Current H1B Processing Time 2019-20, 3 month – 1 yr Regular

 9 Sep, 19
  1.4k    

How long does H1B regular processing take?

H1B regular application processing time is 3 months to 1 year for approvals.

H1B premium processing is getting approval within 1 to 15 days of filing. Applying H1B in premium does not increase your chances of H1B RFE or denial.

Average USCIS RFE response review processing time is 90 days.

How long does H1B transfer take? California Service center is slowest for H1B transfer while Vermont and Nebraska are faster in processing H1B extensions, transfers and Amendments.

The best case H1B approval data is updated daily using the official USCIS processing times and data shared by real H1B applicants in various forums and trackers online.

CALIFORNIA Fastest Approved Case Raise USCIS SR Date
H1B newWAC1919352359 Receipt: 09 May, 19
Approved in 4 month 3 days
08 Dec, 18
Slowest case approval in 9 month 5 days
H1B cosWAC19090***** Receipt: 11 Feb, 19
Approved in 7 month
08 Dec, 18
Slowest case approval in 9 month 5 days
H1B extensionWAC1918250*** Receipt: 27 Apr, 19
Approved in 4 month 15 days
08 Dec, 18
Slowest case approval in 9 month 5 days
H1B amendmentWAC19132***** Receipt: 11 Apr, 19
Approved in 5 month 1 days
08 Dec, 18
Slowest case approval in 9 month 5 days
H1B transferWAC19164***** Receipt: 05 Apr, 19
Approved in 5 month 7 days
08 Dec, 18
Slowest case approval in 9 month 5 days


VERMONT Fastest Approved Case Raise USCIS SR Date
H1B newEAC19214***** Receipt: 07 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 3 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B cosEAC19214***** Receipt: 07 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 3 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B extensionEAC19216***** Receipt: 09 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 1 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B amendmentEAC19215***** Receipt: 08 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B transferEAC19213***** Receipt: 06 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 4 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month


NEBRASKA Fastest Approved Case Raise USCIS SR Date
H1B extensionLIN19213***** Receipt: 06 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 4 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B amendmentLIN19215***** Receipt: 08 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B transferLIN19213***** Receipt: 06 Aug, 19
Approved in 1 month 4 days
12 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month





H1B Regular Vs Premium

H1B Premium processing costs $1410 and you can get approval within 1-15 days. USCIS will refund the premium fees if they cannot process it in 15 calendar days including weekends. Regular H1B application takes more than 3 months to get approval.

Does H1B premium increase chances of RFE or Denial?

Applying H1B in premium does not increase your chances of H1B RFE or denial. The possibility of H1B approval are same in regular vs premium application.

If your employer is scaring you by saying that upgrading pending H1B to premium will result in denial or RFE, they are just trying to save money. This is a rumor and there is no need to believe it.

 

H1B Denial Rate

Third party consulting companies like Capgemini, Cognizant, TCS, Infosys etc. have 20% higher rate of h1B rejection than direct client full time H1B jobs.

Make sure that your employer files the proofs to support your employment as H1b Specialty occupation is the number one reason for H1B RFE and then denial.

 

Steps After H1B Lottery

Check out our 7 steps for getting H1B and starting working on Oct 1 with H1B. If you have filed H1B in regular processing, we suggest to upgrade to premium processing so that you can get approval before October and can start working on Oct 1.

You will make more money by starting work earlier than saving Premium processing fees of $1410.

7 steps to H1B lottery process, Approval, RFE and Denials

Case Outside Normal Processing Time

If your ‘case receipt date’ is before the USCIS service request date mentioned above, you should ask your employer or attorney raise a service request with USCIS to check why your case has been delayed. Only your employer can raise the service request for H1B application.

It is possible that your case is taking longer than other similar cases and may be stuck in administrative processing.

 

H1B Lay off Grace Period

If you lose your H1B job or have left it by choice, you have 60 days grace to find another H1B sponsor. You can start working immediately based on receipt on or before 60th day.

USCIS H1B 240 Day Rule

You can keep working after 240 days of i94 expiry if your H1B has been filed as Amendment + Extension or as transfer.

If your case is pending for approval with USCIS and your 240 days after i94 expiry are fast approaching, we strongly recommend to upgrade your application to ‘Premium Processing’ at 200 day mark. This will help you get a result before your 240 day limit and avoid stopping work.

