What is Different about the FY2020 H-1B Lottery Beginning April 1st?

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This year, there have been some changes made to the H-1B lottery process and to approval adjudication.

As in years previous, 65,000 H-1B visas are available for beneficiaries with US Bachelor degrees or higher or their equivalent, and 20,000 H-1B visas are allotted for beneficiaries with advanced degrees of US Master degree or higher. What is different about this year is that in previous years the 20,000 advanced degree visas are selected in the first lottery, and then the visas left over are thrown in with the second general lottery for the remaining 65,000 visas. This year, the general lottery will happen first. Then, the remaining petitions for beneficiaries with advanced degrees will enter into the lottery for the additional 20,000 visas. This is good news for advanced degree holders.

The second difference is that this year USCIS adjudicators have the authority to deny H-1B visas outright without first issuing an RFE to give petitioners a chance to defend and strengthen their cases.

It is estimated that there will be about 150,000 H-1B visa petitions submitted the first week of April for cap-subject H-1B visas for FY2020. Last year, the approval rate for H-1B candidates selected in the lottery was 60%, a rate that has been declining since 2016. Along with this, the approval rate for cases that received an RFE dropped from 83.2% in 2015 to just 62.3% in 2018 with a massive spike in the overall rate of RFE responses from USCIS.

At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, over 90% of our clients who came to us with H-1B RFEs succeeded in getting their RFEs overturned and their visas approved. We work with difficult cases every year, and this year we urge you to anticipate any RFEs you, or your client or employee’s case is likely to run into BEFORE you file. This means additional documentation, expert opinion letters from the RIGHT kind of expert, and credential evaluations must be submitted with the initial filing.

For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com/?CodeLWA/. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.


About The Author

Sheila Danzig is an experienced foreign credential evaluator whose focus on dynamic response to USCIS trends has put her at the cutting edge of evaluation today. As Executive Director of Career Consulting International (CCI), Florida, since 2002, she has worked closely with immigration attorneys to assist with highly demanding credential-related matters, including Referrals for Evidence, Denials and Administrative Appeals Office proceedings. CCI has become known for its expert advocacy in many thousands of immigration cases, evolving new techniques and strategies to respond to the constantly-changing interpretations of USCIS and drawing on its own specialist research into international credentials and their equivalencies. Dr Danzig was educated at Hunter College, NY (BA), the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (MA) and the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (EdD). At TheDegreePeople we have experts on hand to write opinion letters that cover both wage level and specialty occupation issues in the same document. We also have experienced credential evaluators at your service who work regularly with difficult RFEs and their solutions. Every year, it is essential to cover all your bases before you file. This year, it is critical. Let us review your case, or your employee or client’s case for free to make sure any potential approval issues are fully anticipated and addressed in the initial petition. Visit ccifree.com/?CodeLWA/ and we will get back to you in 48 hours or less.