Aug 25 2022

No Second Round of H1B Lottery this Year

USCIS announced on the morning of August 23rd that it has received a sufficient number of H1B registration applications to meet the regular cap of H-1B visas and the 20,000 master-cap (US advanced degree) H-1B visas allotted by Congress for the 2023 fiscal year.

From this statement, there will not be a second round of H1B lottery this year.

Prior to this announcement, the likelihood of being selected during the second round of H1B lottery is already limited. With this notice, the second round is eliminated altogether, and it’s understandable that many would be inclined to feel discouraged.

In fact, however, regardless of the number of rounds of H1B lottery, the total quota of those selected will remain the same. That is, the total quota will not exceed 85,000.

Usually, multiple rounds of lottery are warranted when there are many registrants who were selected in a previous round but subsequently failed to submit their petitions.

Drawing from its unsavory experience in the 2020 and 2021 H1B lotteries, this year USCIS decided to select 127,600 registrants directly from the first round of lottery, which totals the number of those selected in the multiple rounds combined in previous years, and it far exceeds the original quota of 85,000. This is perhaps the reason that there will not be a second round of H1B lottery this year.

For the number of H1B registrants as compared to the number of lottery rounds in the past three years, please refer to the following table:

2021 Fiscal Year 2022 Fiscal Year 2023 Fiscal Year
Total Registrants 274,237 308,613 483,927
Round 1 Selection 106,100 87,500 127,600
Round 2 Selection 18,315 27,717 N/A
Round 3 Selection N/A 16,753 N/A
Total Selection 124,415 131,970 127,600

It’s a foregone conclusion whether one has been selected for H1B this year. For those who haven’t been selected, it’s important to consider other ways to remain in the US legally.

The Biden Administration has also opened up more possibilities for those who majored in STEM-related fields. For reference, please see the USCIS article: 《New STEM Resources》

Due to the loss of last year’s lawsuit against the abuse of H1B lottery rules, there is currently no hope of using judicial means to force change to the online H1B lottery system.

Nonetheless, after the previous round of lawsuits and the growing number of H1B registrations year after year, the issue of H1B abuse has caught the attention of Congress and the media. It’s with optimism that we look towards the reform of the online H1B lottery in the future, and we hope that all those concerned can find a suitable way to stay in the United States.