When you apply for an H-1B visa in the United States, the government provides an online tool you can use to check the status of your case. You can also contact your attorney or check your petition’s status by phone – but for most people, using the online tool is much easier (and faster).
How to Check Your H-1B Visa Status Online
To check your H-1B visa status online, you’ll need your receipt number. Your receipt number is a unique, character identifier that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives each person who applies for a visa. You’ll find your receipt number on notices of action you receive from USCIS. Usually, the receipt number begins with three letters (such as EAC, WAC, LIN, SRC, NBC, MSC or IOE). After the letters, you’ll find a digit number.
When you have your receipt number for your visa petition, visit https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do.
Should You Set Up a USCIS Account?
You can sign up for an account on USCIS’s website before you check your case status. For many people, signing up for an account makes things easier; you can sign in and access your case status and history at any time. In fact, if you have other cases, applications or petitions, you can check them all from one central location – and you can view your entire case history. When you have an account, you can get case updates sent to your email and your phone, too.
Checking Your H-1B Visa Status Online Without an Account
You don’t need an account to check your H-1B visa status online. All you need is your receipt number. Simply enter your receipt number in the box provided. (See below.)
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What if Your Petition’s Review is Delayed?
While USCIS’ review and determination of your petition may take months, you can monitor your H1B Visa status online, or even check in by phone. There can be delays and an immigration lawyer can help by reviewing the H1B Visa status and possibly get a delayed application progressing again.
The USCIS operates several processing centers. In Texas, the USCIS Service Center happens to be located in the Dallas area. The time until final determination varies among the offices. You can check on the typical waiting time of your particular USCIS service center by visiting the USCIS Processing Time website. The site shows in real-time how long the processing of each classification of visa petitions is taking.
What Are The H1B Visa Status Levels?
When you check your H-1B visa status online, you will see one of several possible H1B visa status conditions. These are:
- Case Was Received and Receipt Notice Emailed. This status means that the petition with this case number was chosen from the lottery for premium processing and the case has been filed – and that the attorney or employer has received a confirmation through email.
- Case Was Received. The USCIS only emails receipt notices for premium processing applications, so you’ll only see this status with premium processing. If your H-1B visa petition was filed with regular processing, you’ll receive a receipt notice through the mail.
- Request for Additional Evidence Mailed. If you see this notice, it means that the official evaluating your case needs more information to make a decision. The actual request is called a Request for Additional Evidence, or RFE. That request goes to the employer or the attorney on the case, and the request requires a response before a certain date (the date is listed on the RFE). USCIS will not continue processing the case until it receives a response from the employer or the attorney.
- Response to USCIS’ Request for Additional Evidence Received. You’ll only see this status if USCIS mailed a request for additional evidence and your employer or attorney has responded. The status simply means that someone answered the request – not necessarily that it was completely fulfilled. It means that the employer or attorney filed additional documentation or supporting materials, but that doesn’t mean that USCIS has all the information it needs to make a decision on your case; the agency might still need more information.
- Case Was Approved, and Decision Was Emailed. You’ll only see this status if your case was filed under premium processing. Remember, USCIS only emails notifications for those cases; otherwise, it sends correspondence through the regular mail. If you see this status, it means that your case was approved.
- Case Was Approved. If your application was filed under regular processing, this status means your case was approved and that USCIS has mailed a notice to your employer or attorney.
- Decision Notice Mailed. This often indicates that USCIS has denied a petition. In these cases, USCIS provides reasons for denial – and often includes options (such as an appeal) you may be able to use to get your petition moving forward again.
- Error: Application Receipt Number Invalid. If you enter your receipt number incorrectly, you’ll get this error. You should check your receipt number and try again.
- Name Was Updated. This status means that USCIS updated the name on your case. It could be a simple clerical error, but it’s best to check with your attorney if you haven’t asked USCIS to change your name.
- Fees Will be Refunded. If you see this status, it means that the employer or your attorney has filed extra fees that USCIS doesn’t require – and that the fees are being returned to the person who paid them. It doesn’t impact your case, so don’t worry!
