The process for filing so-called “H-1B” visa petitions changed significantly this year with the implementation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of a new electronic pre-registration system.

Under the new electronic registration system, employers who wanted to have an H-1B beneficiary considered for the FY 2021 H-1B lottery had to pre-register online between March 1 and March 20, 2020. On March 27, 2020, USCIS announced that it completed the lottery process using the electronic registrations. Employers whose registrations were selected should have been notified no later than March 31, 2020, and have 90 days starting on April 1, 2020, to file a full H-1B petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

Employers that filed a registration by the March 20 deadline can check their USCIS online accounts to determine if their registrations were selected in the lottery. Registrations that do not have a status of “Selected” will have a “Submitted” status – meaning the registration was received but not selected in the lottery – and the registration technically will remain in consideration for selection until the end of September. An indication of “Denied” status means that the registration was invalid either because it was a duplicate or payment was declined.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.