H1B 2020 Lottery Results, Timeline – Premium Processing vs. Regular

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 297 Comments

I see many people, who filed for H1B Visa 2020 season, worried about not picked in lottery, and some filed in regular processing wondering when they will get their receipts. In this article, we will cover below topics:

  • How would I know, if I am selected in H1B Lottery?
  • When will we know H1B lottery results for FY 2020?
    • Timelines for Premium processing
    • Timelines for Regular processing
  • When will I get H1B Rejected Packages that were not selected in Lottery ?
  • Is there any specific H1B Selection Process in Lottery?

How do I know, if I am selected in H1B Lottery ?

If you applied for H1B petition and were part of the H1B Visa Lottery,  below are few ways you would know, if you were selected in lottery :

  • H1B Receipt Notice Email – Premium Processing : If you filed your H1B petition in Premium Processing and if your petition was selected in lottery, then your attorney / employer would get the receipt notice of your H1B in email. The email has a 13 digit H1B Case number, that you can use to track your petition status. You can reach out to your employer to share the details so that you can check on the USCIS website.
  • Regular Processing – H1B Receipt Notice – Physical Copy : If you have filed your H1B petition in regular processing and your petition was selected in Lottery, then your employer will receive a physical copy of the receipt notice in Email. The physical copy of the receipt notice arrives by snail mail ( post) and it can take time. The physical H1B receipt Notice also has the 13 digit H1B case number and you can use that number to track status of your petition on USCIS website.
  • H1B Filing Check Cashed : If you get selected in H1B Lottery, the H1B fee cheque/ check that was sent with the H1B petition would get cashed. Usually, it is the check sent by the employer or the attorney with the H1B package. So, if your employer says, your petition fee check was cashed, it means you were selected in lottery.  Also, on the back of the check, you will have the H1B case number, which is also the 13-digit case number, you can use that to track your case on USCIS website. In the case of Cashing of Check, there is no direct email or receipt copy, but rather your employer/ attorney need to check the bank account tied to the check sent.
  • SEVIS Records Changes : This applies to only F1 Students in OPT or STEM OPT Cap Gap situation. If the F1 student, who is in cap gap, gets selected in Lottery, then they would see changes to their OPT end date in SEVIS, extended to September 30th. As a cap gap student, you can also see the OPT end date status update in SEVP Portal as well. For screenshots, full details, read STEM OPT Cap Gap – H1B Lottery Selected

When will we know H1B lottery results – Filed in Premium Processing for FY 2020 ?

If you have filed your H1B Petition in premium processing for FY 2020 season and if your petition was selected in H1B Lottery, then you are very likely to get H1B receipt notice by May 20th, 2019.  Many Masters quota applicants for FY 2020 have already started to receive the H1B receipts and the process is still going on.  The premium processing clock for FY 2020 petitions start from May 20th, 2019. So, you have until May 20th, before you can assume that you may not have selected in H1B Lottery.

Many users, who filed in premium processing, are asking online and worried that they have not received the H1B Case receipt yet. They are asking, if they can assume they were not selected in H1B lottery, if they have not yet received email H1B receipt notice…Based on our experience in the last few years, we have seen users getting H1B receipts until the start date of H1B premium clock. So, in a nutshell, you have until May 20th, before you can start assuming the worst situation to plan for backup.

Usually, you will see US Master’s Quota Premium Processing petition receipts coming in first, then you will see Regular quota Premium Processing petition receipts coming in next.  Again, you all have until May 20th, nothing to assume until that date.  Also, technically, until you receive a rejected package with reject notice, it is not 100% that your petition was not picked in lottery.

When will we know H1B lottery results – Filed in Regular Processing for FY 2020 ?

If you have filed your H1B petition in regular processing for FY 2020 season and if your petition was selected in Lottery, you will start to receive H1B Receipt notices starting from mid to last week of April and they will continue to come until early June.  As these are sent by physical snail mail ( Post), there is at least week to 10 days delay from the date the receipt notice was generated.

You will start to see H1B receipt notices for US Masters quota first and then you will see receipt notices for Regular quota.  The volume of regular processing receipts sent would increase after all the premium processing receipts are sent out, which is May 20th.  There is no batch sending of all the regular processing petitions, USCIS processes randomly and there is no specific order in which they are sent.  So, if you have filed in Regular Processing, do not get worried, if you do not see any receipt notice. You have time till mid June 2019 to make some assumption on the H1B lottery result.  You will only know for sure, if your petition was not picked in lottery, once you get the H1B reject notices. Check out the below image that shows the complete Timeline of H1B 2020 Lottery Results in a nice picture.

Update : H1B Rejected petitions that were not picked in lottery were sent in mid August, USICS delayed that by almost one month in relation to our projected timelines based on past data as illustrated in below picture.

H1B 2020 Lottery Results Timeline - Premium Processing vs Regular

When will I get H1B Rejected Packages that were not selected in Lottery ?

