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What is H1B Visa Lottery? FY 2025 Process? Registration, Lottery Order?

If you are new to the H1B visa application process, many of you might come across terms like “H1B Lottery” or “H1B Registration Lottery”, which may seem completely new to you. This article covers everything you need to know about H1B Registration Lottery like its background, how the H1B lottery works, how is it related to registration, and common FAQs.

If you are new to the H1B process and not sure about what is H1B cap is, then read What is H1B Visa Cap? Masters vs Regular Quota?

What is H1B Visa Lottery? Random Selection?

When you look at the term lottery, it is very misleading for new people. I have seen questions from users asking, “where should I buy H1B Visa 2025 lottery ticket? I want to get H1B…”   Firstly, there is nothing like buying a lottery ticket for an H1B visa. You cannot buy any H1B lottery ticket.  It is just the terminology that is used to indicate the “random selection” process used by USCIS.

The H1B lottery is nothing but a “random selection process” used to select the required number of H1B applicants from a larger pool of applicants. The lottery selection is done to select enough applicants to meet the H1B Cap of 65,000 for the Regular quota and 20,000 for the master’s quota.

Origin of term H1B Lottery: USCIS originally called the H1B lottery process officially “computer-generated random selection processes”, which was back in 2007…as time progressed and people have started to embrace the colloquial word called “Lottery” for the same…You can see that USCIS has embraced the same and say “computer-generated process, also known as the lottery“, in recent years, including this year’s, press release as it is easily understood and many can relate to it.

Why do we have H1B Visa Lottery? Is it mandatory to have a Lottery?

The H1B Lottery situation arises due to the availability of a fixed number of H1B visa slots (total of around 85K) per year for new applicants. If more than 85,000 applicants are applying for H1B in a year, then USCIS needs a way to select applications or registrations to fill those 85,000 slots.

In such scenarios, where there are more than 85,000 registrations/ applications filed with USCIS, USCIS conduts random selection, aka H1B Lottery, to meet the H1B cap quota of 85,000 slots.

If you look at history, we had the H1B visa lottery situation for Fiscal Year(FY) 2008 and FY 2009 as there were more petitions received by USCIS. After that, there was no lottery situation for the next 4 fiscal years. Again the demand for H1B Visas increased in FY 2014, leading to the lottery. Since then, we had the H1B lottery for the past consecutive 11 years, including the previous fiscal year 2024. Read History of H1B Cap Reach Dates from 2000 to 2024 for more info.

How many times does USCIS Conduct an H1B Lottery? First Round vs. Second Round?

USCIS runs the initial H1B lottery and selects a certain count of H1B registrations based on past history. As per the Congress-mandated H1B cap, they need to select enough registrations to meet the 85,000 annual cap.

USCIS always selects more H1B registrations than the H1B cap of 85,000. The reason for that is that they need to factor in the denials, non-filings, revoke, etc. So, based on past history, they select a percentage of H1B registrations that is more than the required H1B cap.

The table below summarizes how much of an additional percentage of H1B registrations are selected by USCIS and how many rounds of the H1B lottery were run to select the same.

Cap Fiscal YearTotal RegistrationsSelectionsPercentage more
than H1B Cap
How many Rounds
of H1B Lottery
2021274,237124,41546.37%Two Rounds
2022308,613131,92455.20%Three Rounds
2023483,927127,60050.12%One Round Only
2024780,884188,400121.65%Two Rounds

For the most recent fiscal year, USCIS received about 781K H1B Registrations for FY 2024. There was no third round lottery for FY 2024, but before that for FY 2022, they had three rounds of the lottery.

H1B Lottery Process before Online Registration System

In the past, until FY 2020 season (that ended in April 2019), employers had to submit the entire H1B petition package within the first 5 days, starting from April 1st to be considered for the H1B Lottery. For the H1B petitions received, they would tag each petition with a number and use a computer-generated random selection to pick the required number of petitions to meet the cap.

The H1B applicant information from the physical H1B packages was fed into the USCIS online system and then a lottery or random selection was done. This changed in FY 2021 season with the introduction of the Online Registration System. Let’s look at that online registration process in detail next section.

