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On March 27, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed the initial H-1B selection process for fiscal year (FY) 2021. This was the first time USCIS used an electronic registration system to conduct the selection lottery. USCIS plans to notify petitioners with selected registrations by March 31, 2020. If selected, petitioners may file an H-1B cap-subject petition only for the specific beneficiary named on the registration selection notice.

USCIS has begun updating registrant accounts to show the status of each registered beneficiary. Over the coming days, accounts will be updated to indicate one of the following statuses:

  • Submitted registrations remain in consideration for selection in the H-1B cap lottery until the fiscal year has ended.
  • As noted above, notification of selection is not expected until March 31, 2020. If, after that date, the beneficiary’s status shows as selected, the registrant employer may file an H-1B petition for that beneficiary.
  • A denied status signifies that either a duplicate registration was submitted or there was an issue with payment. All registrations for a denied beneficiary are deemed invalid.

The filing window for FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions opens on April 1, 2020 and runs through June 30, 2020.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to the policy changes and will post updates on our immigration blog as additional information becomes available.


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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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