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USCIS received 484K H1B Registrations for H1B 2023 Lottery

USCIS announced official H1B 2023 first-round lottery results on March 29th, 2022 indicating that they have completed the H1B lottery first round and notified all selected applicants. What they did not announce was the total number of filings and other metrics. They quietly updated their H1B Registration page today with the H1B registrations numbers for FY 2023 season. In this article, we will review all the numbers, metrics and compare them with the past and outline what to expect next.

Background – H1B 2023 Season

Earlier this year, USCIS announced dates for H1B 2023 Season. They accepted H1B registrations for FY 2023 season from March 1st, 2022 until March 18th, 2022. The H1B 2023 Lottery Results were out over the weekend of March 25th, 2022. Many applicants were notified over a period of a few days from March 25th until March 29th, 2022.

USCIS gave an official press release on March 29th, 2022 indicating that H1B Lottery first-round results were notified to all the selected applicants and employers need to check their H1B registration accounts. But, they did not really give the breakdown of the total number of H1B Registrations filed or other details. Today, April 14th, 2022, they quietly updated the H1B registration webpage with the numbers. Let’s look at the details.

483,927 H1B Registrations Submitted for FY 2023

USCIS received a whopping 483,927 H1B Registrations for FY 2023 Season ( rounded to 484K for easy calculations). It is crazy to even think of the total number of H1B registrations received by USCIS for FY 2023. This is the highest ever number of H1B registrations received by USCIS in the history of the H1B program.

Let’s do simple math to come up with some facts and find the ratio of registrations to available H1B Visa Quota Cap

  • Registrations / Availability Ratio = 483,927/85,000 = 5.69
  • The above ratio means that for 1 H1B visa cap slot, USCIS received 5.69 registrations. If we round it, USCIS got about close to 6 registrations for one available slot.
  • The chances of selection are: 85,000/483,927 = 17.56%
  • The above percentage means, that out of 100 registrations submitted only 17 would be selected in H1B Lottery.

Comparison with H1B FY 2022 Season

For H1B FY 2022 season, USCIS received 308,613 registrations. If we compare that with this year’s numbers it is a whopping 57% increase in the number of H1B registrations.

Below is the trend of H1B Total Prospective applications/registrations that were submitted with USCIS from the FY 2004 season until the FY 2023 Season

H1B Registrations Total Count for FY 2023 Trend Chart
H1B Registrations Total Count for FY 2023 Trend Chart

127,600 H1B Registrations Selected for FY 2023 Season

USCIS said that based on historical data from the last couple of years and trends, they selected 127,600 H1B Registrations for FY 2023 Season. If we compare it with last year’s numbers, below is how it looks

  • H1B FY 2023 Selected Registrations in First Round = 127,600
  • H1B FY 2022 Selected Registrations in First Round = 87,500
  • Additional Registrations selected in first round for FY 2023 = 40,100 more
  • Percentage of additional Registrations selected in first round = 45% more

If you look at the reason for their additional selections this year, there were three rounds of H1B Lottery for FY 2022 season as per H1B Cap Count Updates History below.

  • FY 2022 Second Round H1B Lottery Selections = 27,717
  • FY 2022 Third Round H1B Lottery Selections = 16,753
  • Total additional selections in FY 2022 in the Second, Third rounds = 44,470

If you compare numbers, USCIS basically selected the second round and third round lottery selection numbers now in the first round itself so that they can meet the H1B cap with one round of selections. We need to see, how it would really work this year.

48,000 H1B Employers, 31% US Masters Quota for FY 2023

Below are the various metrics on how many employers, masters, and regular quota registrations for H1B FY 2023 and how changed from FY 2022 season.

H1B Sponsoring Employers for FY 2023

  • For H1B FY 2023 season, USCIS said that over 48,000 prospective H1B employers filed H1B registrations.
  • If we compare that with FY 2022 season, there were only 37,000 prospective H1B employers.
  • It is a 29% increase in the number of employers, who filed for H1B registrations this year.

H1B Masters Quota Registrations for FY 2023, comparison

In terms of H1B Master’s quota filings, for H1B FY 2023 season, they accounted for 31% of total registrations. For FY 2022, they accounted for 48% of total registrations. Below are the numbers

  • FY 2023 H1B Masters Quota Registrations (31%) = 150,017
  • FY 2022 H1B Masters Quota Registrations (48%)= 148,134
  • The change in H1B Masters quota registrations = 1,833
  • Percentage change in H1B Masters quota registrations = 1.27% increase
  • There is not a big increase in the total number of H1B registrations filed by US Master’s applicants. This seems same like last year

H1B Regular Quota Registrations for FY 2023, comparison

If we review the regular quota registrations, for H1B FY 2023 season, they accounted for 69% of total registrations. For FY 2022, they accounted for 52 % of total registrations. Below are the numbers

  • FY 2023 H1B Regular Quota Registrations = 333,910
  • FY 2022 H1B Regular Quota Registrations=160,479
  • The change in H1B Regular quota registrations = 173,431
  • Percentage change in H1B Masters registrations = 108% increase
  • This is crazy to see a 108% increase in filings for the Regular quota. It could be due to rise in open positions in the US and the removal of travel restrictions. But, still, this is a crazy increase…

Why so many filings? Multiple Registrations Issue ?

