Below are some commonly asked questions and general responses for employment-based petitions. If you are the beneficiary of a petition filed by one of our corporate clients and you have further questions for us, please contact your employer’s HR department so they connect with us.
I emailed or left a voice message for someone at Kamat Law Corporation. When can I expect to hear back?
Answer: We endeavor to respond to all messages (voice and email) by the end of the following business day. In general, it is only necessary to leave one message; please make sure to check your spam folder and add us to your Contacts to ensure you receive emails from us.
If you have not heard back from us by the end of the next day, please feel free to send a follow-up message or call our main line at 925.361.8233.
Can I drop by your office to talk to the lawyer?
Answer: No. In order to ensure that we are able to service all of our clients in a systematic manner and meet ongoing deadlines, we do not take drop-ins; we need to schedule appointments in advance. Please note that, at the moment, we are not working with new clients. If you have a pending matter and you need to schedule a discussion, please reply-all to the email thread where your case was last discussed, or contact our office at 925.361.8233.
My case is pending with USCIS. When can I expect an update?
Answer: For cases filed under Premium Processing, you can expect an update (either approval or Request for Evidence) within 15 calendar days of USCIS receiving the petition. For regular processing cases, please refer to this page for processing times by Service Center:
Your receipt notice will contain the information you need to verify the expected processing time: the receipt date (“date received”), form number for the type of case, and the center or field office where it is pending. For I-485 cases, you would need to check the field office closest to you where your interview will be held.
Each case type has a “Receipt date for a case inquiry”—this means that if your case was filed before that date, you may contact our office to put in a service request for being outside of normal processing times. If you put in the service request yourself (available at https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do) please let us know that you have done so.
Please note that dates shown are approximate time frames and individual case times vary.
COMMON H-1B BENEFICIARY QUESTIONS
Question: Can I contact USCIS to find out what is happening with my case?
Answer: No. The beneficiary of an H-1B or I-140 petition cannot follow up directly with USCIS. Only the petitioner (i.e. your employer) or the attorney’s office is able to contact USCIS about the case. The attorney’s office will follow up through a service request only if the case is outside normal processing times posted at:
Please note that it can take about 15 days to hear back from USCIS following a service request, and they often simply indicate that the case is under processing and they will inform us when there is an update. You may request your employer to upgrade the case to Premium Processing if available, if the case is urgent.
My employer has hired your firm to file my case. How long will it take for my H-1B case to be filed?
Answer: We generally expect to have the case ready on our end within 10 business days of receiving the LCA details and Beneficiary Information Sheet. We will need to ensure that we have a complete set of supporting documents to the extent possible, so we will work with your employer to get the petition in the best possible shape before filing it. The exact timeframe depends on when your employer provides us all required signatures and checks. We will inform your employer when your case is filed.
When will I have my receipt number and how can I track it?
Answer: We will scan a copy of your receipt notice to your employer on the day that we receive it or the following business day, which should generally be within 10 days of mailing under premium processing, or three weeks under regular processing. Meanwhile, if you want to know whether the case has reached USCIS, your employer may request the tracking number. Once you have the receipt notice, you can sign up for case updates with USCIS at https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do —you should enter the 13-digit receipt number from the top left of your receipt notice, minus the dashes. Please note that this information is unofficial and it is not always accurate or updated. Official notices are mailed to our office and your employer’s office and only these should be relied on for accuracy.
Can the attorney mail me my original receipt notice? I need it to apply for a driver’s license or other benefit.
Answer: We do not mail original receipt notices. As of April 2, 2012, USCIS prints receipt notices on plain white paper; our policy is therefore only to scan the notice to your employer since it will look exactly the same as the original. You can print out this USCIS release for the DMV or other administrative office for their reference:
Question: Why is the online case status blank, still in the acceptance or initiation phase, or showing a strange message?
Answer: The case information found online at uscis.gov is not 100% accurate. Sometimes USCIS does not enter the case status at all, and other times the case status becomes unavailable, or says something inaccurate. These are system glitches that could mean there is some sort of update on the case. The only official information is correspondence mailed by USCIS to our office or the employer’s office. We will let you know when we receive notification.
Question: Why was my H-1B request only approved for a short amount of time?
Answer: We always try to request three years of H-1B status where it’s feasible. It is at the discretion of USCIS whether to approve the case for the full period requested. If they are not convinced by the totality of the evidence provided that there is specialty occupation work available for three full years, they might only approve it for one year or even less. This often occurs when there is not a client letter confirming a three-year project.
Question: Why was my case approved without an I-94?
Answer: We generally file the case requesting approval with an I-94 if you have been maintaining valid status up until the requested start date of the new petition, with no plans to depart the US in between in the case of a change of status. If it was requested with an I-94 and received without one, it’s possible that USCIS was not persuaded that you maintained status in between. It is discretionary for USCIS to approve the case with or without an I-94. If your case was approved without an I-94 although an extension of stay was requested, you can discuss with your employer if there is a possibility to amend it to obtain an I-94, or if you will need to leave the US for visa stamping.
Question: What documents do I need for visa stamping?
Answer: In general, you should take:
- I-797 Approval Notice
- Original passport
- Original degrees and transcripts
- Copies of your I-129 and LCA
- Project description for what you are working on, description regarding whether the project is in-house, or updated vendor/client letters and contracts relating to an off-site project
- If you have already been working for your employer, it will help if you take your latest pay stubs and W-2 forms as well for verification.
Please review the website of the consulate where you are obtaining stamping for more specific instructions and to book your visa appointment.
Question: I received a 221(g) for administrative processing. What does this mean?
Answer: When the consulate needs more time or more documentation to approve the visa, or they refuse it on some grounds, they issue a form 221(g). If specific documents are requested, you should contact your employer to coordinate putting together the requested documents and responding to the 221(g). If the form merely indicates that the case is under administrative processing, you just need to wait until the consulate provides a further update. Sometimes the consulate/Department of State just needs more time to review the case or do background checks. If it has been more than 30 days since the 221(g) has been issued, you can have your employer contact us to see if there might be an option to follow up.