The H-1B lottery for 2020 (Fiscal year 2021) is over and the petition filing period has begun. The random selection process was a little different this year, requiring an electronic registration to be eligible, but not requiring a completed and approved H-1B petition to register. This seems to have led to a spike in numbers and reduced chances of receiving an H-1B. In 2019 (FY 2020), just over 200,000 petitions were received and eligible for the lottery. 2016 (FY 2017) and 2017 (FY 2018) had 233,000 and 236,000 petitions respectively, the highest number of submissions previously seen. 2020 (FY 2021) had almost 275,000 registrations. Fewer than 31 percent of registrants are eligible to file a petition this year.
The change in the H-1B application process was implemented to “streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, and will provide an overall cost savings to petitioning employers”. USCIS indicates that they have received positive feedback from the users of the H-1B registration system and has declared the new electronic registration an overall success.
USCIS also provided some data. Of the nearly 275,000 registrations, about 126,500 were eligible for the advanced degree exemption. Registrants without advanced degrees had about a 23.6 percent chance of being picked, while registrants with advanced degrees had around a 39.4 percent chance of being picked.
There are two phases to the H-1B lottery. In the first phase, 65,000 of the 275,000 total registrations are picked at random, 23.6 percent chance. In the second phase, 20,000 of the registrants who hold advanced degrees but were not chosen in the first phase are picked at random. Assuming 23.6 percent of advanced degree holders were chosen in the first phrase (29,900), the remaining 96,600 advanced degree registrants were eligible for the remaining 20,000 spaces, a 20.7 percent chance. Compounding the two chances together results in a total 39.4 percent overall chance of selection for advanced degree holders. This particular order of drawing lots, everyone and then advanced degreeholders, was implemented last year.
Registrants lucky enough to be chosen in the H-1B lottery now have until June 30th to file their H-1B petition. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps H-1B applicants submit their petitions accurately, completely, and on time. We offer free immigration consultations; call us today at 888-517-9888!