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H1B Visa Lottery Chances Criteria, Lucky Draw, Probability – Myths

As you know we did H1B visa 2016 Predictions and based on our analysis, it is very likely that we would have lottery to select the petitions that fulfil the H1B cap for this year…I started to notice comments on the blog that have been posted around H1B visa lottery probability, chances or the odds higher in the H1B visa lucky draw, etc. Let me address some of those myths and misconceptions around these topics so that all of you are clear.

If you do not know the lottery process, you may want to read the article How does H1B Visa Lottery Work, so that you have some idea. Anyways, all of the below are applicable only if there is a H1B visa lottery…

Are my H1B Visa Lottery Chances higher if I file the petition early and USCIS receives it early during the first 5 days like on April 1st, instead of April 7th?

No, there is no such priority given to the H1B petitions received early during the 5 days window. All the H1B petitions received during the first 5 working days will be given equal priority, when the lottery is conducted by USCIS. The system does not distinguish the petitions based on the petition received date by USCIS.

Will H1B visa petitions filed under premium processing be given higher priority than regular processing petitions?

No, all the petitions filed, either in premium processing or regular processing will be given equal priority or have equal chance in the lottery. USCIS does not give priority just because premium processing petitioners are paying them more money.  Only the receipt numbers and decisions would come in early within 15 calendar days starting from May 11th, no other benefits.

I filed H1B from Fortune 500 companies or MNCs like Google, IBM, Accenture…instead of a small employer, who has few employees…will my Lottery chances be higher?

No, absolutely not. All the H1B petitions filed by employers either small or big are given equal priority in lottery, there is no such thing as large reputed fortune 500 companies get higher priority.  If this were to be the case, the smaller companies that need highly skilled labor would be in big trouble.

Will there be higher priority in lottery for H1B Petition filed for candidate in US over a candidate living abroad outside of US, like in India?

No, definitely not.  All the H1B petitions will be given equal priority in lottery. There is no way that H1B applications for candidates that reside in US get higher priority. If this were to be the case, there would be no direct way to get highly skilled foreign workers on this H1B visa.

I have more work experience like 15 years and have professional certifications…will my application have higher chances in H1B lottery?

Nope. All the H1B applications will be equally weighed during the lottery process. There will not be any priority given to your application just because you have more experience or professional certifications.

Why is the name called H1B lottery or H1B lucky draw? Do I have to buy a lottery ticket?

In fact, USCIS officially uses the term “computer-generated random selection process”, which has translated in colloquial English to lottery or lucky draw.  To clarify, all the terms like H1B visa Lucky Draw, H1B visa lottery, H1B Random selection, all of them mean the same thing. There is NO need to buy any special lottery ticket for this. If you filed a H1B application for this fiscal year, you technically are eligible for it and in the selection process. On a lighter note, I guess the FedEx or USPS confirmation slip of delivery can be considered your H1B lottery ticket 😉

Anyways, hope that clarifies some of the myths…some of the above may sound trivial for many of you guys as they seem like common sense… but, trust me, I have received messages for such trivial questions…. Also, you may want to check out the 5 Myths for H1B visa Processing or Approval Chances

Did I miss out on any other myths?  Would you care to add any other myths as a comment below ?


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  1. Hi,
    does anyone know when lottery ‘results’ likely to come out this year?

    Is there any way a person can check his/her selection is done OR only his/her company can check/receive that information?

    How can one confirm that the employer has really filled application to USCIS?


    • Amit M,

      People are already getting notified about the selection results. USCIS just announced that data entry is complete, and now rejection results will be sent out. If you want to be sure that your petition was filed, ask your employer for rejection letter which will have your name.

  2. We used to get the Receipt Number through my company . So just i want to know ,whether the Case Number has been sent to all the Companies?

  3. Does the skills (i.e Dev vs testing and good ecperience in latest technology like big data) have the impact in h1b lottery selection?

  4. When will lottery happen? will they announce the date ahead? is it true that lottery might happen between April27 to April 29?

  5. I want to clarify a myth – does location within US matter? If you are applying for a company that is based in Columbus in Ohio versus a company based in NYC?

  6. Just want to take a moment to express my endless gratitude for this forum and your blog posts, Kumar. All of your probability analysis and details provide clear guidance to us, those who are in this nerve wrecking battle against chance and chance only.

    May the odds be ever in your favor.


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