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H1B Visa 2021 – Latest News, Updates, FAQs

Below article has all details, FAQs, latest news updates related to H1B Visa Fiscal Year(FY) 2021 season that started in March 2020 with New H1B Registration Process. This article is continuously updated as news emerge.

If you are planning to apply for H1B Visa in March 2021 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Season, check out article : H1B Visa 2022 Season News, Lottery, Updates

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

USCIS News : H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached, No More wait list

February 16th, 2021 : Finally USCIS issued a press release today stating that they have reached H1B cap for FY 2021 Season and lottery final decisions are updated in registration system. Below is the summary of update.

  • USCIS held H1B registrations filed in March 2020 in wait list and did not given final “Not Selected” decision until Feb 15th, 2021. They gave final decision on Feb 16th, 2021 indicating that the cap is reached. There is no more wait listed registrations.
  • Back in August 2020, they had second round of H1B lottery done in the wait listed petitions. Since August 2020, there were no additional rounds of lottery done to select H1B registrations to mee the FY 2021 cap.
  • If you are still waiting for final decision, check with your employer, they would see “Not Selected” Status.
  • USCIS also updated that continue to accept petitions for cap exempt petitions like H1B Extensions, Transfers, Amendments, concurrent filings.
  • Below is the screenshot of the news and Official News Release link
  • If you are planning for upcoming H1B season, read H1B Visa FY 2022 FAQs
H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached - Feb 2021
H1B FY 2021 Cap Reached – Feb 2021

H1B Second Round Lottery for FY 2021 ?

Update ( Confirmed ) – August 14th, 2020 : Today firstly, attorney Greg update on Twitter that there was second round lottery done by USCIS and additional applicants were picked. Many attorneys confirmed the same. Also, AILA has given official update indicating the process to check the H1B Second Round lottery details. Below is the update and AILA news screenshot only given to their members.

  • The Second Round registration notices that were selected would say “August 2020 Selection of Reserve Registration”
  • They will have filing period listed as “8/17/2020 – 11/16/2020”.
  • User who are selected in second round can file H1B petitions starting from August 17th until November 16th, 2020.
  • You need to include your second lottery selection notice and send it to the same location that is listed on the Selection notice. The start date of the petition has to be October 1st, 2020 as this is still for FY 2021 season.
  • Many of our users also confirmed that they have got selected. So, this news is real and confirmed. If you are still waiting, you should check with your employer and ask them to verify.
  • As of now, there is NO official announcement from USCIS on the second round lottery and how many were selected.
  • Also, this second round H1B lottery is only for someone who already submitted their registration in March. It is not for anyone new. They should already be in queue.
  • The Second round lottery selection includes both US Masters quota and regular quota.
AILA - USCIS Second Lottery H1B 2021
Second Round H1B Lottery News Alert by AILA for FY 2021

Update (Unofficial) – Aug 11, 2020: There was an update on Twitter by attorney Greg Siskind saying USCIS may run second round of lottery for existing H1B registrations that were filed in April. This update by him is probably based on some insider information through his contacts or through AILA.

But, as of today, there is NO official update either on USCIS website in their news alerts or any official communication sent by them to the stakeholders. Below is the tweet for your review. In the past, as per some other attorneys inputs, there are no decline in filings, but again, every law firm seem to have different volumes….So, do not get too excited by this news, take it with pinch of salt.

Many are speculating or asking, if there would be any second round lottery. The reason is, if many applicants did not file in FY 2021 season due to the COVID-19 situation. In reality, some of the applicants lost their jobs and some were not able to file, but for the most part based on information from many attorney, most of the H1B applicants selected in initial registration lottery were able to file the H1B petition.

The reason is, the job losses due to COVID-19 are very less in the Computer Science sector, where most of the H1Bs are filed. Also, usually USCIS would usually select about 12% to 15% more applications in lottery to factor in these kind of non-filings & denials. So, the chances of second lottery are low and as of July 20th, 2020, we do not have any official update from USCIS on the second round lottery.

If there will be a second round lottery, it will be very likely published on USCIS website or at least your employer would be notified electronically. So, always check with your employer. Do NOT go by any rumours. We will update the article as we hear any update.

Trump US Entry Ban Applies to H1B Visa 2021 Holders, Exceptions

President Trump signed an Executive Order on June 22, 2020 that bans entry of H1B Visa holders to US until December 31, 2021. If you are a new H1B Holder planning to enter US from your home country with stamping, it impacts you and you cannot enter US as per the Executive order, unless you qualify for National Interest Exceptions.

On August 12th, 2020, US State Department gave additional guidance indicating the National Interest Exceptions for the H1B holders. You need meet at least two of the five criteria they have listed for Critical Sectors and doing Critical work for them same sectors. You can check all details on the same at H1B Entry Ban Exceptions – Aug 2020

Also, this entry ban does not apply to any other visa holder who file H1B 2021 application as Change of Status (COS) with USCIS. Check complete details at original executive order at : Trump H1B Travel Ban Executive Order until Dec 31, 2020

New H1B Registration System

USCIS launched New H1B Registration System for FY 2021 Season. Below were the dates for the FY 2021 new registration system that was held in March 2020.

