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USCIS News : H1B Visa Cap Reached for FY 2017 – Lottery !

Well folks, many of our readers had intense discussions on our H1B Visa 2017 page regarding the H1B lottery and the cap numbers…to start with, for all those who said there will not be H1B lottery, the cat is out of the bag, USCIS just confirmed that they received more petitions and will have random selection aka lottery for FY 2017.  Below is a quick summary of the official press release from USCIS earlier today.

Summary of H1B 2017 Cap Reached News from USCIS

  • Congressionally mandated H1B visa cap for FY 2017 reached as USCIS received enough number of petitions for this fiscal year 2017.
  • USCIS has also received more than 20,000 petitions for the master’s cap.
  • H1B 2017 Lottery Details :
    • As there were more petitions received by USCIS than required for the H1B cap, USCIS will conduct a random selection process, aka popularly called as H1B lottery, to pick the necessary cap count of 65,000 petitions for regular quota and 20,000 for master’s quota to fulfill the FY 2017 cap.
    • Lottery will be conducted for US Master’s students quota first and then the unselected petitions will be part of the general group to conduct lottery for the selecting the remaining 65,000 petitions. You can read How does H1B visa Lottery work
    • All the unselected petitions, which are not duplicate will be rejected and return along with the filing fees
    • USCIS will consider all the H1B petitions received during the 5 day filing window from April 1st through April 7th for conducting this lottery.
  • H1B Lottery Date: As there were lot of H1B petitions filed, USCIS at the moment cannot really announce the date of H1B Lottery, as they need to do the initial paperwork for all the petitions so that the lottery can be conducted for the petitions received properly.
  • H1B Cap Exempt Petitions :
    • USCIS will NOT include the cap-exempt petitions, aka who already have filed earlier and counted towards H1B cap, in the lottery selection process.
    • USCIS will continue to accept all the cap-exempt petitions that are filed with USCIS that fall under the below categories
      • H1B transfers, H1B extensions
      • H1B petitions for changes in employment terms
      • Second H1B petition to work concurrently for those who have been part of cap.

Fun fact: The official press release is exactly same as previous years, no different than previous years where H1B lottery was reached. Just few more lines were added to the end of the press release describing what H1B program is all about… You can read H1B 2016 Cap Reached News Summary

Now, couple of burning questions are, when will we have lottery and results dates.  You can read all this info at page H1B 2017 Updates : Key Timelines Lottery Dates

Other question is around how many petitions can we expect to be in lottery ?  For this read our H1B 2017 Predictions

What are your thoughts ? What is your guess ?

Did you Apply for FY 2017 ?
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Official Source  – USCIS Tweet with URL:


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  1. People should know that American’s don’t want H1B visa holders taking US jobs and we will treat you like an indentured servant. If you are a single male you won’t get dates and if you bring a spouse she will be socially isolated and unable to work so think twice – they don’t want us they just are using us

  2. Dear,

    My Employer informed to me that he had filed my h1b visa on 7th April 2016. He said the result of my application will be able know the end of May or end of June 2016.
    two days before, he said he didn’t get any information about my application, so may be there is no chance for this year for my application.
    Kindly advise, I am really very tense

  3. Hi,

    Can you please resolve my query..
    My employer told that my cheque got encashed few days back but no official receipt yet. Does that mean, I must wait for official confirmation? Can I be sure that I’m selected in lottery?

    • Suresh,

      Checks are cashed only when person is selected in the lottery. Ask employer if they can see the receipt number at the back of check (if they have access to check copy online).

  4. I am currently on F1-STEM and I applied h1b (regular processing-Masters quota) through my employer. I have not yet heard anything from my employer yet. I checked with the DSO at my university regarding my SEVIS update. I was informed that there are no changes till date. Since USCIS already mentioned that the data entry is complete and my SEVIS does not show any changes, does that mean my h1b hopes for this year is over?

    • Varija,

      As this is RP, I would give it another week to accommodate postal delays but beyond that there is little to no hope.

    • Thanks for the info Saurabh. 2 questions further. Please clarify.

