H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Predictions Factors USCIS

H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Predictions – Analysis, News, Date, Results

In H1B Visa News by Kumar184 Comments

As I look back, it just amazes me that this is the sixth year of doing the H1B lottery predictions starting with H1B FY 2011 Predictions.  Time just flies! So far, all these years our predictions have been very accurate and hope to continue the trend this year too J.  We will look at some historical data of the past, H1B cap reach dates, work visas situation, and various macro-economic factors and do our analysis for H1B Visa 2016 lottery predictions.

Updated : H1B FY 2016 had lottery as we predicted below with about 233,000 Petitions filed towards that. If you are looking for FY 2017 related predictions, you should read article H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Predictions, News and Dates

Analysis of USCIS Historic Data – H1B Cap reach dates from FY 2004 to 2015

The below graphs illustrates the H1B cap reach dates from early 2004 all the way until H1B FY 2015 quota.  As highlighted in the graph, it is very clear that the US economy primarily drives the demand for H1B visa highly skilled technical workers.  Last couple of years were crazy with quite a bit of H1-B petitions filed. As we did in our H1B Visa 2015 predictions, USCIS received about 172,500 petitions.  We will look at the US economy and other factors in detail below, but as per the graph trend below, it is very likely that we will have a lottery for FY 2016.

H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Predictions

H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Prediction Analysis by various Factors

Every year there are various factors that impact the H1B Visa petitions filings, it ranges from US economy to USCIS immigration policies changes, including students influx volume into USA…Let’s look at each of them. For clarity sake, will divide them into two categories…one that increases the H1B Visas demand and other that will pull it down.

Factors that can INCREASE Number of H1B Visa Applications:

Some of the factors below are macro-economic in nature, some are very specific tied to past events and situations.

  • US Economy – GDP Growth: If you look at the GDP growth rate graph below, it is pretty clear that the US economy is doing absolutely fine, except a small hiccup in early 2014. As per the WSJ US GDP forecast, the growth in 2015 looks solid at 3% and better than 2014’s growth of 2.6%.  This growth is primarily driven by the long lasting lower oil prices. What it means is for US businesses is that they will invest more and hire more people for jobs, which directly increases the demand for highly skilled labor, leading to more H1B visas sponsorship. US Economy and H1B 2016 Impact
  • Unemployment rate in USA : The unemployment rate in US has been constantly falling and the below graph clearly illustrates the trend. Currently, it is about 5.5% compared to 10% in 2009. This is a very positive sign for H1B visa holders because, there are less people in US who are jobless and it directly implies that the highly skilled labor demand would be more and companies would need to do H1B sponsorships to cater to the demand.  US Unemployment rate and H1B 2016 Impact
  • Missed H1B FY 2015 Lottery Applicants: Only 85,000 applications were picked last year from the lottery of 172,500 H1B 2015 applications received by USCIS. So, about 87,500 applications were not picked. If not, all of them at least good half to one third of them could potentially apply for H1B Visa this year.
  • Internationals students on F1 visa in USA – Graduating, Expiring OPTs, 17 month OPT extensions: According to the IIE Report, the international students grew by about 8.1% in 2013-14. Many of these new students may not apply, but the students from prior years of 2012, 2013 who would graduate this year or with expiring OPT could potentially apply for this year H1B visa. Also, the key thing is STEM graduates with 17 month OPT who would have graduated almost 2 years ago would very likely apply for H1B, if they have not done yet. All of these adds a lot of demand for H1B visa applications.F1 Students Applying H1B Visa FY 2016

Factors that can DECREASE the Number of H1B Visa Applications:

  • H4 Visa EAD rule: As many of you know, H4 Visa EAD rule was passed and will be effective from May 26, 2015. This rule essentially enables certain H4 Visa holder with an approved I-140 or H1B extended beyond 6 years under AC21, apply for EAD.  The impact of this rule is significant as about 179,600 H4 visa holders are eligible for EAD with this rule.  Many of those H4 visa holders, who probably planned to apply for this year quota, would NOT apply for H1B 2016. The simple reason is that EAD gives them more options to work and there is no reason to go through lottery, when they can get a work permit as a dependent on H4.
  • H1B Rules Tightened, Fees, RFEs : Over the last few years, the H1B rules are more strict  with Neufeld H1B visa memo introduced  in Jan 2010 and H1B visa filing fee was raised by $2000 during recession, which was in effect until September 30, 2014…still the USCIS H1B fees section shows this fees listed, not sure what’s the status on this fee. Also, there have been good number of H1B RFEs and Rejections in the last few years. Some large companies like Infosys have been hit with immigration breaches in the past and many IT consulting companies have been in trouble with these rules…All of these factors will NOT encourage employers to file for H1B visa petition, unless there is a real need.

