H1B Visa 2021 Season - Lottery - Start Date -Fee -FAQs info

H1B Visa 2021 – Registration, Lottery, Deadlines, Planning, Fee, FAQs

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 136 Comments

If you have been unlucky in the H1B visa 2020 season or planning to apply for H1B visa in the next fiscal year, it is important for you to be prepared ahead of time. As we may very likely have new registration system in place for the next fiscal year, the deadlines will vary and you need to prepared ahead of time.  You may need to start earlier than previous years…In this article, we will look at many of the common FAQs related to H1B Fiscal Year(FY) 2021 season. We will continue to update this page.

If this is your first time filing H1B, please read H1B Visa Basics – FAQs like Requirements, Quota, LCA, etc.

New H1B Registration System

USCIS confirmed in their stakeholder call on February 6th, 2020 that they have tested the system and all set to launch the New H1B Registration System for FY 2021 Season. H1B Registration Dates are from March 1st, 2020 through March 20th, 2020. Employers can register for their account for submitting H1B registrations from Feb 24th, 2020. You can check complete details USCIS Update on H1B Registration Process for FY 2021. The details shared are inline with most of the details shared in December 2019, you can read the previous update at H1B Registration Dates Confirmed by USCIS

H1B Registration System, Lottery Order

USCIS, with the new H1B registration system will introduce two fundamental changes: one is related to the H1B petition filing process and second is to the order of H1B Lottery in the process.

As per the new filing process, first USCIS would have a H1B registration period for employers to submit registrations using an online system with very minimum information related to their H1B application related to a candidate and their company. There is a $10 fee per H1B registration submitted by the employer. After the registrations are closed, USCIS will run lottery on these registrations in a new order.  They will first select applicants to fill the regular quota cap and then the unselected master’s petitions are selected again to fill the master’s quota cap.  After the lottery is done, employer with selected applicants in lottery should submit the full petition with USCIS.

Below is the high-level process with H1B registration System. For complete details like what details to submit for lottery, how they will select, etc. read H1B Registration Rule – Process, How does it work, FAQs

H1B Visa Registration Process Flow Final Rule

H1B Registration System Online Tool

USCIS released the final version of the registration system with final flow and what all information is required for applicants on Feb 6th, 2020. It is pretty much same as the preliminary version that was released in late 2019 for user testing. You can check out the details, screenshots at H1B Registration Online Tool – Flow, Screens , we will update the latest few screens with changes on that page soon.

Now that we know the registration system, let’s look at the dates.

H1B 2021 Season Start Dates ?

The dates for FY 2021 season are slightly different from previous years as we have new H1B Registration system for FY 2021 season. We have two dates : One for the registration period and second for the actual filing of the complete H1B package. Let’s look at what the dates now.

H1B Registration Period Dates

USCIS confirmed on Feb 6th, 2020 that they will have H1B registration Period from March 1st through March 20th, 2020. It is technically for 3 weeks. If there is not enough petitions filed during the registration period, we could have another window to file second time..USCIS will inform, if there is a need for the second window. Looking at history, we do not anticipate second window as there is always more demand than the H1B cap quota.

H1B Actual Petition Filing Dates

Historically, H1B season usually starts on April 1st. If April 1st falls on weekend, then they move it the closest Monday in April first week. The reason for having the start date of April 1st is that USCIS’s fiscal year starts from October 1st and H1B petitions cannot be filed 6 months before their start date, hence the April 1st date.

Now, for FY 2021 season, USCIS mentioned in their stakeholder call that employers would get 90 days from April 1st to file the complete H1B petition. So, technically employers are free to file their petitions anytime between April 1st and June 30th. So, the H1B FY 2021 actual filing dates are from April 1st, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

H1B 2021 Quota Cap – Regular vs Masters

If you are new and hear the word H1B cap, don’t be confused. It is just the maximum number of available H1B slots for a category. There are two categories Regular and Masters. You can read more at What is H1B Cap ? Regular vs Masters quota ? There are no changes for H1B regular or masters cap for FY 2021 and they stay the same like previous years.  Below are the quota numbers :

  • H1B Regular Quota : 65,000 visas
  • H1B Master’s Quota : 20,000 visas. ( only US Masters eligible)

One small caveat, of the overall 85,000 visa cap, every year 6,800 visas are set aside for the citizens of Singapore and Chile as part of the Free Trade Agreement with them. There were few bills part of Comprehensive Immigration Reform that are not active in Senate that were proposed from Obama administration days to change the cap count to 110,000 and Masters to 25,000, including potential to make H1B cap extend up to 180,000. But nothing has moved and all are dormant. Nothing new has been proposed by the new Trump Administration regarding changing cap count. To get a glimpse of historical cap count changes, you may check H1B visa cap count history from 1990 to 2017

