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H1B Visa 2011 Lottery Prediction Graph with 2010 Quota data Analysis

Update : NO Lottery for FY 2011. Check H1B visa FY 2011 Cap Count updates page for Current cap count and Analysis

As we are getting closer to the H1B filing date, April 1st 2010,  for 2011 quota, something that everyone is eager to H1B Lottery predict 2011know is, what would be the reaction by people and employers with recession and New H1B 2011 rules and also the H1B Port of Entry sent back in January 2010 issues that have been creating a buzz all over… I have done a preliminary analysis before as in this article: H1-B Visa Petitions Cap reached dates by Year from 2000 to 2010. Recession impact and Trend Analysis Plot from 2000 – 2010 for 2011 decision.

Now, we are curious to see how many H1B visa petitions will be filed in first week or first month, so  our goal is to predict the count on a weekly or fortnight basis. In fact, USCIS does a weekly or fortnight update of the H1B cap count, this helps us ! One of the best ways to predict 2011 H1B petitions lottery and filing dates and count of H1B applications, is to study the previous years i.e 2010 cap count updates.

H1B visa count reach data collection FY 2010 Cap for Lottery Prediction :

Honestly, I had a hard time getting hold of weekly cap counts, as all the news releases from USCIS news Updates section has only few H1B update press releases and USCIS used to update on a page at www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count. Luckily, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)  has all of those H1B Count pages of USCIS snapshots filed and saved as PDF. They have a list of all the count releases on a weekly basis. I got all my data from there after April 18th 2009 Press releases from USCIS. You may check all the count updates and press releases at AILA USCIS FY 2010 Cap Reach dates . Thanks to AILA for keeping a record of the USCIS cap count updates.

Trend of 2010 H1B visa applications count dates :

Based on the trend you can see how it got filled and the cap count was very flat for a long period of time due to the recession impact and towards the end of year, the count started filling up quickly. It will be interesting to see how the H1B filing will be with the new H1B Memorandum that was released with guidelines for Employer Employee Relationship. We do not expect to have lottery…it will be slow recovery…What do you all think based on the data analysis of Cap count updates of 2010 below? Do you think there will be h1b visa lottery for 2011 quota ?H1B visa 2011 FY 2010 Cap for Lottery PredictionTable listing the H1B petition count updates of FY 2010

H1B Petition received count  press released by USCIS


H1B Count of regular petitions received

April 8, 2009 USCIS UpdateUSCIS Still Accepting H1B
April 20, 2009 USCIS Update44,000
April 27, 2009 USCIS Update45,000
May 4 , 2009 USCIS Update45,000
May 11, 2009 USCIS Update45,000
May 18, 2009 USCIS Update45,500
May 22, 200945,700
May 29, 200945,800
June 5, 200944,400
June 12, 200944,500
June 19, 200944,500
June 26, 200944,800
July 3, 200945,000
July 10,200944,900
July 24,200944,900
August 7,200944,900
August 14,200945,000
August 28,200945,100
September 18, 200946,000
September 25, 200946,700
October 25,200952,800
November 6, 200954,700
November 18,200955,600
November 20,200956,900
November 27,200958,900
December 4,200961,100
December 8,200961,500
December 10,200962,500
December 11,200962,900
December 15,200964,200
December 21,2009


Data Credit : AILA and USCIS H1B Updates . The dates without reference links are taken from AILA updates.

Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/crystaljingsr/3914729343/


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  1. Hi,
    I came to US on L1 visa. My L1 visa got expired on 17th Mar 2011 and my company filed a case for L1 extension. The case status is in ‘Initial Review’. Now i am planning to file my H1 premium visa. Can i work right immedaitely in US as soon as i get my H1 Premium approval or do i need to wait till 1st October 2011? (example if i get a job which starts from 1st Aug, can i work in US with my H1 premium approval). I am asking this question as i wanted to continue work in US even if my L1 visa gets rejected.

    Can i get some guidence on my query please. I really appreciate your help.

    • H-1 employment cannot start until 1st Oct or actual start date (whichever is later). Besides, it needs to be applied along w/ COS if you plan to start working in US on H-1 w/o having the necessity of getting H-1 stamped from outside US.

  2. Hi

    My situation is i applied for H1b (Masters quota) in first week of nov 2010 and i received an RFE in feb 2011 for which my employer sent a reply on march 12th 2011, and USCIS got the reply , and they had given a time frame of 60 days to respond to filing. Now that 60 days time frame is over and no reply yet

    My question is since the time to respond by them is over,what i should do next, how to contact them, is their any way from which i can know my filing status.
    Please advice

    • Nothing you can do. If you have case number, have you check the website? You should call your lawyer or ask your employer to call USCIS directly

  3. Hi Kumar/Saurabh,
    I came to US on L1 visa. My L1 visa got expired on 17th Mar 2011 and my company filed a case for L1 extension. The case status is in ‘Initial Review’. Now i am planning to file my H1 premium visa. Can i work right immedaitely in US as soon as i get my H1 Premium approval or do i need to wait till 1st October 2011? (example if i get a job which starts from 1st Aug, can i work in US with my H1 premium approval). I am asking this question as i wanted to continue work in US even if my L1 visa gets rejected.

