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By Brad Ortman, Member

Now is the time to act if you are interested in sponsoring an employee in H-1B status.  U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this month that registration for the annual H-1B lottery will take place from March 9-25.  Winners of the lottery get an opportunity to sponsor an employee for H-1B visa status in the three-month filing period that follows.  H-1B status is reserved for specialized knowledge occupations, which require at least a bachelor’s degree.  Only 85,000 H-1B quota-subject petitions can be granted per year, of which 20,000 are reserved for those with master’s degree or higher.

This year’s process will follow the same format as last year, in which Petitioners and their legal representatives complete the registration process online during the registration period.  Only properly registered employers and beneficiaries can participate in the annual H-1B lottery.  Those selected in the lottery will be notified by the end of March by USCIS.

The Trump administration had proposed changing the lottery selection criteria, making it wage-based, rather than a random selection.  However, this rule was postponed at the outset of the Biden administration,  so it will not be applied in the current lottery.

If you are interested in participating in next month’s H-1B lottery or have other immigration law questions, we encourage you to contact either Brad Ortman or Karen Moss with the NGC Immigration Law Group.