As most of you know, USCIS received 484K H1B registrations for H1B Fiscal Year(FY) 2023 season and they selected about 127,600 in the first round. Since then, many have been speculating that there is likely going to be a second-round lottery for FY 2023 season similar to the previous H1B FY 2022 season.
Today, all of that speculation has come to an end as USCIS released an official press release indicating that they have received enough H1B petitions to meet the H1B FY 2023 cap. In this article, we will review the summary of the press release, what it means for the applicants who applied this year, and the plan for the next H1B season.
USCIS News: No Second Round H1B Lottery for FY 2023
Below is the summary of the press release by USCIS today regarding second round H1B lottery and the FY 2023 season
H1B FY 2023 Cap Reached
- USCIS said in a press release that they received enough number of H1B Petitions to reach the H1B cap of 85,000 for the FY 2023 Season.
- What does it mean?
- What it means is that of the selected 127,600 H1B registrations, there were at least 85,000 H1B petitions that they received which were filed properly.
- This means that they will not run a second-round H1B lottery or third-round H1B lottery, similar to last year for FY 2023 season.
- How many Petitions could have been received by USCIS
- If you check the history of H1B Cap reach dates and counts, they usually select about 12% to 15% of petitions as a buffer to account for denials, rejections, etc.
- If we go by that logic, they would have likely received anywhere from 95,200 to 97,750 petitions.
Completed Sending “Not Selected” Notifications
- USCIS said that they have completed sending the “not selected” notifications for all the remaining H1B applicants, who were in waitlisted after the first round H1B lottery.
- Employers would see the status set to “Not Selected” for all the applicants, who were not selected in the first round of the H1B Visa lottery. It would look like below in the H1B Online Registration System
Accepting cap-exempt H1B petitions
- USCIS re-iterated that they continue to accept H1B cap-exempt petitions. What it means is that, you can file for the below types of H1B petitions
- H1B Transfers to change employers
- H1B Extensions for extending beyond 3 years or based on GC
- H1B Concurrent employment
- H1B amendments for changes in employment terms/ duties.
- While not explicitly said, they also accept cap-exempt H1B petitions filed by non-profit research institutions, education institutions, etc. on a continuous basis without the need for going through the H1B cap.
Next Steps for Unlucky Applicants: H1B FY 2024
The sad reality for many unlucky applicants, who were not selected in H1B FY 2023 first-round lottery back in March 2022 is that they need to fall back on their backup plans. Unfortunately, their hopes to get lucky in a second-round lottery are gone, as there will not be any more selections. Below are some of the common situations
- If you are a student on OPT with the option to get STEM OPT, you may try your luck for the next upcoming H1B FY 2024 season that starts in Feb/March of 2023
- If your OPT is ending as a student, you need to either depart the country on time or consider other options to stay in the country like getting job at a non-profit cap-exempt institution.
- If you are working for a company that is outside of the US, you can try your luck next time in the next year’s H1B lottery related to H1B FY 2024 season.
Check the end-to-end timeline for H1B FY 2024 Season, if you are planning for next year.
My two cents on H1B Lottery
Some of you may have backup plans, if not selected in the H1B lottery…but, some may not…irrespective of it, we all need to accept that it is life and move on. Some of your hopes and dreams may be shattered by hearing that there is no second-round lottery…but, maybe better things await you. Don’t be disheartened. This is US Immigration and some get lucky, some do not. Many of the immigration rules may not seem logical, but we need to accept the current state and move on…
What do you think of the news and press release by USCIS about not having second-round lottery? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.
Reference: USCIS press release and the screenshot of the press release below