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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. Does USCIS send receipt notices company wise? I mean the employees selected in a company will be notified on the same day?

  2. Hi All,

    If my petition has been selected from the lottery and right now I’m waiting for the approval, can I travel outside the US? But the thing is my F1 visa will be expired on May 23, 2018. Is it possible to travel and get the stamp from the consulate in my home country?

    • I recommend asking your lawyer/employer for clarification. As a rule of thumb I would consider travelling without the H1B approval as risky and on the flip side travelling immediately after getting the approval to have it stamped as a good practise.

  3. Got my Receipt notice last week dated 4/12.
    Got my approval notice today dated 5/4.

    That was pretty quick and lucky!
    Good luck to those who are waiting.

    AD/1st Attempt/California Center

      • PhD Mechanical Engineer from a large Public University, working in a leading Santa-Clara, CA based company as an R&D Modeling and Simulation Engineer. Salary is commensurate with the city and position with a II Wage Level on LCA.

    • @Elation, did your case status reflected as approved in uscis case status portal ?
      link : https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do

  4. Just received an email from attorney yesterday that my petition has been selected in lottery.
    No other details.
    L1–> H1B, second attempt
    Vermont Center

  5. Hi All,

    Those who got receipt and then “approval” (for 2019 i.e. this year’s lottery) can you share your profile?

    Major, job title, wage level, company if possible?

    Thank you.

  6. I got mine receipt number on May 8th and it says the notice date is 04/24. Good luck everyone! There are hopesss

  7. How long it usually takes to know whether the application is picked in the lottery or not? My cousin is still waiting to hear from his company. Thank you.

    • Until USCIS announces data entry completion, we all still have a chance. After that, chances are minimal, though receipts still trickle in for 1-2 weeks.

  8. Because people who got their H1b receipts don’t care any more , and the people who didn’t have pretty much lost hope.

  9. For AD there is still hope(small chance but do exist.)
    for Non_AD selection % should be 33% or so, this year data entry is slow.
    CA center just started sending non-AD receipts, and VT in halfway done.

    this week should be happing for non_ad. to be on safe side, if you get any good news by next Monday, you are in. if not the then some exception case you still have a surprise.

    22nd -23rd May should be high time to be hopeful about H1b, if not then start a backup plan

  10. Guys, I just got confirmation from my employer that my application has been picked. Best of luck to others as well. 🙂

  11. Hi All,

    Does anyone know number of petition that were selected (receipts) but eventually denied after RFE for 2017-2018 or may be for last few years? I have read news reports about RFE percentage but not rejection/denied rate.

    I know some of the petitions are still waiting decision from last year, but just want to know if rejection rate of receipt(ed) petitions.


  12. My H1b is picked up in lottery. My employer informed last week. I got a copy of receipt notice from employer today.

    • No one can predict anything.

      You should keep your hopes high till a data entry completion notice is sent out by uscis officially.

    • Same here. When is work authorization date expiring for you all? Do you know if you can continue working till the point we receive the rejection for H1B irrespective of what the work authorization end date is on the EAD card or i20?

      • OPT expires by the end of this month. My company told me that if I didn’t get through the lottery, I can work until I get the rejection notice.

        • I think i am in a similar boat and don’t have confirmation on it from my organization. Hopefully they will allow me to continue working till I get rejection as well. I am assuming this is the law?

        • @1JuneExpiration and Ashley,

          How is your company going to reverify your work authorization if you work past June 1 and has not received another extension? Your employer should know about this:

          • My understanding was based on this:


            “Once the petitioner timely files a request to change status to H-1B on October 1, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin. If the student’s H-1B petition is selected and approved, the student’s extension of status will continue through September 30. The extension of status will automatically terminate if the student’s H-1B petition is denied, withdrawn, revoked, rejected, or is not selected, or if the change of status request is denied or withdrawn even if the H-1B petition is approved for consular processing. The student will have the standard 60-day grace period from the date the extension of status terminated or their program end date, whichever is later, to depart the United States.”

        • I think we all should be looking at backup options never the less at this point. if the visa comes through great and if not there should be a backup (Not that I have figured out mine :p
          ). For some backup might just be going to the home country and for it others it might be something completely radical such as Day 1 CPT. I don’t think there is no one solution fits all approach. My 2 cents.

  13. Can someone please explain why day 1 CPT is a bad option?

    First timer, non-AD, opt expiring July 2018

    My employer is ready to sponsor my green card or another H1B attempt next year so feel like day 1 CPT is my best option.

    • Because it is illegal. Because there is high probability that your H1b, even if it gets selected in the lottery, will be rejected. And if somehow, you luckily get approved, you might be rejected when you go for H1b stamping. And obviously, it will affect your future visits to the country.

      Is that good enough? Why not stay illegally in the country while you are at it?

      • Hey Edwardss,

        I understand that it is the gray area but please don’t misguide people by saying there is “high probability”. Yes , it is probable But I’ve heard more success stories than failures. There is a lesser probability of getting rejected in stamping than getting an approval.


        • Sorry, but your anecdotal evidence doesn’t really count for much. The question is do you really want to risk it, given the USCIS’s recent crackdown on anything even slightly out of line? And it really isn’t a grey area. USCIS has pretty much made it clear that day 1 CPT is illegal.

          • Agreed , Anecdotal evidence was as bad as “high probability”.

            I think I will risk it. Ill be doing this hoping for H1 next year. If I don’t get it then the year after.
            If I have an issue with stamping/approval so be it, Its better than giving up and going back home in my case.
            I’m sure Justin Trudeau is happy to welcome me in his country, in that scenario.
            The current system sucks and is not fair, So me being unfair to the system is OK.
            Further more we have no clue how the H1 system is being changed next year, with all proposed legislation.
            Please feel free to critique my approach.

