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USCIS News : H1B 2019 Lottery Completed – 190,098 Petitions Filed

The most awaited number by many, with tons of calculations using LCA numbers and other correlations on comments, etc. have come to an end. USCIS released a press note indicating that they have received 190,098 H1B petitions for FY 2019 quota. Below is the press release summary.

 Summary of USCIS H1B Lottery 2019 Competed 190K petitions filed :

  • USCIS completed Lottery for H1B Visa FY 2019 on April 11th.
  • Total H1B Petitions received for FY 2019 quota – 190,098
  • USCIS accepted petitions for 5 working days from April 2nd to April 6th and announced that they reached regular cap of 65,000 and Masters cap of 20,000 on April 6th.
  • USCIS will reject and return all petitions with their fee for all the H1B petitions not selected in H1B Lottery, provided they are not considered as duplicate petitions as per the new rule. Check Sample H1B Reject Letters for Not picked in Lottery
  • Lottery Process used for FY 2019 :  USCIS conducted H1B Lottery for Masters cap first and the unselected petitions form that pool became part of the regular quota lottery.
  • USCIS  will continue to accept H1B petitions that are cap exempt or the ones counted for the cap in the past that fall under the categories of H1B Extensions, H1B petition for Change of employment terms, H1B Transfers to new employers, and Concurrent filing of H1B for second H1B position.
  • Also, they gave split of number for Masters and Regular quota on their H1B 2019 page, which is new. Some people are confused on where we got these numbers, it is on the USCIS H1B 2019 Updates page . I have put a screenshot for your reference.
    • Masters Quota Filings   : 95,885
    • Regular Quota Filings : 94,213USCIS Masters and Regular Quota Numbers 2019

What are our Predictions vs.  USCIS actual numbers ?  
Many were speculating less numbers for H1B FY 2019 as there were many new rules, changes and the political climate was not that great in the past one year… Despite all of these, our H1B 2019 Lottery predictions were from 170,000 to 190,000 . USCIS actual numbers of 190,098 is very much close to our predictions… Though our predictions were not popular among many that we were forecasting more numbers…but, the reality is that there is tremendous demand as seen with numbers…Hope our lottery predictions helped at least some plan in one way or other.

What’s the take on press release ? What’s Next ? 
The press release is not very different from previous years. Also, the process of H1B Lottery is not different from previous years and is same. As we know from previous FOIA request, USCIS selects additional 5k for masters and 10k for regular quota considering denials…Also, this year, they updated the number of petitions filed for regular quota and masters quota. This was not published in the past.

Now that lottery is done, the waiting game begins for everyone. All of you, who have been selected will get a receipt notice and it has a number that you can use to trace your case on USCIS site. Read Understand H1B Case Number

As the wait can be long and there is no way to know about your case vs others, we highly recommend that you add your case to the anonymous H1B tracker.
[prompt type=”left” title=”Track your H1B Case” message=” Anonymously Track your H1B Case – Share and Get updated from Community.” button_text=”H1B 2019 Case Tracker” href=”https://redbus2us.com/trackers/h1b-visa-tracker/”]

It is sad that many smart, talented students and professionals from Ivy League Schools, IITs, Many good companies like Google, Microsoft and many more have to go through lottery putting all their hard work and effort for luck to decide in lottery…Its unfortunate, but that’s life and reality…If you get selected in lottery good, if not, take it as another part of life as it comes and move on…don’t put yourself under pressure thinking about it, it was not in your control and you have nothing to do about it…

What do you think of the H1B Lottery numbers ? Your take ? Your thoughts ?

Reference : USCIS Press Release FY 2019 Lottery Complete


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  1. Update to my previous post, SEVP portal is getting updated eventually. My DSO emailed me that my SEVIS change is pending for H1 and generated new I-20 then at 1 pm my SEVP updated for cap-gap extension. Good luck everyone

  2. guys and girls,
    if anyone without an advanced degree gets the update on their SEVP portal, please please let us know!!!!
    best of luck everyone 🙂

  3. My “Authorized End Date” has also changed to 09/30/2018. I am on OPT (not extension) and my OPT end date was 06/08/2018.

