Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that an H-1B cap registration system (from which the annual H-1B lottery will be run) will be implemented for the upcoming fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap season. The initial H-1B cap registration period will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020.

Companies wishing to sponsor any current or prospective employees for H-1B status will be required to electronically register through the USCIS website ( during this 20-day period. You will be asked to provide information regarding your company and the foreign national individual(s) you wish to sponsor. You will also need to electronically submit a completed and signed Form G-28 for us to act as your lawyers. A $10 government filing fee is required for each registration. Following the registration period, USCIS will select approximately 85,000 entries from the electronic registration list and invite those petitioners to submit a full H-1B filing (including all filing fees) within 90 days of case selection.

With this new system, we will be offering our clients two different options in proceeding with a lottery submission:  

  1. We can submit the registration without analyzing the strength of the case. For this option, we will need copies of the applicant’s diploma/transcript, employment authorization document (EAD) and passport bio page; or
  2. We can analyze the case details and let you know whether it looks viable, and then submit the registration. This analysis will include our prevailing wage analysis to make sure that you will be paying the required amount and analysis of the job duties and degree in order to determine whether it’s a strong specialty occupation case. For this option, we will need copies of the applicant’s diploma/transcript, EAD, passport bio page, job title, and job description and salary (as of Oct. 1, 2020).

We recommend option 2 since you may not want to register an employee who will later not be qualified for H-1B status. But we are happy to assist with whichever option you prefer. Regardless of which option you choose, we request that you send us the material noted above by the end of January for all foreign nationals whom you would like us to register for the lottery.

Please review your employment needs now to determine whether you wish to sponsor any of your current or prospective employees for H-1B status. This includes those professionals already employed by you in F-1 Optional Practical Training, E-3, TN, J-1/J-2 or L-1A/L-1B status, and any individuals you may wish to bring on board as of Oct. 1, 2020.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.