Updated : November 25th, 2015

H1B Visa 2016 Filing Season Complete, Cap reached on April 7th, 2015.

Planning for next H1B season, Check out H1B Visa 2017 FAQs

As many of you know, H1B Visa 2015 quota was over in the first week and a whopping 172,500 H1B petitions were received in first week by USCIS.  H1B Lottery / random selection was held by USCIS to select 85,000 H1B petitions to fulfil the work permit cap. Many of the unlucky ones are already wondering about next year H1B Visa quota. Also, some of you are planning for H1B visa for next year, you also would be wondering regarding the same. This article addresses many of the common questions, it will be updated constantly, whenever any changes to info.  Bookmark this page !  To start with, firstly the news updates on this season, followed by many commonly asked questions.

Official & Unofficial USCIS News Updates Regarding H1B 2016 Season 

When will the H1B season for fiscal 2016 begin ?

USCIS will accept petitions for H1B Visa 2016 season starting from April 1st, 2015.  USCIS did a press release on March 12th outlining the details. Read summary of press release by USCIS on H1B 2016 .

Will there be lottery again for H1B Visa 2016 ? Predictions ?

We had lottery for FY 2015 and FY 2014. The total number of petitions filed for FY 14 were about 125,000 and for  FY 2015, there were about 172,500 petitions… As H1B Quota did not increase for FY 2016, and the demand does not seem to decrease, we would very likely have lottery for FY 2016.  Read H1B Visa 2016 Lottery Predictions, Dates, Results

What is the H1B Visa quota Cap Count ? Would there be any changes to H1B 2016 count ?

H1B Visa quota cap count is the total number of petitions that USCIS will accept for a fiscal year to provide temporary work permit for highly skilled workers.  For the 2016 fiscal year, the cap count is as below :

  • Regular H1B Quota : 65,000
  • H1B Masters Degree Quota ( only US Degrees) : 20,000
  • Out of the above, a total of 6,800 is usually set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them.

As per the press release in March 2015, the quota did not increase.  To give some background, as per the Obama executive action in Nov 2014, no changes were announced to the H1B Cap count. There was proposal in 2013 to increase H1B cap from 65,000 to 110,000 and Masters quota to increase from 20,000 to 25,000 did not go through as of March 2015. At least, for this FY 2016 season, the quota is fixed and it will be as above and no changes.

When should I start planning for H1B Visa 2016 ? What are the steps ?

It depends on your situation. Below are few scenarios and your plan.

  • If you are a student on F1 Visa in USA, you need to plan for your internship/ CPT or OPT employment  at a company that can sponsor your H1B Visa for FY 2016. In my view, you should start now to find something for the fall 2014 and continue that for next spring so that you can file for FY 2016
  • If you are in other country and planning for H1B, it is good to start your process around the end of this year 2014. It will give you enough time to find sponsors, search for job, etc.
  • If you are on H4, L1 or other visa in USA and planning for H1B for FY 2016, you also should consider looking around end of this year i.e. December 2014.

We have published step by step plan, you can read the article How to plan for H1B Visa 2016 ?Step by Step Guide 

Most asked Question – How do I Find H1B Sponsors for FY 2016 ?

This is a million dollar question !  One of the biggest challenges is to find a good sponsor that can offer you a job and wait for you to start work after 6 months of filing your petition.  You should review the detail article on How to find H1B Sponsors for FY 2015. Your first place of start is to find the H1B Sponsors in an area or by company. Use our H1B Visa Sponsors Database to search and filter. Read this article on details on how to search in our H1B Sponsor database. We keep the database updated as DOL publishes data. Do NOT share your email or phone number on our website as comments, there are many people do H1B Sponsorship fraud by requesting money using your contact info. RedBus2US.com never provides personal guidance on H1B sponsors or seeks money from anyone, we only display publicly available data on our H1B Sponsors Database page. We DO NOT sponsor H1Bs or guide anyone. Beware of H1B sponsorship Fraud ! 

What about Comprehensive Immigration Reform ( CIR) – H1B Visa Changes ? What are they ?

There have been some proposed changes to the H1B Visa program to cater to the demand in the  US economy as part of the Comprehensive Immigration reform. Below are some of the proposed changes.

