USCIS Announces Results of the FY25 H-1B Cap Lottery. Could Another H-1B Cap Lottery Happen this Year?

May 03, 2024
Courtney Wachal

On April 1, 2024, USCIS announced that it had received enough registrations for the FY 2025 H-1B cap  for both the regular cap and the advanced degree exemption (U.S. Master’s cap). On April 30, 2024, USCIS shared the specific results of this year’s lottery reporting that  “there were far fewer attempts to gain an unfair advantage in the lottery registration process compared to previous years, owing in large measure to the beneficiary-centric selection process.”

USCIS made several changes to the H-1B lottery process this year, but most notably made it so that each individual was only counted once, even if multiple companies submitted registrations for the same person. This leveled the playing field and reduced incentives for fraud and abuse. The impact of this new rule made a significant difference in the results this year:

  • The total number of eligible registrations decreased from 758,994 in FY 2024 to 470,342 for FY 2025, representing a 38% decrease in registrations.
  • The number of eligible registrations for beneficiaries with multiple eligible registrations substantially decreased from 408,891 in FY 2024 to 47,314 in FY 2025, representing an 88% decrease in duplicate registrations for the same person.
  • USCIS selected 120,603 registrations in the FY 2025 for the available 85,000 visas (65,000 regular cap and 20,000 U.S. Master’s cap), representing a 25% rate of selection this year.

While the overall odds of being selected remain low and are largely dependent on the economy, the beneficiary-centric rule has significantly increased chances of selection compared to previous years.

Could Another Lottery Happen Yet this Year?

USCIS has not yet announced whether it plans to conduct another round of selections. In prior years, USCIS has conducted subsequent lotteries where it did not receive sufficient approvable applications to reach the numerical limit for that year. Those who have been selected this year must file their H-1B petitions by June 30, 2024. USCIS will then adjudicate those applications and determine if it has received enough approvable applications to fully allocate all 85,000 H-1B visas. Therefore, we do not anticipate knowing whether another lottery will occur until after June 30, 2024. Those individuals who were not selected in the 1st lottery this year continue to be listed as “submitted,” meaning they remain eligible for a subsequent lottery, should one occur.

Please feel free to reach out to any of our employment-based attorneys for any further assistance or questions.

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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