USCIS has ran a second lottery to select more H-1B cap cases. USCIS began to notify employers the results of the second lottery run on August 14, 2020. The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa suitable for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and a job offer from a sponsoring employer in a specialty occupation that is related to their field of study. Currently, the H-1B visa cap stands at 85,000 visas for college graduates, 20,000 of which are allocated solely to applicants with U.S. master’s degrees. The number of applications each year significantly exceeds the number of available visas. In 2019, a total of 190,098 H-1B applications were submitted to USCIS. As a result, USCIS runs a lottery every year to select 85,000 total applications to adjudicate. To learn more about the H-1B visa and your eligibility, please click here.
Previously, H-1B applications were physically mailed to USCIS during the first week of April to be registered for the lottery. USCIS would then run the lottery and return the unselected application packages. Starting this year, USCIS is introducing an electronic registration process. Instead of physically mailing applications in early April, employers will create an online account and electronically register each individual foreign national they would like to sponsor for the lottery. Once registered, USCIS will run the lottery and only selected applicants will submit their paper applications to USCIS for adjudication. If selected, the company will have 90 days to prepare the H-1B petition for filing. For more information about the proposed changes to the H-1B application process, please click here.
The second lottery is being conducted because the FY 2021 H-1B quota of 85,000 has not been reached. USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions to meet the quota during the initial filing period, which ran from April 1 to June 30, 2020.
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