Consular Proc = Visa (Stamp or visa foil) to be issued outside USA in a US Embassy.

How long does H1B regular processing take?

H1B regular application processing time is 3 months to 1 year for approvals.

H1B Regular Vs Premium

H1B Premium processing costs $1410 and you can get approval within 1-15 days. USCIS will refund the premium fees if they cannot process it in 15 calendar days including weekends. Regular H1B application takes more than 3 months to get approval.

Does H1B premium increase chances of RFE or Denial?

Applying H1B in premium does not increase your chances of H1B RFE or denial. The possibility of H1B approval are same in regular vs premium application.


USA USCIS Processing Time
 



Recent discussion on forum

  1. vg100
    vg100

    Got it! Thanks @Anil.Gupta!


  2. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Agilan

    H1B processing times vary by each service center. Please check the time table as given on our processing time page.


  3. Arunava_Datta
    Arunava_Datta

    Hi Anil, your prediction was pin accurate and I receive my approval on May 30th.Thanks for being so kind to help in queries.


  4. pink2012
    pink2012

    Keeping my fingers crossed… Thanks for your prompt reply.


  5. Akki24
    Akki24

    Hi @Anil.Gupta
    Received my approval on August 1st via Email & text message.
    All websites shows updated status as below:

    On August 1, 2019, we approved your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number LIN191575**14. We will mail your approval notice. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to [www.uscis.gov/addresschange]…

    Now waiting to get hard-copy of the approval.

    Akshay


Comments are closed. Ask question on Forum (we answer in 1-24 hour)

262 more replies

  1,482 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. murali krishna
    murali krishna 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi Anil,

    Good Morning.

    My H1b transfer filed on 9th Jan at California center, on 1st feb my cases was transferred to some another center still notice needs to get.
    Ask – Which date i need to consider whether filed date 9th Jan or case transferred date 1st feb.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      You can consider your case transfer date to new service center to track your case progress. That will give you a better tracking time.


      • murali krishna
        murali krishna 10 Feb, 19 at 12:25 pm

        thanks for your efforts it is really appreciated


  2. Vijay Sharma
    Vijay Sharma 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi Anil,

    If i do have a client change request (i.e. my client moved to different parent company) for extension then it can go with premium processing?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      The client change is not the criteria for premium processing judgement.

      The criteria is employment and job details with your current H1B employer. I have covered it here:
      https://www.am22tech.com/h1b-premium-processing-suspended-by-uscis/


      • Vijay Sharma
        Vijay Sharma 10 Feb, 19 at 12:25 pm

        I understood the term here but question is my previous SOW came from the client that is merged into different company and AFAIK the new SOW for extension will come from new parent company. IF this is the scenario (everything else is same like SOC, job duties, location etc) still the application will with ‘No Change’


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 11 Feb, 19 at 8:04 am

          If there are changes in your employment contract, as it looks like from your explanation, it will be considered a material change.
          You can talk to your attorney as they know what all would really change in your H1B application.


  3. Sonali
    Sonali 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi Anil,

    My H1b transfer got approved but my I94 is expiring by the end of the month. Do I need to leave and reenter US to get a new I94 or can I keep working until my I797 expiration date? My present I94 has F1 as visa category, I never left the country on H1b. If I leave the country, I will have to get visa stamping, is India the only option for getting visa stamp or can I visit Canada as its hardly 3 hrs drive from where I live. Please suggest what should I do. Thank you in advance 🙂


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:28 am

      How did you file H1B transfer without getting into H1B first?
      Wasn’t your H1B filed with H1B Change of status?

      Please give full information for me to answer to-the-point.


      • Sonali
        Sonali 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

        I got my H1b in 2016. I went to India in Jan 2016 on F1 and never left the country after getting H1b on Oct 2016. Last year I changed jobs and filed for an H1b transfer which is now approved.


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 10 Feb, 19 at 12:25 pm

          I am still not clear about what you are saying.
          You went to India or USA?

          You were working on F1 visa or H1B till last year?


          • Sonali
            Sonali 10 Feb, 19 at 12:26 pm

            Sorry for the confusion.. Here is my story in detail –
            I came to USA for masters in 2011 on F1 visa. I completed my masters and worked for a while on opt. I visited India in Jan 2016 while on opt which explains the class of admission as F1 on I94 . I was selected in lottery April 2016 and Oct 1st 2016 I begin working on H1b. I never got a chance to visit India after this. Last year I change my job on H1b transfer receipt notice and now my H1b transfer is approved but my I94 is expiring end of this month. I hope this makes things clear.


