H-1B cap of 65,000 reached; what next?

 USCIS to notify all selected registrants by March 31. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 H-1B visas for fiscal year 2021.

Indian professionals have received more than two thirds of all H1B visas for high skilled workers in the last five years.

With enough requests received, the USCIS said it had randomly selected the numerical allocations or the H-1B cap for FY 2021 beginning Oct 1, 2020 from the properly submitted registrations.

The petitioners will be notified about selected registrations no later than March 31. Those selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.

RELATED: H4 visa: a primer (December 9, 2014)

Now, for all of those whose employers had applied for the H-1B petition here’s what they can look ahead to in the coming days.

Individuals cannot learn of their status

It’s only the employers or the attorneys who can know of the status of an applicant. So individual employees have to depend on them to know of their status.

At this stage, the employers who may have filed for the H-1B cap would have one of these statuses for each registration made – Submitted or Selected.

As the USCIS has given March 31 as the date  to notify all selected registrations, the process has already started and many attorneys report that some of their application status has changed to – Selected.

However, do not lose heart if your attorney/employers still do not see the update as USCIS would continue updating till March 31.

What happens next?

If an application is selected, the USCIS will be providing a notice that will have to be submitted by June 30 at one of the centers listed by it. The notice will have to be submitted along with the H-1B petition between April 1 and June 30.

What happens if your status does not show selected?

If the status does not change to selected by March 31, it would simply mean that your application has not moved. You will have to wait a little longer as you are considered for the pool of waitlisted registrations.

You will have to wait until the status changes to Not Selected, to know for sure that you have not made it this year.

Now, since the USCIS has not given any date line for the second pool of lottery one would have to be patient and hope that you are second time lucky.

However, according to USCIS all employers and attorneys would have the answers by the end of the fiscal year.


USCIS reaches H-1B visa cap for 2018-2019 fiscal year (April 7, 2018)

H-1B visa cap reached for both 65,000 regular, 20,000 master’s exemption categories (April 7, 2017)

Anti-H-1B group sues the federal government to seek data from USCIS (April 20, 2018)

Trump administration may soon end H-4 Visa Rule: report (February 1, 2018)

Stronger economy may lead to more H-1B petitions (January 22, 2018)

Tech industry urges USCIS not to cancel H-4 spouses’ work permits (January 19, 2018)

Chuck Grassley again denounces H-1B visa program (January 18, 2018)

USCIS says it’s not ending H-1B visa extensions (January 9, 2018)

Proposed move to end H-1B extensions may affect up to 400,000 Indians in US (January 2, 2018)

DHS mulling major change to H-1B visa program (January 2, 2018)

Trump signs H-1B visa executive order ‘Buy American and Hire American’ (April 19, 2017)

Trump to sign executive order to overhaul H-1B visa program on Tuesday (April 18, 2017)

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