Winning the H1-B Lottery

Recently, we had an individual who came to our office flabbergasted that despite winning the H-1B visa lottery; and getting a chance to legally work as a professional in the United States, she was ultimately denied a work visa.. Her biggest  mistake, was to prepare and file her visa application pro se without any guidance from legal counsel leaving her unaware of the unique ‘counting’ process essential for a successful grant of H-1B work visa status.

Keep Reading and I’ll explain:

In order for an H-1B visa application to be receipted and processed by the Department of Homeland Security  or DHS, a foreign national applicant must compete against thousands of applicants from all over the world for a limited number of visas under the H-1B cap. However, many individuals end up ‘giving away’ their visa ‘win’  by not properly counting and completing the beginning and end date of their H-1B visa application properly. Let me explain how this works:

The First step in applying for an H-1B visa is getting certified by the Department of Labor. This application  is called a Labor Condition Application ( known as LCA). However, it can be submitted no earlier than 183 days (approximately 6 months) before the start date of the job. Once the LCA is certified by DOL, the next step is to file the  I-129 H-1B visa application. But the calculation of dates on this form is different from the LCA to ensure the maximum allowable time on the visa.

Since these two applications have different counting requirements, it is important to note when completing the LCA and I-129 that while your start dates may be different, your ending dates must be the same. Ask your immigration attorney to explain and calculate these two separate forms to reconcile the  counting process in order to be approved for H-1B work visa status.

Well that’s it for now, H-1B visas continue to be the most popular and sought after work visa, and to stand a chance in winning the visa lottery, learn how to count your dates by consulting with legal counsel.

Our lawyers here at ScottVassell Law Group have over 21 years experience practicing immigration law, and we are a full service immigration law firm. We are also members of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association. You may contact us at or visit to call the office nearest to you.