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USCIS Conducts Second H-1B Cap Lottery

On Friday, August 14, 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 1 to March 20, 2020. 

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 to 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 additional registrations in order to ensure that enough petitions are approved to fill the annual quota of 85,000.  USCIS has not announced how many registrations have been selected in this second lottery.  Based on the number of initial registration filings, approximately 185,000 registrations were not selected in the initial lottery.  It is likely that the percentage of remaining registrations selected in this lottery will be small.

For selected registrations, USCIS has provided a 90-day filing window.  Petitioners may file H-1B cap petitions for selected registrations between August 17 and November 16, 2020.

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 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.

If you have any questions regarding H-1B cap registration or the USCIS lottery process, please contact your Mintz Immigration attorney.

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John F. Quill

Member / Chair, Immigration Practice

John’s practice encompasses all aspects of immigration and nationality law. John draws on over two decades of experience to help companies and their employees obtain nonimmigrant visas, including B, E, H, J, L, O, and TN visas. He also handles applications for PERM labor certification; extraordinary ability, outstanding researcher, and national interest waiver petitions; adjustment of status procedures; consular processing; and naturalization.