 Now, What the judgment on Analysis? What is the Lottery Prediction? 

Well, the factors that influence the increase in the H1B Applications weigh much more than the ones that can decrease them…so, there will be H1B Lottery for FY 2016 quota. The next question is how many petitions will be filed with USCIS?  Despite the H4 visa EAD rule, I strongly believe that the demand is historically high and there are many people who are in need of H1B visa.  As far as the numbers go, based on above factors, we expect that USCIS can receive anywhere between 170,000 to 200,000 H1B petitions for fiscal year of 2016.

Also, below are the couple of questions everyone would be thinking about…

When is the H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Date?

USCIS will accept H1B petitions for the FY 2016 during the first 5 business days starting from April 1st, which would be until close of business day of April 7th . Last year, the H1B Lottery was conducted on April 10th, 2014. We expect similar dates this year either it could be April 10th or the week of April 13th, depending on the number of petitions received as USCIS has to deal with initial paperwork for conducting lottery.

When can you expect H1B Visa 2016 lottery results?

This is a very tricky question, it depends on various factors and there is no time limit set as such for this, unless you filed under premium processing. Usually, many of the selected petitions in lottery would receive the receipt numbers starting with premium processing cases and then regular processing cases. They can start coming in from April 13th all the way for couple of months or more depending on the work load of USCIS.  Also, last year, the H1B applications not selected in Lottery were rejected and returned to employers/attorney as late as end of June 2014, so it can be quite frustrating to wait….All in all, there is going to be quite a bit of wait folks and be ready for it…!

What is your guess for the H1B Visa 2016 Lottery prediction?

Any other factors that can influence the FY 2016 applications volume ?

Any other thoughts to share ?

Credits : for US GDP and Unemployment Graphs :  http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/

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Comments ( 184 )

  1. Saurabh Singh

    Hi
    i have applied through some consultant and got selected in lottery but these ppl have withdrawn my case without notifying me. i can see latest status for my petition as Withdrawn Ackwledgement Receiept has been sent.

    Is there any possibility of transferring such petition to another employer.

    Regards

  2. Sangeeta

    Filed H1b in Jan 2016, status is still showing as “Case Received”.
    Wanted to when I will get my final confirmation
    Filed through consultancy and not premium filing .

  3. Sandeep

    I did not get any lottery picked or rejected mail is there any chance that my application is approved I don’t have any idea please suggest me I lost my hopes waiting these many

  4. Govind

    Hi,
    Any one please suggest me .I have applied to H1B through consultancy. But not yet received filling status. They are saying we will update you end of June
    Still can we expect H1B lottery results positive?
    I believe all results are declared. Simply they are hiding the true?
    Please let me know till what time we can expect H1B lottery results

  5. Gowthami

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am waiting for last year approval .It was on case received status long time, I converted my case into premium processing on 6/6 .My attorney got receipt number on 6/8. When can I expect a result from USCIS ?

    Current status is “case was received and receipt notice was emailed”.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Gowthami,

      You should see some movement by 6/23 (15 calendar days from 6/8). This assumes USCIS received the PP upgrade request on 8th, otherwise you can do the 15 day calculation for the correct date.

  6. govind

    I have not yet received any confirmation from my consultancy. They are saying, still expecting some results.
    is that true? or simply they are hiding that I was not selected in lottery process.
    Still I can wait for lottery results?

    1. Saurabh Singh

      Hi , i have also applied through some consultant but these people have withdrawn my case after selection in lottery for some unknown reason. my bad luck. you can please inbox me [email protected] for more details.

      1. Arpan

        Saurabh,

        Thanks

        I have not got the receipt number? The company told me only the one who was selected can get the number. Is that right?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Arpan,

          So you are checking the LCA status and it says Certified. That would be the status for all petitions that went through lottery – selected or not.

          If you have not received the receipt number yet, there is a good chance that you didn’t make through it.

          Yes, only selected petitions get the receipt number.

    1. Abhi

      Hi,

      I have applied H1 through a consultancy. But those guys are not letting me know whether I am selected or not. Today when I asked them, they told they have a list of candidates but my name doesn’t appear in the list.

      Is it worth waiting? Or do I need to negate any chances of getting selected.

    2. Abhi

      Hi,

      I have applied H1 through a consultancy. But those guys are not letting me know whether I am selected or not. Today when I asked them, they told they have a list of candidates but my name doesn’t appear in the list.

      Is it worth waiting? Or do I need to negate any chances of getting selected.

  7. Nandini

    Still my visa status is in pending state as i have got mail from the team that i have to wait until end of June .how many chances are there for me for this year?

