H-1b Cap Lottery Update
The USCIS announced earlier this week that almost 275,000 registrations were submitted by U.S. employers for the 85,000 available lottery spots. This number was an increase of over 33% when compared to last years 201,000 filings. This increase is attributed to the new electronic registration process as well as the robust economy (remember that time only a few weeks ago). Of the 275,000 registrations 46% were for individuals with a US graduate degree. The period for filing completed petitions opened on April 1 and will end on July 1, 2020. For individuals that need to take advantage of the cap-gap rules, the full 90 day filing window is not applicable and those petitions must be filed prior to the expiration of the OPT EAD. Given the realities of COVID-19, and the number of lay-offs occurring, it is unlikely that all persons selected in the lottery will have petitions filed for them which will then open up the opportunity for those not originally selected to then be selected and possibly at a time when the economy is in a better state.