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USCIS completes initial selection of H-1B cap registrations; close to 275,000 unique registrations submitted

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed its initial selection of H-1B cap registrations, the agency announced April 1. Nearly 275,000 total unique registrations were submitted during the enrollment period, which ran from March 1 to March 20.

The U.S. government caps the number of H-1B visas granted each year at 85,000 — 20,000 of which are allocated for foreign nationals who hold a U.S. master’s or doctorate degree. This is the first year (FY 2021) that USCIS has used an online electronic registration process before the computer-generated lottery during the H-1B cap season.

“The new H-1B electronic registration system has been an overall success,” USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow said in a statement. “As a result of this modernized process, the amount of paper and data exchanged between USCIS and petitioners will dramatically decrease this year.”

Edlow continued: “The positive feedback received by users of the H-1B registration system, the limited amount of technical issues experienced during the registration period, and the ability to immediately respond to questions from registrants was the result of a comprehensive effort developed over the course of more than a year. This new registration system is one of many ways USCIS is improving the H-1B program.”

About 46 percent of registrations were for “prospective beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees” while 81 percent “were for potential beneficiaries from India (67.7 percent) and China (13.2 percent),” according to USCIS.

Under the new system, employers only file complete petitions for those registered applicants already selected in the lottery. Previously, employers submitted an entire petition in order for each applicant to be eligible to enter the lottery.

Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition, USCIS said in the statement.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm by phone at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions regarding the H-1B cap or any other immigration-related matters.

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