Chances of H1B Approval after Lottery 2020-21, Denial, RFE Steps

Steps after H1B Lottery approval, denial or RFE. Premium approval between 20 May to June 4. Visa stamp for consular processing. New i94 with change of status.

Written by Am22tech
  By Am22tech      Updated  6 Jan, 20


H1B Lottery 2020 – 2021

Lottery process for H1B 2021 season is now approaching and employers have started working new applications.

USCIS is gearing up to start the new electronic registration process with an extra $10 registration fees.

H1B 2020 season is over but there are still many people waiting for their approval. I strongly suggest to upgrade to premium processing if you want to start working on H1B as early as possible. You will earn more than what you will spend on Premium fees if you come early to US. Simple.

You can track your H1B approval processing time if your application has been selected.

F1 Students in OPT or STEM

If your H1B has been selected in Lottery, your OPT end date in SEVIS will be extended or updated to Sep 30. You can see this change in SEVIS yourself as a cap gap student.

Did you know that you can get Amazon Prime Student 6 month FREE trial for F1 visa holders studying in USA?

H1B Lottery Regular vs Premium Processing Time

H1B applications will always receive result within 15 calendar days if filed with premium processing. H1B regular applications selected in lottery can take between 3 months to 1 year for approvals.

Will upgrading to premium result in H1B RFE?

Upgrading your H1B lottery application to premium has same chances of getting RFE as any regular H1B application. Premium does not increase denial chances either.

When can we start working in US after H1B lottery approval?

You can start working on Oct 1 if your H1B application has been approved after lottery selection.

Chances of H1B Rejection After Lottery Selection?

The chances of H1B approval or denial after lottery selection vary by your employer and the documents submitted.

Almost 30% H-1B applications filed by IT consulting companies like Cognizant, Capgemini are denied by USCIS as per last year’s data.

Steps After H1B lottery Timeline

  • Apr 15 to June 4 – Expect H1B premium lottery selection Email. USCIS status: Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed
  • Apr 22 to June 30 – Expect H1B regular Lottery selection Paper Receipt USPS mail. USCIS status: Case Was Received
  • June 20 Onward – H1B Consular Processing Regular Application can file Premium Upgrade
  • May 20 to June 4 – H1B Premium Approvals without any RFE. USCIS status: Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed
  • May 20 onward – H1B Premium RFEs (if any). USCIS status: Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed.
  • June 1 Onward – H1B regular application approvals. USCIS status: Case Was Approved or Decision Notice Mailed
  • June 4 Onward – H1B regular application RFEs (If any). USCIS status: Request for Additional Evidence Notice was mailed.
  • Oct 1 – First date for H1B work start if approved

Chances of H1B Rejection After Lottery Selection

The chances of H1B approval or denial after lottery selection vary by your employer and the documents submitted.

Almost 30% H-1B applications filed by IT consulting companies like Cognizant, Capgemini are denied by USCIS as per last year’s data.

H1B Approval Receive Date After Lottery

H1B premium cases will start receiving their H1B approvals starting May 20.

H1B regular applications will start receiving H1B approvals starting June end.

What Next after H-1b approval?

Once you see the H1B receipt status as “Case was approved” on USCIS website, your employer will receive an approval from USCIS called i797A within 7-21 days.

Sample H1b Approval i797a form
Sample H1b Approval i797a form

There are two possibilities if your H1B has been approved after lottery selection:


This means that you are already in US on some other visa like F1 or H4 or any other and you filed to change your visa type with H1B approval.

Your US status will automatically change on Oct 1 as this is usually the first date that you can start working on H1B.

H1B i797 with attached i94
H1B i797 with attached i94

You should get a NEW i94 with status mentioned as ‘H1B’ and a new i94 validity date. There is NO need to get H1B visa stamp if you do not plan to travel outside USA at this time.


Consular processing means that you get H1B visa stamp in your passport by visiting US embassy. It is for people who are outside USA or have explicitly opted to go out of US if currently in USA.

You need H1B i797A form in original along with other supporting H1B documents to apply for visa stamp in US embassy.

Note that you will need to fill form DS-160 and schedule an appointment with US embassy for H1B interview. You can also file H4 visa for your dependents along with your H1B visa stamp.

Once you get this H1B visa stamp, you and your H4 dependents can travel anytime from the validity start date to US and start working in US.

H1B RFE – Request for Evidence

It is possible that your H1B receives a USCIS RFE after lottery selection. Request for Evidence is normal with Specialty occupation as the topmost reason of RFE.

If you are working for a IT consulting company, you can expect to receive an RFE to prove employer employee relationship.