News: H1B FY 2025 Season is from March 6th, 2024, and ends on March 22nd, 2024. Check article H1B Visa FY 2024 Dates and Results Timeline

H1B Lottery Process with Online Registration System

Starting from H1B Fiscal Year 2021 (March 2020), USCIS introduced the Online H1B Registration Process, where the complete paper-based submission process of H1B petitions for lottery selection was removed. Instead of that, they introduced a simple lightweight online process to register an applicant, whom they wish to sponsor H1B for the upcoming fiscal year. USCIS will use that details to run the computer-generated random selection or lottery to pick the candidates who can submit the actual H1B Petition with USCIS.

In the new H1B registration process, employers would submit basic details of the H1B Applicants in an Online H1B Registration Tool. When registrations are created, there is a long 19-digit number that is generated by the system called a “Beneficiary Confirmation Number“. That number is used for internal tracking and by USCIS to run the H1B Lottery. It cannot be used to check the status of the H1B registration online. The process of running a random selection or lottery is fully electronic.

You can see the below screenshot of the H1B Registration Selection notice that has the Beneficiary Confirmation Number.

H1B Registration Confirmation Number - Sample Selection Notice
H1B Registration Selected Notice in Lottery – Beneficiary Confirmation Number

H1B Lottery Process for FY 2025 Season

The H1B Lottery process for the H1B Visa 2025 Season has changed and different from previous FY 2024 season. USCIS Published a final rule indicating that the new H1B Lottery Selection will be based on a unique beneficiary identifier instead of the H1B registration.

As part of the new lottery process, applicants are required to submit their ‘Passport’ or ‘Travel Document‘ information. The unique number of the ‘Passport’ or the ‘Travel Document’ will be used to run the H1B Lottery.

Even if the H1B applicant has multiple offers and submits multiple registrations, they will be treated as one entry for the H1B lottery based on the unique passport or travel document number.

The below diagram explains how the H1B Lottery would work for an applicant with four job offers, submitting four H1B registrations, during the FY 2025 season. As per the new process, the applicant is counted only once for the lottery as the Passport number is used as the primary selection criteria. You can read full details of the new process in the article: Summary of New H1B Lottery Process from FY 2025.

Current and New H1B Lottery from 2025 Explained
Current and New H1B Lottery from 2025 Explained

H1B Lottery based on Wage Levels Not Applicable for FY 2025 Season: DHS published a final rule in January 2021 stating that they would conduct the H1B Lottery based on H1B Wage Levels. But, a court case was filed in October 2020 challenging this rule, and eventually, in September 2021, the court canceled the H1B Lottery based on the Wage Levels Rule. USCIS Officially withdrew the rule from Federal Register in December 2021. 

H1B Lottery Order: Regular vs Masters Quota

USCIS will select enough registrations to fill the total annual H1B cap, which is about 65,000 for the Regular cap and 20,000 for the US Master’s cap. The order of the H1B Lottery is very critical as it will define the probability of getting selected.

Update: If you have applied for the H1B FY 2025 season and wondering about checking H1B 2025 Lottery Results, they are out. For more info, you can read the article H1B 2025 Lottery Results and Sample Notice.

H1B Lottery Order with H1B Registration Process for FY 2025

DHS went through the 9 Steps of the Federal rule-making process and published the H1B registration rule that included the change in the H1B lottery process a few years ago, where the order of the lottery changed.

Below is the current process for how the H1B lottery selection is run, including the order of selections starting from the FY 2020 season (March 2019):

  • Step 1 Lottery on Entire Pool: The first lottery selection is conducted on the entire pool of H1B registrations to select the required number of registrations to fill the regular quota cap of 65,000.
  • Step 2 Lottery for US Masters: The unselected US Masters’ quota registrations from that entire pool are taken out and then a lottery is run again on them to select the required number of registrations to fill the US masters’ quota cap of 20,000.
  • Step 3Notifications to Selected: The selected H1B registrations from both the regular quota and master’s quota cap are notified so that they can file the H1B petitions with USCIS.
  • Step 4Reserve Pool for Future: The unselected H1B applicants from both Step 1 and Step 2 are placed in a reserve pool to conduct the second-round or third-round lottery as needed if applicants selected in the first round do not file enough petitions to meet the annual cap of 85,000.

