H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Prediction, Analysis, News, Results

There are few factors that may impact the H1B lottery situation for FY 2017. The below factors will influence the number of petitions filed for FY 2017. Let’s look at each of the factors in a little more detail for our conclusion on the rough number of applicants that can be expected for FY 2017.

Historical Trend
We would have lottery for FY 2017 simply by looking at the historical data. The H1B limitation reach very soon and it shows that we had lottery for FY 2014, 2015 and 2016. Last year, we had a total 233,000 applications filed for a FY 2016 for total of 85,000 capacity. Ignoring Fiscal year 2014 and 2015, even if 50% of those who weren’t selected FY 2016 lottery then also there would ba a lottery situation. So, it is almost clear that again this year there would be a lottery.

Lottery Prediction of H1B Visa for FY 2017
New H1B Fee increase: As per Omnibus Bill, the H1B Fee was increased by $4000 for the employers having 50 or more employees among which 50% of them are non-immigrant. The biggest impact will be for all the software outsourcing companies like Cognizant, TCS, Wipro, Infosys, etc. who do the off-shore work. So there can be some drop in the filling by these from these companies. Although this fee increase will NOT impact small employers and also the large American companies.

GDP Growth & Unemployment Condition in US Economy :
US economy is doing OK even after the hiccups in all the major economies around the world. The unemployment has been pushed to its lowest rate at 4.9%. But when we see its annual GDP growth rate then it is not as good as the last year, but still it is positive and it is expected to be above 2.1%. The unemployment rate is comparatively lower, so it convinceble that the demand for jobs is high and more companies can be expected to apply for the visa.

International Students who are graduating and OPT holders :
The no. of international students who study in US on F1 visa is always increasing. The international students’ no. grow by around 10% in 2014-15 year. The students who are going to apply for H1B for FY 2017 will be those who are planning to graduate in 2016 or earlier. These numbers will add up this year H1B filings potential. The international Students and OPT Students impact on H1B Visa 2017

New rule for 24 Month OPT Extension:
The time & resources that would be spent on OPT students is overhead and employers might sponsor H1B ahead of time. This can also add up a lot to the number of H1B applicants for FY 2017.

Missed H1B Lottery petitions in last years:
For the FY 2016, there were around 233,000 Applications, for FY 2015 there were 172,500 applications and for FY 2014, there were about 124,000 applications filed. Simple addition of the last 3 years applicants, who were not picked in lottery were about 274, 500 (233000+172500+12400 – 3*85000 ). If even 30 % of them apply, we will hit the quota.

H4 Visa EAD Rule from 2015 :
The H4 Visa EAD rule was passed last year & is effective from 26-May-2015. According to the new rule now about 179,600 old H4 visa holders in year 2015 and an estimated 55,000 new for this year 2016. It means that a good no. of H4 visa holders may NOT apply for H1B visa who have already been benefited from this rule . This rule will definitely reduce the no. of H1B applications for FY 2017.

Summary of Lottery Predictions?
After seeing all the factors influencing the H1B 2017 processing, it can be said that there gonna be a lottery system again and as per our analysis, even after the factors like EAD for H4 rules, H1B fee increase etc we think that there will be high demand for H1B visa this year also due to the impressive increase in the number of international students in United States, demand for highly skilled labor and also the OPT Extension rule, so students would have been on alert to get their discussions going with their employer and might have planned for the H1Bs also. In terms of numbers, we anticipate that there could be around 230,000 to 250,000 H1B applications filed for FY 2017 that would also be part of the lottery.

What about the date of H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Results?
It is just a waiting game as there isn’t any specific date for the results, unless you file the your application under premium processing. USCIS process applications and keep sending the receipt numbers and rejection notices in their own sequence without any information about how they prioritize. You can get results like receipt no. & rejection notices, but it is just a waiting game for everyone in the regular processing.