US and non-US-resident employees are preparing to submit their registrations for a position in the H1B lottery even as we enter the 22/23 season. As you may already know, the percentage of denied or rejected visas is usually high.
A good way to make yours stand out is by entering the H-1B cap degree exception. The H-1B master’s cap degree exemption is a distinct lottery for those with advanced degrees from eligible higher education institutions.
As simple as this may sound, the application premium processing follows a precise requirement – or even that will fail. Here, we will delve into the details, how you can enter and benefit from it. We will also supply answers to other frequently asked questions about H-1B visa applications generally.
H1B Master’s Cap: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Odds (Updated 3/29/21)
The H-1B master’s cap petitioners who want a chance of winning should register their international students or beneficiaries before the lottery window opens. Employers need to register their beneficiaries with the USCIS online system before the H1B filing window. Then the USCIS uses the system to select registered beneficiaries, and petitioners whose beneficiaries are selected will file cap exempt petitions.
You can increase your H-1B lottery odds in different ways, the most obvious being qualifying for the master’s degree cap exempt petition. Being in this pool increases your odds by at least a few percentages. Also, avoid filing your petition after the cap is reached; at this point, you have zero chance of getting an H-1B visa.
You can also increase your odds by promptly submitting your application and documentation; procrastination makes you miss the window, bringing your chances to zero.
Another way to increase your odds is by hiring immigration services and lawyers with knowledge of how to develop a unique strategy for winning. Such can help H-1B employers and applicants improve their H-1B lottery approval and selection odds.
H-1B Lottery Results: The Definitive Guide on 2021-2022 Lottery Chances (Updated 3/29/21)
H-1B probability can be hard to calculate, especially since selection occurs randomly. To calculate your chances of being selected, you will need the number of petitions in the lottery system pool. The fiscal year 2021 lottery season received 274,237 petitions, with 65,000 designated for the visa cap, indicating a 23% chance of selection.
However, you will subtract the petitions allocated for Singapore and Chile, that’s 6,800 petitions. The final results show that the odds for 2021 – 2022 H-1B lotteries are lower than 23%.
What is H-1B Visa Cap – Regular vs. Master’s Degree Quotas for International Students, Calculations, Lottery
H-1B visa cap is the annual limit or the maximum number of H-1B visas the USCIS can issue in a fiscal year as set by the US Congress. There are three kinds of caps: Regular, Advanced, and Chile-Singapore Caps. The Regular H-1B Cap is the first and most common; it is referred to as quota/cap or non-advanced degree quota/cap. The regular one is the most basic cap set to 65,000 petitions per fiscal year.
The H1B Advanced Degree Cap is often referred to as master’s cap or quota, or US master’s degree cap for certain registrations selected. The Advanced Degree Cap is set to 20,000 petitions per fiscal year and is always provided the year prior to it.
H1B Visa: Step By Step Guide
To apply for an H-1B visa, you first need to fill out the application form, after which you or your employer will follow these steps:
Step1: Fill form DS-160, the most important aspect of the application; ensure you follow instructions and fill in the right information.
Step 2: Schedule an interview as soon as possible because US embassies often take time to process each request.
Step 3: Pay the H-1B visa application fees, which is normally $190.
Step 4: Submit all the required documents for the H1B visa award and additional petitions. The documents include your current passport, a copy of your current passport page, and all previous passports. You’ll also tender the fees receipts, a photo meeting the Digital Image Requirements, the original, and one copy of your interview appointment letter.
You’ll need your qualifications, a letter from your employer containing your job description, printed form 1-129 receipt number, the original and one copy of form 1-129.
Step 5: Go to your scheduled interview, ensuring all your documents are prepared. Also, be ready to answer extensive queries about your specific job and workplace. The embassies will take your fingerprint if this is your first time applying; this will be saved in the US system.
H-1B Advanced Degree (Master’s or Higher From US Institution) Exemption (Master’s Cap) Eligibility
To qualify for the H1B master’s degree exemption, two things are required: a master’s degree from a US university accredited by an agency that’s nationally recognized; you can check to be sure the university or other independent colleges is among those allotted a master’s quota. The second requirement states that the institution must be public or non-profit.
A complete list of accredited programs in the US is available on the Department of Education’s official website. If the higher education institution you got your degree from isn’t accredited as a for-profit school, the system will deny your petition.
Chances of a Master’s student getting picked in the H1B Visa Lottery
The initial probability of a master’s student getting picked in the H1B visa lottery is fifty percent. Since the USCIS gets 40,000 applications every fiscal year with only 20,000 available, this cuts the chances of getting picked to 50%.
