On March 29, 2021 USCIS announced that it has completed the initial round of the H-1B Electronic Registration Selection process. The agency has selected 65,000 Regular Cap and 20,000 U.S. Master’s Cap cases. For the selected cases, the next step will be to file H-1B petitions with the USCIS for adjudication between the period of April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021.
Once cap H-1B petitions are filed, the estimated current processing time is from 2 months to 4.5 months to have a decision (please keep in mind that the processing times can and often do change). As of now, premium processing is available for cap H-1B cases which guarantees an initial response within 15 calendar days for an additional application fee of $2500. Even if premium processing is requested and the H-1B petition is approved, the start date of H-1B status will be October 1, 2021 which is the beginning of the federal Fiscal Year 2022.
The cases that were not selected in the initial round of the selection process may still be chosen within the next several months if the USCIS conducts a second round to allocate unused H-1Bs resulting from withdrawals and/or denials.
Our firm has now notified all clients who have won the lottery and will be reaching out this week to all who did not to discuss alternative strategies, including the possibility of a cap-exempt H-1B petition.
Also, on March 30, 2021, Bloomberg news reported that the White House will let the current ban on H-1B, L-1, and J-1 visa processing expire today without renewing the Trump proclamation which has stranded thousands of professional workers from entering the United States to legally be employed by tech, scientific, and many other companies.
Please contact us if you have any questions.