Ready or not, it’s time to electronically register for the upcoming H-1B Cap Lottery.

The registration period began at 12:00 noon Eastern Time on Sunday, March 1, 2020 and will end at 12:00 noon Eastern Time on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Unlike in past years, this year, USCIS has implemented an electronic registration process as the means by which prospective H-1B petitioners may register for the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap Lottery.  The electronic registration is for cap-subject H-1B petitioners interested in sponsoring foreign national professional workers under the regular 65,000 FY 2021 H-1B Cap Lottery and those seeking to file under the 20,000 Advanced Degree Exemption.  An employer may only submit one registration per beneficiary per fiscal year.

Employers should take note that the electronic registration process for the H-1B Cap Lottery is being held now, earlier than the first-week of April timing.  By way of background, April 1st is the earliest possible time when the Regulations permit the filing of a cap-subject H-1B petition.

USCIS has indicated that it will conduct the H-1B Cap Lottery sometime after the electronic registration period closes at noon on March 20th and before March 31st.  The Agency will notify those whose registrations have been selected and will include the specific period during which each filing may be submitted.  USCIS has stated that a selected petitioner will be given no fewer than 90 days to file its H-1B petition on behalf of the named beneficiary.


Catherine Wadhwani is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Immigration Practice of Fox Rothschild LLP.  For nearly 25 years, Catherine’s practice has focused on business immigration law and compliance, primarily in the health care, general corporate and academia sectors.  Her practice covers the United States and Consulates worldwide.  Catherine is based in our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office.  You can reach Catherine at 412-391-1334 or