The Process in H1B Master’s Cap to EB Green Card
You have a prime spot for an EB-2 green card once you have a registration that can be entered into the 2022-2023 H-1B masters’ cap. This advantage means you have to wait a shorter time than the EB-3, the green card that most H1B beneficiaries qualify for.
Nevertheless, having a masters’ degree is not enough in itself; you need to have a job with a US employer who requires your degree. The USCIS is often more interested in your position than your particular qualifications.
If you’ve decided to get the EB-2 green card, your employer needs to obtain a PERM Labor Certification for you. They must obtain this before filling a 1-140 petition. When the USCIS receives your petition, the date given to you takes priority. You’ll wait until your priority matches or exceeds the final action dates in the monthly visa bulletin.
When it does, you can submit a 1-485 form to adjust your status from H1B to a green card. Your advanced degree (masters’ in this case) can shave up months or even years of your waiting time for a green card.
How Does H-1B Master’s Cap Help with Green Cards?
It can be a difficult path from an H1B visa to an employment-based green card, but a master’s degree can make it easier. First, the system will enter your registration into the advanced degree exemption.
Once that is done, and your petition has been processed and approved, you can start working under your H1B. Fortunately, the H1B visa is considered a dual intent visa – that means you can begin applying for a green card.
Applying for a green card begins with choosing what preference level you’re applying for. The leading visa contender categories are EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3; EB-1 green card is for immigrants with extraordinary achievements.
EB-2 green card is for those with an advanced degree, exceptional ability, or qualify for a National Interest Waiver. EB-3 is for applicants with a bachelor’s degree, less than two years of unskilled work experience, and more than two years of skilled work experience.
How Do You Calculate H-1B Visa Cap, and Who Can Petition for It?
The formula for calculating is:
H1B Regular Cap = Annual Cap quota for X – H-1B1 Cap for X + Unused H-1B1 numbers from previous year Y + Extra petitions accepted by USCIS as a buffer for rejections, denials, and so on.
Where X = current fiscal year Regular Cap quota, and
Y = Year before the current fiscal year Cap quota
Anyone that filed for an H-1B visa petition automatically falls under the Regular quota cap. The regular cap is the general cap limit for anyone who files for the H1B petition; it is the most basic level.
The H-1B visa cap encompasses all applicants who adhere to the normal H1B application rule. Unless you fall in a specialized category like an H1B advanced degree, you can petition for the Regular Visa Cap.
To hasten this process when applying for non immigrant visa, or need to understand the masters quota, a random lottery selection, or better insight on receipt notices, building a good attorney client relationship is essential. It not only fastens the process, but other vital information like cap count, the prevailing wage, masters quota for secondary education and higher degree, and the regular cap lottery are all brought to your notice.
When you know all the additional information which includes petitions, you can have them filed anytime you need to take a job offer from a new employer, a second position with a non-profit organization, work with an accrediting council, or apply to the university for any course offered in that university.
What are the Qualifications for H1B Advanced Degree Exemption?
The H1B Higher Advanced Degree Cap is for anyone with a master’s or higher degree. Someone with an equivalent degree obtained outside the US is ineligible for this cap; the degree must be obtained in the US. The USCIS typically accepts more than the cap because there will be rejections, denials, and withdrawals of petitions in the regular processing period.
There is no way of knowing how the USCIS calculates the number of withdrawn, rejected, and denied petitions since the USCIS doesn’t publish them. The number of petitions the USCIS shows for the current fiscal year only covers those that reached the system before the deadline for submission. The number also covers petitions that are pending, processing, or approved.
For registrations submitted to be approved when more petitions and more registrations come in, they have to be in compliance with the rules for foreign workers relating to visa stamping by the US government.
How Does the H-1B Lottery Operate?
The USCIS doesn’t like referring to the H1B as a lottery because it sounds like one is trying to win a casino game. The organization prefers to call it “random selection,” although almost everyone refers to it as a lottery.
The USCIS system puts all petitions under random selection for every filing season if the cap is reached within five days. However, for those who reached USCIS prior to them because of a second lottery, a grace period can be provided for such individuals on a second lottery.
Random selection is typically conducted for the Advanced Degree Cap and those who survive being thrown under the Regular Cap.
Different procedures are set for when the cap reaches beyond the five days of the new filing season. The USCIS then has to determine if they have received enough petitions when this happens, after which they close the date for receiving petitions.
The USCIS doesn’t conduct any more random selection if they have received just enough petitions for the season. However, the cap is subject to random selection if the number goes over, which is often the case.
How Random is the H-1B Lottery?
The H1B is completely random at the moment; the USCIS randomly selects from those that accurately completes the H1B registration. The system randomly chooses eighty-five thousand registrations for premium processing due to demand. Demand for the H1B lottery is high because it seems easier owing to its relatively low eligibility requirement, unlike other non-immigrant visas.
