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Hello Everyone,


I read one of the questions in the Facebook groups and I thought of creating a post of that question. This question comes in the mind of every student. Here’s the question from a student “Can someone explain about h1b visa lottery system and lucky draw? Why international student need it?  Why should I apply for h1b and what so opt? Explain it briefly please

This question comes in mind of every student who has just started to prepare towards his/her goal of coming to he Unites States to pursue Masters. You might have seen many websites explaining about this topic and when I was going through these websites, I didn’t understand anything. So I thought of breaking this topic as simple as possible.

What is an H1B Visa?

H1B Visa allows an international student to work in any company in the United States. But you may ask why do I need it when I have F-1 Visa. Your F-1 Visa allows you to work in the United States for a period of 12 months (OPT Period) after Graduation and 17 months (STEM Extension) So in all you can work for a period of 29 months after you graduate from the University in USA. What after that? You require an H1B Visa to stay in the United States.

H1B Visa cannot be applied by a student. Your employer applies for you. It takes 4500$ for the application process which your employer would spend for you.

What is the H1B Lottery System?

According to the rules levied by the US Government, every year the government can issue a maximum of 85,000 H1B Visas. So if the government has more than 85,000 applications for H1B Visa then it goes for a Lottery System. The Lottery System is very simple, 85,000 applications will be randomly picked from the list and those people will get H1B Visa and rest will be rejected. Simple isn’t it. Since last 2 to 3 years the number of H1B Application are around 2,00,000 so the US Government is using the lottery process to shortlist the applicants.

What’s OPT Period?

OPT simply means Optional Practical Training. You are allowed to work in the United States after you Graduate for a period of 12 months which is called the OPT Period.

What’s STEM Extension?

If your Degree comes under STEM, then you can work an additional 17 months after your 12 month OPT Period. Here’s the link to check out if your degree comes under STEM Extension:

STEM Degrees List


After Graduation: OPT Period: 12 months; STEM Extension: 17 months. After this you need to have H1B to continue your stay in the USA.


I hope you were able to understand this post. If you have any queries, please let me know via comment box.

What’s H1B Visa Lottery System: Explained In Simple Words

One thought on “What’s H1B Visa Lottery System: Explained In Simple Words

  • September 13, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for very useful information.
    Can you please explain what exactly the period is for lottery system?Is it once in a year or twice in a year?


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