  4. Hi,

    I am currently on H4 and doing my Masters.

    I already have an SSN as I was on an L2 previously.

    I want to get a job at the end and so I want to converst my Visa to a F1 and I have 4 more subjects to go to fulfill my degree requirements to graduate.

    At this situation please advice me what I should be doin to obtain my F1 or H1?

    Please advice.

    • You can either find a new employer who is willing to file H-1 for you, and once approved you can start working on H-1. Or you can file COS from H-4 to F-1 and then work on OPT at the end of our course, and finally have a new employer apply H-1 for you. However, check w/ your school first if you will be eligible for OPT or not. AFAIK, a person needs to spend at least 1 year on F-1 in order to be eligible for OPT. Your DSO can guide you on that.

  5. If I apply H1b premium, What would be my chances?Even Preimum goes for random selection (I mean lottery )? Please unicast me. Appreciate your help.Thanks in advance

    • If lottery happens, then all petitions go through it. However, I don’t think we will have a lottery next fiscal year. My prediction is that quota will remain open for few months (at least).

  6. Hi,

    My company is filling my H1b Premium in the month of April 2011. In that case if there is Lottery this year then my application has to get selected in the lottery.
    Premium process is faster so that mean I can get stamped in 2 months time is it? .. Can i can make it US before Oct 2011 or I can fly only after Oct2011.

    • The earliest date you can travel to US is 20th Sep, provided your visa has been stamped by then. However, you cannot start working until 1st Oct.

  7. Hi,

    My company applied for H1B on Jan 7th and the petition was received by USCIS on Jan 10th. Am yet to get a receipt number. How long does USCIS take to generate the receipt number? If the receipt number got generated, does that mean my petition was inside the cap count that USCIS update every week?

    • Typically it may take up to 2 weeks for the attorney/employer to receive the petition number. Once the number is generated, that’s an indication that you have made through the numerical quota system.

  8. Hi,

    My employer has just submitted the lca through online system. Do you think I will be able to make it for the current quota. How many weeks you think it is going to be before the quota gets completely filled? Just curious. Thanks

  9. question for you Kumar.. I am in a situation where my OPT expires in May this year, and If my employer files for H1B after April(when applications for 2011 yr begin to be accepted); considering that current year’s quota still has slots open, can they file in year 2010 quota or do they have to necessarily apply for the 2011 quota, which leaves me uncovered till Oct, provided it is approved?
    Any suggestions/recommendations welcome

    • It is widely assumed that FY11 quota will get over this month. Your company will be filing in FY12 in Apr 2011, w/ start date of Oct 2011.

      As you are on OPT, you can be eligible for cap-gap provision, if your company applies for COS along w/ new petition filing, and mentions start date as 1st Oct 2011. This would allow you to work in US even when your OPT has expired, while H1 start date hasn’t kicked in.

  10. i would like to know about the lottery as i would like to leave South Africa with my family. to come to USA.
    with anticipate thanks.

    P.s. i am a quelified electrician with trade papers could you direct me to agency who could possibly assit in find jobs in the USA

  11. Hi kumar ,

    This is siddharth doing my Masters degree @ UK . Want to file my H1b next year , can you just lemme know . Can i file my H1b from UK ? Or should i have to come back to my home country INDIA and file ? Have been searching for this query in many places but cudnt get one ! Hope you help me out 🙂

    • The H1 sponsoring employer can file for your H1 even when you are in UK. However, it may be better to go to India for your visa stamping, or you contact US consulate in UK and ask them if you can schedule your interview in UK.

  12. Hi,

    I have completed my masters and I am on extended OPT right now, I have been working for the Client A through US staffing company as a full time consultant,I want to apply for my H1b , for the reason that i have not been to my home country from the past 30 months; I am approaching a couple of employers, but unfortunately, they are asking me to submit a letter from the client; I have requested a letter from my client, but its still in pending ; not sure if i am going to get that, Can you please advice me on how to deal with this; Can i apply for the H1b with my paystubs, since i have done my Masters, i would come under the special quota (20,000)

    Please help

    • With the new H1B requirements of 2011, employers are really cautious about client letters and other requirements that USCIS has now. Honestly, I do not the right answer… you should talk to an attorney, it can be very sensitive issue. I do understand your situation, it can be very frustrating. Did you consider looking for a full time job with your experience rather than consulting ? With the new H1B rules, it may be a good idea to look for a full time job


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