H-1B Petition Accepted: Now What?

Last Updated on November 27, 2023


Every year in March, USCIS starts accepting petitions for the H-1B visa lottery, and individuals are notified if their petition is selected. If your petition has been selected, congratulations! Once you’ve received notice that your petition was selected, you’re probably wondering what happens next. When can your employee enter the U.S. if they’re not already here? When can they begin working?

Here’s what you can look forward to as you get started.

H-1B petition accepted? Here are your next steps

H-1B application accepted? Here are your next steps.

Watch for RFEs

In total, USCIS awards 85,000 H-1B visas per year. Sometimes, USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) if it needs additional information for a petition. If you get an RFE, you will have an allotted timeframe to respond with supporting documentation. Though RFEs do not always indicate an impending denial, RFEs are correlated with higher denial rates.

If your H-1B petition is accepted, you can expect a few different notifications from USCIS, which may be mailed directly from the agency. Or, if you work with an immigration provider like Envoy, they will be sent to you.

Approval Notices

If you are an Envoy customer, we will email you to alert you that your petition has been accepted and your filing fee check deposited with USCIS. Some applicants will be approved as of June 1, and formal approval notices will likely arrive after August 1.

If you are not an Envoy customer, you can expect to see an approval alert and notification of your check deposit with USCIS after the beginning of June. You will be sent a formal approval notice by USCIS in early fall.

Starting Work on an H-1B Visa

H-1B visa holders can begin work no earlier than October 1. Some petitions arriving from overseas may be permitted to enter the country 10 days ahead of time to settle in before starting work on October 1. (Here’s a helpful list of important dates for the H-1B visa cap.)

H-1B petition denied or missed the cap? Download our H-1B Visa Alternatives Guide to explore other potential options.

Contact Us for Your H-1B Visa Needs