U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finalized a significant rule change to the H-1B application process effective in 2020 (fiscal year 2021). Employers who wish to file H-1B petitions subject to the annual application cap must now register electronically between March 1 and March 20 and pay a $10 fee to be eligible for the H-1B lottery selection. The electronic registration process requires only basic information about the company and requested workers. The lottery process will only select from these registrations, and only those whose registrations are chosen will be eligible to file H-1B petitions subjected to the annual cap.
In previous years, to be considered for the H-1B lottery, petitioners would need to submit fully completed applications. If those applications were not chosen in the annual lottery, the time, effort, paperwork. and money was essentially wasted. Now, petitioners will know ahead of time, before filing their full paperwork, that they are eligible to receive a visa. The overall H-1B caps remain the same. 85,000 H-1B visas can be issued, with 20,000 of those visas being reserved for petitioners holding advanced degrees.
USCIS will post instructions on how to use the new registration system as time approaches the open period. Looking at the number of applications received over previous years, it is expected that more than 85,000 electronic registrations will be received between March 1 and March 20. It is not know when exactly the lottery selection will take place.
See the full announcement here.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps businesses and prospective employees complete their H-1B applications successfully, from the new registration process to submitting your complete visa application. Call us today at 888-517-9888 for a free immigration consultation.