H1B Visa 2025 Tracker: To help the community, we have partnered with VisaGrader to build an Anonymous H1B Visa Tracker for FY 2025. Use H1B Visa 2025 Tracker to add your case for community benefit and your benefit.

Below is the full flow chart on how the lottery works with the order.

H1B Visa Registration Process Lottery Order and Process Diagram Flow
H1B Visa Registration Process Lottery Order and Process Diagram Flow

In the past, before FY 2020, the lottery order was different. You can read the below to get an understanding of the same for some perspective on why the order got changed.

Previous H1B Lottery Order before FY 2020:

  • In the past, before FY 2020, the random selection aka H1B lottery was first conducted for the Master’s quota and then the unselected petitions from the master’s quota were put down in the general quota pool and a random selection algorithm was run for the general quota cap. 
  • Starting from H1B FY 2020 Season (March 2019), to give more priority to US Masters students, USCIS changed the order of the lottery, when they got the H1b Registration Process regulation implemented. Let’s look at the order of the lottery in detail.

US Masters Students Advantages with H1B Registration System

USCIS says that individuals with US master’ degrees earn 19.6 percent more than individuals with bachelor’s degrees. So, the reversal of lottery selection will ensure that higher-paid and most skilled ones are working in the US on H1Bs.

The change in lottery order will result in 16% ( about 5,340 more) more US Masters students being selected for H1B petition filings. DHS believes that the new rule is merit-based as the new lottery order will increase US masters students getting H1Bs.

Let’s summarize the current H1B Registration Process with Lottery for easy understanding.

If you are applying for H1B 2025, read the analysis: H1B Visa 2025 Lottery Predictions, Analysis – How Many?

Step by Step H1B Registration Process with Lottery Order 

  • Step 1 – Pool of Potential Hires for H1B Sponsoring: Employers interested in sponsoring H1B for individuals they intend to hire will need to first electronically register the individuals with USCIS during the specified registration period as given by USCIS.
  • Step 2 – Registration of H1B Applicants: Employers will get at least 14 days ( 17 days for FY 2024 from March 1st, to March 17th ) to electronically register the individuals with their company information. They can edit, delete and modify the candidate details until the registration period closes.
  • Step 3 – H1B Lottery Process: USCIS will conduct computer-generated random selection aka Lottery to select regular quota filing registrants, then the masters’ quota registrations are separated and the lottery is run to select the US masters quota filing registrants.
  • Step 4 – Notify Selected Registrants: USCIS Notifies electronically the selected registrants’ employer/sponsors to file H1B petitions within 90 days. They will time it to fall on April 1st. The unselected registrations are kept on reserve to do another selection as needed.
  • Step 5  – File H1B Petitions with USCIS: Employers need to file H1B petitions using the standard process like before using LCA, Fees, and all the information supporting the H1B job offer for the selected registrant.
  • Step 6  – USCIS Processing: USCIS will adjudicate the petition as per their standard process and inform employers regarding their petition. The below diagram shows the same info.
H1B Visa Registration Process Flow Final Rule
H1B Visa Registration Process Flow Final Rule

Common FAQs

Is the H1B Registration Process, Lottery applicable for H1B Visa 2025 Season?

Yes. The H1B Registration process, including the H1B Lottery process, are applicable for FY 2025 season. However, the lottery selection process is changing from FY 2025 season. There H1B registration process is electronic, you can read  H1B Registration Tool, Process with Screenshots. 

What happens, if you do not get selected in H1B Lottery? Electronic Registration System?

In the past, if you did not get selected in H1B Lottery, you used to get a physical rejection letter and the filing fee was returned to the employer. Check out Sample H1B Rejection Letters – NOT Picked in Lottery. But now, with the Electronic H1B Registration System, you will not get a physical notice of rejection. There will be a status change in the registration system that says ‘Not Selected’. It would be shown as ‘Submitted’ status until USCIS confirms that they have enough registrations for the current fiscal year and eventually the status changes to ‘Not Selected’.

Is USCIS Mandated to conduct the H1B lottery, if more Registrations are filed? What’s the regulation

Yes, USCIS is mandated to conduct H1B Lottery or random selection. Before the electronic registration system, they were also mandated to have the filing window open to file for the first 5 days. You can check details at USCIS Regulations on H1B Lottery. With the new registration system in place, the concept of paper notices and general lottery is not there anymore and USCIS would conduct the H1B Lottery electronically using their online system if they receive more registrations within the registration period.