About Work Visas in the United States
Visas issued for entry to work in the United States are divided into several categories. One group is the H-1B category that permits college graduate-level, non-immigrants to work for up to six years in the United States in specialized positions. These jobs require technical expertise in fields like information technology, accounting, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and more. In many situations, U.S. companies are unable to find a sufficient number of U.S. citizen candidates and must look elsewhere for individuals with these capabilities.
The H-1B Visa Cap
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the limit for H-1B Visas granted annually stands at 85, per year with 20, of those allocated for Masters or higher level degree recipients. Petitions for an H-1B visa, Form I (Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker) that are subject to the FY cap will be accepted as of April 3,
Once the petition is initially reviewed and accepted at the USCIS office, the agency sends a Form I, Notice of Action, permitting the case to proceed. The notice assigns a digit Receipt Number to use as your reference in the future.
Alternatively, if the petition has been completed incorrectly or another problem exists, you may receive notice that your request has been rejected. Petitioners can reapply, making sure they have followed instructions precisely, so the case may proceed through the review process.
If you are an employer in need of workers with specific education and specialized skills, you may be asking: “Should I find an immigration attorney near me to improve my chances of getting an H-1B Visa?” The answer is a definite “yes.” Advice and assistance from a professional immigration attorney near me can improve the acceptability of the petition and monitor the progress.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in Houston & North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Dallas Contact Info:
Address: Preston Road Dallas, TX
Houston Contact Info: Address: Westpark Dr, Suite , Houston, TX
Posted in Immigration and Visas and tagged H1B Status
Checking Your Status Expiration: H-1B Workers and their H-4 Dependents
H-1B temporary workers and their H-4 dependents should be aware of their status expiration date at all times in order to ensure that they are in the US in legal status. The status expiration date is the last date that an H-1B worker or H-4 dependent can be in the US in lawful status. It is important to check this date regularly in order to ensure maintenance of lawful status.
How Do I Check My Status Expiration Date?
Your status expiration date is indicated on your most recent I departure record. You will receive a new I when one of the following takes place:
- If you change to H-1B (or H-4) status from within the US, without travel: Your I will be attached to the bottom of the I Approval Notice from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, indicating the validity dates of approved employment with Tufts University. The end date indicated on the I is your status expiration date.
- Upon entering the US following international travel: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will create an electronic I record which you can download from https://icbp.dhs.gov, indicating your class of admission (which should be H-1B / H-4) and "admit until" date, which is your status expiration date. (Click here to download a I_Fact_Sheet from US Customs and Border Protection)
Whichever is the most recent action (a change of status from within the US or re-entry to the US following international travel) will be your most recent I, and therefore your current status expiration date.
My I is Expiring Earlier Than I Expected - Why?
You status expiration is usually the same date as your Petition Expiration Date (PED), which is the date your H-1B approval as requested by Tufts University expires. For example, Tufts may request three years of H-1B employment for you, and the request is approved. Your PED will generally be three years into the future.
In certain cases, however, both USCIS and/or CBP can issue a I with a shorter expiration date than requested. This can be due to a number of factors, but the most common are the following:
- CBP has not updated its systems: on occasion, Customs and Border Protection may not have updated your I information after your most recent arrival to the US to indicate your correct status and/or status expiration date. Contact the International Center for instructions about how to get your I information corrected.
- Your passport will expire before the requested petition approval date: if your passport expires before the end of the requested employment, your status may expire at the same time as your passport, rather than the H-1B petition. If this happens to you, you must extend your passport and contact the International Center immediately for extension instructions.
Is My Status Expiration and Visa Expiration the Same Thing?
Your status expiration date is the date your eligibility to stay in the US in H-1B status (or H-4 status) expires. This is not the same as your visa expiration date, which refers to the date your entry visa in your passport expires. The visa expiration date is the last day you can use the visa to request permission to enter the US after a temporary trip abroad, and your visa may expire while you are in the US without affecting your status expiration. The visa expiration date can be the same date as your PED, but it may be shorter depending on US government visa reciprocity agreements with your home country, among other factors.
Check Your I Regularly
H-1B workers and H-4 dependents should check the status expiration date on their I records regularly, and especially after returning to the US following international travel. This is to ensure that you know when your status expires and you can take appropriate action to extend your status, if necessary.
