At least for this year, the H-1B lottery process remains the same.

BY Courtney H. New

Despite the Trump administration's efforts to fast-track a rule that would have changed how the 85,000 H-1B visas available each year would be allocated, prioritizing the highest salaried applicants, the clock appears to have run out. The Biden administration announced that it is simply not possible for the rule to be implemented in time for this year's H-1B lottery process and has delayed implementation until at least December 31, 2021. So, for at least this year, the process will remain the same with H-1B visas being allocated by random selection, giving priority only to those with U.S. master's degrees.

When does the registration period open?

The registration period opens at noon on March 9, 2021 and will close at noon on March 25, 2021.

When will employers be notified of selection?

Employers will be notified by March 31, 2021, of selected registrations and will then have 90 days to file an H-1B petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on the employee's behalf.

What should employers do now?

Only registrations submitted during the registration period will be considered in the H-1B lottery. It is, therefore, imperative that employers identify candidates for H-1B sponsorship immediately, and begin working with immigration counsel as soon as possible to begin the process of evaluating candidates for H-1B sponsorship.

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Courtney H. New


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