  4. A very simple question – for folks who are not cap gap – should we expect to see any changes in SEVP portal? There are tons of question / counter questions here..so want to keep it simple.

      • @ping
        I’m not an expert and no one is for sure here but I’ve seen one comment from someone who’s wasn’t subject to the cap-gap and they mentioned they saw an update under the History tab but the dates weren’t changed since their end date was after Sep 30th. Can’t find the comment but I’m certain I’ve seen it. There was also one comment from someone who was notified about a change in their SEVIS record but SEVP.
        So far anyone who’s seen the update has an advanced degree, do you have an advanced degree?

  5. So based on the comments, only 3 people saw this change on their SEVP., and that’s Ash, Bhanwarpreet, and someone’s friend. Is there anyone else who saw this update in their SEVP? Thanks

  6. Can someone please help me understand SEVP portal. So I’m now on STEM OPT but my sevp shows only the post-completion opt record. but that record was deleted by SEVIS on monday 9th April like i can see SEVIS in my history . I have mailed my College to ask why i can’t see my stem opt record but what does this mean ?

    • MM, my school official said the same but when i called SEVP for the same they told me that it may take a while for yhe school official to see the updates .
      They also confirmed that the status to them shows the changed one and it is only for cap gap eligible candidates.

    • Wow, just because you haven’t heard anything yet, others who did are fake?

      I already posted below that my check got cashed and my SEVP portal account was also updated on Friday.

        • Did you even read my last response before adding a new comment, because I mentioned in my last reply that yes my check got encashed? SMH

        • the SEVP portal updates the end date only if your opt (post or stem) end date falls before SEP 30 2018.

          And yes if your end date is updated it does mean they are processing your H1b application.

          For every one with (post or stem) end date after SEP 30 2018 , your only update would be if your checks are cached.

          • I also had 3 updates in my history section with the same timestamp. SEVIS updated my profile, employer and employment authorization. I think they just update all your data in the system again.

        • @Ash: I also see some SEVIS updates in my portal, but my expiration date is after 9/30 so that hasn’t changed. What were the other updates to your profile?

          • Thanks! It’s so weird, the only thing that was updated was “Relation to Field” for both my active OPTs (post-comp and STEM). And the information is the same as before…

      • Hello Ash,

        Are you on OPT or STEM OPT?

        Does the SEVP portal gets updated if you are on STEM OPT also or this is something that is just for the students who are on their 1st OPT?

          • Hi Ash

            Can i request what was your end date of OPT?

            Mine is 30 april n got changed to 1 st june on apr 12. M so confused.

          • @ MS – My OPT was ending mid-June.

            Also, if you go to the “Effect of H-1B Petition on F-1 Status during Cap Gap” section of the link below, you can see that when the status of your H1-B Petition is “Filed”, SEVIS extends F-1 status and any authorized OPT until June 1.


          • @ dar129 – I am not sure about that. From what I have read here, the records are updated only for students whose OPT expires before Sep 30 and rest have to wait till their checks get encashed. But, since SEVP portal is new, I believe everyone is just speculating at this point. Maybe you can call SEVP helpline and check with them about it?

  7. To those who have gotten the SEVP updated:


    Would you care to share with us if you have a masters degree or not? and when did you see the change (i.e. what’s the time stamp of the changes made by USCIS under your History tab)?

  8. Hey everyone,

    I decided to call the SEVP help line and confirm if the update of the end date indicates being selected in the H1B lottery and they confirmed that it’s true! So to all who have seen the update, congratulations! My lawyer said that data entry of selected applications takes a few days so maybe there’s some hope for the rest of us who haven’t seen any updates on our SEVP portal.

      • Yes, you have to create the account yourself, but the registration invitation comes from your university. At least that’s what happened in my case.

    • Called SEVP – Thanks for clearing some air regarding SEVP. So, is it safe to assume that irrespective of one’s status being OPT or STEM OPT, it should reflect on SEVP portal in coming days if the application is picked in random selection process?

      • @GeniuneApplicant

        I’d say so, I don’t think there is a difference in processing a STEM OPT vs. regular OPT applications (unless someone can correct me on that). However, so far it seems that most of the people who got the update have a master’s degree. Obviously applicants with a master’s degree have higher chances at being selected. So maybe they entered their data first?