In general, there is no doubt that there is a very high demand for the H1B Visa program, but the total number of H1B registrations for FY 2023 is so high that it raises alarm bells at many companies and law firms. In fact, there was a lawsuit filed last year regarding the duplicate registrations but did not get a proper outcome in the court. There was an attempt made to change the lottery to be based on H1B wage levels, which was canceled by the court as well.

For FY 2023, USCIS did put out an additional note indicating that they will enforce additional checks to ensure that companies/ applicants are not gaming the system and creating unfair chances with multiple filings by colluding. We need to wait and see how far USCIS goes with these enforcements and how various companies and law firms react to this crazy number of filings.

Will there be Second Round Lottery?

Update : On August 23rd, 2023, USCIS updated that there will not be a second or third round H1B lottery for FY 2023. Check H1B 2023 Cap Reached – No more Lottery.

This is a million-dollar question. This year USCIS selected an additional 42,600 more than the H1B cap of 85,000 to meet the H1B cap. They have taken a buffer of 42,600 assuming that these companies would not file or they will be denied due to some other reason. Now, the big question is are they sufficient enough to fill the H1B cap.

It is too early to say if there will be or will not be an H1B second-round lottery. If most of FY 2023 registrations are genuine, then we may not have the H1B second round lottery, but what are the odds of all of this year’s registrations being bonafide? We will do a detailed analysis on this later in a subsequent article.

What do you think of the total registrations for FY 2023 Season ? What are your thoughts to avoid fraud? What should USCIS do? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

   

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57 Comments

  1. IMO, the people eligible for Master’s quota must be allowed to register for the visa with their passport numbers. Once selected in the lottery, the visa filing must be done by a company within the deadline, thus sponsoring the employee. If no filing happens within the deadline, subsequent rounds can be carried out to fill the cap. By this way, at least people who did masters in USA can be stopped from multiple filing.

    Reply
  2. I see lot of people talking on the abuse of multiple filings. Unfortunately, that is how the H1B visa program is designed. Remember, H1B program is employer sponsored. A candidate can apply to multiple companies for a job and more than one company can give him a job offer which could lead to multiple H1B filings. There is no denial that some people are taking advantage of this but it will incredibly difficult (say not possible) for USCIS to identify which offers are genuine and which are not. They can only do to some extent while reviewing the petition documents which they are already doing.

    Reply
    • Yes JCP, you are correct. But just remember this. Every time a person gets picked in lottery for more than one application, we are taking away a chance/dream for another person. I don’t want to be that person. I am full heartedly returning back to my country, with a happy feeling that I didn’t destroy another persons dream for my dream.
      At the end, it’s my perspective.

      Reply
      • Small doubt. In India passport number is unique irrespective of how many companies / employers apply H1B for same candidate.. Top country like USA don’t have simple algorithm to identify such duplicates and denied all the applications of same candidate ? Major applications from Indians, if they apply this algorithm on Indians, 50 % duplicate entries will be overcome. What about other counties, don’t they have unique identifier in passports? of course it is up to USA how they want. They need 85K candidates and they are getting . that’s all. But USA is dream for many ppls in India. They are losing opportunities due to this duplicate entries. I know one guy. His application was filed last year through 3 different companies. None of them picked in all 3 lotteries last year. This year, same candidate, same 3 companies. This time he was fortune. What is the conclusion, shall we encourage duplicate application concept ? God knows. Waiting for 1 year for other chance is really painful. We can’t fight with our fate as well as we can’t move further from USA dreams. But system should be changed even though we are seekers and they are providers’ wish that day will come soon. If same system continue, next year applications will reach to 6 to 7 lakhs easily.

        Reply
        • USA DREAMER,
          The problem is not about filtering based on passport, it is about genuine people who have two or more offers from companies like Google and Microsoft, where there are multiple filings done for such applicants by these companies.

