April 1st H1B visa 2016 Season Start Lottery Date

April 1st – USCIS H1B Visa 2016 Season Starts Today, When to expect Lottery ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 184 Comments

Today is probably the most awaited day for many of the international students and professionals, who are pursuing their dream to work in US.  As exciting as it can be, it is a very anxious period for all of them as they are waiting for the news from USCIS regarding the number of petitions filed for H1B Visa 2016 quota and if there would be a lottery for the same.  Let me try to explain what would happen in the next few days, so that you calm your nerves down.

What is the minimum and maximum duration for H1B FY 2016 season?

It can range from 5 days to 10 months or more. The minimum H1B season duration would be for at least 5 business days, starting from April 1st, 2015. So, technically it would be until close of business day of April 7th.  If USCIS receives more than 85,000 petitions during this time, then the season closes and USCIS will conduct a lottery to select those 85,000 petitions to fulfil the H1B cap.   If USCIS does not receive enough petitions, which is 20,000 for US Masters students’ quota and 65,000 for regular quota, then USCIS will continue to accept until the H1B cap count of 85,000 is met. During recession period, the H1B Visa 2011 cap was reached on Jan 26th , technically it lasted for 10 months.  But, as per our H1B Visa 2016 Predictions Analysis , we expect a lottery for FY 2016 and cap would be complete by April 7th.

When would USCIS release official news on H1B Visa 2016 Season?

Usually, USCIS reports the official news regarding the H1B season petitions, counts, etc. after the first 5 business days.  Last year for H1B Visa 2015 season, USCIS reported their first official H1B cap reached news on April 7th, 2014.  We can expect first official news to be released on the same day, which is April 7th, Tuesday.  However, we may get some insider news from AILA and other attorneys regarding the petitions flow around April 3rd, it will not be official USCIS though 😉 …we will monitor the social media and keep our readers posted on the same updates.

If lottery, when would that be conducted for  H1B 2016 quota by USCIS ?

Assuming that USCIS receives more petitions than required for the H1B cap, they would conduct the lottery or random selection for those petitions around April 10th.  For last year quota, the lottery was conducted on April 10th, so we are expecting the same this year too. Usually USCIS will release a press note on the lottery date indicating the total petitions received and how the lottery was conducted.  If you would like to know the process, read How does H1B Visa 2016 Lottery work ?

How Long does it take for me know, if I am selected in Lottery?

This is a very tricky question…it can take anywhere from few days to few months, to know if you were selected in the lottery. This is the most painful part of the H1B lottery….the long wait. If you were to file under premium processing, you may expect results as early as April second week and if regular processing, it can last until late June. Last year, petitions rejections were received as late as even June…So, there is no precise time.  You cannot be sure, if your petition was not picked until you received an official rejection notice from USCIS stating that your petition was not selected…Typically employers look at the checks cashed and get a hunch that the petition was selected.

I know the waiting can be very painful folks…All I can say is, stay calm and wait…We will keep you all posted with the slightest updates either official or unofficial. Stay tuned!  You may track the updates on H1B Visa 2016 Tracker page

Do you have any more questions?  Any thoughts to add? Leave a comment…


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Comments ( 184 )

  1. chinna

    Hi Friends,
    I have filed 2 H1b petitions with two different middle size employers. will there be any chances rejecting my petitions during their paper work considering this as a duplicate filing?

    1. dingdong

      Don’t worry… there won’t be any filtering at the lottery level unless incorrect petitions or duplicate(for same employee by same employer).

      Rest it depends on what supplementary documents you provide for the stamping if required. If those are correct & once again you are lucky like lottery you will go through easily with out much scruitiny otherwise there might be a RFE.


    Please check USCIS official website. they have posted that the CAP was reached just now they posted and officially confirmed more than 3 lacs applications they recieved.