  • H1B Employer Account Registration : From Feb 24th, 2020.
  • H1B Registration Period : March 1st, 2020 through March 20th, 2020.
  • H1B Registration Selection Results : Latest by March 31st, 2020.

You can check the complete details at : 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 has introduced two fundamental changes: one is related to the H1B petition filing process and second is to the order of H1B Lottery in the process.

  • H1B Filing Process with Registrations : 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.
  • H1B Registrations Lottery Order : After the registrations are closed, USCIS will run lottery on these registrations in a new order, different from previous years’ H1B lottery.  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.  The change is intended to help the Masters quota petitions have higher chances. After the lottery is done, employers with selected applicants in lottery should submit the full H1B petition with USCIS.

New H1B Process Flow from FY 20201 : Below is the high-level process with H1B registration System.

H1B Visa Registration Process Flow Final Rule

For complete details like what details to submit for lottery, how they will select, etc. read H1B Registration Process, Lottery, Info

H1B Registration System Online Tool

USCIS released the final version of the H1B registration online system with final flow of screens 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. For details on the tool, complete flow, screenshots read H1B Registration Online Tool – Flow, Screens .

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

H1B 2021 Season Start, End Dates

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

H1B Registration Period Dates

USCIS had H1B registration Period open from March 1st through March 20th, 2020. It was technically open for 3 weeks and was closed on March 20th. USCIS announced that they have closed the initial registration period on March 20th in their press release

H1B Registration Results, Sample Notice

USCIS announced initial set of H1B Registration results on March 28th and they indicated that initial set of results would be notified to all employers by March 31st. Employers or attorneys would need to login to the H1B registration Online system to view the results. If the applicant is picked in lottery or initial registration selection process, their status would be changed to “Selected”. They will be able to download a selection notice and that has to be used to submit the actual H1B petition. Check out Sample H1B Registration Selection Notice.

H1B Petition Filing Dates fir FY 2021 Season

All the applicants selected in the H1B Registration Lottery Process in March, were given an option to file for FY 2021 season starting from April 1st until June 30th. All the applicants got exactly 90 days. The filing option for FY 2021 season is over. Technically, if you have missed to file during the time specified in the H1B Registration Selection Notice, then you cannot file the petition anymore.

In short, H1B visa FY 2021 petition filing dates are from April 1st, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

No H1B filing Deadlines changed with COVID-19

There were no changes to the filing deadlines for H1B petitions with COVID-19. June 30th, 2020 was the last date to file. If you have missed the deadline, you cannot file H1B Petition. You lost your chance for FY 2021 and need to apply for FY 2022 Season that starts next year.

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 were no changes for H1B regular or masters cap for FY 2021 and they stayed 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 was 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  

Update : As predicted below, there was H1B Lottery for FY 2021 season and about 275,000 H1B Registrations were filed.

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….We have written a detail article on the same, read H1B Visa 2021 Lottery Predictions to get idea on the predictions and numbers.

 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.

  • Initial H1B Lottery Results : This year for FY 2021 season, with H1B registration system, the whole process was electronic and they announced results much earlier. USCIS announced H1B Registration Lottery Results for FY 2021 on March 28th and they informed that the results for the initial round of registration selections will be informed no later than March 31st. The remaining registrations that were not picked in first run of lottery will be in waitlist or pool for future lottery, if needed.
  • Waitlisted H1B Registrations : USCIS said that they will waitlist the applications that were not selected in first round as “Submitted” until the end of fiscal year. They said that they will make the H1B registrations results for everyone, who were not selected in registrations lottery as ‘Not Selected’, only at the end of the fiscal year. Now, the end of fiscal year is usually September 30th for USCIS, but it is not clear, in what context USCIS is referring to for end of fiscal year…if they mean, end of H1B fiscal year 2021 quota or end of USCIS fiscal year. Worst case, you may need to wait until September 30th to be very sure that you were not selected in H1B registration lottery.

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.

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
H1B 2021 Fee Details

Though USCIS has published Fee Increase Rule in Federal Register, it was not implemented for FY 2021. Also, it is not effective yet and still in rule making stages.

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 ! Add your case on H1B 2021 Tracker

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. To understand differences, read H1B Regular vs Premium Processing Timelines.

In short, if you file in Regular processing, there is no estimated SLA set for it. It can take anywhere from few weeks to few months. But, if you file in Premium processing, you get the result in 15 days.

As in previous years, for FY 2021 USCIS has suspended premium processing from April 1st for all petitions until early June. But, with the COVID-19 situation, USCIS cancelled premium processing indefinitely. Finally, they opened up premium processing starting from June 22nd, 2020. Now, premium processing is available for H1B 2021 season applications. Check more at : USCIS Premium Processing Opens in June 2020

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.