If you are keen on understanding, how the entire H1B Lottery process used to work in the past you can read below.

The below historical information of H1B Lottery is only for reference and is not applicable for the current H1B season.

History of H1B Visa Lottery Process until FY 2019

USCIS followed the below H1B lottery process until FY 2019 season. This concept of lottery or random selection would only be applied, when we had more petitions than the required for actual cap count as we had a lottery situation for the H1B visa 2019 quota.  The process has been pretty much similar since its inception by USCIS in 2007.

  • Step 1: The first step that USCIS would do as soon as it receives an H1B petition is to label and identify each of the petitions with a unique identifier. This is the number that would be used for the random selection algorithm.  Once it is labeled, they will group the overall petitions into two sets, one as the master’s quota and one as the regular quota.
  • Step 2:  If there are more than 20,000 petitions received for the masters’ quota, they would run a computer-generated random selection process, which is called the H1B lottery, across all the masters’ petitions pool to pick the 20,000 petitions that would meet the cap for Masters quota for FY 2019.
  • Step 3:  All the H1B petitions filed under the master’s quota, that did NOT get selected in the lottery or random selection are placed or combined with all the pool of petitions that received regular quota H1B petitions.
  • Step 4:  If the total number of petitions in the combined pool is over 65,000 petitions, which is the cap limit, a computer-generated random selection process is run on the pool to identify the petitions that will qualify for the regular quota cap limit.
  • Step 5:  USCIS will send the list of all selected petition numbers to the service centers. The USCIS service centers will proceed with the next-level H1B Visa processing for adjudication of the selected petitions.
  • Step 6: All the petitions that were not selected in the random selection process or lottery will be returned to their respective parties either attorneys or employers directly along with the Fee. If there were duplicate filings for the same employee by an employer, no fee will be returned. More info is below on this step.
  • Step 7: USCIS will inform all the selected petition holders with their case numbers for tracking purposes during processing. It will be an EAC number. Read more on the H1B Visa Case Numbering Info.

Below is a high-level diagram that shows the process until FY 2019 season. You can watch the Video below the chart to understand the H1B Lottery Process Step by Step.

USCIS H1B Visa Lottery Process Diagram
Previous H1B Lottery Process Before FY 2019 Season

Does that give you a good understanding of the previous and current H1B lottery process? Did we miss anything? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.

   

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310 Comments

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    Reply
  2. Hi!!
    My current visa status is H4. I have applied h1b lottery through 3 different employers. Got selection confirmation from all of them. I am now in confusion on which employer to go with. Could you please help me with this. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Thanks for taking seats of two talented and skilled peoples. You really are keeping Indian tradition of taking away “rightful” seats. In India, there is reservations that take seats and here people like you take away seats. Well done!

      Reply
  3. Hi,
    Is the Random selection/lottery process for completed for FY 2023 or else they are releasing results in batch wise like day by day till 31st march 2023

    Reply
  4. I got lottery selection in last 2020, due to covid USCIS was not open for file petition, is it eligible for this year? again we need to go for lottery selection in 2021 if that so what % of getting chances this year since already got lottery selection last year?

    Reply
  5. Hello,
    Mahesh here,
    I have on concern regarding H1B lottery. I filled Master’s regular cap since i have did MBA from outside not in USA. I got email from uscis Notice of Action. When I open it i got notification that i got selected. I applied 3 companies i got selected by two companies. I received form Notice of action. Now, my concern employer will file the file but till they didn’t ask any documents with me. What is process and when employer will ask documents to file my case for H1B and additional till now i didn’t receive mail from USCIS or employer.
    So please suggest me or can you clarify in details.
    Thank You.

    Reply
  6. First Petition: (WAC-XX) (Picked up in Lottery in 2015)
    Petition was approved but attended the Stamping Interview which went to administrative Processing an later got refusal notice.

    Second Petition: (EAC-XX) (Transferred request by one client on 2017)
    Petition was approved but in Stamping interview it went to Administrative processing and No result till now.

    will I be eligible for a cap exempt and if yes how many years is available in my 6 yrs

    Reply
    • Jyoti,
      Well, this is slightly grey area…Some had successes, some did not…If you have a company willing to give it a try, you may. But, in general, they suggest to have H1B stamping to be cap exempt as they look at H1B status.