      1. What can I check with the receipt number?

      2. Usually, how many days it may take to receive the receipt after cheques getting encashed?

      • Suresh,

        1. Once you have the receipt number, you can see its status online. If no paper notice is received in next few weeks, then employer can contact USCIS w/ the receipt number and ask for duplicate. This way they can be sure that the mailing address is also correct.

        2. Data entry was completed on May 2. So all paper receipts should be received by end of this week, although the SLA is for 30 days.

    • Mine also had same case. My employer informed me that cheque got encased on 2 May. But they can only see checque copy when statement of that account will be generated. Is this information reliable.

  5. My company deducted the PP cost from my April’s salary and they still keep saying that they didn’t get any updates for my petition yet.

    How that I am not selected yet and they took the money. Should I keep hoping for the best? or I should give up !

    Actually I am tired of waiting. Waiting is the worst thing in life … 🙁 🙁

    • Allam,

      PP costs are not deducted by USCIS unless the petition is selected in the lottery. If your employer has charged you, then either he is getting ahead of himself, or he knows that you have made through the lottery.

      • Thanks Saurabh for your comment.
        I did check with them and they told me in case you are not selected they will refund the money to me.
        Do you think that I might be selected and they don’t want to tell me now?

        • Allam,

          I will only be making wild guesses about what employer’s intent is. You can wait and see what happens to your application.

    • Common Man,

      In US, its called check and not cheque. American English vs rest of the world. I use Check just so that my spell checker doesn’t bother me 🙂


  6. Till when can we expect result of selection in lottery ?? Non-AD/RP/CA. Information on this appreciated. Slowly loosing hope

  7. Guys got the mail from the lawyer that my application is selected today morning (AD/PP/CA) – Receipt number WAC161365****. So don’t loose hope premium processing/ Advance degree applicant are still getting notices.

    • How do you know if your check is cashed.. doesn’t the attorney/employer send the check or do you send a personal check?

    • Anytime from today onwards to till end of this month, Regular Processing notification ( Cheque Encashment) will start from next week and will go till 30’th April according to my previous experience

  8. FOR STUDENTS IN US: Best and earliest way to find if you have been selected would be,call international student office at your school and ask them about expiration of your OPT, if its 30th Sep then you have been selected. My own experience from last year.

  9. My Story :
    Came US on H4 @ May 2012 : Was still job as Manager in India :
    Feb 2013 : Left Job from India : unemployed H4
    April 2013 –File H1-B , Picked in Lottery , got confirmation on May 2013
    RFE : July 2013, Resend : Aug 2013 , Reject : Sep 2013
    April 2014 – File H1-B ( this time 5 Petition ) — Not picked up in lottery
    April 2015 : File H1-B ( 3 Petition ) , No luck
    May 2015 : H4 -EAD ( Spouse Approve I140 with in 24 months once landed here on H1-B )
    Oct 2015 : Got EAD ,
    Nov 2015 : 4 Job offer ( 2 Six figure salary ); include fortune 3
    Feb 2016 : got job near to my spouse location :

    Moral of the story : U suggest ?

    • ‘Nagoor briyani Ulundurpettaiyila irukkura oru therunaayikku kedaikkanumnu yeludhirundha, adha yaaralayum maatha mudiyadhu. Tamil Thathuvam!’

      (If a street dog in Ulundurpettai is destined to get Nagoor biryani, no one can stop it).

  10. My firm (one of the largest firms in the US and globally) hold a conference call this morning for all alien employees who are in the lottery. Our immigration lead had met with USCIS officials during the past weekend in DC. Two things worth mention.

    1) USCIS was working diligently through out the past weekend and aiming to start sending out notifications this week.
    2) The number of petitions received is “more that they expected”.

    There’s no more specific details. But I would assume the number gonna be pretty big since they should already expected more for this year.

    • If your firm is really that big, the number of all alien workers in the lottery must be more than hundreds at least.
      How can a conference call handle them all?

      • No. The call was by service lines. There were about 90 participants. We files 1400 this year, about 15% more than last year. But we’re not IT-related firm. So it won’t matter anyway.

    • I just got a letter from my Lawer.. I WON THE LOTTERY THIS YEAR!!!!! MY RECEIPT NUMBER IS EAC161345****….there are 233000 petition this year…~~~~

        • …I can check my receipt number on USCIS website bro…I am adv PP .. if you check EAC1613452162 (not mine, but others) on USCIS website you will find out.. the lottery was completed brother,

          • It showed “On April 12, 2016, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC1613452162, and emailed you a receipt notice. It is being processed at our Vermont Service Center location. The notice describes how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.” Anyway, I just came with my news updated.

