On Thursday, July 29, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the results of a second H-1B cap lottery. The agency selected an additional number of H-1B registrations from the original submissions, which occurred during the registration period from March 9 to March 25, 2021.
As previously reported by Mintz, USCIS held open the possibility of subsequent H-1B selection periods for registrations submitted in March, if an insufficient number of H-1B petitions were filed with USCIS based on the initial lottery selections.
USCIS has determined that there were fewer filed H-1B petitions as compared to selected H-1B registrations. As a result, USCIS selected 27,717 additional registrations out of the roughly 220,000 unselected registrations from March in order to ensure that enough petitions are approved to fill the annual quota of 85,000.
For selected registrations, USCIS has provided a 90-day filing window. Petitioners may file H-1B cap petitions for selected registrations between August 2 and November 3, 2021.
Finally, USCIS has not yet rejected any H-1B registrations. Registrations that have not been selected are held “in reserve” in the event that USCIS does not receive an H-1B petition for each selected registration. While this did not happen last year, and highly unlikely at this point, there is still a possibility that USCIS will hold a subsequent lottery and select some of those registrations that are still held in reserve.