H1B visa lottery winner

Each year at the completion of the H1B visa lottery, USCIS notifies recipients of their selection through their USCIS accounts.  This is done through a USCIS Form I-797C, Notice of Action. If you were one of the few selected, Congratulations! However, selection in the H-1B lottery is just the first step in the process. We discuss what to do after you are selected in the H-1B visa lottery here.

When will I know if I was selected for the H-1B Lottery?

USCIS has already begun selection and notification for the H-1B lottery. You will be notified if you were selected or not selected in the H-1B lottery through your USCIS account. Notification is done through a USCIS Form I-797C, Notice of Action. The notice will include the following language, “Notice Type: Registration Selection.” The selection notice will also include the following important information for the H-1B petition process:

  • The USCIS services center and filing address where USCIS Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker is to be filed.
  • The company authorized to file the Form I-129 petition
  • The beneficiary/employee that the selection is authorized for

Can the company substitute the beneficiary or transfer the registration to another petitioner?

The registration is ONLY valid for the petitioner and beneficiary identified on the I-797 selection notice. The company cannot transfer the registration to another petitioner nor can the company file a petitioner under the selection notice for another beneficiary. Any petition filed by a company not listed on the selection notice will be denied or rejected. In addition, any petition filed for a beneficiary not listed on the selection notice with be denied or rejected.

What do I do if I was selected for the H-1B visa lottery?

If you were lucky enough to be selected in the H-1B lottery, your employer must then file USCIS Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on your behalf with the USCIS service center indicated on the selection notice. This must be done in the timeframe listed on Form I-797C, Notice of Action for your lottery selection. Those notified on or before March 31st will have from April 1st until June 30th of the fiscal year to submit an I-129 petition for an H-1B visa.

What is required for the Form I-129 Petition under the H-1B lottery selection?

A properly filed Form I-129 Petition under an H-1B lottery selection will include at a minimum:

  • A copy of the USCIS Form I-797C Notice of Action indicating selection in the lottery.
  • A properly completed USCIS Form I-129 and H Classification Supplement.
  • Proper filing fees.
  • A certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the US Department of Labor.
  • Evidence the beneficiary/employee has maintained their status if they are seeking a change of status or extension of stay.
  • Evidence showing the proposed employment qualifies as a specialty occupation.
  • Evidence showing the beneficiary is qualified to perform the specialty occupation.

It is important to file a properly supported Form I-129 petition before the deadline on the selection notice. Failure to properly file a timely Form I-129 Petition will result in a denial or rejection and a loss of the lottery selection.  There is no exception.

H-1B Visas for Specialty Occupations

What if I was not selected for the H-1B visa lottery?

If you were not selected in the H-1B lottery by March 31st, there is still hope. USCIS will run up to two more lottery selections depending on how many petitions are filed based on the first lottery run. Any leftover H-1B numbers will be thrown back into the lottery and those not initially selected will have an additional opportunity to get into the lottery.

What are some alternatives to the H-1B Visa?

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

You may have questions regarding H1B visa requirements. We invite you to reach out to our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.

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