  • H1B Cap to be increased from 65,000 to 110,000 per year.  Also have provisions to have it up to 180,000 in case of extreme demand.
  • Advanced degree from US cap quota to increase from 20,000 to 25,000
  • The Filing fee for H1B could go up to 10,000 USD
  • Additional H1B rules to avoid H1B Visa fraud by employers
  • Mandatory LCA posting for 30 days before it is certified.

These were proposed in 2013, but nothing has moved significantly and all the above are just proposed rules. We are not sure when they will be implemented. You can read  Summary of CIR – Immigration reform – H1B Visa and Green Card  to get an idea. The latest update is that Obama has taken executive action on Immigration in Nov  2014  and none of the below are included as part of that.  Stay tuned for updates.

H1B Visa 2016 Fees – Any changes ? How much does it cost ?

There are various components of the fee. The H1B Application filing fee could range anywhere from $1,600 USD to $4,400 depending on the size of the company. The attorney fee can range from $500 to $3000 depending on the attorney. If you apply for premium processing that is another $1,225. The fees has not changed in the past couple of years for FY 2014 and FY 2015. Unless USCIS revises fee based on immigration reform, it should be same. We will keep you all posted. For complete details of the fee by components and break up, read the article H1B Visa  Fees and Who Pays for What ?

H4 Visa EAD rule impact on H1B Visa 2016 Season ?

As you know, certain H4 visa holders are now eligible for EAD. The H4 Visa EAD Rule Passed earlier in 2015 and is effective from May 26, 2015.  USCIS will start accepting applications for EAD from those eligible H4 visa holders starting from May 26th. The question is that will that have an impact on number of H1B petitions for this fiscal year  ?  It very likely will have certain impact on the number of H1B applications that are filed for this year 2016 quota. Many of the H4 holders, who would now be eligible for EAD, may not apply for H1B visa, just because it gives them more flexibility to work and more choices to work as well. We would have to wait and see, how much of an impact that would have, but it is very straightforward and no brainer for eligible H4 visa holder to avoid the H1B processing.

H1B visa Premium Processing Changes to H1B Visa 2016 quota ? 

USCIS updated in their press release that the premium processing will be accepted for FY 2016 quota and they will only begin that “no later than May 11, 2015”. What it means for the petitioners is that the official 15 day premium processing clock starts from May 11th, 2015 and their petition could be adjudicated within 15 days from May 11th, which would be May 26th, 2015.  USCIS can process them earlier as well, but their new timeline is just indication for setting the right expectations to meet the stipulated time frame for premium processing.

Track H1B Visa 2016 Cap Count updates ?

As in previous years, we have created a page, where would track the cap count updates for FY 2016. You may check out  H1B visa 2016 Cap Count Tracker.

While you wait, you can check out April 1st – USCIS H1B Visa 2016 Season Starts Today, When to expect Lottery ?

H1B Lottery Completed – Official Tweet and Press Release 

H1B Cap Reached – Official USCIS Tweet and Link to Press release :

Any other questions ?


Other Articles

Comments ( 28,609 )

  1. dm

    Fingers Crossed .. Lets wait and watch..
    Wednesday will get to know the count/lottery… Premium Processing can get there status max by 11 May.

    best of Luck..


  2. Sarnadeep

    Hi guys,

    Any update on the H1B lottery to take place on this Wednesday. Like,what’s the cap and the expected nominations this year?
    The rejection rates were extremely high last year….what are the chances this year ?
    Looking forward to your useful inputs friends .

      1. bob

        USCIS will accept applications till Tuesday 7th April.
        Tagging will be done from 8th to 15th ~ish.
        Lottery will be conducted between 15th Apr to 20th Apr.
        Premium processing will start after that.

