USCIS can issue only 85,000 new H1B visas each year, but hundreds of thousands of applicants would like to take those slots. To decide which applications will be considered, USCIS runs a random lottery every Spring. We’re offering a selection of three preparation packages to help you get ready.
Here’s what the process will look like this year:
- Registration: Employers enter H1B candidates in an online registration system From March 9 – 25. (Although the exact dates have not yet been announced, we expect applications will be accepted during the first three weeks of March.)
- General Lottery: USCIS will randomly select enough applicants to fill the 65,000 general H1B slots available.
- “Master’s Cap” Lottery: USCIS will then create a second lottery pool consisting of applicants who a) were not selected during the first round lottery, and b) have an advanced degree (Masters or higher) from a US university. They will randomly select enough applicants from this pool to fill the 20,000 H1B slots reserved for people with an advanced degree from US universities.
- Lottery Results: USCIS will announce the results of the lottery by March 31.
- Application: Selected applicants will then have 90 days to prepare and file a full H1B application. Applications may not be submitted prior to April 1.
- Decision: USCIS will approve or deny these applications based on their merits.
- Finally, start working! Approved applicants will be able to start working in H1B status on October 1, 2021. (Or as soon as the application is approved if it’s still pending on October 1.)
Want help making sure your registration is filed correctly? Check out our selection of H1B lottery preparation packages for the March 2021 registration window.
More questions? We can Help!