Upcoming H-1B Cap Lottery Information

As another H-1B season is about to begin, we are now preparing for the filing of H-1B Cap cases for the fiscal year 2021. This year there are some proposed changes to the process that might impact the logistics of how we file. We’ve provided a brief description of that proposed change below. Rest assured that we are monitoring the updates from the government and will be ready to assist you in preparing and filing the best possible H-1B petitions, regardless of the final process.

Possible Changes to the Process

Historically, the key date to remember has been April 1, or the first five days of April, by which all H-1B Cap subject petitions must be filed. However, a major change in the filing process for this coming fiscal year has been proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to minimize the burden on the employer and to streamline the internal process of the H-1B lottery system. The new rule introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B Cap-subject petitions. DHS has instituted a fee of $10 per registration. This registration process will provide employers the opportunity to submit a larger number of registrations since the cost will be minimal compared to the cost of a full submission. Based on what we currently know, this new process may involve a simpler initial registration submission for DHS to run the lottery process, followed by a complete submission during a later period specified by DHS only for those cases that are accepted.

As of today, DHS has indicated the registration period will be between March 1st, 2020 and March 20th, 2020. This means the employer must submit registrations for new employees within this period in order for these employees to be counted in the upcoming H-1B Cap. DHS also indicated it will start the lottery process on March 21st, 2020 and will finish it on March 31st, 2020. Employers should know by March 31st which employee made it into the lottery. According to the latest guidance from DHS, once the registration and lottery process is closed, employers will have 90 days starting April 1st, 2020 and ending June 30th, 2020, within which to file the full H-1B petition documents for the employees who were accepted into the lottery. All of the above is based on the current information from DHS, which they’ve told us is subject to change. We will continue to follow DHS’s updates on the matter very closely and will communicate the final guidance to you as soon as it is released.

H-1B Candidate Information Form

The following form is provided for your convenience so you can record the below-requested information for potential H-1B Cap candidates. We will then evaluate and follow up with any additional questions or strategy concerns.

Eligible candidates include first-time applicants as well as applicants who were not previously selected in last year’s H-1B Cap lottery for whom who may wish to refile a petition this year. 

**Please fill out a separate form for each applicant you’re filing an H-1B petition for.**

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