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H-1B Visa Lottery Completed

According to a recent study, the odds of winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510.  The odds of an amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole are 1 in 12,500.  Compared to these extremely unlikely events, the recently completed H-1B lottery presents a more optimistic picture.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.  On April 13th, USCIS completed the lottery to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.  The odds of having been selected are just over 1 in 4, bad news for the nearly 75% of applicants who did not have luck on their side.   While we eagerly await a reform of our immigration system and an increase in the artificially low cap of 65,000, here’s what H-1B applicants can now expect now that the lottery is completed:  applicants can expect to receive either a Form I-797 Receipt Notice (if successful in the lottery) or a notice of rejection, along with their unselected petition with filing fees.  Petitions filed via Premium Processing have already started receiving electronic receipt notices if successful in the lottery; these petitions will receive a response within fifteen days of the receipt date noted on the official I-797 receipt notice.  Successful petitions filed via regular processing will begin receiving receipt notices within four to six weeks, and a USCIS response within five to six months.  Continue Reading