The Aftermath of the H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Visa lottery: Next Steps and Alternatives

by Elizabeth Brettschneider

US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced the lottery results for this year’s H-1B cap (Fiscal Year 2020) with USCIS reporting that it received 201,011 H-1B petitions. Additionally, the agency announced last week that they completed data entry for all FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected (including master’s cap cases), which means they will be sending receipt notices for those cases selected and returning those cases not selected.

The total number of received cases is up just slightly from last year’s total of 190,098. With only 85,000 total slots to be filled (20,000 set aside for people with US master’s degrees and the remaining 65,000 for all others), the odds are against the majority of applicants. For those whose petitions were chosen, there was certainly an element of luck. Congratulations on this good fortune! While statistically most people will be disappointed, for the lucky few who were chosen, celebrations are certainly in order. But after these celebrations, H-1B cap selectees should be aware of some key additional items. And for those not selected, there may still be hope.

The following is an interactive document that we update and publish annually that will allow readers to choose a section with further information depending on which link is selected. Please remember the information in the links is meant as general information about what may be a possible H-1B alternative or what the next steps may be for someone picked in this year’s lottery. It is always best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss any possible H-1B alternatives specific to each individual’s situation as well as what to do next if chosen in this year’s lottery. Please click on the link below that applies:

My H-1B petition was selected in the lottery >

My H-1B petition was NOT selected in the lottery >