In a country where casinos are banned, a lot is left to fate it seems. Our government aside, even other governments seem to enjoy this tryst of fate.
Industry experts feel that this year the much sought H1B Visa will be allotted by lottery. From April 1st, US started accepting the applications for Visa for the coming year. There are in all 65000 H1B Visa to be allotted aside from the 20000 Visa that are kept aside for people who have Post-Grad from US University. The number of applications are always more than the 65k number that is available!
The lot will be a computerized one and is said to be used only in the case the number of Visa applications are more than the allotted number (65000). It should be of note though that between the year 2001-2003, the Congress did increase the cap to 195000 but this was never reached. Also, this cap of 65k is since two decades now.
The interesting thing though is that Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS) are predicting that it will take 5 days to fill the necessary number. This means that till April 5th the cap will be filled and lottery will be in place. After that, all the applications are rejected. Also, all the applications that do not get selected in the lottery will lose as well.
Last time this lottery was used was in 2008 when the cap was filled in one day itself. Here is how the table showing how soon the cap was reached every year (April 1st is the starting date for accepting petitions every year)
|Year:||H1B Cap Numbers||Date H1B Cap Reached|
|H1B 2003 (FY 2004 cap)||65,000||October 1, 2003|
|H1B 2004 (FY 2005 cap)||65,000||October 1, 2004|
|H1B 2005 (FY 2006 cap)||85,000||August 10, 2005|
|H1B 2006 (FY 2007 cap)||85,000||May 26, 2006|
|H1B 2007 (FY 2008 cap)||85,000||April 3, 2007|
|H1B 2008 (FY 2009 cap)||85,000||April 7, 2008|
|H1B 2009 (FY 2010 cap)||85,000||December 21, 2009|
|H1B 2010 (FY 2011 cap)||85,000||January 26, 2011|
|H1B 2011 (FY 2012 cap)||85,000||November 22, 2011|
|H1B 2012 (FY 2013 cap)||85,000||June 11, 2012|
|H1B 2013 (FY 2014 cap)||85,000||Filing opens April 1st 2013
Recruitment has started
This brings interesting deductions. One is that the demand for the Visa is definitely reduced and that too by a huge margin. Compare one day to 5. Also, if the cap is increased to around 100,000 we can expect almost everyone who wishes to gets the Visa.
This begs the question why was the limit not reduced to some middle number. Of course, due to recession, US is now interested in getting its own people jobs over Visa owning people from outside. This might be a reason.
The biggest question though is that is lottery a good way to decide who gets the Visa and who doesn’t? What is your take on it?