On April 1, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received approximately 275,000 submissions for H-1B applications in the electronic lottery that was conducted at the end of March. They reported that 46% of applications were for individuals who hold advanced U.S. degrees. This was an increase of approximately 74,000 cases over the number that was received last year in the H-1B cap.
In total numbers, this means that beneficiaries had less than a 31% chance of selection. Cases filed under the advanced U.S. degree cap had a higher chance, although we don’t know the total number of these applicants so we cannot say for sure what the likelihood of success was. We estimate that the chances of selection for cases filed under the advanced U.S. degree cap was somewhere between 40% and 50%.
It seems that the lower cost threshold of $10 per registration lowered the barrier to entry enough to result in a surge of submissions.
Registrations that have not been selected will be held in reserve. Between March 31, 2020 and Oct. 1, 2020, in the event that USCIS needs to select registrations from the reserve to meet the H-1B regular cap and the advanced U.S. degree cap, it may select from registrations held in the reserve to meet such allocations.
Graham Adair will be checking unselected cases regularly until USCIS sends out rejection notices. If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair representative.