U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the agency has received sufficient electronic registrations to meet the cap on H-1B visas for fiscal year (FY) 2024. As such, it has performed a lottery to randomly select registrants who will be chosen to apply for these visas. Registrants may check the USCIS portal to determine if they have been selected. Chosen registrants have 90 days, or until June 30th, to submit complete applications.
USCIS has performed lotteries annually since 2009, as demand for these visas has skyrocketed. However, in some years, multiple lotteries are conducted due to applicants failing to apply or having applications denied. For example, in 2021, USCIS had to perform not one but three lotteries to meet the quota due to low applications.
The lottery is a critical step toward receiving an H-1B visa. Below, we answer frequently asked questions about the FY2024 H-1B lottery and what to do next, depending on your selection status.
FAQs About the FY2024 H-1B Lottery
The H-1B lottery has been completed, but you may still have questions. These are some of the most common questions the employment immigration attorneys at Litwin & Smith receive this time of year:
How do I know if a registrant has been selected in the H-1B lottery?
Once the lottery is completed, USCIS updates the status of every registrant on its only portal. Registrants, sponsors, or their chosen agents can log onto the portal to review the status of a given registration. Four statuses may be displayed:
Registrants should be able to check the USCIS portal to determine their status.
- Selected: The registrant has been chosen to apply for a visa.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: If this message is displayed, the registration was not successfully submitted due to an error with the fee payment method. The registrant was therefore not considered for the lottery. The error cannot be fixed because the registration period has passed.
- Denied: The registrant has been denied because USCIS determined there were duplicate entries on their behalf that were not resolved before the end of the registration period. They may not be considered for an H-1B visa in FY2024.
- Submitted: The registration was successfully submitted and was eligible for the lottery, but it was not selected. However, if any subsequent lotteries are performed, they will be considered and may be chosen.
What should I do if my H-1B registration has been selected?
If you or your candidate have been chosen to apply for an employment visa, time is of the essence. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. They can ensure you provide a complete and comprehensive application well before the deadline to reduce the risk of errors or RFEs harming your chances of getting a visa.
What can I do if my registration is denied?
Denied or invalidated registrations cannot be appealed. You must wait until the next enrolment period and register for FY 2025’s visa lottery.
What should I do if my status still says “Submitted?”
You do not need to take any action if your status is still listed as “Submitted.” Check back regularly to see if your status has changed. You may also review the information necessary for a completed application to ensure you can submit everything promptly if you are chosen later.
Filing Applications for Selected H-1B Registrants in FY2024
The H-1B lottery for FY2024 is just the first hurdle in receiving a visa. You still need to apply, and applications are routinely denied or never considered because of missed deadlines and incorrect or insufficient information. If that occurs, someone else will be selected to apply in your stead.At Litwin & Smith, we recommend working with a skilled immigration attorney to produce your application to avoid these issues. We have decades of experience representing clients seeking H-1B and other employment visas in the U.S. Our knowledgeable lawyers can help you produce and submit an accurate application to reduce the risk of losing the opportunity granted by your lottery selection. Learn more about how we can assist you by scheduling a consultation with our immigration law firm today.