The H-1B Lottery

Information Regarding The H-1B Lottery

When USCIS runs calculation to estimate a date to close the application, it gives extra cushion to offset a percentage of application that will eventually be denied. Sometimes, the number of accepted petitions goes over the quota. They will run the random selection process (H-1B lottery) to pick out the lucky applicants.

How The Random Selection Process Run?

As soon as USCIS receives a H-1B petition it will label and identify each one of the petitions with a unique identifier. Then, petitions are grouped into two categories, one as masters’ quota and one as regular quota.

If the quota for masters’ quota was reached, they would run a computer generated random selection process with all the masters quota petitions to pick out 20,000 of them.

Those petitions in the masters’ quota pool that are not selected are dropped into the pool of regular quota. If the total number of petitions in this pool reached its quota, 65,000, a computer generated random selection process will run again to identify the petition that will qualify for the regular quota cap limit.

As H-1B visas are filed and issued during the year, the available quota reduces. Once all the visas have been issued and the quota has reduced from 85,000 to 0, then no more H-1B visa cap-subject applications will be processed or issued by the U.S. government for that year’s quota.

The selected petitions will be forwarded to the service centers. Officers in USCIS will adjudicate on these petitions. Those petitions that were not selected in the random selection process will be returned with the fee.

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