There are a limited number of H-1B petitions that USCIS can adjudicate every year (65,000 Regular Cap petitions and additional 20,000 U.S. Advanced Degree Petitions). Every year, more petitions than these congressionally mandated amounts are submitted (for example, last year, over 200,000 petitions were submitted) and therefore, the government has to run an H-1B lottery. The government uses a computer-generated random selection process to select the H-1B petitions.
Please note that there are certain employers that are not counted towards the numerical limitations mentioned above. You will not be subject to the numerical limitation if you are employed:
- At an institution of higher education, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity
- At a nonprofit organization or a governmental research organization
What happens if I was employed by a cap-exempt employer but now I want to be employed by a non cap-exempt employer?
If your cap-exempt employment ceases and you found a new employer who is not cap-exempt, then the new non cap-exempt employer will have to file an H-1B registration . If you are selected in H-1B lottery, the new employer will be able to file an H-1B petition with USCIS and you will be able to start the new employment. Please click here if you want to find out more about the H-1B application process.
I am working for a cap-exempt employer but I also want to concurrently start working for a cap-subject employer. Does the cap-subject employer have to file an H-1B registration in the H-1B lottery?
No. If you will be working concurrently for a cap-exempt employer and cap-subject employer, the new cap-subject employer does not have to file an H-1B registration. However, the new employer will have to demonstrate that you are employed in a valid H-1B status, your employment with the cap-exempt employer will continue, and you can reasonably and concurrently perform the work described in each employer’s respective positions.
Please see a definition of institution of higher education when you click here.
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