          • Means there are less number of application then last year.

            They started issueing receipt on 13th April.

            This year its 1 day early

          • Wow. This is a great news. I’m not sure it’s less than last year. Like my firm’s conference call mentioned. They worked through out the weekend. But anyway, great news! Definitely earlier than last year!

          • If you enter other cases numbers, such as EAC1613452161, EAC1613452160, EAC1613452050… all of them have the same message. Wouldn’t it just mean that the case was processed in order to enter the lottery? Like a pre-process of the lottery.

          • Put in a random no. EAC1613453300
            This says nothing about premium processing, while EAC1613453250 mentions about premium processing.
            Does it mean even the regular processing have started receiving the receipt nos

          • This does not look like an legit result. Now is the end of business day in Eastern US. Nothing from USCIS indicating the lottery has been done. They used to release news on the exact day for the prior 3 years!

      • I believe this is just the initial case entry and not the lottery. or it would should the petition is approved. check with your lawyer if the check was even cashed. Also advanced degree will have a SEVIS update. so cross check. don’t believe the information is true.

        • Hirak,

          If a receipt number shows up on USCIS site, then it is a case that has been selected in the lottery. Non-selected cases do not show-up on USCIS tracking site.

        • They have not started processing the petitions. How can you expect the case to be approved?
          This news is true. We should see a statement from USCIS about the lottery very soon.

          • RC,

            Ask your DSO to look at your SEVIS record. If H-1 was applied w/ COS and the same gets selected, then there is a pending COS to H-1 displayed in SEVIS record.

          • Thanks. Does the status pop-up automatically or I need to wait for someone to process it? I remember people talk about there’s way to call to check last year……

  11. Why this is so confidential? there should be a way to check our status directly. This avoids if company applied our application or not?

    • If your company wants you, and you are deserving, you company will file H1 for you. If you are fake candidate, then you need to make sure all this stuff!! Learn to trust your employer or look for new, reliable employer!

  12. Guys, don’t worry everyone will get the response by end of this month even if he applied through regular processing by checking the Cheque encashment status. so only 19 days left i wish all of you very best of your luck including me :), as this is my second attempt too

    • When does the USCIS send the Receipt number usually ?

      When you say Cheque encashment you mean that the employer sees that his cheques were cashed by USCIS and therefor you assume the application was approved / won the lottery ?


      • @John

        Actually every employer maintain a record of Cheque corresponding to each candidate, USCIS might take some time to send receipt notice but if your cheque is encashed it gives you guarantee that your petition got selected in lottery further more if its approved or RFE you will come to know later with the application number which they will give you in receipt notice, you can continuously check that in USCIS website it might take 15 days to 3 months to get approved or processing or RFE

  13. If a candidate applies for 2nd year in which case is not picked last year, Does the employer need to submit Rejection letter (I-129 form) along with new documentation and feez. Will this carry any weightage in lottery?

  14. this time many small business companies file the cases aganist the indian companies for sure if they are 250k. Will screw indian companies. so i dont think
    they r filing many cases this year. I guess 120 to 130K is high figure this time.
    will wait and see. If more I am going file case aganest the top big indian companies who files more to see how they r going to use those cases etc.

  15. (Inside news, outside news) Stop asking foolish questions and stop posting over smart comments. just keep you calm and wait you will get all the answers. don’t listen to any jackA** no one know anything except USCIS. so stop being a foolish joke.

    • yes there is a way call each university and find out who are on opt then call each person who is on opt and ask him did he filed H1 this year under Advance degree. fool

      • @admin, you should probably stop adding the comments which are offensive. @keepcalm , hey buddy, this is the place people ask questions. There is a reason why we have some platform . Even if its stupid, its a question and he needed to know answer. do keep yourself calm before calling someone FOOL.

        • @cg keepcalm is right in a certain way. Most of the people ask the same old question “what is the count?” Its waste of time discussing same thing. If we just wait 2-3 we all come to know exact number. Meanwhile if someone has reliable sources they can reply. Don’t waste energy by simply posting just for time pass.

