H1B Lottery Season 2017 Has Begun!
If you were one of the unlucky ones not picked in whopping 233,000 H1B 2016 Lottery Applications, you might be already wondering when the next H1B season was going to start. The 2017 season for the H1B Lottery has been underway since April 1, 2016. Every year, there is a congressional mandated maximum number of petitions that the USCIS can accept. The below are the released H1B cap numbers for fiscal year 2017:
– Regular H1B Quota: 65,000
– H1B Master’s Degree Quota (only US Master Degrees): 20,000
– Out of the above, a total of 6,800 is usually set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them.
There have been many discussions from the Obama administration regarding changing the H1B cap. The planned proposal was to increase the regular quota cap to 110,000 and Masters quota to 25,000. Unfortunately these changes have not been implemented by congress. Thus, there are no changes for FY 2017, with the above numbers of 65,000 and 20,000 having been confirmed by the USCIS in their press release.
Once again for FY 2016, there were 233,000 applications filed, with 172,500 for FY 2015, and 124,000 for FY 2014. Using simple math, the total amount of applicants that were not picked in the lottery were about 274,500 individuals. This means that even if half of those individuals chose not to apply this year, the quota would still be met and more.
Based on Buda Law Group’s analysis, we believe that there will be significant demand for H1B filings this year due to the fundamental growth of international students in the U.S. and demand for highly skilled labor in America with a small national unemployment percentage of 4.9%. In terms of numbers, we anticipate that there could be anywhere from 230,000 to 250,000 H1B petitions filed for FY 2017 that could be part of the lottery. Keep in mind that if the pattern of the last three years continues, the number may actually grow to be closer to 300,000 H1B petitions.
If you have questions about the H1B Lottery or any other Immigration issue, they will gladly be answered by the team here at Buda Law Group.
John B. Buda, Esq.
1201 W. Huntington Dr. Suite 209
Arcadia, CA 91007