H-1B Processing Update

Update 05/01/2024

Here are some latest processing updates. As cap-subject decisions start coming in, we’ll be providing additional updates. Based on the processing trends observed over the past three years, cap-subject H-1B visa applications should continue to be processed rapidly, generally within 1 to 2 months.

1. Amend/Extend, Extension, and Change of Employer Cases:

  • Vermont Service Center (VSC):
    • Filed on 11/13/2023, approved on 04/20/2024 (approx. 5 months).
    • Filed on 10/13/2023, approved on 04/12/2024 (approx. 6 months).
    • Filed on 10/05/2023, approved on 04/10/2024 (approx. 6 months).
    • Filed on 05/30/2023 (involved an RFE), approved on 04/10/2024 (approx. 10 months).
    • Filed on 08/14/2023 (Change of Employer), approved on 02/15/2024 (approx. 6 months).
    • Filed on 07/17/2023, approved on 01/24/2024 (approx. 6 months).
    • Filed on 04/27/2023, approved on 01/19/2024 (approx. 9 months).
    • Filed on 06/14/2023, approved on 01/15/2024 (approx. 7 months).
  • California Service Center (CSC):
    • Filed on 11/01/2023, approved on 03/18/2024 (approx. 4.5 months).
    • Filed on 11/13/2023, approved on 02/01/2024 (approx. 2.5 months).
  • Texas Service Center (TSC):
    • Filed on 07/10/2023, approved on 01/08/2024 (approx. 6 months).

2. Cap-Subject and Cap-Exempt Cases:

  • Vermont Service Center (VSC):
    • Cap Subject: Filed on 10/27/2023, approved on 11/30/2023 (approx. 1 month).
  • California Service Center (CSC):
    • Cap Exempt: Filed on 08/17/2023, approved on 11/30/2023 (approx. 3.5 months).
    • Filed on 09/22/2023, approved on 11/22/2023 (approx. 2 months).

Update 11/21/2023

Record-breaking processing speed of cap-subject H-1B continues.

Recent Case Highlight:

  • H-1B Case Filed: 10/10/2023 at Nebraska Service Center
  • Status: Approved
  • Approval Date: 10/18/2023
  • Processing Duration: Just 8 days!

Extension/amendment H-1Bs are slower but reasonable and steady, where most extension and amendment cases are processed within a 2 to 5-month timeframe.

Recent Extension Case:

  • H-1B Extension Filed: 08/21/2023 at California Service Center
  • Status: Approved
  • Approval Date: 10/26/2023
  • Processing Duration: Approximately 2 months.

Update 10/30/2023

The consistency and speed at which cap-subject H-1Bs are being processed continue to impress and exceed expectations.

Cap-Subject H-1Bs: Lightning-Fast Processing Times!

For those who are new to this or need a refresher, cap-subject H-1Bs pertain to those H-1B petitions that are subject to the annual quota (or “cap”) set by the Congress. These are the ones lottery-selected typically in April and August.

Here’s a recent sample:

H-1B Case filed on 09/29/2023
Status: Approved
Approval Date: 10/13/2023
Duration: Merely 2 weeks!

The swiftness with which these cap-subject H-1Bs are being processed has been consistent for the past 3 years. Almost all of the lottery-selected cases this year in April and August have been adjudicated/approved.

Extensions and Amendments: A Quick Look

While the processing times for cap-subject H-1Bs are incredibly swift, it’s essential to know the timelines for extension and amendment cases as well. Here are some of our recent samples:

H-1B Extension filed on 04/13/2023
Status: Approved
Approval Date: 09/12/2023
Duration: Approximately 5 months.

H-1B Extension/Amendment filed on 07/10/2023
Status: Approved
Approval Date: 09/20/2023
Duration: Just over 2 months.

H-1B Extension filed on 04/27/2023
Status: Approved
Approval Date: 10/04/2023
Duration: Just a little over 5 months.

While there is a range, most of these extensions and amendments hover around the 2 to 5-month mark, giving applicants and employers a reasonable timeline for planning.

Update 08/11/2023

We are sharing some impressively fast adjudication times for cap-subject H-1Bs. Below are two recent samples:

  1. H-1B Case filed on 06/23/2023
    • Status: Approved
    • Approval Date: 07/29/2023
    • Duration: Just 1 month!
  2. H-1B Case filed on 05/30/2023
    • Status: Approved
    • Approval Date: 07/27/2023
    • Duration: Roughly 2 months.

While the second case wasn’t as swift as the first, it still emphasizes the trend that USCIS is streamlining the processing of cap subject cases at an appreciable rate.

As a recap, we emphasized back in June the benefits of filing early for cap-subject H-1Bs. Many early filers were enjoying quick approvals, some in less than 2 weeks.

Update 07/25/2023

Recent sample H-1B extension showing a 5-month processing time.