H1B Visa 2021 Lottery Predictions  

Looking at the extreme demand in the last few years, we can very likely assume that there will be H1B lottery. If you are new to this process, read What is H1B Lottery ? Process ? We had lottery for the past 7 consecutive years. Check History of H1B Visa Cap Reach Dates, Lottery.  Now, the question is how many petitions will be filed. Last year, with so much of upfront investment from employers, there were about 200K petitions filed. Now, with the low bar of just $10 per registration, there is not much burden for employers. They may be willing to file more registrations.  It could be USCIS trap as well to weed out the duplicate petitions….in any case, there would very likely be more H1B registrations than in the past…We will write an article closer to the registration period with some predictions…stay tuned. For now, read previous year H1B 2020 Lottery Predictions.

 H1B Visa 2021 Lottery Results Dates

In previous years,  USCIS would take a very long time to return the H1B packages that were not selected in H1B Lottery. For FY 2020, it was August 29, 2019, when they were returned. So, some were waiting from April 1st through August 29th, 2019 for about 150 days to know their final lottery results with hope. This year, with H1B registration system, it will be different as USCIS will announce lottery results soon as the whole process is electronic as H1B Registrations are filed electronically. USCIS mentioned that the Lottery results for H1B registrations would be out no later than March 31st. So, technically it could be even before March 31st, but the worst case scenario is March 31st.

What is H1B Visa 2021 Filing Fee ?

H1B visa petition filing involves two things, one is the fee your employer pays to USCIS, second is the fee that they may need to pay an Immigration attorney, if they do not have in-house immigration team. The overall fee can vary anywhere from $1,720 USD to  $7,910 USD + the Immigration Attorney Fee. As of today, below is the fee. USCIS has recently published Fee Increase Rule in Federal Register. If that goes into effect, the fee may further increase by another $100.  Below is a table of the summary of the H1B visa fee. For complete details on H1B fees, Read Summary of H1B Filing Fee – Who pays for What ? 

H1B Fee – Paid Towards Amount in USD
H1B Registration Fee $10
 Base filing fee $460
AICWA Fee $750  or $1,500
Fraud prevent & detection fee $500
Fee based on Public Law 114-113 ( if applicable) $4000
Premium processing fee (Optional) $1,440 ( from Dec 2, 2019)
Immigration Attorney Fee Varies from $500 to $3000

How to find H1B visa 2021 Sponsors? 

If the current company that you work at does not sponsor H1B, it can be difficult to find a good sponsor. Due to the cost involved and process overhead, many small companies stay away from filing H1B petitions.  With unknown factors like H1B Visa lottery, it gets even more challenging to convince an employer. In any case, depending on your situation, you would be in one of the three scenarios to find a sponsor. 

  • F1 Student in US, OPT holders: The best option for F1 students in school is to find an internship or co-op at an employer who can sponsor H1B visa and ask them to sponsor your H1B. You can continue to work on OPT once you graduate as well. If you are on OPT, make sure you work at an employer, who can sponsor H1B. If not, switch your employer to a H1B sponsor.  Find the list of H1B Sponsoring companies using the tool or  H1B Grader – Sponsors Database
  • International Professionals  : If you are outside of US, your best bet is to find an multi-national company ( MNC) and work through them to sponsor H1B visa. Many try the IT body shop route, but it is subject to lot of fraud and you need to be careful. Many rules related to H1B are enforced more with Trump Administration now and you need to be careful. Read comments on this H1B Companies Reviews article  to get an idea and  beware of such consulting companies to avoid fraud.
  • Important Note : We, as RedBu2US, DO NOT Provide any H1B sponsorship or guide anyone using professional services or fee. If anyone approaches you by saying our name, it is pure FRAUD…beware !

Read step by step guide for finding sponsors : Guide on How to Find H1B Visa Sponsors 2021

H1B 2021 Registration, Case Tracker

Did you submit or plan to submit H1B Registration for FY 2021 ?  In general, the registration process is new and also during H1B application processing, the wait can be long and frustrating to see your status not move….You would be curious to know others status…so, to have a general view on the statuses movement for entire community, we have put together a tracker along with good graphs for analysis. It is completely anonymous as we do not capture your case number or any personal information. It is community contributed data, the more you add, the better for everyone, including  You !

Track your H1B Registration, Case

Anonymously Track your H1B Registration, Case - Share and Get updated from Community.

