There will be no third H-1B cap lottery for the year ending September 30, 2024

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will not conduct a third lottery for H-1B cap visas for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024 (FY 2024). This decision dashed the hopes of aspirants who anticipated another opportunity to be selected in the lottery. USCIS stated that they received a sufficient number of H-1B cap applications to meet the annual quota of 85,000, which includes the 20,000 Master’s cap quota reserved for applicants with advanced US educational qualifications.

H1B Visa Lottery

In April 2023, USCIS reported receiving 758,994 eligible E-registrations for the H-1B cap season for FY 2024, a substantial 60% increase from the previous year. However, this surge in registrations also raised concerns about potential abuse of the H-1B visa program. USCIS expressed apprehensions about certain sponsoring employers engaging in fraudulent practices, submitting multiple E-registrations for the same individual without bona fide job offers. This concern prompted a crackdown on such malpractices.

During the initial lottery, USCIS selected 110,791 registrations to fulfill the annual H-1B cap quota of 85,000, accounting for potential denials or revocations by sponsoring employers. Subsequently, on July 31, a second lottery was conducted from the original pool of E-registrations, selecting an additional 77,600 registrations. Experts suggested that fraud investigations might have led to numerous rejections, necessitating the need for a second lottery.

While some who failed to secure an H-1B visa in the first selection round were fortunate in the second, speculation arose about the possibility of a third lottery round in November-December. This speculation was based on a past instance during the pandemic when a third lottery was held in November 2021 for the annual H-1B cap visa allotments for the fiscal year ending September 2022. However, for FY 2024, the H-1B cap quota has been fulfilled through two lottery rounds, leading to the decision not to proceed with a third lottery.

Impact on Businesses and Foreign Workers

The news of no third lottery has been met with mixed reactions. While it provides clarity for those who secured the visa in the initial lotteries, it raises concerns for businesses awaiting skilled talent and aspirants eyeing opportunities in the U.S. job market. Companies relying on the H-1B program to fill crucial positions are left with limited options to fulfill their workforce needs.

Foreign workers, especially those who missed out in the previous lotteries, face uncertainties regarding their career prospects in the U.S. This decision compounds the challenges they encounter in navigating immigration processes and potentially disrupts their professional aspirations.

Policy Implications and Future Scenarios

The absence of a third lottery for the H-1B cap brings into focus the larger picture of U.S. immigration policies. It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reforms, emphasizing the vital role skilled immigrants play in the country’s economy and innovation landscape.

This development also fuels discussions on potential policy changes and alternative pathways to address the demand for skilled labor while ensuring opportunities for both American and foreign workers. Policymakers, businesses, and advocacy groups are increasingly advocating for reforms to modernize the immigration system and create a more streamlined process to address workforce needs.

Background of the H-1B Cap Lottery

The H-1B visa program, a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, has been a cornerstone of the American workforce for decades. Every year, the demand for these visas has far exceeded the allocated cap, leading to a lottery system. The process involved two lotteries conducted earlier in the fiscal year to distribute the available 85,000 visas: the regular cap lottery and the master’s cap lottery for holders of advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

The Announcement of No Third Lottery

However, as the fiscal year approaches its conclusion, authorities have announced a departure from the norm: there will be no third H-1B cap lottery for this year. This decision comes on the heels of unprecedented demand in the initial lotteries, where the slots were filled rapidly, leaving many applicants in uncertainty and creating challenges for businesses reliant on skilled immigrant labor.


The year ending marks a significant moment in the realm of US immigration, specifically in the context of the H-1B visa program. Often a subject of fervent discussion, the H-1B visa program has undergone a notable shift as the decision is made to forego a third H-1B cap lottery for this year. This turn of events brings multifaceted implications, stirring discussions across various sectors. To grasp the significance of this decision, it’s crucial to explore the background, analyze the impact, and consider the future implications.


In summary, the announcement of no third H-1B cap lottery for the year ending marks a pivotal moment in U.S. immigration policy. It reflects the pressing need for comprehensive reforms and stimulates conversations regarding the role of skilled immigrants in the country’s workforce.

While it brings clarity for some, it raises concerns and challenges for businesses and foreign workers alike. This decision serves as a call to action for policymakers, urging them to reexamine and reform immigration policies to support economic growth and innovation.

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