Today, USCIS announced that it plans to run a second lottery of properly submitted FY 2024 H-1B cap registrations. The additional lottery is taking place because USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during the initial 90-day filing period to meet the 85,000 quota for FY 2024. Employers and their representatives will begin receiving USCIS notifications that additional H-1B cap registrations were selected in a second FY 2024 cap lottery draw. USCIS will announce when it has completed the second lottery selection process and has notified all employers with newly selected registrations.
USCIS announced today that it will conduct a second lottery to select more H-1B cap registrations for FY 2024. The agency has not indicated how many additional selections it will make. Employers whose H-1B registrations are selected in the second drawing will be eligible to submit an H-1B petition on behalf of the named beneficiary during a 90-day period designated in the H-1B cap selection notice. The second lottery is being conducted because USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions to meet the 85,000 quota during the initial filing period, which ran from April 1 to June 30, 2023.
In the initial FY 2024 lottery, USCIS received 758,994 eligible registrations – a record number of registrations and an increase of 60% over last year’s eligible registration pool. The agency selected 110,791 registrations to meet the annual H-1B quota of 85,000, meaning that registrants had a 14.6% chance of selection, far lower than last year’s 26.9% selection rate. According to USCIS, 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 raised concerns from the agency about potential misuse of the H-1B registration system, which has prompted USCIS to conduct investigations and make criminal referrals to law enforcement in some cases.
USCIS normally selects more registrations than needed to meet the annual quota, to account for cases for which no petition is ultimately filed, as well as cases that are denied, rejected, withdrawn, or revoked. 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, therefore making more H-1B quota numbers available.
Employers are not required to take any action to be included in the second lottery. USCIS is selecting from among the several hundred thousand H-1B registrations that were filed during the March 2023 registration period but not chosen in the initial lottery drawing.
How to determine whether a case has been selected in the second drawing
An employer whose registration is newly selected will receive a USCIS email indicating that action has been taken on its case. The employer or its immigration counsel must log into the H-1B cap registration system and print out a selection notice for the case. The notice will inform the employer of the filing deadline and the specific USCIS filing location. The notice must be included when the employer files a complete H-1B cap petition for the registration.
In today’s announcement, USCIS says that the agency will announce when the second lottery is complete and all employers with newly selected registrations have been notified.