  3. HK

    Hi Guys,

    Less chance for Lottery or less demand for H1B
    – there is more relaxation for L1 Visa,
    – H4 Dependents can work.
    Based on the above points, can we expect less chance for Lottery this Year,
    Comments please guys

        1. TJ

          Don’t worry… It’s last chance for me too and this is the first time i am applying.
          Just be prepared for worst….
          If something happens we always have options……
          And hope usics will take strict action against people and companies who are applying for multiple h1b’s and those who don’t have job and applying for h1b’s …. this might benefit the eligible

    1. WIN

      Hi HK,

      Don’t scared every thing will be clear in coming 10 days by the i’st week of april USCIS will publically announce the no of files received, no body here can actually predict the total no of application, so keem calm and wait for results

  4. Toni

    I have two H1B sponsors who are willing to file my H1B this year. I have done some R&D and it shows that its totally legal if two different employers file for the same candidate. What if both my applications gets selected in the lottery? Is there any issue with multiple H1B? I am confused, should i have the employers file for multiple or just stick with one?


      1. namokar

        It is legal but this year, close scrutiny of multiple petitions may lead to RFE and rejection. Multiple petitions may increase chance in lottery but there is no point to bear the loss of RFE (or may be rejection due to multiple filing if they doubt the application). Single application very rarely leads to RFE. Anyways, it is your choice which way you want to go.

        1. Smit


          When did you became a USCIS police ;-)?

          These are just a rumors and its perfectly okay to have multiple application from different employers. Talk about RFE its a equal chance for everyone to lure around by USCIS. Bottom-line is you need to have legitimate documents to get H1-B, not to mention lottery selection is another pass .

        2. TJ

          Not just this year but even last year there were few cases who were caught and detained for cheating as they came to know that 2nd company who sponsors do not have a client offer and they are creating fake client locations or stating as in-house projects……… Yes there are many who got it like that but it is being scrutinized this year…….This year they are taking around 20-25 days just for data entry and false petition detection…. well those who want to risk can do

  5. DK


    My employer filed for my H1B last year and it didn’t go through the lottery. I did my MS in US and was working on OPT till Feb. I returned to my home country and started working with the company branch over here. My employer is re-filing for my H1 again this year. I was wondering if they can apply in the Advanced degree quota, even though I moved back to the home country. Please let me know, thanks.

  6. abc

    If the employer and his attorney already knows that other employers are also filing H1B for his prospective employee then no single employer with a bit of sense will file H1B by taking risk of money and time. This story seems to be completely fake.
    I see when we talk about the consequences of multiple petitions, it hurts a lot of people. Like “Dukhti rag pakadna”. VALID multiple petitions cause no harm. But under the table, people are sponsoring their own visa which is a crime. Wish themselves that petition is picked but crime is still hidden. Otherwise i suppose most of the people already aware of the consequence of recent H1B fruads

    1. Shruti

      File non-fraudulent multiple petitions if you want. USCIS will process all legit petitions and not issue unwarranted rfe. Don’t be a victim to fear mongering idiots.

  7. Rajesh

    Hi Gurus,

    I am trying my luck this year 2016 .My employer not disclosing LCA to me and he want me to sign two documents which support to I-129 form.He sent only word document of those .He also said attorney prepared this document for me .Can I trust him ?


        1. vi

          Another internet bully. I have to use verbiage like “sigh” to express my disappointment as I have no option of seeing that dude in person.
          And if you don’t see my answer to OP’s question, I feel sorry for you man.

          1. Rajesh

            Your sorry does’t answer the question .Any way I can’t guess the answer If I will why could I ask- Thank you IV and VI .

    1. RR

      They will not disclose , even in my case last year.. They didnt…At this point of time, Trust or Not to Trust doesnt come into place.. YOu have started the process…Lets wait for the Gamble… Hope you get through ,rather everyone gets through…Once done after a few months with him.. He will fall in Line

  8. skimi

    Good luck to all!

    My second attempt after graduating in Statistics from a reputed university, working in a top bank for 2 years on my OPT. I can sympathize with folks who put in 3-4 applications through questionable consulting firms, and I don’t doubt their qualifications or their ambitions to build a life in America; just selfishly wish USCIS tracked duplicate applications, made an effort to crack down on fraudulent firms and added some sort of logic and dignity to what is essentially a lottery to decide several thousands of people’s futures.

    (Ramblings from a fella who owes about $20k tuition fee loan to banks)

  9. pandu


    I am in India and I don’t have passport as of now. My company saying they are filing H1B for me, Is it possible to file H1B without passport? Thank you very much for your suggestions.