    1. hgf

      still no link/source, right? hope you show a bit more credibility when you work with your consultant on a fake cv. so stop wasting everyone’s time please

    2. vijay

      They confirmed as cap reached the quota but they haven’t confirmed as how many applications they received..Pls don’t post blindly

  3. naveed

    As I see many people has applied multiple applications, if anyone gets more then one h1b selected, what will happen to his other application, will that place be given to any other or just wasted, pls share

    1. pari

      This is not India to sell H1B otherwise it would have happen first day itself. If lottery happen in India we need not to apply also. we can buy . lol

  4. Sunny18

    Last year too, USCIS had posted the exact same news on April 7th without mentioning the exact number of petitions. On April 10th the number of petitions was disclosed. We can expect a similar trend this year. Maybe April 10th or 13th..

  5. Don

    I see many Master degree holders talking crap abt ppl applying with bachelors degree. I am one of those who holds a bachelor degree and who’s visa is applied. I completely disagree with those Master degree holders who say they are more deserving than us.

    There are many here with a bachelors degree who are more talented than one’s holding a Master’s degree. Just that many of us cannot afford the high fees, had some other family responsibilities.

    Going for Masters degree was your choice, but that does not mean you get a right of looking down on others holding a bachelors degree.

    Everyone here has their own needs, dreams. Everyone here is deserving and hence have been granted an opportunity to apply.

    Advice to all folks with master’s degree who think they are superior : Give respect, get respect!!!

    1. The Real Bob

      I understand why you are frustrated. Go join Big Boss and do your drama there. The reality is you will still have less than 1/3rd chance of getting a H1B while the masters quota will have more than double your chance. They are better than you idiot.

      1. Don

        They have 2 chances because not because they are good but they have contributed to US economy by paying fees, some may have paid taxes. Yes for that reason they deserve those 2 chances.

        But if you say they are deserving because they are more talented, I disagree bro.

        This post above was for guys like you. I found one amongst that breed very soon.

        1. hgf

          Dude, by that count those without bachelor’s have 0 chance at the lottery so by your count you must be infinitely more qualified. All the best. Bachelors << Masters << PhD in STEM

      2. Don

        Anyways do not want to get into an arguement over this with a so called ‘Bob’ who is frustrating every1 here with some baseless posts.

        Get a life. Good luck for lottery.

        1. Bob's Bob

          I dont need luck like a fool like you. I have masters degree and i have 3 H1bs applied through 3 different employers. I will get it for sure. You keep praying for the visa and then you will not get it. Ha! Idiot.

          1. Idiot is who says idiot

            By telling this, you show how idiot you are! You think you will get it for sure, this is the most idiotic sentence I’ve ever heard. You’ve done that masters on Idiot’s dept ? people should not pray for visa, they should pray for idiots like you not having visa ! Bad luck idiot!!!

    2. hgf

      Wel . It’s a factual statement that the masters students in general are better qualified, esp in the STEM fields. This is not subjective opinion. Also for the same reason they will command higher salaries than yo . Such is life.

      1. Don

        Yes agree they are better qualified, they have learnt a few good things in 2 xtras years of education. My point is some folks think they are more talented coz of studying for des xtra 2 years. Talent is inborn and even some bachelor degree holder also possesses.

        And 2nd point being y abuse oders jst coz dey dnt have a Masters degree.

          1. Don

            Yeah there is nothing wrong in providing Folks with Master degree 2 chances.

            My point is sm1 has a masters degree, dats great.
            But if dat person is abusive to bachelors degree holder, dat does not make sense.

        1. HULK

          Everybody coming up with figures, so where is the harm of putting something of your own?? Even FEDEX knows more than USCIS nowadays

        2. ME ME ME

          You are not that intelligent to figure that out bro, that number is generated by taking 4 to 9th digit of Pie expansion.

  6. Horse Rider

    An official update from USCIS , already crossed 2.5lacs applications on the 4 th working day of april. Still there is onemore day.

      1. Horse Rider

        Funny thing with you guys is. checkings all the other websites and blogs which will discuss about the h1b info. But you guys dont check the official USCIS website and you guys dont follow the official USCIS page in facebook … learn guys.

        1. hgf

          err… bro, there is nothing of the sort on the uscis site, hence the request for the source url. Either way, good way to pass time, I think.

