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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 6, 2019, that it will implement a new pre-registration process for the H-1B visa cap lottery in 2020. Employers wishing to file H-1B cap-subject petitions with a start date of October 1, 2020, must first submit a registration online between March 1-20, 2020 through the myUSCIS online portal and pay the $10 filing fee.

Those foreign nationals with U.S. master's degrees will still get two chances in the lottery, but unlike past years they will be included in the initial lottery of 65,000 visas. If they are not selected in that general lottery, they will then be included in a master's only lottery for the remaining 25,000 visas. After the lottery is conducted, USCIS plans to notify petitioning employers of selected candidates by March 31, 2020. USCIS may reserve a queue of unselected registrations to create a waiting list. If the H-1B cap limit is not met due to rejections, withdrawals, or untimely or abandoned filings, additional registrants from the waiting list may be notified of their selection. This process will continue until the H-1B quota has been met for 2020. For lottery winners, petitioning employers will be granted a 90-day window to file complete H-1B petitions on behalf of the named candidates.

For more information, please contact our attorneys.

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