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Will There Be a Second H-1B Lottery for October 1, 2023 (Fiscal Year 2024)?

Brief Summary of the H-1B Registration Process

The H-1B visa lottery is a method employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine which employers can sponsor foreign workers for H-1B nonimmigrant visas, allowing them to work in the United States in specialty occupations. The registration process was introduced in 2020 to streamline the selection of eligible candidates and reduce paperwork and costs for employers and USCIS. Each year, a total of 85,000 H-1B visas are available, with 65,000 for the general category and an additional 20,000 for those with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions.

For the Fiscal Year 2024 H-1B registration, USCIS began issuing selection notices on March 24, 2023, a week before the filing window opened on April 1, 2023, and closed on June 30, 2023. On March 27, 2023, USCIS announced that they had received enough electronic registrations to meet the numerical allocations for the H-1B cap, including the master’s cap.

What could cause a second H-1B lottery for Fiscal Year 2024?

As of April 24, 2023, USCIS reported a selection rate of less than 15 percent out of the 758,994 eligible registrations received this year. This low rate is due to an unprecedented increase in the number of registrations for beneficiaries with multiple employers compared to previous years. The chart below provides a detailed record of the registration and selection numbers since Fiscal Year 2021.                                  

Cap Fiscal Year

Total Registrations

Eligible Registrations*

Eligible Registrations for Beneficiaries with No Other Eligible Registrations

Eligible Registrations for Beneficiaries with Multiple Eligible Registrations



























When USCIS released the above data, the agency indicated that it raised significant concerns that certain individuals may have attempted to gain an unfair advantage by collaborating to submit multiple registrations for the same beneficiary. This unethical practice could have unjustly improved their chances of being selected. USCIS reiterated its commitment to discouraging and preventing abuse of the registration process.

The agency reminded employers that if it is determined that a registration was not submitted correctly, the prospective petitioner would be deemed ineligible to file a petition based on that registration. USCIS has the authority to deny or revoke a petition if it is based on a registration that includes false information and was consequently not properly submitted. In addition, USCIS confirmed that it may refer the individual or organization responsible for submitting a false attestation to relevant federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and any necessary legal actions that may be appropriate.

Even though USCIS selected 110,791 registrations to fill the 85,000 available slots, the warning discussed above is likely to lead to a reduction in the number of actual H-1B petitions filed from the initial pool of registrations selected. Therefore, it is likely that a second lottery may need to be conducted from the remaining 648,203 eligible registrations to reach 85,000 approved petitions for the fiscal year.

When might a second H-1B lottery be conducted?

The first year the electronic registration was used for visas to take effect October 1, 2020, a second lottery was conducted. Selection notifications were issued around August 14, 2020 with a new filing window of August 17 to November 16, 2020.

The following year, a second lottery was needed again. This time, selection notifications were issued around July 29, 2021, and the filing window was open between August 2, 2021 and November 3, 2021.

With the initial filing window for this year closed on June 30th, if there is a second lottery, we should expect to see selection notices within the next three to four weeks, based on prior years.

The prospect of a second lottery can be welcome news for those genuine registrations that were not selected initially. If new selections occur, employers and attorneys can expect to receive an email notification from their myUSCIS account with the subject line “We have taken an action on your case.” Once logged in, some H-1B lottery registrations will have changed from “Submitted” to “Selected.”

By: Emily Neumann

Emily Neumann is Managing Partner at Reddy Neumann Brown PC with over 15 years of experience practicing US immigration law providing services to U.S. businesses and multinational corporations. Emily has helped transform the firm from a solo practice to Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused exclusively on U.S. employment-based immigration.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Emily is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in Bloomberg Law, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Times of India on various hot topics in immigration. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Society for Human Resource Management.

Reddy & Neumann has been serving the business community for over 25 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on US. Employment-based immigration. We work with both employers and their employees, helping them navigate the immigration process quickly and cost-effectively.