  10. HK

    Hi Guys,

    In last two years i have applied for H1B & was not thru the Lottery.
    But this time i am very much confident that, i will get thru the lottery and travel to US,
    Please wish me the same .

    I wish & pray that, we are will get thru the lottery this year

  11. abc

    Addressing to all who are going to file multiple petitions just to increase their chance in lottery. This is 100% sure that it will lead to RFE. Because of such type of disgusting people, lottery occurred. BE READY FOR THE OUTCOME!!!!

    1. Nitin

      Don’t heed what abc is saying. Multiple petitions by different petitioners are perfectly fine. This will not have any adverse effect.

      1. abc

        Dear, google it and you will find the answer. This year USCIS is more cautious for multiple petitions. Don’t be scared if petition is actually valid and sponsored by employer. Unfortunately, this is not the truth. People sponsor their H1B to file multiple applications using consultancies. Few days back, CEO of a consultancy doing H1B fraud is put behind the bars. If you are not genuine, you may be banned forever from US.

      2. h1newb

        It may or may not result in rejection but surely it will have RFE. If all the petitions are legit then no issue else be prepared to defend your petitions..

        1. H1B2016

          As per USCIS it’s legal to have two different employers to file H1B because H1B is for the future employment. My brother is on study VISA. Three companies have given him the appointment letter and filling H1B for him. It’s confirmed from US attorney that it’s not illegal, if you have employment offer from different employers.

          1. abc

            If the employer and his attorney already knows that other employers are also filing H1B for his prospective employee then no single employer with a bit of sense will file H1B by taking risk of money and time. This story seems to be completely fake.
            I see when we talk about the consequences of multiple petitions, it hurts a lot of people. Like “Dukhti rag pakadna”. VALID multiple petitions cause no harm. But under the table, people are sponsoring their own visa which is a crime. Wish themselves that petition is picked but crime is still hidden. Otherwise i suppose most of the people already aware of the consequence of recent H1B fruads

    1. MSR

      A single company cannot file multiple cap-subject petitions for the same individual. Similarly, related or affiliated companies cannot each file cap-subject petitions for the same beneficiary, unless there truly are two separate job opportunities that can be clearly documented. Companies choosing to file in this manner must be able to demonstrate that that each petitioning company has a genuine, distinct job opportunity available. Petitioners should understand that such cases tend to be closely scrutinized by the government, and the onus is on the companies to convince the USCIS that the multiple filings were not done in order to gain an advantage in the H1B cap selection process. If the government is not swayed by these arguments, the USCIS can deny or revoke all H1B petitions the related companies filed for the foreign national.

  12. daniel

    Hi Lanister,
    Do you have a personal email that I can use to contact you. I have few questions about my visa. You don’t charge that much considering you are an attorney in the US. I have seen people paying $100 to get replies.

  13. administrator

    Mick, This person is fake, they did not even used proper email of US Govt. NO ONE CHARGES ON THIS BLOG for ADVICE, this is community driven. Do NOT PAY anyone via paypal or any such format. This is purely community forum and no place for anyone who will ask you to PAY.

  14. sree

    if am going to file 2 different petitions from two different companies, then what will happen? is there any chances for rejection or not??
    plz give me suggestions…

    1. Monu

      Hi Sree, there is no chance for rejection if you are filing 2 different petitions with 2 different companies, Some people says that there could be a rejection but According to USCIS and from experience of my friends you can file n number of petitions with different different companies, But one company can file only 1 petition for you like suppose TCS and HCL they both can file for a same person

    2. namokar

      Sharing the experience of my friend happened to him last year. Two genuine petitions from two different employers were filed for him and got selected in lottery. But got RFE and finally his petition is rejected due to the doubt of fake application. Due to recent frauds, there is high chance of RFE in multiple petitions. Evenif it is legal but be ready for the consequence.

  15. Monu

    Hi All,

    i am going to file 2 different petitions this year from two different companies, like desi consultancies. when we can expect the result for the lottery, my one sponsor is saying that we can expect this on April end maximum by 1 week of May

      1. Monu

        Yes man you may be right, But not every desi consultancies cheat people, and also no other company will be interested to file visa for someone(to bear huge visa fee) who is in india and working with different company and can join there company after 6 months,

        1. 2016

          USCIS will deny or revoke all petitions filed by an
          employer for the same H-1B worker if more than one is filing is discovered.

