USCIS has announced that it has completed its randomized lottery and selected all 85,000 H-1B registrations for fiscal year 2021. Approximately 275,000 online registrations were received. Registrations will now have one of three statuses: (1) submitted, (2) selected, or (3) denied. Check your online USCIS account to see the status.
If your registration was not selected, all hope is not lost. Registrations that still show as “Submitted” will be held in the pool until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2020). If not enough viable H-1B petitions are filed, additional registrations will be selected. After September 30, 2020, any registrations that are still waiting in the pool will have their status changed to “Not Selected.”
Only duplicate registrations (where a petitioner submitted more than one registration for a single beneficiary), or registrations that did not receive payment, are supposed to have a status of “Denied.” HOWEVER, it has recently come to the attention of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association that some H-1B registrations were in fact erroneously denied. If you registration now has a status of “Denied” and you believe that it was denied in error, please stay tuned for more information. At this time, USCIS has not announced any remedy for erroneously denied registrations nor made comment on the problem.
For those registrations that have a status of “Selected,” now is the time to start putting together a full and well documented H-1B petition. Employers have 90 days from the date an H-1B registration was selected to submit the petition. Before an H-1B petition may be submitted, the employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor. It is important to start this process as soon as possible, as the Department of Labor’s LCA process can become overwhelmed with applications. It is also important that the employer select the appropriate wage level, occupation code, etc. on the LCA. For the H-1B petition submitted to USCIS, employers must understand how to document all requirements, including how to demonstrate that a position meets the legal definition of “specialty occupation.” Our experienced immigration lawyers are available to answer questions and prepare selected H-1B cases.