Processing Times – Regular vs Premium

In general, you can file your H1B petition in regular or premium processing. If filed in premium, you will get your decision in 15 days and it costs you additional $1440 USD. In the past few years, USCIS suspended the premium processing for general cap subject petitions to manage their load. At this point, we do not have any details, if the premium processing would be available or suspended for FY 2021 season yet. We will update here once any such updates. For more info read : H1B Regular vs Premium Processing Timelines

Latest News Updates for FY 2021 Season

Below is the list of latest news by date related to FY 2021 season. We will update here as we have new updates.

We will continue to update this article as we have more updates. You can bookmark this page.

What do you think of the upcoming H1B Season ? Your thoughts, predictions ?

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 136 )

  1. Tanvish Thakker

    Do you have an idea about the documents required with this year’s H1B even during the later stages. I-797 is notice of action. I have an OPT and STEM approved both of which should have an approved I-797 but I lost my I-797 for the OPT approval but still have the STEM I-797. I have both my EAD cards with me. Is I-797 a required document during this entire h1b process?

  2. Mir

    Hello Kumar,

    How would i know that my employer has filed my registration for H1 B. upon asking to him. he is saying they will let me know when it gets picked up. Im worried that they will apply or not? As this is my last chance. Do you have any answer for this would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mir,
      It is only trust…There is no way you can know, unless they share a screenshot with you…All you can do is trust them.

  3. Krishna Reddy

    Hi Kumar,
    My employer is about to initiating L1B visa due to urgent work in USA and Manager promised me to file H1B 2021 in this March 2020. My priority is H1B. Any problem if they start for H1B and L1B at the same time?
    Waiting for your reply.

  4. Bob

    Hi Kumar,

    Are the forms for this year’s H1B electronic as well? Such as the I-129, G-28 etc. Or does the attorney still have to submit a physical document? Thank you!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Bob,
      No, they need to fill out all the physical forms as before and submit. Only H1B registration is electronic at this point of time.

  5. Preethi

    Hi Kumar,
    Currently I am working with US based MNC as contractor for last 10 months in L2 EAD. The same company is willing to sponsor my H1B visa this year march 01 (FY21)and convert me as Full time employee but they said they will change to full time only if I am selected in lottery, my question is,

    1.)Should I be converted as Full-time employee before they register for H1B on March 1 ?

    2. Or is it fine If they change me as Full time employee after getting selected in lottery process?

    Can you please clarify this?

    Thanks
    Preethi

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Preethi,
      1. No need. The start date would be October 1st, so it does not matter.
      2. They can do it after you get H1B too…it does not matter, either is fine.

  6. Sahoo

    Hi ,
    I have small query can someone clarify .

    i applied H1B for year 2018-2019 and got selected in Lottery in 2019 May and got RFE and RFE got dined in 2020 Jan-20. Can i apply again H1b for 2019-2020 batch or any cooling period there after RFE rejection ??

    1. RD

      Hi Sahoo,

      I don’t think any previous H1b filing will affect your current years filing. They are two separate H1b seasons and you can definitely try your luck this year as well.

      Regards

  7. Nantha

    My employer is filing H1B for current season. I have a plan to change my name due to some reasons. Will it create any problem if i change my name and my application gets picked in the lottery?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Nantha,
      Well, if possible, it is better to get it done before they submit the registrations or after the lottery process is over and you get h1B approved. It will create unnecessary confusions for everyone and it may impact your H1B processing..

      1. Nantha

        Appreciate your help. I will not be able to do it before the registration because i have to change my name in gazette and also apply for new passport. What are the odds if i do it after the lottery and before filling the actual petition it stamping process?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Nantha,
          It may confuse as the passport numbers will be different and your name as well. It is up to your discretion. Talk to your attorney.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kustra,
      It was done last year. That is the same order now…It increases chances for US masters quota category to some extent.

  8. h1b21

    Hi,

    I am on F1 STEM OPT at present. My company filed a petition for my H1B visa last year (FY 2020). It got picked, got an RFE and ultimately got denied because of the specialty occupation reason. Even though I felt that my RFE arguments and evidence were very strong. My company filed for an appeal and it is still processing. They plan to file this year as well (FY 2021). I have multiple questions:

    What happens to the appeal if they file for H1B for FY 2021?
    Since it was denied last year, does that affect the process in terms of USCIS not selecting for the lottery?
    What should my company keep in mind when they file this year? Should I request them to change my position that aligns with USCIS specialty position and if so should they do it before they send my details for lottery?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      h1b21,
      It will not have any impact this year…they are not related…Changing position or role is something you need to discuss with your employer and attorney and plan for it…

  9. Manu

    Hi,

    Thanks Kumar for sharing the updates.
    I have a question, I need to travel to India in April 2020 and will be back in may first week due to urgent work. My employer is planning to file H1b for this year with registration within March 1st to March 20th under change of status.
    In that case will it ok to travel outside India on let’s say 26th April and come back on May 5th since for registration there is no I-94 required. and if it will get picked up in lottery, Can file petition after May 5th with updated I-94 as USCIS has given 90 days window for filing petitions.
    Can there be any negative effect on the case because of this travel if selected ?

