H1B Visa 2014 Lottery Prediction – Graphs, USCIS Past Data
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I have been writing about H1B Visa lottery predictions for the past few years…It is always exciting for me to review all the previous years’ H1B cap numbers, market trends, reach dates, etc. on the plate and do a prediction. This year, there has been so much news regarding the H1B lottery for fiscal year 2014 with USCIS H1B 2014 press release indicating that H1B petitions will be accepted from April 1st , 2013 and there could be lottery based on information from stakeholders. As we are inching towards the date, many of you might be curious regarding the H1B lottery. Let us look at some numbers and market conditions to predict if we would have lottery for this H1B Visa fiscal year 2014 quota.
US Economy and H1B Visas Cap reach dates from Fiscal Year 2004 – 2013
Below is a graph that indicates the H1B Visa quota cap reach dates by year from fiscal year 2004 through 2013. If you look closely the trend of H1B cap reach dates by year is in-line with the US economy situation. As the economy worsens and there is a recession, the demand for H1B visa holders declines pushing the cap reach dates. With the recession that started in 2008 and 2009, the H1B cap reach date for FY 2010 got pushed to early December, 2009 and with US recession worsening, for FY 2011, the H1B Cap reach date got pushed to even further to late January 2010…Unlike, with US economy recovering slightly, for FY 2012, the H1B cap reached in November 2011, and US economy even doing much better, for FY 2013, cap reached on June 11th, 2012.
Also, if you look at the US Unemployment rate history in the below graph, it is evident that we are not really at the old levels of about 6%. It indicates that the US Economy is still in slow recovery mode. Coming to US Annual GDP growth rate, we are about 1.6% from the last quarter, but that drop in GDP is tied to natural calamities in last quarter. Overall, the US economy is still in recovery mode, despite the positive growth from recession period.
Will there be H1B Lottery for 2014 Quota ? Prediction ?
Besides above US economy trends from above, significant number of changes happened in the H1B visa space in the last couple of years like below
- To discourage foreign workers, H1B visa filing fee was raised by $2000 during recession
- More H1B checks in place with Neufeld H1B visa memo in Jan 2010
- Additional 17 months OPT extension for STEM Master’s degree holders.
- Increase in RFEs and Rejections for H1B Cases.
One more factor to consider is that with recession starting in 2008 -2009, employers have postponed the H1B filings of Masters students in STEM category by leveraging the 12 month OPT with 17th month OPT extension. With 29 months coming to end, employers are forced to file H1B for those postponed petitions. Also, USCIS has stated in the press release that, “Based on feedback from its stake holders, it could receive more petitions than H1B cap between April 1st and April 5th “.
Now, the big question, what’s the conclusion based on above factors? Would we have lottery?
Well, even though USCIS predicts that there would be lottery, I personally think, the H1B quota cap would last at least until April 10th or may be a little longer. The master’s quota cap could exhaust within first week of April 2013, but not the regular quota. The reason I do NOT speculate a lottery in the first four days is that there are many factors that are not very encouraging for employers to sponsor H1B visas like recent changes to H1B filing with new rules, fee rises, high unemployment rate, and overall US economic condition. I could be wrong, if the people psychology kicks in…what I mean is that because USCIS issued a press note on lottery, employers could roll up their sleeves and get their petitions ahead of time than their original planned filings date. Let’s see what happens…
What is your prediction for H1B lottery for this fiscal year 2014 ?
For all updates, You can follow H1B Visa 2014 cap count updates Tracker
You can also read our previous years H1B lottery prediction articles below