Lottery Predictions for H1B 2018 Season – How many Petitions ?

In the last few years, random selection also called as Lottery is very common in the H1B visa world. It does not come as a surprise because there are so many students graduating from US schools and we have most of the outsourcing companies sending many to the US for their projects, including the big technology companies eyeing for talent in STEM Category. There are various approaches to predicting the lottery numbers for knowing the number of petitions filed for H1B 2018 season. Below is my analysis.

H1B LCA number – good benchmark to know how many petitions will be filed  There is no better benchmark than the number of LCAs filed for H1B with Department of Labor this year to know how many petitions would be filed for H1B. The LCA count does not only include the new cap subject petitions, but also include other petitions like the H1B transfers, etc. But, we can get an idea if we look at history. Below are some numbers that are picked from DOL website. 

Year Total LCA Count
 2013 412,974
 2014 423,931
2015 528,463
2016 555,230
2017 ( only until March 30,2017) 398,082

It may not look fair to look at the entire year, but that give us the overall petitions filed. Now, if you look for 2017, you have still have almost 6 months to go and the count is already close to 400,000. If you look above data, we had lottery all the above years listed. If we look at the history of Lottery Numbers, it is like below.

Fiscal Year H1B petitions Numbers 
2014 124,000
2015 172,500
2016 233,000
2017 236,000

For the sake of assumption, as we still have 6 months left, I have put it as 500,000 and did a plot. Below is how it looks.

What is H1B Visa 2018 Lottery Prediction ?

From the above graphs, we can predict that H1B visa 2018 Lottery Prediction would be around 220,000 to 250,000 petitions. It is pure math prediction based on real data.

What do you all think ?