    1. Kishore H

      I am praying to God that I get through lottery this year so that i can travel to Las Vegas atleast and take lap dance by blondes in gentleman’s club atleast. Plz pray fro me guys. thanks in advance.

      1. Hope

        WAIT WHAT? You want H1b visa to go to Las Vegas and do the dance in some club. Seriously I mean seriously!!!!!! Why don’t we do this, you can dance next year and let others take the visa so we can work and live our dream.

        1. Atul

          No. They will not declare lottery result immediately. The process of notification itself will take 1 and half month. If you are lucky you will be notified early. If you have applied through MNC then it will depend upon ur company’s immigration team policy. If you have applied through attorney then as USCIS will declare you will get notifed.

  7. srk

    Hello Everyone,
    I have been following your expert comments on H1B 2016 and would like to thank everyone for sharing your knowledge and experience.
    I have also applied H1B (through sponsor) for the first time this year FY 2016.
    Take Care and have a good week ahead

  8. Karan

    All numbers are speculation for now I think, as Kumar said we will have to wait till 7th April. But my feeling is it will be lower than last year as H4 will start to work from this year. I am sure companies will be aware of this and would have started the interviews even.

  9. Manish

    In my Project, around 6 members got nominated for H1 b visa. So is there any chance all 6 gets selected or rejected during lottery?

  10. Tom

    Hi, Today I won $112 in State Lottery. Does it indicates I have good luck this month for H1B Lottery too. Please suggest I am very nervous.

        1. bob

          He has a chance. If you read the book ‘fooled by randomness’ then you would understand the theory of probability in life!

    1. Bob

      1. Multiple applications with small employers. Example. USCIS may NOT issue RFE if, lets say, TCS and Accenture both filed H1 for you, because it indicates or it implies that you have sound tech knowledge and multi employers want to hire you. However if small ABC filed H1 for you and also a small XYZ filled H1 for you, then USCIS would like to know more details about You as well as both the employers, hence they will most probably Issue RFE.
      2. Lack information in submitted document etc.

  11. KKesshav

    Guys ,
    I have spent whole long weekend doing some research on H1 scene this year

    Although its of no use but as humans we are curious to know

    so , Here is what i have got

    Expected applications = definitely more than last FY but not by a huge margin … > 180 K and less than 200 K

    Lottery – April 7 – April 10

    Premium ( selected ) — Expected to get results by April 20-30

    Premium ( rejected ) — April 27 – May 8

    NP ( selected ) — April 27 -May 22

    NP ( rejected ) – – May 11 – Jun 12

    Margin of error = +/- 2%

    1. Analysis

      Yup I also feel this analysis might be valid to an extent.I predict for even more applications.For the past year from my project they initiated for 4 people. This year they have initiated for 9. Moreover major chunk of visa initiated would be from India and also it would be from top tier companies like TCS,Infosys,Wipro etc.So with the above sample size increase and considering other probabilities, if we think logically,definitely there would be an increase from the previous year count and the increase would be more than 40k to 50k from previous year.
      A little Scary.

      1. KKesshav

        yeah , you are correct .. at least the top tier companies like infy , wipro , TCS are filing double the number of petitions in order to have required number of final approved visas i know for the fact wipro has already filed 9K + appls. last year they filed only 5K but then there are other factors that like H4 changes that might decrease the applications as well , so i think it shd be 180 K = 200 K ; not more than that.

        1. H1B2016

          Please check this link “http://www.myvisajobs.com/Reports/2015-H1B-Visa-Sponsor.aspx”. It shows the total number of LCA filed by each employer.

