H1B Visa

Next Steps After After H1B Visa Lottery Selection – Sleepless Nights to Receipt Numbers

USCIS announced they had completed random selection of H1B Visa applications.

Also, they announced, 201,011 H1B Visa 2020 applications were received.

Are you a first time H1B Visa applicant?

Let me tell the bad news to you right away.

You are going to have sleepless nights.

The world will seem to move slowly around you.

You would be feeling restless until you know the H1B Visa Lottery Result.

You want to know:

  • If your H1B Visa 2020 petition is selected in the lottery.
  • The H1B Visa Lottery Results, the very moment USCIS completed the lottery selection.

But, you go to sit tight for little longer.

  1. H1B Visa 2020 – Latest Updates and News Tracker with 13 FAQ’s
  2. H1B Visa – What Happens After the H1B Visa Lottery (This article)
  3. H1B Visa Premium Processing Available for FY 2020 Season in Two-Phase
  4. These Advanced Degree H1B Visa Cap Count Statistics 2020 – 2019
  5. Top 10 Reasons for H1B Visa RFE’s
  6. H1B Visa – What Happens After H1B Visa Approval

I have created a few flow charts, that explains the following

  • What happens next after the H1B Visa Lottery
  • When will you know the lottery results

H1B Visa 2020 – When will I get Receipt Number?

Here is the expected timeline for H1B Visa 2020 season.

after h1b visa lottery process receipt numbers

Now, do you know the advantage of Premium Processing?

The H1B Visa Receipt Number is sent via Email.

Others, who applied in Regular Processing would have to wait for a few more weeks (or maybe months).

Months? You may ask.

Yes, until the H1b Visa Package is Returned, you will not know for sure if your H1B Visa petition is selected in the lottery. 

When would that be?

Before we see the chart for that, let’s look at how the information flows between

  • You
  • Your Employer
  • Your Attorney

And three examples are depending on the type of process your employers follow.

H1B Visa Receipt Numbers Approval Status 1


Most direct hire H1B Visa applicants would have the above lines of communications with the employer and attorney.

H1B Visa employee would have direct contact with their employer’s immigration attorney.

So, you would get Receipt Number copy from your Attorney for the most part (either via email or scanned copy sent to your email).

Approval Notice would come to you from your Employer after the attorney sent that to your employer.

And, as an employee, once you get the receipt notice, you can check the status online at USCIS.

H1B Visa Receipt Numbers Approval Status uscis

There are instances where H1B employee would not have direct contact with the attorney.

It will be tough if you are not allowed to talk to your attorney.

You have to send an email to your HR, and then they would talk to an attorney and pass that information back to you.

IT Consulting companies or IT Services companies tend to have such an arrangement.

You should be happy, even if they send you a receipt notice.

That will let you at least check the status of your H1B petition.

Trivia: Did you know, some employers apply for H1B Visa without hiring an Immigration Attorney?

H1B Visa Receipt Numbers Approval Status usics case status

I would hate to be in this option #2 communication flow.

The employee is in blind.

There’s no way to know if Employer applied for H1B Visa or they are bluffing with you.

I have seen such scenario play out in the days when an H1B Visa applicant could apply via a consulting company, while they are located in India.

Thes are pretty rare, but it’s possible that employer can keep you in the blind during the H1B Visa processing.

What if H1B Visa is Not Selected in the Lottery

So, what happens to H1B Visa applications not selected in the lottery?

When would USCIS return the package and the application fees?

h1b visa package returned vrn number

Some applicants have reported about a VRN Number being included along with H1B Visa Package that was returned.

But, you are going to wait for a long time before the package would reach your attorney or employer.

And some applicants never got a package back.

Do you believe in miracle?

Few H1B Visa applicants did not receive the receipt notice.

H1B Visa package was not returned.

Out of the blue, they received Approval Notice.

Approval came late in the year.

H1B Visa Application Returned =  Confirmation of Not Selected in Lottery

If you are one of the unlucky ones, then it’s going to a long wait.

USCIS denied about 50% of H1b Visa applications filed in the Q1 of 2019.

So, getting selected in the lottery is a good start for you.

You have to wait and see if you mee the qualifications to get the approval.

Summary: After H1B Visa Lottery Process

  • H1B Visa Receipt Notice will be mailed out
  • Premium Processing would get the Receipt Number via Email
  • Regular Processing will get the receipt number via the snail mail
  • H1B package will be returned in a few months
  1. H1B Visa 2020 – Latest Updates and News Tracker with 13 FAQ’s
  2. H1B Visa – What Happens After the H1B Visa Lottery (This article)
  3. H1B Visa Premium Processing Available for FY 2020 Season in Two-Phase
  4. These Advanced Degree H1B Visa Cap Count Statistics 2020 – 2019
  5. Top 10 Reasons for H1B Visa RFE’s
  6. H1B Visa – What Happens After H1B Visa Approval



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  1. I got approved petition for h1b in 12th Aug 2018 but stamping is not done due to few reasons
    I filled ammendment in March to San ramon,California and it is approved in April.
    In July filled for ammendment again to Houston,Texas for same client and got receipt number in August, but yet to receive approval from USCIS.
    Can i go for stamping?

  2. I got transferred to US on L1 in my current company I got H1B visa confirmed but yet to be stamped.

    Got laid off, my last day is another 10 days in current company.
    I am expecting offers from 3 companies.

    A. After 10 days if I don’t get an offer should I change my visa status from L1 to B1 (as I already have it)

    B. As soon as I accept the offer from new employer is the status changed?

    C. Should I go back to home country and wait for new employer to confirm visa, get it stamped and reenter ??

  3. I got selected in h1b lottery but have not heard since then. I have applied regular consular processing. I am yet to receive any RFE or approval? can the outcome even be a denial without RFE? Can you please clarify?

  4. Hi everyone,

    even after reading several article on this topic, I still don’t understand how the timing after the lottery works.
    Once I receive the receipt number, how long could it takes to have a final answer?
    Let’s say I am a teacher and the school year starts in middle August, is it possibile that I don’t have my answer prior the school’s year beginning?

    Thank you very much,


  5. Hi Happyschools folks,

    My H1B got selected in this year lottery [ 2019]. I am in F1 visa , OPT expires in July.

    Since my H1B is filed as consular processing. if i get it approved, I need to go back to india and get the stamping.

    Can you help me clarify if i can use cap Gap between July – Oct 1st ? My h1b petition is filed as Consular processing . For Consular processing , Cap gap can be used till Oct 1 ?


    1. Cap Gap can be used only till Sep 30th. Then you have to travel for Stamping. Did your DSO give the Cap Gap I-20 yet?

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