Current H1B Processing Time 2020, 3 month – 1 yr Regular

Updated  6 Jan, 20
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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.

CALIFORNIAFastest Approved CaseRaise USCIS SR Date
H1B newWAC19202***** Receipt: 22 Jul, 19
Approved in 4 month 27 days
15 Apr, 19
Slowest case approval in 8 month 5 days
H1B cosWAC19204***** Receipt: 24 Jul, 19
Approved in 4 month 25 days
15 Apr, 19
Slowest case approval in 8 month 5 days
H1B extensionWAC19204***** Receipt: 24 Jul, 19
Approved in 4 month 25 days
15 Apr, 19
Slowest case approval in 8 month 5 days
H1B amendmentWAC19204***** Receipt: 24 Jul, 19
Approved in 4 month 25 days
15 Apr, 19
Slowest case approval in 8 month 5 days
H1B transferWAC19256***** Receipt: 26 Jul, 19
Approved in 4 month 23 days
15 Apr, 19
Slowest case approval in 8 month 5 days


VERMONTFastest Approved CaseRaise USCIS SR Date
H1B newEAC19224***** Receipt: 21 Aug, 19
Approved in 3 month 27 days
26 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 6 month 24 days
H1B cosEAC19243***** Receipt: 18 Sep, 19
Approved in 2 month 29 days
26 May, 19
Slowest case approval in 6 month 24 days
H1B extensionEAC20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
19 Aug, 19
Slowest case approval in 3 month 29 days
H1B amendmentEAC20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
19 Aug, 19
Slowest case approval in 3 month 29 days
H1B transferEAC20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
19 Aug, 19
Slowest case approval in 3 month 29 days


NEBRASKAFastest Approved CaseRaise USCIS SR Date
H1B extensionLIN20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
18 Aug, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B amendmentLIN20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
18 Aug, 19
Slowest case approval in 4 month
H1B transferLIN20031***** Receipt: 14 Nov, 19
Approved in 1 month 2 days
18 Aug, 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. Sandeep_Karne
    Sandeep_Karne

    Hi Anil,
    My employer applied for my first time H1-b visa last year. In November they sent RFE and my employer said they have replied to it and they have done through premium processing on January 6th, 2020. But if I open the case number on USCIS website it still says the RFE was sent on Nov,13th 2019.( it doesn’t show RFE was received)
    When I ask my employer they say the premium processing payment has not yet deducted.
    Can you please share your experience of what is happening ? If they have put in premium processing it should come up in 15 days correct ?


  2. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Sandeep_Karne

    Most probably, your employer has not filed for premium upgrade at all. We have not heard of any case where premium stays pending for more than 15 days.


  3. asit_dash
    asit_dash

    Hi Anil

    For my H1B,I got RFE in October and got RFE response submission receipt on September 24th from California centre.

    It’s almost 130 days over and I didn’t got any response from USCIS. Any idea by when I can expect a response.

    Thanks in advance for your help

    Asit


  4. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    Hi @asit_dash

    RFE response from California is taking 100+ days these days. You should be able to get result soon.


  5. antique
    antique

    HI Anil,

    Can u please let me know when can we get the approval for an Amendment raised at Vermont center . As I can see in USCIS site… the processing times for I 129 form is 6.5 to 8.5 months for the visa to be issued abroad…I’m currently in India …and have no stamping …can u please shed some light on it … ur suggestion is greatly appreciated


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3 more replies

  1,068 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Kate
    Kate 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Anil,

    The company I work for got the RFE for my H1B 2018 (I was picked in the lottery this year) with the deadline to respond 11/08/2018.
    They sent that to Vermont on that day (8th of November).

    On my Visa case status website I can see a note:

    ‘On November 9, 2018, we received your response to our Request for Evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number…’

    It seems like they noted the date of receiving it as a day after the deadline.

    Should I be worried?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      That should be okay.
      If your company sent the response on Nov 8, how can it be received the same day?
      it must have been delivered the next day as per my information i.e. Nov 9.


      • kate
        kate 9 Feb, 19 at 10:14 am

        I know, they sent it in the very last moment. I am just not sure if this will get processed if the deadline was the 8th and it got delivered on the 9th…


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

          It should be processed. I am sure your employer’s attorney knows what he is doing even though he sent on last day!


  2. Angad
    Angad 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hello Anil- I am filing for H1B visa from outside the US (have AD) and was picked in lottery in April 2018. RFE responded to on Oct 15th. No information/update available since then.
    1a. Is it possible right now to apply for L1 visa with the same company that applied for my H1B visa?
    1b. Would this new L1 visa application have an impact on the H1B visa that is still under process? L1 will have premium processing option available but I hear there are even higher RFEs and denials for L1.
    2. How much longer would the wait time be to hear back on RFE decision for Vermont Service Center for H1B?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

      1a. Yes, you can apply L1 visa while your H1B is pending.
      1b. L1 visa should not have affect your H1B as both are allowed to have the dual intent of work and immigration.
      2. Current average time for RFE is 90+ days.


  3. Ravi
    Ravi 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hello Anil,

    Your site is very informative. The 240 day rule ( after filing the extension ) applicable to H4 EAD also ? We have filed for extension around 7th Nov 2018 whereas the I-94 expires end of Jan 2019 ? Could you clarify ?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      If I understand your question, you mean if H4 EAD can work?
      No, H4 EAD cannot work past the expiry date mentioned on EAD card.


