United States – USCIS Completes FY 2021 H-1B Cap Lottery; Petition Filing from April 1
US-USCIS Completes FY21 H-1B Cap Lottery
On April 1, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that all H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021 including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption may now be filed with USCIS. Employers with selected registrations may now begin filing H-1B cap-subject petitions on behalf of beneficiaries with USCIS. The filing period will be open for at least 90 days.
On April 1, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that all H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021 including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption may now be filed with USCIS.1
WHY THIS MATTERS
Employers with selected registrations may now begin filing H-1B cap-subject petitions on behalf of beneficiaries with USCIS. The filing period will be open for at least 90 days from April 1, 2020.
Employers should begin working with their immigration counsel to determine the appropriate filing timelines.
The USCIS premium processing service is not currently available.
Electronic Registration and H-1B Cap
This year marked the launch of the new electronic registration process for the H-1B cap lottery system in the United States. In its first H-1B cap registration season, USCIS received nearly 275,000 registrations. Approximately, 46 percent of all registrations were for prospective beneficiaries with advanced U.S. degrees.
Under the new registration system, employers seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of their employees were required to submit an electronic registration on behalf of the beneficiary to be considered in the lottery. Employers with H-1B cap registrations selected in the lottery are then invited to submit complete paper-based H-1B cap applications with the USCIS. (For more information on the H-1B lottery system and related coverage, see the following issues of GMS Flash Alert: 2019-183 (December 10, 2019) and 2018-159 (December 11, 2018).)
Employers must submit paper-based petitions and establish eligibility for petition approval at the time of filing and through adjudication per regulatory requirements. While most H-1B cap-subject petitions can be filed at any point during the filing period, some petitions may need to be filed at specific times to help ensure there is no gap in the beneficiary’s work authorization. As such, employers should begin working with their immigration counsel to determine the appropriate filing timelines.
KPMG LAW LLP NOTE
Additionally, as per our previous report (see GMS Flash Alert 2020-128, March 30, 2020), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing of all I-129 and I-140 petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions. Therefore, this expedited processing service remains unavailable at this time.
Our office is tracking USCIS announcements closely. We will endeavor to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on any important developments as and when they occur.
1 See the USCIS Announcement: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-announces-flexibility-requests-evidence-notices-intent-deny .
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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