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  1 Apr, 20

Update 1 Apr 2020: Many people are worried as their status is still showing “Submitted”. Do not worry. We have answers here as USCIS announced that status will keep showing “Submitted” until Sep 30, 2020.

Your H1B registration will be in “Submitted” status and there is still a second chance.

H1B April 2020 lottery online status shows submitted
H1B April 2020 lottery online status shows submitted

Earlier, USCIS completed the H1B registration lottery and started sending the notifications in batches.

Only selected candidates will receive the email from USCIS.

USCIS completes H1B registration lottery April 2020
USCIS completes H1B registration lottery April 2020

Source: USCIS Announcement

Is H1B Lottery affected by Coronavirus?

Coronavirus recession may affect the number of H1B applications that are approved finally to start working from Oct 1, 2020.

Chances of H1B RFE and approval as per my opinion:

  1. IT Consulting In-house projects – RFE chance 90%, Approval chance less than 25%
  2. IT consulting end client project ends before approval – RFE chance 50%, approval chance good if new client letter available – 80%
  3. Full time job US employer – 98% chance of approval

Healthcare sector would be the most in demand with airline, banking, hospitality and retail sector H1B jobs tanking.

New H1B Lottery Process April 2020

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

#1 H1B registration starts Mar 1, 2020 at 12 PM and ends on Mar 20, 2020 – 12 PM.

#2 H1B worker details for registration:

  • First and Last name
  • Passport Number
  • Master Cap Details

#3 Lottery can happen multiple times on demand basis until all 85000 spots can be filled by USCIS.

USCIS h1b lottery registration dates
USCIS h1b lottery registration dates

#4 First lottery will be run arounf March 23, 2020. Selected registrations will be notified by email and text message.

#5 Employer’s attorney will receive the notification from USCIS by March 30, 2020. Attorney can also log on to USCIS registration site and see the lottery result.

#6 Employer will get 90 days to file LCA and submit H1B documentary proof.

Can same employer register 2 or more H1B for same employee?

Same H1B employer cannot file 2 or more registrations for same employee. If filed multiple applications, USCIS will remove them automatically.

Can same person file multiple H1B applications from different employers?

One person can file multiple H1B applications if the H1B employers are different.
If you have job offer from Facebook and IBM, you can file 2 separate applications. Basically, Both Facebook and IBM can register you online.

Can I Change client after lottery selection?

You can change end client information until you have actually filed the full H1B paperwork after lottery selection. You will have 60-90 days to send your application package and you can change client details at that time.

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.

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?

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.

Travel while H1B is Pending After Lottery Selection

You can travel while your H1B application is pending approval after it has been selected in Lottery. But, you would need a valid US visa (other than H1B) to re-enter USA.

Some people may have H4 visa or others may have F1 to come back to USA.

Please note that once you travel outside USA while your H1B is pending, USCIS may not approve your H1B with ‘Change of status‘.

Your H1B may just be approved with ‘Consular processing‘ which means that you will have to go out of USA, get H1B visa stamp and then enter USA.

You should understand the difference between Consular Processing and Change of Status.

H1B Transfer Before October 1st

If your H1B is approved before October 1st to start H1B job on Oct 1st, you can file H1B transfer to new employer on Oct 2.

Legally, you can file H1B transfer on Oct 1st as well, but USCIS may issue an RFE asking for previous H1B status which can only be proved if you actually were employed for at-least 1 day.

Your H1B employer from lottery is obligated by USCIS to withdraw your H1B petition once you have stopped working for them.

USCIS does not inform your employer about your H1B transfer.

US Masters Degree – 2 chances of Lottery Selection

The new H1B lottery changes will benefit US masters degree holders as they will get a second chance in the lottery for selection.

You can request a new I-120 from your school and extend your OPT if it is expiring before you even receive an H1B receipt by submitting valid H1B filing proof.

H1B filing Proof before Receipt generation:

  • I-129 copy
  • Fedex or Mailing service receipt

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.

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Written by Am22tech
  By Am22tech  

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