3 Ways to Check if H1B Visa is Selected in Lottery

3 Ways to Check if H1B Visa is Selected in Lottery

If you have already had your H1B visa application filed, you can quickly and easily check the status of your application through the official USCIS status check system.

2020 H1B Visa Lottery Guide

* the USCIS is the official US Government Immigration Department that processes H1B visa applications

Note, to track the status of your H1B you will need the receipt number for your filed H1B visa application.

* if you do not have the receipt number you will need to contact the employer / sponsor company that filed your H1B visa application to get it.

Follow below mentioned steps on uscis.gov website to check your visa status.

Step 1: Launch https://www.uscis.gov in your browser.

Step 2: Next, move mouse cursor to Tools option and then choose “Check your Case Status Online” under Manage your Case section (or you can directly go to https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do )

Step 3: Within the search box enter your 13 digit alphanumeric receipt number and press “Check Status” button

H1B visa status can also be checked by calling USCIS Service Centers. Four USCIS service center telephone numbers are as follows. Keep receipt number ready before calling USCIS service center.

USCIS conducted random lottery selection of H1B Visa petitions on March 27, 2020. So, how to check if H1B is selected in the lottery?

Based on H1B Visa 2019 vs 2018 Timeline, it can take up to June to know the lottery results for Regular Processing application. (**2020- No Premium Processing)

Here are 3 ways to check if our H1B Visa is selected in the lottery:

  1. H1B Fees Check is Deposited

  2. SEVIS Record Update

  3. 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 2020. – Full H1B 2020 Details

Watch Video for H1B Updates : April 2020


What are you interested in? Explore some of the best tips from around the city from our partners and friends.