U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has conducted the H-1B lottery after having received enough registrations for its H-1B quotas during the electronic pre-registration period.

Key Points:

  • Registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration.
    • Selected. The registration was selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
    • Submitted. The registration was not selected in the initial lottery but remains eligible for possible later selection.
    • Denied. Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary and the registration is invalid for this fiscal year.
  • Petitioners may begin to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for selected candidates April 1. The filing period is expected to last 90 days.
  • In each of the last two years, USCIS conducted more than one lottery, but there is no guarantee this will happen again this year. Several factors will determine whether there are subsequent lotteries, including the number of H-1B petitions filed from the selected registrations.
  • USCIS has not yet said how many registrations it received, only that it received enough to reach the H-1B cap, including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap).

BAL Analysis: Employers should begin preparing to file full petitions for selected candidates. While the filing period will remain open for 90 days, employers should prioritize time-sensitive candidates such as F-1 students on cap-gap and others whose status may expire soon. BAL will continue to follow developments related to the H-1B cap season and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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