This is the second year the H-1B lottery has been conducted as a two-step process, with an initial electronic registration and subsequent selection and invitation to submit completed petitions.  On March 30th 2021, USCIS conducted the first lottery, selecting 87,500 registrations to fill 85,000 H-1B visa slots.  Applicants in the first round had until June 30th, 2021 to submit.  Only 37,000 did so, and around 48% of those submission were for the US Master’s quota, not the regular cap.

On July 29th, 2021, USCIS selected 27,717 additional registrations to submit completed petitions starting August 2nd until November 3, 2021.  If your team’s registration was selected in round two, there is no reason to wait until the last minute to submit and delay the employee start date for FY 2022, especially since RFEs are still a major hurdle facing petitioners and their beneficiaries.

Before you file, make sure you have an airtight petition that meets all H-1B eligibility requirements and takes USCIS approval trends into account:

  • Degrees earned outside of the United States, three-year bachelor’s degrees, incomplete college, missing college, and degrees earned in specializations that are not an exact fit for the H-1B job field all need credential evaluations to fill in the gaps between the education the beneficiary has and the education USCIS will approve.  This means a unique evaluation that takes progressive work experience into account to be converted into college credit.
  • If the job does not ALWAYS require a US bachelor’s degree or higher to perform, include additional evidence as to why this particular position for this particular employer meets specialty occupation requirements.  This must include an expert opinion letter written by an expert with extensive experience working in the field of the H-1B job, and preferably has experience making hiring decisions regarding the position in question.
  • If the job is for a consulting firm, or another business structure that contracts work from third parties, or entails the H-1B employee spending time at third-party worksites, include a complete itinerary of the work the H-1B employee will be performing – including client and customer contact information – for the duration of the H-1B visa period.  Document how the employer will be able to control the work of the H-1B employee even at third-party worksites.

At CCI, we work with difficult RFE cases every year, and these are the three main triggers for complex RFEs that quickly escalate into a big, expensive, time-consuming headache.  The best way to address RFE issues is to prevent them in the first place.  Let us review your case for free before you file to identify areas of weakness and advise solutions.

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Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI  Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.

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