    1. Mayo

      I think 2 different petitioners can successfully file 2 petitions on your behalf. Good luck. Double your chances in the lottery !

    1. indyarules

      This year it is not going to be huge no due to H4 rule. So i know couple of attorney in us and based upon them figure should not reach beyong 150000. however lets see how it goes. it is just guess based upon the work,lca and EAD request which they are processing.. Thanks

        1. h1b

          It will definitely cross 225000. H4 working elgibility is only allowed for those spouses whose partner has already filed a green card and its been more than a year. That would be a very minute percentage of the actual h4 population.

          H1B count will soar high exponentially!!

  16. H1B 2016

    I have notice in lottery for each companies like TCS, WIPRO, Infosys, HCL etc. only 50% of candidates is selected.

    Is there any specific method of lottery ? I assume if it’s a random method then it might be a chance one company get 75% and other company may get less selection. Any one have the comments on it ?

    1. RR

      It is a random process, but no one knows how this process works …The BIG 3 as we call them … They hold the major chunk of the applications for the H1… Depends how do we define the 50% here.. How many did they apply.. how many got thru…Let us all hope/wish we all fall in the other 50% that got selcted 🙂

  17. Peter

    Any body here who know of someone receiving a positive result on petition last year by may end or june ? what i have observed is that the selected ones are informed first and they get to know it by April end or may ..most likely you are not there if you don’t get the results by then. Is that true ?

    1. ~H1b2016~

      Most Premium Cases will be notified by end of April or early may. But I have seen some people (absolutely reg Process) were notified been in June. So there is no particular time frame to say your petition was rejected unless you get your H1b Doc packet back.

      Good Luck..!!

  18. Bob

    Note to All:
    1) Paying for H1B to any consultants or employer is illegal and can lead you to rejection, ban or even arrest.
    2) If you have paid and posted questions around it e.g., trying to find consultants, who are good ones etc. then there is high chance that you are being tracked as there is huge scrutiny this year to weed out fake.
    3) If your case is filled by multiple employer then there is high chance for RFE or rejection.

    1. namokar

      I agree with Bob. Filing with consultants or multiple petitions by different employers increase chance of rejection. And if it is fraud, it may lead to prison.

  19. RaySoas

    H1B FY 2016 info posted in USCIS website. Quota is not increased. Its the same as of last years.

    1. ~H1b2016~

      I hear you.. Unfortunately, there is only one way to know if your employer filed H1b – receipt number. If your petition has been picked up in lottery, you will get a receipt number else you will get your packet returned.

      Many say that you need to ask for a tracking number blah blah.. but that does not guarantee you that it was your petition.

      Good Luck..!!

    2. Someone

      As for as i know.
      Employer will not file petition.
      Attorney of your employer file petition because of him.
      So no way to tell application submitted or not.

      Please correct me if I am wrong.

  20. donsamosa

    If filing starts in first week of April, when will we get to know about the lottery results. If you have any idea from previous years please share

    1. Beren

      Last year, they did the lottery in April, applicants were advised about the results from April to July, more or less. I was advised in June and I did not get through it. I hope it changes this year. Regards

      1. vijay

        Almost you would get to know till end of April else May 1st week. The chances are very less after this. I got the rejection notice on may 8th itself last year.

    2. ~H1b2016~

      Two things:

      1. If you filed under Premium Processing – You would get to know if you are selected by second week of April – and USCIS would send out a notification as to when they would start the processing of your application. You should get a decision about your petition in about a couple of week (max- I got mine in a week).

      2. If you are filing under regular quota, – You would get to know if you are selected in lottery by second week of may (Max – except some cases). Processing might take a bit of time

      1. Beren

        As far as I know, premium processing speep up only the application evaluation, not the lottery result. My employeer did premium last year, and they notified us the result on June.

  21. Kumar


    I have done master’s degree online(distance) from accredited university in US. Whether am I eligible to apply H1B in Master’s cap?