    Regards,
    MN

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Manu,
      It should be fine to travel and come back, before they file your petition. As you said, the I-94 is not submitted during registration, so it should be fine. I suggest you work with your attorney and coordinate the travel plan and seek their advice before you plan to travel. Also, update here for community benefit.

  10. SRK

    Hi Kumar,

    I’m on J-1 Visa (Exchange visitor) who came to U.S. at my employer for training purpose in Aug-2019 for the period of 18-months which ends on Jan-2021.

    Can i have my employer request for H1B Application. Is it ok, to change the Visa from J-1 to H-1 (If am lucky enough might get in lottery).

    Is it possible or we cant change/transfer visa from J1 to H1 ?

    Thanks in Advance for your time and support.

    Regards,
    SRK

      1. 3rd Timer

        I think its possible to change from J1 to H1. However, I believe you need to submit one no objection certificate from your country, because as per J1 you need to go back after the visa ends.
        Check this link,
        https://www.nnuimmigration.com/j1-to-h1b-visa-transfer/

        Good luck and all the very best.

      2. SRK

        Thanks for the response.

        The visa category am on J-1, doesn’t apply Section 221(e). I think it doesn’t required me to go back to my home country . Correct me if am wrong.

        Still I have to get no objection certificate from my Indian Employer Or police department of my country? As I had to resign there and no connection on paper with them.

        Regards,
        Raj

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ramesh,
      Yes, that’s the idea. They can do that. They have 90 days to file the petition, so they can file it after the lottery results.

  11. RN

    Hi Kumar,

    I work for a desi company and my employer told me they will be filing my H1B visa. I have found other job with different employer, who is willing to file my H1B .

    Since this year H1B is online registration process, can I go with both companies filing? or should I only consider my employer only, since I was working with same organization for more than 8 years.

    Thanks,
    RN

  12. Hari

    Hi,

    I am currently in my first year of STEM OPT Extension and my company is filing for H1B this year.

    Can I travel outside US and come back in March?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Hari,
      You may, there is no guidance on this. But, if you plan to file it as Change of Status, then you should not travel after the full petition is submitted to USCIS.

  13. Zeroguy

    My company started processing the H1B for me . However I’m working in Support project and SOW ends actually by Sep 2020 and we may renew that . But the duration of travel is set to Oct 2020 to Sep 2021 .

    1. Which SOW should I mention , should I mention sow which is having longer duration
    2. Can I mention Support project and maintenance .
    3.How to increase the lottery chance higher.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Zeroguy,
      1. Your attorney will need to tell this based on what fits your role.
      2. it is your attorney who will decide based on SOC code
      3. There is no trick here…Luck !

  14. Utkarsh

    Hi sir,

    I am on F1 OPT. Can we travel outside the US after registering for the lottery?

    Since the actual petition is filed from April 1st, can I go to India from 6th to 22nd March?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Avinash, Utkarsh,
        You may travel as there is no I-94 info submitted…but, you need to make sure you are back in US before the application filing, if you plan to file it as Change of Status.

        1. Avinash Jeewani

          Just to be sure, by “filing” you mean filling the H1B petition, which we can do after April 1st, and we can travel during the registration process. My travel plan is to go somewhere between 12 and 19 March come back by 24 or 29 March.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Avinash,
            Yes. If you come back before filing the full petition, it should be fine. Always, get your attorney approval before you do anything…

  15. excited

    Hi All,

    I’m working under H1B visa since October 2019 (I was on OPT before this). Today I received a job offer from another company and I accepted it. Later today our promotions at my current company were announced and I was promoted with a salary raise. My current company started talking to the attorney and they are now working on amending my H1B with salary and title change.

    Can I start the transfer process with the other company at the same time? I still want to move to the other company. Are there any risks with having 2 different petitions from 2 different companies?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      excited,
      No worries, they can run in parallel. You can apply for transfer at the same time…there are no risks as they are independent petitions by different employers.

  16. Velmurugan Durairaj

    L1A Cooling period(1 year) : I exhausted my 7 year L1A quota Aug 15, 2019 Can I apply for H1B March/April 2020?