          Reply
          • Thanks Kumar. But Again same logic. Google or Microsoft whatever may be, for both, candidate passport number is unique. So Let us assume Microsoft already applied for one candidate, later while Google is trying to apply, then USCIS system should through error message like candidate details with error msg like “already applied through Microsoft” ( hope no confidentiality here), and system should not allow Google to fill the form. Then Google has to intimate candidate and candidate has to take the decision which one he needs google or Microsoft. So In case he is interested only in MS, then he will be silent as MS already applied. Else he will approach MS and try to withdraw his application from MS ( he can say N number of reasons to convince MS example package etc) and once MS is withdraw, the Google will apply for this candidate. So all these process should complete on or before last week of March ( cut off date of window for that year), so that when USCIS take the lottery in first week of Apr, database will have only genuine candidate info so that for other dreamers also get the chance.. Just a thought but not a difficult task to USCIS. Once again thanks for your reply.

          • USA Dreamer,
            Well, in general, one should have the free will to choose what one wants. Just think about it in a different way, What if Microsoft does not hire and take the offer back around September? What if Microsoft does not give you a raise as they know you are stuck with them? Also, the government cannot enforce a private company to hire or pay someone certain salary…America is a free country and such restrictions will attract more lawsuits, so this logic does not work in most cases…

          • Kumar,

            Do you think a person smart enough to secure two jobs is not capable of selecting which one he wants to accept and request that company to sponsor towards their application? Also this is a very rare situation we are looking at for a person to have 2 job offers just before or during the 2 week window USCIS opens to apply for H1B for FY.

          • Sai,
            It is a very common situation than you think. Imagine, if one of these companies did not honor their job offer (like now with recession fears), then what happens to that person… Again, the point is legal framework cannot force anyone to choose a job, especially in situations like this. This will attract more lawsuits if implemented.

          • Even for US Masters, candidates can only get one i20 for one university. They cant get multiple i20s. I believe the number of people who genuinely have two offers is very very small. maybe less than 100 individuals each year. People can always amend their petition after approval. So in interest of greater good, it is not too much to ask a candidate to choose one job out of the many. Each person has to take risk in their lives when it comes to choosing a career. But allowing the system to be gamed like this is not the solution.

  3. i have been selected in H1 B lottery , but failed to secure a job from my sponsor and my sponsor filed for LCA without client informations and unfortunately Department of labour rejected my application saying rejected due to not providing client information while filing what happens to my application can my employer file again LCA ? after i get an Job offer ? anybody can assist or explain whats next step in this scenario ?

    Reply
    • SKMU,
      Well, sadly, you lost the opportunity to file this year. Your luck with the lottery is wasted. You need to try again next year.

      Reply
  4. I work for client in CA, i got selected in lottery and my petition was sent to Vermont service center. Is there anyone whose lottery selection had address of vermont ? or this never happened to ayone?

    Reply
  5. I’m sick of this system. I hate to say that indians especially south indians are exploiting the system. I know many people doesn’t even have a job, with the help of unethical consultancies they are filing 10-12 H1B petition and getting multiple H1bs, now they are looking for a job. This is ridiculous. USCIS should impose wage based H1b, or point based immigration instead of lottery.

    Reply
      • Hi Kumar,
        Who were struck down in court? Associate who had multiple registration? Or Agents /consultancies who did this false work? Can we expect at least next year genuine process?

        Reply
        • SivaRamaKrishna,
          The wage level idea for the lottery was stuck down in court.
          No one knows the process for next year, hard to say or predict.

          Reply
  6. Hi All,
    Any unofficial updates / talk on petitions based on first round lottery as almost 2.5 months completed after lottery ? Do we think we have 2nd round and if yes when it supposed to be?

    Reply
  7. Its very clear that, There is multiple registrations happening!

    People had to be down right cheaters to do that in this visa processing !
    USCIS should give strong jail sentence to the employer and ban the participant for this offense.

    But mainly, How did they even able to place multiple registration if USCIS had robust system ?
    Aint passport is like primary key to stop this scam ? They should engage proper investigation on this !

    how on earth 484k registration is possible ?

    Reply
    • Nothing can be done. There can be offers for employee from two companies, let’s say netflix & meta, then this unique key wont help.

      Reply
  8. Sorry to say this. To avoid fraud and genuine process in H1B lottery, USCIS should be very strict on Candidates and Employers that if any person did multiple filing, then below two should happen.
    1- All employers who filed for that candidate will be banned for 5 years (CEO or who is the main person cannot open new company and do again)
    2- Candidate will be banned from filing at least 3 years

    Reply
    • just my opinion and thought yes i agree multiple filings will kill the chance of others. but think in this way in this situation if you are looking for a job, you will submit for multiple clients and wait for an interview response correct it’s not like you will only apply for one company and wait for its response and once you get response & go through the interview process and if rejected or don’t agree with pay rate. only then you apply for other coy… similar way people have applied from different vendors ex: 5 and if they get selected they will choose 1 and drop rest of 4 how is that cheating he might have chosen what right for him or her. NOW IT’S UP TO USCIS they have to do something like terminate the candidate file if they see multiple registration. the issue i see from recent year is registration charge’s only 10$ something so for people if not big thing earlier it was 1750$ they should have raised this amount and then would have seen how many people are willing to file multiple registration. but though there are still chances one who has money will go upto any limit “THIS ARE JUST MY THOUGHTS”. by the way i got picked up in first round itself and next year my 6th year will complete and i will return.

