Ep. 42 What is the H1B Visa Lottery Process and how does it work?

  • Typically, there are more applications filed for the available so there is a need for a lottery.
  • There is no exact breakdown of applications received but it should be available towards end of month.
  • It is a real lottery, so educational background or how much is paid for premium processing, will not change chances in the lottery.

Raw Transcript:

Hello everybody. This is Jacob here. You ask, we answer. Simple. Thanks for tuning in to our podcast. A lot of questions came in last week. A lot of them about the H-1B visa process. As you know, April 6 today, when I’m doing this show, we are just a day before the final day we can file under the lottery, before the lottery starts, and people are asking me… “How does this H-1B lottery work. What is this lottery all about?”

As you know, H-1B petitions can be filed April 1st. This year, they opened up the window until April 7, typically because there are more visas filed, more applications filed, there are slots available. Only 65,000 regular H-1B cap slots plus 20,000 for people that obtain master degrees in U.S. universities.

Typically, there are almost double them out of those cases, so they have to do a lottery to decide who is going to be selected. So, again, all the petitions are filed under the masters quota will go to a lottery to select 20,000 for the masters exemption and any of those not selected will then go into the regular quota. But they start first with the masters. Then they have another lottery to go and select the remaining 65,000 left. So, initially they choose out of the first 20,000 and then they go to the 65,000 remaining.

They typically don’t tell us the exact breakdown of the masters and the bachelors but we’ll know the exact numbers of how many petitions they received later on this month.

So, that’s typically how the lottery works. It is a real lottery so you know, whether you are from one school or another, or whether you pay them more money for the premium processing, it’s not going to make you change chances in the lottery better.

They will probably, if I look back last year, we received our first receipts from Vermont processing center around April 13, and so we’ll see maybe this year, it might be a bit later once we start getting the first notices. They definitely announce this year that once they start the premium processing until May 11. So, it just gives you perspective how long you have to wait. So, we’ll have to wait probably after May 11 to start getting the first receipt so be patient and we’ll update you more as soon as we get our first cases out there. I just want to give you an idea as to the lottery… it is a real lottery. There’s actually two of them and that’s how it goes.