    L1A Cooling period(1 year) I exhausted my 7 year L1A quota Aug 15, 2019. By Aug 16, 2020 i should be completing my cooling period outside USA as i left USA on Aug 3rd 2019 and stayed out there after.

    Can my employer file my H1B application Mar-Apr 2020 as an employment start date as Oct 1, 2020.

    Thanks much for all help.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Velmurugan,
      Yes, you can. No, that is work in US, not for application. Your 1 year will anyways be over by Aug 2020 and you can go and work from Oct 2020. Make sure you indicate this to attorney, so that they take care of it during application, if needed.

        1. 3rd Timer

          My understanding is the application date is the one will count and not the actual working date. But, I may be wrong and as suggested by Kumar check with the attorney before applying. Good luck and all the best.

  17. Sri

    Hi Kumar,

    Considering that we will know by end of March about H1B petition result, how long can we stay in USA if the petition is not picked? That is, when will the SEVIS termination happen?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sri,
      It depends on how long your F1 OPT is valid…if you do not get picked in lottery, then you technically would not get full cap gap as there is nothing pending with USCIS. You will have standard 60 days grace period.

  18. MS Guy

    Another SCAM by Desi HYD firms.

    This year USCIS charging only 10 $ fee. So these firms find a new way to rob money in the name of edu eval and expert opinion letters. They will refer you to some firms get the letter done but there wont be evidence for filing. Be careful guys.

    Don’t go by LCA database.Below link shows employers who got selected and rejected.

    https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/h-1b-employer-data-hub-files

    1. Anup

      yes its common scam to rob money from people while filing or when we get rfe.

      These comes at a cost and they setup fake interviews and call to collect money.its a organised scam who lost business due to USCIS move.

      https://www.murthy.com/2018/03/08/expert-opinion-letters-disregarded-with-h1b-petition-filings/

  19. Krishna

    Hi Kumar,

    I can’t work immediately for an employer to sponsor for Lottery based cap subject H1, I am on cap exempt University H1 now. Lot of employers are not willing to wait until October 1st in my case. What are my options to find an employer who can sponsor H1B this March 2020? Even lot of staffing firms want me to come on their W2 but I can’t work for them immediately before October 1st most of them reluctant to file H1 if I say all this to them. Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Krishna,
      Unfortunately, there is no option. Many have the same issue. You need to find an employer who can wait… I wish there was a better solution.

      1. Krishna

        Please update us on H1B electronic registration details like do we need to mention client details, location etc. if we work for staffing firm. Thank you Kumar.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Krishna,
          You can check the latest article published yesterday on blog that talks about the flow and info required to get an idea…again, we are waiting for USCIS.

  20. AmySouri

    My new h1b application filed in April 2019 is still pending decision. Is it possible it stays pending till March 2020?

    My case is at the Vermont processing Center

    In that case, would I miss out on applying for 2021 cycle? What are my options?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, you can apply for it. But, I suggest you talk to your employer and upgrade it to premium to save time and get decision.

      1. AmySouri

        Hey Kumar, thanks for your response.

        I did request an upgrade to PP from my employer and waiting on a decision.

        Just to clarify, let’s assume as a scenario, my application wasn’t upgraded to PP and it remained pending till March 2020. Can I still submit a new H1b petition although the previous one is pending?

      2. Linux

        Hello Kumar,

        I am planning to travel to India in February and I will be back by 3rd week of March. Since this year the lottery is going to be conducted in March only, would you suggest travelling to India during this time since a new i-94 would be generated once I come back and i would have another admission stamp on the passport and I have to submit these documents as part of the application. I am not able to find anywhere a list of documents that are needed for the registration. Please let me know your thoughts.

        Thanks!

        1. 3rd Timer

          I think as long as you able to come back before April 1st (actual filing of the application after lottery selected) then it will not to be a problem.

        2. administrator
          Kumar

          Linux,
          We are waiting for the actual details on what they would ask for registration, stay tuned. Our guess is that they may not ask for I-94 info for registration and they would be required for actual filing of petition for change of status part of the petition.

    1. Linux

      Thank you Kumar for the response. I did confirm from the attorney as well and looks your hunch was correct. I am yet to hear from him about the admission stamp though. Will let you know once I hear back from him.

      Also, as regards to the new procedure, do you expect to see a surge in the number of applications going into the lottery this year given the fact that the registration fee is $10. Even though it doesn’t make sense for an employer to just try and test the registration and not file the petition if its get picked when they have reservations about it in the first place but since there are lot of rumors doing the rounds. Can you please share your thoughts?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Linux,
        Yes, we may expect a huge surge in the filings. Look at it from employer side, it is easier to apply for few as the bar to entry to low…Now, they cannot just try and not file, they will be penalized with fines or some other sort, if they get picked and do not file…we will know specifics closer to the date.

