Here are 3 ways to check if our H1B Visa is selected in the lottery:
H1B Fees Check is Deposited
SEVIS Record Update
Receipt Number issued by USCIS
1. Check is Deposited by USCIS
In the past, USCIS deposits the fees check from your H1B application. When check clears, its an sign of H1B selection in the lottery.
Who to Ask?
Ask your Immigration Attorney if USCIS deposited your H1B application check.
When USCIS deposits the paper check, they would print the receipt number on the check before depositing.
Sometimes, when your attorney looks the deposit copy of the check, they can find the Receipt Number as well.
These days, I believe USCIS uses ACH (electronic payment processing) to deposit the check. So, there wouldn’t be receipt numbers in the deposit snapshot. Then your attorney can check if amount is cleared. That’s an sign of H1B case selected in lottery.
When This will Not work
What if If USCIS mails receipt numbers before depositing the checks ( or delays depositing the checks).
If USCIS is issuing receipt numbers before depositing the checks, this approach will not work. But, this has worked in the past years lottery.
2. Student SEVIS Record Update
Here’s an update from an H1B Visa applicant
When I called my lawyer yesterday, they haven’t heard received the H1B Receipt number. But, when I contacted my DSO at my university, my SEVIS ID was updated and they gave my receipt number.
I thought this information could be useful for others to check if Advanced Degree applications is selected in the lottery.
Who to Ask?
If you have applied via Advanced Degree cap, then you could call your DSO and have them check your SEVIS Record.
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System).
SEVIS is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and the F and M students who come to the United States to attend those schools.
A new SEVIS system generates SEVIS ID when the university issues your I-20. Your school’s DSO updates the SEVIS record (when you get CPT, OPT, OPT Extension, I-20 extension etc).
When USCIS selects your H1B Visa application, it updates your SEVIS record. It’s a sign of USCIS selecting your H1B application in lottery.
When This Will Not work
Applicants who don’t have advanced degree from U.S. universities. When you don’t have SEVIS record to check, this method will not work to check if H1B is selected in the lottery.
In previous years lottery, USCIs deposits checks first, then issues receipt number.
Sometimes, SEVIS record update will is delayed. Checking with your school DSO is the only way to find if H1B visa application is picked in the lottery.
3. Receipt Number issued by USCIS
This is the most straight forward way to check H1B is selected in the lottery or not.
But, we all know about the delay between random lottery selection to date when USCIS issues receipt numbers.
Previous two options ( Check Deposit and SEVIS Update) gives an early sign about the lottery results, but getting the receipt numbers could take longer.
You probably saw that USCIS announced 199,000 applications were filed. USCIS confirmed that the lottery was conducted on March 27 2021. – Full H1B 2021 Details
Watch Video for H1B Updates : April 2022
The USCIS does not disclose the number of advanced degree exemptions, so it is impossible to calculate the exact odds of being selected in the H1B lottery (since some of those exemptions will transfer to the general visa lottery after 20,000 are selected). However, the USCIS does disclose the total number of petitions so we can calculate the chances of being selected towards the general visa cap.
In 2018-2019, there were 170,098 H1B visa petitions approved, and 65,000 allocated for the visa cap, which comes out to a 38% chance of being selected. Since 6,500 visas are set aside for Chilean and Singaporeans, though, the final odds of being selected will be slightly lower than this.
Also, individuals with advanced degree exemptions stand a better chance of being selected, since they participate in both lotteries.
How to Find Out if You Were Selected in the H1B Lottery
There are numerous ways to find out if you were chosen in the H1B lottery:
- Non-immigrant students applying under the advanced degree cap can see if they were selected by checking their record with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This record is updated immediately upon a student’s selection after the H1B 2019 lottery results date, so this is the quickest way to find out if you were chosen.
- Applicants must pay an H1B application fee in the form of a check. Since all unselected petitions have these fees refunded, you know you were selected in the lottery if the check is cashed by the USCIS.
- Each candidate selected in the H1B lottery is assigned a 13-digit receipt number, which is mailed to your H1B sponsor upon your selection. Once your employer receives this number, you know you were selected.
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service notifies lottery winners by sending them a stamped I-797 Form, which is the official proof of H1B status.