h1b lca wage level 1 2 3 4 selection probability

Visual Guide to New Salary Based H1B Lottery Selection

Department of Homeland Security and USCIS have finalized the Rule to use DOL’s Wage Level to select H-1B Visa applications instead of random lottery.

  • This Rule will be Effective from March 2020, just in time for H1B Visa FY 2022 (Registration from March 2021). But, it’s not clear yet if USCIS will implement it this year.
  • Biden Administration could place this H1B Visa Salary based visa allocation on hold along with other Rules implemented in last few days/weeks of Trump Administration.
  • Immigration Attorney could also challenge this Rule via Lawsuits.

Quick Summary:

  • USCIS will allocate H1B Visa to Highest Wage Level (4) and then move down the Wage Levels as per DOL Wage Survey.
  • For applications with multiple locations, lowest wage level will be used.
  • For Private Wage Survey, USCIS will consider at Level 1.
  • Random computerized selection will be used for the Wage Level when the applications exceed the Cap numbers
  • General Cap Selection for 65,000 cap will be completed first. Then Advanced Degree Cap selection for 20,000 cap will be conducted.

Statistics: H1B Visa 2021

Total Application Received
H-1B Regular Cap145,950
H-1B Advanced Cap123,244‚ÄČ
H1B Visa Cap Count FY 2021
  • Total Invalid Petitions: 5,043
  • Round 1 Lottery Selection: 106, 100
  • Round 2 Lottery Selection: 18, 315

Now, we have to figure out what are the chances of getting selected in the lottery for Wage Level 1, 2, 3 and 4.

DHS is using past two years of data (FY 2019 and FY 2020) to estimate the selection chances for Wage Levels.

DHS is applying the selected percentage form FY 2019 and 2020 to FY 2021 to predict how many applications could be selected based on the salary for FY 2022.

Based on the above table:

  • Level 4 – Selected
  • Level 3 – Selected
  • Level 2 – Select Remaining by Lottery
  • Level 1 – Will not get a shot at selection

Here’s how that translates to real numbers

Majority of the H1B petitions are in the Wage Level 2.

H1B Lottery Selection Chances:

  • Regular Cap Level 2: 75%
  • Advanced Cap Level 2: 20%

Unfortunately Level 1 for Regular Cap and Masters Cap have ZERO chances of getting picked.

If USCIS plans to implement this rule for H1B Visa 2022 seasons, expect to receive additional details before March Registration system opens.


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