 If you were not selected in H1B Lottery, then USCIS will send out H1B Reject Notice indicating that you were not picked in Lottery…They usually do not send out reject notices for petitions not selected in lottery immediately, they are sent at the last. Usually, USCIS issues a news alert indicating that they have returned all rejected packages. Based on past history, we can expect it to be around July 30th, 2019. Below are the dates when USCIS returned rejected petitions for previous years.

  • For FY 2019, it was July 30th, 2018.
  • For FY 2018, it was July 19th
  • For FY 2017, it was July 8th
  • For FY 2016, it was July 14th

Update : USCIS announced on Aug 14th, 2019 that they have returned all H1B 2020 petitions that were not selected in lottery. Employers and attorney should return their packages by Aug 29, 2019. If not they can contact USCIS. See below:H1B 2020 Rejected Lottery Petitions returned News USCIS

What is the Current Status with H1B 2020 Season ?

In short, the current status of H1B 2020 season is illustrated in below image. The completed steps are as listed

  • Preparing of  H1B 2020 petitions
  • Mailing them to USCIS
  • H1B Lottery by USCIS
  • Notifications of selected H1Bs, Approvals notifications
  • H1B Petitions not selected in Lottery Returned
    • H1B Petitions that were selected will be continue to be processed in the next few months.

H1B 2020 Season Lottery Results Complete

Is there any specific H1B Selection Process in Lottery?

There is no specific criteria used for selection process of H1Bs in lottery other than the random selection of petitions based on the petition type regular quota or masters quota. Only the order of selection has changed for FY 2020 season.  Read New H1B Lottery Process for FY 2020. Also, you may read 5 Myths of H1B Approvals, Processing

What are Next Steps After H1B Visa Lottery  ? Process ?

If you have received a receipt notice from USCIS that your petition was selected, your petition goes through H1B processing for decision. Read Next Steps after H1B Visa Lottery – Decision Process Chart , to get full idea on the process.  Also, to know more on how USCIS statuses look on their website, you can read Various H1B Case Statuses During Processing – USCIS

H1B 2020 Tracker – Crowdsourced for general Insights

H1B Processing can be very time consuming and frustrating for many as it is like a black box and we need to keep waiting. Having some general insights will help the community. So, we have put together a community to anonymously track your H1B Case or application. You do not need to enter any sensitive information, it is fully anonymous and used by many in the past 5 years.  If you have filed a petition for FY 2020, please add your case and help the community.

Track your H1B Case

Anonymously Track your H1B Case - Share and Get updated from Community.


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Comments ( 297 )

  1. curiosity_rover

    Hi Kumar

    Thanks a lot for your continued help.

    I was picked in the lottery this year. And I am on L1-B visa. My Initial I-29s was expired last year August, but my i-94 is valid thru Feb 2021.

    My attorneys have sent me this mail:
    We are looking for a valid petition. The I-129S you sent to us expired last year.
    Your I-94 can only be valid for the duration of a valid petition. Currently, we do not have any documents from you showing that you have valid work authorization in the US.

    Please provide a valid I-129S or Form I-797, whichever applies to you.


    Does above make sense , because what im aware of is i94 is your legal status (stay/work) in US and i-29s may be only needed if leave US and make port of entry again.

    1. administrator

      No, you need both I-94 and I-129 approved. I-94 can be shorter at times than I-129 approval due to passport expiry. But, you should always have I-129 that is what defines your valid status in conjunction with I-94. Sometimes for Blanket petitions, they give longer I-94 duration, but that is not equated with approval…You should talk to attorney and get this sorted out quickly.

  2. Ram

    I got my H1B picked this year. My Case is still in “Case Received” status.

    Regular Processing
    California Service center
    B.Tech IT
    Already in H4 in the US with EAD

    Can I still expect something positive to happen? this is my 7th year trying in some way for H1B and this is the first time its picked in the lottery itself

  3. Mahathi

    Hi Kumar,
    My employer submitted my H1b extension without providing prime vendor letter and end client letter.
    If we get RFE we can provide the client letters , but question is , is there any chance of direct denial of the petition as we submitted only middle vendor letter and not submitted prime vendor and client letters.

  4. Shef


    I have a question regarding change of status. So my case is as follows: I am on a J1 visa which expires September 30, 2019. My husband’s H1B has been picked in the lottery but the approval has not come through as of now (California center). My query is whether I can apply for my change of status from J1 to H4 before his approval comes through? In the form I-539 instructions it says that atleast one of the following is needed:
    (1) Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, filed on behalf of the H temporary worker;
    (2) A copy of the Form I-797 Receipt Notice related to the H temporary worker’s already pending Form I-129
    (3) A copy of the front and back of the H temporary worker’s most recent Form I-94; or
    (4) A copy of the Form I-797 Approval Notice showing the H temporary worker has already been granted status for the period requested on your application.

    So according to this, should I apply for the COS since we have the receipt notice (I-797 of the pending form I-129). My husband’s company is not keen on applying for premium processing so I am worried that if his approval doesn’t come soon it will be too late for me to apply for H4 and I will have to leave the country.
    Please advise.

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