  9. Hey Guys,

    Just got the confirmation from the lawyer that my check got cashed. So, it means we can definitely rely on SEVP portal updates.

  10. @Kumar – Is it true that the SEVP portal would reflect the change of status even before I call my school requesting for Cap Gap? My STEM Extension ends on May 20. Is it really true that I can see change of status in SEVP Portal in case I get picked in lottery?

  11. I have got few questions due to USCIS temporarily shutting down premium processing service and making the situation more uncertain for me. I will be running out of my STEM OPT on 06/30/2018.

    1. As of today i.e. 04/15/2018, If there are no changes on SEVP portal extending my end date to 09/30/2018, Does that mean my application wasn’t picked in the random selection process?

    2. Or, does it mean everyone would know if their application got picked or not within 2 weeks as some of the commentators have suggested in the comments section here?

    3. In the worst case, how long does one have to wait to know if their application was picked or not?

    More than anything, this rather very opaque process is killing me.

    • 1. Until, you get a reject notice, you do not know, if you were rejected. It can take anywhere until end of July to know this.
      2. Not all know in 2 weeks, they keep coming in the next few weeks to a month or even late as well. Again, until you see a reject notice, it is not final.
      3. End of July as per past history.

      • Kumar – Thanks for responding. Is what you replied true only in case of formal/official way of knowing the outcome OR is it true in case of informal/unofficial way as well; like change of end date on SEVP portal, checking it with DSO, Check getting cashed?

        Bottomline – Can one still have hopes if all the informal/unofficial ways do not show signs of application being picked after 2 weeks starting today i.e. 04/16/2018?

        • Yes. SEVP portal changes, checking with DSO, Checks getting cashed are some of the ways you would know that your H1B is picked.
          Yes, you would see receipts trickling even after a month, with few exceptions going past one month. . .

    • Emily said the same thing, it takes a while to update it for everyone. Should be done by May first week. Don’t panic yet.

  12. Hi Kumar,
    My case is a bit different from usual scenario. Please someone help me with necessary details:

    1) H1B approved & stamped during March 2016 from Employer A, duration till August 2018. Though travel was initiated, due to some unforeseen circumstances travel didn’t happen. Tried to travel from Employer A since then until Feb 2018.
    2) Spouse moved to US on H1B in between and I got H4 stamped. Now I have H1B & H4 stamping in passport.
    3) Landed US on H4 during Feb 2018, leaving employer A. Got I 94 based on H4 entry.
    4) Since I came to US trying out for H1B transfer, though I am getting responses from consultancies, getting stuck at some point due to lack of US experience, pay stubs, also SSN.

    Should employer apply for COS first and then initiate transfer in my case ? Is there a way to cope up with the situation of not having pay stubs for transfer? If transfer happens by any chance, do I have to go outside US and should re-enter?

    I have become hopeless , clueless on what can be done here. Request to shed some light over these queries.

    • Once you have a job, your future employer would apply for H1B transfer with COS. As you never had H1B status in US, pay stubs does not matter. In general, transfer is essentially a new H1B petition applied using the previous case number, the only exception is that you are not going through the cap process as you have already been counted towards cap. You do not need to leave the country, if your H1B is approved with COS, unless USCIS tells you to do so.

  13. I played this H1B lottery for last 2 years. Not making it through the H1B lottery was a blessing in disguise, as it forced me to rethink on my strategy for life. I didn’t want to go to a country on a Visa and wait indefinitely for green card or PR (with a constant risk of getting deported). And definitely not through a vague system like lottery where even someone who cannot speak properly is able to get through. Qualification, talent mean nothing. Anyways, cutting short, I applied for Australian PR as it is a systematic process where your points (based on age, qualification experience, test of English) matter. Having said that I got my grant (PR) last week, and I couldn’t have been more happier. To everyone who has been playing this lottery for years, just sit back and introspect. May be there is something better in store.

    • My story is almost same as yours, the only different part is that I returned to India and miraculously landed up with a Sr Manager job being only a Sr Engineer back in US. I stayed in US for over 5 years. The best part is, I am now able to enjoy each and every moment with my friends and family. By the way I did get H1B in 2017, but then I realized it’s not worth being away from friends, relatives, delicious food and exhilarating environment just for few grands more. I am glad that I made that decision and threw up that worthless piece of I-797. This is only my opinion though.

