H-1B petitions must be delivered to USCIS between April 1 and April 2019 in order to be eligible for Fiscal Year 2010 lottery selection. There are about 65,000 regular H-1B quota numbers plus 20,000 advanced-degree quota exemptions available in 2020.

USCIS will begin accepting H1B filings for 2020 on beginning on April 1, 2019. If your petition is delivered before April 1, it will not be considered for the lottery selection based on the recent H-1B lottery selection patterns. Due to overfilling of H-1B petitions, USCIS will stop accepting new filings received by April 5, 2019.

An H-1B lottery takes place for the all the cases received during the first five business days. If selected for the lottery, an H-1B petitioner will receive a written receipt notice. Then USCIS will review the H-1B forms and documents. If USCIS need more information or document, they may issue a request for evidence (RFE). Unselected petitions and all filing fees will be returned to H-1B petitioners.

If no RFE is issued, USCIS typically approve H-1B petitions during the summer. However, an official first date of an H-1B status is October 1, 2019 even though the petition may have been approved earlier. If an H-1B beneficiary wishes to travel overseas, an H-1B visa stamping in his or her home country is required. However, because the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” policy, an H-1B visa stamping became more challenging.

Written by FLC Staff Ali Kraemer