      Reply
  7. Hi ,
    my employer is planning to apply h1 for me this year under master’s quota but I have a question
    1. say if I get my name in the lottery ( can I travel in June to India still my approval pending as I am having another year of opt)
    2. what will be the time frame that USCIS will provide us for the submission of our docs once the lottery is done

    Reply
  8. Hi, my daughter got picked in H-1B lottery last June 2019, we waited for her employer The Guardians, to process her petition to USCIS but unfortunately, last January 2, 2020, they emailed my daughter saying that they withdrew my daughter’s petition because they experienced many RFE’s from USCIS. Is it possible that her new employer can continue to process the petition in USCIS? Or, is she’s going to file again for another H-1B lottery even if she was picked last year?

    Reply
    • If they withdrew it before approval, then she needs to file again in H1B lottery. As it was not approved, it was technically not counted towards cap and not cap exempt.

      Reply
  9. Hi,
    I have a job offer and they want to apply for a H1B visa to get me hired as soon as possible. If they apply now (in September), is it somehow possible to still get started this year? Or do we have to wait with the application until April when the new cap is starting?
    I hold a foreign bachelors degree and am not exempt from the cap.

    I am looking forward to helpful answers,
    Greta

    Reply
    • They cannot apply now for H1B, the season starts next April, but the process can start earlier with H1B registration process. The earliest you can work on H1B for them is October 1st, next year.

      Reply
  10. Can My employer still file an H1B petition for me this September 1,2019 for October 2019 employment. I’m already in the US holding a B1/B2 visa under CAP H1B Bachelor’s degree. We are planning to file a premium processing. Will it get approved? Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Hi everyone,

    even after reading several article on this topic, I still don’t understand how the timing after the lottery works.
    Once I receive the receipt number, how long could it takes to have a final answer?
    Let’s say I am a teacher and the school year starts in middle August, is it possibile that I don’t have my answer prior the school’s year beginning?

    Thank you very much,

    Giulia

    Reply
    • If premium, you get it in 15 days from May 20th. If regular processing, it can take anywhere from few weeks to few months…yes, it is possible for it go for few months as well like you mentioned…One thing you could do is to upgrade to premium, if not filed in premium, once USCIS makes it available for Consular processing petitions.

      Reply
  12. Hi guys

    I have selected in lottery process in 2018 filing…I was informed in June 2018 for the same… but still ( oct 31 ) I didn’t get approval mail …..I am just worried about this….when it will be process ……please help me out I this matter..

    Reply
    • There is no set SLA for getting decision. Work with your attorney and check on USCIS site with the case number for status. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do, but just wait for USCIS to respond.

      Reply
  13. I understand the process. But I still don’t understand the timeline of notifications to applicants. I mean, till what time should the applicants wait and don’t lose hopes?

    Reply
  14. I may not be understanding the lottery process correctly. What determines when the USCIS decides to run the lottery? A certain date? A certain number of petitions received? I always presumed that the USCIS simply stopped accepting petitions after the “cap” of 65,000 (and additional 20,000 for higher degrees) was met. What is the benefit of being one of the first petitions filed if USCIS puts all petitions received into a lottery? What am I missing?

    Reply
    • It is the total number of petitions filed that determines lottery. If the petitions filed count exceed the H1B cap number of 85,000 then they run lottery.
      Well, what you said was the case in the past, when cap was not met in first 5 days. Now, with extreme demand case, USCIS are mandated by regulation to give everyone 5 days window to file and then run lottery.

      Reply
  15. Hi Guys,
    I was working with the American technology consulting firm. My employer filed the H1-B visa through the attorney affiliated with the organization. Two weeks back I came to know that my application has been picked in the lottery and I got the EAC number.

    The issue is my employer fired me for my full-time job last week and they said that they will withdraw the application. Is there any solution so that I could go ahead with the application and get the H1B?

    Please help. Thanks.

    Reply
  16. I am in India. My US employer has done LCA in last week. I went through many articles on an internet and all says that degree evolution is required. But my company’s attorney is saying that we won’t do that until my application is picked in a lottery. If my case is not picked in a lottery, degree evolution will be a waste of money. My questions is can one file an H1-B without degree evolution done?