      • Oh dude, dude, dude!!

        If you are so happy with your decision, why are you still lurking around here giving unwanted opinions?

        Another quick question, threw up means “vomitted” and I thought you got delicious food back home, so why did you eat your “I-797”?

  14. Does your SEVIS get updated even if you are not on OPT ? I am on my Cpt and wondering if I should DSO if there is any change in SEVIS status ?

    P.S- Genuine applicant.- No multiple petitions, No Fake consultancies, Working part time on AD.

  15. There is a hack. If anyone on OPT/STEM OPT living in the US has an expiring Driver’s license, then apply for a renewal. The rule is DMV cannot renew your license without checking / contacting the DHS/USCIS. It takes 2 to 3 business days, but you will definitely get an update.

    Note: I did this in couple of months back and got to know my OPT STEM extention got approved. DHS provided two dates to DMV (1) extension date (If STEM OPT not approved) (2) provisional date (if approved). Ask the DMV officer as they can see your SEVIS and immigration details and recent changes.

  16. Hi, UPS says my courier reached USCIS on 9th Apr. My employer says that it is accepted as they see the despatched date by courier service which is 5th Apr. Is this true?? Please advise

  17. Could anybody let me know that is it true that getting the employment authorization end date changed to 9/30 in SEVP Portal means that your H1 is picked?
    I am pretty confused.

      • Yeah I thought as much. My DSO told me that USCIS is issuing receipts now in the next two weeks and they will get a request to change the SEVIS to H1B status in coming weeks.

          • @esq – Just because you are a “member” of AILA, does that mean USCIS and SEVIS have to run every new update they do to the system by you first, since it seems you are under the impression that you are the only one qualified here to tell if a news is fake or not?

            @R – SEVP is a new portal and I don’t think anybody here has an exact idea of what’s happening. Just because your record didn’t get updated, doesn’t mean nobody else’s did. Two of my friend’s records got updated just like a few others here, but mine didn’t. So, at the moment I am just keeping my fingers crossed.

    • No I’m not able to see the STEM record itself . but what i do see is that my Post opt stuff deleted by USCIS on 9th of April. But i don’t see anything about STEM opt there.

      Do you see your STEM Opt employment record?

  18. Hi
    So in my history in SEVP Portal my Employment being deleted on 04/09/2018 which was this monday. Like what does that mean? I’m currently on my POST-COMPLETION OPT which is good till 01/08/2020. But i just checked my SEVP and saw this. Like little tensed seeing it. My Company had applied for my H1B this year.

    • Hi Aditya

      I think its too early to come to any conclusion. Check with your DSO in about couple of weeks. My DSO told me that she will be able to tell me of any SEVIS changes in couple of weeks.

      • I saw SEVP portal website, STEM OPT students record can be only updated by DSOs. Maybe Ash and jia’s friend are on regular OPT, I guess that’s why they saw the update so soon.

        • Hi Belta

          I think it is applicable for everyone – DSOs haveto update SEVIS records. I dont think it varies by STEM or Non-STEM

          • DSO don’t update SEVIS for cap gap extensions.

            SEVIS updates the system. DSO only views and prints i20.

          • Hi R
            What Belta is saying is that it is used for Post Completion stuff. Not Stem Extension . Your STEM Extension stuff you can only update the name and primary contact in there.

        • Hi Belta
          I guess your correct. I only see my POST completion OPT and nothing about STEM ..
          My college specifically sent us SEVP login only after my Post opt expired to update any changes in address or Phone number. But my post opt record was deleted by sevis on 9th of April which was the day of lottery. So that’s why I’m confused.

  19. Despite having a valid H1B visa and after working in the USA for 2 years, I was humiliated and deported at the port of entry while returning to USA after I came to India for a vacation. The way the immigration officer addressed me was quite disrespectful. I didn’t know there is so much hatred in the minds of the people against us. I didn’t do anything to deserve being treated like that. After that experience, I don’t think I would ever want to go back as a worker to US. However, I definitely intend to go there once in my lifetime as an employer in the future. Let’s see how many years that take. Hope I don’t die before that.

