H1B Visa Lottery Process [Infographic]

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 16 Comments

Does USCIS use a different algorithm to conduct a lottery for different majors?

Ex – if one person has a PhD in Economics and the other person has a masters in computer science, will they both have the same probability?

As per my knowledge number of students applying for an H1B with economics/finance (masters or phd) background will be way less than students with an engineering or tech background?

– Kiran

H1B Visa Lottery Process Overview

Kiran – USCIS doesn’t care about H1B applicants Degree.  H1B  Visa lottery treats all the H1B Applicants the same way.

H1B Visa 2014 Lottery Process

Applying via Advanced Degree will increase your chance of getting selected.

USCIS doesn’t use special algorithm to select H1B Visa applications based on majors.

They will pool all the receipt numbers of H1B Visa applicants  into Advanced Degree for Lottery 1.

Applications not selected will be added to Regular Cap pool for lottery 2.

H1B Visa application selection is computer based random selection.

It will be  sad to see someone with PhD in Economics from US University not getting H1B over an application from IT outsourcing company, which may not even use the H1B after approval.

Hope this answers your question.

Next – What is H1B Visa Lottery (video)


  1. Can F1 student apply for lottery. In US, or can he/she marry a citizen of US can he get Green card

  2. Dear Raghu,
    When can any one know about the lottery results thro’ their Attorney.
    Will there be any intimation on non selection also.

  3. HI Happy School Personnel,
    I did my MS(2001 to 2004) in the US and worked there from 2004 till 2006 on a H1B visa, and then moved to india. I am going to apply for H1B through a company in the US. What are my chances of getting the visa if i apply on April 1st 2014.
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated.
    Thankyou in advanvce

    1. Author

      Hello Ashwin – You have same chance of getting selected in the lottery ( if there is one) as anyone else. Approval of H1B application depends on your employer’s ability to provide required documentation.

  4. Hi RAGHURAM SUKUMAR, my question is
    If they select 85.000 applications and then they deny 10.000, what happens?

    1. i am practicing as an advocate in india. i want to practice in immigration laws,so what are the required qulifications. thank you sir.

  5. if the lottery is randomly selected from the submitted forms then probability for first lottery selected is 65000 / (172500 – 20000) and for the last lottery selected is 1 / (172500 – 20000 – 64999)

  6. Hi Raghuram , my lawyer says they haven’t heard anything from the USCIS yet , is there still any chance that I’m selected in the lottery ? They say the chance is zero 🙁 please help

  7. Hi Raghu,Am Bala I am on H4,applied for H1b in the month April 2014 (premium processing),on May1st the case went for RFE and they gave a time of 2 months to revert,I spoke to my employer and left to India on May 15th 2014 due to some emergency,my Employer has replied RFE query and case got approved .Now my question is ,do I need to get stamping before I enter US by October 1st?in my case COS is applicable or not ? I have already valid H4 which expires next year September,so can I enter US with H4 and take part in COS?
    Appreciate your response
    one more thing to add,I got a mail from USCIS saying that my H1b is approved with a Consulate Notified :

  8. Hi , Completed Masters in Bio tech in Dec 2017 and recently applied for J1 waiver in India. Can we apply for H1B visa process in April 2018 Parellel will there be any issue if we dont have J1 waiver clerance during applying for H1B visa. How are the chances for getting under Master Quota. What is this Advance Degree Cap pool please explain.

    1. Author

      Your attorney has to decide. From my past experience, J1 waiver have to be cleared before applying for H1B.

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