USCIS gives 60 days to respond to RFE. Once RFE documents are submitted, the average RFE response time is 90+ days for regular applications.

H1B premium applications receive result within 15 days of RFE submission.

You can also receive a second RFE if the documents submitted by your employer are not sufficient or are missing something that USCIS asked in first RFE.

Life in USA after H1B approval

Once you enter USA and start working on H1B for first time, you will need to complete many formalities to start your US financial life.

I have listed the steps that you should take to kick start your H1B journey from opening back account, applying W7 ITIN tax form for your dependents, Applying US driving License to understanding US green card process.

USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa

   43 Useful Questions & Answers from comments

  1. Nana
    Nana 26 Jun, 19 at 4:11 pm

    Is it really mandatory to leave US while waiting for decision? My J1 is expiring 7/31 and considering my 30-day grace period, I no longer have a valid visa comes September. I’m quite hesitant to leave US though – would rather wait for the decision within US. Any thoughts?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Jun, 19 at 4:44 pm

      You cannot stay in US without valid visa of some kind.
      I strongly suggest to leave and then re-enter to avoid issues in future.

  2. Naveen
    Naveen 26 Jun, 19 at 1:13 pm

    I got my receipt notice, but still I’m unable to check or add my case in USCIS portal and it’s throwing validation error .

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Jun, 19 at 4:37 pm

      Did you try the solution given here for USCIS case status error?

      • Naveen
        Naveen 26 Jun, 19 at 10:23 pm

        Yes, tried all except calling to the USCIS center. Heared that calling to their center will lead to further delay of processing. Please suggest some solution for this.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Jun, 19 at 6:33 am

          Not sure who advised you that calling USCIS delays it.
          Its a baseless rumor.

          • Naveen
            Naveen 3 Jul, 19 at 8:30 am

            I tried calling USCIS customer care and entered my receipt number for the status there itself it says my case is not found. Should I need to some more time ? Or is anything went wrong. Please advise.

  3. Naveen
    Naveen 26 Jun, 19 at 1:23 pm

    How essential is the project details important in the H1b approval or to avoid RFE? Should the LCA location and project location match ? And what if my employer changes the project from A to B if any RFE on client letter. Please clarify.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Jun, 19 at 4:37 pm

      Project details are extremely important.
      Work location and LCA should match.

      Your employer has to file H1B amendment for the client changes.

      • Naveen
        Naveen 26 Jun, 19 at 10:23 pm

        Thanks for your response. In my case my client has offices in multiple locations and LCA is submitted in one of that. But it is mentioned head office location in the project details. What is chances for Approval/RFE or denial ?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Jun, 19 at 6:33 am

          The chances of approval cannot be defined just by this information.

          It depends on the job profile and it if passes the specialty occupation criteria.

  4. Ashish
    Ashish 17 Jun, 19 at 10:17 am

    My h1b cap lottery for 2019-20 has been selected, my first petition came with small duration stay in US.I switched the project and went for amendment for different client with same employer. But the petition has been denied due to speciality role. Current employer has a cooling period of 1 year for reapplying. Question is whether my lottery still holds good or i have go for fresh in next year april cycle? Kindly advise

    • Ashish
      Ashish 17 Jun, 19 at 10:17 am

      I havent travelled yet

      • Anil Gupta
        Anil Gupta 17 Jun, 19 at 10:54 am

        When was your first petition filed?

        Your H1B lottery should still be valid. But, we have seen that USCIS sends an RFE by saying that you already have a cap-subjected H1B approval and should be used.

  5. MSSA
    MSSA 14 Jun, 19 at 7:36 pm

    Hi everyone. This is my first post.
    I still haven’t hear back from my attorney on H1B lottery results.
    Can we still expect a lottery results – receipt notice for consular processing (Non-AD) ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 15 Jun, 19 at 9:03 am

      If you have not yet got the receipt notice from USCIS, then you have missed the bus this year.
      You can try next year.

      Check with your attorney if they received any notification or not. If not, then you unfortunately you have not been selected in lottery this year.

  6. Sachi
    Sachi 11 Jun, 19 at 5:20 pm

    Did you see anyone who filed in regular getting lottery results June in the last couple of years ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 11 Jun, 19 at 6:05 pm

      Getting H1B approval in June for regular application is rare. You will probably start seeing H1B approvals sometime in August.

  7. Visa User
    Visa User 6 Jun, 19 at 4:21 am

    My H1B Extension was denied last week. But, My i-140 got approved on a same week.

    Currently, I’m in India and my employer has a plan to file H1 Again because of 6 years was not completed. I see denial reasons are due to job code and wage levels.