    Good Luck everyone who is in the process of going there. After a couple of years, you will understand what I was talking about here. Grass appears greener on the other side. When you are there, you can’t be here. Despite being there, you will never leave here.

  20. Now I can confirm Ash is not FAKE! BIG CONGRS MAN!! I just know another guy whose date also changed to 9/30, so all the people with OPT expiration date can rely on SEVP now!!

      • @Jia would you mind telling us if your friend who has gotten the date update on their SEVP portal if they have a master’s degree or not? Also what was the time stamp of the change under the History tab?

    • I am little confused here, because a school’s DSO will get request from USCIS to update the student’s sevis record (update for pending change of status to H1B). After that, the DSO will make SEVIS changes. on the student’s record and it will reflect in SEVP.

      Also, my DSO mentioned that it will take couple of weeks for USCIS to issue all receipt notices.

      May be Ash and your friend are the two lucky ones who got picked and one of the first cases in the queue to get receipt notices and the DSO immediately went and changes the SEVIS record. Possible!!

      • DSO does not make cap gap change. It happens in sevis by USCIS when you’re selected in the lottery. DSO does it only for STEM OPT updates. It will keep happening as USCIS keeps doing data entry.

  21. I feels there should be a separate quota for I’T’ consultancy, so many fiends are waiting for thier cases to be selected..

  22. Hi Admin,

    I have a question regarding the statement :
    “As we know from previous FOIA request, USCIS selects additional 5k for masters and 10k for regular quota considering denials?”

    Could you explain in more detail about this? What type of “denials” are being considered here? Denials that are not selected in the lottery? Or denials that are selected from the lottery but rejected by USCIS after processing? Also, when will USCIS select these additional 15k petitions? Is it during april or after all the rejection notices have been mailed?

    Thank you!

    • Yea, I have the same question also. My guess is USCIS will open extra 15000 for people who do not get selected in the lottery because Trump administration is going to deny some of the people who get selected in lottery.

    • Ishu,

      I would believe that USCIS has it mandatory to give out 85,000 APPROVED H1B’s every year. This is after lottery selection and processing of each case. But not all lottery selected applications gets approved. Few withdraw, there can be rejections and denials after processing. So in order for USCIS to maintain the count of 85k I think they select additional 15k as buffer and send receipts to 100k applications selected in lottery initially. According to the admin, this information was requested by an attorney last year as part of FOIA act and USCIS provided this information.

    • Ishu,
      They refer to the ‘Denials’ for petitions that are selected in lottery but rejected by USCIS after they begin processing the application due to various issues like multiple petitions, etc. All these extra petitions are selected as part of the initial lottery process.

  23. So the Indian Outsourcing Syndicate did listen to Trump.

    But looks like the consultancies went all in! This could be possible as they illegally move the H1B cost to the applicant. So if the application gets rejected the poor MS student ends up holding the bag!

    So if the restrictions like level 1 wage denial, client letter, etc were not enforced we would have seen around 350K applications!

    • its bread and butter for consultancies they tasted easy money and they wont leave until rules change. many wont file after taking money and also they will encourage multiple employer filings so that there will be always lottery and in-turn they get processing money. that’s the reason few are commenting on forums that they have filed 2 ,3 from diff emp. if someone reads out all those discussions it will make them try multiple filings during last attempt.

      • I feel for the MS student. They spent so much money and energy to get the degrees. All for going back to India?!!!

        So no matter what it takes they have to try one last ditch attempt before going back to apna desh.

        Anybody applying to F-1 going forward is wasting their future.

        • That is not the 100% picture. There are lot of MS students who come here to get a job, increase their rate in dowry and somehow get that NRI stamp. Don’t forget they are the ones who provide living to these fake desi consultancies.
          Not all MS degrees are created equal and not all MS candidates are here for studying, just like not all applicants from Indian IT companies are bad.

          • I think most of them if not all of them are here to get job and earn money. Dont just blame the MS students as if they were the culprits. Companies from India started the trend by applying H1B visas for people who work for them in India and Outsourcing them here to earn profits. This will the first reason why they started implementing so many new rules. All applicants from Indian IT companies are not here just for the passion they had for their job they are here just to make money and hoping for better future so are the students who come here for completing their masters. So stop blaming MS students.