Update 07/03/2023

Some more sample extension/amendment approvals showing current processing time frame of 3 to 4 months.

Update 06/26/2023

We have completed filing all of the cap-subject H-1Bs for this year and have received all of the receipt notices. Just like the past 2 years, the earlier you file (as early as April 1), the more likely you may get a quick approval. Here are some samples which took less than 2 weeks.

Update 06/02/2023

The posted time frame at USCIS Vermont has been consistently showing two months. Here’s a recent approval (H-1B extension) within the posted range. 3 months.

Update 05/18/2023

This is a sample H-1B timeline that includes a Request for Evidence (RFE), which is considered the most time-consuming type, as it challenges whether the position qualifies as a specialty occupation. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the RFE rate has been nearly zero. Therefore, encountering an RFE in an extension case that has previously undergone RFE scrutiny suggests that USCIS may be reverting to its previous practice of issuing template RFEs without careful consideration.

  • H-1B extension filed on 08/26/2022
  • RFE issued on 02/07/2023
  • RFE response received on 05/02/2023
  • H-1B extension approved on 05/03/2023

Update 05/04/2023

Here’s a sample H-1B extension that took 5 months to process. No RFE. We still have a few filed in January and February that are still pending. 5 months is pretty much the longest it may take for current extension filings. Note that the posted time frame is only 2 months.

Update 04/04/2023

California is processing H-1Bs (extend/transfer/amend) faster. Expect well within the posted time frame. Here’s a sample that took about a month.

Update 03/13/2023

This will also be posted in our Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium. Took less than a month adjudicate. H-1B transfer filed at the Vermont Service Center.

However, most H-1B amendments/transfers/extensions are still taking to 4 to 5 months.

Update 02/06/2023

Slight improvement in processing times. Some recent samples showing 5 months among extension cases which also include transfers and amendments.

Update 01/27/2023

Still at 6 months at Vermont involving extensions.

Update 01/20/2023

Some more sample approvals showing 6 month processing time frame for petitions involving extensions and requests for consular processing. No RFEs are involved.

Update 01/13/2023

Sample showing H-1B extension taking about 6 months to adjudicate at the Vermont Service Center. No RFEs.

Update 01/05/2023

Some recent samples showing approvals of H-1B extensions and transfers in about 6 months. Slower than the posted time frame of 2.5 months.

California hasn’t shown much slowdowns. Here’s a recent extension that took about 3 months, close to the posted time frame.

Update 12/27/2022

We received the final batch of approvals of the earliest filed extensions in 2022 that were still pending. None of them were subject to RFEs. Below is a sample that took 8 months. This stands in sharp contrast with the posted timeframe of 2.5 months at the Vermont Service Center. So don’t be alarmed if your extension is pending outside of posted timeframe. Ask your employer to initiate service inquiries when they become eligible to do so. And continue doing so when the required wait time has passed. Currently, our pending extensions are filed in June or later.

Update 12/13/2022

Here’s another H-1B extension approval that took longer than posted timeframe of 2.5 months. We have a few extensions filed in April that are still pending. The rest of the pending cases are filed in June or later.

Update 12/02/2022

Another sample H-1B extension that took longer than most. about 5 months.

Update 11/30/2022

Here’s an example of an H-1B extension that took about 6 months which is longer than the current average.

Most H-1Bs for the past couple of months have been adjudicated between 2 to 4 months for extensions, transfers, and initial filings.

Update 06/14/2022

Processing of extension cases has sped up somewhat. Below are some samples showing 2 months’ processing time.

Update 04/14/2022

The current processing time is about 3 to 5 months for extension, transfer, and amended petitions. Petitions subject to RFE will take longer.

3 months:

4 months:

5 months:

Update 03/17/2022

Processing time of H-1B is about 4-6 months. See examples below.

Update 01/21/2022

Processing time of H-1B extensions continues to stay at 4 months. See some examples below.

Note that H-1Bs subject to RFEs will take longer. Below are some examples. One is an H-1B1 extension and the other is an initial H-1B.

Update 01/07/2022

Processing time of H-1Bs remains stable at about 4 months. See some sample approvals below.

Update 12/14/2021

Some more sample approvals of H-1B extensions/transfers/amendments showing processing time of 3 to 4 months.

Update 12/01/2021

Below are some more sample approvals H-1B extensions/amendments showing processing time of 4 to 5 months. The last one also involved a Notice of Intent to Deny which we’ve successfully overcome.

Update 11/17/2021

Processing time for H-1B extension is currently quite stable. Here are some recent samples showing approval in about 4 to 5 months at the Vermont Processing Center.

Update 10/28/2021

Some recent examples of H-1B extensions that took about 4 months.

Update 10/25/2021

Below are recent examples of H-1B transfers that took about 4 months.

Original Post 10/08/2021

The processing time for H-1B extensions at the Vermont Service Center is about 5 months according to sample approvals below.