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USCIS Launches Online Visa Lottery: What You Need to Know

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the launch of the new H1B online work visa application registration system. The new system will open at noon (Eastern American Time) on Sunday, March 1. Registration of applications for work visas for fiscal year 2021 will last until March 20, 2020. The H1B visa program is designed for qualified foreign workers sponsored by US employers, writes Workpermit.

Photo: Shutterstock

US employers wishing to hire a foreign employee can register their organization in the new system until March 1, but USCIS will not accept applications for employee registration until 12:1 Eastern time on March XNUMX.

Account creation

To register with the new system, US employers will need to create an account by visiting the USCIS website. The account must be created by an authorized person responsible for completing USCIS forms on behalf of the organization.

The responsible person will have to provide:

  • Unique email address
  • Password;
  • Preferred two-step account authentication method (text message, email address or application);
  • Answers to various security questions (this will allow account managers to reset the password at any time);
  • Indicate the type of account required, in this case the H1B visa applicant.

If the organization has more than one responsible person, each of them will have to create his own account for filing H1B applications. A user is allowed to have more than one account. For example, one user can manage several objects, but each object must have its own account with a unique email address.

On the subject: Everything you need to know about US work visas

Needed Information for an H1B Visa

When registering an H1B visa application, the organization must provide the following information about the intended employee:

  • Full name;
  • Floor;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Country of birth;
  • Citizenship;
  • Passport ID;
  • Beneficiary degree (determines the applicability of different visa limits, it is easier for people with a bachelor's degree or higher to get a visa).

The sponsor is allowed to register the H1B visa recipient only once. If the organization registers the beneficiary more than once, all registrations will be canceled. An employer will no longer be able to register the same beneficiary to obtain a visa for fiscal year 2021.

On the subject: How to get a work visa in the US

USCIS will carefully check registrations to prevent illegal duplicates before launching the H1B Visa Lottery.

Registration restrictions for H1B visa

The representative of USCIS said that the agency will not limit the number of registrations that can be submitted by one employer. However, each registration will be limited to 250 beneficiaries. In addition, there will be no restrictions on the number of foreign workers that an organization can register for the H1B Visa Lottery. However, the organization must confirm the legitimate need to register each foreign worker and the true intention to file an H1B petition for each beneficiary selected by the lottery system.

To apply for an H1B visa, an electronic registration must be carried out, followed by Form G-28.

Each time after registration, USCIS will issue a unique access code that will allow you to view, edit and track the application.


USCIS will hold two lotteries for the drawing of the right to obtain a work visa in the United States from 12:00 Eastern time on March 20 to March 31, 2020. The first lottery will include all registered potential H1B beneficiaries, of which USCIS will select 65 (the established annual limit for issuing H000B work visas). A second lottery will be held between all applicants who were not selected during the first lottery and who have a higher American education. According to its results, 1 people will be selected who are eligible for additional H20B visas for holders of a degree in the United States.

All employers will be notified of the results of the lottery by March 31, according to USCIS.

Specialist commentary

“It remains to be seen how the system will work in practice. It will be much easier and cheaper for employers. You just need to submit an online application with a small $ 10 deposit. Since it is much more convenient and cheaper to apply for the lottery than before, the number of applications can increase significantly. Only if the people are chosen will the regular government fee for the H1B visa need to be paid. As before, the likelihood of success is low. If more people apply for a limited number of H1B visas, obtaining a visa may be more difficult than before. There are only 85 visas available ... Possibly fewer H000B visas and longer waiting times, ”said Sanwar Ali, Director of WorkPermit.

Miscellaneous Work Visa USCIS US Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration in the USA H1b

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