USCIS FY 2021 H-1B Cap Update
The electronic registration period for the fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) H-1B cap season successfully concluded on March 20, 2020.
USCIS is expected to conduct its random selection process (lottery) of submitted registrations by March 31, 2020. Selected registrants (employers) will have a 90-day window during which to file H-1B cap petitions for their selected beneficiaries. The petition filing period is expected to start not later than April 1, 2020. Employers may file H-1B cap petitions for selected beneficiaries only; no substitutions are permitted.
What Should Employers Expect?
USCIS intends to notify employers and their legal representatives of lottery results no later than March 31, 2020. USCIS will generate an email alerting employers and their legal representatives that the status of a registration has changed. Recipients may then log into their USCIS accounts to view the status of individual beneficiaries included in the registration. If a beneficiary has been selected, the system will generate a selection notice specifying the filing period for the H-1B cap petition for that individual. This notice must be printed and submitted with the H-1B petition during the designated filing period. The filing period will be at least 90 days.
Premium Processing Suspended
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on USCIS Service Center operations, USCIS has suspended premium processing for ALL I-129 petitions, including H-1B cap petitions, until further notice. As a result, for the foreseeable future, all H-1B cap petitions must be filed during the designated filing window using regular processing.
USCIS initially planned to implement a two-tiered approach for premium processing of FY 2021 H-1B cap petitions, first allowing premium processing for petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status (starting not later than May 27, 2020), followed by premium processing availability for all other H-1B cap petitions (starting not later than June 29, 2020). This schedule was subsequently suspended due to COVID-19. Once premium processing service resumes, USCIS may implement a similar schedule and two-tiered approach. For more H-1B cap information, you may visit USCIS’s H-1B FY 2021 Cap Season page.
Gibney will continue to monitor the FY 2021 H-1B cap process and provide updates, and will work with employers to file H-1B petitions for selected beneficiaries during the designated filing window. For additional information, please contact your Gibney legal team or email firstname.lastname@example.org.