H1B Visa 2015 Lottery Predictions – USCIS Data, Trends

In Apply H1B Visa by Kumar391 Comments

Big question, “Will there be H1B Visa 2015 Lottery?”

H1B 2015 Season is over. Check out H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Predictions

Every year, since 2010, around the H1B season start time, I review all the past USCIS data, look at current trends, macro-economic factors and provide lottery predictions for H1B Visa filings for that fiscal year. It is hard to believe that I have been doing H1B predictions for the past 4 years and the predictions done have been very consistent with the actual results. This article will focus on H1B Visa 2015 Lottery Predictions based on real data!

Before we dive in to predictions, as a baseline, let’s look at the past USCIS data and US macro economics data.

USCIS H1B Visa Cap reach Dates by Year and US Economy Performance

As someone said “a picture is worth thousand words”, below is the graphical illustration of USCIS data plotted with the cap reach dates by year since 2000.  If you look closely, as mentioned in the illustration, the H1B Visa cap reach dates is very much in-line with the performance of the US economy. If there were signs of recession, the H1B cap reach dates extends as far as October or even sometimes even to January as the case with FY 2011.  As the US economy recovers from recession, the demand for H1B Visa workers increases as well, which is obvious by the H1B Cap reach dates moving close to April, as you can see for FY 2012 and 2013. Ultimately the H1B filing trend leads to a lottery as the demand exceeds the H1B cap numbers, which you can see for FY 2009, 2013.

H1B Visa 2015 Lottery Prediction Analysis

H1B Visa 2015 Lottery Prediction Analysis

There are many factors that influence the H1B Workers demand, below are some of them that influence the H1B lottery possibility for FY 2015.

  • Performance of US economy : US economy is doing fairly well, if you look at the below GDP growth rate, it looks good. It grew at 3.2% in Q4 of 2013. IMF raised GDP growth forecast of US to 2.8% for 2014, which is a good sign considering the original forecast.  This is a positive sign for companies to forecast their growth and hire more people. It is good for H1B visa workers demand.

US Economy and H1B Visa 2015 Impact

  • Unemployment Rate in US : The unemployment rate is falling consistently as you can see in the below trend and currently stands at 6.6%. It means that there is more demand for workforce in USA and it implies that more demand for H1B workers as well.

US Unemployment Rate H1B Visa Impact 2015

  • H1B Visa Applicants Not Selected in FY 2014 Lottery :  USCIS received about 124,000 petitions for a total of 85,000 visas last year for FY 2014.  You can expect a good amount of the 39,000 applicants, who were not selected in H1B 2014 lottery, to apply for this FY 2015 quota.  This creates more supply of the H1B Visa petitioners for this year filing.
  • Increased International Students: As you can see in below graph based on Institute of International Education Student Data  , the International students enrolled in US schools increased consistently since 2009-10 academic year. There are much more number of students, who would potentially apply for H1B Visa to work in America.

International Students to USA and H1B Impact

  • 17 month OPT extension Students: Apart from the regular Masters completed students, the STEM category students, who did not apply for H1B visa last year with 17 month OPT extension could also apply for H1B visa for this FY 2015 quota.
  • H1B Rules Tightened, More RFEs, Fees Increased : Over the period of last three years, H1B rules are more stringent with Neufeld H1B visa memo introduced  in Jan 2010 and H1B visa filing fee was raised by $2000 during recession, which is in effect until September 2014. Also, there have been good number of H1B RFEs and Rejections in the last few years for the applications that were not compliant with process. With the Infosys Visa Fraud and settlement of $34 Million late last year,  USCIS will have more scrutiny on H1Bs filed by big MNCs.  All of these discourage employees to file H1B Visa petitions, unless there is a compelling need for an employer to seek high skilled temporary worker on H1B visa.
  • H1B Visa cap and Immigration Reform : There has been some discussion on Immigration reform and raising H1B cap to 110,000 for regular quota and masters quota to 25,000, but nothing has moved  yet and we may have to live with existing cap. This does not help the increase in H1B Visa workers demand and only helps  for lottery.

Now, the million dollar question

Will there be H1B Lottery for 2015  Quota ?   What is the Prediction ?

