This year USCIS instituted a new electronic registration selection process for the H-1B cap. The same number of visas were allotted as past years (65,000 spots, plus an additional 20,000 for those with a U.S. master’s degree or higher), however the difference is that USCIS created a new mandatory pre-registration process that electronically automated the H-1B lottery.
This new electronic automation process allows companies to register any potential employees they would like to sponsor for an H-1B process without actually submitting the supporting evidence for their case. Accordingly, petitioning companies were required to electronically register any beneficiaries (potential employees) through the new online system from March 1 – March 20, 2020. Along with this new online system came a new $10 fee that was required in order for employers to register each beneficiary to participate in this year’s H-1B lottery.
On March 27, 2020, USCIS announced that lottery selections had been completed and that all petitioners would be notified of the selections through the online USCIS portal by March 31, 2020. Petitioning companies’ accounts should now show one of the three following statuses: 1.) Selected; 2.) Submitted; or 3.) Denied.
For those of you whose online status still states “submitted”, this means that your registration was not selected during the initial lottery process but will still remain in consideration until October 1. In the event that other beneficiaries’ cases are denied or rejected throughout the process, more petitions will be “selected” to ensure that the FY 2021 H-1B cap numbers are fulfilled. It is expected that some cases will be denied due to duplicate registrations mistakenly having been made for the same beneficiary or because payment had been declined, among other reasons. The good news is that until your registration status explicitly states “Not selected”, you may still have a chance to be selected for this years’ H-1B lottery.
For those of you who were selected, congratulations! Entering and being selected in the process is just the first step of the H-1B process. The next step necessary to advance with the H-1B process is to submit your case to USCIS. Upon notification that a potential employee is selected in the lottery, employers are granted a 90-day period to submit all the required forms and evidence by mail to USCIS.
There are many supporting documents that are required in order to file a successful petition. Because of the complexity of an H-1B petition, we recommend working with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you are filing the strongest case possible. At Abeckjerr Immigration Law PA we are skilled in preparing H-1B petitions for a wide variety of occupations. Our attorneys are available to discuss and provide further guidance for your H-1B petition. Please contact our office today at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an initial consultation.