    Reply
  17. I am on F1-OPT, currently employed. My company is applying for my H1B petition this year, so if I get rejected, do I get a cap exemption? My OPT is valid for 3 more years if I include the STEM extension.
    I read in this article, “If a candidate living in the US has counted against the H-1B cap in the last 6 years, they will not be counted a second time.” so does it apply in my case?

    Reply
  18. What is required for the sponsor of H1B? Does he have to show that the job position is available with a client? Does client letter is required for filing new H1B petition for April?

    Reply
  19. Question 1:
    To check if I understand the lottery correctly, the following case:

    In total 170.000 petitions are filed, so a lottery will take place.
    85.000 >= Master/PhD and
    85.000 < Master/PhD were filed

    First for the Masters cap.
    20.000 of the 85.000 are selected and 65.000 missed the Masters cap.

    Are these 65.000, which missed the master cap, put in the pool for the regular cap first? Before the the sub Master petitions are added? In other words sub Master petitions will be skipped completely for the regular cap?

    Question 2:
    Only Master/PhD obtained at a US university do count for the Masters Cap right? So a Master degree obtains outside the US will be placed in the regular cap.

    Reply
    • Patrick,
      1. Yes, the petitions not selected in Masters cap are added to the total regular cap petitions and lottery is conducted from the combined pool to pick remaining 65k petitions.

      2. Only US masters are considered. Yes, Masters outside of US will be placed in regular cap.

      Reply
      • Thank you Kumar for your answer.

        W.r.t. question one: After the Master petitions were not selected during the Masters lottery. They will be added to the regular lottery. But do they have the same chance to be picked as the other (sub Master) petitions. Or do they first pick all the higher educated people first and work their way down?

        Reply
  20. sir
    I am a graduate student of Delhi University.I want to get H 1B visa of US through Lottery system for working in USA.Please guide me in about it.How would i apply for it.

    Reply
  21. If an employer has a quota , say about for thirty h1b visas , is there any
    way of his getting entire quota through lottery ? What are the chances
    of big companies getting their entire h1b quotas in a lottery system
    like this?

    Reply
    • padma,
      There is no quota for a company in H1B lottery process. No, it cannot be possible. It is just that, if one company files more visas, they have higher chance to get picked in lottery.

      Reply
      • Does it means that ALL the applications for H1B from this company will be processed or only the one which has allowed the company to be selected…?

        Thanks

        Reply
  22. 2 Companies that is banned by uscis and Department of Labor in USA is EBS MINDS (ebsminds) and iEratech. Both these companies charge around USD 4000 for processing H1B Visa and when not picked in lottery or RFE comes up, they refuse to refund even partially the Visa charges they have colleced, leaving the applicants in a lurch. I personally lodged a complaint and glad to see that Manmohan Akkavaram, Brijesh Vyas and Raghu MUTUKULA will be procecuted by the US Government. Thanks to all your website for hosting this review and 100s of other applicants who have compalint against companies like this.

    See below of other such companies with Debarment period: 4/4/2015 to 4/3/2019:

    Advanced Professional Marketing, Inc
    Ebs minds
    Anthony Information Technology Inc
    iEratech
    Global Telecom Corp
    Gunderson Sweetwater
    NYVA Soft Inc
    Orian Engineers Inc
    Northern California Universal Enterprise Corporation (NCUE)
    Prithvi Information Solution International, LLC
    RMJM Group Inc
    Scopus Consulting Group Inc
    Sirsai Inc
    Space Age Inc
    Tekseed Solutions
    Xcel Solutions Corp
    Riedstra Dairy Ltd

    Reply
    • Saurabh,
      My case is still in received state from past 6 months and mine is a regular h1b processing. Do you know if any of the regular processing cases have moved forward. Will there be a problem if i opt for premium processing now or shall i wait for my next update and then go for it

      Kindly suggest .

      Reply
      • Jayasree,

        There are still several petitions pending, and the processing is slow. So you can either continue to wait or work with your employer to upgrade to PP.

        Reply
        • Thank you Saurabh. I heard from many that USCIS is asking for business case / proper reasoning etc if you go from regular to pp now.

          Anyways i will check if my employer willing to upgrade or not..