  21. 3rd Timer

    According to USCIS, an online system is efficient and easy to use.

    Do you recommend that we should hire an immigration attorney to file the online application or an employer can do it easily by him/herself without the help of the attorney?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      USCIS has not disclosed details yet on what is precisely needed, so hard to know….
      Eventually, an attorney has to do the filing anyways, why not give this to them too, so they are accountable end to end.

      1. 2nd Timer

        An attorney will ask around $1,500 to file a form that costs $10 and probably less than an hour of work.
        If I found the form online, I’d do it myself and only AFTER the lottery I’d bring an attorney in.

        Am I wrong?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          You cannot do it as employee. You can ask your employer to do it. Usually, H1B filing is done as a package of end to end…so, not sure how attorneys charge for the new system…

          1. 2nd Timer

            I know how they charge now: they say pay $1,500 for the registration and IF you get picked, pay the rest ($3,000 more).

            Do you think it’s worth risking $1,500 when you can ask your employer to file it for $10? And then, IF picked, pay an attorney?

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            It is not about risk, it is about general continuity. Also, it is not your problem, it is employer’s expense. They should take care of the same…

  22. 3rd Timer

    This is going to be the 3rd time I am going to apply for an H-1B visa under an adv. cap. With the new system, what do you think about the chances (%) to get selected in the lottery under an adv. and a regular cap?

  23. Ram

    Hi Kumar,
    Hope youre well and can you provide your inputs on this Question please:

    Lets say a potential candidate works for Company “ABC” as a contractor thru a vendor and has employer “John Doe”.
    Now for 2021 Cap, Company ABC offered full time job to the candidate and agreed to Sponsor H1B for the cap as future employment.
    Meanwhile the employer “John Doe” is also filing H1B saying candidate is already working for him and at Client location “ABC” Company.

    Will this be considered as duplicate filing ?
    Thanks
    Ram

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ram,
      Yes, as they are technically for the same position, USCIS can consider that as duplicate. In the past, if two vendors applied for same position at client, that was categorised as duplicate, so it is likely that USCIS can consider it as duplicate. You can double check with an attorney to be sure.

      1. Ram

        Thanks for the info Kumar.
        Well, as this year since there is a registration process before the lottery, Employer and client would register their candidate, at this point I dont think we are providing details of the client or work duties.
        Once the lottery is done there will a 90 day window to submit the documentation. Do you think if this will be the case filing two petitions from Client as future employment and from employer as current employment will likely to reduce any issues? Please help.
        Thankyou,
        Ram

        1. 3rd Timer

          It will be finally rejected. Try only one. For a detail, take a look from past USCIS rejection for a similar case.
          https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2018/2018-3-23-PM-602-0159-Matter-of-S-Inc-Adopted-Decision-Package.pdf

      1. Ram

        Do you the pain of trying H1B luck for 6 long years and being a genuine & hard working & a deserved candidate ? Well, there in no thing called cheating here. A potential candidate was being offered a full time opportunity by the end-client, which means a conversion from contractor to full-time. I dont see anything wrong is asking or making proper use of the opportunity given.

        1. carlos

          Every year I see the same questions over and over.
          If you are applying for the same position twice it is a double filling and it is not right.
          Many people have done that in the past decreasing the chances for candidates that filled only one petition.
          Even worse when both applications get picked and for sure one wasted.

          So if you know that you are applying for the same positing if it is not cheating it is unethical.

  24. Ravi

    Hi friend
    Happy new year and I hope you are doing good ,I am on OPT and applying H1 with this new h1b process , I have to travel India in March so is it ok to travel India and come back before March 31st ? FYI planning to register to H1b before March 10th . Since registration is online and assuming that my employer or my immigration lawyer register I hope I can travel between March 1st to return before March 31st ?

    Please do advise
    Regards

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ravi,
      If you plan to file it as Change of Status, you need to be in US before your attorney submits the petition. They will use your I-94 details and attach it with the application. So, discuss and plan with your company accordingly.

      1. 3rd Timer

        This year the actual filing will be happen in April after the lottery is done. So, It will not be a problem as long as you come back before the filing date provided your petition is picked in the lottery.