          Rank H1B Visa Sponsor Number of LCA * Average Salary
          1 Infosys 23,816 $76,794
          2 Tata Consultancy Services 14,096 $67,673
          3 Wipro 8,365 $69,936
          4 IBM 7,944 $87,227
          5 Deloitte Consulting 7,016 $102,112
          6 Accenture 5,509 $75,532
          7 Hcl America 4,749 $81,223
          8 Tech Mahindra (Americas) 4,600 $73,025
          9 Larsen & Toubro Infotech 4,365 $69,943
          10 Ernst & Young 3,976 $89,350
          11 Microsoft 3,750 $116,804
          12 Igate Technologies 3,124 $68,714

  12. Kishor

    Following update from USCIS (Check facebook page of USCIS)

    We would like to inform stakeholders about the proper action to take in the event cap-subject filings for fiscal year 2016 H-1B petitions are mishandled by delivery services. If a petitioner filed an FY16 H-1B cap petition in a timely manner, but received notification from the delivery service that suggests that there may be a delay or damage to the package, the petitioner may file a second H-1B petition with a new fee payment and the following:

    · An explanation why a second petition is being filed, with supporting evidence, such as the notice from the delivery service; and

    · A request to withdraw the first petition filed for the FY16 H-1B cap.

    Petitioners who do not include these items will be considered to have submitted duplicate filings. We remind employers that we will deny or revoke multiple or duplicative petitions filed by an employer, in the same fiscal year, for the same H-1B worker and will not refund the filing fees.

    If the FY16 cap is met within the first five business days of April, we will reject any petitions received after April 7, 2015, including second H-1B petitions filed because of a delivery service mishandling as described above.

    In addition, if the petitioner submits a second H-1B petition and withdraws the first, we will not adjudicate the withdrawn petition and will return it to the petitioner regardless of whether the petition has already been receipted.

      1. USADreamer

        2 more days…. Even if 85k applications are not received yet, the last 2 days will see an overflow of applications doubling the current count.

          1. No English H1B

            I know! This is just hilarious. One of the main reasons for these enormous # of applications are Mass applications by these Tech giants like infosys and others.
            Average of 10000 Applications , and the people who they apply for are just mindblowing. Most of them are people with influence in the company with higher management “WHO WANT TO SEE AMERICA” .

            Taking up all those slots from us eligible masters candidates! DAMN YOU GUYS

  13. H1B2016

    Hi Friends,

    I have a question.
    1) If a Person filed Multiple Applications from Different employer, whether USCIS will consider all if them for Lottery or Duplicate filing they will remove from the Lottery?
    2) If a Person Filed Mulitple Applications from Same Employer,
    whether USCIS will consider all if them for Lottery or Duplicate filing they will remove from the Lottery?

    PLease post your comments.

    1. bob

      #1 – You will have high chance for RFE or even rejection
      #2 – You cannot file multiple applications from same employers. Doesn’t make sense.
      For details read Bob’s comments below.

  14. USADreamer

    Hi Kumar,

    It’s 4th April today here in India. Do you have any unofficial update about the number of petitions received by USCIS so far??

    1. bob

      Don’t know. But it will be around 130k this year- Bob’s prediction. And ratio of multi employer application will be 1:4. Most of which will RFE to all Multi Employers. And 80 to 90% of these RFES will turn out as rejection.

      1. USADreamer

        Hi bob,
        Well if your prediction comes true it will be good for us. However I feel it will surely be more than what u predict. I know two companies from India each of them filing more than 25k applications this year.

        Let wait and c. I will wait for update from Kumar.

  15. god forsaken

    I have got a query regarding this lottery.uscis picked up 65000 applications for last year lottery. Now due to RFE and other reasons many were rejected during processing( say 5000 got rejected)

    So does that mean that only 60000 people went to USA on H1B???
    Is there a re lottery system to fill up the quota for rejected applications??

  16. H1B

    If multiple employers filed h1b for you, USCIS going to contact the h1b candidate asking which job he will choose. Based on his response that particular petition will be allowed in lottery and other petitions are ignored.

    1. bob

      Yes it is. since you are not going to work for multiple employers this is the right way to go so that every h1b candidate will have equal probability barring Master’s cap candidates

    2. Bob Ka father

      Funny Bob! USCIS will process even if two applications picked in the lottery.They will never call the person and ask 🙂 funny bob!
      Later both gets approval or in between if the beneficiary want to cancel one he/she can and go with the other one.