  4. kate
    kate 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Anil, how long should one wait to raise a request after submission of RFE?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      USCIS follows the same time for RFEs as they do for regular cases. So, check your service center’s ‘Raise SR’ date with your receipt number to find when you can raise a service request.


  5. Narendar Gatla
    Narendar Gatla 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Anil,
    I have applied extension with california center on FEB-20 and got RFE, replied on Oct-15. raised e-request got reply 20 days back.
    This is the reply “Your case is now in the adjudication process which an expedite request is no longer available.”
    My application is still pending, pls advise.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      The status simply means that your case is still being worked on. In simple terms it is still pending.


  6. Rakesh K
    Rakesh K 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Anil,
    I am currently on H1-B visa. I have always worked as a full time employee, direct-hire, never as a contractor. I did my masters in CS in the US.
    I got a new Job, the new employer well established 7 billion dollar company wants me to join on receipt. My i94 has 1 and half years left on it.
    i have my i140 approved.

    Title, roles etc are very similar to what i do now. Is it safe to join on receipt? please advice


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      Nothing can be said with 100% surety but joining a direct client has much better chances of approval than a consultancy company.
      Joining on receipt is always a risk but a calculated one.

      So, if the offer is really good, you can go ahead and take that risk.


      • Rakesh K
        Rakesh K 9 Feb, 19 at 10:16 am

        thanks a lot anil. Your responses & your knowledge in these cases are really helping us. Really appreciate it


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:42 am

          You are welcome. Do share the blog with your friends if you think it is helpful.


  7. Paari
    Paari 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Anil,

    Thanks for clarifying questions. I had h1b approved till my 6 years max out (15th Feb 2020) with my previous employer. My new employer applied h1b transfer on 1st of Nov this year and I joined as direct full time employee with receipt number on 10th Nov this year. When I asked attorney to do h4 for my wife and kid along with my h1 transfer, he said that since they already have a i-539 approved and their approval is not employer specific, it is not required to apply. So here are my questions if you can help me to get clarified (hoping I get my transfer approved).

    1. Will my spouse’ and kid’s i-539 become inactive when my previous employer revoked my h1b?
    2. my new employer is saying that they will start my i140 process only by Feb, 2019. In that case I will be having only 1 year until my max-out (Feb 2020). What all the things I have to take care of?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:04 am

      1. No, H4 does not get automatically revoked when employer revokes H1B. Don’t worry. As long as you maintain your H1B status, H4 is in status if their prior H4 approval is still valid.
      2. I think you mean your new employer will start PERM process by Feb 2019. Just make sure that PERM is filed 365 days before your final 6th year cut off date. That way, even if you do not get your i140 approved by 6th year, you can still file 7th year H1B extension based on pending PERM.


      • Paari
        Paari 9 Feb, 19 at 10:14 am

        Thank you so much, Anil.


  8. lokesh
    lokesh 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    H1b amendment cum extension and H4 extension filed at California in February, got rfe and replied on July 10. Service request raised November end. I94 expired and 240 days will be done by this month end. Company wants H1b to move back to India and says will release if not willing. h4 has high risk pregnancy and cannot travel. Doctor advised and gave certificate. My questions :
    1. Is there any way H1b can stay back in America for another 3 months till the delivery.
    2. Can H4 stay back till delivery and vaccinations are done, say 5 months.
    3. If extension is denied can we apply for B1/B2 or will there be any problems for that


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:03 am

      1. You are legally allowed to stay in US after 240 days but CANNOT work while your H1B extension is pending.
      Now, it depends on you and your employer if they will allow you to stay in US without working on any project!

      2. Your dependent can stay with you after 240 days too.

      3. If extension is denied after your i94 has expired, no visa application can work. You will have to leave US and then enter again with whatever visa you want.
      I DON’T recommend applying for B1/B2 visa just for staying in USA as it stands high chance of rejection for your case.


  9. Gagan Sharma
    Gagan Sharma 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Hi Amit,
    What is the max time we can take to respond to a RFE?

    Regards
    Gagan


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 9:50 am

      Normally, USCIS gives 60 days to respond to RFE.


  10. Narendar Gatla
    Narendar Gatla 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Subject: I-94 validity and 240 days calculation

    Scenario:
    H1-Transfer: Got H1 valid upto March-2019 and I-94 valid upto 9-March-2019.
    Amendment- Applied on Sep-2016: Amendment approved upto March-2018 and I-94 valid upto March-2018.
    Amendment – Applied on August-2017: Amendment Approved upto March- 2018 and I-94 valid upto March-2018.
    Extension – Applied on Feb-2018, got rfe on Aug- 28 – pending with CA center.

    In this scenario, which I-94 is considerable? My employer is considering the latest amendment approval notice, i.e March-2018.
    Recently got drivers license extension from DHS upto March-2019.

    Could you please clarify for 240 days calculation?

    Thank you.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:03 am

      For your legal status in US, your most recent i94 approval supersedes all previous i94’s.
      So, in this case, your current i94 valid up-to March 2018 is what would be considered valid.




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