USCIS started the H1-B 2021 lottery cap process on Feb 24, 2020 unlike the previous years when it began accepting petition submissions only in April. This year the process changed and included an H1-B registration period first. Until March 20, 2020, USCIS is accepting individual registrations from employers for each of their intended employees aiming to work in the US. With all these new changes in the H1-B 2021 process, we have highlighted ways to make for a strong H1-B petition this lottery season.
H1-B 2021 Lottery Cap
Process, Dates and Timelines
With many additional requirements put in place both in process as well as documentation, making a detailed and accurate H1-B petition is even more critical this year. Here is a checklist of what you need to have to increase your chances of success at the 2021 lottery cap:
- Timeline: This year timing is very crucial. Employers were expected to create an account with USCIS starting Feb. 24 2020 and register the intended H-1B beneficiary by March 20, 2020. It is very important that employers time their filing correctly. USCIS allow final petition submissions until June 2020.
- Documentation: USCIS now requires detailed descriptions of the H1-B primary beneficiary’s job profile. This will be included in an approved Labor Certification Approval document. This should be substantiated with documentation. The jobs requirement should match the qualification of the H1-B visa holder. College degree, and transcript evaluations are a must.
- Sample Documents: The required document list can be long and presenting information in a way USCIS can understand is important to the H1-B’s success. Lawbench has several sample documents available that can be referred to when making a strong H1-B petition.
- New Fee Structure: The H1-B filing fees has been increased to $10 per individual petition from each employer. This is in addition to the change in overall fee structure proposed by USCIS effective this year. Making timely payments helps USCIS in processing the petition quickly and avoiding any rejection delays.
New Filing Fees Effective This H1-B Lottery
Check here to know how much your H1-B Petition will cost
- Final Submission: Once USCIS selects the final contenders on April 1, 2020, employers have until June 2020 to submit the detailed H1-B petition. It is important to give details of –
- Actual work assignment
- Milestone tables, marketing analysis, cost-benefit analysis, brochures, and funding documents
- All itineraries
- Exact dates, names and addresses of intermediary vendors and end-clients
- Exact addresses and phone numbers of work locations.
- Employment offer letter
- Employer information
- Salary: USCIS is strict about H1-B visa holders get compensated based on an approved H1-B salary slab. All salary details including expected bonuses should be laid out. Missing information can lead to an H1-B denial. This should cover prevailing wages and be commensurate to educational qualification, experience and cost of living.
How many H1-B denials were made last year?
Check out our data from 2019
- Extensions: H1-B beneficiaries whose visas are expiring should have their employers file for extensions within the stipulated timeframe. Extensions can be filed 6 months in advance of expiration.
With the new system in place, USCIS will scrutinize each petition at length and expect certain requirements fulfilled. Follow our guidelines to ensure better success at this year’s H1-B lottery. Stay tuned to our page to be undated on the next step in the process.