  24. All the best everyone.
    Last year I applied and didn’t get selected in lottery. Within months, changed company (with better salary). & country EU.
    So hope for the best.
    Good luck

  25. Why do they take so much time to announce the result of the lottery if it is like this. List can be on the notice board the very next day.

    • Because before lottery, none of the packets are opened since they are too huge in number and it will be a waste of time opening cases that are anyway not going to be in the lottery. They are just assigned a number, lottery is done, assigned case number, sent to service centers, and after that is when processing starts. People start hearing back as and when their cases are processed.

  26. Hi Kumar,

    I have a question regarding the sevis status change on getting selected in the lottery. My university does not give out information on any sevis changes releated to H1b. What if I request a new i20? Would that have some indication of selection in the lottery ? Or is that only for people whose opt extension
    expires before October. None expires next year.

  27. Thanks Kumar for the most authentic info on h1b Visas.

    No. of H1b regular applications is less than for the master’s Cap. Won’t everyone who applied for Masters cap, would have applied for regular cap?

  28. 1. Go this link https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-fiscal-year-fy-2019-cap-season

    2. Click on ‘FY 2019 H1B Cap Count’ to see the separate counts for Masters & Regular.

  29. Effect of merit based and H4 EAD removal. Normally few MS guys apply in bachelors category so that they can show 7 yrs work exp. BIG IT MNCs would have filed 30000 in Bachelors. Rest all should be from small IT firms and consulting companies.

    • VR,
      I wish I go nuts 😉 It is on the H1B 2019 USCIS updates page. I have updated the article with screenshot and link to the same for more clarity 🙂

      • Hi Kumar,
        There is an update on the Cap count page:

        “”Cap Eligible Petitions

        This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied. “”

        I dint get the part “It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending.” are they talking about the counts which all are selected in lottery? In that case why did they write “It does not include petitions that have been denied.”??

  30. Guys,
    where did you following details
    Masters Quota Filings : 95,885
    Regular quota Filings : 94,213

    I am unable to find them in uscis page

      • Kumar I am still not able to see the number of masters applications on the uscis webpage. I have provided the link and it does not shows any number for the regular as well as the masters cap.
        Although I have seen a couple of screen shots but when you go their website nothing shows up except the available numbers for CAP.

    • I think the number did not drop significantly because a lot of people got RFE and eventually rejected last year. Those people also re-applied last week.

    • There are some pretty obvious things that you all seem to have missed.

      1) Every year, applications have been increasing. So it’s not as simple as just going by the decrease. You also have to account for the increase that happens every year but did not happen last two years.
      2) H4 EAD people applied for H-1B because of Trump’s remarks on ending H4 EAD
      3) Fraudsters might be rushing to file this year before any rules change again
      4) Prior years roll over is constantly increasing as employers of people who didn’t get selected in prior lotteries keep trying for their employees both within US and outside US.
      5) People who got rejected in previous years will try their luck again as they’re not losing any money
      6) New students coming to study despite all the uncertainty

      Especially because of point #4 and #5, the increases in applications every year will keep happening until something changes in the rules to prevent it.

  31. Kumar,
    Regarding this statement
    “As we know from previous FOIA request, USCIS selects additional 5k for masters and 10k for regular quota considering denials?” How accurate is this information. I was not aware of this as I do not see it in USCIS. Can you please send the official link or official source for this?


    • Thanks so much Kumar. So this request will still hold true for this year as well irrespective of whether the attorney made a FOIA request or not? Does this mean that USCIS has it mandatory to give 85,000 approved H1B’s every year and for that they select additional 15k in the lottery as buffer when the lottery is conducted for covering denials, rejections, withdrawals etc?
      Please confirm as this will increase the probability percentatge of our selection.

      • Sharan,
        Well, some of these are not very transparent as we do not know how they handle these to meet 85K… As per regulation, they are supposed and we trust that it is being followed.

  32. Thanks for the Prediction and all the advice the redbus team gives. From my side, i wish everyone good luck in your wait for the result.


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