Planning to file an H-1B petition in 2020? Listen up!

By: Ann Potratz

Publication: Employment Law & Regulatory Alert

Date Posted: 03/12/2020

H-1B Petition Process 2020

The annual rush to file for one of the country’s most coveted immigration permits will happen a month earlier this year on March 1, thanks to a major overhaul of the system.

Overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the filing process used to go something like this: The online portal opened April 1, and employers clamored to file full-length petitions for each desired visa. Each year, the government received far more petitions than available visas. Once the portal closed, USCIS held a lottery to determine which petitions would be selected.

This year, the portal opens on March 1, and full petitions won’t be required unless a registration is selected in the lottery. Here’s how it will play out:

h-1b petition process

The new process should lessen the burden on employers, many of whom have spent hours agonizing over detailed petitions only to have them lose the lottery without ever seeing the light of day. However, if this launch anything like that of other electronic government processes, employers might want to prepare themselves for technical difficulties and potential delays.

Key to remember: USCIS will begin accepting H-1B applications on March 1, a month earlier than usual. Employers must be prepared to submit basic registration information for intended workers.

About the author
Ann Potratz - Human Resources Editor

Ann is an editor on the Human Resources Publishing Team, she specializes in employment law issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, background checks, terminations, and security.

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