Will There Be a Third Round H1B Lottery in FY 2024?!
by Guinevere Anand on Oct 11, 2023
On July 27, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a second round of the H-1B lottery for fiscal year 2024. As we approach the filing deadline for the second round of H1B applications on October 31st, many are starting to wonder if we will see a third lottery this year, similar to what happened in 2021.
Is there a third round H1B lottery this year? We believe so!
Updated on 7/30/2023
USCIS announced that the second H-1B lottery has been completed. 77,600 registrations was selected in the second selection for the FY 2024 H-1B cap. (view more>)
To understand the implications of this second draw, we must delve into the history of the H1B lottery. The concept of a second draw first emerged during the fiscal year 2021 when the USCIS took the unprecedented step of agreeing to hold a supplementary lottery. While this development was met with awe and curiosity, the unexpected occurred in the following fiscal year 2022, with a never-before-seen third round of the H1B lottery.
“The H1B second lottery was introduced in fiscal year 2021 when USCIS agreed to conduct an additional lottery. This was surprising and never happened before. However, in the subsequent fiscal year 2022, unprecedented third H1B draw happened.”
The Present Scenario
Fast forward to fiscal year 2024, and we find ourselves amid a remarkable phenomenon. In the initial round of the H1B lottery, the USCIS disclosed astounding figures: a staggering 780,884 registrations were submitted, representing a 28-fold increase compared to four years ago. Out of these, 758,994 registrations were deemed valid, further emphasizing the scale of demand for H1B visas (also 28 times higher than four years ago). Surprisingly, an alarming 408,891 duplicate registrations were recorded, reflecting a shocking 145-fold increase from four years ago!
Insights from Experts
For seasoned experts and immigration lawyers, the USCIS's decision to conduct a second round of the H1B lottery does not come as a surprise. Many believe that a considerable number of applicants selected in the first round failed to submit their H-1B applications during the initial registration window, which spanned from April 1st to June 30th. Among these registrations, a significant proportion comprised "duplicates," multiple submissions on behalf of the same individual.
However, what distinguishes this year's H1B lottery from the past is USCIS's determination to thoroughly investigate instances of multiple registrations for the same applicant. USCIS has expressed concern over the prevalence of duplicate registrations and attempts to gain unfair advantages by collaborating with unscrupulous entities during the H-1B lottery process. As a testament to their seriousness, they have vowed to rigorously scrutinize such cases, and applicants who exploited multiple registrations may face potential criminal prosecution, leading them to rethink their application strategies.
Looking Forward? Will There Be a Third Draw?
The question of whether there will be a third lottery mainly depends on whether the number of H1B applications submitted and successfully selected has exhausted the annual quota of 85,000 slots. If there are slots left, there's a high probability of a third lottery.
According to the public statistic, USCIS has already selected 188,400 applications, far exceeding the 85,000 quota in the first two rounds this year.
However, the percentage of those selected in the first round who actually submit their materials is estimated to be only around 40%. According to law firms, due to factors like multiple selections, layoffs, and the impact of those already selected in the first round, the percentage of applicants submitting materials in the second round may be even lower, it’s expected to be approximately 35%.
Therefore, the total number of successful H1B applications submitted at this point would be roughly: 111,000 * 40% + 77,000 * 35% = 71,400
Even if all submitted H1B applications are approved, subtracting the reserved slots for Chile and Singapore, there is still a shortfall of at least 10,000 slots from this year's quota.
To ensure that these 10,000 slots are used up, USCIS would likely need to select 10,000 / 40% = 25,000 more applications, which means they would need to conduct a third lottery for approximately 25,000 applications!
Given USCIS's strict stance on H1B visa cancellations and the substantial number of applicants in the lottery pool who might be viewed as "suspicious," individuals who were not selected in the second round should not lose hope just yet. We anticipate the potential for a third iteration of the H1B lottery if the number of petitions submitted by October 31st falls below anticipated levels.
What You can Do?
Until the situation unfolds further, maintaining legal status in the United States remains of paramount importance for prospective H1B visa applicants. Whether you are on OPT, STEM OPT or Day 1 CPT, it is crucial to adhere strictly to immigration regulations.
If you require further guidance or personalized consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us for free expert assistance. Stay tuned for updates as we navigate the dynamic landscape of the H1B lottery!
If your OPT is going to end soon and you are not selected in the H1B Lottery in FY 2024, studying in one of our partner Day 1 CPT Universities might be one of your options to continue your journey in the United State.
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