          Reply
  23. My husband holds H1B visa and is valid till May 2017.But the employer is not yet processed to send him to US and is not having any projects .. Is there a way to go there ?

    Reply
  24. Hello ,

    My 6 year tenure with H1B was over in 2012. I was on H4 visa till mid 2013. Then I was outside U.S for 2 years and returned in mid 2015.
    Can I go for H1 visa directly or will I have to go through the lottery again?

    Reply
    • CitizenshipAspirant,

      If you had I-140 approved, then you can go for cap-exempt petition. If you don’t have any approved/pending PERM or I-140, then you need to go through the cap again.

      Reply
  25. Hi,
    My employer said to me my case was picked up in lottery on 27th april 2016.still 3 weeks passed Till now i didnot get any EAC number. How many day i want to wait to get EAC number.i am in confusion can u plz give clarification to me.thank you

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Till now i have not received any update on lottery result.
      Do i have any chance of getting positive results.
      Please suggest

      Reply
  26. Hi All,

    I got the below status message online, while tracking using my EAC receipt number:

    Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction
    On May 18, 2016, we transferred your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EAC16XXXXXXX, to another USCIS office. That office now has jurisdiction over your case. We sent you a notice that explains why we moved your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you do not receive your notice by June 17, 2016, please go to www.uscis.gov/e-request to request a copy of the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.

    what it meane, Is it my petition picked in Lottery? Plz reply me….

    Reply
    • Hello,

      This year some of USCIS service center heavily loaded with work, so they did take decision to transfer some cases to another service center.

      As per your receipt number, your case was in process at Vermont center which is heavily loaded as it always so they transferred your case to California Center..

      Its all related to this only..

      Thanks

      Reply
  27. Hi,

    My application got thru the lottery process. But during this 4 months, my client got changed. Can it be a reason for further denial of application?

    Also, can I transfer this accepted lottery application to some other firm?

    Reply
  28. Hi Saurabh,

    My employer applied H1 B & I am waiting for the status. Came to know that from my company around 35% H1’s got picked up in the lottery process and rest of the people status is “yet to be receieved”. Also I was said that this selected list is as of May 17th. Should I consider that my case has not gone through lottery or is there any hope still left to wait & see.

    Reply
    • Bhuvan,

      If the employer has no indication that you have made through the lottery yet, then chances are that you didn’t go through. I don’t think there is much hope now unless you are relying on outlier cases (delayed shipping, lost in transit etc).

      Reply
  29. I got Receipt number from my employer but when I search in USCIS case status is showing as below :
    •My Case Status does not recognize the receipt number entered. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283

    Please let me know if we get Receipt number whether it made through the lottery and when do we receive above message.

    Reply
    • Srinivas,

      Receipt number => Selected in lottery.

      The error could be a technical issue on USCIS side. Wait for few days and retry, or ask employer to follow-up w/ USCIS.

      Reply
  30. Hi Saurabh,
    I have applied H1B through the attorneys and one of the employers who is providing me job. Going through the comments in this blog I see that by this time I should get an update on my selection (Yes or NO).
    Is my prediction correct ? or I need wait till my attorney will receive an update from USCIS on application?
    Even I did not receive any update from my attorney on the acknowledgement of my application.

    Other’s also can update on my query if you have an idea.

    regards
    Naveen

    Reply
    • naveenkyr,

      Only selected petitions have been notified until now. Rejection notices will start coming in soon, but I haven’t heard of anyone receiving the same yet.

      However, if your attorney hasn’t received receipt notice by end of this week, there is a good possibility that you didn’t make through the lottery.

      Reply
    • Hi,
      I just have a query. If we submit the resignation with current employer , would the employer can reject the receipt number received by attorney or assign to some one else (suppose if any luck on the coming days)

      Reply
  31. Hi Saurabh,

    Just got a mail from my employer saying the following ::

    “We have pleasure in informing you that your H1B application has been picked up in lottery
    Now the application will be taken for processing. It usually takes around 3 to 4 months for the process
    Once its approved, we will let you know.”

    Just wanted to check now my H1B visa stamping will be done for sure OR there is any other hurdle ?

    Reply
    • DNK,

      You have been selected in the lottery. This petition needs to be approved now. Go to USCIS site and enter your receipt number and subscribe for updates. USCIS will either approve it, or issue RFE asking for additional information/documents. In the end, it will either be approved or denied.