      Reply
  9. Sorry to say this. To avoid fraud and genuine process in H1B lottery, USCIS should be very strict on Candidates and Employers that if any person did multiple filing, then below two should happen.
    1- All employers who filed for that candidate will be banned for 5 years (CEO or who is the main person cannot open new company and do again)
    2- Candidate will be banned from filing at least 3 years

    Reply
  10. No ..To avoid 2nd and 3rd lotteries they might have selected more candidated taking in to consideration of the previous year selection and the filed petitions..Surely there may be multiple selections for a single person and he will file through an employer who may be able to find projects for him…Already a case is going on against multiple registrations. To avoid further complications with the court arguments for conducting second and third lotteries , they might have selected more…I think there won’t be further draws for this year..People. especially Indians are exploiting this system loophole and spoiling the nations good will

    Reply
  11. While completing the initial registration for the lottery, just add Passport Number/ Unique Identification Number (depending on applicant’s nationality) field. This would help to crack down on people who are gaming the system to file multiple registrations through different employers.

    Reply
    • Anup,
      They are already doing it. The thing is there can be real offers for someone from two different companies, let’s say Google & Facebook, then this number thing does not help.

      Reply
      • Well. Pretty simple. They should consolidate all the petitions for a given passport number of a country, and consider it as one single application. If this person gets selected, then USCIS can do another tiny lottery to choose the petition if the person with multiple petitions gets selected. By the way, all this can be easily automated.

        Reply
        • Arjun,
          Does not work like that. What if a user has two or more offers from Google & Microsoft, he needs to have the will to choose right?

          Reply
          • Kumar,
            If person Get a offer from multiple employer then he gets a right to choose employee whom he want’s to work for, but in lottery selection only for one person at one time, so if you get selected in 1’s you can selected all companies you applied. but you can send one company documentation for H-1B. if you send multiple then your passport banns for 3 years.

            second they need to take fees front, so no one can apply multiple by third party companies.

            or they can introduce new temporary h-1b visa for consultant different then full- time employees

          • D. Patel,
            No, there is no ban or anything as such. If they are real offers from companies like Google or Microsoft, they will apply, if they really want you.

  12. 85k is congressional mandate. Thats why they have a cap. They will process all selected petitions but they cannot exceed 85k at end of the day

    Reply
  13. I’ve heard a lot of people that have been selected is thru consultancy and they even don’t have bachelors or degree.. It’s unfair to us who really meet the qualifications but bot selected..

    Reply
  14. It’s a shame on us as Indians ..not blaming it on a specific community, although we all know who they are ..

    why do we all need a free ride to the US ..
    Have some empathy for the masters students here (both Indian and Non Indians)

    RIP the merit system of this country !!

    Reply
  15. Multiple filings is the biggest problem, to avoid that USCIS should ask to upload all employment documents at the time of H1B registration itself.

    Reply
        • Chris,
          it is a lot of administrative overhead, that’s why they went with the electronic process. I doubt, if they would go back to the old days.

          Reply
  16. Dear Kumar,

    Thanks for detailed analysis.

    What if employers file petitions more than 85k ?
    Can USCIS accept them beyond the cap ? Or will there be rejections ?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Avinash,
      Once they gave a selection notice and employer files for H1B, they will not revoke or deny it just because they exceeded the cap. They have never done it in the past and would not do that as it will be subject to litigation.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar.

        I have been following this blog from past 7 years. This is my 5th attempt and finally got selected.

        Thanks again for detailed information on time.

        Reply
      • Hi Kumar, If that is the case all 127,600 petitions are unique how the uscis will handle it ? according to the USCIS, they will issue only 85000. Can you please answer this

        Reply
        • legally, USCIS is liable to honor the selection notice.

          thus, USCIS has to process the applications for which selection notice was sent.

          USCIS might have selected more based on the trend last year , because of 3 lotteries.

          Reply
        • Prasad,
          Usually does not happen, even in the old days before registration, they had a 15% buffer. Hypothetically, if they are all unique and all of them succeed, they need to process them once they get a petition. it is their problem to adjust it later as needed.

          Reply
          • Hey Kumar,

            I understand that they will process the application, my question is will we see more denial while processing due to limitation of 85K.

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