H-1B Visa 2010 – What is Mini Lottery?

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 13 Comments

Good news! There’s a window to accept H-1B visa petitions for FY 2010 starting yesterday.

In the previous article, I discussed that the USCIS might conduct a Mini lottery to select H-1B visas 2010, because many seemed clueless on what a mini lottery is. So here’s my 2 cents on the topic.

Mini Lottery to Select H-1B

The term "mini lottery" is something I came across reading several immigration forums.

The term "mini lottery" is not officially used by USCIS. Mini lottery will be conducted by USCIS if H-1B Quota is reached after April 7, 2009.

The USCIS stated that if more H-1B petitions (than available 85,000) were received within first 5 business days (’til April 7, 2009), there will be usual random lottery selection for entire 65,000 and same applies to 20,000 (Advanced Degree Cap).

Until we hear from USCIS, there is no way to predict the number of applications submitted this year.

If H-1B Quota is Reached by April 7, 2009

  • If more than 65,000 H-1B visa petitions were received until April 7, 2009 — there will be a random lottery to select all the 65,000 visas.
  • If more than 20,000 Advanced Degree petitions were received, then there will be a lottery to choose all of the 20,000 visa petitions.

If H-1B Quota is not reached by April 7, 2009

For this example, let’s assume that not enough H-1B visa petitions had been received for FY 2010 by April 7, 2009.

  • USCIS will continue to receive petitions until the cap is reached.
  • For example, if the USCIS on April 10, 2009 receives an enough number of applications to reach the 65,000 and 20,000 caps, then a mini lottery will be held.

    So, a lottery will be conducted for H-1B visa petitions received just on April 10, 2009.

How Does a Mini Lottery Help?

H-1B visa applications submitted before April 7, 2009 will be considered for H-1B visa approval and their receipt numbers will be issued.

And the ensuing lottery will be held only for a small number of applications received during the last day when the cap will be reached. So far, there are no updates from USCIS.

If there is any information released out to news media by USCIS, we will post them here at Happy Schools Blog.

If you want to receive instant updates, just signup for the blog newsletter by submitting your name and email using the form below.

You will need to verify your email address, by clicking on link in Response Required email that you will receive after submitting the form below. This will make sure you have valid email address.


  1. Hi,
    This is Md. Humayun Kabir, from Bangladesh, I am agreed to get H1B Visa. Please advice me How to apply?


  2. Hi

    My wife wants to apply for H1…she is on H4 now… can we still go ahead..and can you please recommend any employers who can file her case…

  3. Hi, Working in india and iam planning to apply for H4 Dependent Visa, my wife is working in US on H1,

    And my question is there are some issues with the h4 docs she cant send them till April 2nd week,

    if i apply for H1b from india and later on in April if i got H4 and i fly to US, then if my applicatin got picked, do ineed to come to india for H1b interview?or else my status will be automatically chaned ffrom H4 to h1?

    Please advice me very urgent

    1. I think you can adjust the status being in the US itself. But, if you need to travel India in next year or so, you need to get your Passport stamped with your H1B Visa to enter US again.

      Good luck.

  4. i am on a dependant visa currently and likely to get a job, but can i apply for the year 2009 even though the April 1st deadline has passed?

  5. hi,

    I am graduating in may-2009(masters) and working on precompletion opt. my company filed my H-1 in regular quota(as i was not graduated by april 1st). i submitted my first I-20, OPT I-20, ead card, license, 10th, 12th marksheet, bachelor degree transcript. now, filing in regular quota and being in US will it help me getting my application approved?

    I didnt receive receipt no. from my employer, this year there is no lottery, how come delay in receiving my receipt no.?

    please reply asap, i am so eager.



  6. Where does it mention about 5 bussiness day or april 7th.USCIS did mention that last fiscal year.

  7. I am a little confused. What happens if I am not selected by the mini lottery? I can not get h1b visa and have to come back to my home country?

    1. To Jun: Yes, you will NOT get an H1b visa if you do not get picked in the lottery. As for going home to your country, discuss first with you lawyer your other options.

  8. Should we expect a press release from USCIS to update us as to numbers? Man, I agree with GM – please please can the quota not be filled by april 7 – i fear that is wishful thinking though±

  9. This is good freakin' news. I hope they dont get enough apps until April 7. Good luck to all those who have sent in the application and have a REAL JOB !!!!

Leave a Comment - Your Thoughts Counts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.