    In I-140 I see the SOC Code and Skill Level has been mentioned. What does it mean and during re-filing an H1B Petition, whether the employer should map the same SOC Code from approved I-140 ? Please confirm and what are the chances of visa approval.

    could you please clarify and I’m in a tough situation.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 6 Jun, 19 at 9:57 am

      I can understand your situation.

      It is always better to match the i140 job code to your H1B job code although it is not necessary. But, USCIS is pretty strict these days and you can never be sure of what they will do.

      The chances of approval are good if you apply after fixing the denial reason.

      • Visa User
        Visa User 7 Jun, 19 at 5:20 am

        Thanks Anil. My employer won’t disclose the denial reason. I referred some blogs, most of the denials are because of computer system analyst title.

        A) what is meant by skill level (mentioned in i-140 approved copy).
        B) should match both SOC Code and Skill level during an extensions ?
        C) which mode is safer for higher chances of approval in current situation – Regular or Premium ?
        D) Is Client letter to be attached during an extension from India as well ?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 7 Jun, 19 at 6:18 am

          As i already said, SOC code may or may not match but it is better if they match.

          Both regular and premium have same chance of approval.

          Client letter is required.

  8. visu
    visu 5 Jun, 19 at 3:57 pm

    Can we still expect Regular / Non AD lottery results or is it over ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 5 Jun, 19 at 5:21 pm

      The chances are extremely low now to receive the lottery selection notice.

      If you have not got it yet, you have missed the bus this year.

  9. Kavisha Saraswat
    Kavisha Saraswat 4 Jun, 19 at 1:25 pm

    My H1B case was received on 04/25/19, as reflected on uscis dhs account. When can i expect approval or any other updates ?

  10. Abu
    Abu 3 Jun, 19 at 1:34 pm

    Hi guys,
    I need your help.
    My employer told that my application has been processed, now I assume I was selected but waiting for USCIS decision.
    “My bachelor degree in field A, H1B employer in field B. I mean different area”. – Will this case may affect to my file?
    and the last Does USCIS consider GPA in degree as a main factor to make a decision?
    Thanks, in advance

  11. GURU
    GURU 27 May, 19 at 5:34 am

    Hello guys,
    My H1B file is picked in lottery. My employer has filed H1B without my Original Degree certificates. Is there a chance to get RFE for me? Or will it be denied? What are the chances for approval?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 May, 19 at 6:02 am

      Congratulations for getting H1B selected in lottery.
      What do you mean by not filed with original degree? Can you elaborate?

      • GURU
        GURU 27 May, 19 at 8:33 am

        Thanks for your quick reply Anil

      • GURU
        GURU 27 May, 19 at 8:13 am

        While filing H1B, I don’t have my original degree with me. So they did not include degree certificate in the attached documents. Did you get me?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 May, 19 at 3:40 pm

          If USCIS thinks they need your degree copy, they will send an RFE.

          • GURU
            GURU 29 May, 19 at 1:18 am

            Thanks Anil

  12. Bindhu
    Bindhu 17 May, 19 at 6:38 am

    I received h1b extension approval with back dated so I had to leave the job and return to my home country. After 2 months I got another project with other employer but they are not confident enough to move forward with my scenario. The new employer only suggested me to go with the old employer and they want to be middle vendor. My question is which is better way to apply for

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 17 May, 19 at 7:15 am

      I do not understand your scenario and your question completely.

      • Bindhu
        Bindhu 17 May, 19 at 8:57 am

        I was on H1b for employerA for 1.5 yrs and had to return to home country after my extension approved with past dates (approved till 22nd Jan 2019 received on 25th Jan 2019) so returned on 7th Feb 2019. Now I got another job through employerB but they are not ready to file for H1b in consular process as it is new scenario to them and asking me to go on B1 visa so they can do Change Of Status(COS) to H1b. Now employerA is ready to file for my H1b in consular process where employerB is also ok to work as middle vendor. My question are 1)which is the right process to do…
        2)should I go with employerA or employerB
        2)Is it possible to file without client letters (bcoz Client letters will be issued after joining the project)

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 17 May, 19 at 10:09 am

          The chances of H1B approval without client letter is very low. I strongly suggest to not use B1 visa to come to US and then change to H1B. You will face issues later.

          Go with the employer that you like.

          • Bindhu
            Bindhu 17 May, 19 at 11:16 am

            Thanks for the response

  13. Manish
    Manish 16 May, 19 at 12:12 pm

    Can I apply now for H1B Visa by any means or way?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 16 May, 19 at 3:29 pm

      This year’s lottery is over. You have to wait till next year new quota and apply in April 2020.

      • Manish
        Manish 17 May, 19 at 1:59 am

        Thanks Brother for Quick Response.