How Can You Check H-1B Lottery Results?
You can find out if you were selected in the H1B in different ways, including:
- Seeing if the USCIS has deposited your H1B application fee check, which will mean you have been selected. Unselected H1B petitions usually have their fees refunded.
- Check if your employer received a 13-digit receipt notice, which is mailed to them once your petition is received.
- Checking to see if you received a stamped 1-797 form from Immigration and Naturalization Services, indicating you’ve been accepted.
- International students who applied under the advanced certification pool can check their status through the SEVIS website.
How Does H-1B Cap Exempt Petition Work?
When you are submitting an H1B petition for the first time, your petitions need to go through the annual H-1B Cap and lottery as eligible or applicable. If they are counted towards the cap or selected in the lottery, they are exempted from going through the H1B cap or lottery again. These exempted petitions are called Cap Exempt H-1B petitions. The common cap exempt scenarios that can happen includes:
- H1B extension to lengthen how much time a current H1B beneficiary can say in the US,
- H1B amendment to alter the employment terms for currently-employed H1B workers,
- H1B Cap exempt sponsors like non-profit research organizations, government research organizations, and non-profit universities,
- H1B transfer to let H-1B workers change their employers,
- Concurrent H-1B to allow H1B beneficiaries to work concurrently in another H1B position.
How Does USCIS Determine When It Has Reached H1B Cap?
The USCIS has past data on denials, withdrawals, and rejections of H1B visa applications every fiscal year. The system uses that history, selecting the extra petitions percentage so that the H1B Cap is reached and no slot is wasted. The USCIS has selected from twelve percent to fifteen percent more H1B applicants than the 85,000 to account for the Cap.
Can You File Multiple or Duplicate H-1B Petitions
One beneficiary cannot file duplicate or multiple H-1B petitions, nor can an employer file for one beneficiary. The USCIS will revoke or deny duplicative or multiple petitions filed by an employer to ensure the orderly and fair distribution of available H1B visas. It will not refund the fees spent filing duplicate petitions for one beneficiary either. The petitions will be rejected even if filed according to a specific registration.
When Should You File an H1B Cap Petition?
You cannot file an H-1B petition, including those eligible for advanced degree exemption unless there is a valid and selected registration for the beneficiary. You can file an H1B petition at most six months before the employment start date petitioned for you. You can find the specific filing period and location for your petition on your H1B Registration Selection Notice.
You can also find the location and period on the USCIS portal if the registration requirement is suspended.
Filing H-1B Petition – How to Ensure You Do It Properly
- Ensure you complete all required sections of Form 1-29, Filing Fees Exemption Supplement, and Petition for a non-immigrant worker.
- Indicate a start date of 1st October or later on your H1B petition, or it will be denied or outrightly rejected.
- Supply a copy of the H1B Registration Selection Notice for the registration that your organization filed on your behalf, along with the petition.
- Any information you provide during the e-registration process should match the information supplied on the petition.
- Each form should have an original signature in black ink, preferably, and comply with the USCIS Policy Manual requirements.
- Add all signed money orders or checks with the right amount; apply separately and place atop your petition packet.
- Submit every evidence and required documentation with the petition in the filing period to ensure it is processed on time.
- The LCA (Labor Condition Application) should correspond properly to the position in the petition.
- The USCIS service center you file the petition with must be the correct one.
Who Qualifies for H1B Regular Cap?
H-1B Regular Cap is only the annual limit set for H-1B applications filed under regular quota. They are those that meet the general requirements of being awarded an H-1B visa. The difference between Regular and Master’s Cap is that you don’t need a US degree to be in the regular cap. Sometimes a candidate with a lot of experience and no bachelor’s degree can qualify for the regular one.
General requirements of an H-1B visa like a bachelor’s degree usually apply under the regular cap; each education year may equate with three years of experience.
How Can Richard Herman Legal Group Help?
Understanding H1B Master’s Cap can be a herculean task, we know that, and that is why we are here. You don’t have to burden yourself trying to understand the whole process when you can let us help you. With over 26 years experience in immigration matters, we are the best hand to get the job done for you.
All you need to do is contact us via +1-800-808-4013 or +1-216-696-6170 and schedule a meeting via Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, WhatsApp, or any other video conferencing platform that is convenient for you. Alternatively, you can book online to schedule a consultation with Richard Herman.
The best way to increase your odds in the H1B master’s cap is by ensuring you turn your accurately-filled documents in on time. Filing within the official cap publication date ensures you don’t miss out on your chances of winning the lottery (or random selection). We believe you now understand the annual H1B cap requirements and calculations, the H1B master’s cap, and how you can benefit from it. You can employ legal services or immigration services with enough experience to better your chances of your application getting approved.
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