On Friday, August 14, 2020, US Citizenship & Immigration Services completed a second round of lottery selection for FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions. The new selection round was due to the fact that the number of timely filings for H-1B petitions corresponding to registrations selected under the first round were insufficient to fill the annual quota of 85,000, which includes 65,000 H-1B petitions, and an additional 20,000 petitions allotted to beneficiaries who possess a US advanced degree. Employers whose H-1B petitions were selected in the first round of the lottery had between April 1 and June 30, 2020, to file petitions. As a result of the shortage in filings submitted by June 30, USCIS is allocating the unused numbers randomly among the non-selected cases under the first round.
Employers are not required to take any action to be included in the second lottery. USCIS is selecting from among the thousands of H-1B registrations that were filed during the March 2020 registration period but not selected in the initial lottery, a pool that included nearly 275,000 registrations in total according to the agency’s prior announcement.
An employer whose registration is newly selected will receive a USCIS email indicating that action has been taken on its case. The employer or its immigration counsel must log into the H-1B cap registration system and print out a selection notice for the case. The notice will inform the employer of the filing deadline and the specific USCIS filing location. The notice must be included when the employer files a complete H-1B cap petition for the registration.
USCIS has not yet released details on the number of additional registrations that it will select in the August-November lottery. However, the agency is expected to release additional details through an official announcement soon.