How much time for I-797 copy after approval ? Can I start without it ?


My H1B is approved on 15th October, 2012. I checked the status online. I am waiting for approval letter (I-797) from USCIS. Can anybody please tell me how many days it will take to receive I-797 ?

Can I join new emplyer now, in this case, where I see online approval but does not have I-797 copy ?

Please help.



Employer/attorney should receive it within 30 days. Are you currently in US? If yes, then do you know if your H-1 was approved w/ COS?

Hi Saurabh,

Yes, I am in US and it is approved with COS.

Companies may want to have the physical copy in hand before starting the employment (to satisfy I-9 requirements). You will have to talk to your employer about it. Legally, you are on H-1 status from the date of COS approval and expected to maintain status from that date.

Thanks Saurabh for your answer.

Actually yesterday I talked with my new employer and they said they should be receiving I-797 copy in a week or so. And I should join them after 2weeks. Hence, I send resignation to my present employer with 2weeks of notice.

My concern is : what if I-797 is not received by new employer in these 2 weeks ? (I have already resigned !)

I have seen recent cases where it was received within 1-2 weeks. So you should remain hopeful. It is doesn’t arrive then your employer should calls USCIS and follow-up.

How did you confirm that your COS Was approved .Can you please help me with it.

I got this I-797 C recently

Not able to figure out