    Appreciate your help,


    1. Beren

      I don´t know, perhaps you are, but honestly, it´s something that you should know by now, so you can´t apply for yourself, your sponsor has to apply in your behalf. Regards

  22. PD


    My employer is sponsoring my H1B under Consular process. I’m in H4 visa in US now. They say that they will activate the visa after I get into a client project. What is the difference between H1B regular process and Consular process? Do I have to go out of US for stamping if my visa is approved? Please clarify on this and advise the difference between both process. Thanks.


    I am from India. I am MBA (HR) having 3 yrs experience as Manager, in addition this I am Law Graduate and doing LLM through correspondence. May I apply for H1B ?

  24. Raj

    Hi, I got my H1 petition approved on 2010 slot. I got my visa stamped on Jun-2011. And i stayed in US for a total of 11 months till Jul-2013.

    My visa expired on Sep-2013.

    Question is, whether i can request for extension of visa using the old petition. Since i haven’t used around 5years of my visa, whether i can try to get it using out of cap process.

    If anyone have details on how to get it processed, please share.

    Thanks in advance.


  25. Ab

    Hi, I need some help with H1B filing. I currently am on a university cap exempt H1B approved till 2018. However, i found an employer willing to file my cap subject petition next month (April). The company is not familiar with this type of situations. I am looking for attorneys familiar with this situation but in the mean time thought will get some opinions here. My question is: Will my petition be a brand new one or a cap subject transfer (if there is such a thing). If I file an I129, would it be different from a new H1B application? How would USCIS distinguish my application from a H1B transfer application and count it against cap. Please let me know as the date is fast approaching. If anyone has gone through similar transfer from cap exempt to cap subject, I would appreciate your input and suggestions and any attorney information.

  26. As

    I m looking out for consultancies who can apply my h1 visa for 2015-16.
    I have bachelors in microbiology. Also have 3 years of experience in same field.
    I m currently in US on h4 dependent visa.
    can some one please let me know any h1b sponsors details.

      1. As

        Thanks for the reply DM, but I don’t fit in there h4 EAD criteria ….
        Bcoz we moved to US just 4 months back. So I will not be able to apply for work authorization permit.

          1. Chris

            Dude, you should first read the information before responding. For a person to get H4 EAD, the primary H1B holder needs to have a I140 Approved. Get your facts right before you answer someone.

  27. Ravi

    Never used my H1b from the year 2007 nor traveled to US .
    Do i need to file a new H1b or would it be considered as Cap Exempt Petition .
    Thanks ,

  28. h1bslaughteragain

    Update on H4 visa ….would this mean, applications for h1 would reduce


      1. h1b-2016

        If companies file more perm petitions, what does that have to do with the H-1b lottery?

        Isnt there a chance h-1b lottery numbers may reduce or remain the same as last year if a good number of h4s opt out of the lottery process?

  29. srinivas


    I have applied for H1B in 2008 through lottery and my petition was picked in lottery, but I did not go for stamping. Can I apply H1B with old EAC number which was given in 2008.

    1. balaji

      No, I don’t think so! Your petition would’ve been approved for a maximum of 3 years (not necessarily 3 years).. so you should have appeared for stamping within that time frame..

  30. Bob

    Lets say there are 65000 quota for h1b in 2016 and 100000 applications are received. Lottery happens and 65k applications are picked up. USCIS adjudicates 65k and while adjudicating only 60k cases are approved rest rejected. Will they do lottery again to pick up 5k cases? Any idea ?

    1. Krishna

      For h1b in 2016 you need to consider minimum 200000 applications. 100000 was 2 years ago. Even 2 years ago 124500. Last year 172500. This year > 200000
      Good Luck!

          1. Bob

            How do you know that they keep certain applications on standby? Have they published this info on USCIS website? Were you working in USCIS earlier? Lol

  31. namokar

    I heard a lot about political discussion on DACA/DAPA. What about increasing H1B quota this year? Does anybody provide some information on it?

    1. Bobb

      This news is dated 14th feb.. however there is no guarantee if quota will extend by 1st april 2015

  32. Kumar


    One question, if H1B approved thorugh US consultancy, do we need to travel immediatley after approval or can it be after couple of months/years. I heard that to mainitain H1B status active, need to travel asap once it’s approved.

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