Based on above data, despite the tightening of H1B Visa rules,  with US economy doing fairly well, US unemployment rate decreasing , increase in international students seeking jobs both with masters and OPTs, and the unlucky applicants who were picked in H1B lottery last year, we will have Lottery for H1B Visa FY 2015 Quota We could expect about 150K to 180 K petitions for this fiscal year.  If you have not planned yet, check out the H1B Visa 2015 Plan and Steps, including article on How to find H1B Sponsors for FY 2015.

What is your  speculation? Will we have H1B lottery for this year ?

How many petitions can we expect ?

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

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Comments ( 391 )

  1. Marie

    Same dilemma here. My company said that the final result is not available yet. My project advised me to get a L1B visa instead but I can’t get another visa if there is no final result for my H1B visa yet. This is so frustrating because I really don’t know when to expect for the final result. There’s nothing I can do to pull out my H1B Visa.

  2. H1b Accenture Awaiting

    I received email from Accenture stating that they are still awaiting the lottery status of my H1B application from USCIS. Is it true? because I heard all rejection/acceptance list are already released by USCIS..Guys any idea?

    1. Eswar

      Not only Accenture.. Most of the organizations does the same thing..
      they will keep us in waiting mode..

      If they release rejected mails.. most of the flocks will keep resignations

  3. Vikas

    Hi,

    Mine and my firend’s H1B was raised for the same location and for the same client. He recieved the acknowledgement on 30th April but I hvn’t recvd nythin so far. Does it mean My case is rejected ?

    Appreciate your response.

    Thanks.

  4. chinmoy

    Do anyone know on which date lottery for H1B Visa going to take place this year? And will it be in different phases or there is any particular date assigned for it?

  5. Aboagye

    Please my wife won us visa lottery and her agent submitted her visa application in November 2014. Up to now no reply has been received. Does it keep long like this?

  6. Amit Kumar

    My company is telling that they had paid the premium fee for the H1B visa two months back. But till date no inquiry or call had came to me. What is the procedure & how much time they are taking for this. Although this financial year is going to finished. What will happen to the fee that my company had paid.

    1. Prashanth

      Dear friend, I am sure , your company have not done anything yet, Filing will start from April 1st 2015. So you have to wait. This is my second time and as per the demand, I think this time around 200000 applications will be filed, I am not sure if I get lucky this time . But hope for the best.

  7. krish909

    Hello All,

    I have received this email from USCIS as i have created an email alerts for case status update, I spoke to my employer and he said we need to wait for the notice to receive from USCIS.

    My H1 got picked in APRIL 2014 fisical year and approved on july 2014 and i am with same employer and client. If my employer applies for appeal after receiving Notice from uscis will this help me, is there a success rate in this type of cases..

    Please let me know what are the options do i have,

    Please help me with your suggestions..

    ————————————————————————————————————-

    There has been a recent processing action taken on your case.

    Receipt Number: *************

    Application Type: I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER

    Your Case Status: Post Decision Activity

    On November 21, 2014, we mailed you a notice explaining our intent to revoke our earlier approval of your case, Receipt Number ********. The notice explains what we will do. Please follow the instructions in the notice and submit any requested materials. If you do not receive your notice before December 5, 2014, please call Customer Service at . If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    For approved applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include USCIS sending notification of the approved application/petition to the National Visa Center or the Department of State. For denied applications/petitions, post-decision activity may include the processing of an appeal and/or motions to reopen or reconsider and revocations.

    Log-in to your myUSCIS account to view your case history and understand what you can expect to happen next on your case.
    Current processing times can be found on the USCIS website at under Check Processing Times.

    Sincerely,

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  8. Anusha

    Hi,

    I am working in IBM from 3 years and wanted to apply for H1B visa from outside. Since it is easy to send me to US if i have VISA already. So i wanted to get H1B visa from outside with my cost only. Can anyone of you please explain me what and how i can do in this case

    1. Anusha

      I have worked with IBM for 5 years. They dont allow you to use H1B visa applied independently. Its against their HR policies.

      1. Prashanth

        Its not against HR policy but if you apply independently then u will not be under their control. that’s the reason they don’t want you to apply independently.They want to keep you in their control so that they can call you back when ever they want from onsite.U just apply it and don’t let them know about it. once you get visa, just resign from company and go to US.

    1. az

      that ‘s about right.

      do you have any other plans for that case? I am think of applying O-visa for that matter since the processing time of O1 visa is less than 2 weeks.

      how does that sound?

