Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 1, 2020 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on April 1, 2020, announced that employers with registrations that were selected in the lottery are now eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021, including those petitions that qualify for the advanced degree exemption.
Employers will have a 90-day period in which to submit their completed H-1B cap-subject petitions for lottery winning beneficiaries. USCIS has suspended for premium processing of FY2021 H-1B petitions. The agency issued an alert informing petitioners of “a delay in data entry and receipt notice generation” that is anticipated to last until May 1, 2020, or possibly longer because of the COVID-19 crisis.
USCIS stated on March 27, 2020, that it was issuing the initial results of the FY2021 H-1B lottery after the selection process was completed through the new electronic registration system. Employers whose registrations were selected in the lottery were to be informed by March 31, 2020 at the latest.
“While there were some expected bumps in the rollout of the H-1B Registration tool for FY2021, it did save an employer the additional legal expenses and fees of preparing and submitting a full-blown H-1B petition only to discover all of that effort was for a petition not chosen in the H-1B lottery,” commented Stewart Rabinowitz of the Dallas and Frisco law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “But with the COVID-19 pandemic grinding the economy toward a recession, the question remains how many of those H-1B employers who win the lottery may actually need each registered H-1B beneficiary. That leaves many employers in the dark as to when before September 30, 2020, employers with H-1B registrations that read ‘Submitted’ may learn that their registration was actually ‘Selected,’ thus introducing a second period of uncertainty in the process.”
The notification process involved USCIS updating employers’ online accounts to display one of the following four statuses for each registered candidate:
Submitted: USCIS received the registration, but it has not been selected in the initial lottery selection process. The registration will remain in consideration for selection until the fiscal year ends. After this, all registration statuses will change to “Selected,” “Not Selected” or “Denied.” If USCIS needs more registrations to meet the H-1B regular cap or advanced degree exemption allocation, it will choose from registrations held in reserve.
Selected: USCIS has selected the registration. Employers can proceed with preparing and filing a FY2021 H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of their registered candidate.
Not Selected: The registration was not selected for FY 2021.
Denied: The employer submitted multiple registrations for the same candidate, or the payment method for the $10 filing fee was declined and not reconciled. USCIS has stated that any duplicate registrations will result in all registrations for that candidate becoming invalid for FY2021.
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