USCIS announced a new H-1B application process for the 2020 fiscal year. Rather than submitting a complete application on April 1 and hoping to get selected in the lottery, USCIS has changed the process. They will now conduct a pre-lottery for the 66,000 available visas in 2020. In essence, any potential employee who needs a new H-1B visa (not a change of employer or a renewal) must enter an online electronic lottery between March 1 and March 20 and be selected before they are allowed to submit an application to USCIS.
USCIS will announce the winners on April 1, 2020, or shortly thereafter. If selected in the pre-lottery, USCIS will allow an employer to file an application (subject to approval) for a start date of October 1, 2020. If the employer has not registered in advance, they will not be able to apply for a new H-1B in 2020.
The benefits of this new process are that it saves the employer money in application legal fees and processing time, and the employee will know upfront on April 1 whether he or she was selected or not.
Despite some of our firm's problems with the recent changes regarding H-1B visas, or the "tech visa," this is one change that will make life easier for applicants and employers. It shortens the process for applicants, and it ensures that everyone who applies will be measured on the strength of their application—not on luck. If you have questions about your H-1B application, speak with our work visa attorneys today to learn your options.
Call (800) 909-8129 to speak with a New Jersey work visa attorney as soon as possible.