UNDERSTANDING THE H-1B LOTTERY

We Will Fight For You​

Let’s take the first step together and help you win your case.
We are here every step of the way.

Contact Us

UNDERSTANDING THE H-1B LOTTERY

The Caps and the Lottery

The caps are basically the number of people who are accepted into the U.S. on an H-1B visa every year.

There are two caps. One is for regular H-1B filings which is called the “Regular Cap”. Every fiscal year 65,000 H-1B regular cap filings are accepted with 6,800 of these being set aside for citizens of Singapore and Chile which if not used they become available to regular cap H-1B filers the next year. The second is called “Cap Exemption” which is a 20,000 allocation for people who have graduated from a Master’s degree program in the US which satisfies certain criteria

Cap filings do not become closed when the cap has been reached as the USCIS always takes more applicants than the cap and then selects the most suitable applicants so with the 65,000 regular cap, 80,000 applicants are considered and a selection process is conducted. For the cap exempt group 25,000 applicants are permitted. Once the USCIS has selected enough people then the cap will be closed for that year. If on a particular day there are too many cases to meet one of the caps the cases received will be subject to a lottery to decide which of all the cases will be accepted for further processing.

Any cases that are not selected in the lottery will be sent back to the attorney of record. All cases filed in April in the first 5 business days are allocated equal priority toward the cap. Throughout the 1st 5 business days of filing, a case that is submitted under the master’s cap which becomes subject to a lottery and is still not randomly selected, the applicant would be transferred for further consideration under the regular cap. If the regular cap for the fiscal year is not attained, surplus cases submitted under the master’s cap will be receipted. Also, if the regular cap is hit for the particular fiscal year, surplus master’s cap cases transfer to the lottery of the regular cap.

USCIS Processing

When the USCIS on April 1st starts to receive filings a number is assigned to each case. April 7th is the date for the final filing and by this time the USCIS will know if a lottery is to take place. If it is necessary it will take a little longer for applicants to hear the result of their filing which could be up to five weeks.

Normally both H-1B caps are attained within the 1st five business days in April. When this happens, applicants who possess a U.S. Master’s degree who are eligible will have a clear advantage in being eligible for 2 lotteries. If the caps are not reached by April 7 each day of cap counting is treated separately. If the regular H-1B cap is reached on April 11, only those filings received up to April 11th are put in the lottery and any filings earlier than that should be processed. Cases filed on or after April 12th will be subsequently rejected.

Refund of filing fees

If your case is returned due to the H-1B cap being met and it failed to be selected in the lottery, filing fees are refunded. There has been some hint that rejected cases if the cap is increased may be able to file again in a later year.

Premium Processing means an applicant can expect a decision within 15 days following the receipt of his or her petition but there is no guarantee of success if a lottery is held that a case filed will be successful with lottery selection in the event that there is a lottery.

Read about what to do if the H-1B cap is filled.  You might also be saved under H-1B cap gap regulations. 

Read more about the H-1B visa in our Knowledge Center.

Lottery Guarantee: At our firm, if an H-1B case is not selected for the lottery, we will refile it the following year (same Petitioner, same Beneficiary, for the same position) at a 50% discount.

Share on print

The HMA Law Firm

September 26th

The HMA Law Firm
Proud to announce that our very own Romana Muzzammel has been appointed to the Maryland State Bar Association - MSBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee!Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#MSBA #membersonly #thehmalawfirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

September 16th

The HMA Law Firm
Even after 20 years of practice, it still feels like magic: a client walking into the US, full of fear, no visa, no hope, and wins asylum, and as of today, proudly holds a green card. This case sticks out for me, though. Here's why:Former AG Jeff Sessions changed the law during his tenure to make cases like my client's nearly impossible to win. (Matter of A-B-) which has since been vacated under Biden.But at the time of his trial, it was still good law.Our judge made a crucial factual distinction based on how we presented the case, and actually held that A-B- didn't apply.It was legal poetry.My client, moments before the decision, came to me with tears in his eyes.He said, "Can you ask them to just grant asylum for my daughter? I'll go back if they do. The gang will kill me but at least I'll know my daughter will be safe."I still don't know who was cutting onions on the courtroom that day.Thankfully it wasn't necessary. The judge granted asylum to father and daughter.And now they have green cards.And guess what, haters? They did it the right way, even though neither of them had a visa when they entered the US!Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

September 9th

The HMA Law Firm
We're hiring! The HMA Law Firm, PLLC is an immigration law firm in northern Virginia dedicated to pursuing social justice. Some of our firm’s key practice areas include removal defense, humanitarian-based immigration, family-based immigration and naturalization, “crimmigration” defense, business immigration, and immigration-related federal court litigation.If you have a passion for immigration and immigrant rights and want to work in a place that combines advocacy with lawyering - hard but fulfilling work - our firm is for you.See the details below:www.indeed.com/viewjob?t=immigration+attorney+removal+defense&jk=2ac5b1047628ce82&from=iaBackPresswww.linkedin.com/jobs/view/3251935823/?refId=mXFzuIB7QHuQM6vDadqmTA%3D%3DContact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#hiringnow #immigrationlaw #TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 31st

