For each fiscal year, there are only 85,000 new (or “cap-subject”) H-1Bs available: 65,000 for foreign nationals with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent education) from a US or foreign college or university, and an additional 20,000 for foreign nationals with a graduate degree from a US college or university.
In March 2021, USCIS randomly selected lottery winners from the 308,613 H-1B lottery registrations received for fiscal year 2022. USCIS accepted H-1B petitions for these registration selections from April 1 to June 30, 2021.
Second lottery run on July 28
If USCIS does not receive enough H-1B petitions as a result of the March selections to meet the 85,000 annual allocation, then a second lottery using the unselected registrations from March occurs.
On July 28, 2021, USCIS conducted the second lottery selection. Employers with selected registrations were notified by email on July 29. USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for the second round of lottery registrations from August 2 to November 3, 2021.
Will there be a third lottery?
If USCIS does not receive enough H-1B petitions based on the registrations selected to date to meet the fiscal year 2022 H-1B numerical allocation, then an additional lottery will occur to meet the 85,000 allocation sometime after November 3, 2021.
Options available for employees not selected in the H-1B lottery
Click here for an overview of the alternative options available for those employees whose H-1B lottery registrations did not get selected in the H-1B lottery.