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New H-1B Cap Procedures Benefit Consulting and Staffing Companies

Posted February 4, 2020Matthew Meltzer - Partner and Co-FounderH-1B

USCIS has put into effect new H-1B cap procedures for the fiscal year 2021 and its corresponding H-1B cap lottery occurring in March 2020. This year the USCIS will require employers to name each potential H-1B employee in an online lottery registration platform between March 1st and March 20th. USCIS will then conduct a lottery to determine which individuals can have complete H-1B petitions submitted to USCIS.

The registration does not require employers to name the offered position or work location. Rather, all that is required are the following seven facts:

  • Beneficiary’s legal name
  • Beneficiary’s gender 
  • Beneficiary’s date of birth
  • Qualification for Master's cap
  • Beneficiary’s country of birth
  • Beneficiary’s country of citizenship 
  • Beneficiary’s passport number

The results of the lottery will be released by March 31st, but companies will have 90 days to submit the complete petition to the USCIS. This means that petitions do not need to be submitted until the end of June.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for staffing and consulting companies. Rather than searching for client contracts and work opportunities that will take effect in October, but need work orders signed in April, employers will have three additional months to search for client opportunities. In addition, employers will have the benefit of knowing that the person has already been selected in the lottery when marketing their services to prospective clients.

Companies in the consulting and staffing industries should consider submitting as many prospective employees in the lottery as they have available, now that client contracts do not need to be secured just to submit an individual in the lottery. With the benefit of three additional months to secure placement opportunities for employees, the H-1B cap is perilous for consulting companies, and instead presents greater opportunities for success.

For further questions about strategies for this year's H-1B cap, please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney.