Didn't Get Selected in the H-1B Lottery This Year? Good News, There's Another One on the Way!

H-1B visa petitioners know the crucial time of year is in February and March when USCIS announces its window opening and closing dates to register for the visa lottery. If your petition isn't registered by the deadline, you lose your chance to enter the random selection process, allowing you to file the full application for your H-1B visa. Sometimes, as is the case in 2023, circumstances arise that permit USCIS to run a second drawing later in the year. What does that mean for you? Read on to find out.

The Latest Announcements

On July 28, 2023, many people were happily surprised to hear USCIS announce its plan to select more registrants from the pool of approved lottery applicants. Those who weren’t selected in March 2023 have a second (or third) opportunity to push their employment goals forward with this highly coveted work visa.

Typically, the H-1B visa has two categories: capped and cap-exempt. Cap-exempt job offers are provided through organizations such as non-profit entities, institutions of higher learning, and government branches affiliated with them. These visa applicants can apply any time of the year without restrictions or limits on how many visas are allocated annually.

On the other hand, capped visas, including all the other applicants, must adhere to strict deadlines. Once the window for registration closes, those who have entered their information successfully are placed in a random lottery pool. Only 65,000 regular visas are allowed annually, with an additional 20,000 provided for those with advanced degrees. In effect, if you have an advanced degree, you have two chances to have your registration selected randomly.

But occasionally, the applicants selected in the drawing do not meet the criteria for an H-1B visa. When that happens, USCIS has the right to give the allotted visa to someone on the waitlist, often through another lottery process.

Information Regarding the New Lottery 

Per the announcement made by USCIS, the registrations chosen in March 2023 needed to be increased to meet the annual limit of H-1B visas allotted for the upcoming year. The agency will run another lottery selection, although USCIS did not give the timeline for this to the public.

Once the lottery choices have been made, USCIS will notify employers of the chosen registrants. After each one has been given notice of their selection, USCIS will make a subsequent public announcement confirming that the selections are completed and that all employers were notified appropriately.

If you are still awaiting the go-ahead to move forward with your H-1B application, check the email affiliated with your myUSCIS account. If your registration is selected, you’ll receive an update letting you know this information and advising you as to your next step.

From that point, you’ll have 90 days (as an employer/job sponsor) to file the complete petition for your H-1B beneficiary. Where you’ll need to submit that information will be included in your email notification.

What’s Next?

The process for filing an H-1B visa can be challenging and complex. Most people choose to work with a skilled immigration attorney, like those of us at Visa2US. Whether you’ve already filed and are hoping for a selection in this lottery or you’re planning to file for the next fiscal year, we’re here to help you make this journey less complicated. Contact us today to see how we can guide your steps and ensure your H-1B visa has the maximum chance of successful approval.

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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.