        • GG,
          It is hard for us to monitor every single comment as many are posted in various times of the day…also, we have no control on people posting comments…we leave it for people to follow basic etiquette…Hope things dont go out of hand…if something is offensive and violates community guidelines , we will remove as needed.

    • @Advanced Degree,

      There is no correct way to find out the exact numbers but there was a study with in Google by all a bunch of OPT holders . They tried to put up a list of # of applicants who applied and who did not get a lottery. Based on that there was 50-60% chances people get through.

      Again it cannot be generalized to the whole population but it gives a rough estimate on the figures.


  16. reliable source of information for no of petitions i have want to share got deleted,
    this is not fair and what do you gain by doing so kumar, suppose if it is not reliable but what is the harm , i have seen guys giving their own calculations for no of petitions for 2017, you proved you are INDIAN

    • ganesha,
      Usually any links are automatically flagged by system as we had a LOT of spam links posted by BOTS to pull down the site. We have created this platform for everyone like all of us to collaborate buddy. Do not judge instantly !

  17. full details you can read in deccan herald news paper,

    i have sent the link but (Your comment is awaiting moderation) is holding to get updated……….

  18. We think 250,000 H-1B petitions were filed this year,” Bill Stock, incoming president of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and a founding partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners told PTI in an interview.

    PETITIONS 250000 RECEIVED American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/539300/h-1b-cap-reached-majority.html

  20. My guess would be between 180K to 220K …
    We see the official numbers soon 🙂
    My package made to USCIS on the first day…. California Service Center.
    Fingers Crossed.. 🙂
    Good Luck Everyone….

  21. Hi,

    I have nt received any email saying petition is delivered to USCIS. How do i check if my petition is submitted or not ? Also,when is the last day for USCIS accepting petitions ?

    • @Siri
      You need to check with your Employer or Attorney for FedEx or UPS Courier Receipt to track the package delivery to USCIS.

      USCIS has already stopped accepting H1 B application for FY2017 on April 7’2016.

      All the Best Every one 🙂

  22. Hi guys,
    I have heard that this year there was a significant lower number of h1b advanced degree applications given to the fact that major tech firms recruited less international grad students due to the small chances of success they experienced last year. Would it be possible that this year the odds will be much better for advanced degree applicants than for regular applicants?

      • Yes, several reliable sources, it seems to be almost as a fact that there were less advanced degree petitions this year, the thing is that no one was able to provide me a number so that is why I am asking here if anyone has heard the same thing and has a clue about the actual numbers

        • Sounds like a good news. But i think what really matters is those Indian companies like Infosys, Tata, etc. They would apply that many regardless…

    • i agree your point.. it happens every year.. that’s the reason few of the stem grads apply in regular cap..make up resume , exp and apply in regular cap… only guys in opt apply in master’s cap provided if their firm is ready to sponsor… in due course for them MS degree becomes waste.. now due to this lottery even though they have 3 yrs time,, they thinking to apply in first yr itself

  23. What is the expected number of filings this year? I got info from some friends that, Indian companies are filing less petetions. Hence what would be the number ?

    • Again, no information on number of petitions filed until USCIS released the number, which will be after the lottory!

  24. Hi, I applied in the Masters quota under regular processing. When will USCIS do lotery and issue case number for selected petitions from the lottery?
    How much time will it take for the final decision to come? Max. 3 months?

  25. So far no surprises. And I wont be surprised if total applications are more then 220.000.
    Its just a snow ball going bigger and bigger every year.
    We have new graduated students + new people coming to work to USA + 80% of people rejected last year. And yes, 80%, because I highly doubt 80% of people who applied last year did not have other type visa for 2-3 years already or depend on other H-1B, or similar, who has 2+2 years visa (4 years). So they have more years to reapply for H-1B!
    So next year it will be more then 250.000 people and so on until USCIS or President rise a cap or eliminate it.

  26. Hello All,
    My application was delivered to USCIS today afternoon, upon checking with attorney he says the it was delivered and signed sometime early afternoon.
    Will my application be included in the lottery or was there any cut of time that I don’t know about ?

    Please advice, I am in tough situation…


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