      After that, you can appear for visa stamping which will either be approved or put on hold through 221g. This 221g would eventually result in approval or denial.

      Still a long way to go 🙂

      Reply
  32. Hi Saurabh,
    I applied for H1B through two different employers. Both went through the lottery process. If both petitions are approved then can I choose any one employer and go for visa stamping? Will it create any problem to have two approved petitions from different employers? If I choose one employer and stamped then what happens to the other petition? Will it be active or withdrawn?

    Reply
    • Crem,

      If both get approved, you can pick the better one and go for stamping through them. I don’t remember instances when person was grilled during visa stamping for multiple filings. Although, USCIS can question multiple filing if they feel the 2 employers conspired to file it together etc.

      Reply
  33. So my name got picked in the lottery on April 11 (Premium processing) so when can i expect USCIS to give me a result on my case ?

    Reply
  34. I’m non-advanced degree and filed under Premium Processing. I currently get the following message on the USCIS website: Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed. On May 6, 2016, we received your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXX, 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.

    Does this mean I was picked in the lottery? I’m confused. Thanks!

    Reply
  35. I m checking status against my LCA on myvisajobs.com
    and its showing that LCA is certified, what does this means?
    IS it picked in the lottery? or not?
    how do i know if it is picked or not? can i track anywhere with help of LCA number
    please guide

    Reply
  36. My employer did my H1B FY 2017 ,but i do not have any update whether my petition has been picked in the random selection process or not. When I contacted him, he said he has no update and is waiting for more receipts. Does that mean my petition has been picked up and is waiting for the EAC #. I believe if at all my petition is not picked up in the lottery, they should have an update by now. Am I right ?

    Can someone please let me know .

    Reply
    • Jayasree S,

      If selected, employer will receive the receipt number. It is quite possible that they still don’t know about your results. People who didn’t make through lottery are usually notified in June-July (based on historical data).

      Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh. When I asked my employer about the possibility of my petition to be picked .. I was told that it’s 80% doubtful that my h1b is picked in the lottery . How would he be so sure abt that? Do we have any deadline for receiving the receipts ? When I enquired abt the unpicked ones he told me that he received none so far..
        His statement indeed is quite disappointing ..

        What do you think?

        Reply
        • Jayasree S,

          Maybe that number is just his gut feeling. No one can give exact probability. USCIS has finished data entry of petitions, and all petitions should be received by next week. There may still be some outliers, but most of them will be received on time.

          Rejection letters will go out anytime now and continue to flow through June/July.

          Reply
          • Hi Saurabh
            Just got to know from my employer that my petition got picked in the lottery. Felt a great relief . I just hope my petition gets approved…

  37. I applied for 3 H1b s this year from different employers as this is the last chance for me.I came to know that one of them is picked in the lottery so ,I dont have any update about the rest 2 . So,now can I drop the remaining 2 applications without knowing their status.What is the process ..please let me know

    Reply
  38. My employer did premium application and I just received my H1-B Receipt Number (WAC#). Does this mean my petition got selected in lottery? If yes, when do I expect if my application for H1-B got selected or rejected?

    Reply
    • That’s right. Your application got picked in the lottery.

      I remember asking this to my attorney – ‘Thanks for the note. Pardon my ignorance but does this mean, my application was chosen out of the 65k lot to process the H1-B for this year?’

      Response from the attorney – You are correct. The receipt of this notice confirms that H-1B petition on your behalf was chosen in the lottery to be processed. It can take 2-4 months for the case to be processed by the USCIS. You do not need to expect additional notices and no other action is required on your part. Once we receive an update from the USCIS regarding your case we will inform you immediately.

      Hope this helps

      Reply
  39. not sure why the post has been deleted

    I got an update from law firm immigrationgirl
    ——————————————————————
    Much to my surprise, we have received our first 40 email notifications from the Vermont Service Center for H-1B petitions filed in the lottery. These were filed in the Advanced Degree (masters cap). Received date on the email is April 11th. The first emails came in at 7:55 pm last night.

    I cannot find any announcement form USCIS that the lottery was conducted or how many petitions were filed. This is out of the ordinary.

    We have also received our first notification from California Service Center at 11:13 this morning!

    Reply

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