Check Your USCIS Case Status Online
Immigrating to the US can be done either through an employment based green card or a family-based green card. However, after completing the application process , there is long wait until you can get an adjudication. Instead of being stuck in a limbo not knowing at what stage your application is at, we have provided you with the option of checking your status immediately below.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Enter a Receipt Number to track the status of an immigration application, petition, or request.
Enter a Receipt Number to track the status of an immigration application, petition, or request.
The tool above is a quick and efficient tool to help you monitor the stage your application is at, calculate processing timelines for different USCIS service centers as well assess a possible date of adjudication for your immigration petition.
Visa petitions (such as H1B visa petitions), visa transfers, and visa extension applications can be checked online to find out their status. Individuals who submitted green card petitions (Form I) for family members or employees can also check their case status online for applications such as I, I, AOS, Advance Parole, EAD, and Citizenship.
Having your receipt number available is crucial. After filing your visa application with USCIS, you will receive a Form I, Notice of Action, notifying you that your petition was received and giving you a case number, which you can use to check your USCIS case status online.
What is the USCIS receipt number?
USCIS assigns and issues a unique digit case number to each visa application filed. This is the receipt number, which is found on your Form I You can check your visa or immigration application filed with USCIS case status online using this receipt number.
The first 3 characters of your receipt signify the particular service center where the application is being processed. There are 4 USCIS service centers that handle visa applications. These include WAC, EAC, SRC, and LIN. For instance, applications submitted to California will have a receipt number starting with WAC.
How to Check USCIS Case Status Online
Follow the below steps to check your USCIS case status online.
- Go to my USCIS Case Status Search Case Status Online.
- Enter your digit receipt number in box below "Enter your receipt number".
- Be sure to enter your number correctly with all 13 letters as printed on our receipt notice.
- Enter the number without any spaces.
- The field is not case sensitive so you can enter your number in all caps or small letters.
- Click on the "Check Status" button and wait.
- Once the page refreshes you will see information about your case.
- You may register for an account to receive e-mail notifications whenever your case status changes.
Did you file your immigration petition at a local USCIS office?
Don't wait! Here's how to know the status of your petition
USCIS Center Application Status
Check USCIS Case Status by Phone
You may also check your USCIS case status by calling 1 () and following the automated instructions. Be sure to have your receipt number ready.
There is no human intervention in this service. All you get is an electronically recorded message stating your date of applicationfiling and the approximate time frame for the approval. These numbers are generally very busy. One needs to have patience to get connected.
You may also email the appropriate USCIS Service Center with your inquiry to check your USCIS case status. See the center-specific email IDs below for you to email the USCIS processing center where your application is being reviewed.
Note: Case status check may not be available for certain applications that are moved to National Visa Service Center (NVC). Find more information about NVC and check case status with National Visa Center.
USCIS Electronic Immigration System
The USCIS Electronic Immigration System is an online, account-based system that allows you to submit and view certain benefit requests, receive electronic notification of decisions, and receive real-time case status updates.
Along with visa petitions, USCIS also allows certain forms to be filed electronically, which you can check the status of online as well.
Such forms that qualify for USCIS electronic immigration system include Form I, I, I, I, I, I, and I Out of these forms Form I and I have limited availability but applicants who have already filed these forms through USCIS electronic immigration system can access them electronically to:
- Respond to a request for evidence
- Check case status
- Update profile
USCIS e-Request Portal
The USCIS e-Request Portal is a resource for applicants with certain case inquires and services requests, such as:
- Case outside normal processing time
- Did not receive notice by mail
- Did not receive card by mail
- Change of address
- Appointment accommodations
- Typographic error
Applicants can make an individual e-request for any of these inquiries. Applicants using the USCIS e-Request Portal are required to include basic information such as case number, date of filing, documentary evidence, and other relevant case information. USCIS will respond to the applicant's inquiry via email.
USCIS Processing Time
USCIS maintains a detailed list of processing times on its website. Applicants just need to know the following in order to check their processing times.
- Petition/Form type
- Processing center
- Classification or basis of filing
For example, at a California service center, an H1B visa holder filing Form I seeking a change of status would have a USCIS processing time of 2 months.
For a detailed list of all such classifications and visa form types, visit USCIS Processing Time Information.
Checking H1B Petition Status
To track the progress and trend of H1B petitions and approvals, visit H1B Tracker to share and learn from other applicants.
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