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The H 1B Lottery Update

The H-1B Lottery Update: New Changes and Opportunities

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed that on April 1, 2024, the H-1B cap lottery for the fiscal year 2025 was completed. The announcement was made following the initial registration period, which showed a strong turnout this year.


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With a focus on tackling fraud and promoting fairness, the USCIS has made significant changes to the fiscal year 2025 lottery process. One of the main updates was to change the selection process to emphasise unique beneficiaries instead of the number of registrations. This change provides an equal opportunity for each candidate to be selected, regardless of the number of submissions. In short, this move is a step towards bolstering the H-1B program’s integrity.

If you’re one of the lucky applicants who got selected, you can file your petition from April 1 to June 30, 2024. However, remember that your potential start date must not be before October 1, 2024.

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Updates To H-1B Cap Petitions

The good news is that USCIS has now introduced online filing of H-1B cap petitions. So those selected can now either opt for the traditional paper or online filing method.


Unfortunately, if you’re not selected, it’s pivotal that you look for alternate pathways to be able to continue working in the US. Some alternate pathways to consider could be the following:

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) for students
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Cap-exempt H-1B employment, etc


By choosing either of these options, you’ll be eligible to remain in the US while contributing your expertise to relevant fields.


A “cap gap” extension may be available to qualifying candidates whose STEM OPT or OPT programmes expire before October 1, 2024. This clause applies to F-1 students who timely request a change of status and are the recipients of an H-1B cap petition. The cap gap period lasts until September 30 unless it is terminated, starting when the F-1 student‘s employment authorization expires.

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Whether you’re an applicant or an employer, it’s important that you clearly understand the changes and developments of the H-1B. Having a clear understanding would ensure that you are informed and remain compliant with any necessary steps or actions required to stay ahead of US immigration changes.

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