The HMA Law Firm
Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival, held to commemorate the birth of the Hindu god of wisdom, wealth, and fortune, Ganesha. It's observed with prayer, public and private displays of Ganesha idols, the chanting of Vedic hymns, and fasting. On the final day of the festival, an idol of Ganesha is carried in a public procession and plunged into a nearby body of water. When the clay dissolves, it is believed Ganesha returns to Shiva. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu religion and is widely celebrated in Maharashtra, Telangana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka, and other parts of India.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#ganeshchaturthi #ganesha #hindu #thehmalawfirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 30th

The HMA Law Firm
Onam is a harvest festival in Hindu culture that welcomes the mythical King Mahabali through a ten-day festivity. It includes a variety of traditions such as Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Onathallu (martial arts), and a nine-course vegetarian feast called Onasadya on the last day. Women participate by creating carpets of colorful flowers in front of their homes, called Pookalam and they perform traditional folk dances. The elephant procession is the peak of the festival, with decorated elephants parading and dancing with people at the place of the procession.Onam is Hindu-based but not limited to Hindu castes, people from all communities can participate in this colorful event, which makes this festival a reminder that despite all the conflicts in the world, being from different places, and having different cultures, we can all celebrate cultural diversity in many forms.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#onam #hindu #thehmalawfirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 29th

The HMA Law Firm
This holiday is celebrated on the last Monday in August to honor and remember all the revolution's heroes who helped establish the foundation for the country’s independence. The date chosen is intended to mark the 'Cry of Pugad Lawin' in August 1896, which was the first act of insurrection against the Spanish colonizers by the Katipunan, a hitherto secret Filipino revolutionary movement. This is seen as the start of the Philippine revolution and movement towards independence.On September 28, 1901, the United States Philippine Commission approved Act No. 243, which would erect a monument in Luneta to commemorate the memory of José Rizal, Filipino patriot, writer, and poet. The shrine was inaugurated on December 30, 1913, coinciding with Rizal's 17th death anniversary.Although the Philippines transitioned from authoritarian rule in 1986, the struggle continues every day due to the limited freedom of the Media, and restricted political rights and civil liberties.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#Phillippines #Political #Civil #TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 28th

The HMA Law Firm
Happy birthday to the realest and the best managing attorney, Hassan Ahmad!We wish you many blessings and a long and healthy life! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 26th

The HMA Law Firm
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.There has been progress and reforms in several countries over the last decades like the 1973 decision of Roe v Wade which enshrined the legal right to an abortion in the US however, there are still many women and girls who suffer gender discrimination, including the US Supreme Court vote to roll back abortion rights. Women’s Equality Day helps us acknowledge the success stories of women of the past and perhaps most importantly, it reminds us that the struggle is not over yet.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#womenpower #womensrights #equality #TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 26th

The HMA Law Firm
Every year many people decide to immigrate for a variety of reasons such as employment opportunities, to escape violent conflict, environmental factors, education, or to reunite with family. The process of immigrating to the United States can be complicated, however, having expert guidance in immigration law can help you to understand the process of the law and understand eligibility so you can make an informed decision. We are here to help you!Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: ow.ly/gs4U50KsLop#immigration #help #freedom #thehmalawfirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 24th

The HMA Law Firm
Afghan Independence Day on August 19 commemorates the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 that ended British rule in the central Asian nation. This year we chose to write about it back-to-back with the Ukrainian Independence Day post as a reminder that Ukraine isn’t the only country who will not be able to celebrate freely and there should be international backing and recognition to all countries. In 2021, events leading up to the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in August exacerbated displacement throughout the country. For the 15th consecutive year in a row, internal displacement in Afghanistan increased with an additional 777,400 Afghans displaced across all provinces. The impact of the conflict on women and girls has been particularly devastating – 80 percent of all forcibly displaced within Afghanistan are women and children. “Afghanistan’s displacement crisis is one of the largest and most protracted in UNHCR’s seven-decade history. We’re now seeing a third generation of Afghan children born in exile,’’ says UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#Afghanistan #Liberty #TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 24th

The HMA Law Firm
In 1918 January 22nd was recognized as the Day of the Declaration of Independence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic by the Ukrainian Diaspora, however, the current form of the holiday was celebrated for the first time on July 16th of 1991, on the first anniversary of the declaration of state sovereignty of Ukraine passed by the Ukrainian Parliament in 1990, but since the declaration of independence was issued on August 24th, 1991, the date of the holiday was changed.Due to the current situation, this year’s holiday is a reminder that every country should remain sovereign without threat of war or violence and that all the attention being brought to Ukraine should be used not only to help and support the Ukrainian people but also to consider the situation of many countries in the middle east, who have been under attack by more powerful countries for a long time and need the same support and help.Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#Ukraine #Liberty #IndependenceDay #TheHMALawFirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

August 24th

The HMA Law Firm
Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are interdependent, interrelated and mutually reinforcing. There are continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world, and the number and intensity of such incidents, which are often of a criminal nature and may have international characteristics, are increasing.We should learn from history and act accordingly to stop and teach tolerance. Contact us!📞: +1(703) 964-0245✉️: [email protected]🌐: linktr.ee/TheHMALawFirm#freedom #religion #tolerance #thehmalawfirm ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

What People Say About Us

Client Testimonials

Recent Updates.