  25. Venkat

    Hi Kumar,

    My h1b was approved and got Visa . I haven’t travelled to USA with the stamped visa and also my petition has been revoked(employer sent revocation request).
    Now the question is am I cap exempt. Your response is highly appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Venkat,
      Usually employers cannot revoke it, they only send the withdraw request and USCIS does the revoke part…Now, coming to your question, it is slightly grey area…Because you have stamping done, there are high chances that you will be considered cap exempt. if you have an employer willing to sponsor or transfer you as cap exempt you should try it for sure…

  26. Rahul Dua

    Hi Kumar,

    A person works in CTS india for a US client and will go to US as a dependent (H4) for a month.
    Can that person(with H4 visa), login to VPN of the US client and work from home (of H1B visa holder in US)?
    Will USCIS track the VPN logins (from home WIFI)?

    Payroll will be of India only and will not be changed to US payroll.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Rahul,
      It is illegal to work on H4, unless you are eligible for H4 EAD. You should never engage in anything that violates law…It does not matter, if they track or not, you cannot work on H4, unless eligible.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sahil,
      I do not think so…the company that filed your registration can only do your filing. While there is no explicit wording that says so, but it is kind of understood…

      1. Friend

        @Kumar,
        @Sahil question seems to be “Whether a new employer can file for H-1B after March 1?”
        Yes, any employer who has given an offer letter will be able to file for H-1B. There is no need for working with the employer during the filing process. The intention is to offer a new employment to an individual at US location if selected in lottery. There is no need for already working for the employer(outside of US). Already worked/working for 1 year in the past 3 year is needed for L-1. Its not relevant in H-1B.

  27. Anand

    glad that it will bring down the cost of fees per resource for employers and also employer can determine the eligible candidates while filing. Previously less deserved were selected in lottery and now employer can determine the candidates after lottery count is announced.

    1. Friend

      @Anand,
      With the new change, nothing has changed with respect to the employee-employer relation in the petition.

      So, the electronic petitions are still for a particular employee from an employer and selection is based on these petitions.

      Employer can not change the employee of the selected petition.

  28. Venkatesh Pallay

    Does this new process is going to increase the number of H1-b applications for lottery, as it is just 10$ registration fee before lottery. If yes, what could be the expected applications for upcoming year ?

  29. Friend

    Hi Pratik,

    Congratulations and All the best for your marriage.

    As of today, there is no known pattern to follow during the registration period. That being said, Marriage should be your highest priority as it is once in a lifetime event and lifelong partnership with the blessings of whole family. Wishes to you for a great married life ahead.

    There might be temporary visa inconsistencies and the visa related things will eventually fall in right place.

    Have a good time.

    – Friend

  30. Pratik

    Hello Kumar,

    I am on my STEM-OPT and my company will be filing for my H1B in the coming CAP season.

    I am planning to travel to India from Mid Feb- Mid March (for my wedding). I have reviewed the new h1b process and would like to know if traveling during proposed duration above would be advisable. I am assuming that the registration process wouldn’t cause any hindrance as it doesn’t ask for my i94.

    I am willing to prepone my plans.
    Please let me know what would be the best path to take and what latest date of travel back to US would be favorable given the circumstances.

    Also, my Visa expires in June 2020.

    1. Krishna

      Hi Pratik,

      First, you have a congrats for the planning of marriage.
      Now, your F1 visa is expiring in the month of June 2020, what is your next plans…
      If you are going by Feb-Mar, how long been stayed in India, because you have only 3 months left on your hand with a valid OPT & Visa.
      If your company is applying for H1B next year, the entire system of the filing may be changing., so that wait for until you picked up by H1B, extend your student status then you can make a plans to go India.
      Check with your company attorney for the latest updates….

      1. Pratik Parmar

        Hi Krishan,

        Thanks for the quick response.

        My major concern is waiting for being picked up h1b. If not, I won’t be having the opportunity to travel as my STEM OPT expires in the Jan 2021.

        Giving all the possibilities, I was thinking of traveling to and fro by 1st week of Feb 2020.

        Let me know, if that would work.

        Thank you,
        Pratik

        1. Friend

          Hi Pratik,

          Congratulations and All the best for your marriage.

          As of today, there is no known pattern to follow during the registration period. That being said, Marriage should be your highest priority as it is once in a lifetime event and lifelong partnership with the blessings of whole family. Wishes to you for a great married life ahead.

          There might be temporary visa inconsistencies and the visa related things will eventually fall in right place.

          Have a good time.

          – Friend

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Pratik,
      Honestly, we do not have the dates out yet, so it can be tricky…I would prepone earlier, if it is possible, just to be safe. Usually, you should not travel, when your application is filed with USCIS as COS. Now, technically, during registration you do not actually file the full application, it is just registration info…so, the key is to have everything sorted out before filing the application. Now, to be safe, I suggest you check with your attorney at your company and then plan your travel.

