On August 14, 2020, without notice or warning, USCIS conducted an unprecedented second H-1B cap lottery for FY2021. Here’s what made the second lottery possible.
After the initial lottery, certain employers chose not to file some of their selected H-1B cap petition(s). This resulted in unused H-1B visa numbers. The second lottery selected candidates from the remaining, previously unselected registrations.
How did it work?
USCIS uploaded new Registration Selection Notices to the USCIS Online Accounts. The registered employers and their attorneys then received notifications of these Notices.
At this time, it appears that all of those selected in this second round have been notified.
Currently, USCIS hasn’t disclosed how many H-1B cap visas were available during the second, unannounced lottery or the background of those selected. However, we do know that the lottery included both U.S. Masters and Regular H-1B numbers.
USCIS Is Providing Another 90-day Window.
H-1B Cap Petitions selected in the second H-1B Lottery now have a 90-day window (from August 17, 2020 to November 16, 2020) in which employers must file.
From our experience and the reports from other immigration attorneys, few additional registrations were selected. Out of our registrations, only one more was selected. And we have notified the parties involved.
We are continuing to monitor this development and will provide updates if they become available.