            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 11 Feb, 19 at 8:04 am

              If i understand it correctly, you filed your H1B with COS and were present physically in US prior to Oct 1, 2016.

              If that’s correct, then you must have got a new i94 with H1B status with your H1B approval and change your status from F1 to H1B on Oct 1, 2016.

              Now, on your H1B transfer approval, you should have got a new i94 again.

              There is no need to leave to get stamping if you do not want to.


              • Sonali
                Sonali 11 Feb, 19 at 8:11 am

                Yes, I was present in USA when my H1b was filed but I am not sure if H1b was filed with COS. I do see a I94 record on my approval notice but it has no new expiration date. It only shows my I94 no, name, dob and cob. When I check my I94 on cbp website, I see the old one with F1 status. Am I missing something or looking in the wrong place?


                • Anil Gupta
                  Anil Gupta 12 Feb, 19 at 12:28 pm

                  Looks like you have ignored everything.
                  But, USCIS does not pardon you for your ignorance.

                  If you did not get a new i94 with H1B approval in Oct 2016, you could have not worked on H1B without going out and re-entering USA.
                  Since you never went out and have been working in USA, it means that you got a the new i94 attached to H1B i797.

                  After this, you have got the H1B Transfer approved which would have got you a new i94 again attached for transfer i797 approval notice.
                  Your status on this paper i94 should be shown as H1B with 3 year validity.

                  If that’s true, then There is no need to go out of US for stamping unless you want to.


                • Sonali
                  Sonali 12 Feb, 19 at 12:28 pm

                  Just for more information, I got no new paper I94 attached with my first H1b application or the current H1b transfer application approval notice.


                  • Anil Gupta
                    Anil Gupta 12 Feb, 19 at 3:49 pm

                    If you did not get a new i94, how did you change your status to H1B and started working on H1B?

                    You never left USA. Right? How can you stay in US without a valid i94?

                    You are definitely missing something. Check your H1B i797A form.


  4. Ankit Agarwal
    Ankit Agarwal 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi Anil,
    I recently changed employers and joined the new employer on H1 transfer receipt. The transfer was file in Mid October. My previous employer filed amendment for client change in June 2018. When i was joining my new employer. my previous employer told me he will will be withdrawing/revoking my H1 tied to him. Few days ago, I saw activity on the amendment petition that my case has transferred to a different service center. If it was revoked, why is there any activity on it? Would it cause any issues with my transfer application? My old H! had I94 validity until August 2019. After revoking, does that I-94 validity goes away as well?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      ## H1B Amendment transferred for new USCIS service center
      The chances are high that your old employer has not applied for revocation of H1B Amendment and it is still active.

      If they had withdrawn it, the status would show as ‘Withdrawn’ online.

      ## Pending H1B Amendment from Old employer with H1B transfer – Issues
      There are no issues as such with pending H1B Amendment as your i94 is still valid.

      In-fact, it is good for you that the old employer has not withdrawn the H1B yet.
      In case your H1B transfer gets denied, you can go back to old employer and start working for him as long as the petition is still pending or approved or has not been withdrawn.


  5. srini
    srini 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi Anil, Last year my wife’s H1B extension was denied, then she went to India and came back on H4, now in USA on H4. Now a new employer is planning to file H1B transfer+extension with premium processing, if premium processing is available from 02/19, then she will start work after approval. Her H4 i-94 expired on 1st Dec 19, her H4 extension is pending in normal process since 11th Sep 19. Question: If she gets H1B approval and later H4 extension approval, does it change her status from H1 to H4? Safe deal may be withdraw H4 after H1 approval, but if withdraw is not filed, will it have impact?


    • srini
      srini 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      Correction: i-94 expired on 1st Dec 2018


      • Anil Gupta
        Anil Gupta 10 Feb, 19 at 12:25 pm

        The status will depend on which application gets result first.
        If H1B application with COS is approved first and H4 is still pending, her status will change from H4 to H1B. In this case, you SHOULD file for H4 withdrawal.

        But, the problem is that if you withdraw H4, the time period between i94 expiry and the date of H1B approval will become ‘OUT OF STATUS’ due to i94 expiry.

