USCIS abandons Wage Ranking for H-1B visa selection – Reverts to Luck !

It’s official: Luck rules!  The 2021 H-1B Visa Selection process will be random.  USCIS Citizenship & Immigration Services will use the same innovative Pre-Registration procedure that was launched last year.

In early March 2021, interested employers may submit registrations for their H-1B employee candidates.  In late March, USCIS will run a random lottery to select the “winners.”   Employers of the winning candidates will be eligible to file full H-1B visa petitions during a 3-month filing window beginning April 1.  First start date is October 1, 2021.

Today, the Biden Administration delayed the implementation of new Trump rules that would have ranked submissions for the Pre-Registration selection based on offered wage levels.  The higher the pay, the greater the likelihood of selection.  These wage-based rules will NOT be effective this year.

Let’s Get Started

To move forward with H-1B Cap Pre-Registration, please complete the H-1B Inquiry Form at the end of this blog post.

E&M Mayock’s Pre-Registration Program includes a full consultation, wage analysis, LCA Labor Condition Application filing with the Dept of Labor and Pre-Registration filing with USCIS Citizenship & Immigration Services.  The all-inclusive fee for this first step is $1,500.

Get ready for H-1B Cap Season 2021 now.  All 2021 H-1B Cap cases must complete a Pre-Registration process for inclusion.  In 2020, USCIS launched an innovative Pre-Registration program to allow employers to participate in the H-1B lottery – without filing expensive H-1B Visa Petitions.   We gleaned important tips from the USCIS rookie Pre-Registration season last March.

What We Learned:

  • Pre-Registration requires tight coordination between employers and attorneys to navigate the cumbersome USCIS Pre-Registration system
  • Wage and occupation analysis early in the Pre-Registration process is critical
  • Employers need attorney assistance with the “simple” registration process, now more than ever, to avoid disqualification through errors in the Pre-Registration process

E&M Mayock’s 2021 H-1B Pre-Registration Program

 

E&M Mayock has now begun accepting H-1B Cap Pre-Registration cases.  Our Program has been fine-tuned, based on lessons learned in 2020, to successfully negotiate the Pre-Registration system and be prepared for swift filing of a strong H-1B petition.

Pre-Registration Program:

  • Employers and H-1B Cap Prospect Employees will fill out basic online questionnaires to provide the information required for H-1B Cap Pre-Registration.
  • Attorney will review basic H-1B qualification including reviewing educational credentials, company qualifications, employer / employee relationship and qualifying H-1B specialty occupation position.
  • Initial Attorney Consultation will be scheduled, if required, based on the attorney review.
  • Wage and Occupation Analysis.
  • Preparation and filing of LCA Labor Condition Application
  • Assistance with submission of Pre-Registration.
  • Tracking of Pre-Registration results.

 

 

H-1B Basics:

 

Today’s H-1B program does NOT require a showing of shortage of American workers.

It is expected that in early March 2021, USCIS Citizenship & Immigration Services will begin accepting H-1B Visa Pre-Registrations.  During this initial registration period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically submit a separate registration naming each foreign national for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.

Under last year’s regulations, USCIS conducted a random, luck-based lottery of all applications submitted in the Pre-Registration period in order to select the Petitioners and Beneficiaries permitted to submit full H-1B Visa Petitions after April 1st.  The new selection system will favor those workers offered wages in the higher rather than lower wage levels.

The annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B visas includes 20,000 visas set aside for foreign workers who have completed a Masters degree at a U.S. non-profit university.

Last year, participation in the lottery was even more competitive than previous years, given the simplicity and low cost of participating in the first Pre-Registration process.  274,273 Pre-Registrations were submitted in 2020. When the first tranche of winners was exhausted, a second draw was held in August 2020.

No one knows how many Pre-Registrations will be filed in 2021.  The impact of COVID, and the related unemployment numbers, adds another layer of unpredictability this year.    In prior years – when full H-1B Visa Petition filings were required to participate in the lottery – the quota was exhausted and cap reached by the end of the 5-day April filing window:  201,011 petitions were filed in 2019, 190,000 in 2018 and 198,000 in 2017.

 

Full Petition Preparation $3,500 + Costs:

Once selected in the H-1B lottery, Legal Fees of $3,500 + Required Government Filing Fees will be required in order to prepare and file a full H-1B Visa Petition with USCIS in the April – June filing window.  Results are usually known by the end of September.  NOTE that students on F-1 OPT Optional Practical Training require special handling, in order to insure “Cap-Gap” continuing work authorization thru September 30th.

Getting Started with Pre-Registration

To move forward with H-1B Cap Pre-Registration, please complete the H-1B Inquiry Form at the end of this blog post.

H-1B Inquiry Form