H-1B Lottery Explained

H-1B Lottery

As the previous article explained, USCIS sets a H-1B regular cap annually. For that reason, not all foreigners who wish to obtain H-1B visas can proceed with H-1B applications if the number of registrations exceeds the H-1B cap. The question is what standard USCIS applies in order to meet the H-1B regular cap of 65,000 when USCIS accepts and selects registrants during the electronic registration and the lottery process. In this article, you can also check the recent process update in 2021 (FY 2022) and the specific number of registrants USCIS adopted to fill the H-1B cap. Lastly, don't forget to check how to track your H-1B case status effectively!

Submit Electronic Registration

First, USCIS implements an electronic registration process on its website. Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary. Under this process, prospective petitioners and their employers, who are seeking to employ H-1B workers, complete a registration process that requires basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker. USCIS opens an initial registration period for a minimum of 14 calendar days each fiscal year. After the initial registration period closes, the H-1B selection process takes place on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.

How USCIS calculates the number of registrations needed

USCIS takes into account historical data related to approvals, denials, revocations, and other relevant factors to calculate the number of registrations needed to meet the H-1B cap for a given fiscal year. For example, the initial projected number of registrations required to meet the numerical limitations for FY 2022 was less than the initial projected number of registrations required for FY 2021. In 2020 (FY 2021), USCIS received 274,237 H-1B registrations and initially selected 106,100 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2021 numerical allocations. Then USCIS conducted a second selection in August 2020 of an additional 18,315 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection. This resulted in a total of 124,415 selected registrations. In 2021 (FY 2022), USCIS received 308,613 H-1B registrations and initially selected 87,500 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations. In July 2021, USCIS conducted a second selection of an additional 27,717 registrations. This resulted in a total of 115,217 selected registrations. In November 2021, once again USCIS conducted a third selection of an additional 16,753 registrations, which resulted in a total of 131,970 selected registrations.

How to Track Your USCIS and NVC Case

Lawfully came up with a ground-breaking solution to help all immigrants and non-immigrants learn what is going on with their applications. That is why Lawfully has launched USCIS Case Tracker. Since then, we have tirelessly improved its features with a firm commitment to immigration equality.

With a very small fraction of cost and time it would have taken to struggle with immigration attorneys and USCIS, give yourself 3 minutes to fill in the information about your application. BOOM! You can check your case status along with an expected processing time and compare yours with other similar cases at your fingertips. No need to check in on the USCIS website anymore. Lawfully will deliver updates on your case status in real-time. And don't miss the new feature of NVC case tracking in order to embrace visa applicants outside the U.S.

If you want to get more insights from a certain visa type, try Case Analysis Pro, and among other features, see your ranking among others who registered their cases so that you get a sense of where you stand.

Download Lawfully Case Tracker now and stay up to date with your case!