  8. vani

    Till what date we can expect visa result this year? in my company most of them are received last week. Can some one share ??

          1. Rajesh

            Thanks for reply.
            Even your company got to know last week itself or they just delayed informing you?

      1. Prashant

        Hi Rahul! congrats.

        I applied for H1B through a consultancy. They just said they have applied H1B for me but they never gave any receipt nor any confirmation by mail? How do i trust that they have actually applied for me or just ripped my pockets ?
        Please guide me

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Peter Wang,
      The prediction was for FY 2016, which was for last year. This year we are yet to write the predictions. Will include this factor. Thanks for sharing.

  9. kumar

    Received H1B receipt number today(Aug/04/15) , New petition Masters/Premium . Just wondering Howzz this possible when lottery was conducted in April

  10. kumar

    Received H1B receipt number today(Aug/08/15) , New petition Masters/Premium . Just wondering Howzz this possible when lottery was conducted in April

  11. Yogesh

    Hi,
    my H1 accepted since may and got receipt, from there i am waiting for approval and when i tried to track my status online it will give me this message ” At this time USCIS cannot provide you with information for your case. Please contact the NCSC 1 (800) 375-5283 for additional information. ” Any idea what is that? i did not get RFE yet but still confuse that what is that mean and what should i have to do??? please share idea if anyone have same situation.

  12. Maria

    Hi, I’m college student studying data science and big data. I’m very interested in the H-1B visa application status and making predictions based on previous years’ info. I found the data on Engima. However, when I program the data, the certificated rate was astonishing, 94%! This even exclude those who were certificated but withdrawn. I wonder why our results are so different. How and where did you get the data?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Maria,
      The publicly available data is regarding the LCAs filed for H1B visa petitions. This is totally different from the actual H1B application and approvals. In general, the LCAs approval rate is very high and thats probably what you are looking at. You need to check USCIS website and their data to get to understand the H1B Applications filed and their approvals.

      1. Maria

        Hi Kumar,
        Thank you for pointing me to the right direction. I explored the USCIS website for a while and it seems its NRC (National Record Center) data is not available to the public. It stopped taking FOIA request as well. I wonder if your prediction is based on USCIS actual annual application. Is there a way to get the data somewhere else? We really don’t want to abandon our project. Thank you!

  13. Prabhu

    I received my Receipt number and it approved on 27th July.. Where i can check my further details with this receipt number.. I just want to be sure with the details….please help me out guys..

  14. Sonbik

    Received Case Accepted Email from Attorney

    on 28 July 2016 received receipt number. It was super surprise for me cause I didnt have hopes that Now i will get anything except rejection email 🙂

    Guys keep hoping I think still chances are there….

  15. Hansraaj

    My company Visa department has confirmed that “your lottery is selected for H1B 2015 slot”. But visa dept/me still not received receipt number yet, they are saying there are chances to receive recepit number before end of July month. Is there any chances of such lottery selection and what step should I take to check progress of my VISA application? please guide!

  16. UncleSam_InWaiting

    I have still not received confirmation on my petition selection status. Immigration personal from my company told me that final confirmation will be received by 20th June.
    I am left with no hope though 🙂

  17. XXXXX

    I heard lottery results will be published in batches till June, When will we get an confirmation ??

    Like in the last year H1B applications selected / not selected information was sent to employers/attorney as late as end of June 2014, Can we expect the same this year ??

  18. GM

    Is the whole process is done, or there is still a chance of receiving receipt?? Last year in our firm some cases got accepted in June first and second week even. Any thoughts?

  19. Vignesh

    My company applied for my H1B this year. It is May 28th already and I have not received any reply. Does this mean my application is rejected for sure? Some of my colleagues mentioned they’ve heard cases where folks got H1B accepts in June first week even. Any thoughts? 🙂

  20. H1BBlind

    Below email from HR today:
    Your application is sent to USCIS for filing, but the H1B CAP lottery result is still awaited for your application.

    1. H1B***

      yes I also received same response from HR “Your application is sent to USCIS for filing, but the H1B CAP lottery result is still awaited for your application.”

      But in Persistent few got selected in the lottery process. At least I know one person.

  21. srinu

    Hi Sir,

    I have applied for H1 B on March ending, but till now i didn’t get any information from the concern person.Is it still possible to pick for H1 b or not?

    1. Rafael

      Where did you get this information from? I am still waiting my receipt number and my petition was delivered to USCIS Vermont on April 1st.

  22. three_Years_wait_is_Over

    Finally after waiting for 3 long years I have received my receipt number. Such a big relief. Thankyou God!!

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