  9. Tom

    Whomever yet didnt get any responses, will get the rejection starting from June 16th to June 31st (Last response date) – Delay Due to huge number of application. Note Accepted Application its already shared with employer and respective members. Try for H1b 2015.

    1. krishna

      Today morning i already received a mail from the consultancy saying that, my case wasn’t picked up in the lottery.

  10. ZAR

    I’d say wait till the end of May since I just got notified by the firm’s lawyers that my application was approved. Although my application made it in the lottery and the lawyers received notification on the 28th of April, I was not notified until last Friday. I guess its just the sheer volume of applications that delays communication.

    AD/RP/Vermont

  11. Naveed

    What’s the criteria, by when should someone receive the receipt no, is their any deadline? I haven’t received anything yet

      1. Sandra

        @Emma,
        How are you? Haven’t see you a few days.
        I didn’t get any info. too. My attorney said it is very likely I was not selected in the lottery. So i already talked with my employer about Plan b.

        I can’t believe they put these AD people who has a job and honestly applied for only 1 real employer like this.

    1. The ROCK

      can you please share three digits after year (EAC/WAC-14(Year)-XXX)

      It will be helpful to know if new series has started or old series is still going on

  12. Jonny

    Guys, few employers like TCS will not share the receipt numbers immediately after receiving. So don’t lost hope. Wait till you get update from employers. ALB

      1. Emma

        Is it really over for Regular Processing at this point if we haven’t heard anything yet.. (either positive or negative). I’m in California / Graphic Design

  13. Mani

    USCIS said they may be issuing Premium Processing H-1 receipts till 21 May and non PP till 30 May or so. via Twitter @immigrationcom
    Don’t loose your hope.

          1. ZAR

            I just received an email from my lawyers that my application was selected in the lottery and the receipt was physically mailed to me.

            Regular processing advanced degree files from east coast. Non stem.

          2. Waiting4everfromWipro

            got an email from them saying they have received receipts for some cases but mine not among them.. guess it is time to give up hope…

    1. Vikash

      Not yet… not sure if they started to provide reciept for any account in TCS!!

      We need to wait till May last week I think…

  14. Sri

    Did any one get Premium Processing Advanced Degree receipt today? Should I still wait for mine or assume I did not get it?

    1. Emma

      Premium processing aren’t still getting receipts I think.. Or am I wrong? I’m still waiting for regular processing in California and have almost given up hope

      1. Mani

        Still you have chance for both PP and RQ. But very little.
        Everyyear Uscis will pick few applications (around 10k) and kept in waiting list apart from 85k. As they already started approving / rejecting the cases. No of waiting list applications will be replaced with no of denying applications. Let us hope for the best. You both may be in waiting list.

        1. Emma

          Really, it’s almost no chance left even for regular processing? So if you’re not waitlisted at this point you’re probably rejected?

          When will the lawyer hear about the application being denied?

          1. Crossedfingers

            Hey, I’m still waiting and keeping my fingers crossed. N-AD/RP/CA.
            Just wondering if you’re able to see any status message when you check the website. Does it says rejected or just case not found?

          2. Mani

            You still have chance until your H1B packets return back from uscis. Those who are not selected in lottory, lawers or your employer will receive your H1B application return back from uscis. So you still have 2 more weeks i guess. Till now nobody said that they received their H1B application back from Uscis. So let us hope for the best.

  15. Sz111

    I’ve been a silent reader.. And already have up hope, but I got my receipt today! NON AD/RP/CA. Good luck to everyone waiting. The wait is excruciating, it’s my second year applying, but don’t give up hope!!

    1. Still didn't give up hope!

      Though I still didn’t get any response from my employer, I still have some hope to get it through.. You guys words are boosting a positive energy in my hope!

    2. Raj

      When you say you got receipt today. What does it mean? you got it in Postal Mail, EMail, SMS or your employer got it and informed you? Sorry for my lack of knowledge but just wanted to understand what would be the mode of getting receipt??

  16. abhi

    ANY IT COMPANIES EMPLOYEES Receive H1B Visa lottery results? If not , is there any expected date by which we can get the results?

    1. Madhu

      Oh is that true..? Does that means RQ\RP still have a chance.

      Can you please share the series of your receipt number?

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