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H1B visa lottery data
TimApr 30, 2024 3:50:14 PM4 min read

Selection Rate of 26%: Analysis of 2024 H-1B Visa Lottery

On April 30, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS announced an update for 2024 (FY 2025) H-1B cap registration data. While the selection rate for the H1B lottery is merely 26%, which is lower than the expected selection rate of 30-35%, we saw a dramatic decrease in the number of eligible registrations. This data suggests the effectiveness of the new H-1B policy launched this year. 

This article presents and analyzes the latest H1B lottery data provided by USCIS, while providing guidance on what to do after getting selected for H1B.

 

Table of Contents

Overview of FY 2025 H1B Registration Data

Next Steps After Getting Selected for H1B Visa

 

Overview of 2024 H1B Registration Data

According to the USCIS update, the number of selected registrations for this year is 120,603, and the number of selected beneficiaries is 114,017. Here are key statistics of the H1B lottery:

    • The number of unique beneficiaries: about 446,000 (2023) →  about 442,000 ( 2024).
    • The number of unique employers: about 52,000 (2023) → about 52,700 (2024).
    • The number of eligible registrations: 758,994 (2023) → 470,342 (2024).
    • Registrations Per Beneficiary: 1.70 (2023) → 1.06 (2024).

As indicated in the third point, there is a 38.6% reduction in the number of eligible registrations. This significant decrease can be attributed to the new H-1B policy of "one registration per person," which has effectively reduced the number of applicants who file multiple registrations. This trend is also reflected in the reduction of registrations per beneficiary, as shown in the fourth point above.

The chart below illustrates a significant decrease in the number of registrations for applicants with multiple registrations, dropping from 408,891 to 47,314. Given this trend, we can anticipate a similar pattern in future H1B lotteries.

H1B visa lottery data

However, the selection rate is around 26%, which is lower than the expected rate of 30-35%. This is because the number of participants has not changed significantly compared to last year.

Relevant Reading:

 

Next Steps After Getting Selected for H-1B Visa

Another important point is that, due to the annual quota of 85,000 H1B cap beneficiaries, not every selected applicant will secure an H-1B visa. Therefore, some H-1B petitions will be denied by the USCIS for various reasons. To reduce the likelihood of your H-1B application being denied, consider following the suggestions outlined below:

  • Consulting an Immigration Lawyer

If your employer does not work with an immigration attorney, it is essential that you find one yourself. Throughout the application preparation process, maintain active communication with your attorney to ensure that your application is complete.

 

  • Confirming Eligibility

To reduce the chance of getting an RFE (Request for Evidence), you need to collaborate closely with your lawyer to carefully select your job title and job level, as these determinations can influence your eligibility for an H1B visa.

The H1B work visa is issued to foreign employees in specialty occupations. If USCIS determines that your job does not require specialized knowledge or skills, your application may be rejected. To assess the specialized requirements for your job, you can consult the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (it is a reference for USCIS officers). Simply search for your job title and click on “How to Become One” to view the necessary qualifications.

Additionally, it is important to note that there is a general salary threshold of $60,000 annually for the H1B visa. If the prevailing wage for your job position exceeds this amount, you are required to meet the higher wage standard. The prevailing wage represents the average wage for your job position within your geographical area. You can check the prevailing wage for your job using the FLCDataCenter.

If you do not meet the minimum wage requirement, consider negotiating a salary increase with your employer or relocating to an office in a state with a lower cost of living.

 

  • Gathering Required Documents

Your need to collect the following documents for your H1B petition:

  1. Employment letter
  2. Job description
  3. Transcripts
  4. Copies of passport and previous visa documents
  5. LCA (Labor Condition Application)
  6. Resume
  7. H1B registration notice
  8. Pay stubs

 

  • Preparing for RFE

An applicant may face an RFE for certain reasons. The most common reasons for receiving an RFE include:

  1. Specialty occupation requirement
  2. Degree and skill qualifications
  3. Minimum salary requirement
  4. Employment relationship
  5. Past history of non-immigrant status

When getting an RFE, it is essential to seek assistance from an experienced immigration lawyer and actively participate in drafting your RFE response.

 

Conclusion

Whereas the dramatic reduction of H-1B applicants who file multiple registrations, the selection rate for 2024 does not have significant changes. It is still important for OPT students to seek alternative plans. If you have been fortunately selected for the H-1B lottery this year, you need to carefully prepare your application materials to ensure the success of your application petition. 

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Tim

Senior educational consultant with 10+ years experience

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