  • Feb 16th 2021 ( Official ) : USCIS updated that they have reached the cap for FY 2021 season and no more wait list or lottery would be done. Read USCIS news
  • August 14th, 2020 ( Confirmed) : Today, USCIS ran second round lottery for H1B visa 2021 season. It was run on the existing H1B registrations that were filed for FY 2021 back in March. Many attorneys confirmed the news and also AILA issued practice alert. Many of our users confirmed too. Check above section on H1B second lottery for more info and alert details.
  • August 11, 2020 ( Unofficial) : There was a tweet by Attorney Greg Siskind saying that there will be second round of lottery. As of now, there is NO Official news by USCIS or any communication to stake holders. We need to wait and see.
  • August 9, 2020 ( Unofficial ) : There are delays in getting H1B receipt notices. Some are taking over 30 days to get receipt notice. So nothing to panic, if you have not received the H1B receipt notice.
  • June 22nd, 2020 : Trump signed an Executive Order that bans entry of H1B holders into US. If you are someone planning to get US visa and enter US, you cannot enter. Check more at Trump H1B US Entry Ban Details
  • April 13th, 2020 : USCIS issued alert for stakeholders regarding delays with processing of data entry, receipt notices today. Check H1B 2021 Delays with Receipt Generation, Data Entry – May 1st
  • March 28th, 2020 : USCIS updated that the H1B Lottery for Registrations is completed and employers would see results in the online portal by March 31st, 2020. Read full details at H1B Registration Lottery Completed
  • March 16th, 2020 : USCIS confirmed that premium processing is not available from April 1st for FY 2021. For full details read H1B Premium Processing FY 2021 Updates
  • Feb 21st, 2020 : USCIS again confirmed the filing dates for registration and the submission dates for registration in a press release. It is same as before and nothing has changed. The above article covers the same dates and info. You can read USCIS press release
  • Feb 7th, 2020 : USCIS Stakeholder call with updates on upcoming Registration process. Read Latest Update on H1B Registration Process, Info
  • Jan 10th, 2020 : USCIS publishes federal register notice confirming the registration process for FY 2021 H1B season. Read H1B Registration 2021 – USCIS Notice, Period, Fee
  • Dec 6th, 2019 : USCIS Confirms the launch of H1B Registration System for FY 2021 Season. Check H1B Registration System Dates, Info
  • Nov 7th, 2019: USCIS finalizes to charge $10 Fee for H1B Registrations. Anticipated to be effective for FY 2021 season. Check USCIS press release

Common FAQs

Can I still file H1B petition after June 30th, 2020 ?

No, if you were selected in H1B Lottery in March 2020, your deadline was June 30th, 2021. You cannot file past that date.

My company did not file with COVID-19, Can I transfer Registration ?

No, you cannot transfer the registration. To be counted towards cap, you should have filed H1B petition by June 30th, 2020. If you missed to file, you need to go through lottery again next year.

When will the second round H1B Lottery be done ?

No official update, if there would be second round lottery from USICS as of July 20th, 2020. We do not even know, if there will be second round as USICS always selects 12 to 15% more entries during lottery to factor in non-filings, denials.

I have a job offer now, can I apply for H1B still for FY 2021 ?

No, you cannot. Your next option is to apply for H1B FY 2022 season that starts in March 2021.

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


Other Articles


  1. I plan to apply for F1 in May 2020 and already have made visa appointment with US consulate. Can I also apply for H1B registration and wait for lottery to pickup or not and then go ahead with F1 visa also?

    • Sam,
      Yes, you can apply for it, if you have an employer willing to apply for your H1B registration. Both are different and has no impact.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.


  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    • 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.

  6. 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?


  7. 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 ??

  8. 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?

    • 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..

      • 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?

        • 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.

  9. 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!

    • 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…

  10. 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 ?


    • 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.

  11. 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.


      • 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,

        Good luck and all the very best.

      • 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.


    • 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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?


  14. 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.

    • 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 !

  15. 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?

      • 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.

        • 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.

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

  16. 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?

    • 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.


    • 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.


  20. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  21. 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?

      • 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?

      • 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.


        • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

  22. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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…

          • 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?

          • 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…

  23. 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?

  24. 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 ?

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • It will be finally rejected. Try only one. For a detail, take a look from past USCIS rejection for a similar case.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  25. 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  26. 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.

    • 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…

  27. 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.

    • 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…

      • @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.

  28. 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.

    • @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.

  29. 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 ?

  30. 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

  31. 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.

    • 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….

      • 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,

        • 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

    • 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.

  32. 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

    • 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.

  33. 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

    • 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.

  34. 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. 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.

  35. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

  36. 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 ?

  37. 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?

    • 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.

  38. 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.


  39. 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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