        If you do not file H4 withdrawal and H4 is approved after H1B, USCIS may change her status back to H4 on application approval.

        So, your situation has become complex as you have waited too long to file H1B. Ideally you should have filed H1B transfer before i94 expiry to keep things clear.


        • srini
          srini 11 Feb, 19 at 8:04 am

          Employer was waiting for premium processing, since she cannot start work on receipt. (H1B extension denied, so need approval to start work). If they go by normal process, client will not wait and in case of RFE they cannot submit client letter or any other documents related to client. Now I am not sure what to do with this. If H1 approved first and H4 later, then she may have to raise request for change status from H4 to H1, in that case, usually how much time it takes? Can she continue work during that period?


          • Anil Gupta
            Anil Gupta 11 Feb, 19 at 8:11 am

            Change of status from H4 to H1B can take a long time and depends on service center. She cannot work during the time she has status as H4.


            • srini
              srini 12 Feb, 19 at 12:28 pm

              Okay, then one fine day, she will go back to India and get H1 Visa stamping, she is eligible for dropbox, so no need to wait for appointment, then she will enter US with H1. Hope that will solve all problems.


              • Anil Gupta
                Anil Gupta 12 Feb, 19 at 3:49 pm

                Yes, that’s probably the fastest option to convert to H1b in your case.


  6. Rahul
    Rahul 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hi,
    I got approval for H1B and H4 extension. However,H4 is approved for 1 year less than H1B and also H4’s passport is not expiring by that date.
    Is it possible that USCIS did some mistake in this case ?If so what are the options?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      It could be a mistake. Talk to your attorney and they can contact USCIS for clarification.
      or you can call USCIS for H4 yourself.


  7. Pavan
    Pavan 9 Feb, 19 at 10:15 am

    Thanks Anil. One important question for me is, since I already got my extension approved and have the i797 in hand, can I go to India and do stamping even if the amendment for change of work location is pending? The employer is same, the ammendment is to change the work location for my new client.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:45 am

      Officially, Yes, you can travel and get your H1B stamp based on current H1B extension approval.
      But, it is still risky given that your H1B Amendment is pending and I do not recommend travel unless it is absolutely required.


      • Pavan
        Pavan 9 Feb, 19 at 10:45 am

        Appreciate your responses Anil. Thank you!


  8. ananth
    ananth 9 Feb, 19 at 10:13 am

    but the 31st has already passed and I’ve been extended for another 6 months. I understand you may not guess their response but would they consider the fact that there are extensions possible and ask for more documents?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:44 am

      It depends on if they want to request more documents or not. You mentioned that they already requested documents in second RFE.

      Did USCIS ask for updated project SOW in your second RFE or not? If not, what was asked in second RFE?
      Also, did you submit new project SOW with your second RFE?


      • Ananth
        Ananth 10 Feb, 19 at 12:28 pm

        I don’t believe a new SOW was requested and we didn’t send the new SOW. The extension happend on exactly dec 31st the last day of my response


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 11 Feb, 19 at 8:11 am

          What’s documents were requested in first RFE and second RFE?


          • Ananth
            Ananth 11 Feb, 19 at 8:13 am

            Project details and client letter


            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 11 Feb, 19 at 1:52 pm

              Then, your employer would have submitted the Project SOW. These days USCIS is pretty strict with respect to SOW validity dates and are issuing H1B only till the validity.
              You would be lucky if you get a full 3 year H1B with a short SOW.


  9. Anil Gupta
    Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:12 am

    Yes, you can upgrade to premium if USCIS opens it on Feb 20.


  10. GKR
    GKR 9 Feb, 19 at 10:07 am

    Hello Anil,

    Is there a way to check from the petition that if it is filed for just extension or extension + amendment.
    My company said that it has filed for an extension + amendment, but I just want to be sure.
    Sorry for being naive.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:12 am

      If you have access to I-129 form that your employer filled, you can find out easily. A sample is available here in this article.


      • GKR
        GKR 9 Feb, 19 at 10:43 am

        Thank you. I really appreciate your help. In general will the employer share the I-129 to the employees?


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 10 Feb, 19 at 12:27 pm

          Well, yes, you can ask for it if they have not shared it.


          • GKR
            GKR 11 Feb, 19 at 8:13 am

            Will do. Thanks again.




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