H1b is in process for H4 workers will help.

      • h4 to h1 on April 29, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        thank you so much for ur reply. may i know what is that?

        my employer is saying that i can apply for i-94 after i come to US and after h1b approval? is there any process like that to get h1 i-797 with new i-94? in that case also do i need to get my h1b visa stamped?

        please tell me in detail…i am waiting very eagerly.

  49. KZ on May 22, 2013 at 6:19 AM


    I applied for an H1B in this year (2013) and got approved within 2-3 weeks of the date of opening. I got the petition by mail on April 29th but strangely the notice that i received says its been approved for Change of Status and i got a I-797A with an I-94 attached instead of I-797B. I did not apply for a change of status and i was not even present in the US during the application. Is this a mistake on USCIS end? Fyi. My previous application was denied by the US Consulate in India after which i reapplied for the same employer with a new application and addressed all issues that the US Consulate had raised. Not sure if this is going to create any problem or is an error at USCIS end. Please advise.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      This could be mistake from
      USCIS. You will get new i94 when you enter US.

  50. Manish Raja Chandra Mohan on February 20, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    My I94 and spouse/kid I94 expired on Dec 12th, raised a H1 extn and H4 extn and they got approved. When i received I797A document for my spouse, find that first name and last name is interchanged. The reason for this is when i filled I539, i made a mistake of entering the detail wrongly. Can you let me know what i need to do the correct this for my spouse. I stay in Texas. Any suggestion on this would be really appreciated. Thank you.

  51. snoopy on January 2, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    I have a question about I-797A , I lost this form , but I have a copy of it.
    Can I use my original I-94 as the hire documentation or I need the one enclosed with the I797A ?

  52. Srini on September 7, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Recently applied extension of my H1B1.

    H1B approved(I-797B) with no I-94 attached(instead, mentIoned CONSULATE: CHENNAI in the right top area on I-797B). But the notice says “if any of the workers are already in the US, the petitioner can file a new I-129 form to seek to change or extend their status based on this petition”.

    And my I485 is pending and waiting for EAD renewel and Advance Parole.
    My current EAD is valid till my current H1b valid end date.

    Question1: Can we apply a new I-129 and keep working?
    Question2: Should I have to go to the specified location(CHENNAI, INDIA) mentioned on I-797B? or I can attend any other location(Canada)
    Question3: what are my options?

  53. Harry on September 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM


    I am working on L2 EAD and my H1B petition is approved for the same employer. I have I-797C copy which will be valid from Oct 1st2012.

    Do I need to contact my employer/attorney to initiate COS?

    Thanks in advance!!!!

  54. sunny on July 15, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Dear HSB,

    Now I am in sweden, My H1 petition has been approved, I got I-797C from my employer.
    In that notice
    Receipt Number: WAC xxx xxx
    Receipt Date
    Notice Date:
    CASE TYPE: I129 for a Non Immegrant worker
    petitioner : XXXX
    Beneficiary : Sunny
    Notice Type: Amended Approval Notice
    Class : H1B
    Valid from : october 1st 2012

    these details mentioned in that notice.
    What does it mean ?? was my petition approved or any further process required ???
    what is meant by Amended Approval notice ??

    I am little confused. Please clarify my doubts.
    I hope to hear back from you soon.


  55. sunil on May 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Recently trsnsferred my H1B to CompanyB from CompanyA.

    May 03, 2012: H1B approved(I-797B) with no I-94 attached(instead, mentIoned CONSULATE: CHENNAI in the right top area on I-797B).

    April 30, 2012: CompanyA cancelled my H1B.

    But, I do have a valid I-94 till Nov 19, 2012 with CompanyA.

    Question1: Can I stay/work in USA with my CompanyA(they cancelled my H1B)
    Question2: Should I go to the specified location(CHENNAI, INDIA) mentioned on I-797B? or I can attend any other location(Mexico, Canada)
    Question3: If its OK to go other location(Mexico/ Canada), what would be the recommended location?

    • HSB on May 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      You need to consult an attorney. My guess – They would ask you to go to to Chennai for Stamping.

  56. Muhamma Rizwan on November 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    kindly tell me the procedure that how to get renew I-797B form? as i have already got one in which the period mentioned was 01-11-2009 to 31-10-2012

    i gave the interview about 2 years ago. Provisionally visa was granted as my application went under administrative process
    But in june 2011 embassy asked me to provide renew I-797B form.

    kindly help me regarding the matter


  57. Pambi on September 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM


    I have a question about my final status. Currently I am on L2 visa and working with an EAD. My husbands employer filed H1B for him and H4 for me in Jun 2011. My hus’s H1B got approved and my H4 got approved on Sep 14th 2011. At the same time my employer filed H1B premium processing on Sep8th and my H1B got approved on Sep 15th 2011.
    It clearly says Change of status on my I-797 notice and I have a valid I-94 attached with it.(I-797 A)
    Now my question is which will be my final status. Is it H1B or H4 starting from Oct 1st. Do i have to go out of the country and get it stamped to get the H1B status valid starting from Oct 1st 2011 as I have two I-797 A forms. Please answer my question.

  58. giuseppe on March 9, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Hello i'm giusepe tamburello i'm italian guy i the moment i stay in florida like a tourist but i come here because i wold like to go in some school here for learn the modern american cake i'm pastry chef in europe but i wold like to do that here in usa is possible to extend my visa? i coming with esta. tank you.

  59. Vishwanath on November 6, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Thank you for the information, it was very useful for me.

  60. rosy on October 1, 2009 at 4:57 AM

    with the i_797c i can get a drive license and some id?? thank you.

  61. Dhara on June 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    What does it mean If my consultant got I797 C?Whether my visa is in process,pending or approved??

  62. Dhara on June 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    What does it mean If my consultant got I797 C?Whether my visa is in process,pending or approved?

  63. Desmond on June 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Thank you. This is very useful.

    • Swetab on June 17, 2009 at 8:08 AM

      Hi Guys,

      My employer informed me that my H-1B for FY 09-10 is denied by USCIS.

      They have returned my case too.

      Please share info. if anybody else find such things.


  64. cassandra lara on June 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    i want to know if i did i 130 for my husband is the i797c the rightform that they had sent us and if he wants to go back to mex how do we finnish completing the process what or how do we do it

  65. Kab on March 27, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    Actually I797 is a general purpose application receipt and application approval notice (possibly Application denial too, I have never got one), not specific to H1B.

  66. Nitasha on October 5, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    Cool..Thanks Raghu ..Its good to know the difference in I797A, I797B.

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