    1. raju

      Bob is a patriotic guy. He tries to keep the people in their home country only by giving wrong information all the ways. He doesn’t want to see others going to US.
      He is the one who tried for H1B many times and failed all the times. Since then he decided not to let others also go.

    1. administrator

      Unfortunately no way of knowing yourself. Your employer has to give you that information by providing you with the receipt number, which you can use to check the case status.

    1. teta

      Read if You are applying H1B with MULTIPLE Employer: Bob’s analysis and prediction for FY 16
      You cannot apply H1s with multiple employer. However multiple employers can apply H1s for you! If you understood this line you don’t need to read further.
      It is legal in the context that more than 1 employers are willing to hire you bcoz of your talent. However there are many ppl who have misused this big time, for the sake of getting thru lottery.
      H1 is a tool to assist you IF your presence is required in US. But what we are doing nowadays we make sure of our presence at US first, then figure out about job/client; which is illegal per se.
      USCIS has given a clause that one person CAN be on multiple applications. It does not mean that every other person IS on multiple application. Mind it.
      Therefore USCIS is extra cautious this year to find out if your multiple employers are legitimate or not. Means USCIS would like to know through RFE (to both employers) that what was the rationale behind hiring you!

    2. Horse Rider

      You Crazy!Indian people applying with multiple employers and made this h1b lottery. mistake is with indians not usa immigration lol

  17. Talha Khan

    At What time we get the tracking # ? Is it after our application is picked up in the lottery or after the submission of application ?

  18. Sri

    My employer has a status page where H1B progress is tracked. It says there that petition sent on 30th march. But I heard any petition received by uscis before april 1st will be rejected. So do i still have hope?

    1. bob3

      Bob analysis con. . C’mon your name’s google search should result in your contribution in technology space, for being selected by multiple employers of America to hire your.. lol

      1. raju

        As other members felt, Bob is a funny guy. Better he should stop his spams in this blog. He talks with out base and with out evidence. Bob, Please don’t misguide people with your baseless posts. We should post something if there is any proper evidence. I asked you to provide some links or evidence for “Those who are sponsored by multiple employers will get mass RFE or denials”. But you are not responding to that…
        You mean,If a resource name doesn’t found in google search then he is not allowed to get sponsored by multiple employers. Wow. great logical analogy.

    1. XC

      omg…. my package finally arrived VT and was eventually out for delivery…
      Made almost 10 calls to FedEx since yesterday.. and I was even told the package went to Memphis, TN!!!!

  19. Muahammad

    And the wait starts……. Btw I recieved bad news on the first day, learning that masters cap is only for students who have completed their masters program. I couldn’t qualify because I will graduate in May

    1. administrator

      Just to clarify, it totally depends on where you stand in the program. If you have met all the degree requirements and just waiting for graduation or taking extra classes, you can get a letter from the registrar that confirms that you have met the degree requirements and only the graduation and award of degree is pending. This will help you file the H1B petition under Masters quota

      1. Muhammad

        I am currently enrolled in my last required class. I just saw on my application that my lawyer applied under bachelors cap because I have not graduated/ completed the masters degree requirements

  20. H1B

    multiple applications from different employers and if those employers are consulting companies you are straight away rejected

    1. ad

      most Bizarre comment I have come across, there is already so many discussion stating, you can file with n number of employers. Attorney to FIRM everyone is aware of it. There is no way you can get rejected based on number of petitions. they can at max ask why you have files with 3 -4 applications. That too being lottery what are the odds.. 1 in 1000. if you respond correctly that too can get escaped, I have few friends who received 3 approved h1b.. Why to spread rumors.

      1. Horse Rider

        ofcourse you can apply with N number of employers nobody cares but you need to pay atleast 35000$ for each application.

    2. MMB

      Pls don’t spread these kind of rumors.
      Multiple petitions are accepted if they are from different employers.
      Rejections happen only if there is more than 1 petition from the same employer. One employee getting job offer from different employers is perfectly legal.

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