By Chris Musillo

Bloomberg reports that USCIS is considering a proposal that will slightly improve the chances of US Master Degree holders to win the H-1B lottery. If the proposed change had been in effect in April 2018 numbers, about 2,700 more US Masters degree holders would have won the lottery, at the expense of 2,700 regular H-1B cap winners (non-US Master’s degree). USCIS selects 85,000 H-1B cap lottery winners each April.

USCIS has signaled that it wants to reorder the way that it runs the lottery. Under the present lottery program, the USCIS segregates all of the H-1B beneficiaries who hold Masters degrees and runs a “Masters-only” lottery. It then takes all of the Masters lottery-losers, combines them with the regular H-1B beneficiaries and runs the regular-cap lottery.

The proposal calls for the USCIS to reverse the process. The USCIS would run the regular lottery first. The regular lottery would include both regular cap petitions and Master’s degree holders. Then, USCIS would take all Masters degree losers and run a Masters lottery. As shown in the 2018 example, the result would be that slightly more Masters degree holders would win the lottery at the expense of slightly fewer non-Masters cap beneficiaries.