  31. Susmita

    Hlo kumar my husband had applied for H1b visa in 2019 and they asked for RFE then they received it on September but till now we have got no any result what time could it take

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Susmita,
      There is no set time or SLA…it can take few weeks to few months. You can upgrade to premium, if you need decision faster.

  32. Ishaan

    Hello,

    What is the actual period to apply for H1B? If an employer is willing to sponsor, can I apply now or should I wait for next fiscal? How long is the application period for. Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ishann,
      The dates are not out yet. But, you need to start planning now. Read the above article on registration dates, it has all details…you plan accordingly.

  33. Unlucky OPT guy

    Kumar Ji, Thank you for your response on my earlier question.
    This question has already been asked by someone earlier. I just need your opinion.
    1. Regarding online registration, Is there any control on duplicate applications?
    I have read this page: https://redbus2us.com/uscis-h1b-duplicate-filing-multiple-petitions-rule-whats-not-allowed/
    Does the same algo will be used in New online system?
    2. Since lottery results will be out before April. i.e sending h1b package to USCIS.
    Won’t there be a surge in premium processing application for h1b?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. Yes, they clearly say duplicate petitions are not allowed, just like before. Yes, there are procedures in place for them to flag them.
      2. It could be possible, but we do not have any details on the upcoming season regarding premium processing…need to wait for USCIS to give some guidance closer to the filing dates.

  34. KD

    Hi Kumar,

    I have a question regarding Changing Status to H4 and Using existing EAD. Appreciate your clarification.

    Have an existing valid H4 EAD valid till 2021. My fresh H1 is approved with COS to H1 few days back. Due to some personal situation i want to change to H4 & get back to EAD again. can i use existing EAD once COS to H4 is approved? Or do i need to apply for EAD as well again?

    For COS to H4 and stamping > Considering long times for COS, Can i exit the country and do stamping in Mexico and come back ? i am an indian national.

    In future , will there be any issue if i want to apply for Out of Cap H1 from H4 EAD (Incase EAD goes away), if its not stamped at least once in Home country/Other country?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      KD,
      Technically, the validity of H4 EAD is tied to the H4 holder’s status. I have not seen a situation like yours before, so I don’t know the right answer. But, my two cents, do check with your attorney. In my view, you should be able to use it, as soon as your H4 status is active. The employers will use your H4 and h4 EAD card for I-9 compliance…
      As I said, please double check with an attorney before you puruse this. Also, do update here for community benefit.

      1. Krishna

        Hi KD,

        When you are filing H1, what status you are in, and what your attorney requested (like COS from H4 to H1).
        If so, you will get H1 with I94. The same happens, your H4 EAD will automatically changed and now you are in H1 status.
        If you want to go again on H4 EAD, you need to apply again COS from H1B to H4 EAD.
        May probably, it will impact, while you went to stamping you have to clarify these situation as well.
        As of Kumar said, contact your attorney and take an valuable advice. Good luck.

  35. Striker

    Hi Kumar,

    I have a questions about potential registration system. If they implement this, there will be a flood of petitions right. Will USCIS have any check points to control this ?

  36. karta

    I was planning to travel outside the US next year before the presumed H1B filing start date in April, to avoid my status being automatically withdrawn if I travel while waiting for the result of the lottery – which took months this year.
    If they start H1B registration early for 2021, which could start as early as December 2019, would it be not safe to travel outside the US during this period? Would I have to wait until the lottery result is out?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      karta,
      It would be fine to travel during the registration period as it is not full application. Travel during the actual processing of h1B is the risky one…Some of these details of the dates are not out yet, so too early to plan…discuss with your attorney once as well.

  37. L1A-H1B

    Kumar-
    This is my 6th year going on as L1A and complete 6th year on August 2020. I was not lucky for H1B lottery last 2 year. If I get in lottery and my potion approve in this year shall I continue to stay in US to change of status L1A to H1B. My EB2 I140 already approved. Please advice.

    If not get in H1B lottery can I try for 7th year? or I can go outside for 1 year and again come back.

    My L1A will valid till August,2021.

    Regards,
    KC

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      KC,
      You maybe eligible for something called Compelling Circumstances EAD. Check USCIS website , discuss with your attorney and plan accordingly. Do update after you speak with your attorney here.

  38. Unlucky OPT guy

    Hi, Thanks your post. I have a question for you.
    If we don’t get any news on electronic registration by end of Jan then can we assume that their wont be any electronic registration?

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