On March 30, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided the following updates on the H-1B cap registration process:
- USCIS received more electronic H-1B cap registrations than available H-1B numbers under the quota of 85,000 new H-1B filings, necessitating a lottery;
- USCIS has completed a random selection process from the properly filed registration submissions; and
- USCIS has completed notification for all selected registrations.
Employers and attorneys will need to log in to the USCIS registration portal in order to learn the status of each registration. Registrations will have one of the below statuses:
- Selected: “Selected” means that the registration was selected in the lottery. For selected registrations, employers will have 90 days to submit a complete H-1B petition to USCIS for adjudication. The H-1B petition filing window begins on April 1, 2021 and ends on June 30, 2021.
- Submitted: Properly submitted registrations, which have not been selected in the lottery, will be held “in reserve” in the event that USCIS does not receive an H-1B petition for each selected registration. There is a possibility that USCIS will hold a subsequent lottery later in the year and select some of those registrations that are being held in reserve. These registrations will continue to show a status of “submitted,” likely until after the end of the petition filing window, when USCIS will determine if a petition was filed for each of the selected registrations.
- Denied / Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration will be denied if an employer submitted duplicate registrations for the beneficiary; or if payment was declined and not reconciled.
USCIS has not yet announced if Premium Processing will be available for cap-subject H-1B petitions. In the past few years, USCIS has suspended Premium Processing at the start of the H-1B cap filing period.
Mintz will soon notify clients individually of the results of the H-1B lottery.