USCIS Announces there will be a Second H-1B Lottery to Select Additional Registrations for the FY 2024 H-1B Cap


Did you participate in the H-1B electronic registration for Fiscal Year 2024? If so, we have some exciting news for you.

On Thursday, July 27, 2023, USCIS issued a news alert informing the public that they will conduct a second H-1B lottery to select additional H-1B registrations to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B numerical allocations, including the advanced degree exemption.

As our readers may recall, USCIS conducted its initial lottery in March of 2023, selecting a total of 110,791 registrations to meet the annual H-1B numerical cap for fiscal year 2024. Registrants had about a 14.6% chance of being selected in the initial lottery.

When will the second lottery take place?

In its announcement, USCIS has said that it they will soon select from previously submitted electronic registrations to reach the FY 2024 numerical allocations through a randomized selection process, aka “the second lottery.” However, a date has not been disclosed.

This means that in the coming weeks, petitioners or their authorized representatives should keep an eye out on their myUSCIS online accounts to know if they were selected in the second lottery.

Once the second lottery has taken place, USCIS will make an official announcement on its webpage indicating the lottery’s completion. At that point, USCIS will notify all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

How will you know if you were selected in the second lottery?

Petitioners with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details of when and where to file. If you submitted your electronic registration with the assistance of an attorney, you must contact your legal representative/case manager to determine whether you were selected in the second randomized lottery.

If I am selected in the second lottery, when can I submit my paper application by mail?

Only petitioners who were selected in the second lottery will be able to file a paper application with USCIS on behalf of the alien worker. We do not yet know what the petition filing period will be for registrations selected during the second lottery. However, the filing period will be disclosed on your official selection notice and will be announced once the second lottery is complete.

Petitioner’s will need to include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2024 H-1B cap-subject petition. No online filing system is currently available. Petitioners should ensure that they send their paper application to the correct service center within the filing period indicated on the registration selection notice.

When did the initial FY 2024 lottery occur?

The initial FY 2024 H-1B lottery occurred in March of 2023, at which time USCIS selected from properly submitted electronic registrations to meet the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.

Only those petitioners with selected registrations for FY 2024 were eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions by mail. The initial filing period for those with selected registrations for FY 2024, took place from April 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.

There was only about a 14.6% chance of being selected in the initial lottery.

If I have been selected, does that mean I will receive an H-1B visa?

No. Registration selection only indicates that petitioners are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. It does not indicate that the petition will be approved and there is no guarantee of approval. Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still submit evidence and establish eligibility for petition approval based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements. The burden of proving eligibility always falls upon the petitioner who is filing the H-1B petition on behalf of the alien worker.

Best of luck to all applicants!

To read the USCIS announcement please click here.

For USCIS updates on the FY 2024 H-1B Cap Season click here.

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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