          • This edwards guy has been over exaggerating & trolling on day 1 CPT. Sure it has become strict to avoid abuse but if you do it properly in a good accredited university (Which does not advertise for CPT & have advisors & professors recommendation letters) then you can definitely do it. You just need the right paperwork & a good attorney. I have seen around 20 cases with my attorney last year who got their H1B approved (day 1 CPT). Even though they got RFE’s they made it through. 5 who went for stamping did not have a hassle. So good luck & dont let these trolls like edwardsss deter you from doing day 1 CPT.

      • Lets put it this way, Day 1 CPT is not illegal but it is not ethical either. Calling it Illegal would be exaggerating and stretching it too far…

        • Aptly put. It is not 100% illegal.
          Pick a course which legally allows it.
          Do talk with your attorneys and prepare for the “kitchen sink” RFEs which may head your way once you get a h1 selected in the lottery.
          Sure its not ethical , so is the lottery process.

    • Day1 CPT is 100% illegal and it is true that there is high possibility of not just rejection but a record of you trying to cheat the system. Instead get a short term visa to any other country where your employer has offices and apply again next year.
      During stamping they definitely check the history of stay in the US and if you are out of status, good luck.

      • I am availing what is being offered to me. Universities who provide this are cheating the system.
        Working in another country is not an option for me.
        I will not be out of status doing this, my status is renewed to be on F1.
        Ill take my chances. Thanks.

  14. I am a 1st timer non-Ad with OPT expiring July 14. Haven’t heard anything yet from my company or USCIS. Do I qualify for Cap gap extension?

    Any clarification is much appreciated!

    Thanks, good luck to everyone still stuck in this waiting game

    • @Bogdan Petkovic
      No, you don’t qualify for cap-gap extension unless you are selected and have your OPT extended to Sept 30. If you are not selected, you have to stop working on July 14.

      • Isn’t cap gap selection automatic provided the h1B petition is filed timely and under change of status. One can legally continue to work till they receive the rejection notification even if the OPT work authorization expires anytime after filing the petition. At least this is my understanding. Can anyone clarify.

        • @1June Expiration,
          Cap-gap doesn’t seem automatic as one would think. Some of us with OPT/Stem Opt expiring before June 1 and had not bee selected yet, checked our sevp portal and found that the first extension was not updated. We had to request our DSO to update the extension to June 1 for our employer to reverify Form 1-9 -https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/51-reverifying-employment-authorization-current-employees

          We have to stop working after June 1st if there is no further extension to Sept 30. Anyway, Sevis sent me an email todayabout my change of status and reminding me to hand in final evaluation for stem opt extension which expires in mid-May.

  15. I received I797C receipt from my HR. It says “Courtesy copy of the original receipt.” What does it mean exactly? Who gets original copy than?

  16. AD ,Got receipt notice from fragomen today . Second attempt
    Guess still have time to get receipt .
    Good luck guys

  17. Non-ad first attempt, received h1b receipt notice today through fragomen.
    California center..

    Thanks guys for all timely update. Seems receipt notices for non-ad from CA has started and may flow for next 2 weeks.

    Wish everyone to receive. keep hopes.

  18. People are also getting H1 approvals already. Damn.
    Just heard from a friend that she got her H1 approval news from her HR.

  19. Hi Emily,
    I have applied for H1b for 2019 year. Till now I did not hear any news from my attorney/employer. Still do I have any chance to get my h1b petition will get pick or not?
    I am losing hopes day by day.Please let me know what would be chances now?

  20. Out of the blue, got my H1B approval today!! Way earlier than anticipated.
    VT Center. AD Non-stem. OPT initially expiring 7/3/2018.
    SEVP update: 4/25; Receipt received 5/1

    Hope this helps anyone waiting for case adjudication!!

  21. Just got the news from my attorney..4th attempt NON-AD H1b selected with receipt number. I wish to thank the forum for giving us so much guidance , support and humor (sometimes) . This wasnt easy. Roller coaster but eventually got it. they informed that the cheque got encashed last week and they got receipt today.

  22. Same probability and percentage that your wife married you because you are from rich family and going to get hetch one B.

  23. I have lost the all hope. Last year on 2nd may they have completed all data entries as per USCIS. this time what went wrong I heard only STEM people getting receipt what about those who has done MBA-Finance no updates so far.

    • I am also an MBA grad. A lot of my friends and classmates who have done MBA have heard back. I am in the same boat as you.
      When does your OPT Expires?

      • Janardhan how is MBA finance related roles even specialty occupation. Guaranteed RFE case for you guys. I don’t understand why people even come to do such degrees here.

        • Look whosoever you are. I am not worry about any RFE and not even thinking about any lottery decision. also I am not from any consultancy who make fake resume and getting jobs based on it. I have 5 years of experience in Finance . Came USA on scholarship did MBA from normal college. and based on my experience and work my employer has filed my H1 visa.

        • USCIS evaluates each case. You need not evaluate them here. Also, don’t judge a person based on their English proficiency.

    • I have an MBA with a major in Finance. I got my receipt and so have several of my classmates. Your statement that only STEM people have received updates is completely wrong.

  24. Is anyone with advanced degree quota and OPT ending after September see any updates on SEVP portal or SEVIS record (from DSO)?

  25. The OCC number on my i797 receipt says: “030”. My position title is Software engineer. Is that number correct?

  26. Hi All,

    If someone is on F-1 during Fall 2018 semester and got H1-B approved. Can he/she switch (after 1st October) to H1-B while being a student and start the job?

    Does the DSO needs to know that this switch is being taken place?


  27. In my company someone got receipt today

    California service center
    Receipt date: April 12th

    Receipts are still coming in for Advance Cap.

    Good luck to all genuine candidates!


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