23:44 12 February in News Updates

Filing Window for Registration

The filing window for H-1B registration to seek a quota number for this fiscal year will be from noon EST March 1, 2020 through noon EST March 20, 2020.   To ensure timely filing, please initiate H-1B cap cases for this fiscal year right away.

New Registration System

USCIS is changing the way H-1B “cap” petitions are filed and selected.  Previously, a fully completed petition was required for consideration in the random selection process that took place the first week in April of each year.  This year, the process is changing so that candidates eligible for an H-1B will be registered electronically during the registration window and a full H-1B petition will only be required for those selected in the lottery.

For information on changes to the process this year, see:  FY2021 H-1B Cap Filings

Which individuals may need cap-subject H-1B sponsorship?

  • F-1 students currently working pursuant to Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Individuals in TN status (pursuant to the NAFTA Treaty)
  • Individuals who are nearing the end of their L-1B status
  • Individuals who are nearing their first L-1B extension.  Based on the increased scrutiny by USCIS of the L-1B classification (i.e. increased RFEs and denials), switching to H-1B status rather than filing for an L-1B extension may be a better option depending on the particular case
  • Individuals who are in their 4th or 5th year in L-1A status and are subject to quota backlogs preventing them from completing the permanent residency process
  • Candidates coming from abroad or not currently work authorized
  • Candidates seeking to transfer an H-1B from a cap-exempt to a cap-subject employer (such as a university to a for-profit company)
  • Individuals with H-4 EADs (given that H-4 EADs are also slated for elimination)

What types of cases are NOT subject to the H-1B cap?

  • H-1B amendments (filing to change a term or condition of employment for an employee who already holds H-1B status)
  • H-1B extensions (filing to extend the stay of an employee who already holds H-1B status)
  • H-1B transfers (filing to transfer an H-1B from Employer A to Employer B)
  • H-1B petitions for someone who has held an H-1B in the past and has not exhausted the full six years of H-1B time

H-1B petitions filed by cap-exempt employers, such as universities or non-profit research institutions

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