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H-1B Cap Process That Begins in March Gives Priority to High Salary Workers

January 13, 2021

H-1B cap-subject petition registration will begin March 1, 2021 through March 20, 2021. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will select 85,000 petitions for the H-1B cap (65,000 for the general category and 20,000 for the US advanced degree category). Applicants selected during this process will have 90 days from selection notification to submit the H-1B petition for the beneficiary named in the registration.

USCIS issued a new rule that will change the H-1B cap process from a random lottery to a new selection process based on wage level, giving priority to individuals earning the highest salaries in their occupational category and geographic area of employment. The Department of Labor also announced a new rule to raise the required wages for foreign workers, with increases starting July 2021. We expect both rules to be challenged and will continue to monitor for updates.

Varnum immigration attorneys have begun collecting information to be prepared for March registrations. Employers with employees on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or candidates needing cap-subject H-1Bs should contact us by mid-February for assistance with the registration. If we do not file a registration by March 20, 2021, we cannot file again until March 2022.

Please contact your Varnum immigration attorney if you have questions.

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