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USCIS News: H1B Visa 2020 Cap Reached for Regular Quota

As you all USCIS started accepting H1B 2020 petitions from April 1st. USCIS just announced a press release indicating that they have reached enough number of petitions for the regular quota (i.e. 65,000 ).  Let’s review the news summary by USCIS.

Summary of USCIS News – H1B 2020 Cap Reached for Bachelors :

  • Regular Quota Full : USCIS announced that they have received enough number of petitions for the regular quota of 65,000 petitions filed for H1B Visa 2020 Season. Essentially, the cap is reached for all petitions, who have filed with a bachelor’s degree as the base for their petition.
  • US Masters Quota : They have not indicated anything that cap is reached for US masters quota, which is 20,000. Historically, in the past few years, when they announced the news release, they would always announced  both of them together indicating that cap has reached for Regular quota and Masters quota. Check out H1B 2019 Cap Reached Summary. USCIS said that they will determine if they have received enough petitions to fill the 20,000 H1B US masters quota. It could be that they are still doing initial data entry, we do not know. Because as per history and our H1B Visa 2020 Lottery Predictions, we should get a lot of Masters quota petitions, so we do not know the reason yet.
  • Multiple or Duplicate Filings : They mentioned that all the unselected H1B cap petitions, will be rejected and returned, if they are not duplicate filings as indicated in USCIS recent 2018 Duplicate filings Rules .
  • H1B Lottery for FY 2020 : While they have not explicitly indicated that there will be lottery, or random selection, it is kind of assumed from the word. ‘Unselected petitions’ that we could have “H1B Visa Lottery “ like in previous years and they would run lottery. In fact, this was the same statement used in H1B 2019 press release and they conducted lottery.
  • Cap Exempt H1B Petitions : USCIS indicated that they will continue to accept petitions that are H1B cap exempt like below
    • Previously cap counted H1B workers like for Transfers, extensions.
    • Also, H1B petitions filed for change of employment terms like amendments.
    • Concurrent H1B petitions filings for second H1B position.
  • Check out news summary in under 2 minute video below

 Anything new from this year FY 2020 Press release ?

Overall, it is a pretty standard press release like previous years, but with one major difference regarding the H1B cap reached indicating for US masters quota. As mentioned, it could be that they are still counting, that’s why they say “USCIS will determine…”.   Also, pretty they not explicitly state the lottery indication, similar to last year, but it is kind of assumed based on the word “unselected” and how they have done in the past.  They have also updated their H1B 2020 page indicating the same that they have reached regular cap. See belowUSCIS Cap reached for FY 2020 on their page

 When will we have H1B 2020 Lottery ? What is the date of actual lottery ?

As we have written in the past based on historical dates, we can expect lottery to be conducted by USCIS anywhere around April 11th to 13th.  Below are the dates that they have done lottery in the previous years.

  • For FY 2019, it was done on April 11th, 2018
  • For FY 2018, it was done on April 11th, 2017
  • For FY 2017, it was done on April 12th, 2016
  • For FY 2016, it was done on April 13th, 2015.

You can read more like lottery results, basics at   What to Expect from H1B 2020 Season

H1B 2020 Tracker – Crowdsourced for general Insights :

H1B Processing can be very time consuming and frustrating for many as it is like a black box and we need to keep waiting. Having some general insights will help the community. It is fully anonymous and used by many in the past 5 years.  If you have filed a petition for FY 2020, please add your case and help the community.

[prompt type=”left” title=”Track your H1B Case” message=” Anonymously Track your H1B Case – Share and Get updated from Community.” button_text=”H1B 2020 Case Tracker” href=”https://redbus2us.com/trackers/h1b-visa-tracker/”]

What are your thoughts from the H1B FY 2020 USCIS Press release ?

Reference :



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  1. “Because of recent changes in the H-1B cap selection process, USCIS may not announce whether the advanced-degree cap has been reached until after it completes an initial cap lottery or other preliminary intake procedures. A further announcement is expected in the coming days”.


  2. This news alert is from previous year and for FY 2019. Also, check the date at the bottom.
    It says: “Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/06/2018”.
    This year, applicants applied on April 1, 2019 for FY 2020.

    • Hi Kumar,
      If petition is filed with MCA (Master of Computer Applications) as the base degree. will it come under Regular quota or Master’s Quota??.

      • Hey Raghu,

        Master’s quota is only applicable to the people doing masters from US institutions which are public or non-profit in nature. Rest for others, it comes under regular quota.

  3. USCIS has not announced about masters quota because they want to be mathematically correct.

    Let me explain, last year they selected total 113,000 applications, 85,900 applications for regular cap and 27,100 applications for masters cap considering some applications will be rejected.

    Now, this year we’ll have regular lottery first, so if we think mathematically(refer probability) it is *theoretically* possible that all 85900 applications selected in the regular cap lottery will be masters.

    For simplicity consider we have to randomly select 3 balls out of a pot containing 3 red and 3 blue balls. It is mathematically possible that all red balls or all blue balls get selected, this seems more practical because the numbers are smaller but when numbers are in a few thousands it’s impractical but still mathematically possible.
    For number lovers, if we assume we get 100K masters and 60K regular applications and 85900 applications are selected in regular cap lottery, the probability of being all regular cap selected applications to be masters is 0.0000000000000000000000000000037554(notice it’s not 0.0)

    With that said, If we assume a similar scenario this year they’ll need at least 113,000 ‘masters’ applications to announce that they have received enough applications for masters cap.

    • “Let me explain, last year they selected total 113,000 applications, 85,900 applications for regular cap and 27,100 applications for masters cap considering some applications will be rejected.” — from where did you get this data? only 27,100 k from masters? Is it an assumption or a fact?

      • 27,100 applications in *masters cap*, all unselected applications were then put into regular cap lottery.
        Got the numbers online from a reasonably credible website( I shouldn’t post/ advertise other websites here).

    • Very cool analysis – I’d like to point out that in fact not ALL regular cap applications selected have to be masters applications for there to be no masters lottery. All we need is that the number of masters applications not selected after the regular lottery is less than 27,100. The probability of this happening is again very very small but not impossible. (Note: this is based on the number above from Amol which I don’t have a source for but I am using).

      If we assume the numbers above we expect on average out of the 85,900 original selections -> 53,688 will be for masters degrees. (This is the expected value 85,900*(100,000/(100,000+60,000)). It’s like flipping a coin 85,900 times with probability of masters p = = 100,000/(100,000+60,000) = 0.625.

      BUT there will be some variation – we can model this as a binomial distribution so one standard deviation will be sqrt(N*p*(1-p)) = sqrt(85900*0.625*(1-0.625)) ~ 142. If we take 3 standard deviations we get 142*3+53,688 =54,114 – this would be a sensible upper bound in terms of masters selected in the regular round (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68%E2%80%9395%E2%80%9399.7_rule). But this would still leave 100,000 – 54,114 = 45,886 for the masters round – so there would still be a lottery for the masters round selecting 27,100 applications out of 45,886.

      We can play around with the numbers a bit – maybe have less masters applications or more applications selected but the probability of no masters lottery is very very low – so low as to be insignificant.

    • If the application packet is not received on the close of business day, then they send it back, it is technically considered rejected and not filed on time.


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