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USCIS Selects Over 77,000 Additional H-1B Cap Registrations in Second Lottery

USCIS selected an additional 77,609 registrations in its recently completed second lottery drawing, bringing the total number of selections to date for FY 2024 to 188,400. As a result of the additional selections, the overall selection rate for eligible registrations has increased to 24.8%, from 14.6% after the first lottery.

The issue

Having completed the second round of H-1B lottery selections, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency selected a total of 188,400 H-1B cap registrations to reach the annual 85,000 quota. As the agency selected 110,791 registrations in its initial drawing in March, that means that an additional 77,609 registrations were selected in the just-completed second lottery.

This second lottery selection was drawn from unselected entries from the initial pool of 758,994 eligible registrations received by USCIS for the FY 2024 H-1B cap season. As a result of this second drawing, the selection rate for eligible registrations has increased to 24.8%, from an initial rate of 14.6% after the first drawing. 

USCIS normally selects more registrations than needed to meet the annual 85,000 quota on new H-1Bs, to account for cases for which no petition is ultimately filed, as well as cases that are denied, rejected, withdrawn, or revoked.

Recent enforcement efforts related to multiple registrations for the same beneficiary

The 758,994 eligible registrations received for FY 2024 was a record number, representing an increase of 60% over last year’s eligible registration pool. According to USCIS, of the 758,994 eligible registrations received this year, 408,891 registrations were submitted for individuals who benefited from multiple sponsors submitting cap registrations on their behalf.

That high number of multiple registrations for the same beneficiary has raised concerns from USCIS about potential misuse of the H-1B registration system. As a result, the agency has continued to conduct fraud investigations, deny and revoke petitions, and make law enforcement referrals for criminal prosecution.

This year, the substantial increase in registrations submitted for individuals with multiple sponsors and the resulting government scrutiny may have resulted in fewer H-1B petitions being filed with USCIS, thereby necessitating a second drawing to reach the annual quota. USCIS reports that it believes that the decreased filing rate for FY 2024 H-1B cap petitions as compared to the three previous fiscal years indicates that its fraud investigations are having an impact. 

How the updated selection rate for FY 2024 compares to historic selection rates

The following chart illustrates the final selection rates for the first three fiscal years of the H-1B online registration program, along with the current selection rate for FY 2024.

Fiscal YearTotal RegistrationsEligible Registrations* SelectionsPercentage of Eligible Registrations Selected
2024780,884758,994188,400 to date24.8%

*The count of Eligible Registrations excludes duplicate registrations, those deleted by the prospective employer prior to the close of the registration period, and those with failed payments.

Possibility of subsequent lottery selections in FY 2024

Whether the agency will conduct a third lottery selection for FY 2024 will depend on how many H-1B petitions are submitted to USCIS by employers with registrations selected in the second drawing. If any additional lottery drawings are held, the final selection rate for FY 2024 will ultimately be greater than the current 24.8% selection rate 

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